hardest dog breeds to train

15 Hardest Dog Breeds To Train And How To Go About It

Owning a dog is a beautiful experience, and dog parents often cannot stop at one. However, deciding on the breed can be the most important part of owning a dog, especially for first-time parents.

Dogs are lovely and loyal; however, they can act stubborn and independent—some more than others. When deciding upon a breed, it is important to know your schedule, the breed’s characteristics, and how much time and energy you will be able to devote to your new family member.

If you end up with a breed that is difficult to train, it can be a very unsatisfying experience for you and your dog. If you are a first-time owner or do not have enough time to invest in dog training, steer clear of the breeds listed below. They are the 15 hardest dog breeds to train. But if you’ve already got one, here are also some tips on training them.

15 Hardest Dog Breeds To Train

1. Afghan Hound


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Afghan hounds are famous for their unique and exotic looks. However, do not adopt the dog for its looks alone. Owning an Afghan can be very difficult if you are a novice owner.

The dog is very independent and listens to commands initially but may later decide to do as they please. It is very loyal but sensitive as well. So, scolding is not going to work. However, they respond well to positive reinforcements, especially food treats. So, start training the dog when it is still a puppy and use food rewards.

2. Basenji


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Basenji is an intelligent and independent breed. The dogs are known for their infamous yodeling sound that they make instead of the usual bark. So the breed can be quite vocal. The Basenji also has a stubborn streak, and according to the American Kennel Club, it is very important to crate train them.

During training, the breed loses interest quite quickly. So their training sessions must be short. Also, the aloof breed learns commands easily, but they may choose not to follow them.

3. Siberian Husky


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This working dog breed is very beautiful but highly active, especially during puppyhood. They need a job to do, or else they get bored, which can result in destructive behaviors. They are very independent and stubborn. As they have a short attention span, they often throw temper tantrums. Also, they are very local and highly prone to separation anxiety.

4. Beagle


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This adorable-looking dog is often depicted as a perfect-family pet in TV shows and movies. However, it has high-energy levels that can get difficult to control during training sessions. They need plenty of exercises; otherwise, they get bored and can become obese.

They are often rehomed because of their barking and howling. This barking habit can be tough to break.

5. Chow Chow

Chow Chow

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The breed is known for its cute looks and lion-like mane. However, owners must also know that the breed is brilliant, stubborn, and dominant. They are also very aggressive towards other animals and strangers.

Their dominant personality makes them difficult to train. It is vital to start training and socializing them at an early age.

6. Basset Hound

Basset Hound

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It is hard to believe that this amiable breed is hard to train. However, they are independent dogs that were bred to hunt. So, they will follow a scent and disregard your command. They are also one of the most difficult breeds to house train. They only respond to food treats and will not follow orders if no tasty reward awaits them.

7. Akita


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The hunting breed is a natural protector and guardian. They also have a powerful prey drive, so you must train them from a young age to protect strangers and other animals. The animal is talented and intelligent; however, you may need professional help for training.

8. Bulldog


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The popular breed is lovely, loyal, and fun. However, they are relaxed — too relaxed — and will just want to lay back and laze around. They are couch potatoes and can be very stubborn during practices.

Training bulldogs takes much longer; however, they respond well to food treats. Begin training them as soon as they walk through your door.

9. Chinese Shar-Pei

Shar Pei

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This ancient breed is known for its wrinkly coat, blue tongue, and non-socializing behavior. They do not get along with anyone except their owners.

The dog is intelligent and has a stubborn streak. Get them started on training and socialization as early as possible.  They are highly territorial so they need appropriate training to avoid developing characteristics like attacking strangers.

10. Borzoi


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They are a hunting breed that gets distracted easily. So, when training outside, keep them on a leash. They are loyal, loving, and affectionate but also stubborn. They have very high energy levels and need daily exercise. They love to run and are very sensitive to harsh tones. Train them using a soft and calm tone of voice, positive reinforcement, and patience.

11. Dachshund


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Dachshunds make lovely and loyal pets. They are an intelligent breed that picks up tricks easily; however, they are also stubborn and easily distracted. They will start running around the yard and get distracted if the training session is not entertaining.

They are also very sensitive, so only train them using positive reinforcement. They are difficult to potty-train, so begin training at an early age.

12. Mastiff


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Mastiffs are huge dogs that you cannot control once they have attained their full height and weight. Start their training when they are young pups—when they are manageable and more agreeable.

The breed gets bored easily, so you will need innovative training methods to retain their attention. They dislike repetition and will not respond well to repetitive training methods. They are also very sensitive, so praise them and make training fun.

13. Weimaraner


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Weimaraners are intelligent, highly energetic, and eager to please their owner. So they are very easy to train — so easy that they pick up every little thing, even the bad ones.

As a result, you must be very careful around your dog and be consistent in your training. You need to be patient with the breed. Seek help from a professional trainer to gain the required knowledge to train a Weimaraner.

14. Fox Terrier

Fox Terrier

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A Fox Terrier is not for inexperienced owners. The dog knows how to get what it wants, and only an expert can get it to follow orders. They have a mischievous streak and will obey the commands they want to follow and ignore the ones they do not want to. Use a strict hand to train them.

15. Dalmatian


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Dalmatians have a mind of their own. So, making them do things they do not want to do is a big challenge. Besides being stubborn, they can also be manipulative. Train them consistently and use reward-based training. If not trained properly, the breed may develop negative characteristics like biting, napping, jumping, and growling.

Methods You Can Use To Train Them


Having a difficult-to-train dog can be challenging, especially when they develop bad habits. Training stubborn dogs can be frustrating and exhausting for the owners. However, do not give up.

Sometimes, a slight shift in method or consistency can go a long way in achieving the desired results. Here are some tips to help you train your stubborn dog:

Go slow: Do not overwhelm your dog or yourself by making the training too hard. If the dog finds it difficult, it is more likely to give up.
Use positive reinforcement: Reward good behaviors to create a positive association with training. Vets around the world recommend it as the most effective method.
Use the right treat: Food treats do not motivate all dogs. Some are not interested in food at all. In such cases, experiment with rewards and determine the one the dog loves the most. It could be a cuddle from their owner or a play session with their favorite toy.
Control the training environment: Try training your dog in a distraction-free area. Use a living room or a kitchen without any of their toys or other items that may cause distraction. If you train outdoors, put your dog on a leash so it does not run behind moving objects.
Keep consistency: If more than one family member is training the pup, ensure you are all on the same page, using the same commands and rewarding similar behaviors. Often, a dog may get confused, and that may come out as stubborn.
Avoid punishment: Punishing your dog disrupts the equation between the two of you. It may cause your dog to lose trust in you and make them aggressive.
Make training a habit: Training doesn’t have to be a once-a-day routine. Incorporate brief training sessions throughout the day. They are more effective than long one-time sessions.
Consult a trainer: If your dog shows signs of aggression, it is better to get an expert’s help. They have the experience and knowledge that can help you overcome the challenge.

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