The Hardest Dogs to Potty Train and How to Handle Them

The first few months of adopting a dog are not all fun and games with only cuddles and playtime but also housebreaking. Potty training is not an easy process, and even the easiest dogs to potty train need to be trained with plenty of care. So if you want to learn about the hardest dogs to potty train, you are in the right place.

Potty training can be difficult depending on several factors where some breeds are more obedient than others. Some factors include temperament, size, personality,  and training style. However, remember that since each dog is different, yours may need a little more time to learn and so practice patience and use positive methods to train your pooch.

While these dog breeds may present obstacles when potty training, they offer great companionship making them worth the challenge. Below are some of the hardest dogs to potty train.

What is the Hardest Dog to Potty Train?

1. Pug

Pug Dog

Pugs are small, cute and affectionate dogs but also top the list of the most challenging dogs to potty train. They are stubborn and often defy cues and commands, making it harder to potty train them. In addition, since Pugs are not among the most intelligent dog breeds, this is understandable.

Besides, Pugs are often whiny when they don’t want to do things. Therefore, to successfully housebreak your Pug, crate training is necessary. Also, it’s better to start early with your Pug training as this bred can hold their bladders for about an hour before they need to go outside.

You can train your Pug using a shock collar to ensure it lives in the best behavior. In addition, you must practice some restraint when rewarding them with food because Pugs are prone to obesity.

2. Dachshund


Dachshunds are scent hounds, easily distracted by their intense sniffing. This breed enjoys exploring the world with their mouths and has a neurotic prey drive. If it’s not a challenge enough, the breed is a notorious singer and a wanderer.

You should crate train your Dachshund before you introduce potty training. Notably, some Dachshunds are not socialized well and can be mischievous and snappy.

However, use positive training methods as most Dachshunds don’t respond well to harsh training methods. They could become aggressive but ensure you are firm and consistent.

3. Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

This breed is popular for its independence and strong personality, making it among the hardest dogs to potty train. Bichon Frises are sassy, will almost always try to get their way and mature slowly, meaning they will take more time to understand the potty training process.

Regrettably, many dog owners have given this breed up for adoption because of their demanding personalities.

To successfully potty train a Bichon Frise, you should introduce crate training early. In addition, you should practice a lot of patience and have consistency if you want your pooch to potty train effectively.

4. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russel Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers are very intelligent, territorial and stubborn, meaning they take over as the alphas of the family when given a chance. However, as they are very intelligent, they are creative to break any set rules, especially if they don’t respect the person training them.

The secret to success in potty training your Jack Russell Terrier is to begin while they are young, so they learn to see you as the dominant figure in your home.

5. Pomeranian


Pomeranians are popular for their top-dog attitude and lively sass, making them difficult to potty train. Notably, this breed likes pleasing its owners. However, when you combine their personality and their small bladders, this makes potty training a notch harder.

A successful potty training for the Pomeranian breed is to establish an early dominance and have plenty of treats during training sessions. Patience and consistency are also encouraged for housebreaking the Pomeranian.

6. Dalmatian


Dalmatians are popular thanks to their unique spots, but aspiring dog owners should remember that they are among the hardest pooches to potty train. They are part of the intelligent breeds but also love to wander around.

This breed is also fondly called Dally, an athletic dog because they are energetic and love to play around your yard. With this in mind, your potty training session might turn into a chase game. To house train successfully your Dalmatian, you must start training it young.

7. Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound is another difficult dog to potty train. Although it has an elegant look with a majestic coat, you will have to pay the price of rigorously training them. This breed tends to have more of a cat’s personality, ignoring cues and commands.

It is advisable to steer clever of this breed as a first-time owner because it will need patience and effort to maintain. To top it all, this pooch is not food-motivated and not a people pleaser making it extra hard to potty train.

Consult a dog trainer to potty train your Afghan Hound for a higher success rate.

8. Chow Chow

Chow Chow

Chow Chows used to be Chinese guard dogs, and it may be hard to believe this because they look like fluffballs. However, this breed likes being an independent leader and an owner that will embrace this trait.

Approach potty training with a confident yet cool approach with consistency and patience, and soon the practice will yield some results.

9. Pekingese


The Pekingese breed was once known as Chinese Royalty, and they have a self-importance attitude to show it.

Although they are intelligent, they also have an independent attitude and may adopt selective hearing when potty training. This means that the breed may take some time before understanding where to toilet.

The dog may also need to go more often than the larger breeds would as a petite dog. This means an owner should apply plenty of reinforcement and allow their dog to go out often.

10. Beagle

Beagle Dog

Beagles are similar to Dachshunds in terms of their strong sense of smell. However, they are also stubborn and energetic dogs that need a firm and experienced owner. This breed is notorious for being one of the hardest dogs to potty train, among other training drills.

Beagles are always on the run, whether chasing after a squirrel or barking at a moving object. This makes them difficult to potty train because you can’t pin them down since they are balls of energy. Some owners have said this breed has taken them up to a year to potty train fully.

All in all, potty training a Beagle will need patience and consistency. However, although they are food-motivated, you should restrict the treats since they are prone to get obese quickly.


Why Are Some Dog Breeds Are Harder to Potty Train Than Others?

Some dogs are harder to potty train for various reasons, including:

a). Young Age

Young dogs or puppies will need to go to their potty several times a day. The owner may initially think that their dog is not understanding, or it is impossible to train them to go several times a day. However, young dogs are not necessarily hard to train, but they may just need a little more time because of their age.

b). Breeds

Some dog breeds are harder to potty train because of their personalities and traits such as low intelligence level, high intelligence level, stubbornness and bossy behavior. Apart from the type of breed, by nature, every dog can have unique personality traits that make them harder to potty train.

c). Old Age

If you attempt to potty train an older dog, you might find it extremely challenging. This is because, at old age, the dog muscles have started weakening, and your pooch may also be suffering from an illness. These two reasons make older dogs relatively harder to potty train.

d). Size

The dog’s size is another reason your dog can be challenging to potty train. Smaller breeds of dogs are sometimes short, making them harder to potty train because they have less room in their bodies. Apart from small dog breeds having small bladders, they have high metabolisms and will need more trips to their potty.

e). Old Habits

This is a factor to consider if you think your dog is hard to potty train, simply from where your pooch has come. If your dog has been in places where he was not exposed to good potty training habits, he will give you a hard time.

f). Gender

It is said that male dogs are harder to potty train than female dogs. Although this is not accurate in all cases, it has been said for a reason. When you own a male dog, you can expect to use more effort in potty training than you would with a female dog.

g). Illness

Lastly, a sick dog can be hard to potty train, especially if a medical condition hinders the potty training process. These medical conditions could include diabetes, UTI, kidney diseases, Cushing’s disease or constipation.


At What Age Should Your Dog Start Potty Training?

Potty training for all dog breeds should be started early as possible to achieve high success rates. Generally, vets advise dog owners to potty train their dogs when they reach 12 to 16 weeks old. At this age, your dog has gained considerable control over its bladder and bowel movements.

Keep in mind that dogs below that age are impossible to potty train because they need to eliminate after every two hours. In addition, forcing your dog to hold in for a long period can cause more potential health consequences and accidents.

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