12 Hardest Dog Breeds To Potty Train

Whether you’re getting a new puppy or adopting an older dog from a shelter,  housebreaking or potty training your pooch will likely be your greatest challenge. The process takes diligence, patience, and consistency on your part.

Fortunately, dogs intuitively want to keep their eating and living quarters separate from their potty area. But for several extenuating circumstances, some dogs are easier to potty train than others.

For example, toy dog breeds are cute and often treated like a baby. You may be tempted to carry him outdoors instead of leashing and walking him out to go potty. It will be harder for him to learn how to alert you when it’s time “to go.” And smaller dogs have a small bladder and a higher rate of metabolism. They will need to potty more often.

Dogs that have spent months in the confines of a shelter haven’t had a chance to keep their potty area separate from their living and eating quarters. They will need extra patience.

Finally, breed and level of intelligence are factors in potty training. Hunting breeds get distracted by scents and their propensity for hunting. Scent hounds in particular will pick up the scent of old accidents and continue to mark the area unless it is well-cleaned with an enzyme-based cleaner. And some breeds are bossy and tend to be the alpha in the family when given the chance.

Some breeds mature faster than others, and some breeds are simply smarter. Understanding your dog’s breed and the ones that are hardest to potty train will help.  But remember,  all dogs are wonderful creatures, and there are many reasons why the canine is called “man’s best friend.”

Afghan Hound

Afghan Hound

With its long, flowing coat, the gorgeous Afghan Hound was originally bred to survive the cold mountains of Afghanistan as a hunting dog. But their elegant beauty takes precedence over intelligence. They will need more time to learn what is expected of them.

An Afghan is independent and has a cat-like personality. They’re also sensitive and may feel intimidated by commands.  And since they’re hounds, Afghans are easily distracted.

This dog breed may not be best for the first-time dog owner or without professional training.  But they make wonderful, loyal companions for the right person.

Bichon Frise

Bichon Frise

This adorable toy breed is really cute until he has an accident on your carpet. The Bichon Frise breed comes from the Canary Islands and has long been associated with European nobility. Perfumed and pampered, these little dogs have sat on the laps of kings and queens.

The Bichon Frise is stubborn and independent. Expectations will need to be firm and consistency is the key.

This breed also matures a little more slowly. They take more time to alert you when they need to go out. They will find a spot on the floor if you don’t take them out to potty. Puppy pads will be helpful.

Larger dogs and wide-open spaces can be intimidating to them. This will decrease their chance of establishing a designated area.

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu’s name means “little lion, ” but this little breed is more loving than fierce. They aren’t hunters and were bred solely as companion dogs for Chinese royalty during the Ming Dynasty.

Training this comical little guy can be amusing yet frustrating. His adorable expressive eyes and sweet personality can charm you into giving in and letting him have his way.

The Shih Tzu is fairly intelligent but has a stubborn streak. If you don’t begin potty training at a young age, it can be difficult to housebreak. Its small size is also a factor.

With patience, this breed can be both trained to go outside or use an indoor litterbox.

Pug

Pug

Originally from China, the Pug dog is loved for its cute wrinkled face and clownish personality. Although playful and affectionate, Pugs can be stubborn and difficult to potty train. If they don’t want to do something, they tend to get whiny. Crate training is necessary to successfully housebreak a Pug.

Don’t be surprised if your Pug resists going out alone, especially in bad weather. They love their human parent and can get separation anxiety.

Like other small breeds, The Pug’s size contributes to potty training problems.

Pugs also respond well to treats while training, but weight can be an issue with this breed. Don’t let treats exceed more than 10 percent of their daily food intake.

Basset Hound

Basset Hound

A cousin to the Beagle, the Basset Hound was bred to hunt small game. But their sense of smell is even stronger. You’ll notice he keeps his nose pinned to the ground almost constantly.

Read also:  Differences Between A Groodle And A Cavoodle

Basset Hounds love to wander. If they catch a scent or see something they want to chase, they’ll lose interest. You’ll have to pack your patience and use some creative techniques when potty training.

Do keep in mind that this dog breed is emotionally sensitive. Be gentle and don’t raise your voice or he will shut down.

Dalmatian

Dalmatian

The iconic spotted Dalmation’s origins can be traced back to the historic region of Dalmatia in present-day Croatia. An American favorite, it’s best known for its starring role in Disney’s 101 Dalmations and as a firehouse mascot.

Originally bred as a guard dog for horses, the Dalmation is intelligent yet strong-willed. Their protective nature can make potty training difficult. They’re energetic, athletic, and love to wander. A potty training session can easily turn into a game.

Because of their willful nature, Dalmations will run the show without human dominance. It’s best to begin when he is young and use firm expectations and consistency.

Norwich Terrier

Originally bred to hunt vermin and foxes, the Norwich terrier is more of a companion dog today. But if you have a problem with rats or mice, he’ll gladly pull double duty.

Like most Terriers, the Norwich Terrier is stubborn and territorial. If given half the chance, he’ll establish himself as the alpha of the family. This can make housetraining more difficult, but their high level of intelligence can save the day.

Keep in mind that the Norwich Terrier is a very small dog breed. You’ll experience all the same potty training problems as other small dogs. Always take him to the potty on a leash instead of carrying him. Since he has a small bladder, take him out frequently.

Dachshund

Dachshund

Originally bred in Germany, Dachshunds are scent hounds that were used to hunt tunneling animals such as badgers, rabbits, and foxes. They are small dogs with a brave spirit and have even been trained to hunt wild boars.

Dachshunds are one of the most intelligent dog breeds, but they’re also stubborn. They’re intense sniffers and are easily distracted. Their prey drive is almost neurotic. You’ll find him sniffing the ground or chasing birds rather than going to the potty.

Crate train your Dachshund before you begin potty training. Give him lots of positive reinforcement and avoid harsh training methods.

Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhound

The Italian Greyhound was originally a companion for Italian noblewomen in the Middle Ages. But in addition to being a lapdog, this small hound had the endurance and determination to hunt small game.

His high level of intelligence makes him easier to potty train than the Afghan or Basset Hound. However, he can have a “what’s in it for me” mindset, so you’ll be more successful if you make potty training more fun for him.

The Italian Greyhound is small and has a thin body. He doesn’t have much room to store urine. He’ll need frequent potty breaks to train, and even then, you can expect the occasional accident.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell Terrier was bred in England about 200 years ago to hunt foxes.  One of the most intelligent Terrier breeds, they will find a way to break the rules if you don’t establish yourself as boss. They may pee in the foyer and think that’s close enough to get by with.

You’ll need to outsmart him with lots of positive reinforcement and rotating treats.

English Bulldog

English Bulldog

The English Bulldog is a British mastiff breed. They have a gentle, laid-back disposition and an “I don’t really care, do you?” attitude. They’re rarely motivated to get up let alone go potty. They can be stubborn and don’t always listen. This makes them harder to train than many other larger dogs. It will take much patience and consistency to potty train an English Bulldog.

Beagle

Beagle

The Beagle’s breed history is unclear, but they were popular in England early in history during the reigns of Edward II and Henry VII. They have a short attention span, are excitable, and are easily distracted.

Track down contraband in an airport? Check. Find you in a game of hide and seek? Check. But when it comes to potty training, not so much.

It will take lots of patience and training to get a Beagle to master going to the bathroom.

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