I Don’t Think My Dog Can Be Trained!

“My Dog is Just Stupid”

I Don’t Think My Dog Can Be Trained!


Help, I Don’t Think My Dog Can Be Trained!


All dogs can learn and be trained to respond to commands. Dogs do not think or have the ability to reason like humans. While they respond to us, they are not actually responding to the words we use. Your dog is actually just responding to a sound of the word and the tone of your voice. This is known as simple association. 

The dog hears the sound of the word or the phrase and then tries to converts our verbal communication to something that it knows. If the dog recognizes the sound, it reacts to its prior conditioning (training) and executes the trained response. This is the reason why your commands must be consistent. You can’t say “Come” one time and “Get Over Here” the next time.

This is also why I always tell clients to consider using hand signals. Dogs convert them much faster and at greater distances.

I Don't Think My Dog Can Be Trained

Set Your Dog Up To Succeed

Successful dog training is all about creating positive associations to positive behaviors. In contrast, negative behaviors need to recognized but not rewarded. An example of rewarding bad behavior would be to engage with your dog ever time it jumps on you. Your dog thinks that any attention is good attention. So if you ignore it or make a simply correction the behavior will stop as long as you are consistant.

This being said, you are going to need a strategy for reinforcing only their good behaviors. Your strategy can be as simple as praising your dog with words of encouragement. Affectionate touching, (tactile rewards) can also be use. You can also give your dog a few treats. Giving the dog its favorite toy as a reward is also a great way to reinforce good behavior.

Anytime your dog does something you like, you need to give instant positive reinforcement. We refer to this as a “Marker”. The quicker and more consistently you reinforce the good behavior the more often you will get that behavior.

You also need to develop a strategy to extinguish bad behavior. Usually, a simple “No!” in a firm voice will be good enough. Then follow that up with a command that you can praise and reward.

Additionally, you might use a gentle tug on their collar to show that you do not approve of that behavior. But remember, slapping, hitting, or any physical correction will do much more harm than good. It will only make them fear you and want to avoid you.

Need Help?

Contact A Better Dog4U if you have any questions or if you need any help with your training. We will be glad to set up a personal consultation in order to help you any way that we can.

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“I Don’t Think My Dog Can Be Trained! It’s Just Too Stupid”