16 Most Stubborn Dog Breeds (Tough to Train)

16 Most Stubborn Dog Breeds (Tough to Train)

As a beginner, it will be a real challenge to train a stubborn dog. But, how do identify stubborn behavior? Or wondering Which dog breeds are the most stubborn? To know more check out our list of 14 stubborn dogs.

“Smart breeds” is a group of trainable dogs, adept and fast learners. In the dog world, they are the main protagonists. While “stubborn breeds” are the antagonist in the dog world due to their independent nature. These breeds aren’t dumb by any means but they are difficult to train as they are:

  • Highly intelligent
  • Independent in nature
  • Only obey alpha personality
  • Highly active
  • Strong-willed

These traits make these breeds a bit more tough to train. Being highly intelligent, they require a different approach to training at a young age. Some of the breeds have strong hunting and prey drive, and high scent-tracking instinct prevents them from following your command. While some dogs have been enjoying luxury in the past, making them a little tough to train.

Only a true leader, who is consistent, can handle stubborn dogs. Experience handlers don’t allow them to “have their way”. Once trained properly, stubborn dogs become the best pets.

Most beginners have ineffective training tactics, they must look for easily trainable dogs. Avoid the stubborn dogs on this list.

How to Identify Stubborn Behavior?

Don’t mix stubbornness with other behaviors such as hyperactivity or aggression. Stubborn breeds aren’t rambunctious or reactive. Stubborn dogs frequently don’t follow commands. The best way to improve a dog’s ability to learn is by identifying the resistance cause.

  • May the environment is distracting the dogs
  • The dog isn’t getting enough reward to obey you
  • During training, some dogs will get bored if aren’t mixing it up

Using effective training techniques or better rewards can help you to yield better results.

16 Most Stubborn Dogs That Are Tough to Train

I have formed this list of the 16 most stubborn dogs after getting reviews from different pet owners and trainers to help you make a better choice. Let’s get started.

1.    Beagle

Beagles are best companions and hunting dogs, famous for their tenacity, intelligence, and independent nature. They howl if left alone. Their strong hunting drive forces them to follow the scent and disobey your commands.

It requires consistent plenty of training sessions and exercises to avoid their destructive behavior & getting them bored. Training becomes easy if you have patience and are active. Offer them treats for smoother training.

2.    Dachshund

Dachshund dogs are a bit stubborn naturally as they are hound dogs. This small dog breed will only obey an alpha. They are intelligent, loyal to their family, and courageous with a little independent streak. They love to hunt.

To make them happy, they require an adequate amount of activity. Although Dachshunds aren’t destructive, they get their way, they may lead or run their handler. So the proper amount of training and a strong leader is necessary for dachshunds.

3.    Boston Terrier

This breed is not only lively but also possesses an independent streak. According to most trainers, this breed is hard to train. Boston terrier is a descendant of the bulldog breed (including the French bulldog). Although these are among the most stubborn breed list. They prefer their own will, susceptible to separation anxiety, but aren’t aggressive.

These playful dogs need extra training time and the most effective psychological tricks. At least one year of consistent training will be good to properly socialize them.

4.    Siberian Husky

According to experts and “several studies”, one of the most stubborn dog breeds in the world is huskies. These are very loveable, loyal, and excellent escape artists. Their vocal character, short attention spans, and temper tantrums make them unsuitable for beginners. The husky club of the USA states that even small animals can distract these dogs.

If you become gentle with them they’ll not listen to you and becomes “Alpha”. Plenty of physical exercise & rewards will help you to control this intelligent breed. Provide them with a job (like cart pulling) to avoid destructive behavior.

5.    Scottish Terrier

Scottish terriers are an enchanter, their stunning black coat and gorgeous beard make them handsome pets. But these are fiercely independent and don’t trust strangers. Dignity and steadfast loyalty are also their characters.

It’s very challenging to train these dogs. Be firm a firm leader. Training with food rewards is fruitful. Negative treatments and rough handling will make them disobedient. One year of consistent training will turn them into obedient.

6.    Chihuahua

Chihuahuas are fierce and tiny, and will love to enjoy luxury in your lap rather than working. These are one of the laziest dogs. It is a one-person dog and without proper training can become aggressive.

Inexperienced pet parents don’t know how to provide essential training and make them socialize. Only a professional pet trainer can help you to avoid any problem.

7.    Shiba Inu

The fiercely independent nature makes Shiba inu a stubborn dog breed. They are highly aggressive and aloof with strangers.

Although they are intelligent but hard to train. They want to follow their own will so you have to be strict with them during training sessions. Training for one or two years is compulsory.

8.    Fox Terrier

Fox terriers have boundless energy, an impulsive streak, & an eager attitude. These stubborn dogs don’t back down from any challenge and they will protect their territory unabashedly. They know their worth and place in the family.

Consistent training and firmness are essential factors to socialize them otherwise they’ll take over. Only experienced owners can make it respectful.

9.    Chinese Shar-Pei

This ancient breed is famous for its traits like a blue tongue & wrinkly coat. Chinese sharpies can outsmart their master. They are protective, loyal to the family, and aloof towards strangers.

Their uncompromising character makes them a tough option for beginners. Training with positive reinforcement is helpful to make them obedient. Sometimes professional help becomes compulsory for this stubborn baby.

10. Akita

The Akita is a very dominant, complex guard dog and has a unique strong will. Furthermore, they’re aggressive towards strangers and other dogs. They’re highly protective and reserved.

Although they are talented, the above description doesn’t seem fitting for inexperienced pet parents. Only proper professional dog trainers can mend their behavior otherwise they’ll take over.

11. Dalmatian

Famous for their spotted coat, Dalmatians have their mind. Although they’re extroverts, training can be challenging. They are highly intelligent rescue dogs with a stubborn streak. They are perfect apartment dogs.

You may have to be strict with them during training. You’ve to be a good leader & provide them a proper activity to stimulate them and companionship.

12. Miniature pinscher

Miniature pinschers are one of the most independent, active, and stubborn dogs. These adorable spunky little dogs are related to the Doberman pinscher & inherit their characters.

You have to be a strong leader and remain consistent in training. Constant stimulation, tons of exercise, and a companion is all that they need. Never let them be alpha.

13. Weimaraner

Weimaraner is a beautiful dog famous for the “grey ghost” name. This energetic breed can chase any running thing and it is the main stubborn character.

If you’re a new dog owner, then this breed isn’t fit for you. It’ll be a challenge for you to handle them. Experience and patience can help you to control this beast with proper training. Sometimes the help of a professional becomes necessary.

14. English Bulldog

The English bulldog is also a strong wiled dog breed, strong, challenging and solid. They are very lazy & very stubborn, and best for the owners who aren’t keen to train their pets. They are sweet & friendly despite their fierce looks.

If you want to teach your new pet some amazing training tricks, then this breed isn’t for you. They need a firm & consistent leader who never lets them slip up. Because of their dominant personality, they want to be alpha.

15. Basset Hound

Basset hounds are great hunting dogs, friendly with strangers and other dogs, and greet everyone with a loud bark. They aren’t aggressive and try to avoid any tough situation. Compared to other hound breeds they’re very sweet and intelligent. According to the American basset hound club, this breed is very clever and stubborn.

They are “treat beggars” and will do anything to achieve their goals. They are also very lazy and you will have to force them to train.

16. Bull Mastiff

 Bullmastiffs are very sweet and loyal dogs with big hearts. They are very headstrong and stubborn. The bull mastiff association of the USA says those who are weak and can’t lead will have trouble with this breed.

To maintain the health of this breed, proper training is compulsory. You must have to show them that you’re the boss otherwise they’ll try to take control. Establish household rules and stick to them to make your pet obedient.

How to effectively break the stubbornness of a Dog?

In my opinion, the following tips will prove helpful in breaking the stubbornness of your pet.

Early Socialization

Early socialization is the key to controlling your pet. You must begin the socialization process as early as possible. (before puppy turns 4 months old)

Research Your Dog’s History and Breed

You must know the history and breed of the dog you’re going to own. This will help you to understand their inherited behavior and how well they respond to training.

For instance, if a breed has a hunting background it’ll easily get distracted during training due to its strong prey drive.

Train After Exercise

Train your dog after exercise, as they’ve tons of energy. They’ll listen to you, after you’ve burned their energy and will not run in the yard.

Use High Value & Soft Treats

It’s best to use treats to train your puppy and make them sober. Offer them treats they love the most (high-value treats) at the end of the training session.

Reward your pet immediately after they complete any task and repeat this process several times. You must use soft treats which they can eat quickly and resume their training. Soft treats will help you to repeat the specific behavior easily.

Stick to Rigid Meal Times

Stick to the meal time and offer them proper healthy food, don’t let them only rely on treats. A good healthy meal will not only maintain their health but also prevents them to be used for treats.

Your Call

These stubborn breeds aren’t easy to take ownership of, because it’s tough to train them. Although these are intelligent dog breeds their unruly behavior and strong willpower make them unfit for first-time pet owners. I hope this guide has provided you with enough information to make the right choice.

Let me know if I’ve missed any breed. It’ll be a great pleasure to hear about your experiences with your dog in the comment portion. Please do like & share this article if you found it helpful.


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