Skip to main content

Which are the hardest dogs to train? Top 10 headstrong hounds revealed

Hardest dogs to train
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Just like how we see our children, we all think that our dog is the best but, despite this, they can sometimes be the hardest dogs to train! 

Even though they’re not very obedient and can be pretty stubborn at times, we still love them dearly and would be lost without them. 

Plus, anything’s possible right? There’s still hope that, with a lot of patience, love and attention, these breeds can become the best mannered pups around. 

Join us as we explore ten breeds of our favorite four-legged friends who might require much more obedience training than the ones found on this list: What are the most obedient large dog breeds?

Read more:

What makes a dog difficult to train?

This could boil down to a number of things. Many commonalities found in the least obedient dogs include being fiercely independent and very intelligent, which when added to the fact that many of them are super stubborn, is the perfect cocktail for making them trickier to train.

From not listening and following simple commands, to chewing things and constantly barking at (seemingly) nothing, there are plenty of ways to spot a dog that is perhaps not as obedient as they should be. 

But that’s okay. As with lots of training, patience, and positive reinforcement from an early age, (most of the time) you’ll have the perfect pup in no time. 

So, let’s take a look at some of the hardest dog breeds to train.

Bulldog

Hardest dogs to train

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Reported as being a dog that is slow to learn, bulldogs are one of the most stubborn breeds around, choosing to do things at their own pace and only if they want to. Walkies can often be a chore but necessary all the while. 

Afghan hound

Hardest dogs to train

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bred to spend their days chasing, it’s unsurprising that these sighthounds have issues concentrating on their owners. Sadly, no amount of training can overcome this natural instinct. However, letting them run free around a large, secure area every week will help satisfy their need to run and chase.

Dachshund

Hardest dogs to train

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Small but mighty, Dachshunds were bred to hunt and dig tunnels in search of badgers and moles. They are often independent, brave, lively, vocal, and stubborn. Due to being a highly intelligent breed, their minds and bodies need to be kept active as doggy boredom can fuel disobedience. 

Old English Sheepdog

Hardest dogs to train

(Image credit: Getty Images)

This iconic breed is incredibly smart and independent. However, they can also be very strong-willed and require a fairly strict training regime that focuses more on respect training rather than dog obedience training. 

Pug

Hardest dogs to train

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Although Pugs can be very easy to please, this small breed can possess quite a stubborn side, exhibiting signs of selective hearing and not wanting to move until they decide they want to. They’re also known for extreme begging when it comes to attention and food, so be sure not to give in to them all the time. 

Boxer

Hardest dogs to train

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bright, energetic, and often very headstrong dogs, Boxers require lots of exercise and mental stimulation to keep unwanted behaviours at bay. This includes chewing things that shouldn’t be chewed and digging... lots of digging.

Chow Chow 

Hardest dogs to train

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Often described as having cat-like personalities, Chow Chows are aloof, intelligent, and stubborn breeds, who commonly choose to ignore their owners. Socialisation from an early age is key, as they are also prone to becoming dog aggressive and territorial without it.

Dalmatian

Hardest dogs to train

(Image credit: Getty Images)

One of the world’s most easily recognisable breeds, Dalmatians were originally bred to have the energy needed to guard horses and coaches. Should they not receive the correct training from a young age or have a poor relationship with their owner, this can lead to them being incredibly disobedient.

Shih Tzu

Hardest dogs to train

(Image credit: Getty Images)

No matter how much you train a Shih Tzu, they will still have their stubborn outbursts from time to time. However, with early intervention, unwanted behaviors such as nipping, excessive barking, and aggression can be trained out of this breed.  

Maltese

Hardest dogs to train

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Maltese are often described as being set in their ways and, if they have been unable to make use of their high energy levels, they may begin constantly barking, chewing, and pacing about, making exercise essential for this breed. 

Chloe Petrylak

Chloe is a freelance writer, editor, and proofreader, who has more than eight years experience in media. With a passion for creating content all about wildlife and the environment, she can be found at www.chloemaywrites.com or @ChloeMayWrites on social media.