20 Dog Breeds that are Impossible to Train

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Some dogs are just impossible to train. Okay, so impossible is a strong word. No dog is completely impossible to train, but some dogs are a bit more difficult to train than others, and sometimes it has nothing to do with the dog and a lot more to do with the owner and his or her techniques. But since we are not talking about owners that find it impossible to train dogs, but actual dogs; we thought we’d discuss with you some of the most difficult breeds to train. It’s true that dogs are intelligent creatures, some more so than others. And while training a dog is challenging for anyone without ample patience, time and understanding, it’s more challenging by nature with certain breeds. There are some breeds that make training a cinch (though there is always an exception in every breed) and some that just make it feel even more frustrating than it already is.

When it comes to training a dog, new dog owners should either consider professional training or at least learn as much as they can about appropriate training methods. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to consider the breed, as well. Some are just easier than others to train. If you’re looking to find out which breeds are impossible to train, you might want to know that the following 20 breeds can be a bit more difficult (some a lot more difficult). According to VetStreet.com, a poll of 218 dog professionals and vets have created a list of breeds that are most difficult to train, and these breeds found their way on to the list.

German Shepherd

Don’t start yelling at me that I don’t know what I’m talking about just yet; this is a very intelligent breed that trains very well. However, it’s so intelligent that it takes someone equally as intelligent – or significantly more so – to train this dog. Without someone who knows what they are doing and has the personality to do it, training this dog can go astray.


It’s a dog that is typically trained to go after what is smells, which can make it difficult to train. This dog picks up a scent and wants to go for it, and it will likely tune you out and ignore you like you don’t even exist otherwise.


These are not very common dogs. You will not find them just anywhere, and that is part of the problem with this particular breed. They are very sweet and good natured, but they are also dogs that are difficult to train for those not familiar.

Afghan Hound

It’s a hound dog, and it’s sometimes described as a dog very much like a cat in terms of its stubborn nature and desire to do what it wants, when it wants to do it. This is, perhaps, one of the most difficult breeds to train.

Basset Hounds

Basset hounds are sweet, and they are certainly adorable. However, they can be quite stubborn and difficult to train if you are not familiar with this breed. It can be a bit of work, and that’s why some find them difficult.


Some people think this fluffy little dog is adorable, but there has always been this small part of me that feels they are about as scary looking as anything on earth. And they’re also quite stubborn and difficult to train if they’re not in the mood for your shenanigans.

Alaskan Malamute

They’re really cute when they are small, but they have a mind of their own. They kind of like to do what they want to do, and they’re not worried about you being mad. It’s part of what makes this breed so dangerous for first-time dog owners not used to training a stubborn animal.


This gorgeous dog is absolutely stunning, but he is very intelligent. He also does not like to be left alone, and he is not a fan of sitting still. With an abundance of energy, this breed is a challenge for an inexperienced dog owner.

Siberian Husky

This is a gorgeous, very intelligent dog, but it can be one that challenges an inexperienced owner when it comes to doing what it’s supposed to do. It’s lively and good at escaping, and it can overwhelm someone not prepared for that.


If you pair this breed with someone who is not capable or willing to take the lead and be the boss, the dog will take over. This is a horrible combination that almost always ends badly. Only experienced dog owners with firm and persistent personalities should bother with this breed.


Easily bored and always in need of a job, these are dogs that can be a challenge to train if you’re not used to their behavior. They’re great for the right people, but a huge challenge for the wrong people.


He’s a dog that is actually quite easy to train if you know what you are doing. However, if you are unsure what you are doing, this is a breed that is really going to make life difficult on you when it comes to training.


He’s large and in charge. If you are not an experienced dog owner, you’re going to find that this breed is difficult to train since he’s stubborn and difficult for inexperienced people.

Chinese Shar-Pei

Unless you are an aggressive and experienced dog owner, chances are good you will find this breed highly challenging to train. It’s stubborn and can be quite aggressive at times.

Australian Cattle Dog

It’s fun and exuberant, and it has a lot of energy. Combine those personality traits with his very stubborn personality and you have yourself a dog that needs and requires a bit of additional work than some people are willing to put in.

Chow Chow

These can be very dangerous dogs if they are not trained properly, but it takes a lot of work and a lot of time to train one. They’re very aggressive and distrustful, they’re not cuddly and sweet and they’re very difficult to train.

American Pit Bull Terrier

This one was about half and half. Some said that it’s a great dog to train, others say that it’s difficult because it has a lot of conflict with other animals. It’s also a dog that needs a strong owner, which means it might be impossible for someone that isn’t an alpha or experienced dog owner to train.

St. Bernard

Beautiful and large, this is a dog that is prone to heat stroke and loves to eat small household goods like dish towels. It’s a dog that requires a lot of work, and it’s big. This means many people are afraid of the dog, and that makes it difficult to train.


Because he is a bit on the stocky side, he’s also a bit on the over-tired side. He needs a lot of rest and he’s overwhelmed very easily, which can be a challenge when it comes to training. Some people don’t care, though. They just love the breed.

Airedale Terrier

Lovely and fun, these are notoriously difficult to train. A bit stubborn, this is a breed that makes it difficult to train because of his exuberance and very puppy-like nature.

Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

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  1. Any breed of dog can be trained, We have had many American pit bull terriers over the years and they have all been easily trained and the people who say that it’s difficult because it has a lot of conflict with other animals are full of it, ours have always been just fine with other animals, people cause the “trouble” because the people who know nothing about the breed freak out when they see them, I have a three legged pit who loves other dogs, I was outside with him one day, in my yard and I had him on a leash and this woman walking her little boston terrier came by, my dog was wagging his tail and walked toward the other dog intending to greet it, well this lady freaked! She started yelling at my dog to get away from her and her dog then she yanked her dog up off the ground by its leash, her own dog bit her because she scared it when there was no reason to react that way, my dog retreated to hide behind my legs with his tail tucked between his, he didn’t know what he had done. I just slipped him a treat gave his a scratch behind his ears and said don’t mind her, she is not smart enough to find out how sweet you are.

  2. I raised chow chows and at theinimum had 15 dogs. Sorry to disagree with you but I do. Chows are very loving to their owners. They are protective of their territory but are not dangerous as you posted. Neitherbare they aggressive unless they are guarding their own. Changing owners after puppy stage can cause personality changes. The dog thinks he has been taken away by a stranger and must protect himself against an “intruder.” They are beautiful animals who are easy to train with patience. They can be bull headed because they want to be the leader of the pack. It is all in how you train them
    Stop referring.to them as a dangerous.breed…I know standard sized poodles who are more dangerous.

  3. Has the author of this article EVER trained any dog????? I have my doubts, I personally have trained three of the breeds on this list. Bloodhounds— yes, they are scent hounds. They were bred to think for them selves you do not train a scent hound the same way you train a Golden Retriever. I have put championships on two Bloodhounds and obedience and tracking titles on three of them. Pekingese—- Someone told me that you couldn’t train Peks, they were too dumb to train, I got a UD on my mothers Pek. Chows, I have lived with them since 1975, Never have had an aggressive one, have had up to 7 at one time.
    Several of mine have obedience titles and one was the first Chow ever to earn a Tracking title. I spend the time to work at socializing my dogs, teaching them how to live in a world full of humans. I do not believe the old wives tails about any breed!!

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