Causes for Dog Disobedience

There exist four motives for disobedience:

  • Distraction
  • Choice
  • Confusion
  • Fear

Distraction: Dogs are easily distracted by all the exterior stimuli which surround them. The dog’s reality is situated in the immediate present, so that any form of distraction lasts but for a fraction of a second. If you intervene and the dog ignores you, this behavior no longer emanates from distraction, but rather from choice. For example, the distracted dog who does not pay attention to your commands can hear them clearly, but believes that sniffing the ground is more interesting.

Choice: If, for example, you say “STAY” to your dog and you do not follow-up immediately, the dog will understand that obedience is optional. You will have sown the seeds of disobedience in your dog’s mind. You must prevent the dog from disobeying. Do not give your dog a choice.

Confusion: It is possible that the dog does not understand the command. It’s up to the master to make sure that the command is well formulated and that the dog understands what he is expected to do.

Fear: Fear comes from reasons that lie within the dog’s instinct. It’s possible that the dog does not trust you, either because he is not sure whether or not he command will bring about unfortunate consequences, or he fears punishment. The dog could also fear his environment; therefore, you must switch environment while reassuring him. The only way to bypass this problem is to show the dog that the danger he fears so much does not exist.

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