12 Dog Breeds That Are Hard AF To Potty Train

Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

February 9, 2022

You did everything right.

You listened to the experts.

You followed the best potty training advice.

Yet somehow, some way, you came back home to an unwelcome surprise from your dog. Don’t blame yourself! Depending on their breed, it might just be their nature. Certain breeds just don’t get it when it comes to potty training, and that learning curve can manifest in a variety of unsightly ways.

A lot of factors come into play, like personality, temperament, and training style, but chances are if your pup experiences resistance to potty training, they might just be one of these breeds.

Disclaimer: Obviously not all dogs belonging to the breeds listed here exhibit naughty behavior. This is just a general round-up of those that pup parents cite frequently!

1. Afghan Hound

afghan hound relaxing on grass

Majestic? Yes. Gorgeous? You got it. Hair better than yours? You bet! Potty trained? Not so much. Afghan hounds have the independent personality of a cat and tend to do what they want, when they want, possibly ignoring your prompts and commands.

2. Dachshund

A dachshund puppy on a couch

Though they are small, cute, and have a waddle that won’t quit, dachshunds are as stubborn as hounds come. We recommend crate training since they can be difficult to to potty train. Dachshunds aren’t usually fans of cold weather, either, so any inkling of a chill and they will avoid going outside to do their business!

3. Pug

pug puppy on a deck

Even though they’ve mastered the perfect head tilt, pugs haven’t mastered potty training. They’re especially stubborn when going to the bathroom, especially when it’s not nice outside. Pugs love their human parents so much, they might have attachment issues going by themselves!

4. Pekingese

Two pekingese dogs on the grass

Once known as Chinese royalty, Pekingeses have the self-important attitude to show it. Although they’re very intelligent, they also have an independent attitude and tend to adopt “selective hearing” when it comes to potty training. If the royal family couldn’t housebreak these pups, it’ll probably be even harder for you!

5. Dalmatian

a dalmatian on a road during fall

Best known for their role in 101 Dalmatians and as a mascot for the fire department, Dalmatians are very intelligent and need an owner who can handle them before they decide to run things their way. This breed needs training early on, as they are extremely active and high energy. It takes some time to master going potty outside, but with patience and love, Dalmatians will rise to the occasion.

6. Chow Chow

A chow chow puppy on grass

It’s hard to believe when you look at these fluffballs, but chow chows used to be Chinese guard dogs. They like to be independent leaders and need a human who will embrace those traits, potty training them with a cool and confident approach. Practice makes perfect!

7. Beagle

A beagle on the beach

They can sniff out contraband in airports. They can find you in any game of hide and seek. But they can’t seem to nail down potty training. Beagles are hounds after all, so they exhibit a focused, one-track mind instinct that can be challenging to temper. But with the proper training and patience, your feisty little beagle will master the bathroom!

8. Basset Hound

a basset hound rolling in the grass

Is patience a virtue to you? Good, because basset hounds will appreciate it. Hounds are notoriously difficult to train due to their tracking instinct, but you can train your low-riding hound with positive methods to nip bad behavior in the bud.

9. Pomeranian 

a pomeranian in a chair

Described as cocky, animated, and lively, Pomeranians are exactly that—and then some. You’ll need to convince them (with plenty of treats) how the potty game is played. Patience and short, positive training sessions are all you need.

Related Article: How To Potty Train A Puppy (Or Dog!)

10. Bulldog

a bulldog with a yellow ball

Bulldogs rarely want to get up, let alone go outside to potty. They’re pretty content to do whatever they want, and sometimes just don’t listen. They can be stubborn and single-minded, which makes them harder to train than your average golden retriever.

11. Basenji

a basenji standing on a rock

Known as the “barkless” dog from Africa, basenjis are known to learn plenty of commands—it’s just a matter of whether they’ll actually perform them or not. This stubborn breed will usually decide what they feel like doing, so it’ll take a bit of extra training elbow grease to get their potty skills up to snuff.

12. Jack Russell Terrier

a jack russel terrier with a soccer ball

Jack Russell terriers are known to be a challenging breed, to say the least. From chewing up your shoes to running around the house at full speed, these pups are little balls of energy that can be difficult to potty train. Want them to pee outside? They might just pee on the entry rug instead because that’s close enough, right?

Like most pups, with a few treats and a whole bunch of positive reinforcement, even the most stubborn and independent breeds will get the hang of potty training eventually!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Written by: Dr. Katy Nelson

February 9, 2022


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.


A themed collection of BARK-designed toys, treats, and chews.