If your dog does not seem to respect you, you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about them.

So, why does my dog not respect me? Possible reasons why your dog does not respect you are that it has not had enough training, it has learned that the behavior is rewarded, anxiety, or intimidation.

There are a number of possible reasons why your dog does not respect you and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things to consider when figuring out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.

Why does my dog not respect me?

Below are a number of possible causes and what would make each of them more likely to be the main cause.

Not enough training

When dogs do not get enough training, they will not know how they are meant to behave and they will behave the way that they feel like behaving. If you have not given your dog much training it would be likely to be the reason why it has not been listening to you or respecting you.

In this case, it would help to start giving it lots of positive reinforcement training and to start with the basics and build up from there.

Encouraging the behavior

The reason why it does not listen to you might be that you have been rewarding it when it does not do it. If you tend to give it things such as treats, toys or extra attention when it does not listen, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.

Instead, it would help to give it lots of positive reinforcement training so that it learns how to behave and to try to avoid rewarding it for not listening.

Intimidation

It might also be the case that your dog has been doing it because it is intimidated. This would be more likely if your dog does not respect you when you shout or have threatening body language.

Fear

If you punish your dog when it misbehaves, what you’re actually punishing it for often won’t be the same thing that your dog thinks it’s being punished for. If you punish it for running away then it will likely associate the punishment with the last thing that it did which is coming back to you.

Instead, a better approach is to use positive reinforcement training where you reward your dog for behaving in the right way. By doing this you will be able to reinforce its good habits while preventing bad ones.

Boredom

When dogs do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it might be the reason why yours has not been respecting you. This would be especially likely if it is better behaved after it has gotten exercise. It would help to make sure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.

An issue with its diet

Another possible cause of your dog not listening to you are that it has been having an issue with its diet. This would be more likely if your dog has been behaving that way since a change in its diet or if it does it when it eats certain foods.

You’re command nagging

The cause could also be something known as “command nagging” which is where you continue telling it to do something even though it did not do it the first time. If you tell it to sit and it doesn’t do it the first time then it’s better to go back a step and to lure it into the sit using a treat instead of repeatedly saying sit.

It’s distracted

The cause could be that you have been trying to get it to do things when it is being distracted. In order to avoid this, it is important to give it training in multiple environments starting in less distracting environments and building up to more distracting ones.

Training it the wrong way

If you did train it but it is not listening to you, it might be the case that you trained it the wrong way. When training your dog, it would help to start out in an environment without many distractions and to start by training it to do simple tasks with positive reinforcement training and then to gradually build up to training it to do more challenging things.

Dominant behavior

Many people jump to the conclusion that their dogs do it because they are trying to be dominant. However, the alpha/beta dynamic has been disproven in studies showing that wolves take turns in taking the lead.

With that being said, it could be doing it due to bullying behavior which would be more likely if your dog tries to get you to do something such as to move from a spot and if it shows signs of aggression when doing it. In this case, it would help to avoid giving it reasons to feel threatened and to get it to learn to behave the way you want it to with training programs such as NLIF (“Nothing in Life is Free) dog training.

Age

If your dog is still a puppy, it might be the case that it has not learned the way it is meant to behave yet. In this case, it would help to start giving it positive reinforcement training and Nothing in Life is Free training so that it learns how to behave as it gets older.

Anxiety

Another possible cause is that something has been causing it to get anxious. This would be more likely if your dog does not respect you at around the same time that it is likely to be anxious. One reason why it might be anxious is separation anxiety. This would be more likely if your dog misbehaves when you are gone and if it shows signs of anxiety when you are leaving.

Things to consider about your dog not respecting you

Below are some things you can consider to help figure out the main reason why your dog has been doing it.

What else happened when your dog first stopped respecting you

If your dog did respect you before, it would help to consider what else happened when your dog first stopped respecting you. If it started suddenly, the cause could be due to things such as something causing it to be anxious or intimidated, another pet dying, another pet being aggressive, a change in its diet or daily routine or learning that the behavior is rewarded.

What is different when your dog does respect you

If your dog does respect you sometimes, it would also help to consider if there is a certain time when its behavior changes since the timing could have something to do with it. For example, if your dog only does it, when you are not around, the cause could be separation anxiety.

What to do about your dog not respecting you

Below are some options you have when dealing with the behavior.

Training

It is important to give your dog lots of training so that it learns how to behave and so that it listens to you. The training technique I would recommend would be positive reinforcement training. This is where you reward it for showing signs of doing what you want it to and avoid rewarding it when it doesn’t.

You can watch the video below to see examples of how to make use of positive reinforcement training.

Give it the right diet

It would also help to make sure that your dog has been eating the right food and that it has been eating the correct amount. It would also help to make sure that no one else has been feeding it without you knowing.

Exercise

It would also help to make sure that your dog is able to get the daily amount of recommended exercise for its age and breed.

Avoid punishing it

If you punish your dog, it will likely not know why it is being punished and it could cause it to develop feelings of resentment. Instead, it would help to give it lots of positive reinforcement training.

Similarly, if you reward it when it misbehaves, it will likely contribute to the behavior. Instead, it would help to reward it only when it behaves the way you want it to and to try to stop rewarding it as soon as it begins to misbehave.

Take it to a vet

If it has started doing it suddenly, it has been showing signs of illness or injury or it seems like it could be due to depression, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to rule out medical causes and get expert advice tailored towards your particular dog.

Get help

If you cannot get it to listen to you more, it would also help to get help from a dog trainer or behaviorist. By doing so, you should be able to see how to train it effectively and safely.

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Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.