Training a dog is one of a pet parent’s biggest and sometimes most-challenging responsibilities, but what if your dog is being difficult and resisting training? If you’ve ever wondered, are some dogs untrainable, most experts say that with rare exception, the answer to that question is “no.”
The truth is that even the most hyper and uncontrollable dog can usually be trained. You just have to know how to do it.
Are Some Dogs Untrainable?
The vast majority of dogs are trainable, even though some dogs are much easier to train than others. Even the ones that are difficult to train are usually able to be trained if you know what you’re doing, although they may take longer to train than others.
It is actually very rare to find a dog that literally cannot be trained, but they are almost always dogs that have something wrong with them or are simply too old or sickly to be trained.
Having said this, it might seem that your dog is untrainable, and this is usually due to one of the following situations:
- They are very old. In this case, most dogs are still able to be trained, but it takes a lot longer for the training to be effective.
- They are fearful or have suffered some type of trauma. This is usually the result of the dog being hit, punished, or yelled at frequently.
- They have something in their history that’s stopping them from being trainable. This can include the dog being stubborn or aggressive or having been abused or neglected in the past.
- They are the victims of the wrong training method. There are numerous training methods available, but not all of them work for all dogs.
Once again, even dogs who have experienced these things are usually trainable if you give them enough time and you’re consistent. It’s going to be more difficult and more time-consuming to train this type of dog, but in most cases, it can still be done.
You may even have to hire a professional dog trainer if the task is too difficult for you to handle on your own, but you’ll find that most of these dogs are still trainable in the end.
Can All Dogs Be Trained?
While most dogs can, in fact, be trained eventually, some are much easier to train than others. For the most part, here is a list of dogs that are very simple to train:
- Border collie. They are intelligent, agile, and very athletic.
- Border terrier. These dogs are affectionate and even-tempered, making them easy to train.
- They are super-smart, love to please their owners, and are hard workers.
- Doberman pinscher. They are protective, brave, and loyal, and they are extremely easy to train.
- German shepherd. Their strong protective instinct makes them easy to train.
- Golden retriever. They are friendly, obedient, and well-behaved.
- Labrador retriever. These dogs are social and very eager to please.
- They are go-getters and love to please.
- Poodles are very smart and are very athletic as well.
- Shetland sheepdog. They love to please and they love a challenge!
In addition, here is a list of dogs that are notorious for being difficult to train:
- Afghan hound. They tend to do what they want, sort of like a cat!
- American pitbull terrier. They are aggressive and are often bred to be fighters.
- Basset hound. These pets tend to be very difficult to potty-train.
- While cute, they have a lot of energy and aren’t that great at listening to commands.
- They are lovable but very stubborn!
- Bull mastiff. They are stubborn, very large, and don’t always get along with other dogs.
- Chinese shar-pei. Although cuddly, they are very territorial and sometimes need to be restrained.
- Chow chow. They are aggressive, are often jealous, crave attention, and can be stubborn.
- They are stubborn and their size can be intimidating to the trainer.
- Siberian husky. These dogs are extremely active and can act out if they aren’t busy enough.
These two lists are proof that while some dogs are easy to train, others are very difficult. Naturally, most people do not choose a dog breed solely on the basis of how difficult it is to train. Still, if you know that the dog you choose is a little more challenging to train, you can prepare yourself for the inevitable and choose to do things to make the training a little more bearable.
Some of these things include:
- Determine what the dog’s favorite treat or toy is and use that as positive reinforcement. Not all dogs want a treat when they do something right. Some want a toy or other item instead.
- Accept the fact that it’s going to take some time, and don’t rush through the training. Instead, take your time and be very consistent.
- Make sure that your pet gets lots of exercise. When dogs get bored or are too hyper, they cannot concentrate on being trained. Regular exercise will help with this problem.
- Be patient at all times. If you find yourself getting irritated, stop the training and start back up again at another time. It’s more important to be patient and consistent than it is to rush through the training.
If you work with your dog for a very long time and nothing seems to work, you might have to hire a professional trainer. Provided everything else is all right with the dog and you’re not overlooking anything, these trainers can be true miracle workers regardless of the type of dog you own.
There is certainly nothing wrong with hiring a pro, and they usually cost a lot less than you might think. All of these things together make hiring a professional dog trainer a great choice.
With very rare exceptions, every dog is trainable. That being said, some breeds are much harder to train than others.
Bring your dog in for a checkup with the vet if you’re having trouble with your training, and if that doesn’t work, keep in mind that being old, fearful, or territorial can also cause a dog to be very difficult to train.