5 Reasons Why Dog Doesn’t Respond To Name Anymore (And How To Fix It!)

Want to know why a dog doesn’t respond to name anymore?

It’s one of those peculiar situations dog owners find themselves in and it can be frustrating. You will start calling the dog’s name and it will be heading in the opposite direction!

Why does this happen? Is there something else going on that you are missing?

In general, there is always an underlying reason for why a dog doesn’t respond to its name anymore. You have to take the time to dig deeper and recognize what’s going on.

This guide will help understand why a dog doesn’t respond to name anymore, what you can do about it, and how to make sure this doesn’t become a long-term problem.

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Reasons For Why Dog Doesn’t Respond To Name Anymore

Reason #1 – Too Much Time is Spent Away From Your Dog

There are worldly duties that have to be attended to.

These can include things such as:

  • Work
  • School
  • Going to the Gym
  • Meeting up with Family and Friends

However, when you have such a schedule on your hands, it will get to the point where you are spending way too much time away from home. As a result, your dog isn’t going to have a strong bond with you.

A lot of people spend almost half the day away from home and another 8 hours sleeping!

If this is the case, how are you going to build a strong bond with your dog? It’s just not going to happen unless you are taking the time to buy a good pet camera. This is the only way you can speak to your dog even when you aren’t physically there.

When you start spending a lot of time away from the dog, your training cues aren’t going to stick. Just like anything else in life, there has to be a bit of practice involved to drill things down. This isn’t going to happen when you aren’t putting in the time.

Your top priority has to be to cut down how much time you stay away from home.

You can also take the time to make sure you are making every minute count when you are near the dog. This can include going to the dog park, going for long walks, or simply playing a game of fetch every day.

Dog Doesn't Respond To Name Anymore

Reason #2 – Dog Has More Fun Away From You

This can be unfortunate but it does happen depending on your interactions with the dog.

In some cases, a dog will start to associate you with boredom. It is a stunning pill to swallow and something people don’t agree with until they start to notice patterns at home.

If your dog is looking to play away from you and doesn’t want to be around you unless it’s time for food, you know there is an issue that needs to be addressed. The only way to do this is to show your dog that you want to have fun too!

This can be done with something as simple as a game of fetch or even going for a long walk.

Dogs understand what’s fun and what’s not making it important for them to associate being entertained with you.

A common mistake with this problem is to buy dog toys.

Yes, dog toys are great but only when you are playing with them too. This is going to allow the dog to have fun because you are there as well.

If your solution is to buy dog toys and toss them towards the dog, this is only going to worsen the issue. Now they will have one more fun thing to do without you being present!

It’s essential to make your bond with them more than becoming a supplier of dog food. You want them to listen to you and that only happens when you are worth listening to.

Reason #3 – Your Dog is Scared of You

This is an unfortunate reason and it can happen for a number of reasons.

Sometimes, it isn’t your fault and is simply due to the situation at hand. For example, if you have just adopted a dog, they may not respond to their name because they’re scared. They may not trust you the same as they did others at the adoption facility.

This is natural and the goal is to continue to work with your dog to show that it’s okay.

If your dog isn’t adopted and is doing this, it may have to do with your disciplining. Are you overdoing things and scaring your dog?

A lot of dog owners are surprised when they realize their dog is frightened. Your dog is sensitive and will pick up on changes of tone and when it’s being disciplined. This means you have to be careful about what you are doing.

Don’t make it a habit to yell, scream, and regularly discipline the dog. You have to find a good balance between when it’s okay to discipline and when it’s best to divert their attention. It takes a bit of practice but eventually they are going to respond to their name.

Dog Doesn't Respond To Name Anymore

Reason #4 – Your Dog Doesn’t See the Value in Responding

Dogs will always have an internal response to your training cues.

If you aren’t rewarding the dog or it doesn’t see a point in listening to you, this is when troubles start to arise. You will begin to notice a change in your dog’s disposition and it will avoid listening to you even when being spoken to.

So, what can you do in this case?

The best course of action is to start rewarding the dog when it is being called upon. You want to make sure the dog understands listening to you speaking is worth it.

Experts Say...
Dogs have to be organically trained to respond and this doesn’t happen when they don’t get something from the transaction (i.e. reward, positive affirmation).

Some dogs are tough and won’t simply want a “Good boy!” or a pat on the head. They may want a treat for listening in the early days.

This is okay and the goal is to continue to work on the bond as much as possible. If not, your dog will refuse to see the value in responding to its name.

When this is the main reason why a dog doesn’t respond to name anymore, it means you have some work to do. You have a dog that isn’t well-trained and isn’t going to respond well until you start from square one.

Reason #5 – You are Confusing the Dog with Different Commands

It’s okay to go through a list of commands such as sit, roll over, paw, but it’s also important to avoid confusing your dog.

If you are calling them, don’t start using different words. This is going to confuse them and they will naturally assume you are just saying random things.

Instead, you want to be deliberate with your approach. You want to make sure only their name is said when you want them to come over or listen. If you do this enough, they will start to realize their name means it’s time to pay attention.

You have to remember, a dog doesn’t know it has a “name” because it’s just another sound in their eyes.

Keeping this in mind, it’s important to make the name a common part of their interaction with you. Keep saying it at the right time and eventually your dog will get used to it.

This is when you are going to start to see a change in how the dog responds to your cues.

Final Thoughts

These are the main reasons why dog doesn’t respond to name anymore.

Each dog is going to be different when it comes to not responding. In some cases, a dog will respond here and there but isn’t going to understand the connection between the word and paying attention. This is when changes are needed.

A lot of dog owners go through this ordeal and it’s not always easy to manage.

The goal has to be to understand the root case, invest in a good pet camera, and make sure you are building a strong bond over the long-term. This is the only way to ensure your dog understands why it’s important to respond to its name.

If you aren’t doing this, it’s going to get to the point where your dog will ignore everything!

Take the tips mentioned here and start to pinpoint what’s going on in your situation. It will shed light on what to do and how to make sure this doesn’t become a regular issue.

For more information on building your bond with your dog, take a look at the following guides – top ways to keep a dog busy, tips and tricks for using a dog nail grinder, figuring out how to make your dog play more, and the safest dog playpen for young dogs.