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Feel Like Your Dog Never Listens?

The Importance of Consistent Cues During Training

Nothing is more frustrating than a dog who doesn’t listen. Except, have you ever stopped to think that may not be the problem?

It’s no secret that dogs and humans speak different languages, which is where training comes to the rescue. Training gives us the opportunity to teach our dogs specific things we’d like them to learn, and it strengthens the bond we share. But there’s a secret to finding success, no matter how basic or simple the command seems: clear and consistent cues.

If you have a dog who doesn’t seem to listen, we encourage you to think back on what you asked them to do. Now think about the last five times you asked them to do the same thing… did you always use the same cue? How about everyone in your household? For example, if your dog jumps up while greeting people, do you tell them DOWN each time or do you sometimes say OFF in the heat of the moment?

These words may mean the same thing to us, but they can confuse the learning process in a dog. And, without consistent cues in their training, they can start to disengage. After all, who wants to play a game designed to make you fail?

Instead, make a list of the commands you want your dog to learn and post it somewhere everyone can see it, like on the fridge. These types of cues might include:

  • Down or off
  • Down or lay/lie down
  • Wait or stay
  • Here or come

In the end, the cue itself doesn’t matter as much as being consistent. When your dog gets it right, give them an enthusiastic YES! With patience and consistency, your dog will become the best listener around.

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