Not for Beginners: Hard to Train Dog Breeds First Time Dog Owners Beware!

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Dog training can be tricky and hard work with any breed. However, there are some breeds that are a bit more stubborn and require a little extra time and patience, but in the end will be just as lovable and loyal. Find out which dogs are considered the hardest to train.

When choosing a dog to bring home, it’s important to evaluate what is important to you as an owner. Some breeds are quick learners who take to housebreaking easily and are naturals when it comes to obedience training and tricks. Other breeds, well, let’s just say they have different priorities.

These not-so-impressionable pups have plenty of other lovable qualities, and can make wonderful pets to owners who are willing to take the lead and put in a little extra work. However, they may not be the best choices for first time dog owners, or those who aren’t interested in playing the alpha role. Here are 5 hard-to-train dog breeds.

#1 Beagle

Beagles are smart, and because of that it might surprise you to learn that they are also difficult to train. The reason is that some of that intelligence translates into stubbornness, and their strong hunting instincts mean that they are more likely to take directions from their nose than they are from you. Despite these tendencies, Beagles make excellent family pets; they just require a confident and patient owner.

#2 Basset Hound

People who live with one of these dogs are often referred to as “being owned by a Basset Hound.” This is because Bassets are independent dogs who if left to their own devices will quickly take on the role of pack leader. Similar to the Beagle, the Basset also has a tendency to follow their nose over you. In general, however, these dogs are gentle and sweet. An owner who is willing to take the lead from day one will be most successful.

#3 Chow Chow

The beautiful Chow Chow resembles a lion, and this is appropriate given their strong and sometimes aggressive personalities. These dogs are certainly not for the mild-mannered owner, as they can be incredibly bossy and will assume the alpha role at the first sign of weakness. However, these dogs can make good family pets with the right training. Let your Chow know that humans are in charge, and you’ll be on your way to a healthy relationship.

#4 Pomeranian

You might not expect high intelligence from the Pomeranian, but these soft and fluffy dogs are surprisingly sharp, and have big personalities inside of their little bodies. Many owners of Pomeranians get into trouble when they submit to the cuteness and underestimate their dog’s smarts, resulting in a tiny titan situation wherein the dog thinks they are in charge. These lively and affectionate dogs are good for attentive families who won’t slack on training.

#5 Pug

These small and sturdy dogs are playful, loyal, and get along well with all types of people. However, these wrinkled pups are also pretty smart, and get bored easily when training time rolls around. They have a sensitive nature and aren’t too fond of punishment, so training will require a soft hand in addition to a regimen that keeps them stimulated.

If you are having trouble training your dog, consider contacting a certified trainer, Applied Animal Behaviorist, Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (CAAB), or Associate Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist (ACAAB). Your veterinarian should be able to refer you to one of these experts, and you can also view a list of CAABs and ACAABs at

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