The 25 Dog Breeds That are Hardest to Potty Train

Welcoming a puppy into your home is a wonderful experience, but any pet parent will know that it can be hard work too. The first few months of having a puppy are not just playtime and cuddles—responsible owners will take this time to patiently train their puppies, and that includes housebreaking.

Potty training will never be the easiest process to go through—even dogs that take easier to housebreaking will still need to be trained with care. The difficulty of housebreaking a puppy will depend on many factors, and breed can definitely play into how well a dog responds to potty training, as some breeds are more obedient than others.

According to Pets WebMD: "It typically takes 4-6 months for a puppy to be fully house trained, but some puppies may take up to a year.

"Size can be a predictor. For instance, smaller breeds have smaller bladders and higher metabolisms and require more frequent trips outside.

"Your puppy's previous living conditions are another predictor. You may find that you need to help your puppy break old habits in order to establish more desirable ones."

Using information from The American Kennel Club, DogTime, Pets4Homes, and MedNet Direct, Newsweek has rounded up 25 dog breeds that are difficult to potty train.

American Foxhound

American Foxhounds are not the easiest breed to potty train. According to the AKC, "training and housebreaking these independent souls can be a steep challenge for novice owners."

American Foxhound
An American Foxhound at the 140th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 16, 2016, in New York City. Matthew Eisman/Getty

Beagle

Beagles can be difficult to housetrain because according to Pets4Homes, the breed doesn't rank very highly on the canine intelligence spectrum for working ability.

Pets4Homes, says: "they also tend to be excitable dogs with a short attention span that tend to get easily distracted and have a rather selective memory!"

Beagle
A Beagle at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home on December 17, 2019, in London, England. Mike Marsland/WireImage/Getty

Bichon Frise

The AKC says that Bichon Frises "have a reputation for being difficult to housebreak," while MedNet Direct says that the breed is "fiercely independent" and "tends to be picky about going outside when it's rainy or cold out."

Bichon Frise
A group of Bichon Frise dogs compete in the 144th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on February 10, 2020, in New York City. Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty

Biewer Terrier

The AKC says that Biewer terrier dogs have a "fun-loving, childlike attitude [that] makes them a great companion for people of all ages and able to make friends with animals of any origin.

"Being extremely intelligent, they are easy to train, although potty training may take a little longer."

Biewer terrier
A Biewer terrier puppy. Vladimir Bolokh/iStock

Brussels Griffon

The AKC says that Brussels Griffons "have a high degree of intelligence and bond strongly with their owners, which makes them easy to train," however, as with many toy breeds, "housebreaking may take some extra time and effort."

Brussels Griffon
A Brussels Griffon dog at the Cruft's dog show at the NEC Arena on March 10, 2018, in Birmingham, England. Richard Stabler/Getty

Chihuahua

MedNet Direct says that Chihuahuas are: "known for urinating whenever and wherever they feel like it because they know that they'll get away with it.

Chihuahuas can also be challenging to potty train because "they hate going outside when it's too cold or wet out." Chihuahuas could benefit from having a safe place inside to go to the potty.

Chihuahua
A three-week-old Chihuahua puppy on April 7, 2009, in Renton, Scotland. Jeff J Mitchell/Getty

Chinese Crested

According to DogTime, crate training is helpful for housetraining, which "can be one difficult area of training for the Chinese Crested (as a group, toy breeds can be tough to housetrain)—but it will all click into place eventually."

Chinese Crested Dog
A Chinese Crested Dog at a competition on August 26, 2018, in Leipzig, Germany. Jens Schlueter/Getty

Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels are "sweet-natured, playful, and incredibly gentle dogs", says MedNet Direct, "but they can also have a temperamental and unpredictably defensive attitude that can make potty training a challenge."

When housebreaking their dog, owners should "avoid being too harsh, yelling or physically punishing a Cocker Spaniel when potty training, as they'll likely either become defensive or urinate in submission."

Cocker Spaniel
A Cocker Spaniel sits beside a sign reading 'Pawing Station' outside a polling station on June 8, 2017, in Greater Manchester, United Kingdom. Anthony Devlin/Getty

Coton du Tulear

"Some people find the Coton difficult to housetrain," according to DogTime, "but given a regular schedule, frequent outings to do his business, and praise when he potties in the right place, a Coton can pick it up very quickly."

Coton De Tulear
A Coton de Tulear dog photographed outside. Bigandt_Photography/iStock

Dachshund

Dachshunds can be a stubborn breed, and although they are clever, "they tend to get defensive when they are pushed to do something they don't want to do," says MedNet Direct, "Plus, these dogs need major convincing to go outside when it's rainy or cold out."

 Dachshund
A Dachshund at the Crufts dog show at the NEC on March 7, 2014, in Birmingham, England. Matt Cardy/Getty

English Bulldog

According to Pets4Homes, the English bulldog is "the second-from-last breed in the canine intelligence stakes", they can "generally only pick up a very limited and low-level range of commands in general training."

Pets4Homes also says that this breed takes "longer than most to make the mental connections involved in picking up toilet training," however, "consistency, vigilance, and positive reinforcement will pay off in the end!"

English Bulldog
Lewis Hamilton's dog, an English bulldog, on May 7, 2017, in Barcelona, Spain. Joan Cros Garcia/Corbis/Getty

Italian Greyhound

Italian Greyhounds "don't do well" at housetraining, according to DogTime, which says: "Like many small breeds, the IG can be difficult to housetrain, and some dogs are never completely trustworthy in the house."

However, "Aside from the occasional cleanup, life with an IG is both restful and zestful."

Italian Greyhound
Italian Greyhounds compete during the 141st Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, February 13, 2017, in New York City. Drew Angerer/Getty

Jack Russell Terrier

"Of all of the terrier breeds, the Jack Russell is, hands down, the most difficult to housetrain," according to MedNet Direct, who says, "Jack Russells can be some of the most stubborn dogs out there."

Jack Russell Terrier
A Jack Russell terrier dog catches a frisbee in mid air on August 1, 1985, in London, England. Adrian Murrell/Getty

Lakeland Terrier

DogTime says that like many terriers, Lakelands "can be difficult to housetrain, and they have their own thoughts about what constitutes proper behavior, which may not be the same as yours."

Lakeland Terrier
A Lakeland Terrier at the 140th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden on February 16, 2016, in New York City. Matthew Eisman/Getty

Lhasa Apso

"The Lhasa matures slowly and remains puppyish until he's three years old," says DogTime.

"New owners need to keep this in mind when training Lhasa puppies, or they can become frustrated with the Lhasa's refusal to take lessons too seriously," adding "Housetraining can be difficult; crate training is recommended."

Lhasa Apso
A Lhasa Apso dog stands on a sandy beach along the Atlantic Ocean. Jerry Cooke/Corbis/Getty

Lowchen

DogTime says that Lowchen dogs "are intelligent and take to training very quickly," but like many toy breeds, "they can have issues with housetraining, but this can be overcome with patience and consistency."

Lowchen
A Lowchen dog at the Crufts Dog Show at the NEC Arena on March 10, 2017, in Birmingham, England. Matt Cardy/Getty

Norfolk Terrier

The Norfolk Terrier can "be stubborn and difficult to housetrain," according to DogTime, which recommends crate training.

Norfolk Terrier
A Norfolk Terrier at the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at The Piers on February 13, 2018, in New York City. Drew Angerer/Getty

Norwich Terrier

Norwich Terriers can also be difficult to housetrain, according to DogTime, which says, "although they're eager to please, training can be difficult when not properly motivated."

 Norwich Terrier
A Norwich Terrier at the Westminster Kennel Club 140th Annual Dog Show at Pier 92/94 on February 16, 2016, in New York City. Matthew Eisman/Getty

Pekingese

"It can take a while for a Pekingese to get to grips with where to toilet," says Pets4Homes, "and as a very petite breed too, they may need to go more frequently than larger breeds, which means plenty of reinforcement and giving them the chance to go out regularly."

Pekingese
A Pekingese dog at the Cruft's dog show at the NEC Arena on March 10, 2018, in Birmingham, England. Richard Stabler/Getty

Pomeranian

MedNet Direct says that although Pomeranians love pleasing their owners, "their personalities can make them hard to train. When you combine that with extra small bladders that can't hold it for long, it makes training even harder."

The AKC says: "Housebreaking can be a challenge, so consistency and patience are key."

Pomeranians
Pomeranians participate in the Haute Dog Howl'oween Parade 2018 on October 28, 2018, in Long Beach, California. Chelsea Guglielmino/Getty

Pug

According to Dog Time, Pugs "can be stubborn and difficult to housebreak," but "although these pups have a stubborn side, especially when it comes to house training, they're playful, affectionate dogs who will get along well even with novice pet parents."

Pug
Doug the Pug attends the 2020 Beverly Hills Dog Show at the Los Angeles County Fairplex on February 29, 2020, in Pomona, California. Sarah Morris/Getty

Sealyham Terrier

Sealyham terriers are "independent and can be stubborn" when it comes to housetraining, and will need "firm and consistent training, especially when it comes to housetraining," according to DogTime.

Sealyham Terrier
A Sealyham Terrier at the 2009 Crufts dog show on March 8, 2009, in Birmingham, England. Christopher Furlong/Getty

Shih Tzu

"Training a Shih Tzu can be both an amusing and a frustrating experience," according to the AKC, who says, "The breed tends to charm his owner into letting him have his own way, which can result in a chubby, less-than-completely-housebroken pet who is difficult to groom."

Shih Tzu
A Shih Tzu dog runs during the annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show on February 10, 2020, in New York City. Stephanie Keith/Getty

West Highland Terrier

MedNet Direct says that The West Highland Terrier is "a demanding, yet brilliant breed, which is a recipe for frustration when it comes to potty training."

West Highland White Terrier
A West Highland White Terrier attends the 7th Annual AKC Meet The Breeds at Pier 92 on February 13, 2016 in New York City. Brad Barket/Getty

Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire terriers can be tough to potty train, according to MedNet Direct, who says: "These guys can also be stubborn. They are especially difficult to convince to go outside to do their business when it's wet or cold out."

Additionally, "these teeny tiny dogs also have teeny tiny bladders, and they can't hold it for long, making frequent potty breaks a must."

Yorkshire Terrier
A Yorkshire Terrier at the Crufts Dog Show at National Exhibition Centre on March 10, 2019, in Birmingham, England. Christopher Furlong/Getty