Why does my dog ignore me?

Dog ignoring owner

Is your dog not paying attention to you? Don’t worry, that happens to many dog owners! It can be frustrating and also a bit annoying, because it’s not always easy to understand what’s happening to our dogs and what’s going on inside their minds. It’s also difficult when you go to the park and see that other dog owners appear to have an amazing connection with their dogs, and your dog doesn’t even answer when you call its name.

Nevertheless, if you find that your dog is ignoring you, it’s good to know more about the possible reasons and explanations that lie behind this behavior. Understanding this can help you work with your dog and build a bond with it which is strong and solid enough to make him listen to you at all times. So that’s what we are going to talk about in this article!


Positive training

First and foremost, the most important thing to take into account when looking into changing a dog’s behavior or encouraging a particular attitude is the concept of positive training. Most of the professional dog trainers nowadays agree that the best way of teaching things to dogs is through rewarding positive behavior. So, one of the reasons that your dog might be ignoring you could be that you have not implemented a rewarding system for its training.

That’s why our first piece of advice is this one: reward all of the positive attitudes and behaviors that you want to encourage. Rewards are usually given in the form of snacks or treats that your dog enjoys, as well as petting it, hugging it and expressing your approval.


It’s all about the precise timing…

When it comes to dogs, it’s all about being at the right place at the right time. With this we mean that dogs are creatures that live in the moment: what’s important to them is what happens right at the present time. In this sense, if you want to change or foster a certain behavior and a particular attitude of your dog, it’s essential that you understand that the moment to do that is precisely now.

If you wait too long, the effect won’t be the same and it won’t work. So, for example, if you want your dog to listen to you when you ask him to sit, be sure to reward the behavior right at the moment when it happens, that is, exactly when the dog sits after you have askes it. If you don’t give your dog the reward within the first seconds, then the message won’t get to it.

So, one possible explanation to why your dog ignores you can also be that, even though you are rewarding positive behavior, you’re not doing that in the correct moment. Adjust your timing and see how things change!


…and about the right treats!

As you can see, treats and rewards are a key element of dog training. But your dog won’t make it that easy for you. It’s not just any rewards that will work: you have to give your dog a reward that’s worth the effort if you want to encourage a certain attitude of behavior.

So, another reason to explain why your dog might not be listening to you, can be that you’re not being generous enough with the rewards that you’re providing! Be sure that the treats you choose are something that your dog really enjoys. Otherwise, it might not respond to you.

Think about it: if, for example, you love chocolate but hate apples, and someone gives you an apple to motivate you to do something, would you feel as driven as if you would have felt if you had received a chocolate? Probably not! And it’s the same with your dog.

Hond knuffelt baasje

Have you done something to your hair?

This might sound like a weird question in this context, right? Well, the fact is that, even if it doesn’t seem like it, this is a very important matter to take into account when thinking about the possible reasons why your dog might be ignoring you.

Many dogs are afraid or distrustful of certain features of the human’s looks, such as beards, long and prominent hair or big hats. Have you been wearing a new big hat maybe? Or is your beard longer than it used to be? Then this might be the reason that explains why your dog is ignoring you! It doesn’t recognize you and your new looks.

This is especially possible when the change of attitude in your dog was sudden; that is, your dog used to listen to you, but then from one moment to another it started to ignore you. You don’t necessarily have to shave or stop using your big new hat! But knowing this can be very useful for you to understand what can be going on.


Overstimulation can be counterproductive

Dogs can get distracted very easily, especially if they are young and have a lot of energy. So, if your dog is in a very stimulating environment like a dog park or the street, then it’s likely that it will ignore you. This is because it’s paying attention to everything that’s happening around him: other dogs, pigeons, people, street noises, food, smells.

That’s why it’s important to t