When prospective pet owners research any dog breed, they will often come across an assessment of how easy they are to train. Training is a big part of dog ownership and it is useful to know how much time you will have to spend on dog training sessions. It’s rare for websites to actually state that a particular breed is difficult to train. Instead, they politely describe them as stubborn dog breeds or warn that they can have a stubborn streak.
Of course, dogs are like humans in that they all have a unique character and personality. However, it is true that there are intelligent dog breeds (who are generally easy to train) and who may be more suitable for novice dog owners. The most stubborn dog breeds can be very challenging and may not be the best choice for you if you have never owned a dog before. They too are often intelligent but express that intelligence in a different way!
Even these breeds can be trained by many owners provided they have plenty of patience and are willing to call in professional help if needed. Opinions on the most stubborn dog breeds differ but here is a list of the 10 dog breeds who are known to have a strong will and an independent mind!
1. Siberian Husky
Siberian Huskies prove that intelligence is not the same thing as being easy to train. They are highly intelligent dogs and are one of the most beautiful dog breeds on the planet but are well-known for being a very stubborn breed.
The Siberian Husky has very short attention spans but have boundless energy – this can be a destructive combination. They are strong willed and like to have their own way and can be very vocal when they don’t get it. This means that a Husky will be too much for inexperienced dog owners to handle and are often named as the most stubborn dogs around.
They may look as if butter would not melt in their mouths but Beagles require a lot of training! They were originally bred as hunting dogs and have an independent streak. This is not a bad thing when they were out hunting in remote locations but is not so great when you want them to be a family pet!
Beagles need a lot of physical and mental stimulation and careful training to make sure that they respect their human companions. Be prepared to reward your Beagle constantly and to have to deal with regular destructive behaviors if these stubborn dogs are left unsupervised.
For a wider selection of choices, check out our Dog Food for Beagles guide.
Another surprising contender for the most stubborn dog breeds award! Who would have thought that the super cute Dachshund would be a stubborn pup. The problem is that they too are hunters at heart and that independent attitude can result in a stubborn dog.
This does not mean that they cannot be a loving family pet provided you have the skills and patience to dedicate to obedience training. Despite their small size, they need plenty of exercise and you need to be firm and consistent so that they respect you. Don’t let these pint-sized pets take over your home.
4. Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russel Terrier was bred to be an independent thinker and to take responsibility for their own actions. As pets, this makes them a dog breed that does not take a lot of notice of what you are saying! Your dog will listen to you and will know exactly what you want them to do but they will weigh up whether they want to do it or not.
To deal with stubborn pups you need to start at a very young age. Make sure that you are the center of your dog’s world and use firm and consistent training. This breed needs to know that you are the boss and that you make the decisions.
5. English Bulldog
English Bulldogs look a little intimidating but are usually big softies. They love their owners but can be quite lazy and are the couch potatoes of the dog world. You also have to be careful when you exercise them because their breathing and their joints do not cope with over-exertion.
You need a lot of patience and food rewards to train them successfully. A choke collar is never appropriate for this breed. If you are not that interested in training dogs to do anything clever, the English Bulldog breed are the best dogs for you because they can’t be bothered either!
6. Chinese Shar Pei
These dogs must also be well socialized or their protective nature can turn into a problem. Having said that, they are very loyal to their humans and are one of the more emotionally intelligent dog breeds. You just have to direct that intelligence into something constructive and not allow them to take over.
7. Scottish Terrier
The Scottish Terrier is a vocal dog who thinks that obedience is not a compulsory characteristic! Take particular care when they are off-lead because they are likely to ignore you. Recall training can be a challenge.
With their stunning black coat and distinctive beard, they can charm their owners so it is important to show them who is boss from a young age. They also tend to attach themselves to one person which makes them a handful for anyone else – this is something to bear in mind if you intend to put them in dog care.
8. Basset Hound
For these notorious scent hounds, life is all about sniffing. If they detect an interesting smell left by other dogs or other animals they will stop listening to your commands and follow it! This is a problem if you need them to return to you straight away. They are not actually ignoring you, they just find the smells more interesting.
However, there is still a lot to love about these dogs so don’t dismiss them. They have zero aggression towards other dogs and other pets and make a lovely companion. If you can side-step their tendency to be stubborn and manipulative to get what they want, you will have a charming and loyal pet.
9. Dogo Argentino
These dogs are one of the breeds that need very firm handling from day one and are amongst the most difficult dog breeds to train.
In the right hands, they will learn to avoid confrontation and will make excellent family pets. However, if they have a timid owner, they will resort to being one of the moody dog breeds that takes on the responsibilities of pack leader.
This means that if they see other dogs behaving in ways that they do not approve of, they will step in and sort it out. Sadly, this can lead to both dogs getting hurt. To overcome this, they need a very clear set of rules to live by and an owner that will enforce those rules. Obedience training and socialization need to start very early with this breed. Professional help should be sought by owners who do not have experience in training stubborn dogs.
Sometimes called the gray ghost dog, these dogs are as beautiful as they are energetic. And they need a lot of exercise so be prepared for this! You cannot just leave them in your backyard and expect them to find amusement themselves – they will become frustrated.
These dogs will assume that they are in charge if you do not show them that this is not the case. It is one of the hunting breeds that will try to assert their dominance – in the wrong hands this can tip over into aggression. Certain breeds are not suitable for first-time dog owners who do not know how to train a stubborn dog and this is one of them!
Take a look at our review of the Best Dog Food for Weimaraners for more info.