Home Animals 6 Most Stubborn Animals with Pictures and Descriptions

6 Most Stubborn Animals with Pictures and Descriptions


When we think about stubbornness, we often associate it with humans or pets like cats. However, the animal kingdom is full of stubborn creatures too! From the hard-headed mule to the obstinate goat, there are definitely some animals that don’t like to listen. But there are also other animals that exhibit stubbornness in their own unique ways. 

For example, some birds will refuse to change their migration patterns even if it’s no longer safe, while some primates will hold onto an object or a preferred mate for dear life. It’s fascinating to think about how stubbornness can be expressed differently across different species.

Understanding their behaviour can help us better coexist with these creatures, even if they can sometimes be frustrating. So if you want to learn more about the common stubborn animals around us and their unusual habits, stay tuned.

List of Stubborn Animals


Stubborn Animals

Scientific name: Equus mulus

Mules often get a bad rap for being stubborn creatures. However, it’s important to understand that their cautious nature is what makes them appear stubborn. Mules are actually quite intelligent and trainable. They are hybrids of horses and donkeys, which means they have inherited strengths from both of their parents. While they may seem difficult to work with at times, it’s important to remember that it’s only because they are trying to protect themselves.  

Mules are protective of themselves and yoke mates, hence, their resistance to heavy loads. They will project stubbornness to keep themselves from overexertion. We often hear the phrase “stubborn as a mule,” but perhaps understanding the complexities of the animal can teach us to empathize with their behaviour.



Scientific name: Bos taurus

Bulls are part of the domestic cattle family, and their stubborn nature is well-known by many. It’s challenging to manipulate these creatures, making them challenging to train. However, their determination is admirable. Once bulls decide on something, they stick to it, no matter what. Perhaps this is why the zodiac sign Taurus represents stubbornness, resembling the characteristics of these animals. 

Interestingly, bulls not only depict a highly resilient nature but they are also often associated with brutality and ferocity. Despite these negative implications, bulls play an essential role in agriculture, and they are also celebrated in various cultures worldwide.



Scientific name: Bos taurus

Cows are often thought of as gentle and docile creatures, but they can also be extremely stubborn when they want to be. It’s not uncommon to see a cow standing her ground, refusing to move or obey commands. Some will even kick in defiance, making it difficult for their handlers to get them to cooperate. 

The reason behind this stubborn behaviour is often due to past trauma or painful experiences. Just like humans, cows can suffer emotional distress following a traumatic event. For instance, if a cow has been pushed through a cattle chute and had a bad experience, she may become stubborn and uncooperative in the future.  


Scientific name: Equus asinus

Donkeys have often been associated with stubbornness mostly because they resist being moved or performing a task that they don’t want to do. It is quite common to believe that a donkey is intentionally being difficult and refusing to comply with instructions. However, the truth is that a donkey sees the world differently than a human does, and its apparent stubbornness may be attributed to its instincts. 

A donkey’s tendency to freeze and refuse to move when it perceives danger is an act of self-preservation. During this time, they evaluate the situation and find a way to escape safely, rather than taking the easier route of running or following instructions. Therefore, the obstinacy of a donkey is not a discourteous act, but rather, a survival tactic that we wrongly mistake as an act of defiance.


Scientific name: Capra aegagrus hircus

Goats have always been known to be stubborn creatures. They have a firm mind of their own, and if they have something on their mind, they won’t back down easily. Despite their stubbornness, goats are one of the best domestic animals. They are sociable creatures and get along well with other animals on the farm. 

Caring for goats involves knowing their unique ways of thinking and understanding their perspectives, which can differ from our own. When something hinders them, they may act stubbornly without realizing the solution. However, following the right techniques, it’s possible to transform a stubborn goat into a well-behaved animal. 

By controlling their stubbornness in a gentle, patient way, goats can become a lovable pets on the farm.


Scientific name: Felis catus

Cats make the final entry on our list of animals that exhibit stubborn behaviour. While they are popular pets who are known for their loyalty and endearing qualities, they can also be very unyielding and unpredictable due to their independent nature.

For instance, if you try to feed a cat against its will, it may become obstinate and throw a fit. They may also scratch aggressively if they are not interested in doing something. This is because cats have a tendency to assert their dominance and exhibit an independent spirit, much like larger cats in the wild.

Compared to dogs, cats are generally harder to train as they tend to display their stubbornness, bad temper, and aggression more often. While cats are often affectionate towards their owners, whether or not they choose to obey them is entirely up to their independent nature. They may follow your commands and eat what you give them without issue, or they may simply choose to ignore you completely.


What animal represents stubbornness?


What is an obstinate animal?


What animals do not move?

Sponges, corals, mussels and barnacles do not move and remain in their places for most of the time.

Why is goat stubborn?

Goats are known for being stubborn animals, often refusing to follow their owners’ commands or cooperate during milking sessions. This stubbornness is not just a personality trait – it’s also a survival mechanism. In the wild, goats need to be independent and self-reliant in order to survive.

Final Words

There’s no doubt that animals can be obstinate at times, but some species take stubbornness to a whole new level. Whether it’s refusing to move from a favourite spot or ignoring calls to come inside, the most stubborn animals are some of the most frustrating creatures on the planet. 

Take mules, for example, which are notorious for their stubborn nature and refusal to obey commands. On the other hand, donkeys and goats are also quite headstrong, often digging their hooves into the ground when they don’t want to do something. 

Despite their infuriating tendencies, these animals are still beloved by many, and their tenacity and independence are what makes them so intriguing. 


Author Profile
Jeevan Kodiyan
Zoologist | Wildlife Conservation at Animals Research

An animal enthusiast with an interest in zoology, studying the behavior and activities of animals in the wild habitat. I work on research projects related to species conservation and endangered species protection. I also leverage zoology to become an educator, educating others about the importance of protecting our natural environment and the beauty of animals in their natural habitats.

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An animal enthusiast with an interest in zoology, studying the behavior and activities of animals in the wild habitat. I work on research projects related to species conservation and endangered species protection. I also leverage zoology to become an educator, educating others about the importance of protecting our natural environment and the beauty of animals in their natural habitats.


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