How to Train a Stubborn Dog

Even the most stubborn dog can become a well-behaved companion.

Even the most stubborn dog can become a well-behaved companion.

If your dog runs out of your fence, barks at the neighbors and chases the mailman, it’s time for a bit of doggy boot camp. Training your canine companion isn’t always smooth sailing, and a stubborn dog requires extra time and patience to transform into a polite pooch.

Buckle a collar around the dog’s neck and clip a 6-foot training leash to the ring on the collar. Stubborn dogs are prone to wandering off during training, and leashing the dog keeps him within reach. Tighten the collar until you can fit two fingers between the collar and the dog’s neck.

Determine whether treats or toys are more enticing to your dog. Stubborn dogs are often bored dogs, and knowing the dog’s absolutely favorite reward will make training a much smoother process.

Teach the dog his name. Say the dog’s name and tug gently on the leash. As soon as he looks at you, offer him a treat. Repeat his name and wait for him to respond. If he looks at you, give him a reward. If he doesn’t respond, repeat his name and tug on the leash again. Teaching the dog his name gives him a unique cue to command his attention.

Use consistent commands. Dogs are often perceived as stubborn because their owners don’t provide them with clear instructions. Say the dog’s name to get his attention and give him a clear, distinct command. To train the dog to sit, for example, stand in front of the dog. Say his name and tell him to “sit” in a loud, cheerful voice. Hold a treat or toy in your hand, and move it back over the dog’s head. As soon as he lowers his hindquarters to the ground, give him a reward.

Reward the dog the second he responds properly to your commands. Dogs have very short memory recognition, and rewarding him as soon as he reacts in the right way teaches him that obedience equals rewards.

Items you will need

  • Collar
  • Leash
  • Treats
  • Toys


  • Positive reinforcement is essential to transforming your stubborn dog into a well-behaved companion. Stay cheerful, speak in happy tones, and praise the dog to make training an engaging experience.


  • Never spank a stubborn dog. Spanking only leads to fear, and a scared dog may bite.

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