We will be the first to admit that it can be frustrating and tiring to deal with a stubborn dog. There are certain breeds that exude more willfulness than others. In this article, we have focused on the 10 most stubborn dog breeds, though they all have the ability to become beloved pets.
1. Basset Hound
Don’t let their doleful expression fool you; these dogs know how to be stubborn. Even though they are easygoing and friendly, they need a firm yet patient hand to convince them to do something they aren’t sure of. With their strong hunting instincts, they are known to go their own way if they catch an interesting scent. Providing stimulating and creative activities will help them respond positively to you. The Basset Hound will be less inclined to be stubborn if you provide a positive training environment and include them in family activities so they aren’t left alone.
This friendly and intelligent breed needs a great deal of physical and mental stimulation to remain happy. They are hunting dogs and don’t take well to being confined inside with no opportunity for exercise. Due to their hunting drive, when they set their mind on a scent, they can be difficult to persuade to listen to you, and they can be independent and obstinate. Providing consistent respectful training will earn their trust, and they will be more likely to obey your commands — especially if you have a treat in your hand.
3. English Bulldog
Though they can be easy-going and dependable, one thing that the English Bulldog is known for is its tenacity. If they set their mind to something, they are going to accomplish it. This could be a negative or a positive trait, depending on the situation. They aren’t being stubborn on purpose, because in reality, all they want to do is please their owner, as they are highly sensitive. Constant and persistent training with their needs in mind will help them come to respect you. Just make sure that you don’t contradict your training methods because they will notice and take full advantage of the weakness.
If you have been around this little dog, you know that they are courageous and loyal to their families. They are also known to be difficult to train due to their wish to be independent. Intelligence is not an issue with these dogs, so they will thrive with engaging and regular training. If you take an interest in them, they will respond in kind and learn to accept that you are the boss. Patience on your part is highly recommended; otherwise, they may act out if they feel like they should be the one on charge. If you remain persistent and provide plenty of praise, you will find the Dachshund to be a great companion.
Having a short memory is not one of their faults, as they have a great mind that remembers any reward — or mistreatment. Providing love and respect for this breed will ensure that they behave and respond to your commands. They prefer to be active and participate in family activities; otherwise, they can become bored and depressed. Since stubbornness corresponds to their independent attitude, they respond well to leadership and advanced obedience and agility courses. If they have an owner who is confident and remains in charge, the Dalmatian will be happy and eager to please.
6. Jack Russell Terrier
If you can provide this breed with plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, they will be easier to get along with. The Jack Russell is an energetic and happy dog, as long as they get to explore and hunt. They can be assertive and stubborn when they think they are in the right. However, teaching them from a young age what is appropriate will help them behave more appropriately around other people and dogs. You will find that sometimes your little terrier doesn’t want to be bothered with doing what you have taught them just because the mood isn’t right. But if you remain patient and confident, they will eventually oblige.
7. Siberian Husky
This breed loves to be with their human companions and are friendly and good with other people and dogs, as long as they are socialized from a young age. They love to run, and that tendency can overcome their desire to listen to you. Positive training with plenty of physical exercise will keep this intelligent dog happy and compliant. They can be independent and stubborn when you aren’t firm and gentle with them. If you can provide a job for them, such as pulling carts or sleds, it will redirect their energy to positive pursuits instead of destructive behaviors.
Rottweilers were bred to provide protection, so they are known to be aggressive and dominant at times. To prevent this from becoming an issue, you will need to remain knowledgeable and firm with your training techniques. If socialized, they can get along with people and other animals, but since they are highly intelligent and full of confidence, you will need to remain vigilant with teaching your dog who is the leader. If you start training at a young age and direct them toward positive pursuits, such as obedience and agility sports, they will remain happy, content, and less likely to exude their stubbornness.
This is another dog who has been bred to hunt and demands high amounts of exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom. They thrive with owners who are leaders and know how to train dogs; otherwise, they will take advantage and become headstrong. They are smart and are capable of learning but need a confident owner who is willing to put in the time to teach them good behaviors. If you are an active person and include your Weimaraner in your activities, they will remain loyal and steadfast.
10. Scottish Terrier
Even though they can be strong-willed and self-reliant, this terrier is known for its steadfast loyalty and dignity. Training these dogs can be challenging, especially if you don’t remain firm and provide constant leadership. Obedience training is a must with food rewards and plenty of praise because they can become insulted easily. If they feel like they have been mistreated, it will be difficult to get them to listen to you again, as they don’t respond well to negative treatment or rough handling. This breed will always remain somewhat independent, but they make great watchdogs and enjoy protecting their families.
Though we focused on 10 breeds in this list, there are other dogs who have stubborn traits. But you can’t expect any dog to be perfect; just like people, dogs do well with love, praise, and leadership. Training a stubborn dog can be challenging at times, but the outcome is rewarding when you teach your dog to put that willfulness to good use. All 10 of these dogs make great companions, and knowing that they need a little extra effort to train will ensure that you provide them with the right amount of stimulation and attention they deserve.
Featured Image Credit: Susan Bell, Flickr
Emily started this blog out of pure passion. She LOVES her 3 dogs; Chew Barka, Cooper & Nelson, and spends countless hours every day playing with them.
When she’s not nerding out on dogs, you’ll find her on a snowboard or in the kitchen baking chocolate brownies.
She’s been featured in PetAware, Dogtime, and ModernDog.