There is nothing that can compare with having a pet you love that listens to you. At some point, pet owners or dog trainers feel like their adorable dog is actually a stubborn one. It becomes a battle of authority, trying to get your canine to obey the simplest commands.
Training against bad habits like going to the bathroom in your favorite shoes, peeing in the corner of the living room, or battling with your furniture, can leave you feeling exhausted, angry, frustrated, and defeated. Thankfully, training stubborn dogs is not a lost cause, and we are here to help.
How to Train Stubborn Dogs
Dogs act stubborn for many reasons. If it is a new dog you are just bringing into your home for the first time, it probably finds the new environment strange and doesn’t feel safe enough to follow your lead. Other times, the dog could be hard-headed or sustainable.
The truth is, many dog behaviors don’t fit into many people’s idea of good manners. You may think your puppy or dog should be able to learn a new behavior or change unwanted behavior within a short time, but dogs often require more time and effort.
However, with some dogs, the barest tweak in their training could have a noticeable effect. Whether you are trying to teach a stubborn dog to sit, walk, or trying basic potty training, these following steps we will be sharing with you are sure to make things a whole lot easier for you.
● Be Patient
You need to understand that while a dog may need the training to live with us, they don’t arrive already understanding the rules we have made. Before throwing your hands in defeating and declaring, “My Dog is Stubborn!” you should start by first understanding the dog’s favorite or familiar behaviors. Assert and encourage positive behavior by rewarding your dog each time it behaves appropriately.
Once it is obvious that your dog understands the training process, avoid too many complicated steps. Focus on one variable at a time. For example, once your dog has mastered standing on two feet, take your time before adding something else like a spin. If it is rushed, you might overwhelm your dog, and you will likely give up.
● Control the environment
Dogs are very curious and can be easily distracted. You will need to take deliberate steps to keep your dog focused. The training should be in an area without any distractions. Put away toys and other objects that could distract your dog.
Training your dog in a busy park would be a waste of your time. Even a well-trained dog could easily be distracted by people and activities in a park or startled by loud noises. While training your dog outside, you will need to make sure there’s some level of security like a leash, long line, or a fenced area.
● Send clear, consistent signals
If you share custody of your pet with other people like a babysitter, or a spouse, or your household has other members, it is easy for them to ask for the same behavior in different ways or reward other behaviors that you normally wouldn’t. This will send mixed signals to your dog.
Some dogs can easily deal with the different reinforcement scenarios, but most will definitely get confused because of communication inconsistency. To avoid this, you should try to make sure that everyone spending time with the dog is consistent with certain cues or commands, and consistent rewards make it easier for your dog to understand and learn.
As we said earlier, there’s no one size fits all for training stubborn dogs. Apart from these helpful points we just highlighted, here are a few other helpful tips.
● Make demands, not requests
Dogs are descendants of wolves, and it is instinctive for them to challenge authority or try to assert theirs. When you are trying to communicate with your dog, demand its attention. Show who’s boss; otherwise, your dog will not take you seriously.
● Call your dog by its name
Before each command or cue, call your dog by its name. When you do this, you immediately call its attention to you, and it also makes the dog learn its name. Training your dog to do what you want it to do first depends on the dog is aware of its name. It gets easier when they know you’re referring to them.
● Control your emotions
In the process of training your dog, emotions are usually tested. However, don’t let your dog witness you losing it. It needs to be a positive experience for both parties, so avoid yelling or laughing when your dog makes a mistake or misbehaves.
● Always use positive reinforcement
A cookie in hand will always be better than a cane in hand. When your dog misbehaves, you should take away a reward as punishment. Your dog may start to fear you rather than obey you if you resort to punishments like caning or other means.
● Reward complete tasks only
When you give your dog instructions or cues, it needs to obey exactly what you mean; otherwise, it is actually not following your lead. Don’t reward the dog when it does the task halfway.
All the tips we have offered could be used if you’re facing some difficulty trying to train a stubborn puppy. Puppies are often regarded as more impressionable. However, they are usually just bursting with so much energy that they might seem stubborn. Training a stubborn puppy might be trickier or easier than grown dogs.
How to train a stubborn dog? All in all, your dog is either stubborn or just confused about things. Training a dog you think might be stubborn takes commitment and some work. It is not an impossible task.
If you have any questions or comments about training stubborn dogs or puppies or would like to share your experience, please reach out! Lastly, during the training process, you should ensure that you and your dog are safe. Don’t agitate your dog to react violently by attacking you.
If you feel you can’t handle the process or a problem with your dog, contact a professional for help. You could also try out dog daycares with training facilities. We hope that our article has been very helpful for you and we look forward to hearing from you.