My Dog Doesn’t Listen to Me Anymore – What To Do?

Dogs are well-known for being loyal companions, but sometimes, even the best-behaved dogs may ignore their owners. This situation can be confusing, frustrating, and even dangerous.

Suppose your dog is suddenly ignoring your commands or seems uninterested in you. In that case, there are certain steps you can take to fix this: consistent responses, patient training, simple commands, firm tone, energy release, and trigger identification.

To ensure good behavior, maintain a sustainable relationship, and protect your dog from harm, keep reading to understand the ins and outs regarding what to do when your dog is not listening to you.

What to do when your dog is not listening to you.

1.) Establish Consistency

If you want your dog to listen to you consistently, you must be consistent in your commands and expectations.

Consistency means using the exact words for the same orders every time and being consistent in how you praise or punish your dog.

For example, if you usually give your dog a treat when they sit but sometimes you provide them with a toy instead, they will become confused about the reward for sitting. This confusion and misunderstanding can lead to your dog ignoring the command altogether.

Similarly, if you tell your dog off for jumping up on the couch but sometimes allow them to do it, they will learn that jumping on the couch is acceptable sometimes and will be more likely to do it when you’re not around.

2.) Be Patient With Your Training

You need to remember that training takes time, patience, and consistency.

If you’ve been working with your dog on a particular behavior, but they’re still not responding, it’s important to stay positive and keep at it. Rushing the training process or getting frustrated with your dog will make it resistant to learning.

In addition to slowing down the training process, focus on what type of training you are providing. Rewards-based training is effective and helps establish a friendlier, more trusting relationship with your dog.

When your dog is behaving well, it’s imperative to give them plenty of attention and praise. This positivity will reinforce the behavior you want.

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3.) Keep Your Commands Simple

When giving your dog a command, ensure it’s something they can understand. For example, if you want your dog to sit, say “sit” rather than “go sit down.” Dogs are more likely to respond to clear and concise commands.

In addition, using hand signals and verbal commands can help your dog understand what you want them to do.

Dogs don’t know how to speak English, so you should rely on nonverbal cues just as much, if not more, as verbal cues.

4.) Be Mindful of Your Tone

Studies show that intonation plays a significant role in dogs’ responses to humans, presumably since they do not understand the words’ meaning. This fact speaks to why the way you say something is just as important as what you say.

When giving your dog a command, use a firm but friendly tone. Yelling or sounding angry will only make your dog more likely to ignore you.

If you want your dog’s attention, try using their name followed by the command. For example, you could say, “Fido, sit.”

Calling their name each time will help your dog understand that you are talking to them specifically and that they need to pay attention.

Making a differentiation in your tone is helpful when saying their name, as well, so that they can eventually know the difference between you talking to them casually – or talking about them to someone else – versus talking to them more authoritatively.

5.) Release Your Dog’s Energy in a Positive Way

A dog with a lot of energy is more likely to be disobedient because they have excess energy that needs to be released. The best way to do this is to provide your dog with plenty of opportunities to exercise.

This method could include taking long walks, playing fetch, or simply running around in the backyard.

If your dog has an outlet for their energy, they will be more likely to listen to you and behave when you’re around.

In addition, mentally stimulating activities, such as puzzle toys or nose work, can also help tire out your dog and make them more likely to listen to you.

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6.) Identify What Triggers Your Dog’s Disobedience

Dogs have cognitive-emotional traits; thus, they can feel triggered just like humans can.

There are often certain things that may trigger your dog’s disobedience. So, it’s essential to identify what these triggers are so that you can avoid them in the future.

For example, if your dog is more likely to jump on the couch when you’re not around, they may be trying to get your attention. In this case, you must give it plenty of attention when you are around.

Alternatively, if your dog is more likely to bark when someone comes to the door, they may feel protective.

In this case, it’s essential to provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement when someone comes to the door to reassure it that everything is normal.

Related Video: REAL TRAINING For Anyone With A Dog That Doesn’t Listen!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few frequently asked questions regarding getting dogs to listen.

How do you punish a dog that doesn’t listen?

Positive reinforcement is more suitable for training. But if punishment is necessary, giving time-outs, taking away toys, and scaling back on attention are all penalties you can use.

Why does my dog not want to listen to me?

There can be many reasons. Perhaps they are not getting enough exercise, feeling anxious or stressed, trying to get your attention, or confused about what you’re asking them to do.

How can I get my dog to listen to me all the time?

Even the best-trained dogs will occasionally disobey. However, you can improve the likelihood of your dog listening to you by giving them plenty of attention, exercise, consistency, a firm tone, and positive reinforcement.


If your dog is not listening or paying attention to you, it’s imperative to understand why.

There are several possible reasons, such as lack of exercise, anxiety, or confusion.

Once you have established the cause, use this article to identify the best next steps to take for your specific situation.

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Nadine Oraby

My name is Nadine; I am a passionate writer and a pet lover. People usually call me by the nickname “Joy” because they think that I am a positive and joyful person who is a child at heart. My love for animals triggered me to create this blog. Articles are written by vets, pet experts, and me. Thanks for visiting. Your friend, Nadine!

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