Effective training techniques for stubborn dogs

January 17, 2024

Anyone who has had the joy of owning a dog knows that they can sometimes be stubborn. Whether your pet is refusing to sit, having a tough time with potty training, or just generally exhibiting bad behavior, it can be frustrating and challenging to train a stubborn dog. However, with patience, consistency, and understanding of a dog’s nature and mindset, training does not have to be an uphill battle. This article will guide you through some effective techniques to help you train your stubborn pup.

Understand The Nature Of A Dog

Before embarking on the training journey, it is essential to understand a dog’s nature and why they might appear stubborn. A dog’s behavior can often be a reflection of their environment and the way they are treated by their owners. A dog may resist training if it feels threatened, anxious, or confused.

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Understanding your pet’s needs and language will help you create a positive environment where they feel comfortable and secure. The use of treats and rewards can significantly enhance this process. Dogs, like us humans, are motivated by incentives. So, if they understand that they will get a treat for displaying good behavior, they are more likely to repeat that behavior.

The Power Of Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is the cornerstone of dog training. This technique involves rewarding your dog for good behavior or when they comply with your commands. Rewards can be in the form of treats, praise, or even playtime.

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When using treats as a reward, it’s essential to keep in mind that your dog’s health should always be your top priority. Opt for healthy and low-calorie treats. The idea is not to overfeed them but to encourage them positively.

Remember, timing is crucial. The reward should be given immediately after your dog has obeyed your command. This way, your dog will associate the behavior with the reward.

Establish A Clear Communication Channel

It’s important to have a clear communication channel with your dog. If your dog doesn’t understand what you want from them, they may seem stubborn. In essence, they are confused.

One way to communicate clearly with your dog is through command words. You should use short, distinct words or phrases every time you want your dog to perform a specific action. Consistency is key in this process. Using the same commands will help your dog understand and respond better over time.

Patience Is Key

Dog training is a journey that requires a lot of patience. Some dogs may take longer than others to pick up commands and alter their behavior. This delay doesn’t mean that they are being stubborn; they might just need more time.

Training should be a fun and enjoyable experience for both you and your dog. If you notice that your pup is losing interest or getting agitated, it might be best to take a break and resume later. Training sessions should also be kept short and sweet. Long and strenuous sessions can be overwhelming for a dog and result in resistance or refusal to participate.

Know When To Seek Professional Help

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we may not succeed in training our dogs. If your dog continues to display problematic behavior despite consistent training and positive reinforcement, it may be time to seek professional help.

Professional dog trainers have the expertise and experience to handle a variety of behavioral issues. They can provide customized training plans based on your dog’s personality, breed, and specific needs. They can also offer valuable insights and tips to help you better understand your dog and improve your training techniques.

In conclusion, training a stubborn dog requires patience, understanding, and consistency. However, with the right techniques, mindset, and professional help if needed, you can successfully train your stubborn pup and strengthen your bond with them. A well-trained dog is not only a joy to have around, but also happier and more secure in their environment.

The Step-by-Step Approach to Crate Training

Crate training your stubborn dog can be a beneficial method to instill discipline and good behavior. The crate represents a safe and comfortable space for the dog, similar to a den in the wild. It can aid in potty training, reduce destructive behavior and provide a safe place for them to retreat.

The first step to crate training is to introduce the crate positively. Allow your dog to explore it freely. You can put some of their favorite toys or a comfortable blanket inside. Treats and praises should be given when your dog steps inside the crate to reinforce the idea that the crate is a positive space.

Consistency is the key to successful crate training. Set a regular routine for when your dog will spend time in the crate. It could be during meal times, when you leave the house, or during the night. Simultaneously, ensure there are enough opportunities for your dog to be out of the crate playing, exercising and interacting with family members.

Remember, crate training should never be used as a form of punishment. If a dog associates the crate with negative experiences, it will resist going into it. Instead, use the crate as a tool to help your dog understand that it’s their personal space where they can relax and feel secure.

How to Teach a Dog to Sit

Teaching your dog to sit is an essential part of dog training. This command can be a stepping stone to teaching other commands and can also help in controlling a stubborn dog’s behavior in various situations.

The training process should start in a quiet, familiar environment where your dog feels comfortable and there are minimal distractions. Stand in front of your dog holding a treat above its head and slightly behind. Your dog will naturally sit down as it follows the treat with its nose. As soon as your dog sits down, praise them and give them the treat.

The key is to associate the action of sitting with the command word "sit". Say the command clearly and firmly as your dog sits down. Over time, your dog will understand the association between the command and the action.

Patience and repetition are crucial in this process. If your stubborn dog doesn’t sit immediately, don’t get frustrated. Instead, repeat the process until they understand and respond to the command. Remember, dog training is a gradual process, and each dog will learn at its own pace.


Training a stubborn dog can be a challenging task, but the reward is a well-behaved pet that is a joy to have around. Whether it’s understanding the nature of a dog, using positive reinforcement, establishing clear communication, or teaching specific tasks like crate training and sitting, patience, consistency, and understanding are key.

At times, seeking professional help from a dog trainer may be necessary. They bring a wealth of experience and can offer customized training plans to help your stubborn dog.

Remember, a well-trained dog is not just a happy companion, but also a confident, content, and secure one. So, embrace the challenge of training your stubborn dog and cherish the bonding experience it brings.