Are you considering adding a canine comrade to your family? If you are it’s likely you want to know which ones are obedient and easy to train and which ones are a bit more stubborn and dense.
While every dog can be trained, some are simply a little less motivated or are slower learners, so if you have your heart set on one of the breeds listed just make sure you’re patient and ready for a challenge!
While this breed is great at performing its job of sniffing out bad guys, drugs, and the hunter’s prey of choice, it isn’t so great at memorizing commands. The Bloodhound was bred to be a free thinker. He needed to be ahead of the hunters, leading them and the rest of the hunting dogs to their prey. This meant that he had to make his own decisions and concentrate on the scents before him.
These days raccoon hunting isn’t quite as popular as it once was and Bloodhounds are frequently kept just as pets. However, their instincts remain and they have a hard time adapting to someone else being in charge.
While they can learn tricks and how to be obedient, if a delightful smell comes their way they will more than likely choose to ignore their person and follow their nose!
This ancient dog breed is very independent and aloof with strangers, but they tend to bond closely to their owners.
Highly intelligent, the Basenji tends to do what benefits him at the time. If you have something he wants he will likely do what you ask of him. If you don’t—well,there is a good chance he will develop selective hearing.
Basenjis are very unique and have an adorable yodel instead of a bark, this characteristic is caused by the irregular shape of the dog’s larynx and has garnered the breed the nickname barkless dog. Don’t let the nickname fool you though, Basenjis are far from quiet.
Like his hunting cousin the Bloodhound, the Beagle is much more motivated by his nose than by the approval of his owners. He loves his owners, he is amazingly loyal, and he wants to make them happy, but his nose overrides his brain every time.
Beagles are super smart and can learn many tricks and commands, but if they catch a scent on the breeze they will likely drop their nose to the ground and run off baying before their owner knows what is happening.
Even the best behaved Beagle should not be trusted off-leash as the temptation to follow his nose is usually just too much for him!
4. Afghan Hound
A wise old breed the Afghan Hound is a highly intelligent and stoic creature. Like the Basenji the Afghan is one of a few breeds known as basal breeds or breeds that were established before the 19th century.
Belonging to a group of dogs known as sighthounds Afghans were avid hunters that used their sight to find and pursue prey. Dogs who could hunt independently and make decisions on the run were the most successful and were the ones that were bred, thus the independent dogs of today.
While Afghans aren’t used much for hunting these days they still maintain their independence and won’t perform any trick or command that doesn’t benefit them.
These cutie pies are so innocent when you first meet them, but try to trim their nails and you will be in for the challenge of a lifetime! The same can be said whenever you try to make them do something they don’t want to.
Pugs are the rulers of their kingdoms, and while they are extremely loyal and love their owners—they are the ornery teenagers of the dog world.
If you are considering getting a pug keep in mind that they are brachycephalic which in layman’s terms means their faces are smooshed. This can cause them to overheat easy and have breathing issues. So if you are looking for a jogging partner or someone to layout with you on a hot day at the beach this breed is not for you.
6. English Bulldog
Another brachycephalic breed, the English Bulldog would do best in a home with calm, but firm owners.
He is very stubborn and while he is capable of learning he is very slow to respond. Whether this is due to his intelligence or his uncomfortable shape or a little of both you will need to exercise a lot of patience while training your Bully.
The good news is Bulldogs are usually very food motivated, so training should be a little easier if you use some delicious treats, don’t break the bank buying fancy ones when you can make them at home, these awesome recipes are sure to get even the laziest dog motivated.
Another hunting dog, the Greyhound, like the Afghan, is known for his fast speed and hunting prowess. While this breed bonds closely with his family he can oftentimes seem aloof with strangers.
No matter who is giving the commands, the Greyhound will frequently play dumb when it comes to obedience training. Don’t let him fool you though, with the right treats and a little time your Greyhound can learn exactly what you want for him, but don’t count on him doing it unless he is in the mood.
Greyhounds are members of the sighthound group and should never be trusted off leash unless they are in a secure area. They think with their eyes and if they see a squirrel or a rabbit they are off on the chase. If you are considering adopting a Greyhound, check out this article for more information.
8. Siberian Husky
This feisty arctic breed is known for his love of snow and his dedication to his work.
Frequently used as sled dogs, the Husky was often the leader of the group, guiding his pack across the icy plains and around dangers the musher couldn’t see. This job meant that the Husky had to be a free thinker, and he is one to this day.
Highly energetic and driven, the Husky needs a job to do if he is to be happy. However, you will have to find him a job he enjoys. If he thinks what you are doing is boring he will quickly stop cooperating and move on to something more fun, like chasing squirrels.
With the right motivator these dogs can excel at just about anything they set their mind to!
9. Chow Chow
Another basal breed, the Chow Chow originated in China where it was used for hunting, guarding, and herding.
This breed is extremely loyal to his family and he will protect them to the death. It’s very important to be sure these dogs get lots of socialization as puppies, otherwise they can be hard to handle around strangers as adults.
Chows needed to be on their toes at all times and constantly aware of their surroundings. This is likely what lead to their stoic nature and independence in modern times.
Another odd fact about Chow’s is that they were also bred for human consumption (and if that doesn’t make you want to ignore people’s commands I don’t know what would.)
If you decide to adopt a Chow you will be in for a treat, these dogs have the fluffiest, softest fur of any dog in the world! Be firm, but patient during training, and even if they don’t listen the first few times—don’t try to eat them.
10. Basset Hound
When I think of Basset Hounds the first word that comes to mind is derpy. These guys are adorable, funny, and super sweet, but they aren’t the brightest crayon in the box. Their brains are in their nose and they will follow a scent wherever it leads.
Basset Hound’s excel at sports like nose work where they are trained to search for particular scents and then set free to find them, but they will never be very good at fast moving sports like agility or flyball.
Set simple goals for your basset’s training and always be patient with him. He’s doing his best!
There you have it! The ten least obedient dog breeds.
While these dogs can be a challenge to train, each one excels at their own particular things. Play up their strengths during training and use a lot of rewards and patience.
Before long your dog may surprise you and start listening to every command you say, but I wouldn’t count on it.