Sunday, June 16, 2013

How to Train a Strong-Willed Dog

While training your dog may seem like a fairly straightforward task, strong-willed dogs can challenge even seasoned dog owners. A strong-willed or stubborn dog may frustrate you and defy even the simplest request, but don't write him off as a lost cause. With patience and dedication, you can transform even the most ill-mannered dog into an acceptable canine companion.



    Determine what item motivates your dog more than anything else. Some dogs are food motivated, while others would rather work for a favorite toy. Keep this motivator on hand at all times when working with your dog.


    Fit the dog with a flat leather or nylon collar with a metal buckle and attach a 6-foot leash to the collar. Strong-willed dogs often like to pull on the leash and a collar with a plastic buckle can break if the dog pulls too hard.


    Call the dog's name to get his attention and maintain eye contact with your dog. Dogs use eye contact as a form of dominance and looking directly into the eyes of a stubborn dog will reinforce that you are the boss.


    Speak in a loud, firm voice and stand up straight when giving the dog commands. Standing tall and using a deep, commanding voice further conveys to him that you are the alpha and you are in charge.


    Give your dog a command and wait a few seconds for a response. If your dog follows the command, reward her with a motivator and verbally praise the dog. If you get no response, walk your dog forward a few steps, pull gently on the leash to get her attention and repeat the command in a louder voice while slightly bending over your dog. This is slightly intimidating to a stubborn dog and will encourage obedience.


    Stay consistent in your training methods. Strong-willed dogs will take advantage of you if your training methods do not follow a steady routine. Always speak to the dog in the same commanding tone and never reward him for inappropriate behavior.

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