My dog is pretty good with listening to commands but there are some times when he just wants to ignore me. For an example, he may ignore me when there is a major distraction, like someone else has food and I don't and I tell him to come to me. He might also ignore the come command if I tell him to come and he seems I am holding his toothbrush or if he knows I am leaving and I plan to crate him. So, how do I make sure he listens to me even when the above circumstances are present? Do I have to go back to square one and start over? Certainly by now he knows what I am asking and he is just not listening.

Is this a pack leader thing? Do other people have dogs that listen to them 100% of the time no matter what? Is this even possible? If so, how do I get that even with distractions? I would love to have a dog that I can take to the park and have off a leash but with so many distractions and a nearby road, I could never do that the way he is now because there is always a chance he might choose to ignore my commands and run out into the street or something.

Also, in the future, I plan to get some agility equipment and try some of them with him. With this help him learn to listen better or do I need to reach that 100% before trying agility stuff? If it matters, the agility stuff would just be for fun in our yard never for real competitions or anything like that. Thanks for any help and advice.
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My dog is pretty good with listening to commands but there are some times when he just wants to ignore ... be for fun in our yard never for real competitions or anything like that. Thanks for any help and advice.

I would enroll in an obedience class. One of the great things about them is that your dog will learn to obey commands with major distractions around. It's all about teaching the dog the behavior, and the proofing the behavior in different surroundings, with different things going on. If you want to do agility, your dog has to be reliable offleash, and able to take commands with major distraction around.
I would enroll in an obedience class. One of the great things about them is that your dog will learn ... want to do agility, your dog has to be reliable offleash, and able to take commands with major distraction around.

Thanks for reading and responding! I did a 7 week puppy manors class with my dog when he was 5 months old. He did great but only ok with distractions. However, at the last class, I had taught him to spin and roll and a bunch of stuff like that so he was off lead in a room with several other dogs and he listened amazingly well. The trainer was amazed at how well he and I worked together with him offlead. I want him to be able to do that more often. I guess I just have to keep working at it. Maybe he and I will also try the second set of dog classes, its more advanced than the puppy one and I think it really incorporates working thru distractions even more. Thanks for the advice!
Maybe he and I will also try the second set of dog classes, its more advanced than the puppy one and I think it really incorporates working thru distractions even more.

Definitely. Age is also a factor, and I have known dogs who were perfect angels as puppies all of a sudden lose their hearing as they enter adolescence. Continuing to work through any such phases is pretty important.
On the 'come' command - you are diluting the command by associating unpleasant things (brushing teeth for example) with it. You wouldn't want to go to someone if you knew that they'll do something unpleasant to you when you got to them either. Go get the dog when something unpleasant is about to happen, and associate coming to you with good things happening, always.
And keep in mind that some dogs may never be completely reliable off-leash. Khan is about 90% reliable off-lead, which is not nearly enough for me to let him off except under very controlled circumstances (it is a combination of his nature, and my husband being a complete doofus). Pan is about 100% reliable, and it came in quite handy on Saturday when we had to call her off a bear.
Suja
Thanks for reading and responding! I did a 7 week puppy manors class with my dog when he was 5 ... advanced than the puppy one and I think it really incorporates working thru distractions even more. Thanks for the advice!

One common mistake people make is thinking that puppy class is all they need Emotion: smile Your dog changes once he hits adolescence, and thats when it's most important to continue classes. I would say DEFINETLY take some more classes! Good luck Emotion: smile
Pan is about 100% reliable, and it came in quite handy on Saturday when we had to call her off a bear.

Ahem. I believe we need more details.

Catherine
& Zoe the cockerchow
& Queenie the black gold retriever
& Rosalie the calico
Ahem. I believe we need more details.

Heh. I wondered if anyone would notice.
A friend was visiting from New York, and she wanted to go hiking in Shenandoah on Saturday. I picked a new trail this time, because it was short enough (my criterion) and challenging enough (Rajesh's criterion), and with a couple of stream crossings, which was a good thing because it was going to be a hot day.
So, we're talking and walking, crossed a tiny stream, went around a curve, and Rajesh, who was out front with Khan came to an abrupt halt. Khan goes ballistic, jumping up and down and barking, and Pan, who was right behind me, runs full speed ahead to see what's going on. I peeked out, to see a little black bear in a tree, with Pan standing right under it, staring up at it.
If a bear is small enough that it can scramble up a tree that quickly, there's got to be a mommy around, and none of us wanted to stick around to meet her. I called Pan who came running, and we beat a hasty retreat back to the stream. We waited a few minutes, talked really loudly, and then proceeded. As we walked past the tree where the bear had been, Pan kept looking up, as if she expected it to still be there.

I will say this. Going on a short but challenging hike on a bloody hot day is a VERY BAD IDEA. Even when you don't get chased or eaten by a bear.

Suja
Maybe he and I will also try the second set ... I think it really incorporates working thru distractions even more.

Definitely. Age is also a factor, and I have known dogs who were perfect angels as puppies all of a ... get the dog when something unpleasant is about to happen, and associate coming to you with good things happening, always.

Thanks, that a great idea, I will do this in the future. Quick question though, if I go to him for unpleasant things, does it make him want to run away from me when I try to get him? Or doesn't it work this way? Thanks again.
And keep in mind that some dogs may never be completely reliable off-leash.

Ok, so its not just my dog? Good to know. But I will keep at it and try to get as close to 100% as I can.
Thanks for reading and responding! I did a 7 week ... incorporates working thru distractions even more. Thanks for the advice!

One common mistake people make is thinking that puppy class is all they need Emotion: smile Your dog changes once he hits adolescence, and thats when it's most important to continue classes. I would say DEFINETLY take some more classes! Good luck Emotion: smile

Ok, I am going to call and check on some more classes. I ended up having a lot of fun the first time around and it did help. Thanks for the advice and encouragement.
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