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Stubborn Dog Issues
Some dogs will plant all four feet and refuse to do anything you ask. You can push, pull, and threaten, but a stubborn dog seems set in his or her ways, almost from the day they are born. To change a stubborn dog into a cooperative dog, you need to learn how to correctly deal with that nature.
Question: Is my dog dumb or what? He doesn’t seem to want to do anything I tell him.
Actually, your dog is probably very smart. What may be going on is that some dogs want to "think things through" before they comply to a command. These dogs are often deemed as stubborn because they don’t as readily learn what you want them to do.
Question: I can’t believe how uncooperative my puppy is. Is it possible my dog was born stubborn?
Dogs who have stubborn issues are indeed born with a different mental make up. Where some dogs may comply with little or no questions asked, a dog with a more stubborn nature will need more work to gain compliance.
Question: Is a dog that is stubborn by nature doomed to be a battle of will all his or her life?
No. Once you learn to train your dog the "right" way for his or her mind set, the dog learns to be cooperative. Most dog can become quite willing to please you once you break through the "stubborn" barrier by using the right techniques.
Question: My dog is little. So why not just force the dog to do things?
This is the wrong way to solve the problem. Certainly you can drag a smaller dog around on a leash, but there will be other problems you’ll face. It is far better to teach the dog cooperation.
Question: Are some dogs more stubborn than others?
Yes. With some dogs, breaking them out of a stubborn reaction to your request is easier than other dogs. A good rule of thumb is to get the dog to focus on the reward. However, there are several techniques in the book "Training the Hard to Train Dog," should you find you need help reforming your dog.
Question: I’ve heard there is a hidden danger with stubborn dogs. What is that?
The danger is that dogs who don’t follow their owners commands also fail to see their owner as the leader. This problem happens to people who don’t understand the correct way to get compliance from a stubborn dog. Dogs who do not see their owners as worthy leaders often get into other problematic behaviors, including aggression.
Where the Stubborn Wars Begin
Dogs who have stubborn tendencies tend to want to think things over and figure out for themselves before the dog follows your command. People who are not used to this kind of mindset often expect their stubborn dog to follow a request as willingly as their more compliant dog. To get compliance you need a different approach. You need to change your training style to break through the dog’s stubborn tendencies. Sometimes, this means driving the behavior you want by clearly communicating to the dog that compliance is how he or she gets a reward. You’ll find specific training to help reform your stubborn dog in chapter 8, Gaining Compliance with "Stubborn as a Mule" Dogs in the book "Training the Hard to Train Dog." The good news is that once you break through that suborn barrier, your dog will actually learn how to become less resistant and more complaint.
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