12 Least Obedient Dog Breeds

Siberian husky puppy with blue eyes

With the right attitude, any canine companion responds to appropriate training – most of the time,

the responsiveness of a particular dog often has to do with the style of

training, and the amount of attention and time given to teaching your pup in the first place!

Having said that, there are definitely other factors that pet owners should think about when it comes to beginning to teach your dog the basics of obedience.

Age, size, experience, and yes, breed can all play a part in how easy (or difficult) it can be to train your pup.

For one reason or another, there are several breeds that seem to love presenting a challenge to their long-suffering owners – let’s take a look at 10 of the most stubborn dog breeds.


purebred afghan hound

1. Afghan Hound

Testing has placed the Afghan Hound breed among those with the least genetic divergence from the wolf on some markers, meaning that it’s descended from some of the oldest dog types.

Perhaps this is the reason Afghans can be challenging when it comes to obedience – bred for long distance hunting, these long haired, graceful dogs are aloof and independent to the extreme!

Afghans needed to rely on their own judgement when hunting in their native areas, and they’re definitely the free-thinkers of the canine world.

They’re far from dumb, but you’re not going to have an easy time teaching your Afghan to obey your every whim – they’re more likely to just do their own thing.

2. Basenji

With their distinct character traits, Basenjis can be some of the most endearing, yet frustrating breeds to own.

Another ancient hunting breed that closely resembles a dingo, the Basenji is a busy, inquisitive pup with a keen and clever intelligence, and one who often couldn’t care less about what his owner wants!

Let them off the leash at your own risk – unless they feel particularly motivated, they’ll be far more interested in chasing whatever catches their attention instead of returning to your side.

Basenji owners soon learn that very consistent, positive reinforcement and strong leadership is a must.
a cute Pug dog lying on a plaid

3. Pug

Easy to fall in love with at first sight, Pugs are huge personalities in small bodies. After being captivated by their big brown eyes, funny faces and stubby bodies, however, you might find that a Pug’s personality isn’t quite what you expected – they’re independent, naughty, and have a penchant for getting into absolutely everything – especially if it’s edible!

The good news is that because of their large appetites, Pugs respond well to food rewards, but don’t be surprised if punishing or correcting your little snort-face isn’t effective – they don’t tend to change their ways easily.

These little dogs also have a reputation for avoiding the harsh elements – many refuse to eliminate outside in rain, snow or colder weather, and will often prefer to happily potty indoors instead!
White Chow-chow Dog

4. Chow Chow

As a large and powerful breed that originated from Imperial China, the Chow Chow doesn’t lack for intelligence, but like many other dogs on this list, possesses a strong will and unique sense of independence.

They just don’t have that immense desire to please like some other breeds! (ahem, looking at you, Golden Retrievers)
For many Chow owners, this isn’t a bad thing, but can lead to some frustrating times for those new to the imperious, dignified and initially suspicious nature of the breed.

They prefer to please themselves first and don’t respond to the average methods of training and motivation, and physical correction and punishment just serves to make them fearful or likely to lash out.

Treating the Chow with respect and using a variety of positive training styles can help increase your bond and the level of response from your Chow.
Bloodhound puppy

5. Bloodhound

You can probably guess why Bloodhounds make the list here – their selective hearing is caused by…you guess it…their noses!

These ponderous hounds are the best of the best when it comes to scent tracking, and although they are naturally docile and gentle as adults, it can be very, very hard to redirect their attention back to you if they catch wind of something more interesting.

The Bloodhound is such an excellent tracker the breed is used worldwide for many rescue or criminal searches, and a Bloodhound’s evidence is even admissible in a court of law in some places. These hounds are another breed that should never be left alone off leash – instinct will lead them to wander off to follow a scent in a flash.


6. Pekingese

Dating back 8th-century China, Pekingese were one of the breeds prized in the emperor’s court – having sat on the laps of kings and queens with free reign of imperial palaces, they still haven’t gotten over that entitled attitude!

Pekes are intelligent, dignified and confident, and have their own definite ideas about life, from how they’re being petted to where they like to sleep – and being fearless, they have no qualms about expressing those opinions, either.

This breed thrives on attention, but firm boundaries are a good idea as they can quickly become protective and snappish without the right socialization and training.

English Mastiff in garden

7. Mastiff

“What’s in it for me?” could easily be a common question that you would hear from Mastiffs – if they could talk, of course. As a giant breed with a powerful frame of immense mass, they find it easy to remain immovable to our commands – much to the frustration of many!

They’re not particularly quick to pick up the finer distinctions during training either, so more time, patience, and repetition is usually needed to get through to a Mastiff.

Luckily, they also happen to be usually docile, gentle friends when they’re well-socialized, so rewards and games to help them learn tend to be quite effective.

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