How Ignoring Your Dog Will Help with Training


Today we have another article from Hannah our Guest Blogger!

Dogs love it when we pay attention to them. In fact, I’ll bet your dog does things deemed annoying or undesirable, such as jumping, barking, nipping at your clothes, etc.. in attempt to get you to pay attention to them. Giving your attention in these situations is viewed as a reward by your dog, and ignoring your dog in these moments is one of the best ways to train your dog because it teaches that acting out will not get a reward (ie. your attention). In this post, I explain how and when to apply this concept and why it can actually be life changing for your dog below..

As an example of how ignoring my dog helps her training, I’ll tell you about one of my dog’s usual times of struggle, when I first get home. My dog gets really excited when I first walk in the door. She has missed me while I was away and proceeds to twirl around in her bed, letting out a little shriek from time to time. You see, while it is a seemingly sweet gesture, I know that if I encouraged her in this moment, it will only increase her anxiety, which is why she does these things. Thus, making her behavior (and anxiety), ultimately, worse. My response to this anxiety? I do what I like to call the 15-minute-rule, where I completely ignore her (no looking, talking, or touching her) for those initial excitement behaviors and wait for her to calm down before I display affection. I also remain calm and uninterested about things when I first walk in, to convey calmness to her. This way, I ignore anxiety/barking behaviors and encourage calm quietness. At first, it took a while for her to settle down. Over time, she has gradually gotten better about this behavior. If your dog struggles with anxiety driven behaviors like my dog does, I challenge you to try this exercise for a week and see how it impacts your dog.

Another example of how ignoring certain behaviors can be useful is in crate training. If your dog has been properly crate trained but decided to let you know with a hissy fit that they don’t want to be in their crate that day, ignore them until they’re quiet before letting them out. This teaches quietness in the crate. If you don’t ignore this behavior and let them out while they are throwing their fit, then your dog has learned a new behavior- throw a fit and you will get let out. Good bye, peaceful crating!

See how ignoring your dog may be the best thing you could ever do in helping them manage anxiety/unwanted behaviors? I’m telling you; it works! As a side note, some behaviors may get worse before they get better. That’s very normal. If that’s the case, stay strong and find the first “try” or opportunity to reward your dog, even if it’s for a second. They probably learned that this behavior has worked for them in the past (it only takes once) and are trying to see if being louder works better. Hang in there! Consistency is the key to success for this method!

As always, thanks for reading! Hope you have a wonderful week!

About the author: Hannah Croscutt is a dog lover from Atlanta, Ga. She enjoys learning all about dogs from her furry buddy, Piper. She blogs at

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Until next time,


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About Wayne: Wayne Booth is owner of   which is headquartered in Nashville, TN but serves clients all over the U.S..  If you have a dog with aggression, behavior problems or simply needs training feel free to contact him.

Wayne has also been teaching people how to become Professional Dog Trainers since 1990 and he is the Training Director of Canine Behavior Specialists Network.  If you would like to become a Professional Dog Trainer he can get you started.

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