Mixed messages between you and your pet can be one of the most common reasons why your pet won’t do what you want them to do.
I recently covered this in more depth in a recent blog here.
Another possibility may be that…
Your pet actually heard you and even understood you, and just decided NOT to comply.
Just like with people, we cannot make our pet do what we want if they simply don’t want to do it.
Not to worry…
Here's where you become a detective like Sherlock Holmes and ask questions to discover what’s happening for your pet that they refuse to change their behavior.
Maybe they simply haven’t been fully recognized, acknowledged or understood!
Here are some questions and tips to help solve the mystery.
Ask, “What is it that you love so much about doing ________________?” See it from their point of view.
Let them know you understand how they feel (maybe even put yourself in their paws to feel what they are feeling when they behave in that way)
Let them know what makes it unacceptable (or scary for you, their person)
Appeal to their intelligence (“I know you are very smart and…”)
Ask, “What would need to happen for you to consider doing __________?”
Ask, “What if _____________? How would that be?” (negotiate)
Remember to give your furry loved ones images to match what you’re asking and/or the information you’re sharing.
The idea is to openly communicate until you each understand the other’s perspective and come to a solution that works for both of you (perhaps something neither of you may have thought of originally).
Listening, taking into consideration the other’s viewpoint and coming up with a third alternative is ideal!
What if it's something non-negotiable?
It’s still important to ask questions, communicate your understanding of their viewpoint and to thank them for their openness and honesty.
Explain that this time it needs to be this particular way because of ___________.
Help them understand what the consequences of not making the change will be. (Note: This means being clear within yourself, in advance, what the consequences will be).
Ask for their agreement.
If a change doesn't occur when you are openly communicating and acknowledging your pet's perspective, there may be something else that is yet to be discovered. We can dive deeper into your particular situation with my Fur Baby Speaks experience or Happy Pet, Happy Home program!