If your German Shepherd is stubborn you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why your German Shepherd is stubborn and what you can do about it.
So, why is my German Shepherd so stubborn? Possible reasons are that it hasn’t been trained to listen to you, you stopped training it, you inadvertently reinforced the behavior, it’s bored or ill or that you haven’t trained it in stages.
There are a number of things that you can consider when trying to figure out why your German Shepherd is so stubborn. Depending on the cause, there are also a number of things that you can do about it.
Why your German Shepherd is so stubborn
Each of the different reasons why your German Shepherd is stubborn will likely come with a number of clues.
Below, I will mention a number of reasons why your German Shepherd might be stubborn and the clues that they might come with.
It hasn’t been trained to listen to you
While German Shepherds are considered an intelligent breed it is still the case that you need to train it to behave the way that you want it to. If you don’t train your German Shepherd to behave in a certain way then it will not know that it’s what you want.
If you have not taken the time to train your German Shepherd then taking the time to do so will likely help a lot in getting it to be less stubborn. You can train it using some of the tips mentioned below.
You have been training it when it’s distracted
If your German Shepherd is stubborn when there are distractions then it would help to train it when there are distractions around. However, if you jump straight to the distracting environment then it will likely be challenging to get it to listen to you. Instead, it would help to train it in an easy environment and then to build up to one where there are distractions.
You stopped training it
If your German Shepherd wasn’t stubborn in the past but it suddenly became stubborn then it would be likely to be because it forgot its training. This is why it is important to continue to train it to behave how you want it to so that it continues to behave that way.
It learned that listening to you gets it things that it doesn’t want
It could be the case that it did use to listen to you but it has since learned that when you tell it to do things bad things happen.
This would be more likely if you tend to punish your German Shepherd when you tell it to do things or if you only call it when it is time for it to stop playing.
Related post: How to tell if your German Shepherd loves you
You didn’t train it in stages
As mentioned above, it would help to start out by training it in an easy environment and then to build up to more challenging ones afterward.
In addition to that, it would also help to start out by getting it to do things that are easier and then to build up to getting it to do things that are more challenging.
German Shepherds are a breed that is supposed to be getting a lot of exercise. When they do not get so much exercise it can cause them to develop behavioral issues. Generally, it is recommended for them to get an hour of exercise per day. If your German Shepherd is not currently getting that much exercise then it would likely help to make sure that it does.
Related post: Ways to exercise your German Shepherd.
If your German Shepherd has started to be stubborn suddenly then it could be the case that it is ill. This would be more likely if it has been showing other signs of being ill and if it has been acting unusually in other ways as well.
How to get your German Shepherd to be less stubborn
There are a number of things that you can do to get your German Shepherd to be less stubborn that I will mention below.
Train it to do the things that you want
The first thing to do is to take the time to train it to behave the way that you want it to. You can do this by using positive reinforcement training by teaching it easy commands in an easy environment and then by building up to more challenging ones.
You can read about how to use positive reinforcement training to get your German Shepherd to come on command here.
You can look at the book Training Your German Shepherd on Amazon to get more tips about how you can train your GSD.
Avoid negative reinforcement
Negative reinforcement training is where you reward your German Shepherd when it behaves in a way that you do not want it to. If you tend to give your German Shepherd things that it wants when it is stubborn then it could be the case that it has learned that being stubborn gets it things that it wants.
Instead, it would help to train it to behave the way that you want it to and to reward it for behaving in that way.
Give it exercise
As mentioned earlier it is important to make sure that your German Shepherd is getting enough exercise. If it is not currently getting much exercise daily then it would help to give it exercise by walking it, playing fetch with it or getting a dog walker to do it for you.
Ensure that its diet is right
It could be the case that your German Shepherd has been being stubborn due to something that you have been feeding it. This would be more likely if it started being stubborn when you started feeding it something different. You can look here to see what you should or should not be feeding it.
If you are unsure of what food to get for your German Shepherd, consider getting dog food designed specifically for German Shepherds. You can get a GSD specific dog food on Amazon here and one for GSD puppies on Chewy here.
It is unlikely that you will be able to get your German Shepherd to behave exactly the way that you want it to with just one training session. However, if you continue to train it consistently then it will be much more likely to learn to behave the way that you want it to. This is why it is important to have patience when training your German Shepherd.
Things to consider
Before trying to get your German Shepherd to be less stubborn it would help to have a good understanding of what might be causing it. There are a number of things that you can consider but I will mention a couple of more useful things below.
When it started being stubborn
It would help to consider if it used to listen to you but it stopped doing so suddenly. If it did then it would make it more likely that it stopped due to learning that listening to you doesn’t get it rewards.
This would be more likely if it started being stubborn when you punished it. However, it would also help to consider what else happened at around the same time that it stopped listening to you.
If it stopped listening to you gradually, it could be that you didn’t continue to train it every so often and if forgot to do it. To rectify this it would just be necessary to train it again.
When it is stubborn
If your German Shepherd does listen to you sometimes then it would make it more likely that it either needs to be trained in a more distracting environment or it learned when it gets rewards and when it doesn’t.
For example, if it only comes when it is getting fed then it would be necessary to train it to come at different times as well.
This post contains affiliate links. Germanshepherdsowner may be paid a commission from the companies mentioned in this post. This has no effect on the price you pay and we are very grateful for any support.
Most Recommended For German Shepherds
Best German Shepherd Training Program
Our favorite: The Dunbar Academy Training Program. If you want a happy and obedient dog, this is one of the best online dog training programs available right now.
Best German Shepherd Guide
Our favorite: The German Shepherd Handbook (on Amazon) - Shows you all you need to know to keep your GSD happy, healthy and well-behaved.