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Old 08-23-2005, 03:38 PM
Fran27 Fran27 is offline
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Default Can dogs be stubborn?

Ok, for me the answer is obvious, I was just wondering if it's a lack of training or it can just be the dog's personality.

Boris seems extremely stubborn to me. He knows the 'come' command perfectly, and I'm still reinforcing it with treats, but... When we call him to the room with the gate, very often he will stop at the door, and refuse to go in, in case we close the gate behind him. So he just stands there looking at the treat while a big puddle of drool forms up at his feet. Same thing for outside, when I call him he will go to the door and look at the treat half the time, because he doesn't want to go in.

I really don't think it's lack of training, as he comes to the door everytime... and I just can't reward him more for coming, because when he does he gets his favorite treats. Just now he got even more sneaky, came in, grabbed the treat and ran back outside with the treat still in his mouth

If anyone knows how to fix that behavior, I'm really interested, but it seems to me it's just his nature and it will never change. The only thing I can think of is no longer closing the back door when I call him, but I don't always do it, and I close the gate in the room after him maybe three times a week now, and he still won't get in 95% of the time when I call him.

Tips is easier at least, he always comes whenever and wherever I call him, lol.
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Old 08-23-2005, 03:41 PM
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BigDog2191 BigDog2191 is offline
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No, I think dog's can be stubborn as personality wise.

I know when I had Rocky and he wanted to do something else and I wanted him to do something I wanted, he was stubborn as a mule. And I trained almost everyday.
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Old 08-23-2005, 03:55 PM
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Princess is like that. She'll come when I call, but just wont come right in. I'll leave the door open, go to the kitchen to get a treat, turn around and alot of times she'll be inside along with 10 flies. Even if I have to use the treat to get her in, I always make her sit, I shut the door then she gets the treat. Not until I get that door shut.
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Old 08-23-2005, 04:19 PM
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i don't think dogs are knowingly stubborn just to annoy you. they might just not understand your way of getting a particular point across - keep in mind that unlike people, dogs don't generalize well.

work on the specific sequence that's giving you trouble, not on the whole chain of behaviors. set your dog up for success, not for failure, by creating conditions that create the situation you want to work on.

if you know your dog has a tendency to want to dash off again after you called, give the treat after taking hold of the collar, then close the door. start out outside, eliminating the problem of the door, and work on teaching that the treat will only come after you have taken hold of the collar.

work on latency - if your dog doesn't listen to commands in a certain time frame, no reward is given. for the "come" command, there is really no better situation than practicing with several dogs. say you have 4 dogs, only the 3 who arrive first get a treat, the "lagger" gets a "too bad, next time you better hurry up".

i have only one dog, so i played that "game" while i was staying at a friend's who has 3 dogs. we had good success sharpening up response time for all of them.

as an additional thought, practice when your dog is hungry. it adds another notch to motivation.
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Old 08-23-2005, 04:36 PM
Fran27 Fran27 is offline
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The thing is, he knows the command, and he always comes, except when he knows I'm going to close the door behind him and he won't be able to go out anymore. He doesn't dash off again much at all, he just does it very occasionally, as I usually close the door or at least walk to the door before giving him a treat. He never gets a treat if he doesn't come all the way, usually I end up giving two to Tips instead.
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Old 08-23-2005, 05:00 PM
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Same with Princess, Fran. She knows the command, she also knows it means going inside which is not what she wants to do. At night I will sometimes go sit outside. She wont get within touching reach of me because she thinks we will have to go inside. If she could live outside 90% of the time, she would.
I use Gracie and Kokomo all the time. It does help. She cant stand seeing them getting treats and she's getting nothing. Gracie has only ignored me once while in the back yard and that was because she was to involved in chasing a butterfly. It really doesnt seem to be a misunderstanding, it is truely like being stubborn. It's not what they want to do at the time.
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Old 08-23-2005, 05:40 PM
Athebeau Athebeau is offline
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As mentioned by Mordy, Most dogs are not programmed to be stubborn just to tick the owner off...but, they are programmed to be hazard avoiders. This means that any command that may end in something unpleasant is to be ignored. If they see you making the body language and going towards the area they want to avoid...they have learned they do not have to come. Perhaps in the future do not use the come command, instead snap on a leash and take the dog to the desired spot. Lots of treats and play, make the dreaded area a fun place that the dog will connect with happy and satisfying end results. Some dogs enjoy going to their kennel if there is a wonderful raw meaty bone to enjoy for a few hours. For awhile my Dobe and Rottie would not go into the kennel for me when I was going to work. I soon stopped using commands and instead used a Raw meaty bone for bait. They soon learned to enjoy their time in the kennel.
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Old 08-23-2005, 05:53 PM
gaddylovesdogs gaddylovesdogs is offline
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Colby is a stubborn little devil.
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Old 08-23-2005, 09:45 PM
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stubborn > adjective 1) determined not to change one's attitude or position; 2) difficult to move, remove or cure; 3) tenaciously unwilling or marked by a tenacious unwillingness to yield

May I say that my two grrrrls are utterly mule-headed? With all due apologies to mules everywhere, of course. All three definitions fit them perfectly at times . . .

Fran it sounds like Boris is stubborn - and smart, lol!
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  #10  
Old 08-24-2005, 07:40 AM
Fran27 Fran27 is offline
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Yeah that's it Renee, lol.

I know he doesn't do it to tick me off, he just doesn't want to go inside when he does it. He's not much of an outside dog though, 80% of the time when I open the door to let Tips out he will come to the door and just lie down in the kitchen, and they always come back in by themselves after 15 minutes anyway.
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