The Most Difficult Dogs To Train

Is Yours On The List?
A huge number of us humans decide to welcome new puppies or dogs into our home each year, and even more so within the last couple of years

You probably heard about the Lockdown puppy boom which saw a huge rise in puppy ownership and the Kennel Club figures showed the demand for four legged friends soared and then continued to remain high

Over my time as a professional trainer, groomer, kennel hand, owner, dog walker and almost every element of how you could work with a dog, I’ve worked with a whopping variety of themWith over 221 different pedigree breeds, alongside numerous more crossbreeds, there can be plenty of thinking to do before you select one.

As you’re on here, you’ll have most likely already got a dog, right? 

The breed that you chose could either have been a dream to ‘get it’ or perhaps they proved a little more challenging for you

Whilst this list isn’t set in stone, and each dog, irregardless of breed, is and should be classed as an individualHere are the 10 breeds of dog that can be the most difficult to train…

Afghan Hound

Training the gorgeous Afghan Hound to do anything is pretty tricky. It’s not that they don’t understand, it’s just that more often than not, they just don’t care. Breeds bred to run have a much higher interest in doing that than too much brain or thinking power


A breed known for its bravery, who can quickly turn from A to Z.
A being apathetic, Z being Z-perilous. Naturally willful but respond very well to positive reinforcement. They are very loyal and protective of their families, which can make them weary and cautious of strangers outside. 

Airedale/ Irish Terrier

Notoriously stubborn, even if a terrier knows it’s meant to do something, if the reinforcer doesn’t match up to it’s standards, it might look you in the face, give you the fcuk you eyes and simply not bother

Bichon FriseSo adorable it’s very hard to get or stay angry with any wrongdoings here. Smart enough to know better, pretty enough to get away with murder. And they know it! It’s easy for these guys to develop a pattern of behaviour that can prove impossible to break because they gave you the puppy dog eyes.

American Bulldog

Another tricky to train breed is the bulldog. Being a squishy faced (brachycephalic) kind, with a stubborn head on their shoulders, they are strong and also prone to wanting their own way. Respect and a strong relationship together is critical for all dogs, but especially the larger and stronger ones. 

Beagle or Basset Hounds

I will have a basset hound one day and they’re notoriously more lazy than the beagle. But either of these breeds, though they look dopey and cute can have more power and energy in that desire to hunt, than the energiser bunny has in batteries. It can be difficult to keep their attention and they can quickly outsmart their owners. Prone to running off and being vocal too!


Much like the Afghan, these guys just want one thing. To run and hunt. Predominantly driven by sight. The breed are super sensitive so it’s important to give them praise when they get things right. 

Border Collie

Surprised?? Although this breed has a natural willingness to work, what’s often not suitable for them are quick block walks or being stuck in a pet homes. They need a lot of exercise and they like to operate at far distances away from owners, to perform their herding sequences. Which isn’t always ideal at the dog park.


Beautiful. Elegant and the stars of Game of thrones. We saw a huge rise in these breeds and an even bigger rise in rescue centres having them. Usually picky and selective in reinforcement makes it tricky for owners to deliver the right rewards. Another strong minded, stubborn breed that needs a strong, positive connection with their owner

Digger… Border Terrier

No surprises here, right? 😉

Smart, agile and means business if they turn. The key to successfully training them is to concentrate on their natural abilities, rather than going against them.

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As I said before, it’s not an extensive, or set in stone and I’ve worked with these dogs who are the complete opposite of difficult. 

But we can’t deny or dispute a dogs DNA and so it always pays to work with them, rather than against.

It’s how I developed Diggers positive responses and kissed goodbye to his daily aggression .

If you’re struggling with a more difficult dog, then don’t forget we’ve got the ELEVATE Study classes coming up at the end of the month. 

Weekly classes designed to help you work through those issues and come out stronger and in better control than before. 

The content is straight from my Elite program and we’ll be uncovering some of the highlights of what we teach in there so you too can get a better understanding of why your dog behaves the way they do.
ELEVATE: Click here to sign up

Have a great week.
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