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Why Are Terriers So Stubborn? (REVEALED!!)

Terriers are a special breed of dogs that were originally bred to scavenge for prey like rats, moles, rabbits, badgers, and sometimes, even bigger animals. To carry out this task effectively, they had to be relentless and stubborn. So, even if you get a terrier as a home pet, you are more likely to notice this trait in them. But besides being stubborn, terriers are also very smart and can be trained but this usually requires a lot of patience.

It’s worth mentioning that terriers often fall out with other dogs. This may be connected to them being bred independently. They weren’t made to socialize much, so getting them to roll with other dogs may not be easy. 

In this article, we will address why terriers are so stubborn and other related questions. 

Why Are Terriers So Stubborn

Are Terriers Stubborn?

Yes, terriers are stubborn. Stubbornness is an evolutionary trait in terriers and that is because they were originally bred to hunt prey animals. And in order to accomplish this, they had to develop a stubborn instinct. Their job also required them to think and make decisions independently. This might present a bit of a problem if you’re trying to home-train a terrier. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t train them successfully; it just requires some patience and love. Even if you’re not 100 percent successful, you can still make a lot of progress. 

As earlier indicated, terriers, generally don’t socialize much, so they don’t normally enjoy “rolling” with other dogs. But they can be taught to – at least, to a considerable extent. 

Why Are Terriers So Stubborn?

As earlier indicated, terriers were bred to hunt for prey animals and that is mostly because of their fearless nature. Sometimes, they can even confront animals much bigger than them. This is only possible because of their strong will and dogged determination. 

For instance, a bull terrier has the tendency to chase after anything that moves. Also, it hardly mingles with other dogs.

Even though stubbornness is seen as a natural trait in most terriers, not understanding your dog’s needs and natural instincts can make the situation worse. That is why it’s extremely important to employ the right training methods and maintain a regular routine. With these, you can get a terrier to exude the best traits including loyalty, tenacity, patience, and love. 

Signs Of A Stubborn Terrier

Many terrier owners have been quite quick to call their dogs stubborn, mainly because of the dogs’ natural tendency to be less social when compared to other dog breeds. But, it is important to properly tell the difference between stubbornness and hyperactivity or even aggression. 

A stubborn dog is one that actively refuses to follow a call or command besides being able to fully comprehend the particular command. 

It’s important to know that there may be a lot of reasons why your dog may refuse to follow a command beside it being stubborn. It could be that they are too many distractions in the space where the command is given. Also, the dog’s state of health (i.e., its physical and mental health) can be a contributing factor. A terrier might not be as responsive as it should if it’s feeling stressed or sick.

How To Make A Terrier Less Stubborn

So, how do you get a terrier to listen to you without making it a “power struggle?”

The easiest way to get your terrier to do what you want is to teach it to follow instructions and reward it when it does obey. You want to keep a treat bag full of what the dog enjoys. 

Just like any other dog, a terrier will be motivated to follow instructions if it knows a reward is going to come from such behaviors. This is one of the best ways to get a “motivated” dog instead of one that is the opposite. 

The key to success J’s to be consistent in rewarding good behaviors. As you keep doing this, you will find that there will be fewer instances the dog appears to be stubborn. 

Why Are Terriers So Feisty?

The main reason terriers are so feisty has to do with how they were bred. As earlier indicated, terriers were bred for the sole purpose of hunting. They are very good at chasing, digging out, and killing pests such as rats, squirrels, and moles. They were also used in chasing out stray cats, dogs, and even human intruders from homes and farms. 

Nowadays, terriers are no longer bred for hunting but they still retain their feisty instincts.  However, a terrier can learn to be less feisty if it is properly trained, especially at the early stages when it’s still a pup.

The right training can make it friendlier, more social, and more accommodating to other pets and humans. A good terrier training book we highly recommend is Terrier-centric Dog Training – a dogwise training manual.

If you plan to have a terrier coexist with other pets in your home, it’s important you take things slowly and not try to force any relationship. Because despite their cute and cuddly look, terriers can be quite aggressive. There’s a greater risk if the pet or animal you’re introducing is a rodent, cat, or a smaller dog. For this reason, it’s highly recommended to start the bonding process early, when the terrier is still young. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are terriers good dogs?

This largely depends on what you term a good dog because people don’t always have the same expectation from their dogs. Generally, if you’re looking for a dog that is alert, playful, determined, courageous, and loving, then terriers will make a good choice. 

Are terriers loyal dogs?

Yes, terrier dogs can be loyal, especially Boston Terriers and Western Highlands. They can be super protective of people and even other dogs they see as family. This is why they often make good family pets and companion dogs. 

What dog breed is the most stubborn?

It’s difficult to say which dog breed is the most stubborn, since stubbornness, besides being an inherent trait, can be caused by a number of factors. Just like humans, a dog’s behavior can be affected by its physical environment, upbringing, mental health, and treatment by people. For instance, a dog that is neglected or treated harshly can turn out to be hostile even if it’s inherently soft. That said, there are dogs that are naturally stubborn though this is not always the case with all breeds. Some are listed below: 

  • Chihuahua 
  • Beatles
  • Huskies 
  • Terriers
  • Dachshund
  • Anita
  • Dalmatians
  • Bulldogs

Final Words – Why Are Terriers So Stubborn?

To crown it all, terriers are great dogs to have around, even though they may be difficult sometimes. Despite their incredibly small size, they can be fun, playful, and very lively. With good training (which may take some time and patience), they are more likely to turn out well-behaved. Choosing the right terrier breed can also help. Some breeds are strangely softer, tolerant, and less aggressive. 

Let us know if you have any more questions about terriers being stubborn or not.