How to train a stubborn dog?

My dog is very food motivated. He loves when he gets treats. He knows the commands sit, lay down, rollover, stay, come, and wait for it (as in a treat). The latter three he almost always will do. But when we ask him to sit, lay down, or rollover he will usually only do it about 2 times before he gets stubborn. I will tell him the command and he will turn his head and ignore me but I can tell he hears me because he still glances at me to see if I will give him the treat. I would like to train him more but how am I supposed to do that when he ignores me? I have to push his butt down to sit or pull his legs forward to lay down but I know he can do it on his own and no matter how long I wait for him to do it he refuses. Any tips?? Thank You in advance!

Asked by Member 1037035 on Jun 23rd 2011 in Behavior & Training
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I giggle when ever I hear someone call their dog "stubborn". And wince if I do it myself. What it tells me is the dog is smart and I(or in this case -you) are boring him to death.

If he's done all the usual stuff and gotten a treat, make it more interesting for you both. Teach a Beg, high 5, wave, hide his face (we also call "peek-a-boo" or "scared dog"). Teach him to heel, both forward & reverse. Jump over things, climb things, bark on command. Use your imagination and Google (to find tips on methods)
Hide food in a large area so he can "track" it. Retrieval work (different from 'fetch')

Remember to reward and praise. Change food rewards now and then, leftover meat, eggs, cheese, bacon, hot dogs, peanut butter, canned dog food, liver wurst, chicken livers, to name some.

Move on to something more interesting if he seems bored. If you have fun, so will he.

Sonny answered on 6/23/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer

Bruno CGC

I don't know how old he is, but is there a possibility that it HURTS him to sit or lay down? He could have a problem with his hips or lower back. Many people mistake pain for stubbornness, because the dog starts refusing to do things they used to do well.

If he's young and healthy, I suggest enrolling in a training class together. Find someone who trains with positive methods, not old-fashioned punishment-based methods. A good trainer can help you see how to get through to your dog and work through difficult things. Also, it's FUN to be in a class with other dogs and their owners, and you'll learn lots of new skills. Even professional trainers still take classes with their dogs, because you can never have too much practice or "know too much" to not enjoy them.

Bruno CGC answered on 6/24/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer


Sounds like your dog is smart and strong-willed! I am a border collie cross who behaved in a similar manner until I went for a series of "No Treat" training sessions. My owner used a "pressure and release" method, for example for a down, if I didn't lie down,she stepped on the leash and put pressure on (not too hard, of course!) for as long as it took for me to get bored and to lie down. Then she would give me a release and a "good dog" etc. Once she stopped using treats and started being consistent in using other forms of rewards, like friendly, happy words, my focus was on my owner and I figured out what she wanted. It took some time, but now my owner and I have more fun together! We are a team!You humans are your dog's best treat!

Striker answered on 6/25/11. Helpful? Yes/Helpful: No 0 Report this answer