11 Most Stubborn Dog Breeds That Require Extra Training Sessions

most stubborn dog breeds

Does your dog ignore commands and practically laugh in your face when you say “sit” or “come?” Some stubborn dogs are easily distracted, not interested in pleasing their human, or just don’t like being bossed around. Can you blame them? They aren’t rambunctious; they just ignore commands because they are headstrong.

Most stubborn dog breeds respond to positive reinforcement but might need more training sessions than other pets. A lot of people get professional help with training in the form of obedience classes or a private training session at home. Patience and tasty treats are two of the necessary tools for success.

Let’s talk about stubborn dog breeds and the owners who try to train them.

Recognizing Stubborn Behavior

How do you know if you have a stubborn dog? Sometimes, it requires a little psychological sleuthing. Does your dog seem easily distracted? Perhaps your pooch doesn’t feel that you make it worth their while to obey.

Some canines become bored with training because they are very intelligent and don’t like the repetition. With a little ingenuity, you can make it more interesting.

They need their owners to use varied training exercises. Deliciously motivating treats and making training sessions exciting games are important. Lots of enthusiasm and praise help. Sometimes, a little guidance from a professional can help you train your pup.

Being stubborn is also inherited in the ability to learn, remember, and actually choosing to comply with commands are genetic. When you figure out the cause of your dog’s resistance, you can use techniques to get around it and train them. It’s all about cause and effect.

1. Akita

stubborn dog breeds
HEIGHT24-28 inches tall
WEIGHT 70-130 pounds
SHEDDING FACTORTheir medium-length double coat needs weekly brushing. Twice a year fur tsunami when they blow coat.
LIFE SPAN10-14 years

One of the Japanese dog breeds, Akitas are known for being protective, “profoundly” loyal, dignified, brave, affectionate with family and friends, love human companions, and need to be socialized at a young age because they have a high prey drive from their hunting genes.

They are one of the stubborn dog breeds, but training with positive reinforcement at a young age should yield great results.

The dominant Akita, a Japanese hunting pup, is such a stubborn dog that they may just walk away mid-training session. Delicious snack rewards and fun yet firm training techniques are your only hope to give stubborn breeds proper training.

They think they can get away with things because of their good looks. Akita dog owners know that they are worth the extra training time and patience.

Akitas don’t tend to like other pets and children, but mine were great with my cats. My Akitas didn’t love children except for their human siblings. They were also wary of strangers.

2. Chihuahua

most stubborn dogs
HEIGHT5-8 inches tall
WEIGHT6 pounds
SHEDDING FACTORSmooth Chichis need occasional brushing. Rough-coated Chichis need weekly.
LIFE SPAN14-16 years

The Chihuahua is affectionate, playful, sassy, vigilant, loyal, charming, and likes barking. They need training or will think they are in charge. Perhaps being a lap dog makes the Chihuahua think that they are royalty and don’t need to listen to their owners.

There are seven types of Chihuahuas, and they are all probably stubborn dogs. Chichis can be aggressive and fierce, but they are also great pets.

With their cousins featured in prominent roles in films like “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” “Legally Blonde,” and the television show “Sex and the City,” why should your Chichi bother listening to your inane commands?

3. Shiba Inu

what is the most stubborn dog breed
HEIGHT13.5-16.5 inches tall
WEIGHT17-23 pounds
SHEDDING FACTOROnly long-haired Shibas need regular brushing
LIFE SPAN13-16 years

The Shiba Inu is loving, friendly, independent, protective, alert, attentive, and needs mental stimulation. They are like smaller versions of the Akita. It seems that protective dog breeds are stubborn dog breeds.

Shibas need to be properly trained at an early age, or they can be aggressive. Shibas have been around since 300 BC. They are the most popular dogs in Japan. Why should they have to please us?

Elon Musk has a Shiba, and before he began using X as the Twitter symbol, he used an adorable drawing of a Shiba for a day or so.

4. Scottish Terrier

most stubborn dog
HEIGHT10 inches tall
WEIGHT18-22 pounds
SHEDDING FACTORTheir double wiry coat needs to be hand-stripped
LIFE SPAN12 years

The Scottish terrier has an independent streak and is affectionate, playful, a watchdog, fearless, determined, confident, loyal to their family, spirited (that sounds stubborn), needs mental stimulus, and loves barking.

Their prey drive is still intact after years of hunting vermin. We recently had an overnight Scottish terrier guest that terrorized my Chow mix despite being half my doggy’s size!

Watch out for those kooky Scotties! They think that being a handsome terrier allows them to do whatever they want.

There are 13 types of stubborn Scottish dog breeds.

5. English Bulldog

most difficult dog breeds
HEIGHT4-15 inches tall
WEIGHT40-50 pound
SHEDDING FACTOR2-3 quick brushings a week are ideal for their short coat
LIFE SPAN8-10 years

The English Bulldog is loving, friendly, playful, very trainable, courageous, and calm. You wouldn’t think that a calm dog like the bulldog is one of the stubborn dog breeds, but perhaps the English bulldog is too chill to perform tricks and obey commands. The English Bulldog likes to walk and play but isn’t as interested in being trained (it can be demeaning).

These canines are known for their lazy lifestyle, strong will, and super high intelligence — a triple threat to obedience training. Veterinarians call these dogs stubborn.

Some people think Bulldogs look fierce, but they are gentle dogs.

6. Dachshund

stubborn dogs
HEIGHT8-9 inches tall (standard)
5-6 inches tall (miniature)
WEIGHT16-32 pounds (standard)
11 pounds and under (miniature)
SHEDDING FACTORCome in short hair, long hair, and wire hair — long hair sheds the most
LIFE SPAN12-16 years

The Dachshund comes in standard and miniature sizes. These little wiener dogs are loving, curious, spunky, friendly, playful, smart, independent, good with other dogs, and vigilant. The Dachshund makes a good watchdog.

They were originally bred to dig into badger dens and flush out the badgers, so make sure they exercise, or they will be digging holes, chewing shoes, or chasing your other pets.

I think that protective dogs want to focus on their sentry job and don’t feel they have time to obey orders (or any interest in doing so), and that’s what makes them stubborn dogs. Other than that, they are excellent family pets. There are six types of Dachshunds.

7. Chinese Shar-Pei

hardest dogs to train
HEIGHT18-20 inches tall
WEIGHT45-60 pounds
SHEDDING FACTORShort coat requires minimal grooming
LIFE SPAN8-12 years

This dog breed is one of the most popular Chinese dog breeds. The Chinese Shar-Pei is protective, independent, loving, loyal, and calm. Despite being stubborn, the Shar Pei is intelligent and a guardian.

The key Shar Pei adjective here is independent because a dog (or person) with an independent mind doesn’t want to be bossed around (read, trained). They, like my Chow-mix, have a blue tongue.

Chinese Shar Peis were trained for hunting and herding, so they learned how to do their Shar Pei jobs efficiently and think for themselves. So, the intelligent Chinese Shar Pei can be difficult to train. They will spring into action if they feel their family is in danger.

8. Bull Terrier

what is the most disobedient dog breed
HEIGHT21-22 inches tall
WEIGHT50-70 pounds
SHEDDING FACTORShort coat just needs a weekly brushing
LIFE SPAN12-13 years

Bull terriers are loving, charming, friendly, playful, mischievous, muscular, and need stimulus. They are also known to be comical, independent, entertaining, and one of the stubborn dog breeds. There’s that word “independent” again. A bit challenging for obedience training and stubbornness. Bull terriers are one of the types of bully dog breeds.

They have strong personalities and don’t tend to like other dogs. Bull terriers need exercise, attention, and early socialization and training.

Even stubborn dog breeds will respond if you have great snack rewards and patience, and make it fun for them.

9. Afghan Hound

hardest dogs to train
HEIGHT25-27 inches tall
WEIGHT50-60 pounds
SHEDDING FACTORMatting and tangling can be avoided with several hours of brushing a week
LIFE SPAN12-18 years

Afghan Hounds are sweet, aloof, agile, powerful, silly, demonstrate profound loyalty, and have an independent mind. Their long, silky fur protected from the harsh cold in the Afghan mountains.

This elegant hound dog breed was used for hunting. Being aloof and having an independent streak are certainly qualities that make Afghans qualify as one of the stubborn dog breeds.

My husband wants to fulfill his childhood dream of having an Afghan, so I might experience their stubbornness first-hand someday.

10. Boston Terrier

hardest dog breeds to train
HEIGHT10-12 inches tall
WEIGHT12-25 pounds
SHEDDING FACTORNot much shedding, but a weekly brushing keeps them clean
LIFE SPAN11-13 years

The Boston Terrier is friendly, playful, a good watchdog, intelligent, amusing, loving, alert, good with kids and dogs, and a fun breed. The Boston terrier makes a nice pet but requires extra effort for training, making them headstrong and one of the most stubborn dog breeds.

Maybe intelligence is a factor in stubbornness. They question our authority and see no reason to comply with our “suggestions.”

They are also prone to separation anxiety. Leave toys, food puzzles, bully sticks, and the TV on, or get them a companion animal if you are not home a lot.

11. Siberian Husky

what is the hardest dog to train
HEIGHT20-23.5 inches tall
WEIGHT35-60 pounds
SHEDDING FACTORDouble coat means weekly brushing and fur tsunami twice a year
LIFE SPAN12-14 years

The Siberian Husky is playful, energetic, friendly, loving, loyal, mischievous, good with kids and other dogs, graceful, powerful, needs a mental stimulus, and likes barking. Huskies are too friendly to be guard dogs. Siberian Huskies are pack animals, so they enjoy family life and make nice pets. The Siberian husky does have a prey drive and may not be good with a family cat. There are 22 types of Huskies!

Siberian Huskies are one of the most popular breeds in the dog world, so people seem to be able to deal with their stubbornness. Don’t let a Husky trick you with their good looks. Also, first-time pet owners need to know that Husky dogs are escape artists and have short attention spans (me, too!).

They require tons of exercise and are unsuitable for first-time pet owners. An experienced dog owner can handle them better.


What Dog Is the Hardest To Take Care Of?

There’s a lot of debate on this. Different sources say Akitas, Afghans, Malamutes, German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Jack Russell Terrier dogs, etc. There are many stubborn breeds that actively choose not to follow commands.

What Is the Hardest Dog To Have?

Some say that Akitas are the most difficult to train and a stubborn breed. They aren’t for first-time dog owners, but my adopted Akita and Akita-Lab were very sweet and well-behaved.

What Are the Toughest Dogs?

A few sources report that Afghans are the most difficult to train because they are stubborn dogs.


That is our list of the most stubborn dog breeds. They can be trained, but you need very motivating snack rewards, patience, and perseverance. Imagine if someone walked up to you and started giving you commands. We wouldn’t like it, either.

Some canines are more eager to please the alpha of their pack than others. Pet owners need to consider the stubborn breed factor when choosing their dogs.

The most stubborn dog breeds above are popular, so they have qualities that people love, like being protective, loyal, intelligent — and, of course — loving companions. They are just a little difficult to train. Some people enjoy a challenge.

When you train your pooch, you should start in a quiet place, like your backyard, to minimize distractions. Once they master commands there, you can go to the park and try it. Small steps, consistency, and making training a game are good tools. You can take an obedience class or have professional help or a trainer visit your house.

Elise Margulis
Elise Margulis is a talented animal writer and a devoted pet parent residing near Manhattan in a cozy suburb. With a Chow mix and a rescued Siamese as her loyal companions, she's been animal-obsessed since childhood. Penning informative articles on pet nutrition, health, and animal welfare, she's also an avid advocate for adoption and animal rights. When she's not writing, she serves as the editor of two local online news sites. Working from home with her fur babies, she advocates adoption and animal welfare through volunteering and social media. A true animal lover and vegetarian for over 31 years, she's on a mission to raise awareness and make the world a better place for all creatures.

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