How To Make Your Dog Listen To Your Commands

When you are at the park, and your dog is off the leash, this is not a good time to find out your dog doesn't listen to you. There is nothing worse than a dog that won't come when he is called! The following are the 5 rules you should stick to, to make your dog start to listen to your commands, and not to everything else around him.

1) Firstly, and most importantly, assert your dominance. If you know you do not pack leader, then your dog will know as well, and listening to you will be the farthest thing from his mind. Make sure things are done when you are ready. Not when the dog says so. If he is used to getting his own way with everything, then you have no control, and subsequently, he has no reason to listen to you. Things you can do to assert dominance are feeding your dog last in the household, making him "sit" before getting fed or petted, and not letting him sleep on your bed, as this is reserved for alpha members of the pack.

2) The next point to remember when giving your dog command is that it must count for something. It's no good giving him the same command over, and over and not enforcing it, as all you are doing here is showing him that no matter how many times you tell him, he doesn't have to do it! If the command is to sit, make sure his rear-end touches the ground before you go on to something else, even if you have to gently push him down into the sitting position. Equally, don't give a command in a situation where you know you will be ignored.

3) If your dog will generally listen to you but won't come when he is called, perhaps while running in the park or along the beach, keep him on a leash or long-line until you have gained control. Practice calling him in a smaller enclosed area. It is important you call the same way you would if he were far away from you. Praise him like crazy when he comes. Give a treat. He will associate the calling of his name with pleasure and he will focus on this rather than what might be around the corner.

4) If your dog is aggressive towards other dogs, or even if he just gets over excited and uncontrollable, you need to incorporate vocal commands and a diversion technique. Get the upper hand and make sure you see what is coming before your dog does. When out walking, for instance, as soon as you see that he's seen another dog, stop, and make him sit. Firmly tell him "No" until the other dog passes. Repeat the command and use his name. Keep your voice calm and level, as raising your voice or yelling will suggest to the dog there is something to react to. Then give a treat. Soon, your dog's attention will be more on what he can do for you, than what other dogs are doing.

5) Keep distractions to a minimum. Start your training in a quiet environment, away from other noises and movements so all of his attention is on you. When you have taught your dog to follow a few simple commands well, and he is used to listening to you, then you can go out and continue training in other places.

When training your dog, the key to success is to be consistent. If he isn't allowed to jump on the furniture today, then don't give in to him tomorrow! It will only confuse him. Get to know your dog. What may work for someone else may not work for you, and vice-versa. Try different methods. When you find one that works, stick with it, and you will find training much more rewarding and far less stressful for you and your dog.

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