The 11 Hardest Dogs to Train (with Pictures)

Training any dog is always a lot of work, but some breeds are more of a challenge. If you’ve only had easy-to-train dogs like Golden Retrievers in the past, you’ll have to be ready for a bit more work if you get a puppy from any of the breeds I’ve listed below. 

In this article, I’ll talk about the 11 hardest dogs to train and address each breed in detail. 

hardest dogs to train
The 11 Hardest Dogs to Train

1. English Bulldog

Famous for its stubbornness, the English Bulldog is tricky to train. Their lazy demeanor also makes training sessions one of their least favorite things. Be ready to spend extra time and patience getting this breed puppy trained.

English Bulldog stretches
English Bulldog greets his owner by stretching his body.

But most English Bulldog owners think it’s worth it! 

Be aware of your English Bulldog’s potential health problems as you train it. For example, you should know that English Bulldogs are prone to a breathing condition called brachycephalic obstructive airway syndrome

Early training is crucial with the English Bulldog because of the breed’s tendency toward aggression when they’re around cats and even other dogs. 

You must use short training lessons if you want success when training your English Bulldog. After all, you’ve got to contend with a lot of stubbornness with this dog. He won’t get as impatient with short lessons, letting him stay more focused. 

2. Dalmatian

Some people are surprised to hear the Dalmatian is one of the hardest dogs to train. After all, these dogs are known for being firefighters dogs, accompanying the engines way back when. But in truth, this breed takes an experienced dog owner for effective training. 

Dalmatian lying in bed
Dalmatian lying in a white bed.

Like other difficult-to-train breeds, the earlier you start training, the better. Early training benefits any dog, but with challenging training breeds, you should think about hiring a trainer even earlier than you would otherwise. 

The Dalmatian’s tendency to have a shy personality is one of the reasons it is a little more cumbersome to train than the average dog. This breed is comfortable spending time by itself, and it may not be quite as eager to please as other dogs. 

You should find it a good family pet if you start training your Dalmatian early. Most experts recommend bringing your Dalmatian to an obedience class and professional trainer

3. Akita

If you want a dog that is quick to understand commands, be wary of an Akita. You should only consider getting one of these dogs if you’re an experienced dog owner. The Akita is known for being more aloof and independent than other breeds. 

American Akita running
An American Akita running in the field.

It’s hard to get the Akita to do anything they don’t feel like doing. The Akita tends to be a dominant breed, so it’s tricky to get them to think of you as the leader. The Akita is also quite sensitive, so you don’t want to get carried away with showing dominance

If you want to get an Akita, be aware that experts recommend finding a professional trainer with specific experience working with Akitas. It’s best to find a trainer who has earned Fear-Free Certification

4. Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus are known for having “cat-like” personalities because they are aloof and independent. They don’t look like what we imagine as “aggressive dogs,” but without early and thorough training, they can develop this problem. 

black Shiba Inu
A black Shiba Inu in the middle of the street.

The Shiba Inu is another stubborn breed. You should be ready for training to take longer than it would with another breed. Even though the Shiba Inu loves to relax, it can also be aggressive if improperly or inadequately trained

Lack of training can also result in your Shiba Inu suffering from anxiety. And of course, without the right training, your dog isn’t likely to obey you. To effectively train your Shiba Inu, always show consistency.

Like other active dogs, your Shiba Inu also needs abundant exercise. 

5. Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are spunky, but they also have a lazy streak. They love to play, but they don’t particularly enjoy having you teach them things. The Chihuahua likes to follow the beat of its own drum rather than listen to commands. 

Teacup Chihuahua on grass
A white Teacup Chihuahua walks on grass freely.

This breed can have aggression problems if they lack the correct training. If you get a Chihuahua, it’s strongly recommended that you engage the services of a professional trainer. 

Do you have kids? If so, you might not want to get a Chihuahua. The breed is snappy around children, and kids aren’t patient enough to deal with this dog. Additionally, don’t assume that because the Chihuahua is so tiny, it will have a lapdog temperament.

This infamous breed is rambunctious

Chihuahua house training can be challenging, so keep this in mind. You’re likely to have a few more accidents than you would have with an average breed. 

6. Boston Terrier

It’s because Boston Terriers have such an independent personality that it’s tricky to train them. They love to play. However, they want to play their way, not yours.

Boston Terriers are such a challenge that even professional dog trainers find they take longer to train. 

You’ll need a lot of patience when dealing with a Boston Terrier. Boston Terriers are especially difficult to house train. However, with consistent training, the Boston Terrier will catch on because of its intelligence. 

Like other breeds, positive reinforcement goes a long way with Boston Terriers. And start the house training early. The Boston Terrier has a mischievous nature that can make it too tempting to disobey.

Be patient

7. Dachshund

If you get a Dachshund, be ready for a stubborn dog. The Dachshund’s history and original purpose are a big reason for its wilful personality. It was initially bred as a prey hunting dog that would be able to think independently whenever necessary. 

Long-Haired Dachshund sitting
A Long-Haired Dachshund sits comfortably.

Dachshunds are affectionate and loyal dogs but don’t mistake that for being easy to train. The ability to make independent decisions is still strong in this breed, and it may decide that your commands aren’t what it wants to do. 

That is why you should start your Dachshund training as early as possible. Get your puppy from a breeder that understands how to socialize dogs. Be consistent when training your dog, and use positive reinforcement. 

One advantage when training Dachshunds is their intelligence. They learn quickly. You just have to make them see the advantage of following your commands through rewards and praise.  

8. Siberian Husky

There are a few reasons the Siberian Husky is difficult to train. One is the fact it doesn’t have the kind of sustained attention that you see with other breeds. Positive reinforcement is especially important for Huskies. 

Siberian Husky with towel
Siberian Husky wrapped in a white towel while sitting on a couch.

The Siberian Husky is also incredibly stubborn. This breed also needs a huge amount of exercise. That is why physical activity plays an important part in effective training for the Siberian Husky. 

Look into dog sport training in your area. This can play an important part in getting your Siberian Husky to be obedient. You’ll have to be patient when training your Siberian Husky.

Use a lot of positive reinforcement, such as rewards and praise, when doing training. 

As a working breed that is accustomed to hierarchy in the pack, Siberian Huskies benefit from strong leadership. Find gentle and consistent ways of showing them that you’re in charge. 

9. Weimaraner

While it’s not as difficult to train a Weimaraner as it is to teach some of the other breeds I’ve listed here, it’s still quite a stubborn breed. If you have trouble training this dog, hire a professional dog trainer or bring your pet to obedience classes. 

Weimaraner looking up the tree
A Weimaraner looking up the tree in the backyard.

If you’ve never had a dog before, avoid Weimaraners. You likely won’t have the necessary knowledge and experience to properly train this breed.

Start early and take things slow when training this breed. Like with other hard-to-train breeds, positive reinforcement techniques such as praise and rewards are essential for effective training

You should start simple, with commands such as stay, sit, and come. The Weimaraner is famously intelligent, so there is no lack in its cognition or ability to understand. But you may find it a bit on the wilful side. 

10. Basset Hound

It’s this breed’s stubbornness that makes it less responsive to commands than other dogs. While the Basset Hound is a popular breed, it doesn’t tend to be as eager to please as most other dogs

Basset Hound fluffy ears
Cute Basset Hound sits with fluffy ears.

The Basset Hound is a relatively independent dog breed. It’s also sensitive, so if you try negative reinforcement tactics in training, the process will backfire and end up more difficult. 

The Basset Hound needs consistent and loving leadership. Remember that this is a scent-focused dog, and it tends to get distracted when there are new scents around. 

If you want a Basset Hound, be aware that it has certain natural behaviors that you won’t be able to train it to completely stop doing. For example, this dog howls a great deal. If this will bother you, don’t get a Basset Hound. 

11. Chinese Shar-Pei

The Chinese Shar-Pei isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s also inappropriate for an inexperienced dog breeder

Chinese Shar-Pei sits on the grass
Chinese Shar-Pei sits and looks at his owner.

The Chinese Shar-Pei was created as a guard dog. And this breed tends to be a bit more on the reserved side than others. It has a strongly independent and stubborn streak that can make training a challenge. 

If you want one of these dogs, make sure you have access to an experienced dog trainer in the area who can help you train your dog. You should also get your puppy from a breeder that truly understands the breed and how to socialize it. 

Final Thoughts

While these 11 breeds might be the hardest dogs to train, they still have the potential to make a loveable companion. If you choose to get any of these, make sure you’re up for a challenge