Hardest Breeds To Housebreak

Housebreaking a dog or puppy takes diligence and consistency on the owner’s part no matter the breed. Thankfully, most dogs instinctually want to keep their living quarters clean, dry and separate from their potty area. However, some dog breeds, for a variety of reasons, have proven to be harder to housebreak than others.

Toy breed dogs such as Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, pugs and Shih Tzus tend to be harder to housebreak. Owners often treat small dogs like babies and carry them outside for potty time instead of leashing and walking them to the potty area. Little dogs don’t learn how to alert their family that they need to potty or even how to get to the potty area this way. If their owner doesn’t take them out when they need to go, they will find a spot in the house. Also, a large wide-open area or having other larger animals around can make small dogs feel insecure and decrease their chance of using the designated area.

A number of dogs in the hound family have a difficult time being housebroken without significant diligence on the part of the owner. Basset hounds, beagles, bloodhounds, dachshunds, Irish wolfhounds and whippets are among some of the most difficult. Because their scent or sight senses are so incredibly strong, hounds easily forget about potty time when they catch a scent or see something to be chased. Scent hounds in particular tend to mark in the house frequently because they smell the scent of old accidents in the house and will continue to mark that area if it isn’t cleaned well with an enzymatic cleaner.

Similar to hounds, hunting breeds, such as cocker spaniels, German shorthaired pointers and Irish setters get distracted outside by their disposition to hunt. They can easily get away from their owner and travel miles in a short time if taken out unleashed.

Boston, cairn, Jack Russell and Yorkshire terriers are some of the terrier breeds who have a hard time with housebreaking. Terriers are highly intelligent, stubborn, territorial and will easily take over as alpha of the family if given the chance. One slip in application of the rules you’ve laid is all a terrier needs to take over or decide to follow his own rules. This makes them more difficult to housebreak because they are independent and don’t like to follow anyone else’s rules.

Dogs raised in puppy mills or kept confined in small cages for long periods of time also can be difficult to housebreak. Because they didn’t have a choice in keeping their sleeping quarters away from their potty area they don’t have the usual instinct to keep the den clean. Also, some dog breeds, such as the Chinese Shar-Pei and Great Dane, mature later in life in comparison to most dogs. It takes them longer to grow out of the puppy stage and have the physical and mental ability to control their potty habits.

Jodi L. Hartley has been a writer and public relations professional since 1992. Her experience includes public relations and marketing for a pet service/retail business, as well as volunteer work with animal rescue organizations. Hartley holds a bachelors degree in journalism and an M.B.A.

Afghan Hound

Majestic? Yes. Gorgeous? You got it. Hair better than yours? You bet! Potty trained? Not so much. Afghan hounds have the independent personality of a cat and tend to do what they want, when they want, possibly ignoring your prompts and commands.

Tips for Potty Training Slow to Mature Dogs

Be patient! You may go through periods of time during which you think your dog has finally aced it, to other times where you notice a regression.

Potty training slow-to-mature dogs breeds is made of these ups and downs and theyre perfectly normal.

Tribulations with Terriers

Breeds under the terrier category are often found in the most difficult dog breeds to potty train lists.

Terriers are often lumped in lists of the most difficult dog breeds to potty train and these mostly include the smaller, working terriers bred as vermin hunting dogs such as rat terriers and Jack Russells.

Often these dogs are accused for being difficult to potty train because of their temperament.

Terriers are often depicted as being stubborn, independent dogs who are unwilling to take directions from their owners.

Sure, terriers are quite smart, but its not like they have an agenda of outsmarting humans turning into bullies who want to eliminate where and when they want!

Terriers are just tenacious, independent thinkers considering that their job of hunting down underground critters did not require close teamwork with humans.

As mentioned, terriers are quite intelligent dogs that are quick to learn, and this goes both ways meaning that they are fast in learning good behaviors with proper motivation, but theyre equally fast in learning bad habits.

Consistency is very important and you must ensure there arent any loopholes in your potty training program. This of course, applies to any dog, but terriers are just more apt to this.

Think only small dog breeds belong to the list of the most difficult dog breeds to potty train? Think again.

Many people are surprised when owners of several large breed dogs are also struggling with potty training their dogs.

The problem with these dogs is that they are quite slow to mature, which often translates into longer times to accomplish potty training.

Its not like these dogs arent smart enough, its just that their bodies and brains are just a step behind.

Large and giant dog breeds such as great danes, Saint Bernards, Bernese mountain dogs, Chinese shar-pei, Rottweilers, and mastiffs generally are not fully mature until they reach two years old or older. This doesnt mean though itll take 2 years to potty train them!

Fortunately, owners are deterred by finding horse-size messes in their homes, and this certainly expedites the process.

However, its not unusual for puppies of large and giant dog breeds not to be fully potty trained until they are on 6 to 8 months old, when other smaller dog breeds may take less.


What breed is easiest to housebreak?

Jack Russell Terrier

“Of all of the terrier breeds, the Jack Russell is, hands down, the most difficult to housetrain,” according to MedNet Direct, who says, “Jack Russells can be some of the most stubborn dogs out there.”

What is the most stubborn dog to train?

Easiest Small Dogs to Potty Train
  • #1 – Havanese. Havanese are playful, child-like dogs. …
  • #3 – Bichon Frise. Bichons are gentle, charming, and intelligent. …
  • #5 – Shih Tzu. Shih Tzus have a reputation of being stubborn and independent, which aren’t the qualities you’ll want for house-training. …
  • #7 – Papillon.

Are there dogs that can’t be housebroken?

Top 11 Stubborn Dog Breeds
  • #1 Akita. The 80 to 90-pound Akita is a gorgeous pooch, but it is the most stubborn, according to dog owners and experts. …
  • #2 Shiba Inu. …
  • #4 Jack Russell Terrier. …
  • #5 Beagle. …
  • #6 English Bulldog. …
  • #7 Dachshund. …
  • #8 Siberian Husky. …
  • #9 Chihuahua.