Illness, injuries, and the mental state of your pet are some of the reasons your dog doesn’t answer its name when you call it.

However, it is also possible for your pup to ignore you when you call its name. It could be that it is a new puppy and has yet to get used to the name you are calling it. Your pet could also ignore your summons if it is sick or stressed out.

All dogs have different ways of acknowledging their owners when they hear their names. Some dogs wag their tails excitedly; others bark or jump up and down in an animated fashion before running to answer the call of their owners.

Table of Contents

Reasons Why Your Dog Doesn’t Answer Its Name

Poor Training

Suppose you introduce a new pet to your home; you must train it correctly. During the housebreaking phase, when you get your pet to acclimate to its new home, try to frequently call its name when giving a command so it can get used to it.

Yelling or shouting its name will not help it learn that the name is for it. To make your pet remember its name, it would be best to employ the positive reinforcement tactic.

When you give a command, and your pet responds, you can give it a treat as a reward for answering its name. It is unlikely that your pet will learn its name if you are always yelling at it to answer its name.


Pain arising from injuries sustained by your pet can cause it to ignore or disobey your calls, and the pain can cause your pet many discomforts. It is just looking for where it can rest quietly and nurse its sustained injury.

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Most of the time, the rate at which your pet reduces the rate at which it socializes with you or anyone else. This reduction in socialization is because your pet wants to reduce the risk of aggravating the injury it sustained, which will likely affect how and if it responds when you call.


Depression can be another reason your dog doesn’t answer its name. Several factors can result in depression in your dog. Most times, it could be that you neglect your pet too often and do not feel happy about its current situation. It could also be that it does not get as much exercise as it would like.

Irrespective of what causes the depression in your pet, it is likely that your pup will begin to detach itself from its environment, owners, toys, and other pets. Your dog will show little or no interest in anyone or anything.

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This change in attitude will cause your pet to ignore commands and its name whenever you call them. Since it is depressed, your pet will prefer to be on its own and enjoy its own company away from everyone.

Illnesses or Infection

Some infections or health conditions can render your pet uncomfortable and inactive. On closer checks, you will notice that your pet will become passive, lazy, always sleeping, and looking disinterested.

Just as humans will find it tedious to engage in any form of socialization when sick, this also holds for dogs. When dogs fall sick, most look for calm and quiet areas far from noise, their owners, and other pets.

Dogs do this to recover with little to no disturbance from anyone or anything. Suppose your pet is sick; it is unlikely that it will have the strength to acknowledge you when you call its name.

Stress or Anxiety

When your dog is stressed and doesn’t answer its name, it tends to act out of character. Several reasons can cause your pet to become stressed. It may be introducing a new family member or a new pet. It could also be a result of moving into a new environment.

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Stress can cause your pet to isolate itself and become disinterested in communicating or interacting with anyone. However, a stressed-out dog can also make you miserable, and it may begin to lash out, eat, and destroy things in the house.

If the stress is related to introducing a new pet, your dog may feel threatened that you want to replace it. You may notice that it will start ignoring you and show aggression towards you and the new pet to register its displeasure with you.

What You Can Do When Your Pet Doesn’t Answer Its Name

Train and Socialize it Correctly

Your pet is likely to respond to its name always when you train it correctly to answer its name. As with most dogs, positive reinforcement ensures that your pet will answer its name whenever you call it.

 Ensure Your Pet Is Healthy and Active

The activity levels of a dog depend on its health. Your dog’s health includes both its mental and physical health.

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Suppose you give your pet an adequate amount of exercise and playtime. It will keep your pup mentally stimulated. Furthermore, when you treat all underlying health conditions, your pet will be active and comfortable with you.

When your pet is hale and hearty, it is more likely to respond to you when you call than when it is sick. Because dogs love to please their owners, they will always respond to you if you keep them free from sickness.

Seek Professional Help If Your Dog Doesn’t Answer Its Name

In many cases, contacting a professional dog trainer or behaviourist is the most effective way to tackle this problem. A dog trainer will ascertain why your pet refuses to answer its name.

Furthermore, if it is a case of poor training, they can devise means to help your dog recognize its name when you call it.

At the same time, you can also contact your veterinary doctor to ensure that the doctor diagnoses all underlying illnesses. The professional will provide a proper and effective solution to manage or treat your dog’s condition.

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