Is Your Dog Being Too Stubborn or Dominant? Here’s How to Handle It

As much as we love our dogs, they can sometimes make us feel frustrated and annoyed because of their stubbornness or behavior. But these behaviors aren’t impossible to remedy, as long as you know how to interpret your dog’s actions. Identifying the causes will also be helpful.

Dogs can also communicate, so it’s important to pay attention to their actions and surroundings because the causes of their behavioral issues are most likely found somewhere in their environment. If you live in Jacksonville, Florida, for example, getting them into comprehensive dog obedience training can also help, especially when you’re not very confident in handling their stubbornness and dominance.

Here are some tips on how to stop your dog’s undesirable behavior.

Stubborn Behavior

Distraction is one reason why dogs suddenly act stubborn, even if they’re trained. This can happen when they’re trained in a setting free of any distraction. Your dog may think that he/she should only listen and follow you when there aren’t any distractions around. They can lose their focus once they become exposed to a place full of interesting things.

Adding a bit of distraction during training is the solution. Start small, then gradually add more. As your dog learns to focus on your commands even with distractions around, give them a reward.

Your dog can also be stubborn when they’re unsure of what to do. Their uncertainty could be a result of training them of what not to do, instead of what to do. It’ll be better to teach them what they should do instead of what they shouldn’t. This way, your dog can become more confident.

The motivation you give them may also not be enough. Pay attention to what your dog likes. It could be a toy they’re particularly fond of or a treat that they can only get from you. Try to think of rewards better than kibble to motivate them.

If you’re living with other people, ask them to command your dog the same way you do. Confusion in dogs can cause stubbornness; for example, if one family member spoils them and you don’t, your dog may get confused on why he/she isn’t given the same treatment.

Too much energy can also cause stubbornness, so take them on walks and/or runs frequently to burn off this excess energy. If you give them exercise and yet, their stubbornness persists, it could a sign of hyperactivity disorder. Take them to the vet if you suspect that this could be the problem.

Fear may also result in stubbornness, so go easy on your dog when they do something you don’t like. Training them using positive reinforcement instead of punishment will help eliminate fear.



Dogs may exhibit dominance when they become overprotective of their things, like toys, food, or their bed. Punishment, grooming, being stared at, and eating, can also drive them to act dominant. Being stubborn is also a sign of this behavior.

Yelling at them or trying to tighten their collars won’t solve the problem. Your dog may become even more aggressive when you use force against them, and it could injure them, too. Instead of challenging their aggression, make them feel safe and certain that you’re not going to hurt them. You can also let them channel this aggression through games like fetch, chasing, tug, and the like. Teaching them using motivation will also help, like in the case of stubbornness.

Playing with your dog can also help cure their dominant behavior and all other behavioral issues. Burning off their energy could make them too tired to behave undesirably, so keep them active.

If you’re still unsure of how to handle your pets’ behavior, ask a veterinarian for expert advice or engage enrol them in obedience training. Professional trainers are more adept in interpreting a dog’s actions, so you can be sure that they will handle your dog with care and professionalism.

About the Author


Scroll to Top