Our Dogs World 101

Disobedience – A Dog Owners Worse Nightmare

There is a big difference between disobedience and your dog not understanding the command you gave them. If your dog isn’t obeying a command because he doesn’t understand what it is you wish him to try to do, that’s not a behavioral problem at all, it simply implies that you more than likely need to longer together in training.

Real disobedience happens when your dog purposely doesn’t obey a certain instruction or command, although they know very well of what it is that you’re asking them to try to do.

And you recognize this because they have performed it reliably many times before.

Although this could look like a comparatively minor inconvenience, it’s actually a reasonably serious thing – this not only is dangerous for your dog (for example, if he’s heading towards a busy road and ignores your ‘come’ command), but it’s also harmful to your relationship and trust with your dog.

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Disobedience Is A Sign Of Disrespect.

You do realize that when your dog disobeys you on purpose, they are actually saying, “I don’t respect your authority enough to try to do what you would like me to do”.

If you fail to address this, you’re actually allowing them to fall into a habit I call passive-aggression.

This is often not something which will just be left to “fix itself” – This habit will get worse if you continue to allow it.

It’s important that your dog knows that you outrank him within the social status in your house.

Alpha Status.

The idea of alpha status is one that you really need to understand, and more importantly implement. This way you have a healthy and trusting relationship with your dog.

This may very well sound cruel from some peoples view, however your dog is a lot happier, confident and secure when they know that somebody else (That is You) is accountable for making all the decisions in their life – This includes their every day actions and obedience levels.

It is virtually impossible to possess an honest owner/dog relationship if they can’t understand that you are the Alpha authority figure.

They must know that they are beneath you in this families ranking scale, much as they would know that in the wild.

Address Generalized Disobedience & Reinstate Your Dominance.

Below are some tips about on how to do that:

  • When you leave your house or car, you need to make sure that you always leave before your dog. If you let them leave first this can be a sign that they are the Alpha in this family, as in their world the alpha always leaves first.
  • If you permit them to leave the house or the car sooner than you, what you’re saying to them is, “You’re stronger and more dominant than me, so you must go first because you’re the decision-maker”.
  • Inside doors aren’t so important, but on every occasion, you leave the house or the car, you need to make them wait for you first, until you give them the command that you have chosen to free them from the wait command.
  • Always make them wait for their food. Your family and you, want to always eat before them. If it means they have got to a little longer for his meal, it won’t hurt them.
  • Once you put their food down, make them sit and wait until you give the command to eat.
  • Always keep a dog’s feeding schedule varied, that way they will always be aware that you’re accountable for their feeding – don’t allow them to create expectations of when they should be fed.
  • You should not allow them free, uninhibited access to the entire house.
  • The home, in a dog’s perspective is your Den and you’re allowing him to be inside.
  • By limiting the access they have to the house you are reminding them that you are the boss and this is your Den that you are allowing them in – it’s a privilege for them to be there, not a right. And by sometimes allowing them inside, and sometimes sending them outside for a while reinforces to them who the boss dog is!
  • It is also a good idea to make sure certain areas of the house strictly for your you and you only, this could be your bed, certain pieces of furniture or possibly certain rooms in the house.
  • Try not to allow your dog to initiate play. If he’s nudging you for attention or to start out a game, you will more than likely think that it’s cute and affectionate.
  • What they are really saying is, “I’m actually in charge here and what I’m telling you is to play with me “right now.”
  • If he starts bothering you for attention, ignore him for some time and possibly stand up and do something different.
  • Now just wait until they have given up, before starting the cuddles or play yourself.
  • Playtime is a fantastic time to bond together with your dog, but it should always be done on your terms and initiated by you, not them.
  • Another great tip is after you arrive home, don’t rush straight over to them and make a big fuss. You are not showing that alpha behavior at all
  • In the wild an alpha dog, upon getting back to the den, doesn’t head on over to the other dog’s and throw themselves at them, saying, “ Hey Guys I’m home I missed you so much how about we all have a cuddle”
  • What they do is ignore everyone else, chill out for a brief while, maybe they may have something to eat, and will only socialize with them when they feel good ready themselves.
  • I really do understand that when you get home after some time away you’re probably hanging out to play and cuddle with your dog, but you need to trust me it will make more sense to them if you try to ignore them for just a few minutes upon getting home.
  • Another awesome way of counteracting disobedience is to begin and maintain a basic obedience training plan.
  • It really doesn’t need to be anything fancy or elaborate, or even super long and demanding.
  • All you will need to do is set aside say, ten minutes everyday learning and enforcing the commands that you are currently teaching them.
  • These can be dropped to a few minutes daily once your dog is totally reliable with their commands.

Some Tips For A Real Training Program.

  • Never provide a command that you just can’t reinforce immediately if he chooses to disobey you. For example “Come here Now Fido You Naught Boy” instead of simply “Come”
  • On every occasion your dog makes the decision to ignore your command, what they are actually learning is that it’s both easier and plenty more fun to ignore you.
  • As an example of this, if you call across the park for them to ‘come’ while they are having such a great time playing with all the other dog’s, there are two choices that will go through their head. Firstly they would be thinking I could cut my playtime short and head back over to where that command is coming from.
  • Or, I could completely ignore it, (which to them is a simple choice, especially since you are so far away) and still have a great time until you arrive.
  • Until your dog is totally reliable with commands, they should really be on a long leader rope or retractable lead so you’ll be able to enforce them if necessary.
  • You should always use your voice to gain the best effect. Praise should a very light, cheery, happy tone of voice; if possible, smile at the identical time.
  • A smile to a dog will make a huge difference to your tone of voice, and most dog’s will study your face to create a sense of your expressions. Try saying “No” with a smile and then without, you will soon see what I mean.

Our Dogs World 101

  • Correcting a dog’s behavior should be given in a stern, no-nonsense tone. You should never have to shout at your dog, but your voice should be low, calm and authoritative.
  • When you want to stop your dog from doing something quickly , it’s simpler to shout, “OI!” or “Ah-ah-ah!” instead of saying, “No”. These sounds are more clear-cut, and you’ll get a higher response from your dog.
  • Never repeat a command. Remember, you ought to be training on a leash or an extended line. If they ignore you, give them a brief, sharp tug (I call it a ‘flick’) on the leash to remind them that you are the boss, and that they need to obey you.
  • Repeating a command more than once teaches them to wait for the command a few times before they need to react and obey you.
  • Five to ten minutes per day is more than enough time for training. I have found over years of training that any longer than this any further than this and your dog’s concentration will likely lapse and they will become uninterested in learning.
  • 5 to 10 minutes of intense training, where your dog is concentrating hard on what you would like them to do, is enough to make sure that even the most energetic of dog’s will head to their beds for a sleep after the training is done.
  • You can go to more advanced training and ‘tricks’ which I have highlighted in a book review I did recently on “51 Puppy Tricks – Training Your Puppy here. However, you should only be doing this once your dog has got the fundamentals completely sussed.
  • Advanced training and tricks are what I call “A Nice To Have” as part of your dog’s life with you, however don’t feel that it is something that you have to have.
  • A dog who knows its basic commands, knows who is the leader and where they sit in the hierarchy is just as good a dog to own.

Obedience Training.

Another great option is class obedience training. This is a good way of socializing your dog (he gets to interact with other dog’s and people), and it also teaches him to think about what you want even with all the distraction going on around them.

It’s also very handy to have face-to-face contact with a trained professional. Most professional dog trainers will pick upon on mistakes very quickly, and provide you with advice for fixing up your training techniques.

Secrets To Dog Training.

If you would like some more information on training and doggy behavior you may want to have a look at a review I have just done on an incredible resource for training How-To’s along with detailed information on preventing and addressing problem behaviors.

Please take a look at our review on Secrets to Dog Training. Written by an expert dog-trainer, it is an awesome instructional guide that tackles all the subjects a responsible dog-owner could ever want to know – It is really well worth a glance.


To have a look at our review on the Secrets to Dog Training head here to have a read:

I sincerely hope you enjoyed my article on Obedience – A Dog Owners Worse Nightmare and how it might be able to help you and your for-legged friend..

If you have any questions on this article or would like to leave your own personal tips or reviews on this please leave your comments below and I will respond to them as soon as possible.

Here is to training your puppy and teaching old dog’s new tricks.

Always remember “May Your Home Be Filled With Love And Dog Hair”


Founder of Our Dogs World 101



14 thoughts on “Disobedience – A Dog Owners Worse Nightmare”

  1. MARK, when you write “There is a big difference between disobedience and your dog not understanding the command you gave them”, I agree with you. I came to the internet now to search how I can fix this problem. My dog has changed as he grows older and it annoys me at times especially when we have guests at home. Can you imagine he even looks at me funny when I give instructions? I really enjoyed reading this article and will start training my old and lovely dog the proper way. Thanks a lot.

    • Hi Dr.

      I am glad you enjoyed reading this article and please feel free to reach out if ever you have any questions as I am always here to help.



  2. Hi Mark. Thank you for another great article. I had a few dogs already but only once I had situation that pet purposely ignore and disobey my commands. It was long process of training as my pupil had really tough character, but we made it. But looking from perspective of time I made few mistakes, and your advices and recommendations would be extremely helpful. Looking forward to use them in future if needed !

  3. Hi, every time I come across your site I’m sure to get a very interesting and important information about dogs. I love dogs so much, and you keep me informed and educated with crucial aspects regarding dogs. 

    Well, I agree much that disobedience happens when your dogs purposely don’t obey a certain instruction or command, especially when they know what you want them to do. This is detailed, I learned much.

    • Hello again Kokontola,

      I am so glad you are getting some helpful information from our website.

      Please reach out if there are any specific topics you would like me to cover and I will see what I can do.

      I look forward to hearing from you.


  4. A terrific article Mark on training an obedient dog. What a joy it is to be able to deal with your dog daily and have them do what you ask (we only wish we could train our partners that well lol). I loved the list of tips and took away some important points that I have let slide recently. OUt little puppy can be very strong-willed and most of the time we jump on it quickly but recently he has been demanding to go out straight after dinner which is very inconvenient. Now he really needed to go but what I do now is let him out in the backyard while I am making dinner, that way he goes then and doesn’t demand it later.

    I love your tips for training, thanks.

    • Hi Lily,

      Now that comment on training our partners definitely gave me a good laugh!

      Even as a dog trainer I still wonder if puppies are being strong willed or they really don’t get it?

      Great idea with letting the little one out while you make dinner.


  5. I have also been dealing with disobedience in my dog. I love him. But sometimes he just drives me crazy.  I have been trying to do some exercise sessions with him regularly. I even scheduled them down in my calendar. I believe that providing appropriate outlets for normal behaviors can go a long way. And also an early start to training is key!

    • Hi Ann,

      It can be hard at times even as a dog trainer myself.

      We just need to be consistent and patient which it looks like you are doing and they will always get it in the end.

      Thanks for your comments and don’t hesitate to reach out if ever you need any advice.


  6. Hi. I really enjoyed reading your article.

    I have a dog now, so your website has proved to be really important to me. My dog is little now so disobedience does not seem to be a big problem yet. However, I believe it is important to understand disobedience and why it occurs so that we are ready as soon as it becomes an issue with our dogs!

    Best regards,

    • Hi Dominique,

      Disobedience needs to be addressed early even if it is only small.

      The longer you leave obedience training the more difficult it becomes.



  7. While this feels harsh I understand it. Our doggo can be hard when it comes to play, she wants to play, she will keep at you until you play with her. This went on for months before we started to say we initiate the play. Ignoring her was hard, she’s a cute puppy after all.But things have improved since we started to follow this advice. Now when she sees we are not playing she’ll go to her window seat and watch the world until we are ready to play.

    I’m terrible at the be the alpha thing because I melt at those eyes, he dad though is putting his foot down and I must fall in line. Things will be better for it. 

    • Hi Kelly,

      Yes cute puppy eyes do it every time!

      Sounds like Dad has the right idea and as long as you are both on the same page your pup will soon get it.



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