Do You have a Stubborn Dog?
Do you have a stubborn dog? Winston Churchill said, “The nose of the bulldog has been purposely slanted backwards so that he can breathe without letting go.” Many a dog trainer has borrowed this quote, as it defines the characteristics of a stubborn dog.
Certain breeds are prone to this character trait such as basset hounds, terriers and bulldogs. Bulldogs, one of my favorite breeds, can try the patience of the most experienced dog owner with their willfulness and tenacity.
Do you live with a dog that tests you every waking moment?
Does he refuse to do anything you ask him to do yet perform like a champ when he feels like it? Do you spend hours each day repeating commands that seemingly have no effect on him? Does he jump up on the couch right after you ask him to get off, and do it repeatedly? Does he walk away from you, ignore you or turn his back to you when you are speaking to him? If you’re shaking your head “um-hum” right now, you probably think you have a stubborn dog. Or do you?
Don’t give up!
Most people try, they really, really try to get their stubborn dogs to listen. The dog’s tenacity can quickly wear out his owner, causing them to wave the surrender flag and give up. If you’re waving that flag right now, there is hope.
Willful or stubborn traits do exist in dogs, but we have to be careful when assigning this trait to our dog. During assessments, our dog trainers often find that dogs classified as stubborn are anything but!
Instead, stubborn BEHAVIORS manifest themselves because the dog:
- Doesn’t understand what you want him to do and/or doesn’t really know the commands you are using.
- Disregards your voice because he is accustomed to being yelled at or talked at too much.
- Is seeking your attention.
- Is motivated by something not yet identified by the owner.
In other words, many dogs classified as stubborn, really aren’t. Their behaviors are designed to capture your attention or let you know that the two of you are not communicating in a way that the dog understands.
Positive training yields positive behavior
Most dogs, even the truly stubborn, respond very well to positive training methods.
Our dog trainers can help you identify the subtleties in behavior that distinguish a stubborn dog from one that is displaying stubborn behaviors due to other reasons. We’ll create a new strategy to identify the root cause of the behavior and motivate your dog to alter his behavior.
In the rare event that your dog really is stubborn by nature, he’ll find that we are pretty tenacious too. Our dog trainers never give up on a dog and utilize a variety of positive dog training methods until we find the way to reach him.
©Paws in Training, 2010
The goal of all dog training is to provide peaceable solutions to everyday problems so that pets and their owners live harmoniously. Paws in Training provides dog and cat training services in Raleigh, Apex, Cary, Fuquay Varina, Holly Springs and Garner, N.C.