Trainer Tells Why Your Dog Won't Listen—It's Not Stubbornness


Many pet parents spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to deal with a badly behaved dog, but often, what we think is disobedience is actually something else.

Pain: If you're seeing reluctance to do certain actions, pain is likely a factor. Restlessness, weeping, nervousness, and hostility are some indicators of a dog's suffering.

Fear or stress: Those emotions can override the thinking part of our dogs brains and make them unable to respond. Check out 'How do I tell if I have a terrified dog?' for ideas on handling a scared dog.


Lack of generalization: Just because your dog can do something at home in your kitchen doesn’t mean they can do it on a walk with countless distractions.

They're confused by your request: "Humans often assume they've taught one thing when they've taught another. Learner is always correct."

Long reinforcement history: The definition of stubborn is determination not to change in spite of good reason.