Q&A: My Dog Cannot Be Trained


My question is, is there anything else that I can try beside what you have listed on your site? My dog is almost a year old and I have been training her since I got her when she was almost 7 weeks old. I really need to find a solution, she doesn’t listen to a word anyone says and she is destroying my house and mattresses. Also how can I get my dog from urinating on beds? I really hope that either you or someone else can help me find a solution. I don’t want to have to get rid of my dog. I love her very much, but I am running out of options.


Hi Danielle.

It sounds like you are having a lot of trouble with your dogs obedience.

Before I address that though, I want to touch on the destruction issues you are having. Firstly, you need to make sure your dog is getting enough exercise. A dog that does not get enough exercise tends to be destructive. A one year old dog needs a minimum of 2 x 30 minute brisk walks a day, and depending on the breed this may be more.

Secondly she needs to earn her freedom in the house. If she is destroying things and urinating on the bed, you need to keep her confined either in a crate or in a small room when you leave. A dog that does not have good house managers should never be given free reign when they are home alone.

As for the obedience, you need to go back to square one and retrain your dog if she is not listening. A well behaved dog does the following, ‘sit, down, stay, come, and heel’.

You need to work with her 15 min two, or even three, times a day. Make sure you say the command only once, and follow through. By asking repeatedly, she does not think you are serious and will ignore you.

I am not sure what methods you have tried, but a clicker is often very effective, particularly if your dog is food motivated. You can always attend a group class if you need more pointers on how to do this.

Depending in what your dog already knows, I would be running through each command at least 10 times each training session. Remember you must praise your dog when she does it correctly. Dogs don’t obey commands if they think they don’t have to or if they think there is nothing positive in it for them. Most dogs are motivated by a combination of food and praise by their owners.

If you feel you have done everything you can without getting results, then as I said, you may want to find a local class or trainer to guide you through this.

There is no such thing as a dog that cannot be trained to have good basic obedience, so you need to try a different approach. You need to be firm but fair, and always be consistent.

Ask once, make it happen, praise. Be patient and consistent, and you will certainly be able to achieve the results you are after!


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Beth Jeffery

Beth Jeffery is a Dog Trainer and Behaviorist with over 15 years experience in the field. She spent years in the Service Dog field, training both Guide Dogs for the Blind and Assistance Dogs for the Disabled, as well as many years working with pet dogs. Beth current runs her Dog Training business in San Diego, working with dogs of all breeds, all ages, and with all issues, from puppy training through to aggressive dogs.

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