The 7 Steps To A Dog That Truly Listens
by absolute Dogs February 06, 2019
Do you have a problem getting your dog to listen to you?
Your dog can hear a crisp packet open through three closed doors, down a hallway, and over a television blaring Saturday night program's so you know there is nothing wrong with her hearing. And yet it appears that she loses the ability to listen the second you step outside your front door. Sound familiar?
When faced with a dog that doesn’t listen, do you?Shout - your dog is highly unlikely to suddenly have gone deaf. They can hear you. They are choosing to ignore you.Resort to bribery with toys and treats - great while they are present, but as soon as that treat is gone, so is the dog.Chase your dog - could be perceived as a bit of a game to the dog, but it is not one that pays positively into the relationship bank account, that’s for sure!
None of it works. Why? Because you and your dog have a relationship problem. And it is one that needs fixed FAST.
The number one reason why dogs ignore their owners
So why does your dog ignore you? The answer is simple.
Well, of the thousands of dog owners we've worked with, most people actually TRAIN their dogs to ignore them!
Yup, they've been trained to ignore their owners!
“I’ve done no such thing!” they say (with much indignation). “My dog ignores me because he likes to chase squirrels, is too interested in his ball, is frightened of cars, is too excited to walk nicely on lead…”
Dogs can ignore their owners because they have trained him to ignore them. And it gets worse. They have actively trained him to ignore them by being BORING!
Ouch. That’s a stinger.
Think about it. Your dog hears their name about a million times every day and very rarely gets rewarded for responding to it. You smombie (smartphone zombie, yes, it is a thing) along, with your face buried in your phone, catching up on social media as you accompany your dog on their walk. You sit on the couch watching television as your dog drops a ball at your feet, hoping you’ll play.
As painful as being pronounced boring may be, rejoice because it means that the key to solving the problem is firmly in your hands!
You have to be the number one source of all that is interesting and exciting to your dog. Sounds like a pretty tall order, huh? How can you compete with parks, picnics, playing with other dogs, peemails?
Never fear, we have the solution.
The Seven Steps To A Dog That Truly Listens
1. Play Games
Playing games is the number one way to build your relationship with your dog. Games build trust in your relationship, and improve your dog’s optimism levels, confidence and decision-making.
To be more interesting to your dog than anything else in the environment (like sniffing the ground, eating picnics, chasing squirrels), you have to offer your dog something that is more rewarding. Games make you more rewarding. Games put all the value into you. While treats and toys are great and have their place, you don’t need to rely on them when your dog finds top value in you. Your dog will want to choose listening to you and hanging out with you over anything else because you are so awesome. How cool is that?
2. Don’t Nag
No one wants to be nagged and your dog is no exception. If your dog does not respond to their name or a cue the first time you say it, they are highly unlikely to respond the tenth time you say it.
Replace what you don’t want with what you do want. Change the picture. Take the pressure off your dog, shake it up, bring some joy to the relationship by adding some fun. Break out a game and watch your dog’s attention snap onto you!
3. It’s all about Proximity Value
Literally be the center of your dog’s universe. Teach your dog that the most amazing things in the world are not to be found off in the distance: teach them that the place to be is near you! That is where the cool stuff happens, where the fun is. You are focussed on them, you are present, and you are ready to play. Who wouldn’t dig hanging out with someone who gives them 100% attention and just wants to have fun?
How do we do that? We play games. Games such as All Eyes On Me, I Love My Name, and Magic Hand from our Leash Off, Game On DVD will have your dog waiting ready at your feet for the next game to begin.
4. Variety is KING
Be exciting! Dogs love variable reward and will work incredibly hard for it. Dogs are great predictors and when they can predict what you are going to do next, you get a little boring. Keep it fun, keep it fresh, and keep them guessing.
Have a variety of games in your toolbox so that you can pick out something fabulously novel to really grab your dog’s attention. That's why our system of 10 Games for Off-Lead reliability gets Real-Life results - multiple GAMES.
5. On leash, off leash, who cares! Dog not able to get off-lead outside? No problem. All of the games included in our Leash Off, Game On DVD can be played on or off lead. Recall is always a problem for dogs who won’t listen. Playing LOGO games off lead/on a long line will strengthen your dog’s recall, and playing the games on lead will really help with loose lead walking. Talk about a win-win! Why not try both?
6. Harness the environment
Get your dog to choose to interact with you in an otherwise distracting environment with the Whip game. Possibly one of the THE most exciting and best loved games on our Leash Off Game On DVD, in the Whip game, your dog chases a tug toy attached to a horse lunge whip.
This gives an outlet for the activity they want to carry out at distance but builds the value in being close to you. You create a high value, fun activity in close proximity to you that is a preferable choice to the naughty activities they could be getting up to. Use the lunge whip to mimic the interesting stuff in the environment: the sudden darting of a squirrel or the direction change of a rabbit. The other stuff in the environment fades away as the dog chooses to enjoy the activity that is close to you.
7. Relationship bank account
Invest in your relationship bank account. Playing games with your dog such as those on our Leash Off Game On DVD will pay into your relationship bank account big style. Send the balance of your relationship bank account sky high and your dog will choose you every time!
LOGO DVD - Call me for a details and 1/2/1/ LOGO training!