6 Dog Breeds That Are Hardest To Train

Some pups are domineering and stubborn, while others are ready to please and eager to learn. Find out which breeds need lots of patience and treats.

Here’s what you should know, when it’s time to teach your puppy.

Although not every pet owner is concerned with her dog’s ability to bow or shake hands, the majority of us want our pets to understand basic instructions. We’d like that they sit rather than jump up on guests and come when we call them while they’re off-leash in the park, for example.

Fortunately, most pups are eager to please, and training may begin as early as eight weeks old, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). According to Mary R. Burch, PhD, an AKC Family Dog Director, some breeds appear to be simpler to train than others, but “easy” and “hard” are relative terms. Burch, who is also a licensed applied animal behaviorist, believes that describing a breed as “difficult” implies that it isn’t intelligent, which isn’t true.

She adds that most breeds were created to do certain tasks, like as herding or guarding, and that “tough” does not equal “stupid.”

Afghan hounds


Afghan hounds have a dignified, royal, and aloof demeanor, according to Burch, and the puppies in the AKC Hound category are sensitive and loving. They’re clever yet independent, and their aristocratic demeanor make them unsuitable for everyone, according to the AKC. Owners of this affectionate, loyal breed should be aware that they are free thinkers who require creativity and good training approaches to pique and maintain their attention. Because Afghan hounds have a strong hunting drive, they will chase after anything that looks like prey, even if it’s a neighbor’s cat, so be cautious while walking your dog or meeting a new animal.



The Basenji is a tiny African dog that hunts by scent as well as sight. It’s a part of the Hound family and is clever, smart, and poised, according to Burch, but be warned that these pups lose interest in things fast, making them difficult to teach. Basenjis, like Afghan hounds, are independent and aloof, according to the AKC. They’ve been dubbed a “cult breed” since there aren’t many of them, at least in the United States. Because these meticulous dogs, like felines, like to clean themselves all over, they’re sometimes referred to as “catlike.”

They can be aloof and should be allowed to initiate contact with people or other animals, so don’t expect them to make friends right away in unfamiliar circumstances. One of the most common mistakes dog owners make is allowing their puppies to approach one other too quickly.

Basset hounds


Basset hounds are recognized for their ability to track smells, coming in second only to bloodhounds in this regard. Burch describes the puppies as sociable, sensitive, loving, and even-tempered, yet they may also be obstinate and self-reliant. The mature dogs were popular with aristocratic hunters in France and Belgium, where the breed originated, since once they start following a trail, they don’t stop. However, this also implies that Bassets can be deliberate and apprehensive about changing their behavior when you ask them to.

The puppies make great family companions at home, and they’re eager to make friends with nearly everyone, so don’t expect to train them as security dogs. Their droopy features may appear unhappy, but don’t make assumptions about their emotions based on their appearance.



You’d think that bloodhounds, which excel at tracking missing persons, would be simple to train for law enforcement officers and even regular pet owners. Bloodhounds, like Basset hounds, may be obstinate, according to Burch. It might be difficult to divert their attention away from whatever they’re following once they’ve picked up a smell. On the plus side, once a bloodhound is on the trail, he will not give up until the job is finished. Don’t give up on your workouts, though, Jackson advises.

Veterinarians and experienced pet trainers are always available to help if you’re having trouble deciding when it’s time to call in the experts.” Reward your bloodhound puppy with treats or snacks when he responds well to training, but don’t go overboard; this might lead to obesity. Bloodhound puppies, one of the cutest dog breeds, are bound to make you fall in love.



Chihuahuas are charming, feisty, confident, and clever, according to Burch, but their personalities may be larger than the owners who carry them in handbags. Despite the fact that adult Chihuahuas seldom weigh more than six pounds, they may be as demanding as big dogs. 

Expect some attitude from these cute dogs, but make training pleasant for them and provide plenty of delectable goodies, and they’ll swiftly learn their skills, according to AKC experts. Chihuahuas are, after all, one of the prettiest little dog breeds.



Borzois, often known as Russian wolfhounds, are clever, quiet, and pleasant dogs, according to Burch. These lovely Afghan hounds are beautiful, aristocratic-looking, and graceful, and they have a catlike demeanor like Basenjis. When they spy a squirrel or another dog, they’ll take advantage of a lost leash—or an unrestrained walk—to follow their instincts and give chase.

To keep your Borzoi happy, make training sessions lighthearted, upbeat, and enjoyable, and be patient and gentle if she’s afraid of new sights and sounds, according to the Borzoi Club of America. They advise against sending a Borzoi for training. Instead, they advise pet owners to spend time with their dogs and form bonds with them.