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10 Dog Breeds That Are Incredibly Stubborn

Written by: Dina Fantegrossi
Dina Fantegrossi is the Assistant Editor and Head Writer for HomeLife Media. Before her career in writing, Dina was a veterinary technician for more than 15 years.Read more
| Published on January 13, 2019

All dogs can be stubborn, especially when they know they have their humans wrapped around their little paws. Although all breed combinations have the potential for willfulness, some breeds turn it into an art form!

If you think you’ve got a headstrong hound, a difficult dog or a pigheaded pooch, read on to see if your pup made our list of the top 10 most stubborn breeds.

1. Beagle

Beagles were bred to be hunting dogs, meaning it is hardwired into their genes to bark, howl, chase and explore. They still make wonderful family dogs as long as they get plenty of exercise, but even the best trained Beagle will have trouble obeying commands when there’s a squirrel nearby.


2. Jack Russell Terrier 

These sturdy, intelligent little powerhouses are incredibly tenacious and athletic. Bred to catch and eradicate rats, they love to chase, jump, climb and dig. If all that energy and strength is not channeled into something positive – like agility training – the Jack Russell’s stubborn nature can get him into some serious trouble.


3. English Bulldog

Ah, the Bulldog. These cuties are the meaty little class clowns of the canine world. As silly and affectionate as they are, good luck getting an English Bulldog to do something he does not want to do! Bath times, trips to the vet and toenail trims can be a nightmare with these bossy pups.


4. Dachshund

Doxies are incredibly loving and devoted family dogs, which makes them one of the most popular breeds in America. Their fiercely protective nature towards those they love means they can also be quite strong-willed. Dachshunds love to dig, bark and patrol their neighborhoods. If they see another animal invading their turf, it’s almost impossible to talk them out of giving chase.


5. Lhasa Apso

These long-haired pups were bred by Tibetan monks to be alert-dogs, so naturally, they are big barkers. Lhasas have also been described as manipulative, mischievous and uncompromising. They may be cute and cuddly, but these little watchdogs have their own agendas.

6. Chihuahua

These cute little toy dogs have been known to suffer from “Napoleon Complex” – they tend to act big and tough to make up for their small stature. This, combined with their tendency to be kept as spoiled “purse-pets,” can give the Chihuahua quite a sense of entitlement!


7. Miniature Pinscher

Referred to as the “King of the Toys,”  the Miniature Pinscher will constantly test his human’s limits to see just how much he can get away with. These willful pooches have lots of energy, sharp minds and a passion for digging, barking and chasing. Without a strong leader, Min Pins will rule the roost.

8. Pug

Few people can resist the squishy adorableness that is the Pug – and this roly poly toy breed will take advantage of that whenever possible. They are quite clever, highly food-motivated, and insist on being the center of attention. If they are not properly trained, these hard-headed cuties will pursue their own agenda – whether their humans like it or not!


9. Scottish Terrier

Scotties are extremely intelligent, sensitive and strong-willed, just like many of their terrier cousins. They have also been described as independent, fiery and prey-driven, meaning they require a confident leader to keep them in line.


10. Akita

Akitas are a dominant, take-charge breed that can easily take over as the family alpha without extremely strong leadership from their humans. The website, says that “Akitas are very stubborn and when the dog thinks it’s a waste of time to ‘sit’ or ‘stay’ one more time, he will simply walk away!”


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