Does your dog have selective hearing? Not only can this be incredibly frustrating, but it can also be somewhat dangerous, as your communication may often keep your dog out of harms way by stopping him running into the road or preventing him from eating something that may well be harmful to him!
It’s hard to know where to start to rectify this issue and it may only be in specific circumstances that you find yourself in this situation rather than all of the time! We’ve highlighted some key actions you can take to help improve the communication with your four legged friend.
Remove Excess Energy
Communicating with a human who is hyper or excitable is a challenge in itself. It is absolutely no different when it comes to your dog, if anything, the issue is much more exaggerated as the dog obviously cannot express itself. When your dog is filled with energy, his only focus is going to be releasing it so your communication quickly becomes white noise to him!
Exercise and a daily walk will go along way. As a rule of thumb, exercise should come first, followed by discipline, followed by affection.
Consistency is Key
It’s important to make sure that your messages and rules to your canine are consistent. If he is receiving mixed and contradicting messages from you, he simply won’t understand what you are asking of him. This becomes more difficult as there are more people in a household, so it’s vital that everyone is on the same page in terms of the rules and boundaries set out for your pup.
Establish the Hierarchy
Dogs respond to pack leaders and so, the energy that you give off may not exude this. Your tone and stance must match the communication you’re trying to have with them. If they don’t view you as the pack leader and they view themselves as being higher in the family ranking than you are, the likelihood is that they will tune you out. So, it’s important to establish this ranking from as young an age as possible.
Go Back to Basics
Does your pooch actually understand what you’re asking of them? It may take thousands of repetitions for them to actually grasp your meaning or intent so it’s important to maintain patience in order for your dog to learn a new skill. Practice makes perfect!
Consider your Body Language
When it comes to language, dogs use body language to communicate, so it will not come as a shock that your dog will sometimes have trouble understand your verbal commands! It can often be easier to build associations through different actions, for example, when you put a particular pair of shoes on, they may associate it with going for a walk.
Be Aware of your Dog’s Moods
Aside from hyperactivity, your pooch may be distracted by other emotions, for example, if fireworks outside have frightened them or perhaps a stranger is approaching your house and so any communication you put forward will likely be swiftly tuned out. The underlying cause of the emotion needs to be addressed and resolved before you can expect to hold your dogs attention fully.