How to Overcome Stubbornness in Dogs: Effective Training Tips

How to Overcome Stubbornness in Dogs: Effective Training Tips

Training a dog can sometimes feel like a battle of wills, especially when dealing with stubbornness. If you're facing challenges with your dog ignoring commands, you're not alone. This guide will provide you with practical and effective training tips to help you understand and overcome this common issue.

Understanding Stubbornness in Dogs

The first step in addressing stubbornness is to understand it. Stubbornness in dogs is often a sign of a communication gap rather than willful defiance. Dogs may appear stubborn when they don't understand what's being asked, are unmotivated, or if the task is too challenging. Identifying the root cause is essential for effective training.

Establishing Clear Communication

Clear communication is the foundation of good training. Use simple, consistent commands and ensure that every family member uses the same words and gestures. Dogs thrive on clarity and consistency, and this reduces confusion and the appearance of stubbornness.

Using Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is key in training. Rewarding your dog for good behavior with treats, praise, or play encourages them to repeat those actions. Focus on rewarding the behaviors you want rather than punishing those you don't. This approach builds trust and makes training a positive experience for your dog.

Consistency is Crucial

Consistency in training and expectations is crucial. Dogs learn through repetition. Being consistent in your training approach helps your dog understand what is expected of them, reducing their tendency to ignore commands.

Adjusting Your Training Approach

If a particular training method isn't working, be flexible and try a different approach. Some dogs may respond better to certain types of motivation or teaching styles. Patience and adaptability are important in finding what works best for your dog.

Dealing with Specific Challenges

If your dog is particularly stubborn about a specific command or behavior, take a step back and break the training down into smaller, manageable steps. Gradually build up to the full command, rewarding your dog at each step.

Seeking Professional Help

If you're struggling to overcome your dog's stubbornness, don't hesitate to seek professional help. A dog trainer or behaviorist can provide personalized guidance and advice to address your specific challenges.


What should I do if my dog ignores a command they know well?

Go back to basics and reinforce the command with consistent training and rewards.

How can I tell if my dog is stubborn or just doesn't understand the command?

If your dog responds well to other commands, they might not fully understand the specific command they are ignoring.

Can all breeds of dogs be trained, or are some too stubborn?

All breeds can be trained, but some may require more patience and specific strategies.

How long should a training session last for a stubborn dog?

Keep training sessions short and sweet, about 10-15 minutes, to maintain your dog's attention and interest.

Is it okay to use treats every time for training?

Treats are a great motivator, but it's also important to gradually transition to verbal praise and petting as rewards.


Overcoming stubbornness in dogs requires patience, consistency, and understanding. By establishing clear communication, using positive reinforcement, and being adaptable in your training approach, you can effectively address and resolve the issue of your dog ignoring commands. Remember, every dog is different, and finding what works best for your canine companion is a rewarding journey in itself.