How to Train Stubborn Dogs and Strong Willed Puppies: 10 Tips to Get Started

How to Train Stubborn Dogs and Strong Willed Puppies? You’ve decided to bring home that cute little puppy you found in the shelter, or you decided to adopt the dog you saw at the local pet store. You’re in love with your new pet and want to give it everything you can, including training, but your dog seems stubborn and strong-willed, refusing to do what you want it to do.


How do you train stubborn dogs and strong-willed puppies? With patience, consistency, and some tips from this guide on how to train stubborn dogs and strong-willed puppies! Read on to find out how!

1) Start young

The earlier you start training your dog, the better. It’s easier to teach a puppy good habits than it is to break bad habits in an older dog. But even if you have an adult dog, it’s never too late to start training. Keep reading for our top ten tips for new trainers!
Don’t use negative reinforcement or punishment: When we use negative reinforcement or punishment on our dogs, we’re teaching them that they can avoid whatever punishment by performing what we want.
For example, say your dog barks when you’re trying to sleep at night – instead of scolding him for barking by yelling at him or using another type of negative reinforcement like hitting him with a newspaper or rolling up some tin foil and popping it loudly next to his ear, try using positive reinforcement instead by providing treats when he doesn’t bark while you’re trying to sleep.

2) Take advantage of your dog’s natural instincts

All dogs have natural instincts that can be harnessed to help with training. For example, most dogs will want to please their owners and will respond well to positive reinforcement. Similarly, dogs are also pack animals and respond well to a hierarchy or leader. Understanding your dog’s natural instincts can help you create a training plan that is more likely to be successful. Take time to introduce the rules of the house in an easy-to-understand way for your pup – for instance, making sure he has plenty of opportunities to do his business outside and know where it’s appropriate to chew on his toys. Dogs thrive on consistency and can quickly get frustrated if they don’t understand what is expected of them.

3) Start simple with commands you can easily train

One of the most important things to remember when training a stubborn dog or strong-willed puppy is to start simple. Choose commands that you know your dog can easily learn, such as sit, stay, come, down, or off. If your dog is struggling with a particular command, don’t be afraid to break it down into smaller steps. For example, if you’re having trouble teaching your dog to stay, start by teaching him to sit or lie down first. Once he’s mastered those commands, you can begin working on the stay command.

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4) Understand their motivation

One of the most important things you can do when training a stubborn dog or strong-willed puppy is to understand their motivation. What are they trying to achieve by being stubborn or willful? Is it attention, power, or something else? Once you know what they’re after, you can begin to address the issue in a way that’s more likely to be successful. For example, if your pup wants more attention from you, you might try getting down on his level for an hour each day for some playtime. If he just wants to be left alone, leave him in peace for a while so he can get back to doing whatever it was he wanted to do before he was interrupted.

5) Establish a strong foundation

  1. Start with basic obedience commands such as sit, stay, come, down, and heel.
  2. Make sure you are consistently giving your dog rewards for obeying commands.
  3. Be patient when training your dog – remember that they are not humans and will not always understand what you want them to do immediately.
  4. Try using different methods of training until you find one that works best for your dog – some dogs respond better to positive reinforcement while others may need a more firm hand.
  5. Never punish your dog for not understanding a command – this will only lead to them becoming more stubborn and less likely to obey in the future.

6) Use positive reinforcement when training

If you want to train your dog effectively, you need to use positive reinforcement. This means rewarding your dog for good behavior, instead of punishing him for bad behavior. Here are a few tips to get you started with using positive reinforcement when training your stubborn dog or strong-willed puppy:

1) Use short commands that your dog can quickly learn. Short commands that have meaning such as sit or come will help reinforce the desired behavior faster than longer words like relax. Keep in mind that there is no limit on how many times you can say a command!

2) Be consistent in your commands–especially with rewards! The best way to do this is by having everyone who interacts with the dog learn the same commands and rewards so they all speak the same language. If anyone doesn’t understand what someone else is saying, it will confuse your dog (and make training take longer).

3) Find out what motivates your dog before starting any training regimen. For example, if your dog loves food then try giving him a treat after every good response.

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4) Start with one command at a time. For example, if you’re trying to teach sit first teach the sit command before adding more complicated commands.

5) Reward only after he has responded correctly, not when he starts to respond correctly.

6) Offer treats or petting slowly but steadily until he’s completed his task, then reward generously and consistently

7) Remember that patience is key! Training your pet takes time so be patient and persistent.

8) Don’t give up–positive reinforcement works over time

9) Consider hiring a professional trainer for more difficult cases.

7) Allow enough time each day for training and playing

If you want your dog to be well-behaved, you need to make sure you’re giving him enough time to learn. That means setting aside at least 30 minutes each day for training and play. But if your dog is particularly stubborn or strong-willed, you may need to increase that amount of time. Here are some tips to get started on the right foot with a new puppy or a stubborn older dog:

1) Start small – Work on one thing at a time. A common mistake people make when they’re trying to teach their dogs good behavior is going too fast and trying to cover too much ground all at once. You should start by teaching one command like sit before moving on to something else like down. It will be easier for both you and your pup!

2) Be consistent – You should always do the same thing every time you give an order or correction (for example, always say no when correcting them). You’ll have more success in making your point clear if it’s consistent every single time. Plus, consistency helps your dog know what he can expect from you which can help with anxiety and general obedience.

3. Give your pup plenty of food and water – It’s important to remember that dogs act out because they don’t feel comfortable. Providing food and water is often all it takes to turn things around.

4. Give your dog room to roam – Don’t leave him cooped up inside the house all day long without any time outside where he can run around freely. Even just letting him explore in the backyard for a few hours each day will go a long way towards reducing his frustration level and helping him relax.

5. Allow your dog ample opportunities to use his nose – Take walks together or let him sniff around outside so he doesn’t feel bored.

8) Stay calm and consistent

One of the most important things you can do when training a stubborn dog or strong-willed puppy is to stay calm and consistent. Every time you lose your temper or give in to their demands, you’re teaching them that they can control you with their bad behavior. Instead, remain calm and consistent in your commands, expectations, and rewards, and they’ll eventually come around. Here are a few other tips to keep in mind

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1) Take advantage of how much puppies love to learn new things by using food as a reward during training sessions.

2) Give plenty of attention and affection throughout the day as well as during training sessions. Remember that positive reinforcement goes much further than negative feedback in shaping a dog’s behaviour.

3) When it comes to dealing with aggressive behaviors, never punish aggression with aggression; this will only serve to make the situation worse.

9) Don’t push too hard

Training a stubborn dog or strong-willed puppy can be frustrating, but it’s important to avoid pushing too hard. Pushing too hard can lead to your dog becoming more resistant to training, which will only make the process take longer. Instead, try these 3 tips to get started on your way to training a stubborn dog or strong-willed puppy:

1) Give them treats after they do something right. You don’t have to give them every time, but being rewarded for good behavior is an excellent motivator for most dogs.

2) Be consistent with the command you are teaching them and use similar tones of voice when you give the command so that they understand what you want from them.

3) Make sure they know what you want from them before they start doing it. For example, before you train a dog not to jump on people, teach him how to sit first by using treats as an incentive for this new behavior until he understands what is expected of him without jumping on people all over the place.

10) Be patient, it takes time

When it comes to training your dog, you’ll need to be patient. Just like with people, every dog is different and will learn at their own pace. Some dogs will catch on quickly, while others may need more time and patience. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a little longer than you expected, eventually they’ll get it!


With a little patience and consistency, you can train even the most stubborn dog. Once your dog masters these commands, you’ll be able to move on to more difficult tricks. If you only work with your dog once in a while, he’s not going to learn as quickly as if you’re training him every day. Dogs learn at their own pace, so don’t get frustrated if it takes a little longer for your dog to catch on than other dogs.
Use positive reinforcement techniques such as treats or praise to rewards your dog for good behavior.