At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, we always get asked, “What is the hardest breed of dog to train?” Seemingly, this is a very simple question that someone is waiting for us to give them an immediate answer; however, it’s not that simple.
At our dog training facility in Northern Virginia, we train 7 days per week, 65 dogs per week (not counting board and trains) and one thing I have learned with thousands of dogs experience is that there isn’t one breed that does better or worse than another. Not the answer you were hoping for, right?
For example, we can have a (insert any breed here) German Shepherd that comes for a lesson that is very motivated and excited for training, going with the flow, eager to learn, and a complete joy. The very next lesson that walks in the door can be a German Shepherd of the same age that is growling, going crazy, no manners, etc. Again, just using a German Shepherd as an example, you can literally insert any breed of dog into this paragraph and the same would be true.
Much like people, race doesn’t matter, correct? You can have a 15-year old caucasian male who grows up to be the CEO of a major business, and another 15-year old caucasian grow up and be a serial bank robber.
So, it is literally impossible to give a breed that is the hardest to train or a breed that is the easiest to train. Some of the friendliest and most amazing dogs I’ve ever seen have been Pit Bulls, and the single most aggressive dog my trainers and I have ever seen was a Black Lab.
So, now that we have established all of this, my answer to the question of “What is the hardest breed of dog to train” would simply be: the dog who hasn’t been socialized much, the dog with little confidence, the dog who has never had any obedience, the dog who has had no pack leadership or pack structure asserted in their life. These things are what makes a dog “the hardest to train.” Not any age, not any breed, and not because they came from a breeder or a rescue. Owners who fail to do these fundamental things with their dog, is what makes their dog the hardest to train.
So, if you stumbled upon this blog because you wanted to ensure you didn’t get a stubborn or “hard to train” dog, sorry to disappoint you; however, it doesn’t exist. I would recommend finding a breed that meets your lifestyle and your training objectives, which you can read about in my blog on “Which Is The Best Dog To Pick.”