Your Dog Doesn't Pay Attention to You? Try These Tips!

Dogs love food so much that you can use food for positive reinforcement.
Your Dog Doesn't Pay Attention to You? Try These Tips!

Last update: 27 October, 2018

People often say that dogs are easy to train. But maybe, despite your best efforts, you’re finding this difficult to believe. Maybe it seems that they don’t understand anything you say or they simply don’t pay attention to you. If this is the case for your dog, then the following tips can certainly help.

Steps to follow if your dog doesn’t pay attention to you

Teaching commands to a pet is all about perseverance, patience, affection, treats, and rewards. This last one is actually quite important if your dog doesn’t pay attention to you. Follow the steps below and you’ll see how your dog will start to pay attention to you.

Choose a treat

First, think about what treats you would like to give to your dog. Some prefer a new toy that’s just for them, while others prefer a sausage or a bit of ham.

Other dogs are satisfied with just a little dog food or canned food, you know exactly what your dog likes. Remember that how much they like the treat will determine how much they will pay attention to you.

Hold the treat closed in your hand and don’t let them see it. They’ll catch the sent and will approach your hand. At this point, you have grabbed your dog’s attention.

Let them see the treat

Once your dog has started following you around and knows what is in your hand, sit on the sofa and wait for them to sit down in front of you. Open your hand and let them smell the treat, but don’t give it to them.

Dog looking at treat

Each time your dog tries to eat the treat you should close your hand because you already got their curiosity by now.

The first command

Now, with the treat in your hand, you can begin to teach them the first command. Sure, the dog is interested in the treat and not you. However, you can change this by lifting the treat up to your cheek as you say “look at me”.

Once you’ve managed to divert his attention to your eyes instead of the treat, you need to reward him. This way, your dog will associate the order and your voice with a reward.

This is not easy to achieve and you probably won’t manage it the first time. You’ll need to repeat it a number of times. However, the more you do this, the easier it will be to get your dog to pay attention to you.

And now what?

By following the previous steps, you will have been able to get your dog’s attention and won some respect because they known you will reward them for their good behavior. There’s no point in denying it. While out dogs love us unconditionally, their love for food is far greater.

Dog holding a leash

However, with the previous exercise, you will have managed to get your dog to look at you when you call them and listen to what you have to say. You can now use the same method to teach him other orders such as siting, lying down, giver their paw, fetch something, or jump.

Your dog will always be more likely to respond when you call him in the park or the street, or when you want him to stop barking or growling.

So, if you want to start training your dog and they don’t pay attention. Especially, if you want them to pay attention to you at the first call. Your voice should be firm and gentle. You won’t achieve anything by shouting. Affection and positive reinforcement will always be more effective.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.