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Other Dog Behavior Issues

 

Dog's Who Are Unresponsive

 

There are certain times when we work with our dogs and they just don't seem to respond. You are probably wondering why that is. First thing that we as humans usually say is, "my dog is just being stubborn!" It is not true. Dogs do not have human characteristics so they would not be acting stubborn. Here are a few things you should consider and a few tips to help solve this issue.

Previous Training History~ Our pets learn from us even if we don't think we are training them. If your dog has learned that you are inconsistent and unpredictable, then your dog may just choose to ignore you. Same method applies to our dogs as we would use on our kids. If you don't follow through with your threats, they just become useless words. You will see this when people don't follow through with corrections, or rewards, and if you are always repeating your commands. If you don't have a clear idea on what you want the dog to do, and you resort to yelling at the dog, the dog will not be sure how to respond. This will frustrate your dog and cause the dog to learn that it does not pay to listen to you. You need to be precise in your command, reward, and signals so the dog will learn how to correctly respond.

Reinforcement Is Too Low~ This problem is very common. I hear it quite often. If your dog is in a public place such as a pet store and is smelling, eating treats off the floor, lunging at new people or dogs, they are getting the "reward" of stimuli and possible interaction. If you give them a treat every 20 seconds or so, we can't expect them to pay attention. Your dog should be able to work with distractions and have a history of paying attention to you before you move on to giving less treats. Especially if there is a lot of distractions. If you have any doubt, you should treat more often than not, and make sure your dog will be motivated to work for you, it will also have you looking for good behaviors in your pet and will change the way you see them.

Criteria Is Too High~If your dog does not know the behavior you are asking them to do, they can't do it. When that happens I want you to ask your dog to do a task that they can do. Once you have the point of success, break the target behavior into more steps so your dog can succeed. Start small and build it up. Your dog may need to learn a behavior in small steps to achieve the success your looking for.

You Are Frustrated~ This is probably one of the biggest issues. Many dogs turn off when their handlers(owner) are frustrated. Dogs usually are not responsive to an angry or frustrated parent. If you are becoming frustrated, it's probably because your rate of reinforcement is too low .Reward good behavior often. There really isn't such a thing as too much reward. When you see your dog succeed it reinforces all the hard work both of you have put in

My Dog Is Frustrated~ Our dogs can become frustrated also. A dog's frustration can manifest in a few different ways. Many of our dogs will just shut down and stop listening. Sometimes this will look like other things such as, laziness, lying down and refusing to get up. They could start to wonder, like sniffing around, playing with another pet. When this happens it makes us more frustrated and sometimes leads to our dogs barking, jumping, pulling, and these are all signs of frustration. So now you know what to look for, hopefully, you can stop it before it starts.

Not Really Sure~ There are those times that our dogs don't respond and we aren't really sure why. It is okay to let your dog get away with it sometimes. If we aren't really sure why they are doing it, it's hard to punish them. They could be feeling ill and have no way of telling us they don't feel like working with us today. Dog's have bad days just like we do. They could also be scared, or maybe just didn't hear you clearly, over worked, or over stimulated and have reaches it's breaking point. For what ever the reason is we should just stop the training for the day and start fresh later. Don't underestimate the latent learning process. It is the process in which our dogs brains are still learning even in some down time.