Stubborn Dog 

My dog is... stubborn...dominant...won’t listen to me.

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We’ve all heard people say things like this. Some of us have even had those moments of frustration with our own dogs. Being stuck on the idea that our dogs are just stubborn or doing things for spite stops us from understanding the real reasons for their behavior.

Dogs get tired, anxious, afraid and distracted. Instead of ignoring you, sometimes your dog truly just didn’t hear you. Maybe he hears his name hundreds of times a day so he has learned to tune you out. If you’re not paying attention to your dog perhaps he finds the environment to be more enjoyable than you are. Maybe he’s young and his attention span is short.

Behaviors we consider “bad” are often very self rewarding to a dog. Getting in the litter box, chasing the cat and barking may seem gross and irritating to us, but to our dogs they’re not “bad” they’re just plain fun. The reasons our dogs choose what they choose is endless.

- If your dog comes when you call him, what happens? End of play? Bath time? He won’t choose to come if he thinks something bad will happen.

- Is he trying to destroy your hydrangeas or is he just digging a hole in the back yard to lay in to keep cool?

Take some time to figure out what your dog needs and how you can best understand him. Our dogs are much happier when we’re pleased with them. Be creative...I’m sure you can come up with a better solution!

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