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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Animal Behaviorist
Category: Dog Training
Satisfied Customers: 19765
Experience:  Behaviorist /Trainer and Dog breeder 18+ years
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I have a pitbull terrier mix dog that is very stubborn. She

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I have a pitbull terrier mix dog that is very stubborn. She doens't always come when we call her. She does most of the time, but recently she tends to ignore us when we call her to come into the house. We have a backyard and we usually let her out to do her business and then she comes back in. when we call her to come back in, she doens't always listen. My boyfriend says that we pet her too much and she thinks she's the boss. Is this true, is it bad to pet the dog all the time? could this be causing this behavior?

Hi Jacustomer,


My name is Jane. I have worked with animals professionally for over 17 years dealing with both health and behavioral issues. I have over 14,000 satisfied customers. It will be my pleasure to work with you today. .


It isn't bad to pet a dog or show them affection, but they should do something to earn that affection. First I'll give you a tip on how to get her to come to you every time. Many dogs don't come when called because they have learned that the only time they are called is when fun time is over. People call their dogs to them to make them come inside or to stop chasing prey (cats) or to be put on leash (end of free running time) or even crated. The only association they have with the come command is negative.


Dogs also find chase to be a highly amusing game and have learned that if they get close to a human, the human might chase them. They love a good game. So what you need to do is make coming to you more pleasurable.


The easiest way is to reward your dog with small tiny treats and praise whenever your dog comes to you when you give the command. Do this even when the dog wants to come to you. After a few treats, the dog will associate coming to you with getting treats and praise. Outside, you will want to use a long lead. Do not drag your dog to you, but say the command and if the dog doesn't come, give the leash a short tug. Start with short distances and gradually extend the distance as your dog becomes more familiar with the command. Over time, you will reduce the treats and increase the praise until praise is the only reward. Another thing to remember is to never call a dog to you to discipline it, go to the dog. During training I don't call a dog to me unless it is going to be pleasant for the dog. I usually don't have much of a problem since the dogs quickly learn that I have thinly sliced hot dog treats just waiting for them to obey me.


I alway recommend starting inside since most dogs are more than willing to come when inside. You can even have a helper and both call the dog to them in turn rewarding the dog for coming to you. Don't use regular boring treats. Make them hot dog slivers or liver slivers.


I'd also start obedience training. The following site has great instructions on obedience training though you have to click on the link that says obedience and navigate to the various commands.

Training should be done twice a day for 15 minutes each. I would also recommend the nothing in life is free program (NILF). It is described on this site:


If you start training and use the NILF program, I think you will see such a great change in her behavior that both you and your boyfriend will be surprised.


I hope this information is helpful to you and you are satisfied with my response. If you would like any additional information or have more questions please don’t hesitate to press the reply to expert or continue conversation button so I can address any issues you still have .


If you have questions in the future that you wish me to answer, you may click here and bookmark the page or make it a favorite. It is best to put my name "JANE" in the question as well. Please recommend me to your friends and family members if they have any problems with their dog as well. I would truly appreciate it.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.



Thank you for your response. The dog has had training and has always come to us when called. This is recent behavior. She listens most of the time but recently she doesn't always come when called. I was wondering what the cause could be. Also, just so that I am clear, it is not good to pet a dog just because we want to?

She was a puppy before but now she is maturing into an adult female with a will of her own. She is challenging your place as boss by not listening. If you do not restart obedience, it will progressively become worse until she is nipping at you.
You should not give affection just because you want to. Submissive member fawn over alpha dogs showering them with attention. If you do this to her, she will see you as submissive. A simple sit is all that is needed before showing her attention. It results in a well rounded obedient dog.
Jane Lefler and other Dog Training Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you for your reply. I will try the obedience training again to make sure she remains that way. Thank you.

You are very welcome. Thank you for the excellent rating.