Don’t give your Dog Conflicting Commands

I often go into homes where people are looking for dog training only to find that one person in the family is saying one thing in trying to get the dog to do something and another person is giving a totally different command for the same thing and probably other family members are giving yet another command… no wonder our dogs get confused and they all wonder why the dog doesn’t listen to them. On my visits I always as for the whole family to be involved. When I ask them to try to get the dog to sit, there are a variety of commands ranging from “Sit”, “Sit down”, “Oi Sit” “over here Sit” or some such other varying commands, all given in differing tones of voices depending on the dog’s reaction or otherwise.

It’s no wonder the dog doesn’t react as it is probably totally confused as to what you want. Remember a dog is a simple creature who needs to be told clearly and simply what to do. All that is required is using the dog’s name ask it to “Sit”, using a short sharp sweet tone, and also using the hand command for Sit.

If everyone does the same the dog will know what you want and will soon learn to respond.

Similarly, with the command “Come”, we gat a variety of commands from “will you come here”, “Come” without using the dog’s name or just using the dog’s name without a command. Are you confused because I’m sure you can see why your dog would be. When the dog doesn’t respond the owner then gets annoyed.

Time and again the owner just calls the dog’s name and gives no command expecting it to do something but does not tell it what he wants it to do. If somebody just called out your name, what would you do? You would probably just stand there wondering what to do until you were told. It’s no different with your dog, if you tell it what you want it to do it has at least a chance of doing it.

When these things are pointed out to the people I visit they generally understand that their dogs need clear, consistent commands and instructions and when I demonstrate these commands to their dog they are sometimes speechless at what their dog can do when asked. All dogs have the capacity to understand and learn and it is us that needs to understand that we must give clear and consistent commands and instructions. Also do not give treats or praise for bad behaviour as the dog will think that his behaviour is okay. Only praise and treat your dog for good behaviour and doing what you want, so that it will reinforce what you would like him to keep doing.

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