Training a really stubborn dog is definitely no easy feat, but it can be done. See, no dog is ever stubborn just because. They always have a reason, and sometimes we can’t see it. Maybe they are frustrated with our inability to speak their langage. Perhaps they’re scared because their previous owner treated them unkindle. Maybe they really want to learn, but they’re just easily distracted. Whatever the reason, you’ll need to adjust your training strategy a bit to make the task easier.
Keep in mind that the moment you decide to start training, you need to keep it constant in order to get the desired results.
Tips For Training a Really Stubborn Dog
Before we begin, it’s important to understand how vital you are to the process of training a really stubborn dog. It may be tempting to send him away for residential dog training and just let someone else do the hard work. However, that should be your absolute last resort option.
See, training a really stubborn dog works best when there’s a bond. That bond should be between you and your dog, not your dog and a stranger. Otherwise, he won’t listen to you when he returns. So, try these tips first before you decide to let someone else take over.
For the training to go well, you shouldn’t overwhelm your dog. Make sure to reward him for every small success in order to associate training with something pleasant. In most cases, positive reinforcement is the way to go.
Take one step at a time and only proceed with the next trick after he mastered the first one. For example, if he learned the “sit” command, you can move on to “stay.” Don’t confuse him by trying to introduce them all at a time.
Make sure there are no distractions
Your dog won’t be able to focus on the training if things are moving around him. It’s best to start his practice in a very simple place where you can be alone with your dog. Don’t leave any toys or food nearby, as he may decide he wants to play instead.
If you plan on training outside, choose a place where there’s no one around and keep the leash on. As you are in the process of training, he probably won’t know that he has to stay next to you. You’ll also want to choose the right time to train, especially if you live in an area that sees a lot of wildlife. Mornings are the worst times because distracting birds, squirrels, and other critters are super active. Get to know your surroundings and choose a “low distactions” time.
As in everything else, you need to be consistent in training. Create and maintain a schedule. Try to keep it at the same time every day. Even though it may not look like it, dogs do have the notion of time. They realize when the routine breaks and may not be cooperative afterward.
Also, it’s essential to keep a set of cues. Don’t change them from session to session, as it may confuse your dog. They can learn and understand about 200 words, so you need to take advantage of that. Make sure that all the family members are familiar with the new rules, and they don’t allow the behaviors you are trying to correct.
Choose your training method
In terms of training, we can talk about positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. You need to decide from the beginning which one you are trying to use. Positive reinforcement means that you will reward him for his right actions, and negative reinforcement means you are going to take something away from him.
Corrections don’t involve hitting your dog. That is something you should never do. Instead, you can guide him into the right position, as he may not realize what that is.
The best course of action would be to find a way to balance the two methods, and maybe even get a clicker to help him.
Use the right treats
Yes, treats are still the best motivation for dogs to learn something. Choose something you know he really likes and offer him one after each correct step.
If the rewards you’re giving him don’t interest him, or if you’re not rewarding him after every good step, he may start to lose interest. Keep consistency in terms of treats too.
Create a routine
As you probably know, dogs love routines. It helps them understand when everything happens. He knows when you leave for work, when you come back from work and when he is supposed to eat.
Create a routine for training and keep it. You shouldn’t train for more than 15 minutes at a time since he will not be able to focus for that long, but you can trait 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening, and then watch the results.
You can always ask for help
It’s no problem if you and your dog can’t get along in terms of training. Asking for help isn’t the same as handing the reins over entirely to someone else. There are a lot of professionals who can help you online or at your house. Just make sure you remain involved with the process.
It’s never too late to start training your dog. The popular beliefs say that older dogs are impossible to train, but that’s not the case. An older dog will not have the will or energy to run after everything he sees but will have a strong personality.
It’s important if you have a large dog to start training as soon as possible, because you don’t want him to take you for a walk when he grows up.
Make sure you and your dog are always in sync and use these tips for training a really stubborn dog to help you along the way!