Why Wont My Dog Listen To Me? 8 Reasons + Useful Tips

The connection between an owner and their dog is strong. So it’s very frustrating when the dog avoids following the commands from their owner. The owner often wonders, “why wont my dog listen to me?”.

A dog will be disobedient and stubborn due to its age or breed. It might be distracted by something or have too much energy to listen to you. It also might be deaf and needs help. But there are a few other reasons for this behavior.

Reasons Why Your Dog Doesn’t Listen To You

Your uncontrollable dog might not listen to you for simple reasons like old age and breed characters. This can result in big problems especially if the dog is prone to bad behaviors like biting or chewing. Knowing the Tibetan Mastiff bite force in pounds, that breed would be scary if its owner is not dominant. There may be some more serious reasons dogs don’t listen that require attention from you.

The Dog’s Age

Dogs go through a few development changes marked by specific differences in their behavior. Up until they turn 12 weeks, puppies still learn about the world and will follow you to stay safe. In the period between 12 weeks and 6 months, puppies start becoming skeptical of their environment and may ignore your commands. 

Once it reaches its adolescence at the age of 6-18 months, it will become a stubborn and rebellious dog. This is the period when the dog will listen to you the least. If you train it properly during this period, it will grow up an obedient adult.

Too Much Energy

Canine disobedience may be a result of an abundance of energy in the dog. Some dogs are more energetic than others but all need to spend some time in their day exercising. If they don’t receive ample exercise, they will become frustrated and ignore your commands.

Puppies usually have more energy than older dogs, so they will need more attention. People say that a tired dog is a good dog, which is not far from the truth. Besides having so much energy, a puppy will become disobedient if it gets overly excited. A simple opening of the door may cause over-excitement in a dog.

Commands Are Not Clear

Being a good dog owner means knowing how to communicate with your dog. Dogs don’t actually understand words, so “stay”, “go”, and “sit” have no meaning until taught properly. If you teach the dog a command, make sure you are consistent in your wording. Saying “stay” and “don’t move” means the same thing to us, but to dogs is a completely different command.

You will also experience stubborn dog behavior if you only use verbal commands. You must learn to use hand signals along with verbal ones. Emotions and intentions also play a significant part when giving a command to a dog.

You Emmit Negative Energy

Dogs connect deeply with humans and can sense the energy their owners emit. Giving a command to a dog with an energy that doesn’t fit will not result in the dog listening to you. If you feel impatient, angry, or stressed, and command something, be sure you will face a confused and likely scared pup.

This is why you have to be aware of your emotions and surroundings when you communicate with your dog. Sometimes you will find yourself in a scary situation like a thunderstorm or hurricane and have to call your dog to help it. It is best to remain calm in any situation.

Giving Bad Treats

An unresponsive dog behavior may be a result of getting bad treats. When you train your dog to obey a command, you need to use good treats as praise. This will cement the command as the dog will associate it with the amazing treat it got as a result of obeying.

If the dog doesn’t enjoy a treat or gets it too often, it will consider it a low-value treat. These treats will not work if you need your dog to follow a more complicated command. Instead, give high-value treats that are incredibly tasty and alluring to the dog if you want it to listen to you.

A Stubborn Breed

The breed of the dog is important in determining how obedient it will be to its owner. There are many dog breeds that are known for their loyalty and ease of training. These include dogs like the Border Collie, Golden Retriever, Poodle, German Shepherd, and Labrador Retriever among others.

That said, there are a few breeds known for their stubborn behavior. Bulldogs are notoriously stubborn dogs known for their “selective hearing”. Other breeds known for their stubbornness include the Chihuahua, Dachshund, Boston Terrier, and the Siberian Husky. Be careful about the breed you choose for your home.

Distractions And Pain

If your dog ignores commands, it might be getting distracted from some things. The dog may be hungry and distracted by its hunger. Loud sounds from outside, or a stranger at your door may grab the attention of the dog whenever you begin training. 

Pain can also be distracting to dogs. Whenever the dog is suffering from arthritis or abdominal pain, it won’t feel like listening and following commands. Besides physical issues causing pain, some mental issues cause emotional pain. Depression is a possible condition in dogs and will cause them to ignore your commands. Misbehaving is also a sign that a dog wants to mate.

It May Be Deaf

You might feel like your dog is misbehaving, however, it might be suffering from a hearing problem. Such a problem is deafness, and it can occur from birth, or it is developed throughout the dog’s life. There are some dog breeds more prone to deafness like the Dalmatian, Chihuahua, French Bulldog, and Beagle. Some dog mixes like the Cowboy Corgi mix are also prone to deafness.

You can notice that your dog is deaf when it suddenly stops responding to your commands. It might have a weird voice, be hyperactive, or bark excessively at times.

How Do I Get My Dog To Listen To Me?

If you want to get your uncooperative dog to listen to you, you need to be patient, positive, and consistent with your training. You have to be calm and give high-value treats to incentivize the dog to listen to you. There are a few more things you need to have in mind.

Be Patient

If you want to fix the ignoring dog behavior, remember that patience is a virtue. Acting out aggressively and impatiently will only send negative energy to the dog and it will avoid you rather than obey you. Remember that training takes a lot of time and patience, especially with stubborn dogs.

Remain Positive

Your dog is most likely to listen to you if you are positive rather than yell out the command angrily. If the dog wants to listen to you but does the command wrong, don’t scold it or attack it. Accept the mistake and try again. If you get too angry and frustrated, take some time to relax and breathe before trying again.

Consistency Is Key

To ensure your dog listens to you, be consistent with your commands. Teach it a certain phrase and connect it to a command you want and never change it. Otherwise, the dog gets confused. Schedule the training sessions at the same time every day so the dog gets ready for it.

Use Body Language

To avoid a disobedient dog response, you need to use proper body language along with vocal commands. You will make it much easier for your dog to understand your demands if you show your intention with your body and voice together. Because dogs don’t understand language, they understand energy.

Provide Proper Exercise

You need to tire out your dog before you train with it. There’s a general formula of 5 minutes of exercise per month of age, twice a day. Once you relieve your dog of the pent-up energy, it will be easier to make it listen and follow your basic dog commands.

Pay Attention

Keep an eye on your dog’s emotional state before you commit to a training session. If the dog is filled with anxiety and frustration, it won’t be able to focus on your commands. Fear will also make it hard for the dog to focus, so avoid training the dog during a thunderstorm.

Don’t Expect Too Much

If you get frustrated that your dog is not obeying your every command, you might be in the wrong. Some people set unrealistic expectations for their pets and then get mad when the pets don’t meet those expectations. This will only cause the dog to avoid you and stop listening altogether. So be honest with yourself and set realistic expectations.

Positive Reinforcement

Some people will use positive punishment as a way to prevent their dogs from doing things. But this is wrong and will negatively impact the dog. Instead, only use positive reinforcement training by giving high-quality treats and praise whenever the dog does something good. This will ensure that the dog listens to the command and respects it.

Puppy Classes

You won’t always be able to get your dog to listen to you. Luckily, you can ask for help. Hiring a dog trainer or a behaviorist will be very beneficial when dealing with a stubborn dog. You can also enroll your dog in dog training classes, puppy classes, or a doggy daycare, where it can learn to behave from other dogs and do socialization training.

Why Wont My Dog Listen To Me? – A Summary

Dogs are known as a man’s best friend. They are loyal and affectionate creatures that will follow their owner wherever they go. But sometimes dogs don’t listen to their owners and seem stubborn. And there are many reasons for this.

The breed and the age of the dog have a big significance on the behavior of the dog. Adolescent dogs are much less obedient than adult dogs. If the dog is deaf, or suffering from a painful illness, it will also avoid listening to its owner. Many times the owners may be at fault as well by giving bad treats and not communicating properly.

To make sure your dog listens to you, you have to be consistent, positive, and patient when communicating with it. You should also give proper exercise, training, and treats.


How do you discipline a dog that won’t listen?

You can use disciplinary measures like giving time-outs and using a stern voice and command. Don’t give attention to the misbehaving dog so you don’t encourage the behavior. And avoid getting emotional but stay consistent and serious.

Why wont my dog listen to me at the dog park?

There is a high chance that your dog will not listen to you at the dog park because it is distracted by other dogs and people. You may not have trained it properly so it would behave at your commands.

What is the theory of dominance animals?

Dominance theory assumes that dogs become aggressive and misbehave as a way to show that they are the alpha of the pack. That is why the owner should act more dominant and practice obedience training techniques.

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