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11 Dogs That Are the Hardest to House Train [2022]

Training a dog can be difficult for anyone, especially first-time dog owners. Some breeds are certainly more difficult to house train than others, Be patient when working with these 11  dog breeds. When it comes to housebreaking a dog, it’s important to be firm, but you should also remain patient and kind otherwise your dog may not listen just to spite you.

dogs that are the hardest to house train

There are many things you can do to assist in house training your dog, like purchasing training pads, using a vocal signal that it isn’t okay, and the very occasional tap on the butt.

1. House Train Dachshund

Dachshunds are notorious for being hard to house train. They are a highly intelligent breed, but they are also very independent and hard to train in general. Dachshund is almost one of the most loyal breeds. Persistence is key with your Dachshund and there are a few tips you can follow to do the best job you can at potty training them:

house train black dachshund

Pick a crate that is big enough for them to stand and move around in, although don’t pick a crate that leaves a lot of room for them to soil. Dogs don’t like to go to the bathroom where they sleep, so a correctly sized cage can be key when you house train your dog.

Try using time cues. By using this method, your Dachshund will be aware of what time they should be using the bathroom (suggested time between bathroom breaks is every one to two hours).

Use the reward method to ensure they understand but only when they go outside or on the training pad. By doing this, they will begin to associate praise and treats with using the bathroom where they are supposed to.

Interrupt them when they have an accident. By doing this, they will avoid soiling the same spot because they know you will interrupt them.

If you want to start with a free dog training course then you can start right now!


2. West Highland White Terrier

house train terrier

Confinement is one of the most important things you can do with a Westie until they are housebroken. Now, this doesn’t mean that you have to keep them in a crate for the first year of their lives, but they also shouldn’t be allowed to roam your home freely until they are trained. Try closing off a small place for them, like in the kitchen or corner of the living room, so they learn that that’s their area and keep a training pad in there. Keep the area big enough for them to sleep and use the bathroom but make sure the areas are separated enough that your Westie learns not to sleep where they use the bathroom. Also, be sure that you praise them when you house train and they go to the right place so they begin to associate which place is right and which place is wrong.

3. House Train Jack Russell Terrier

house train jack russel

Because this is a terrier breed, Jack Russells are fantastic with scent. They aren’t as good as hunting dogs, but they have a strong prey instinct and will recognize familiar smells. Take them to the same place every few hours to use the bathroom and they will associate the smell of the place you took them with the correct place to use the bathroom. The easiest way to do this is to house train them to use the bathroom in soil. Soil has a very potent and strong smell and it will be easy for your Jack Russell to pick up on. As always, praise your dog sufficiently so it understands that it is using the bathroom in the correct location.

4. House Training Maltese

house train maltese

Smaller breeds respond well to time training as well as consistency. To house train Maltese, try to keep bringing them to the same spot every time they need to use the bathroom or when they have an accident. The easiest way to keep track of what times your dog uses the bathroom is by making a log of it and keeping track on paper. If you bring your Maltese to the potty area at the right time and they don’t have to use the bathroom, bring them back to their sleep or play area and remain there for fifteen minutes and then take them out again. As always, be sure to praise when they do the right thing. It’s also very important to not be physical with a Maltese (or any other dog) because of their size. Maltese are small dogs and can become frightened of you if you are too harsh with them.

If you want to start with a free dog training course then you can start right now!


5. House Train Havanese

house train havanese dog

When a Havanese is a puppy, you should limit its feedings to three times a day this way you know when you have to take them outside. If food is left out for your Havanese to eat at its leisure (which is okay when they get older and are trained), you’re allowing them to lose their time schedule and their bathroom breaks will be scattered and random. Bell training can also be very fun for the owner and the Havanese to do together as an activity. House train your Havanese to paw at a bell that’s attached to the back door if you will be training them outside. By doing this, you’re teaching your Havanese that when they ring the bell, they will be taken outside to do their business. You should have the bell so that it sits at their nose level so it’s easy for them to reach.

6. Pomeranian

house train pomeranian

Pomeranians are smart, but are not the most intelligent dog breed you can find. Because of this, you should use a one-word signal that you say each time they use the bathroom (the easiest are, of course, “potty?” and “bathroom?”). Like a Havanese, another fun and easy way to house train a Pomeranian is bell training. They’re around the same size, although Poms are smaller, and they respond almost the same way. Hang a bell at nose level from your back door and have your Pom paw at the bell and then immediately take them outside. By doing this they will learn that when they hit the bell they will be taken outside to use the bathroom. In order to have them know the difference between going outside to play or going outside to use the bathroom, ring the bell and take them out every two hours. This is a combination of time training and bell training, so by doing this you are showing them that the bell is only to be rung when they have to use the bathroom.

7. Yorkshire Terrier

yorkshire terrier on a grass field

As another small breed, the easiest way to train a Yorkie is with positive reinforcement and praise. Also, be sure to time train your Yorkie. Yorkies tend to be very independent and can be difficult to house train as a result. Try not to scold a Yorkie because then they can become very skittish and won’t listen to you the same way. If they have an accident be sure to clean up their mess immediately and tell them “no” but refrain from using an angered tone in your voice. Many Yorkies are too small to get many shots, so, they should be trained to use the bathroom indoors. Keep a training pad in the same place at all times so that they learn where their bathroom is. An easy spot to pick for the training pad is in the bathroom because it will be easy to clean if they happen to have an accident and it is a very defined spot unlike a random spot around the house.

8. Pekingese

pekingese dog lying down

A Pekingese is a breed that comes from very respectful origins and as such, it believes it is better than you. You need to first train your Pekingese to respect you as its owner and master before potty training otherwise it will be extremely difficult. This breed is also known for being stubborn and strong-willed so it’s important to be firm, but not cruel when training a Pekingese. As with other small breeds, be sure that you have a defined place for them to sleep and a separate defined space for them to use the bathroom. In order to prevent behavioral problems and to make training as painless as possible, begin training your Pekingese at an early age. Click training is a fantastic way to house train a Pekingese. Purchase a dog clicker (they make a dull noise that won’t hurt your dog’s ears) and when it’s time to use the bathroom, press the clicker and say “bathroom.” By doing this, you are teaching them that when they hear that noise as well as the correct verbal command, it is time to use the bathroom. Click training can also be highly effective when teaching them tricks.

9. Husky

siberian husky isolated

Huskies are incredibly intelligent dogs, so, they can understand commands in the form of a sentence or multiple words. You can choose to use a command as simple as “bathroom time” or as complicated as “let’s go to the bathroom outside” and, so long as you are consistent with your command, they will be able to understand what you want them to do. It’s important to time train a Husky as well as they will remember the time gaps between bathroom breaks easily. Initially when you house train, go to your door (if you want them to use the bathroom outside) and use a high-pitched voice and allow the dog to become excited so they know this is a good thing. Use your command and then open the door to allow them to go outside. Providing that you allow adequate time between bathroom breaks, you should not allow them to come back inside until they have done their business. They have to understand that’s the reason why they went out in the first place.

10. Bichon Frise

bichon frise standing up

Be sure that your Bichon Frise understands that “crate time” doesn’t mean the same thing as “potty time.” When using a crate to house train a Bichon Frise, they may misunderstand being put in the crate as a time to use the bathroom or they may see it as a punishment and soil the crate to spite you. The easiest way to ensure they won’t use the bathroom in their crate is to make sure that the crate is just big enough to hold a dog bed because dogs do not like to use the bathroom in the same place that they sleep. Always crate your dog during the night or during long absences during the beginning of their training because if they have free rein in the house, they will use the bathroom wherever they choose. It’s also important to remember not to punish your Bichon Frise when they have an accident because they can become afraid of you.

11. Cocker Spaniel

cocker spaniel top view

Training a Cocker Spaniel can be difficult for first-time dog owners. They are a bit stubborn, but once they are trained they are great pets. Try not to focus on teaching your Spaniel not to use the bathroom indoors but rather to use the bathroom outdoors. Positive reinforcement is key with this breed so praising is also very important. You can also use multiple word commands with them thanks to their intelligence, so don’t be afraid to use a command you fear may be too complicated. Depending on the size of your spaniel, you may or may not want to have them use the bathroom outside, but, either way, time training is highly successful with them as well. Be sure to have them go out or go to their designated area at the same time every day to properly house train them.

If you want to start with a free dog training course then you can start right now!


9 Tips for Training Your Dog

Training a new pet can be an extremely arduous process. They certainly have the ability to understand commands, but without the correct leadership, commands are useless. People make a ton of mistakes too, which they’re completely unaware of. Sending mixed messages to a dog can be very confusing for them and can make the training process even harder, so ensuring that a dog is trained correctly should be researched and applied with an unwavering hand. Here are nine extremely useful tips for training your dog and having it stick.

Be a Leader

Dogs are not natural leaders. Your pet should never rule the house or its occupants. Coincidentally, the most important part of owning a dog and training it is practicing leadership. Cesar Milan, one of the most revered experts on dogs in North America, notes this theory in an article where he helped Jada Pinkett Smith with training her pets. “It was really all about teaching her how to feel confident as the leader of her dogs.”. Dogs are naturally inclined to be a part of a pack, and they have an innate need to be led by someone that exudes authority and has a calm and confident aura. Otherwise, a dog will be confused, unruly, and disobedient. Use a firm voice when giving your dog a command, and approach each interaction with an air of being in complete control. A leader never loses their cool either, so be sure to stay calm.

it typically takes 4 6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained but some puppies may take up to a year

Keep It Positive

A common mistake people make when trying to train a dog to obey commands is using punishment and negativity to reprimand an undesirable behavior. Contrary to popular belief, the proverbial slapping of the hand that has been used by many people to train their dog is more of a band-aid than a permanent solution to aggressiveness, disobedience, and other issues such as having a dog who tears things apart or marks up your house. In fact, Nylabone cites a 2009 study by the University of Pennsylvania that found that “aggressive dogs who were trained with aggressive, confrontational, or aversive training techniques continued their aggressive ways.”. This and a slew of other studies have concluded that using other rewards like treats or praise had a more beneficial effect on how dogs obeyed owners and whether or not undesirable behaviors continued.

Use Short Sessions

The ASPCA believes that “Like kids, dogs don’t have long attention spans.”. In fact, they recommend that training should go for 15 minutes, and no further. This makes sense because 15 minutes of telling someone to do the same thing over and over can be too much to handle. Why isn’t that true for dogs? If you disagree, sit for 5 minutes and repeat the phrase ‘roll over’ every 4 seconds. See how enthusiastic you are after that. Yes, 15 minutes per training session is plenty.

dog standing with red background

Start Early

Once you get your new companion home, you need to begin training it right away. Don’t convince yourself that there needs to be a honeymoon period where all you do is bond with your furry friend. Training your new dog is bonding; don’t convince yourself otherwise. You’re the one who sets expectations for behavior in your home, and if you bring home a dog and allow it to chew things up or pee anywhere it sees fit for the first few weeks, that will be a habit they’ve already established by the time you get around to training them to do otherwise. Sounds backward, doesn’t it? It is, and it won’t be easy to break habits and reconfigure how they’ve been living while you’ve been doting on them. They need to be given an opportunity to get used to your home’s rules, but do it from the get-go.

Stay Committed

It may sound harsh, but if you’ve brought home a new pet just to have a cute and autonomous fur ball that does what it’s supposed to on its own, consider a goldfish or hamster. Training a dog is hard work, and it takes time and a huge level of commitment. You can’t just throw up your hands and give up when your dog doesn’t listen. You need to be in it for the long run. If you aren’t prepared to do that, you’ve made a grave mistake and should return your pet so it can have a chance at a well-rounded life as part of a healthy and correctly led pack. A Captainless ship travels in circles, and an untrained, leaderless dog has no direction either.

dog on forest

Recognize Their Level of Understanding

Dogs are extremely intelligent, but we give them way more credit than they deserve, so don’t be surprised when they don’t understand cues on the fly or don’t know why you’re mad. Dog owners need to understand the level of maturity and intellect they’re dealing with. Stanley Coren, a widely respected researcher of canine behavior at UBC in British Columbia, Canada found in a 2009 study that “According to several behavioral measures dogs’ mental abilities are close to a human child age 2 to 2.5 years.”. You may have already heard this before, but a dog isn’t capable of complex emotions like guilt or embarrassment. They also lack the capacity for pride, so keep that in mind when training your dog to stay out of the trash or do as they’re told. You will have the most success treating them like two-year-old children.

Be Consistent

Training a dog doesn’t work if you aren’t on top of it. Being consistent is huge because a dog who gets away with an undesirable behavior once will begin to learn that there is no consequence for their negative behaviors. Of course, you cannot be abusive or scream at your dog, but you should be sure to take away a reward like a toy or keep from praising your dog at random times when they haven’t done anything in particular to deserve it. Dogs are exactly like young children and inconsistency breeds bad behavior, confusion, and defiance. Rules should be established and remain the same throughout their whole life. If you slack, your dog will slack too.

beagle smiling on forest

Watch Your Body Language

It may seem like an abstract idea, but because dogs use nonverbal communication with one another, they will be tuning into yours as well. Although energy is important, body language isn’t about energy. It’s about the messages your body sends. Your posture, the way you hold your head up, and the way you approach your animal say something to them about your capabilities as a leader. It also makes a statement about if you can be trusted or if you’re someone to be feared. Make sure that your body language says that you are confident and capable of leading. Don’t be timid, and don’t approach the situation in an awkward manner. Leaders have strong posture, walk with their head up, and approach things in a calm and deliberate way that says their authority can be trusted.

Don’t Baby Your Dog

A lot of people baby their dogs. They carry them everywhere, don’t give out commands, and never leave their side. This seems like a great owner-dog relationship, but watch how fast that puppy falls apart when Mom leaves the room or goes to work. Dogs who are babied aren’t in a good place because they aren’t getting any structure. They may also end up having pent-up aggression since they aren’t always expected to exercise; that isn’t taking into account the advent of separation anxiety and a resulting torn apart house either. Babying a dog is not the right way to lead them. In fact, they aren’t getting any leadership out of the deal, so they can feel primitively unfulfilled from this, so steer clear of turning your pooch into a spoiled brat.

If you want to start with a free dog training course then you can start right now!


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