Dogs respond differently to different people. A dog may listen to the person who feeds it best, the person who spends the most time with it, or the person who plays the best game of fetch. If your dog happens to listen to you the most, this post will show you likely reasons why and what you can do about it.
So, why does my dog only listen to me? Likely reasons why your dog only listens to you are that you were the only one that trained it, other family members trained it poorly, or that they have inadvertently encouraged it not to listen to them.
There are a number of possible reasons why your dog only listens to you and it might be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when figuring out the main cause and there are some things you can do about it.
Reasons why your dog only listens to you
Below are a number of possible reasons why your dog only listens to you and what would make them more likely.
You were the one that trained it
Dogs often do not carry training over well into new environments. If you were the only one that trained your dog, it might be the case that your dog has only learned to listen to you. In this case, it would help to have other family members train it sometimes.
Other family members did not train it well
If other family members did train your dog, it might be the case that they did not train it well. This would be more likely if they used a different training method to the one you used and if it has always not listened to them. In this case, it could help to get them to train it in a different manner such as by using positive reinforcement training.
Other family members have encouraged it not to listen to them
It might also be the case that they have inadvertently encouraged it to not listen to them. If they tend to give your dog things such as toys, treats, or extra attention, when it does not listen to them, it will likely behave that way in order to get more rewards.
You are the one that feeds it and gives it exercise
It might also be the case that your dog does not see any reason to listen to them. This would be more likely if you are the only one that feeds it, exercises it and gives it attention. In this case, it could help to get the other family members to share in some of the work.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out the main cause.
If your dog has always only listened to you
If your dog did not always only listen to you, it would help to consider what else happened when it first stopped listening to other people. If it stopped suddenly, it could be because other people inadvertently rewarded it for not listening or because they stopped being the ones to feed it and to exercise it.
What is different when your dog does listen to other people
If your dog does listen to other people sometimes, it would also help consider what is different when it does listen to them. For example, if it does listen when they tell it to do certain things, it could be the case that they just need to train it to do more general things.
What to do about your dog only listening to you
Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.
Get other people to train it
The first option would be to get other people to train it using methods such as positive reinforcement training and “nothing in life is free” dog training.
Reward it when it does listen to other people
It would also help to encourage it to listen to the people that you want it to by rewarding it when it listens to them with a treat or positive attention.
Avoid rewarding it when it does not listen
It would also help to avoid encouraging it not to listen to other people by making sure not to reward it when it does not listen and preventing other family members from rewarding the behavior as well. Instead, it would help to ignore it and to wait for it to calm down then to reward it when it is being well behaved.
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