How to Train a Disobedient Dog – Guide 2021


When dogs won’t listen, it’s not only exhausting but also quite dangerous. It’s a daring undertaking to stop a dog who is guided by his instincts and ignores his owner’s commands. But why don’t some dogs listen? How can mistakes in education be prevented and how do you get the dog to listen? In this article, you can read everything about disobedience in dogs.

Also Read: How do I calm my dog down during fireworks?

Dogs need clear rules

If your dog doesn’t listen, it has nothing to do with a strong desire for freedom. Of course, dogs enjoy their freedom every now and then when they run off-leash on the field and let loose, when they are allowed to play with other dogs or when they can play in the sand on a dog beach. But dogs are also packed animals, requiring rules and structure in everyday life. They want to be able to rely on their pack leader. If a dog barks, growls, or shows his teeth when he encounters another dog, he generally does not do so because he enjoys scaring other dogs. He is forced to protect you because he is under the premise that you are not in control of the situation. As a result, not only you but also your dog are stressed.

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Does your dog benefit from being obedient?

Dogs need an autonomous leader who will show them the way lovingly but consistently. They want to be able to rely on the judgment of their leader. Even dogs that are not easily trainable will willingly listen to a competent owner if they find that is the easier way for them. After all, all dogs are opportunists: if certain behavior is for their liking and, for example, produces less stress or even a reward, they will display that behavior more often. They prefer to avoid behavior that does not achieve their goal or that has negative consequences.

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Why is there disobedience in dogs?

If your dog ignores every command such as “sit”, “stay” and “follow”, it’s not because your pet is a fat head. It may sound harsh, but the fault often lies with the owner. It is often the result of inadequate or incorrect upbringing. There’s no point in blaming yourself endlessly. You always wanted the best for your dog and made mistakes because you were inexperienced, didn’t have enough time, or didn’t have the right knowledge. Now is the time to correct the mistakes and work towards a better human-dog relationship.

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The Most Common Reasons for Disobedience in Dogs

To avoid parenting mistakes, it is important to know where things went wrong in the past. The most common reason why dogs don’t listen to their owners is that the dog doesn’t understand commands—not because he’s dumb or deaf, but because he doesn’t take them as commands. You should definitely avoid unclear or contradictory commands – even if your body language doesn’t match your tone. Dogs are champions at reading facial expressions and can quickly recognize your mood. You can call “follow” very kindly, but if he notices that you are furious because, for example, you impatiently stamp your foot or pull on the leash, the dog will not dare to come to you. After all, no one likes to be turned upside down.

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Unclear commands and constant repetitions

Not only unclear commands are problematic, but also repeated commands. It is important to listen to the first command right away to avoid disobedience in dogs. It is tiring not only for you but also for the dog if you repeat it over and over. If you have to say “sit” to your dog six times before he sits down and then praise him, you undermine your authority. You show the four-legged friend that he does not always have to listen right away. Another example: you want your dog to wait for you in front of the supermarket. You say “stay” to him so often that he thinks he should stay alone as long as you say so. As soon as you enter the supermarket and don’t yell “stay” for the tenth time, your dog will jump up and try to run after you.

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The right timing is decisive

It also becomes difficult for the dog to listen if the commands come at the wrong time. if dogs are just doing their business and you then yell “follow”, they can’t follow that command. It also makes no sense to say “stay” when you are 50 meters from the supermarket. The dog must follow the command immediately after pronouncing it. Do not confuse the dog by making things clear to him beforehand. Dogs are not people: they only understand our words in the context of deeds. Not only the timing of the command but also the timing of the reward is important. If the dog barks and growls when the doorbell rings and you stroke his head to calm him down, you teach your dog: the harder I bark, the more I get petted.


You may also want to give your dog a treat because he came to you when you said the “follow” command. Then if you search your bag for a treat for so long that the dog gets restless and starts howling, he will think he is being rewarded for whining and not for listening to the “follow” command.

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Stay consistent!

It takes a while for your dog to understand commands and listen to them right away. Even the best dog training exercises will make the dog forget if you don’t repeat it at home or do it differently at home. You have to repeat commands and commands often – in different places. If he never gets motivated again and doesn’t get a treat, toy or pet anymore, he will see no reason to listen to you anymore. Thus, disobedience in dogs returns. Often, dog owners expect that dogs will follow the commands they are taught at dog school for a lifetime. That is not the case! It is important that you are consistent outside the dog school as well. It is also important that you do not change the commands and that you praise the dog when it shows the correct behavior.

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Can dog obedience be trained?

Despite all the difficulties a disobedient dog brings, there is good news: any dog ​​can learn to listen. It is best if the dog learns the most important commands while it is still a puppy. It is easier to teach a young dog the right behavior than to teach an adult dog that does not always behave well. In addition, there are differences between breeds. More knowledge and patience are needed to raise an Afghan Hound, Bloodhound, or Wolfhound as these breeds are known for being very stubborn. Raising a Labrador or a Golden Retriever will be easier. However, difficult to train dogs can also be put on the right track.

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Does my dog ​​have to go to a dog school?

There are many training methods to learn the most important commands and to make living together between humans and dogs easier. Which one is right depends on the dog. Like humans, dogs are individual creatures that react in different ways. That is why a visit to the dog school is recommended. An experienced dog trainer will study your dog and quickly know which method will work best and suit your four-legged friend. This allows you to achieve success as quickly as possible. Not only does your dog learn the right commands, but you also learn how to behave best so that your dog listens.

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What exercises against disobedience in dogs are there?

It depends on the motivation of the dog whether he listens to you or not. Obedience must be worth it to him. To become obedient, he must like obedience training. Dogs learn to listen faster when they enjoy it and are rewarded than when you are strict. If the dog is rewarded for following the commands “sit”, “stay” or “follow”, the dog will repeat this behavior. There are several rewards: dog treats, beloved toys, or a loving pat on the head. You can also speak sweetly to your dog. In some situations, you can also give your dog freedom. You can then take him off the leash after he has sat down well. You can also let him play with other dogs after he dutifully follows you. It is important that the dog establishes the link between the reward and the correct action.

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When should your dog be on a lead?

An obedient dog not only listens to your commands but also walks well on a leash. It’s not the dog who has to determine the direction, but you! Let your dog know that it can also be fun to walk on a leash.

For example: have him do a few alternating exercises on the field. Your dog will love to slalom, run fast, stop suddenly, back up or change direction quickly. He will follow you carefully. The line should always be slack during these exercises. You are not supposed to force the dog in any direction.

To teach him to keep following you even when tempted, you can place toys or food in the distance. If you pull on the leash and want to run towards it, you have to move further away so that the distance to the object increases. He won’t get it from you until he manages to stay calm and hit the target with a slack line.

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Success depends on you

Try out which training methods are best for you and your dog. A dog trainer can give you further tips and tricks to reduce disobedience in dogs. It’s never too late to teach your dog obedience. Success depends on you. Of, among other things, your patience, consequence, and not least the time you put into it.

We wish you and your dog the best of luck!

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