The Toughest 25 Dogs To Potty Train

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Understanding dog breeds and their potty training challenges is crucial for pet owners. The journey of welcoming a new furry friend can be both exciting and challenging. Each dog breed comes with its unique characteristics, making the potty training process a variable experience.

For first-time dog owners, this knowledge ensures a smoother transition into becoming responsible pet parents.

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Top 25 Dog Breeds Difficult to Potty Train

1. Dalmatian

Dalmatians, known for their energy and independence, pose a challenge in potty training due to their strong will. Their high energy levels can lead to distractions during training sessions, making consistency difficult. To overcome this, positive reinforcement, routine, and patience are crucial. Rewarding good behavior during bathroom breaks establishes positive associations, aiding in successful training for these distinctive and spirited dogs.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train
The Dalmatian: A distinctive and charming breed, known for its iconic spots, spirited personality, and boundless energy.

2. Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound’s difficulty in potty training stems from their elegant and aloof nature, coupled with a long, silky coat. Their independence often leads to resistance in traditional training methods. Establishing a routine and incorporating positive reinforcement becomes crucial to navigate and overcome these challenges in potty training Afghan Hounds.

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25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (1)
The Afghan Hound: A regal beauty with flowing locks, this graceful and elegant breed captures hearts with its distinctive appearance and dignified demeanor.

3. Beagle

Beagles present a challenge in potty training due to their friendly and curious nature, driven by strong hunting instincts. Their keen sense of smell can lead to distractions during training sessions, requiring extra time and effort to establish good bathroom habits. Consistent training and positive reinforcement become essential to overcome these challenges in the potty training process for Beagles.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (2)
“The Beagle: A friendly and lively companion, celebrated for its intelligence and affectionate nature.”

4. Basenji

Basenjis, known as the “barkless dog,” pose a challenge in potty training due to their intelligence and occasional stubbornness. Their unique characteristics, including independence, can make them resistant to traditional training methods. Overcoming these challenges requires patience, positive reinforcement, and a thorough understanding of their distinctive nature during the potty training process for Basenjis.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (3)
“The Basenji: A unique and elegant breed, known for its barkless nature and charming personality, making for a distinctive and loyal companion.”

5. Boxer

Boxers present a challenge in potty training due to their medium to large size and exceptionally playful and energetic personalities. Their boundless energy often makes it challenging for them to stay still during crucial potty breaks. Overcoming this difficulty involves maintaining consistency in training, employing positive reinforcement, and incorporating playful elements to keep Boxers engaged and focused during the potty training process.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (4)
“The Boxer: A strong and spirited breed, characterized by its playful nature, boundless energy, and unwavering loyalty.”

6. Bulldog

Potty training Bulldogs proves challenging due to their medium size, distinctive features like wrinkled faces, and an affectionate yet relaxed disposition. Their laid-back nature may result in a slower establishment of good bathroom behavior. Overcoming this challenge involves consistent training efforts and positive reinforcement to guide Bulldogs toward successful potty habits.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (5)
“The Bulldog: A symbol of courage and tenacity, this lovable and distinctive breed is known for its gentle demeanor and unmistakable appearance.”

7. Chihuahua

Chihuahuas, despite their small size and big personalities, pose a challenge in potty training due to their stubborn nature. Overcoming this challenge involves consistent training efforts, along with the crucial elements of positive reinforcement and patience, to establish good bathroom habits successfully for this breed.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (6)
“The Chihuahua: A pint-sized powerhouse, boasting a big personality, loyalty, and a heartwarming presence that captures the essence of charm.”

8. Cocker Spaniel:

Cocker Spaniels are affectionate dogs with a sensitive nature. Their sensitivity may make them resistant to potty training. Positive reinforcement, gentle guidance, and a consistent routine can help them develop good bathroom habits.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (7)
“The Cocker Spaniel: A gentle and affectionate companion, known for its beautiful coat, expressive eyes, and sweet nature that warms the heart.”

9. Dachshund

Dachshunds, with their distinctive long bodies and short legs, are independent dogs with a strong will. Their independent streak may require extra time and patience during the potty training process. Consistent positive reinforcement is essential.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (8)
“The Dachshund: A spirited and elongated friend, with a playful spirit and an undeniable charm that stretches far beyond its adorable physique.”

10. Pug

Pugs are small dogs with charming personalities and distinctive wrinkled faces. Despite their charm, Pugs may take longer to establish a routine for successful potty breaks. Consistent training, positive reinforcement, and incorporating play can help in the process.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (9)
“The Pug: A small dog with a big personality, recognized for its wrinkled face, curled tail, and charmingly mischievous expression.”

11. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers are small, energetic dogs known for their intelligence and determination. Their high energy levels may make it challenging to maintain patience during training sessions. Consistent positive reinforcement and engaging activities are crucial.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (10)
“The Jack Russell Terrier: A bundle of energy and intelligence, known for its lively spirit, distinctive markings, and boundless enthusiasm for play.”

12. Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apsos are small, independent dogs with a distinctive long, flowing coat. Their independence may lead to stubbornness in training. Patient and consistent positive reinforcement, along with understanding their regal nature, can lead to success.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (11)
“The Lhasa Apso: A dignified and loyal companion, distinguished by its luxurious coat and alert, friendly demeanor.”

13. Maltese

Maltese dogs are small, elegant dogs with a long, silky coat. Due to their small size and regal demeanor, Maltese may need extra time and attention during the potty training process. Consistent positive reinforcement and a calm approach are essential.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (12)
“The Maltese: A small but elegant breed, known for its silky white coat, playful personality, and affectionate nature.”

14. Pekingese

Pekingese dogs are known for their independent and dignified nature. Their independence can pose challenges in establishing good bathroom habits. Patience, positive reinforcement, and a consistent routine are crucial for success.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (13)
“The Pekingese: A regal and dignified breed, characterized by its distinctive lion-like mane and loyal, affectionate disposition.”

15. Pit Bull Terrier

Pit Bulls are muscular dogs with a strong build and affectionate nature. Consistent training with a firm yet positive approach is necessary to overcome any resistance during potty training. Positive reinforcement and understanding their strength can lead to success.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (14)
“The Pit Bull Terrier: A strong, agile, and affectionate breed, known for its intelligence, loyalty, and loving nature when raised with care and kindness.”

16. Pomeranian

Pomeranians are small dogs with a fluffy double coat and lively personalities. Despite their small size, Pomeranians can be stubborn, making consistent training essential for successful potty breaks. Positive reinforcement and patience are crucial.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (15)
“The Pomeranian: A vibrant and fluffy ball of energy, recognized for its petite size, lively personality, and a luxurious double coat.”

17. American Foxhound

American Foxhounds are known for their strong hunting instincts and athletic build. Their natural instincts may require extra attention during the potty training process. Positive reinforcement and engaging activities can help in overcoming challenges.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (16)
“The American Foxhound: A sleek and athletic breed, prized for its endurance, keen sense of smell, and friendly disposition – a true outdoorsy companion.”

18. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frises are small, charming dogs with a curly coat. While charming, they can be a bit stubborn, necessitating a consistent and patient training approach. Positive reinforcement and understanding their sociable nature are key.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (17)
“The Bichon Frise: A charming and fluffy companion, known for its cheerful personality, curly coat, and affectionate nature that melts hearts.”

19. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are small dogs with a distinctive long, flowing coat and regal appearance. Due to their independent nature, Shih Tzus may take time to establish good bathroom habits. Consistent positive reinforcement and understanding their demeanor are essential.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (19)
“The Shih Tzu: A small yet majestic breed, revered for its luxurious coat, friendly demeanor, and regal presence.”

20. Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies are strong-willed dogs known for their striking appearance. Their independence may require consistent training to overcome potty training challenges. Positive reinforcement, patience, and understanding their nature are crucial.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (20)
“The Siberian Husky: A striking and resilient breed, known for its beautiful double coat, distinctive markings, and friendly, outgoing personality.”

21. Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers are small dogs with a tuxedo-like coat pattern and a playful demeanor. Their playful nature may make it challenging to focus during potty training sessions. Consistent positive reinforcement and short, engaging activities are beneficial.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (21)
“The Boston Terrier: A small, friendly companion with a tuxedo-like coat, charmingly expressive eyes, and a playful spirit that brings joy to every moment.”

22. French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are known for their easygoing nature and distinctive bat-like ears. Due to their relaxed disposition, French Bulldogs may take a bit more time to establish a routine for successful potty breaks. Consistent training with positive reinforcement is crucial.

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“The French Bulldog: A compact and affectionate breed, renowned for its bat-like ears, charming demeanor, and a heartwarming, easygoing nature.”

23. Miniature Pinscher

Miniature Pinschers are small dogs with a bold and energetic personality. Their boldness may require patience to establish consistent bathroom habits. Positive reinforcement and a calm, assertive approach are essential.

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“The Miniature Pinscher: A pint-sized dynamo with a fearless spirit, embodying playfulness and a dash of elegance.”

24. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are affectionate dogs with a silky coat and gentle disposition. They may need extra time and positive reinforcement to grasp proper potty behavior. Understanding their affectionate nature is crucial for successful training.

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“The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: A regal and affectionate breed, known for its gentle nature and undying loyalty.”

25. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies are small dogs with a long, silky coat and a feisty attitude. Despite their size, Yorkshire Terriers can be stubborn, necessitating a patient and consistent training approach for successful potty breaks. Positive reinforcement and understanding their spirited nature are key.

25 dog breeds hardest to potty train (25)
“The Yorkshire Terrier: A small but confident companion, with a silky coat, perky ears, and a big personality that fills hearts with joy.”

Factors that Influence Potty Training Difficulty

Understanding the factors contributing to potty training challenges is crucial. Smaller breeds like Yorkshire Terriers and Jack Russell Terriers often have tinier bladders, necessitating more frequent potty breaks. Toy breeds, including Bichon Frise and Shih Tzu, can be a bit stubborn, emphasizing the importance of consistent training. Meanwhile, some breeds like Chow Chows and English Bulldogs might display a more stubborn disposition, requiring a firm yet patient approach. For older dogs, especially those with medical conditions, it involves hard work to establish new potty habits.

Crate training is an effective strategy, particularly for new puppies or younger dogs, creating a designated space for bathroom breaks. It’s essential for breeds with smaller bladders, such as Basset Hounds. Even stubborn dogs like the Chow Chow can benefit from a structured routine. Pee pads prove helpful, especially for little dogs like the Italian Greyhound, providing a convenient bathroom break solution. For new puppy owners, patience is crucial, as the training process may take a long time.

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While intelligent breeds like Border Collies may catch on quickly, stubborn breeds like the West Highland Terrier might require more frequent trips outside. Labrador Retrievers, known for being wonderful companions, may still have an occasional potty accident. Establishing a regular schedule at a young age is essential for fostering good potty habits. Some breeds, like Alaskan Malamutes, can be challenging, but the right training pads and a consistent routine make the process easier. It’s important for new pet owners to seek guidance and follow proper training steps, making the experience with their furry friends a wonderful one.

Dealing with potty training challenges involves understanding the unique characteristics of each breed. Whether it’s a little dog with a short temper or a larger breed with higher metabolisms, patience and consistency remain the best way to establish good bathroom habits. New pet owners, armed with the right information and a firm yet understanding approach, can build a strong bond with their furry companions. The American Kennel Club recognizes the importance of addressing the most common questions, ensuring that every dog, regardless of breed, can become a cherished and well-behaved best friend.

Tips for Training Difficult Breeds

Positive reinforcement plays a pivotal role in overcoming potty training challenges. For stubborn breeds like Terriers and Hounds, rewarding good behavior during a potty break is crucial to encourage repeated positive actions. This holds true for small dogs, such as Italian Greyhounds and Pekingese, who benefit from regular schedules ensuring they receive ample potty breaks. In the case of breeds with smaller bladders, puppy pads prove to be a useful tool. Consistency is key, especially for older dogs or those with medical conditions like the Basset Hound.

Creating a positive association with the right place for bathroom breaks is a valuable step in the potty training process. This holds true for all breeds, including Alaskan Malamutes and larger breeds with more space requirements. For pet owners dealing with a difficult time during puppy potty training, seeking guidance from a dog trainer can make the experience more manageable. With the right steps, the process becomes a wonderful experience, even for those facing challenges with the most difficult dog breeds. Potty training involves important steps, regardless of the kind of dog you have. Small breeds, larger breeds, and those with small bladders or a penchant for stubbornness all benefit from a consistent and positive approach. The journey might be a hard time, but a firm owner, armed with patience and positive reinforcement, can turn it into a rewarding and successful experience for both pet and owner.

Conclusion

Being a pet parent brings challenges, especially with the hardest dog breeds to potty train. However, with the right approach, consistent training, and patience, even older dogs, stubborn terrier breeds, and smaller dogs can learn good bathroom habits. For females dealing with medical conditions, understanding their needs is crucial. Potty pads, beneficial for breeds like Alaskan Malamutes in small areas, aid in the training process. Tailoring methods for intelligent breeds like scent hounds and using a lot of patience for stubborn dogs and old puppies are essential. Easier-to-train breeds can ease the journey for new dog parents, fostering a strong bond between pet and owner, making the challenges worthwhile.

If You Need More Help Training Your Difficult Toilet-Trainer, Try This: Potty Training 101: How to Teach Your Puppy to Use Potty Pads

Author, Ali Smith

Ali Smith is a professional, qualified, and multi-award winning trainer is the founder of rebarkable. She has always believed animals deserve kindness and champions force free methods. Believing that dog guardians will all choose the kindest options if proper information is provided, she aims to help all dog guardians who need it and make dog training as accessible as possible

Ali lives win Maryland, US with her husband and her three dogs.

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