Special Report

These Are the Hardest Dog Breeds to Train

Source: Drago_Nika / iStock via Getty Images

Irish setter

Irish setters are famous for their fine red coats, their grace, and speed. These dogs thrive on human companionship and get along well with children and other dogs. They like vigorous exercise and lots of it. They are eager to please but require patient, positive training.

Source: Pierre Aden / iStock via Getty Images

Afghan hound

The Afghan hound is a loyal, regal-looking breed. It’s a powerful athlete and not right for all dog owners. The AKC notes that no amount of training will overcome the Afghan hound’s hunting instinct to take off on a high-speed chase.

Source: SerhiiBobyk / Getty Images

Fox terrier

The AKC recognizes a number of fox terrier breeds: the wire fox terrier, the smooth fox terrier, and the toy fox setter. Training the wire fox terrier is said to be a challenge, less so the other two.

Source: Anastasiia Cherniavskaia / iStock via Getty Images


Borzoi are big sighthounds — hunting primarily by sight and speed — and can weigh over 100 pounds. Once known as the Russian wolfhound, borzoi were bred to be fast and tough. They are independent and sometimes stubborn, so training can be a challenge.

Source: Madjuszka / Getty Images


The basenji originated in Africa and is one of the oldest dog breeds. That said, it has some un-doglike characteristics — it doesn’t bark, and it grooms itself like a cat. The basenji is good with children, but can also be aloof. It’s energetic and loses interest quickly, which poses some training issues.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.