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10 Most Stubborn Dog Breeds That Are Difficult to Train

First published:  June 1, 2022
Last updated: April 29, 2024
10 Most Stubborn Dog Breeds That Are Difficult to Train
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  • Stubborn dogs may refuse to follow commands, even when they know what they are supposed to do. 
  • Most stubborn dog breeds are Beagle, English Bulldog, Dachshund, Jack Russell Terrier, Rottweiler, Dogo Argentino, Chinese Shar-Pei, Afghan Hound, Scottish Terrier, and Weimaraner.
  • Ways to deal with a stubborn dog: Be patient, consistent, and firm. Use positive reinforcement and make training fun. Socialize your dog early and start training them when they are young.
  • Keep training sessions short and engaging.
  • Use high-value rewards, such as your dog's favorite treats or toys.
  • Be consistent with your commands and expectations.
  • End each training session on a positive note.

When you and your family decide it's time to get a dog, it can be hard to know where to start. There are so many breeds to choose from that it's hard to know whether to get a dog from a shelter or a breeder. Breeds of independent dogs with a high prey drive are hard to train because they don't pay attention for long. Today, I will talk about the 10 most stubborn dog breeds.

Just like humans, all dogs have a unique personality and character. The truth is that there are smart dog breeds that are usually easy to train; those are most suitable for first-time dog owners. The dog breeds in this article, however, are the ones you should avoid if you have never had a dog before.  They are smart and make for amazing pet companions, but they show it differently.

Identifying stubborn behavior

A dog wearing a harness while tugging on a dog toy on the sand in the outdoors

People often mistake stubbornness for other things, like aggression or being too active. Dogs that are reactive or naughty don't tend to be stubborn. Instead, they willfully refuse to do what they are told. The only way to improve your dog's learning ability is to figure out why they don't want to be trained.

If you tell your dog to sit ten times in a row and she doesn't, it could be because she doesn't want to. She could also be distracted by her surroundings or feel like she doesn't get enough praise for following orders. Some dogs, like Scottish Terriers, need to be trained in different ways at different times. You might get better results if you try out different ways to train or if you make the rewards you use during training more valuable. If you do think you have a stubborn dog, it would be wise to invest in a quality dog nail grinder to avoid scratches while training them.

In 2019, researchers looked at the genomes of dogs and found that trainability and aggression are two of the traits that are most likely to be passed down. So, it follows that the ability of a breed to learn, remember, and follow commands is in its genes. Every dog is different; especially those with genes from more than one breed. These dogs can also change as time goes on. A 2019 study from Michigan State University found that a dog's personality changes as she gets older and gets more and more like that of her owner.

Top 10 Most Stubborn Dog Breeds

Dogs are people's best friends for a reason - they are loyal, loving, and always happy to see us. However, not all dogs are alike. Some breeds are more stubborn than others and can be more difficult to train. If you're looking for a pet that doesn't require much training, you may want to consider one of the easier dog breeds. But if you're up for the challenge, then check out our list of the 10 most stubborn dog breeds!

#1- Beagle

A beagle wearing a harness in the outdoors during autumn time with fallen leaves on the ground

If you can get it to do what you want, the happy-go-lucky Beagle is a great hunting partner and tracker. With their small size and dangling ears, these cute little guys are great hunting partners and great pets for families. But it will take a lot of time and patience to train them.

#2- English Bulldog

An English bulldog walking through grass in the outdoors

The English Bulldog is another strong, solid, and challenging dog breed with a strong head. Because of how lazy they are, these pets are great for people who don't want to train their dogs. You can't teach the English Bulldog new tricks. These dogs are friendly and great with kids, even though they look mean.

#3- Dachshund

A dachshund running on the beach

Dachshunds are one of the most stubborn dog breeds. When you spend time with this little dog, you can tell that it is brave and loyal to its family. They are also hard to train because they want to do things independently. These dogs are smart, so training that is fun and frequent will help them. If you care about them, they will learn to accept your authority. They might act out if they believe they should be in charge, and if you are impatient with them, they might do so. If you are patient and give your Dachshund a lot of praise, this dog can be a great pet.

#4- Jack Russell Terrier

A Jack Russell Terrier standing on the grass outside

Jack Russell Terriers are one of the most difficult breeds to train. A dog of this breed is well known for having a strong will and never giving up on a challenge. So, as a pet, this is a breed of dog that doesn't pay much attention to what you say! Dogs will listen to you and know what you want them to do, but they will decide for themselves if they want to do it or not.

Start training stubborn puppies when they are very young. Your dog's life should revolve around you, so be firm and consistent when training. This breed needs to know that you are the one who makes the decisions.

#5- Rottweiler

A Rottweiler running on the beach

The Rottweiler is one of the most stubborn dog breeds. Rottweilers are known for being fearless and tough, so they can be difficult to train. This won't be a problem if your training methods are firm and you know what you're doing. They can get along with people and other animals if they are socialized, but because they are smart and sure of themselves, you will have to be careful to show them who is in charge. It is best to begin training them at an early age.

#6- Dogo Argentino

A Dogo Argentino running in a forest

It is one of the hardest and most stubborn dog breeds to train, and it needs to be treated very firmly. If they are trained well, they can avoid fights and make great pets for families. If their owners are scared, they will turn into one of the moody dog breeds that take charge of the pack.

So, if they see other dogs acting in a way that they don't like, they will step in and make things right. Unfortunately, both dogs could get hurt if this happens. The only way to stop this from happening is to follow a clear set of rules and for their owner to make sure they follow those rules. Training and socializing should start as soon as possible. The owners of stubborn dogs who don't know how to train them should get help from a professional.

#7- Chinese Shar-Pei

A Chinese Shar-Pei laying down next to a window

When this old breed is written about, they are often said to be independent. Even though they can be good family dogs, their loyalty has to be earned. A Shar-Pei is known for its original features, like its wrinkly coat and blue tongue. Because these dogs are so stubborn, they need to be trained right away. No matter what, a good trainer is the only one who can make a Shar-Pei dog listen.

#8- Afghan Hounds

An Afghan Hound standing in a forest with yellow leaves in the background

Afghan hounds are not only hard to take care of, but they are also very stubborn. Even though these dogs are smart, they are very independent thinkers, making it hard to train them. They don't respond well to harsh training, so it's better to guide them gently.

When they are socialized from a young age, they are less likely to do things independently, which makes it easier to train them. When you train an Afghan hound, you have to be patient because they are moody and need a lot of discipline.

#9- Scottish Terrier

A Scottish Terrier sitting on hardwood floor indoors with a vase with flowers and a chair in the background

This dog is very loyal to its owner and looks like a king or queen. It only wants to spend time with those close to it. A person who bonds with this breed must always be in charge of such an independent dog. This breed is one of the most stubborn dog breeds, so you should be very proud of it. You have one of the world's smartest, most loyal, and most independent breeds.

#10- Weimaraner

A Weimaraner laying down on the ground in the outdoors

The Weimaraner, also called the "grey ghost," is the last breed on this list. This gorgeous, active dog follows anything that moves.

You shouldn't get a Weimaraner as a first-time dog owner because they can be hard to handle.

Even though they are stubborn, they are not the hardest to train. You have to be patient and know what to do to train them.

We have reached the end of our list. Which breed came in the first place? There's no doubt that these dogs deserve the name, and anyone who has owned one knows exactly what we mean.

Ways to Deal with Your Stubborn Dog

A dog pulling on its leash with its owner getting tugged in the outdoors

You can change your dog’s difficult behavior with just a few simple tricks. Here are some of my favorite tricks.

Go slowly

Start by doing familiar or favorite things with your dog. Rewarding even small successes will create a positive feeling about training. Change one thing at a time when training your dog once it knows that training is a good thing. Once your dog knows how to sit, you can add a small distraction, like the TV or someone else in the room. But if training gets too hard for your dog, they may give up (and so will you).

Take Charge of The Situation

Take care of your dog during training to help it stay focused. Choose a place with a few other things, like your kitchen or living room. Get rid of toys and other things the dogs might want to play with or chew on. However, if they do choose to chew on essential items like their dog beds, here's our recommendation of the best chew-proof dog beds.

Keep your dog on a leash, longline, or inside a fenced area if you are training outside. Even well-trained dogs can be tempted by cats or squirrels or startled by loud noises. You can choose from these most effective training collars The 10 Best Retractable Dog Leashes - Reviews & Buying Guidefor your stubborn dogs.

Check Also: The 10 Best Retractable Dog Leashes - Reviews & Buying Guide

Be Consistent

In your family, you might ask for the same thing differently or reward different things without meaning to. This could make your dog seem like he doesn't want to listen when he's just confused. When everyone who interacts with your dog uses the same cues or commands and gives the same rewards, your dog is more likely to do what you ask. So, if you want to teach your dog to greet people, make sure your kids don't let or encourage them to jump up on people when they come through the door.

Final Verdict

Even though they can be stubborn, all of the breeds we mentioned make great pets.  If they are trained correctly, these animals can make great pets, even if they need a little more training. Before you choose a breed, you should research and talk to other pet owners, vets, and other professionals.

Dogs of any breed can be trained from an early age, regardless of their intelligence. You can train your dogs to stop doing bad things with constant care and training.

If you are thinking about getting one of these dog breeds, make sure you are ready for the many challenges that come with such a decision.

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