What does ignoring your dog mean?
Have you ever tried ignoring your dog? Do you know what ignoring them means to them and how it alters their behaviour? If you’ve answered yes and no to the questions respectively, then you’re about to find out the value of ignoring your dog.
First of all, what does ignoring your dog entail? Many of my clients cannot define what that means though they have ignored their dogs in ways similar to each other but very rarely in the right manner.
To define ignoring your dog, it is the dismissive and disinterested behaviour where you turn away from your dog and proceed with your own business. This includes not making eye contact and not talking to your dog. This can be very difficult on the owner’s part considering that it often feels unnatural to us who spend most of our time talking to and playing with our dogs. Ignoring them means disregarding their behaviour without any form of engagement. This isn’t the easiest thing to do but it is necessary and highly effective when teaching them what they can and should do and distinguishing that from what they can’t and shouldn’t do.
The point of ignoring your dog is to communicate to them that the current behaviour, their current state of mind, their idea, or what they are about to do is something you are not interested in. What you are doing by ignoring your dog is discouraging him from what’s going on at the moment. You are telling him I am not interested.
When you are successful in doing this, dog-parenting will eventually be easier for you considering dogs are quick learners.
You can begin this learning process with your dog by pretending that whatever is happening right now isn’t really happening, that right now you simply cannot be bothered by whatever monkey business your dog may be up to.
When you ignore you disengage, hence you discourage. When you engage you encourage the current behaviour, the current state of mind. Keep in mind that in order to be clear in your communication with ignoring behaviours to not even make eye contact and refrain from talking to your dog at this stage as well. Focus on what you are doing and the quicker your dog will learn that behaviour xyz does not work to get your attention, hence it will get less and less. Give it a go and see what happens.