Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Ontario Canada
Submit Photo: 3
Photo Submissions 119 Times in 117 Posts
Websters dictionary ; Stubborn ... unreasonably or perversely unyielding .
My preferred term to describe this sort of behavior is ...
OPPORTUNISTIC ... by definition is ... "Exploiting chances offered by immediate circumstances without reference to moral principle."
It has been said by many people that dogs can be "stubborn." Many ethologists believe that this is an inaccurate description. When people are experiencing problem behaviors with their dogs , they quite often are not communicating with their dog in a way they clearly understand. Consequently, people think they just have a stupid, "stubborn", or reactive dog. "Stubborn " is one of those red flag words that come up in the "terms to avoid" for finding a reputable dog trainer.
When a dog does not come when called , they are not being "stubborn", they simply are being opportunistic ,ie finding something more appealing than what we're asking of them. It's a case of what is more reinforcing for them. Dogs are not capable of being stubborn as that would mean they are capable of developing a reasoned argument not to do something. I like this analysis from L.C. Kelley from Psychology Today ..."That's one example of the wrong kind of anthropomorphism. Another is that far too many people abandon their dogs because they're perceived as "stubborn," "willful," or "disobedient," all anthropomorphisms. The truth is, dogs can't be obedient or disobedient because even though it's something they're exceptionally good at, dogs themselves don't know what the concept of obedience means. They only know that when their emotions are aligned with their owners' desires they "feel" like doing what their owners want them to. That's all".
Jean Donaldson Culture Clash ...Dogs have " no
hidden agenda, no rebellion, no spite, no mule-headed stubbornness
or attitude in need of adjustment, simply an undertrained response.
If you're taking tango lessons and make a mistake or your kid gets
60% on the math quiz, there's usually no BIG reason. You got it
wrong because you need more practice. Your kid needs more
study. The dog needs more training. It's sad, the astounding
reasons that obedience hobbyists and pet owners come up with to
explain poorly trained responses.
Top Ten Non-Compliance Excuses for Undertrained and
1) Dominance play by dog (or its watered down version –
dog in need of more “leadership”)
2) Dog spiteful because of some recent event
3) Dog stubborn (i.e. disobedience “on principle”)
4) Dog too excited or distracted
5) Dog tired, bored or in wrong mood
6) Dog over-trained (!) and so bored with responding
7) Particular breed-related difficulty
8) Dog under-exercised
9) Dog recently boarded/other disruption in routine
10) Life-phase-related disobedience (too young or too old)
Dave and Molly
Ian Dunbar was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award from I.P.D.T.A. Here's a picture of me accepting the award on his behalf.
Member of IAABC ,International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants , Member of Pet Professional Guild