How to Train a Stubborn Dog: 9 Effective Tips

Updated on: Apr 28, 2023
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How to Train a Stubborn Dog: 9 Effective Tips

Training a stubborn dog can be challenging, right? But sometimes, it can be so frustrating to us to the point of thinking of giving up! 

But with the proper techniques, it's not impossible to train your stubborn dog. These nine tips will help you teach them effectively while building a stronger relationship with you!

Let's get to it! 

Start with the basic obedience commands before you go for more advanced training.

When training a stubborn dog, it's essential to start with basic obedience training. This is because it sets the foundation for trust and respect between you and your furry friend.

Focus on basic commands like "sit," "stay," "come," and "heel" because they're the building blocks for more advanced training. They can be used in many different situations. It is best to start training in a quiet, distraction-free environment so your dog can focus. 

Take it one command at a time and use treats or praise as a reward when your dog successfully completes the command. Repeat the command and reward process several times daily, gradually building up to more complex commands as your dog becomes more comfortable and responsive to your training.

Remember that positive reinforcement works better than punishment.

If you're dealing with a stubborn pup, one trick you might wanna try is positive reinforcement. Instead of punishing them when they mess up, it is better if you give them a reward like treats and praise.

That way, they'll be more likely to keep doing the good stuff! 

Just make sure the reward you're offering is something they really want, like a yummy treat or their favorite toy. Or, you can always give them lots of love and pets!

Be consistent when training a stubborn dog. 

When you're training a stubborn pup, consistency is crucial. Your furry friend will be confused and frustrated if you're all over the place with your commands. 

Please stick to the same commands for each behavior and ensure everyone in the family uses them too. So that your dog understands what you want them to do and not get confused. 

And when they do something good, give them a treat right away. But if they do something terrible, correct them immediately too

This helps your pup make sense of their actions and the consequences that come with them. 

Keep training sessions short and focused.

So, if you've got a stubborn pup, keep your training short and sweet! 

You don't want your puppy getting bored or distracted during training, so aim for 10-15 minute sessions throughout the day. Having a few short sessions is better for your dog than a single lengthy session.  

If they're losing interest in the training, it's best to end the session immediately and try again later after they have rested. This way, training will be fun for you and your dog and not a source of stress!

Training a stubborn dog takes time and patience.

A stubborn dog can be frustrating to deal with, but staying calm is essential to reassure your dog. Sometimes, it could be challenging for them to learn, so please don’t lose your cool. Be patient instead! 

Timing is everything! 

Training a stubborn dog takes time, patience, and effort. So be sure you are ready to transform your dog into a well-mannered companion who listens to your commands.

Use high-value treats that can motivate your dog during training.

High-value treats are ones that your dog is crazy about, like cooked chicken or a special doggy treat. Using these treats can help your dog focus during training and do what you want. 

If you want to teach your dog to sit, hold a high-value treat above its nose. And then move it toward the back of its head. Your dog will naturally lower their butt to the ground, and then you can give them the treat as a reward.

But it's essential to use these treats only during training sessions is necessary, not always. Otherwise, your dog might lose interest in them during training. 

Choose treats that are safe for your dog to eat, and do not give them too many treats during training sessions because that can lead to serious health problems like obesity.

Start training your dog in a quiet, distraction-free environment.

If you're dealing with a stubborn pup, choosing a quiet, distraction-free spot for your training sessions is essential. This means picking a place where your furry friend won't get distracted by anything else. 

Stubborn dogs tend to have short attention spans, so it's important to start training in a peaceful room at home, without other people or pets around.

Let's say you're teaching your dog at home to sit or stay; once your dog masters the skill in a safe environment, you can gradually add distractions, like practicing outside or in a park with other dogs and people around. This will help your furry pal to generalize the skill and use it in different situations

Use a training aid to help reinforce commands.

If your furry pal is being a bit stubborn, using training aids can work wonders for their training. Two good examples of this are clickers and whistles. 

clicker is a small, handheld gadget that makes a distinctive clicking noise when you press it. Use a clicker to mark the time your dog does something you want them to, then give them a reward, like a treat or some praise. 

After a while, your dog can associate the clicker's sound with the reward and do the right thing more often. 

whistle can also be used to get your dog's attention or to mark a specific behavior you want to encourage. 

Clickers and whistles can be great training aids for a stubborn dog, but using them correctly is essential. Stay consistent in using the gadget, and always follow up with a reward to reinforce the good behavior you're trying to teach. 

Consider hiring a professional trainer. 

Don't worry if your pup is being a little stubborn during training – it happens to the best of us. 

A professional dog trainer can figure out why they're acting out and give you some techniques that will work best for your dog. Since they're pros, they can get to the root of the problem and provide customized solutions to help your pup progress. 

And if you've ever been confused by your pup's body language or communication, they can help you too!

Trust us; it can make a big difference in your training journey!


I know how tough it can be to train a stubborn dog. It can drive you crazy sometimes! But don't worry because there are many ways to make it easier, such as the tips listed above. With patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement, you can communicate better, strengthen your bond, and train them to be the best companion ever. And remember, don't give up!

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