The 25 Least Obedient Small Dog Breeds

According to the American Kennel Club, all small breeds of dogs can be properly trained.

Mary Burch, director of the AKC Family Dog program, tells Newsweek that each of the organization’s nearly 200 breeds were originally “designed to do specific jobs,” whether it be herding, hunting, guarding, or just being great companions.

With that in mind, a key question in training is what your breed was created for and what type of training you would like your pup to do.

“If you are looking to train your dog to hunt and have decided on a terrier, you may think that if you, the owner, get really wrong approach to training, your dog is not obedient.

“Also, some breeds are not as ready to please as others, which makes them more difficult (and fun!) To train.”

When describing a breed as “tenacious” when it comes to training, Burch suggests that tenacious determination is due in part to their daily lifestyle.

“In many cases, behavior (like refusing to participate in training) that looks like a racial tendency may actually be related to the dog’s learning history,” says Burch.

“If the dog is treated 95 percent like a baby in small breeds and is allowed to do what it wants, it may not be the best student if suddenly put into an obedience class.”

Pekinese

While the Pekingese breed is regal, intelligent, independent, and loving, some Pekes can be a bit stubborn and even aloof when it comes to training.

Some Beijing dogs can be a bit stubborn and aloof
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pug

Many pugs are affectionate and eager to please, but some members of this small breed of dog can be a bit persistent with standard training exercises.

pug
Pugs can easily be stubborn when it comes to standard training exercises
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Shih Tzu

Although the Shih Tzu is a happy, affectionate, and generally pleasurable breed, some of these dogs can be persistent in typical training situations.

Shih Tzu
Some Shih Tzus can be persistent in typical training situations
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West Highland Terrier

Demanding and irritable, with the typical stubbornness and cleverness of a real terrier, the Westie must be shown by the owners at an early stage exactly who is responsible.

West Highland Terrier
The Westie must be shown exactly who is responsible in good time by the owners
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Welsh Terrier

While this small breed of dog is considered a little more laid back than their close relatives, it can be difficult to train and may require consistent and fun training.

Welsh Terrier
The Welsh Terrier can be difficult to train
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Miniature Akita

The Akita has a complex personality, including a stubborn track and strong will, which makes it very difficult to train this beautiful breed at times.

Miniature Akita
The Akita has a complex personality, including a persistent lead and strong will
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Boston Terrier

Boston Terriers make excellent family dogs because of their affectionate and friendly nature, although training this breed can take a lot of patience.

Boston Terrier
Training Boston Terriers can take a lot of patience
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Skye Terrier

The long, low, and sturdy Skye Terrier is cautious and reserved around strangers and for the most part only responds to positive reinforcement when trained.

Skye Terrier
For the most part, the Skye Terrier only responds to positive reinforcement when trained
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Norfolk Terrier

Not only are the Norfolk Terrier more reluctant to meet new people, but they can require up to 80 repetitions to learn a new command or rule.

Norfolk Terrier
The Norfolk Terrier can reportedly require up to 80 repetitions to learn a new command or rule
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Sealyham Terrier

Although this breed of dog is fun and loving when well trained, they generally take a long time to learn new things.

Sealyham Terrier
Sealyham Terriers generally take a long time to learn new things
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Griffon Bruxellois

This breed of griffins are fun and loving, but this small breed of dog has a tendency to be moody and the Bruxellois can be difficult to train effectively.

Griffon Bruxellois
The Griffon Bruxellois can be difficult to train effectively
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Maltese

While this breed of snow-white little dogs is adaptable, these cute pets are perceived as being set up for their own way and can often be stubborn when exercising.

Maltese
Maltese dogs are perceived as being adjusted to their own way and can often be persistent in training
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Dandie Dinmont Terrier

These terriers can reportedly get bored very easily when owners try to train them. Therefore, keeping your lessons varied can be a useful strategy.

Dandie Dinmont Terrier
Dandie Dinmont Terrier can reportedly get bored very easily when owners try to train them
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Wire Fox Terrier

Despite their intelligence, this breed can be tenacious and independent, which means owners should include obedience duties as part of the training of these dogs.

Well trained Wire Fox Terriers can do fantastic performances at dog shows. Dogs of this breed have won Best in Show at Crufts three times and scored 34 victories at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. No wonder the AKC calls the breed the “Master Show Dog”.

Wire Fox Terrier
Wire Fox Terrier owners should include obedience duties in their dog’s training
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Tibetan Terrier

Their energetic and independent nature makes this breed difficult to deal with, and positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, play, and food rewards can be used to train them.

Tibetan Terrier
The energetic and independent nature of the Tibetan Terrier makes this breed difficult to train
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Japanese chin

While these traditional companions of Japanese kings can eventually be trained, these petite little dogs can certainly take a lot of effort.

Japanese chin
Japanese chin can take a lot of effort to exercise
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Scottish Terrier

These farm dogs were bred to work autonomously, and it is believed that they seek a reason to obey others than just please their owners.

Scottish Terrier
It is believed that Scottish Terriers seek a reason to obey others than just please their owners
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dachshund

Viennese dog owners have a headstrong temperament, which means training should begin when they arrive at their new home.

dachshund
Dachshund owners have a headstrong temperament, which means training should begin when they arrive in their new home
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Chihuahua

Potential owners understand that it can take a lot of time and energy to train a Chihuahua to become properly obedient.

Chihuahua
Chihuahua owners should be aware that it can take a lot of time and energy to train this breed to become properly obedient
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Lhasa Apso

New Lhasa Apso owners may discover how difficult it is to train them because they are independent dogs with a really persistent lead.

Lhasa Apso
New Lhasa Apso owners may soon find out how difficult it is to train them
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Basset hound

Bassets are quite intelligent dogs and often refuse to cooperate on excessive repetitions, which means this breed can frustrate owners during training.

Basset hound
Bassets Hounds are quite intelligent dogs and often refuse to cooperate when exposed to excessive repetition
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beagle

While Beagles are active and intelligent, this breed is easily distracted, which can make them difficult to train.

beagle
While Beagles are active and intelligent, this breed is easily distracted, which can make them difficult to train
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Chow Chow

While it is in Chow Chow’s DNA to be calm and behave well, this overly fluffy breed is also tenacious and resistant to training.

Chow Chow
While it is in Chow Chow’s DNA to be calm and behave well, this overly fluffy breed is also tenacious and resistant to training
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Basenji

The Basenji breed is known for its individualism and this should be tolerated as it is featured in the makeup of these dogs.

Basenji
The Basenji breed is known for their individualism and this should be tolerated as it is found in the DNA of these dogs
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Chinese hood

Cresteds tend to have slightly childish traits, and they have a certain stubborn streak, which means owners can need a lot of patience.

Chinese hood
Chinese cresteds tend to have slightly childish features, and they have a certain stubborn streak
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