What’s wrong with my dog that he listens to everyone else but me? Does Fido completely disregard your calls? Is he just being rude, or does he really throw your cues for giving orders out the window?
Learn the causes and solutions for why your dog is acting this way
Many times we get reports from dog owners stating how their dog won’t listen to them but flurry in the call of everyone else.
Does your dog listen to everyone but you? First off, you need to understand that your dog is perfectly normal and that his actions are normal as well.
Having settled that:
Dogs can choose to ignore you for whatever reason they deem fit. It could be that you’re giving the wrong verbal cue, not using the right tone, or your dog just doesn’t see you as a figure to listen to.
The reasons can be a little weird, but it’s all natural with dogs.
In this article, we’ve covered in great detail, why your dog ignores you and how to put a stop to this behavior
Why Does My Dog Listen To Everyone But Me?
An easy way to put it is why does your dog ignore you? For some dog owners experiencing this, it can be a very weird situation where it could seem like your dog is just ignoring you, or simply being rude.
The odds are, getting the right reasons why your dog does this is key to understanding how best to put a stop to it.
To that end, here’s why Fido doesn’t listen to you!
He sees you as less in the park hierarchy
People will easily conclude that there’s something wrong on the inside with their dogs when something falls out of place. But in reality, it’s just their dog making some instinctive decisions that are perfectly normal.
All too often, we hear pet owners say, “My dog does not listen to me but listens to others, “ or, “My dog listens to my husband and not me.”
It’s a huge deal to them, but to us it just looks like a dog that has established a pack hierarchy and lives by it.
Dogs are pack animals and will naturally place human beings according to status; just like in the pack.
For instance, your dog may take someone (your husband for example), to be the alpha male if they notice certain traits in them.
Traits like being strong willed, confident and always calm in hostile situations will make dogs see humans as alpha’s of their pack.
In this situation, he will only listen to these sets of people who he deems to be high-status humans in the pack. Whereas, you’re given less of the listening action.
Your dog is just scared
It can be a lot to take in, but dogs may listen more to other people because they’re scared of what might happen if they don’t.
For example, if there’s someone in the house who is quick to shove or take jabs at your dog when he does something bad, then he’ll quickly associate these actions.
Understanding the consequences of ignoring these kinds of people is mostly the reason why your dog will listen more to them and less to you.
Because with you, there’s absolutely nothing to fear, so they’ll probably ignore you the next time you call on them or give a command.
However, this doesn’t imply you should start being harsh with your dog to gain their respect.
This will most definitely backfire in the long run.
You taught dog to ignore you
Surprisingly, the same method used by pet owners to teach their canine companion’s name is the same method employed by experts in animal behavior when trying to condition animals to ignore a given stimulus.
Learned irrelevance is the term for this phenomenon.
Calling a dog’s name over and over again without pairing it with a reinforcer like a treat or praise teaches the dog to ignore the stimulus (because it’s not important information).
Take, for instance, the practice of rewarding a child with a trip to the amusement park or ice cream store every time he earns a good grade.
The amusement park or ice scream store serves as the reinforcer, while getting a good grade is the stimulus.
This way your kid gets so excited when he’s treated to a fun time at the amusement park or tasty ice creams, so much that he tries so hard to always get good grades.
However, he may start ignoring the stimulus (good grades), if you go a long time without giving him a reward for his good grades.
Dogs follow the same psychology.
Calling your dog repeatedly without including a reinforcer will only weaken their response to you over time.
You may ask why they still listen to other people while they ignore you.
That’s because they already know that there’s no reward for doing your tasks or listening to you, so instead, they’ll be more than glad to take on tasks or respond to their names when other people call because they aren’t so fond of these people.
Hence, they don’t know what to expect.
Don’t ask your dog to do something— Tell him!
Remember, you’re not asking your dog to do you a favor, you’re commanding it! In this scenario, the tone of voice matters a whole lot.
We’ve discovered this problem with a lot of dog owners who say their dogs don’t listen to them but listen to others.
A lot of this stems from the fact that dogs aren’t like human beings who can tell words apart.
For example, if you’re reading through a newspaper aloud, someone walking across the room can easily discern the words because he knows them.
Dogs aren’t like humans— they learn by association.
For example, saying “yes” or “no” doesn’t really mean anything to dogs, it’s what follows after.
For instance, if you tell a dog “No” with a heightened tone when he does something bad, he’ll be quick to associate the two actions, “No” and a stern voice. So he’ll quickly adjust as compared to saying no and not meaning it.
In order words, the tone of your voice when calling on your dog, telling him to do a command or something is really important.
Your dog knows there are no repercussions for ignoring you
Just like humans, dogs will feel less motivated to do what you ask of them if there’s no added benefit or repercussion.
So when you call your dog or give a command word, your dog is like, “I may as well not do it” because there’s absolutely nothing you’re going to do!
Think of a leash training situation where a professional dog trainer is teaching a dog to walk on a leash.
He uses a slip collar leash, that way if the dog doesn’t do his bidding, he applies a little amount of pressure and the dog immediately learns that’s the wrong way to go and adjusts accordingly.
Same ideology applies to regular daily routines with your dog, where your dog understands there’s always a repercussion for not listening to you.
Note, that this has nothing to do with abusing your dog by smacking or shouting at the top of your voice.
A simple “No” or “Bad dog” should get your dog in line again.
Also, don’t forget to reward your dog with a treat each time he does the right thing. That way he knows that if he doesn’t listen to you, then he’ll probably not get a treat.
How to make my dog start listening to me?
Redefine your bond
It’s okay to think that being harsh with your dog will make them heed to your commands. While that’s true, it will definitely backfire, and all you’ll have is a dog that’s scared of you. That’s not what you want, you want to build trust and a bond.
Building a bond with dog is everything, because if your dog loves you, he’ll do all your biddings to keep you happy. Take on walks and training sessions with your dog, you can also feed him when you get the opportunity.
Give your dog nicknames
Weakening your dog’s response by repeatedly calling on him without a treat is an easy way to make your dog ignore you.
Also, it is quite normal to talk to family members or guests about your dog while calling their name in their presence. This repeated action will only lead to a weakened response because you’re doing it over and over again without attaching a treat or praising lavishly.
It would be ideal to give your dog nicknames, this way you don’t need to call their names every time if it’s not for a task or treat.
Return back to the basics
It’s really easy to start off a basic command session with your dog and expect it to master it in a day or week. Most times, these training will take time and repetition to atleast get used to. That could be a reason why your dog ignores you, because it doesn’t actually know the basic commands.
Start all over from scratch and teach your dog the basic commands. Continue with his training until you’re sure that he gets it.
There’s really no need to worry if your dog ignores you but obeys everyone else. Overuse of your dog’s name for no good reason can dull his response. If there is no reward involved, the dog will quickly learn and stop responding. You can begin by rewarding your dog with treats whenever he obeys your commands.