Why does my dog disobey me?
In this 4 part series we are investigating the 4 main reasons why a dog is disobedient to commands.
The third reason why can be attributed to a term that is called “Blocking”.
Blocking can be due to instinctual drive (Prey, Hunt, Defense) or can be out of fear and a lack of confidence. Blocking can best be described as a dog ignoring you. Ignoring eye contact, ignoring verbal commands, maybe even ignoring constant negative pressure on the leash. Some dogs will block due to their extreme levels of drive. Example: A bloodhound on a track is genetically designed to follow his nose and tune out what is heard. So when the Pet Bloodhound is in the back yard smelling around and ignores you calling his/her name, that is one form of blocking. Another example would be if we know that a dog fears the bath, and will walk everywhere else in the house casually with the exception of the bathroom or room with the bath which in case, the dog puts the brakes on and refuses to pass the threshold. The dog is blocking entering the room out of fear or a lack of confidence.
Knowing what to do in this instance takes understanding your dog. Typically there needs to be some type of physical intervention that quickly helps break the dogs focus on the distraction that should be followed up with a known default command (Heel, Sit, Down, Place etc.) It is important to select a trainer that has experience in reading the dogs behavior, not just pattern training the dog pavlovian style.