3.5 Learned Irrelevance

If your dog is not following your command, there are chances it is due to Learned Irrelevance. This happens when dogs learn that your command is not important or that it is not necessary to follow through. Learned Irrelevance results in slower learning because they learn to ignore things that are of no importance to them and to attend to stimuli that are.
There are three reasons for Learned Irrelevance:
  • Adding the Command Too Early
  • Repeating Command Over and Over
  • Using it in normal speech (Yes, Good, No, Come, Touch…)
  1. Introduce new commands properly (taught in class)
  2. Protect your commands: Always reward when you use the command word
  3. Train them on a new command or change the sound of the word (‘esss instead of Yes)