How to Leash Train a Stubborn Dog

People refer to their dog as a “stubborn dog” when the dog knows the command but only does it when they want to. Otherwise, they keep sniffing everything, and playing with the leash, except not listening to your commands or gestures even though they know it. This is definitely very irritating that most pet owners go through and you might be one of them, that’s why you’ve searched for it

Well, the reason for your dog such behavior could be his specific breed, some breeds are hard to train or your pup is just not trained well. Many pet trainers believe that there is nothing like a “Stubborn Dog” They say that your dog is just not trained well.

No Matter How big or small, active or sluggish your dog is, It can be trained. Some might need more attention and extra care.

Well, the reason your pup is showing this behavior like zero motivation for the training should be figured out first. It might be any health concern, bad past experience, or you are not a good trainer. But, the only solution to get your dog from a stubborn to an active one is by training and rewarding methods.

In this article, we’ll talk about why your dog is doing this, and what could be the reason for it. If this topic spikes your interest let’s stay connected till the end.

Do You Really Have a Stubborn Dog?

If your dog has learned any skill, command, or gesture but they only perform when they want to. or doing the opposite. you keep requesting to get out of bed instead he started jumping on the bed. Showing his back when you speak to him, but, behave perfectly when they want to do. If you are shaking your head, like yes “This is my dog.” Chances you have a stubborn dog.

But, before blaming your dog as a stubborn one, we might need to understand a few things. Is the scenario the same both times, once he listens to your commands and when he refuses them? Are both scenarios identical? Most pet owner claims that their dog is stubborn because they listen to their commands when alone but not when the guests are at home. No mate! Your dog is not stubborn he is just nervous, and needs to learn to avoid distractions.

Are you still giving them treats? Most pet owners think that once the dog has learned command. Now, the treats are not necessary, and stop giving them treats. but why? They still need motivation to follow the same command. Remember, they are not doing it because you are saying to him. they are doing it because they want to get the reward, their treats. I mean I won’t go to my job if I stop receiving salary. Make sense?

4 Common Signs Of A Stubborn Dog

Although we have to describe a few signs above, here we are discussing the most common behaviors of a stubborn dog.

  • Pulling on a Leash: Dog pulling on the leash is common in stubborn dogs. but, also common in scared dogs, or when walking with stronger dogs. This behavior is often associated with stubbornness or a lack of obedience training. Therefore, seeing a dog pull on the leash can be an indication that they may need more training or that they have a stubborn streak.
  • Only Following Command when in Mood: If you think your dog has a mind of their own and only performs when they wants. This is the most common behavior of a stubborn dog. But do worry it can be solved with the methods described below.
  • Showing Reactivity: If your pup shows negative behaviors when being asked for commands. Barking, growling, lunging the leash, or doing anything that shows they really dont like you at the moment. It’s possible that their stubborn side coming out.
  • Showing Undesirable Body Language: If a dog avoids making eye contact, stands strictly, or even shows his back when giving commands.

If your dog has all the signs mentioned so far, it’s very strong that you are a stubborn dog. but, having any of the signs does not directly mean they are stubborn. There could way many other reasons besides stubbornness.

How Can You Leash Train A Stubborn Dog?

leash training with a stubborn dog can be a bit more difficult than normal ones. but, if you can tackle the situations smartly, it can be turned into a behaving and well-mannered dog. Here are a few strategies to leash train a stubborn dog.

1. Know the Reason For Stubbornness

You cannot solve a problem if you dont know the reason.

It’s a topic on its own that is why your dog showing signs of stubbornness. Might be your dog falls into a breed that likes their independence. So, they only listen when they want to. Might your dog not food-motivated? So, he’s not listening as they dont like the reward they get. Might be a medical reason. If you are unable to find out the reason, make a visit to your vet and they can help out.

2. Build Some Trust First

If you recently got this pup, it’s essential to build some trust before training them for a leash. Your dog might not get your message and we are ending up blaming the pup. Give extra care, figure out their favorite treats, and use these treats only when they follow your command.

3. Remove Leash Fear

Your dog might be afraid of leashes because of behaviors in the past or it might be a new thing to them. You can remove leash fear by giving them to smell. Generally, spread your hands all over the leash to transfer your smell to the leash and introduce them then.

Gradually, you can move to attach the leash to their collar for short periods of time while they roam around indoors. but, dont forget to give them rewards for every achievement.

4. Use Short Leashes

Long leashes can give a signal to your dog that you are away from them. and, the surroundings may distract them. keeping the leash short will make them feel you are near and remain calm.

5. Try Indoor Training First

If your dog stays comfortable in the house, start with indoor training. Introduce the leashes when they are in-house. wait for any negative behavior. if they show it, try to calm them and give treat when they are calm.

If they do not show any negative behavior, still give them a treat, you can use a clicker as well and combine the clicker, reward, and repeat method at home first.

6. Go Outdoors but in a Less crowded Area

if you have a backyard, you can do it easily, because this place does not have any distractions (or at least fewer compared to public parks). you can wear them leashes there and wait for negative behavior. if not treat them. just like what we have done above.

if you dont have a backyard, see if you can manage parks that are less crowded. or might be there timings of part when there is no crowd.

7. Start the Training Outdoor

After doing the above, you can introduce them to public parks and see how they behave. dont forget to take a bag of treats with you. show them you have a bag of treats (always use the same bag of treats). so, they know, it is something for them and they’ll get it once performs well. but, Keep the sessions small and consistent

What if They Start Showing Negative Behaviour Outside?

It’s possible that they still behave negatively sometimes when they go outside even after all the hard work. but, you have to stay patient dont show anger, or even shout at them. There are many studies that show that positive training methods work much better than negative punishments.

8. Don’t let your Dog be the Leader:

During training, he can definitely give you a hard time taking your place and becoming your leader. You may be running after him while he’s either running away from you or just sitting and refusing to walk. The more you tolerate this behavior, the more it’ll start to build a strong base in your dog’s attitude.

When you take charge during leash training, you communicate to your dog that you’re in control and that they can rely on you to make decisions as well. This not only makes the training process smoother but also ensures the safety of both you and your pup.

If your dog starts pulling or getting distracted, gently correct their behavior by redirecting their attention back to you. Don’t let your dog walk ahead of you. Train him to walk beside you. Remember to reward good behavior with treats, using positive reinforcement.

9. Make a Routine

It’s important to establish a routine and stick to it, ensuring that you have dedicated training sessions each day.

By staying patient, consistently reinforcing boundaries, providing positive reinforcement, and maintaining a calm yet assertive presence, you’ll start to have a good training session with your dog.

10. Vet visits & professional help:

Don’t forget to make some vet visits before and after the training. Vet visits are essential because they ensure that your furry friend is in good health and physically capable of participating in training activities.

A thorough check-up can rule out any underlying medical conditions that may affect their behavior or ability to walk on a leash comfortably. Additionally, your vet can provide valuable advice and guidance specific to your dog’s needs.

Now, let’s talk about professional help. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, certain dogs can be extra stubborn or have unique behavioral challenges that require specialized expertise. That’s where professional trainers come in.

They have the knowledge and experience to assess your dog’s behavior, identify the root causes of their stubbornness, and develop a customized training plan to address those issues effectively.

Final Words:

In the end, we’ll still say what we said at the start. if your dog sometimes ignores your commands and does their own thing, it doesn’t mean they’re stubborn. There could be various reasons for their behavior, like fear, past experiences, or a lack of motivation. It’s important to understand and address these issues.

Leash training a stubborn dog can be challenging, but it’s not impossible by following the above commands.  In the end, with patience, consistency, and a strong bond, you can have enjoyable walks with your dog.

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