Special Report

These Are the Hardest Dog Breeds to Train

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Dalmatian

The dalmatian is known for its spotted coat, although puppies are born without spots. It has a unique AKC designation — coach dog — as it was used to accompany and guard horse-drawn coaches. The breed has been known to generations of children as the star of the Dodie Smith book and Walt Disney film adaptation “101 Dalmatians.” The dalmatian can be very sensitive, so positive, reward-based training is required.

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Pekinese

The pekingese was bred to be a small enough lapdog for Chinese royalty to fit inside the huge sleeves of ancient Chinese garments. Even so, it was used as a guard dog. The pekingese is a survivor — one of the two dogs to escape the Titanic was a Pekingese named Sun Yat-sen, named after the first president of the Republic of China. The pekingese is independent and can be “opinionated,” and so requires careful training.

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Chow chow

The chow chow is a member of the AKC’s Non-Sporting Group and does fine without a lot of exercise. Its deep-set eyes give it a serious look. It comes in a variety of colors, including red, black, and blue. The chow chow is one of two AKC registered breeds with a unique blue-black tongue, the other being the Chinese shar-pei. The breed can be stubborn so patience and positive reinforcement are required when training.

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Chesapeake Bay retriever

The Chesapeake Bay retriever is the official State Dog of Maryland, its home state. This family-oriented dog has a waterproof coat that’s oily to the touch. It’s protective of its owners and is determined, making it a great watchdog but also a challenge to train.

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Bullmastiff

As the name suggests, the bullmastiff is the result of bulldog and mastiff crosses. It was bred to guard country estates and game preserves from poachers. It is large, tipping the scale at up to 130 pounds, and is powerful and intimidating. As a result, the bullmastiff requires careful training.

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