Stubborn Dogs


Do you have a stubborn dog? The reason I ask is because so many people tell me they have a stubborn dog. I also hear about dogs who are lazy, not toy driven or not interested in food, aggressive, protective, hate the crate or are just not very smart. And there is almost always one very good reason why you are having this issue with your dog.

You taught the dog to be that way. Or in the case of a rescue dog, someone else taught the dog to be that way. You can teach the dog to behave differently. Your behaviors can help or hurt the dog as he tries to adapt to your environment.

If you want a well-behaved, well-trained dog, your very first mission is to understand your dog. People assign dogs all sorts of emotions and motives that belong entirely in the human world and really have nothing to do with dogs. Stubbornness is not a dog thing. Unfortunately, stubbornness is a human thing (I can hear some of you stubbornly arguing with me right now!). Laziness is also a human thing. If you tried to explain the concept of stubbornness or laziness to a dog, they would look at you like you are insane. Because that is human thinking, not dog thought. Dogs don’t look at some dog laying there in the dust and think, that dog should get a job. They don’t resist doing what you want because they are stupid or stubborn, but I hate to tell ya, they don’t do what you want because they aren’t conditioned to perform the behavior you need!

It might not be your fault entirely that your dog is behaving the way they are (or aren’t). Maybe you are dealing with a strong instinct. Maybe you don’t know yet how to teach this animal this new behavior. Maybe you adopted a dog with learning challenges.

Many dogs aren’t naturally adapted to our modern human habitats. Part of  behavior problems is having the right habitat for the dog.

Dogs do what works.

If barking, clawing or destroying something means you will open a door,  dog are more likely to bark, claw, or destroy something. If ignoring you leads to fun off-leash adventure, it’s smart for the dog to ignore you.
Dogs are partly big joksters.  They also like to sleep. Mentally healthy dogs have a sense of humor. Dogs play a lot, although some dogs are like kids screaming on roller coaster. They’re scared, but also they choose to get on the ride again and again! Wheeee!!!

You are your dog’s Guru. Your dog WANTS -often desperately wants – to make you laugh and play. But you can be incredibly difficult to train. It seems like you might be stubborn and not that smart, always changing your mind and sending out confusing and conflicting signals! Observe your dog! Just watch him like you might watch a gold fish! Because the first commandment of whole dog training is, know your dog! To be continued….

About Jenny Ruth Yasi

author, sailor, animal trainer,rally, agility and freestyle competitor, owner/proprietor Whole Dog Camp, now located in Freeport, Maine. For 31 years we lived on Peaks Island Maine. Now we are sailing with our 2 dogs in the Bahamas, and will return to Maine in 2017
This entry was posted in Behavior Science, and Signal Training. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Stubborn Dogs

  1. Reblogged this on Freeport Maine and commented:

    First, Know Your Dog!


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