How to Train a Dog That Won't Listen?

Updated on August 15, 2019
Craan profile image

Sheila is a children's author who loves dogs! Her puppy wouldn't listen, so she devised a neat way to train it!

My Cute Little Puppy, 'Woody'
My Cute Little Puppy, 'Woody' | Source

My Little Puppy Woody

An adorable long-legged Chihuahua was given to me recently and I was thrilled to have a lovable companion sharing my new home. It was comfortable to keep his given name, since it fitted him so perfectly well, 'Woody.'

Woody adjusted fairly well to my new house with a pool in the backyard. However, when I allowed him to roam the house at night, he would start barking at three and five o’clock in the morning for no apparent reason. Disappointed, I couldn't believe this feat and he gave me a splitting migraine from his ridiculous barking. Though I wanted him to stop, he barked even louder when I signaled him to subside.

Woody's first owners had kept him locked in a dog cage at night. I didn't have the heart to keep him in a kennel. Besides, I didn't even own one. To ease my headache, I placed him in my well-ventilated pantry room for a few nights until he could feel secure with me. He would feverishly complain by aggressively scratching the pantry door. Eventually, he'd fall into a peaceful slumber.

One day, I forgot to place him in the pantry room, and he fell asleep at the base of my bed. I woke up in the early morning and could not believe how quiet Woody had been all night. I didn't even notice his presence in my bedroom sleeping.

To my astonishment, he slept soundly and didn't have a spirited barking episode. Therefore, I allowed him to sleep in a cozy corner with his toys and bed at the foot of my bed every night. He was thrilled and pleased to be my little companion sharing my house, freely roaming without the annoyance of a constantly barking now that I had him trained.

Woody normally wakes up at about seven o’clock in the morning now. This is when I allow him to wander the backyard to do his messy business. He usually goes and comes back in a jiffy, all excited with his curly tail happily wagging back and forth. His exuberant satisfaction can’t be contained until I pet him and give him a warm hug.

Recently, two friends needed to stay with me temporarily until they could find an appropriate place to live. Woody quickly reacted and became extremely jealous of me. He began following me everywhere and started his incessant barking, all over again. All the hard work I had put in to train my lovely puppy was now lost!

Woody's Accidents

Woody abruptly started having accidents in inconspicuous places, like the shower, laundry room, and indoor quad. I scolded him for this and sternly yelled at him not to use the house for his doggy business. I would then gently place him in the backyard as soon as I noticed his stinky stuff on the floor. I was disappointed.

He innocently would look at me with a frightful stare. He complained, hid, and ran all around when he was aware he did something dreadfully wrong. I had difficulty communicating with him. I wanted him to understand that it was not acceptable to defecate in my shower, or anywhere else in the house. Moreover, now he detests when it's time for his bath.

He stubbornly challenges me tooth and nail when I am bathing him. He makes a mess of the soap with water splatters everywhere! However, he jumps for joy after his mulish bath and dashes everywhere with passion and happiness as he is drying off.

In addition, I attempted to train Woody to sit. Nevertheless, he wouldn't listen, even when I rewarded him with a delicious treat. I gently placed him in a sitting position and next gave him a puppy treat. He grabbed it from my hand and quickly ran away to devour it. I imagined it would be relatively easy to train a growing puppy; even so, Woody headstrong refused to listen to me and wanted to do his own thing every time.

Woody gives me a lot of love in following me everywhere. He jumps on me repeatedly with his blissful wagging tail. I treat him well and take him for pleasant walks around a nearby pond in my neighborhood. He adorably prances like a deer and he loves chasing the ducks in the water. It’s all too sweet, and he makes me smile from ear to ear with his awesome energy. I wish I could turn him into an obedient puppy!

Why won't my puppy listen to me? Is it too late to train my dog? Do you have any suggestions to help turn cute, little Woody into a manageable pouch?

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Questions & Answers

    © 2011 Sheila Craan


    Submit a Comment
    • Craan profile imageAUTHOR

      Sheila Craan 

      7 years ago from Florida

      Thank you PawsitiveBehavior! I sincerely appreciate your professional advice.

    • PawsitiveBehavior profile image

      Cyd Oldham 

      7 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      I am a Dog Behaviorist and would like to address your concerns:

      Woody's behavior is consistent with a leadership problem - he is "owning" you. Jealousy is actually an expression of ownership, and pottying in the house when you are gone is an expression of frustration that you left when he didn't give you permission. In order to correct these behaviors you need to shift the balance of power in your home - when YOU are in charge he will no longer be in a position to lay claim to you or your behavior.

      ALSO - your dog has already been potty trained. What you're seeing is a Behavioral problem (as I described above). The thing to understand here is that punishment after the fact NEVER works. Dogs don't have the ability to put together your anger and the punishment with what they did. Unless you actually catch him in the act you simply have to clean it up and let it go. When you do catch him in the act, say "No-no," then immediately take him outside "outside, outside!" and give him a chance to potty outside. Then praise him and take him back inside - and FORGET IT.

      Becoming a solid packleader - changing the balance of power in the home - is the key to your peace and sanity. :)

      For more information, see


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