How to Train Stubborn Dogs and Strong-Willed Puppies
The dog may be inclined to be in the service of the owner or may have a mind of its own. There is no doubt that if you own a dog in the latter category, you may wonder how to train such a dog. You have a very good point, and this article was written specifically to address your question.
Let’s start with this: if you’re having trouble training your pet, don’t worry. It is not unusual for dogs to be a bit reluctant at first and require a little more effort than they would. If you are patient and persistent, there is no doubt that you will eventually figure out how to train a stubborn dog.
Despite the challenges of training a stubborn puppy, you may build a relationship with your dog that will last a lifetime by being patient and consistent. All dogs have various personalities and character traits, and certain breeds are more high-strung.
Depending on your dog’s personality, you may need to start with one approach, then try another until you find one that works for it.
Training Strategies for Stubborn Dogs
The method you employ to overcome stubborn behavior should be essentially the same whether you are training a puppy or an adult dog. Several dogs may need additional time to unlearn long-term behavior, but it is still quite possible with continuous training.
Here are the strategies that can help you with stubborn dog training:
- Choosing the Most Appropriate Reward
Let’s be honest: When it comes to training your dog, bribery can go a long way when it comes to getting the job done. The reward must, however, be appropriate for your dog’s effort for it to be effective. How food-motivated is your dog? In that case, get your dog some high-quality treats.
You may want to offer an additional game of catch if your dog is not enthusiastic about food. In this case, the goal is to find out what motivates your dog and use that to train it to perform desired behaviors.
- Start with the Simplest Command
Initially, “sit” is the most straightforward command to teach. Once they learn this, most of the other commands will become easier to teach. After a while, they will start to see that if they can understand what you are saying, they will get praise and a treat.
It is important to use both visual and audible commands. In addition to saying “sit”, you should make some sort of gesture as well. Always do the same thing each time, or the dog will become confused, and the process will be prolonged.
- Decide on the Right Location
To ensure maximum success for your dog in training, you need to create the ideal environment. In the same way that you would not instruct a child how to read at an amusement park, you should not expect your dog to listen to you at their favorite dog park.
Try to pick an indoor space that’s calm, quiet, and free from distractions. Over time, you can begin to gradually introduce distractions to your dog as he progresses in his training.
- Don’t Rush Things
Don’t apply excessive pressure to the situation, yourself or your dog, or you’ll end up in a rut. Progress does not always occur overnight.
Consider taking things step-by-step and rewarding even the smallest achievements. Don’t forget about those yummy treats, too. This progress can translate into large gains in some dogs, even if it is only a small amount at the start.
- Avoid Punishing your Dog
Using negative reinforcement is something that can easily damage a puppy’s confidence if timing isn’t correct. Avoid using negative reinforcement until you’ve spoken with a professional. Often times our pups are not doing what we asked due to a lack of understanding/
As an alternative, reward your dog only when he follows instructions and take him back to a previous step where it was successful. It is possible to reinforce your confidence and understanding by taking a few steps backward.
- Maintain Consistency in your Training
Training any dog requires consistency, but when dealing with a feisty dog, it is especially necessary.
Certain family members may reinforce contrasting behaviors, which can give your dog an entirely legitimate reason for being confused, rather than stubborn. Ensure that everyone in your family is on the same page regarding training and command usage. Furthermore, it is important to train regularly and with a consistent amount of intensity.
It is not realistic to expect your dog to become proficient at a behavior after only one lesson. If you wish to see any real improvement, provide many, consistent repetitions of the same training. You must incorporate the practice into your daily routine and reward it appropriately for it to be effective.
- Consult a Professional when Necessary
Some dogs seem stubborn at first, but with time and consistent repetitions of the same training, they will learn. However, this may not always be the most appropriate solution. The idea of assertiveness being contrary to aggression is very important to understand, especially when dealing with training an adult dog.
If your dog exhibits signs of aggression or extreme fear, you should be concerned. You should call a professional dog trainer to assist you with this sensitive process and to provide any essential behavioral training.
- Become Familiar with their Language
Dogs and puppies communicate using body language. When you train your pup, you need to understand their language to effectively communicate with them. Consider the dog’s posture, behavior, and facial expressions while determining his attitude.
For example, the varying wags of his tail indicate how he feels, such as a high, rigidly moving tail indicates he is feeling tense. On the other hand, a relaxed, gentle tail denotes happiness. This distinguishing factor simplifies the process of communicating effectively.
Conclusion for Training Stubborn Dogs and Strong-Willed Puppies
These tips should provide some assistance in helping you train a stubborn dog and a strong-willed puppy. Keep in mind that clear communication and considerable patience will ensure success in the long run.
Also, remember to choose the right reward and the right place to practice, then repeat the activity as often as possible to reinforce the desired behavior.
Teaching your dog requires patience as well as refraining from using any type of punishment. If at any time during the training process, your dog becomes aggressive, you should seek immediate assistance from a professional trainer.