Which Dog Breeds are the Hardest to Potty Train?

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Which Dog Breeds are the Hardest to Potty Train?When you have an older dog, going to the potty may not always be an option when it can no longer control its bladder. This is why it’s crucial to provide potty training sessions to dogs at a young age — depending on the breed, this can be a hard task for them to learn but is nevertheless essential. In this comprehensive guide, we share which dog breeds are the hardest to potty train, and how you can start training your little furbaby. 

Housebreaking Your Puppy 

For a pet parent, welcoming a puppy into their home can be a blessing, but they will also know that it will involve hard work as well. The first few months won’t just be cuddles and playtime; dog owners should take this time to properly train their pups, which includes housebreaking. Unfortunately, potty training isn’t an easy process, and just how difficult it will be depends on various factors, including the dog’s breed since some dogs will be more obedient compared to others. 

According to experts, it will take puppies around 4 to 6 months to be completely house-trained, but other dogs may take as long as a whole year. Smaller breeds will come with higher metabolisms and smaller bladders which means frequent trips to the bathroom. Moreover, the puppy’s previous living condition is another factor; a puppy mill dog may display bad behavior, so you may need to help your pooch break these bad habits before it can learn good potty habits.  

How to Potty Train Your Dogs

According to the American Kennel Club, it’s necessary to train your dog in the proper way to take a bathroom break. Unfortunately, some people lack the capability to establish dominance over their dogs, which leads to no respect from their pups; the latter will then take on the job of being the leader. The first step in potty training is to develop consistent, firm, and true confidence in yourself as a pack leader for your dog. 

Be sure to take your puppy outside at least every 2 hours, which is especially important after eating, drinking, playing, or waking up. You should always have your puppy attached to a leash whenever they go to use the bathroom. As mentioned, smaller dogs will come with small bladders so you might have a hard time training them, and may require a potty pad to help with frequent pee trips. 

When it comes to potty training, most dogs will go through basic steps that anyone can teach. The first thing you need to do is come up with a regular schedule, and tools such as a crate and puppy pads, and provide diligent training — with these, many dogs will master potty training in two weeks. House-training dogs can be difficult to achieve for people who want instant gratification; consistency and patience is the key for many dog breeds. 

Why are Dogs Hard to Potty Train? 

Dogs that are hard to train will usually have strong personalities or unique body types. For example, an Alaskan Malamute will be more than happy to jump into snow for outdoor relief, but a Chihuahua will never do this because it will always avoid the cold. Furthermore, small dogs will experience accidents more often, because their bodies can’t hold as much fluid as larger dogs.   

Sometimes, accidents made by small breeds can go undetected, and pet owners may overlook a potty accident occasionally. This could leave a stain and odor on the rug without realizing that their pup didn’t go out for a potty break.    

Dog Breeds Hardest to Potty Train

Below are just a few of the most difficult dog breeds to train when it comes to using the potty. 

American Foxhound

The American Foxhound is among the hardest breeds to potty train; AKC confirms that housebreaking these independent dogs will present a hard challenge for first-time owners. 

Afghan Hound

Unfortunately, Afghan puppies come with poor bladder control, but with consistent effort and diligence, these dogs will eventually learn. It will take around 6 months for them to clean up their act. 

Bichon Frise

These dogs have a reputation for being hard to house train because they are fiercely independent and will be picky about when to go outside whenever it’s cold or rainy. 

Chow Chow

Known to be an independent and stubborn dog, potty training the Chow Chow can be highly challenging. Luckily, using the right approach will make it much quicker to train these dogs.  

Cocker Spaniel

These playful, sweet, and gentle dogs can be temperamental and have a defensive attitude that will make potty training a stressful experience. When housebreaking this dog, try not to be too harsh, yell, or physically punish it since it may urinate out of submission or become defensive. 


The Dachshund can be a stubborn breed, and while they’re intelligent, they can also become defensive if they’re forced into doing something they don’t want to. It will also take a lot of convincing to get them to go out when it’s cold or raining. 

English Bulldog

According to experts, this pup ranks pretty low in terms of intelligence and will generally pick up a limited range of commands when being trained. They are also a breed that will take the longest to make mental connections when it comes to potty training, but positive reinforcement, vigilance, and consistency will eventually pay off.  

Italian Greyhound

Much like other small dog breeds, the Italian Greyhound won’t do very well when it comes to housetraining and can’t be completely trusted alone in your home. But aside from doing an occasional cleanup, these dogs are a great addition to any home.  

Jack Russell Terriers

When it comes to the various Terrier breeds, the Jack Russell is the toughest to train for your home. They are among the most stubborn dogs and it’s no secret that they can come up with creative ways to break the rules if they aren’t respected. 

Lakeland Terrier

Much like the Terrier above, the Lakeland Terrier can be very hard to housetrain because they have their own opinions on what proper behavior should be, and it may not always be like its owner’s. 

Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso can turn into an old puppy since it matures slowly and will keep the intelligence level of a puppy until it turns 3 years old. This means that new owners will need to provide extra time when training these puppies and try not to become too frustrated when their dog refuses to take their lessons seriously. For this reason, housetraining may be too difficult and experts recommend giving crate training instead. 


While Lowchen dogs have high intelligence and will take up training very well, they may develop housetraining issues as many toy breeds do. Thankfully, this can be corrected with consistency and a lot of patience. 

Norfolk Terrier

According to experts, the Norfolk Terrier can be difficult and stubborn when it comes to housetraining, so like the Lhasa Apso, crate training is recommended. 

Norwich Terrier

While the Norwich Terrier is eager to please its owners, it can be a difficult breed to housetrain when they aren’t given the proper motivation. 


It might take the Pekingese some time to understand the right place to go for a bathroom break. And because of its small size, it may need to go to the bathroom more often compared to larger breeds, so it’s best to give them the opportunity to head outside regularly. 


While Pomeranians love to please their owners, they have such big personalities that make it hard for them to train. When combined with their extra small bladders that won’t be able to hold fluids for very long, potty training can become even harder. 


Pugs can be hard to train, especially during their potty time because they can be quite stubborn but even with this kind of temperament, they’re still affectionate and playful dogs that can be handled even by first-time pet parents.   

Sealyham Terrier

When it comes to housetraining, the Sealuyham Terrier can be stubborn and independent, so they will need a firm hand and persistent training as suggested by experts. 

Shih Tzu

When training your Shih Tzu, you can expect to experience frustration and amusement, as described by the AKC. This breed will tend to charm its owner into getting its own way — this can result in chubby dogs that are difficult to groom and aren’t fully housetrained. 

West Highland Terrier

Experts agree that this brilliant, yet demanding breed will often frustrate its owners whenever potty training is involved. 

Yorkshire Terrier

According to dog experts, Yorkshire Terriers are among the most difficult dogs to potty train, and they will also be stubborn. These cute dogs also have small bladders that won’t hold a lot of water, which makes potty breaks frequent. Toy dog breeds like this one are also hard to convince to go out whenever it’s cold or raining outside. 

Hounds and Hunting Breeds 

Hunting dogs such as the Basset Hound, Cocker Spaniel, American Foxhound, Beagle, and Dalmatian all come with a high prey drive that can be difficult to keep up with. Scent hounds are often equipped with scent-sniffing skills, while a sighthound, such as a Whippet will have strong sight. They can easily get distracted by sights or smells even when going to the potty, and will need dedicated parents to help them stay on-task. 

Easiest Dog Breeds to Potty Train

When it comes to good behavior, these dogs are at the top of the list and are relatively easier to train compared to the breeds above. However, it’s best to keep in mind that every dog is different, and how quickly a dog picks up potty training will vary on a case-to-case basis. 

Border Collie

Known as a very intelligent breed, Border Collies are highly trainable, which will make the whole potty training process a lot easier compared to other breeds. 

Boston Terrier

Luckily, Boston Terriers are little dogs that love to please family members and will respond well to all kinds of training. Compared to other small breeds, they are a lot easier to potty train, but will still need your patience, consistency, and time to learn the ins and outs of using the potty.  

Golden Retrievers

Known as one of the most loyal dogs, Golden Retrievers won’t oppose any kind of potty training and are among the easiest breeds to potty train since they’re also smart and ready to please. 

Labrador Retrievers

These affectionate dogs are highly social, intelligent, and love pleasing their owners, so they will be no problem to train. This large dog loves to be physically and mentally stimulated and is among the most intelligent breeds so house training should be easy enough once it’s taught the most important steps.   

German Shepherd

If you picked a German Shepherd as your new dog, you might find that potty training won’t always go according to plan. But if you’re able to dedicate time and effort to teaching your furry friend, it can be easier to train than any other dog breed. These beautiful dogs can be potty trained in as little as 5 days with a well-established schedule and the right techniques. 


When it comes to potty training your best friend, consistency, dedication, and patience will go a long way, and using tools such as pee pads and training pads will only help towards your goal. The best way to teach your pooch is to approach it with understanding and care; the last thing you want to do is punish your pup for accidents, which will only lead to aggressive behavior. By giving time and effort to this important part of your dog’s training, your adult dog will be able to live at home with you in harmony for a  long time.