Dogs like children are young, full of vitality, carefree, curious, sweet and don't have certain vital habits and behavior.
They have to be trained on how to listen to their owners and learn those behaviors.
But getting my dog to listen to me wasn't easy because he is perhaps more playful than I was in kindergarten. So hey, I know you want to get there too with a dog that listens to you when need be.
Frankly, a listening dog makes both your lives better and creates a fine atmosphere for bonding.
Without more ado, let's dive right in, shall we?
It defeats the whole point of getting your dog to listen to you without teaching your dog to respond to its name. To get a child to do his homework, sit, eat or do basic chores, you call his name and tell him to do so. The child also does it because he knows he's the one.
So, first thing first:You have to teach your dog to respond to you when called upon because if he doesn't respond you cannot have his attention and teach him commands. To make sure that your dog knows his name, here's what you should do:
You don't want to train your dog in a place that's noisy and full of activities. Getting your dog to listen to do requires an environment where your dog can hear you clearly without external interference.
Always start lessons for habits in a quiet room in your house away from any distractions. Your dog's attention must be on you at all times.
Use Clicker Training
Clicker training is a great method to get your dog to listen to you and learn commands while utilizing positive reinforcement.
The clicker is a small device that makes a precise noise that tells your dog he has performed the correct action which will be rewarded.
You'll need to use some days before the training for your dog to understand what the clicker's sound means.
Once your dog has mastered the behavior, you can take them off of the clicker and until it’s time to teach your dog something new.Clicker training can be effectively used for everything from teaching the basics of commands like “sit,” “heel” and “come” to more complex behavioral modification for challenges like leash aggression.
Reward Good Behavior
Positive-reinforcement  is the best way to reward your dog when he learns good behavior successfully. It makes it more likely for your dog to listen to you (owner) in the future.
Rewarding your dog could be with treats, petting and/or praising him when necessary. The best way to motivate your dog is to find out what it likes and understand how to provide that at the time it really wants it.
Correct your Dog with Care
There are times when your dog won't get you what you want or do what you say while training.
Don't punish your dog or be violent as this could hurt your dog and break the bond you are trying to build with your dog. The moment you become harsh with your dog, they'll think coming to you is terrible and we don't want that.
You are trying to teach him habits that will be rewarded and he wants to learn too.When you decide to correct your dog, saying a strong 'No' to your dog will do the trick. You could also take treats away from your dog so he learns such habits won't do him any good.
How to Get your Dog to Listen to You Outside
Indoors, your dog is very attentive, easily reply to your calls, knows what to do at the right time and when to expect the next treat.
Your dog is all fluffy, but outside, you could lose all control. 🙁
The slightest thing takes your dog's mind off of you and there goes all that home training.
It does become unnerving and uncomfortable when you take your dog out on walks and he starts sniffing at almost everything from grass to concrete to a tree to signposts. Or sticking his nose deep into a nearby bush looking for God knows what!
You can get really clueless about what's happening. That's why getting your dog to listen to you outside is a whole different ball game. You've got to ensure the process is tightly controlled by you alone and not your dog.
Here's a guide to getting your dog to listen to you outside:
Start Training in the Back Yard
Before taking your dog out into the big world out there where situations are diverse, start by training your dog in the backyard, front yard or driveway. Basically, the closest to outside you can give your dog.
Changing the environment will slowly make your dog adapt to the outside environment. Your dog will be overwhelmed by the sight, sounds, and smell and you can let him explore a little. He's curious.
Do this often in a week, but on a leash that's not too tight or loose so your dog doesn't choke.
Take your dog on walks so you can dispel a bit of energy. When a dog's too excited, he cannot give you his best.
Play around with your dog in the yard before training starts. Walks also ensure your dog sees different environments and gradually builds habits that go with these environments
Take your Dog to the Park
After some weeks of backyard training, it's time to take your dog into the big world, a park from time to time.
A park can be stressful for you and super lively for dogs as they just want to do everything there. Take the leash off and let your dog roam around a bit for some time. Remember, your dog has to adjust first.
This way when you start your training, your dog won't be too distracted to lose focus on your commands. Of course, this isn't particularly foolproof, if you are boring, your dog might just wander off.The park is always active full of people and other dogs and you don't know if they'll interact with your dog. So, when you want your dog's undivided attention in a park, the best time to go is during off-peak hours.
Get your Dog's Attention
There's no way you can get your dog to listen to you outside if you don't get his attention. Attention is when your dog is aware of your movements. So, your dog's attention is everything.
Without it, he won't listen to you outside at all. Simple exercises like making eye contact and using treats can help you do so. Practice using the same technique as used indoors.
Reward with Good Treats
Make sure the training treats you use are small and don't contain very many calories. Look for treats that are only 2-3 calories apiece. Using treats larger than that can cause you to overfeed your dog.
How to Train your Dog to Listen to Commands
Dog training should begin when your puppy is in its first three months. During this period, puppies are quick at learning and swiftly adapt to their environment.
Curiosity also overshadows any kind of fear so this is the best time to start the training course.
There are over 40 commands dogs could learn depending on the breed and purpose. However, getting a dog to learn basic commands such as sit, come, stay, heel requires behavioral routine and reward/motivation techniques.
Here's an easy guide on how to get your dog to listen to your commands:
Meet your Dog's Basic Needs
Imagine your stomach grumbling when a class is on-going. You wouldn't be able to pay attention because you are hungry, right? I think we've all been there once or twice or well, sometimes.
Dogs too can feel this way when they aren't fed well and on time too. They'd grumble, feel sad and won't pay the tiniest bit of attention to your training commands.
Before you start a training session, make sure your dog has eaten well but ensure there's a little bit of hunger left so you can use treats to get him to do as you bid.Give your dog lots of water, use the potty, and do some exercise to decrease his energy. Also, ensure that your dog is in good health and the environment is very safe.
Keep Commands Simple
Teaching your dog commands should be as simple as possible. You don't want to complicate what your dog should respond to now and later, and think your dog is disobedient when you say a command.
For instance, instead of saying "sit down", just say "sit" or “come here” just say “come.” Don't say 'sit' today and say, 'sit down' tomorrow. That would definitely confuse your dog and you won't get a good response.
Teach in a Quiet Environment
Command training for your dog should be done in a quiet environment that is free from distractions. This is the first environment your dog will get used to while learning.
Such an environment will most likely be indoors as it offers great quietness for proper assimilation. For instance, when teaching your dog the command “come,” you should do it when no one else is around so he comes directly to you without losing focus.
Don't Repeat Commands
Many dog owners often make the mistake of repeating commands right way when their dogs don't respond immediately.
When you give your dog a command and he doesn't do immediately, don't repeat it again even though your dog might do it after repeating the command two or three times.
When you repeat a command, your dog might learn to only obey you after you say the words two or three times. Always give your dog time to respond and reward him with nourishing treats.
However, if your dog doesn’t obey you within 20 or 30 seconds after giving a command, walk away for a few minutes, then come back and try again. This way your dog learns that commands will be given only once and will respond faster to your first command.
Keep your Trainings Short
Humans can go for hours of training because they have a really keen focus.
Dogs, however, do not.
They lose interest in training after a short period of time so you need to teach them those commands at the right time.
Keep basic command training sessions with your dog short; ten or fifteen minutes to start with and no more than 30 minutes at a time.Also, do it 3-5 times a day. Now, always end a training session on a good note, basically with good reward and praise. For instance, say 'good dog' at the end and scratch his fur.
Treats! Treats! Treats!!
In obedience training, treats play a key role in getting your dog to learn and respond to a command given. Treats are used to reinforce positive habits your dog learns from you.
So, keep a lot of treats around to keep the training session fun and interesting.
All commands actually involve you using treats to motivate them and get them excited about the next time you'll command them. Whenever you use the command 'come' your dog thinks treats, fun and more treats.
You don't want to disappoint your dog and lose his interest. Get some more treats in there.
Be Consistent, Practice Everywhere
Dogs don't automatically apply things learned in different situations as humans do.
So, you'll have to teach your dog the same thing in different places.
If you teach your dog to sit in your bedroom, he would assume you only want him to sit in your room and not in the living room elsewhere.
You have to constantly teach your dog the same commands in different places like the park, your yard, your friends' house, and other places where you take your dog.
In due time, your dog will understand the commands in all situations and places and adequately respond to you without problems.
Don't rush teaching your dog commands. Take your time and let each command sink in slowly. Remember, it's not about you. It's about what's best for your dog.So be patient while training your dog. Make it super fun and your efforts will eventually pay off.
My Dog Doesn't Listen to Me Anymore
So, you told your dog to sit but instead, he just looked at you like he didn't understand what you said and just walked away.
Lots of times, our dogs flip on us or suddenly stops obeying. We feel like we are losing control and don't know where we went wrong. Basically, disobedience sets in, the same way it does for humans.
But you should know that your dog is not necessarily being disobedient to your commands, they most likely don't know what you want from them at times.
In other cases, they are calling your attention to something you cannot see. Here are some reasons that your dog is being disobedient and how to correct them:
First, it's possible the training was practiced long enough to become an automatic response. Start short pieces of training again.
Don't train your dog when he's overexcited.
Low peak periods are the best times.
Getting your dog to listen to you can be a daunting but fun exercise for you and your dog. It will take a while for your dog to get a hang of it, but with the right motivation and techniques, it sure will.
If you really want to get serious with training your dog, I highly recommend Brain Training for Dogs by Adrienne Faricelli - an expert dog trainer and CPTD-KA certified in the United States. I’ve written a Brain Training for Dogs review here.
It helps dog owners to successfully train their dogs even if they are first-timers.