By Karen A. Soukiasian
To your dog, there are usually plenty of good reasons to ignore you. But it’s important to get your dog’s attention so he will follow your commands, especially in emergency situations.
Why your dog ignores you
· Lack of leadership Your dog neither trusts nor respects you.
· Dog breed Many working and hunting dogs, such as terriers, hounds, shepherds and retrievers, depend on their own instincts to do their job, and survive. They are less apt to need and respond to human instructions and approval. To them, you are just getting in their way.
· Not neutered or spayed If you dog is intact it can be harder to get your dog’s attention because they have more important things in mind.
· Constant nagging Nagging your dog soon becomes “Blah, blah, blah,” to your dog. Keep doing it, and you will be tuned out.
8 ways to get your dog’s attention
To get your dog’s attention, you must first, establish and reinforce your leadership position. This means obedience training.
· Get your puppy into puppy kindergarten ASAP … before your dog decides he knows more than you.
· It’s not too late to take your older dog to obedience training. Make sure your dog understands that pleasing you bring rewards and praise. Life is good, when the boss is happy!
· Feed your dog by hand. Let your dog see just who provides the food for his/her pack.
· Make your dog “earn” her food. Make her sit, stay, or down, before feeding.
· Give affection sparingly. There are no rewards for being adorable. Before giving your dog affection, make her follow a simple command. Make your dog eager to please you to get your attention.
· Spay or neuter your dog. When left intact, your dog’s basics instincts, hormones and genes are in control…the only thing he or she is thinking about is to find a mate … now.
· Lower your voice. Yelling at your dog just shuts him down. Speak in a normal, tone of voice. If you really want to get your dog’s attention try whispering.
· Make it fun. Keep your dog interested. Each interaction between you and your dog is a learning experience. Do your best to make it a good one.
Bottom line: Keep things fun, positive and interesting. Exercise, exercise and more exercise creates a wonderful and fun way to bond with your dog.
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