Why Won’t Your Dog Just Do What You Say? It’s So Frustrating

Why Won't Your Dog Just Do What You Say? It's So Frustrating

There is nothing worse than taking a stroll through the park with your unruly pooch and seeing other dogs behaving themselves perfectly. Owner and dog are in harmony, while you’re shouting your head off, tugging on the lead and chasing after your dog, just to put the lead back on. You feel bad and wonder whether you’re doing anything wrong. 

It’s not that you’re a bad dog owner. You love your dog. It’s usually just because you don’t understand how to communicate with them. You don’t know the techniques.

Fortunately, this post is here to help. We run through some of the strategies that you can use to get your dog on your side and to behave him or herself. 

Your Dog Doesn’t Understand Verbal Cues

Just like your child self, dogs have to learn verbal cues. They need to understand what you mean when you say things like “stop,” “sit” and their name. If they don’t understand these words, then they won’t know how to respond when you give them a command. 

So what can you do to change this? 

The trick here is to build up language understanding in stages, something Great Dogs by Brian discusses. 

The first step is to avoid adding any verbal cues until your dog understands the desired behavior. So, for instance, you’ll want to make sure that your physical prompts are working first. Then you will use a verbal cue before a physical prompt. 

For instance, you’ll say the word “sit” before using the physical action that tells your dog to sit. Remember, if your dog isn’t obeying commands, it is usually because they haven’t been paying attention. They may have been ignoring what you said when you made the gesture to sit, so they only know how to respond to the physical cue. 

Your Dog Doesn’t Feel Close Enough To You

Why Won't Your Dog Just Do What You Say? It's So Frustrating

If your dog doesn’t feel close to you, that may also serve as a demotivating factor. Think about it this way. Imagine you have a great relationship with your spouse. They ask you to do something and you jump at the opportunity. After all, you want to help them. So if they ask you to move house, you relish the chance. They’ve added so much to your life, so you want to repay them. 

Now imagine that somebody you haven’t spoken to for many years asks you for a big favor, like moving all their stuff into storage. How would you feel?

Chances are, you’d feel put out. You wouldn’t want to help them. 

The same is true of your dog. The more love they feel from you, the more they’ll want to “be on your side” and, therefore, the more likely they are to do what you want them to do. 

Your Dog Can’t Obey Some Commands

If you tell your dog to sit or lie down, you expect them to do as you tell them to do. After all, those are easy commands. However, remember that dogs simply can’t obey some instructions. It doesn’t matter how much training you do with your dog, they will never be able to do your accounting.