Even pups that have received the best of training can get distracted at times. A pup’s natural curiosity will often win out when they are exposed to new sights, sounds, and smells (especially smells). When the inevitable happens and your pup’s curiosity wins, you need to be prepared with strategies that will help you to regain their attention and fast. A pup that stops listening to you can quickly get himself into a dangerous predicament, and therefore, it is essential to do your homework in advance of getting yourself into one of these unfortunate situations.

A great strategy to get your pup’s attention is to know their trigger words. And we’re not talking about trigger words that might result in poor or undesirable behavior. Rather, we’re talking about words that your pup has come to recognize along the way. For example, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever may know the word “swim” especially when it is said in an excited and uplifting voice. As Chessies are known to be water lovers, mentioning your Chessie’s favorite outdoor activity might be enough to capture his attention and get him refocused on you.

Another example could be the use of the word “car” or the short question “want to ride in the car?” Many pups love to go for rides in the car with their owners, and using this term can also recapture attention. However, be sure that if you are offering the car, or the opportunity to go swimming as in the previous example, that you are able to follow through on. If your pup doesn’t get to go swimming immediately or get to stick his head out the window on a car ride, chances are that over time, your pup will realize that he is being tricked.

Sounds That Will Make Your Pup’s Head Turn!

Aside from using some keywords with your dog, there are also some sounds that you can make to help capture their attention. Here are just a few examples:

  • A whistle
  • The squeak of a squeaker in your dog’s favorite toy
  • The sound of you barking like a dog
  • Clicking your tongue
  • Ringing a bell
  • The sound of a dog whistle
  • Opening the refrigerator
  • The tea kettle whistling
  • The sound of a dog treat bag being opened
  • The sound of a dog treat box being shaken or rattled
  • The sound of a puppy crying

When more help is needed…

If you are finding that your pup is listening to you less and less, it is an indication that you might need some additional help. Of course, when a usually well-behaved dog starts to disobey you, it can also be the sign of a medical concern. So, be sure to get your dog checked regularly by your veterinarian to rule out any health concerns including hearing loss. Once you know that your dog is healthy, or you have ruled out extenuating circumstances that are causing your pup’s poor behavior, consider reaching out to a professional dog trainer. 

If you are in the Parker, Colorado area, give Buff Pups a call at (813) 528-6025. Or, feel free to send us an email at [email protected]. We will be honored to help you work with your dog and get him back to the well-behaved pup that he used to be.