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15+ Dog Breeds That Are Hardest To Potty Train

By Kerry
Updated on

Housebreaking is an essential part of any puppy training plan, but some breeds can be a little more difficult to train than others. That is why patience is a necessity when it comes to bringing a new dog into your family. 

15+ dog breeds that are hardest to potty train

If you are looking at offering a forever home to a dog or puppy, then it can be useful to know which breeds struggle to pick up potty training in comparison to others. 

With this in mind, we are going to be looking at what dog breeds can be the most difficult to potty-train and how you can go about encouraging them to do their business outside or on a puppy training pad. Let’s get started.

1. Pomeranian

Pomeranian (3)

Toy breeds can be particularly difficult to house train due to their small bladders, Pomeranians included. Training is best to be started from day one with a pup when it comes to the Pomeranian due to their small stature.

When it comes to training methods, it is important to make sure that you don’t punish your Pom if they have an accident indoors. 

Instead, reward them with praise and affection when they do manage to do their business outdoors. Positive reinforcement is a great method for any dog breed when it comes to housebreaking training, and this is the same for the cute and cuddly Pomeranian too!

 2. Chihuahua

Chihuahua (3)

When it comes to potty training, Chihuahuas can be difficult too due to having the same tiny bladder issue as Pomeranians and other toy breeds. Because of this, they may not be able to hold their pee for very long periods of time. 

Like many other small breeds, Chihuahuas are prone to accidents indoors, so it is essential to clean up after them regularly. Maintain positive reinforcement and utilize outdoor training and indoor pad training to help potty-train a pet Chihuahua.

 3. Beagle

Beagle (3)

The Beagle is another breed that struggles when it comes to potty training.  In order to help your Beagle learn, you will first need to teach them to recognize when they need to go and where the acceptable potty area is.

This is easier said than done, as the Beagle is known to be a breed that doesn’t retain information as much as others. 

Make sure that you never force your Beagle to go, as this could end up causing confusion. When you do go outside, be sure not to rush them, either.

Give them plenty of opportunities to go before taking them back inside. After a few weeks of training, your Beagle should be ready to go without being told.

4. Cocker Spaniel

Cocker spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel is another breed that isn’t always the easiest to potty-train due to their temperament and small size.

These two things combined make it more of a challenge when it comes to housebreaking a Cocker Spaniel, but it is by no means impossible. 

As with all puppies, you will need to train your new pup immediately. Start by utilizing a crate or kennel with puppy pads (as well as outdoor training) whilst trying to teach them how to use the bathroom.

Next, you will want to teach your Cocker Spaniel to recognize when they have to go. This is done best through positive reinforcement. 

Whenever your Cocker Spaniel does something good, such as going into the bathroom in the crate or outdoors, give them a treat. Do not punish your Cocker Spaniel if they have an accident.

Instead, just clean up the mess and move on. Finally, once your Cocker Spaniel knows what to do, you can remove the crate or kennel.  

5. West Highland Terrier

West highland terrier

Westies are another toy breed that tends to have problems learning to use the bathroom. Westies are generally smaller dogs that don’t require much exercise.

Because of this, they often find it hard to hold their pee for extended periods of time. As a result, you will need to take them out more regularly. 

If you notice that your Westie is having an accident indoors, you should immediately clean up. Encourage your dog to go outdoors to potty by rewarding your Westie with treats and positive reinforcement.

Don’t forget about indoor potty training, either, which can be encouraged by using training pads.  

6. Afghan Hound

Afghan hound

Afghan Hounds tend to have trouble retaining information that is taught to them, making them a difficult breed to potty-train. This is why it is best to start potty training your Afghan Hound early on in life.

You should try to get your puppy started as soon as possible. By starting early, you will be able to make sure that your Afghan Hound doesn’t have any bad habits later on in their life. 

It is also important to keep your Afghan Hound well-exercised outdoors to further encourage going to the bathroom outdoors. Dogs that aren’t given enough physical activity will tend to have accidents more often. 

7. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack russell terrier (2)

Jack Russells are known for being tough to housebreak because of their hyperactive nature. They love to play and have bundles of energy that can be hard to manage, particularly if you’re an inexperienced dog owner.

This makes it harder for them to learn to control themselves. 

However, Jack Russells are still able to be house-trained if you are willing to put in the time and effort. The trick is to start training your dog right away.

Your Jack Russell may have some accidents during the first few weeks of training, but just remember that these are normal occurrences and shouldn’t cause concern. 

8. Dachshund

Dachshund (3)

Dachshunds are typically considered to be stubborn dogs, making them a bit more difficult to train.  They also have a tendency to be slow learners. These two factors mean that they are a breed that can be hard to teach when it comes to potty training. 

However, housebreaking your Dachshund is not an impossible task. You just need to work slowly and patiently. Start by taking your Dachshund out every couple of hours during the day.

Gradually increase the amount of time between trips as your Dachshund becomes more comfortable with the idea. Eventually, you should be able to take your Dachshund completely unsupervised. 

9. Bloodhound


The large dog breed, the Bloodhound is known as one of the most difficult breeds to house train. Although they are very intelligent, they don’t follow instructions easily.

If you want to house-train your Bloodhound, you will need to be patient and consistent. Be prepared to spend many hours each day teaching your Bloodhound. 

When training, be sure that you praise your Bloodhound whenever he goes into the bathroom in the right area and keep them from getting too excited to avoid accidents.

It might take several months before your Bloodhound starts to consistently go potty without any accidents. 

10. Dalmatian

Dalmatian (2)

Dalmatians are also known as one of the hardest dog breeds to house train due to their high energy levels. Much like Jack Russell,

Dalmatians tend to get distracted easily and aren’t great at following directions. For this reason, it can be challenging to teach your Dalmatian to go potty. 

But it is possible. Dalmatians are intelligent, so positive reinforcement and repetition will go a long way when it comes to potty training this breed. It is also best to start young when they are pups.  

11. English Bulldog

English bulldog (2)

Like Dalmatians, Bulldogs are also known for being difficult to house train due to not being the smartest when it comes to dog breeds! Start training this breed young when they are puppies, if possible. 

Begin the training by taking your Bulldog out every hour or so during the day. Slowly decrease the number of times that you go outside with your dog, and they should start to connect going potty with being outside.

Stay with the training and be patient, and you should be able to potty-train your English Bulldog sooner rather than later!

12. Pekingese

Pekingese (3)

As with other toy breeds, Pekingese are also prone to having accidents indoors due to their petite nature. As such, you will need to clean up after them on a regular basis as you housebreak them. 

However, they are quick learners and respond well to certain words whilst training. As long as you are willing to put in the time and effort, then you should have no problem potty training your Pekingese.

13. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkshire terrier (3)

Yorkshire Terriers are also notorious for having accidents indoors. Like all small breeds, they tend to pee in places where they shouldn’t, and they sometimes struggle to hold in it thanks to their minuscule bladders.

If you have a Yorkshire Terrier, you will need to keep an eye on them at all times and give them plenty of opportunities to go outside. 

If you do see them going to the bathroom anywhere other than outdoors, then you will need to immediately pick them up and place them where they should be. Repetition is a great training method for Yorkies, so patience is definitely a virtue. 

14. Pug

Pug (4)

Pugs are another hardy breed to house a train. They are quite smart and love learning new things. However, because of this, they have a tendency to become bored quickly, which makes it difficult to keep them focused on what needs to be done. 

As such, it will be important to make sure that you provide plenty of interesting toys and activities for your Pug to engage in while you are potty training them. 

15. Basset Hound

Basset hound

Potty-training a Basset Hound is not the easiest thing to do. They are smart dogs who love to play but are also notoriously stubborn and independent. Because of these traits, they may resist learning new things. 

In order to successfully house-train your Basset Hound, you will need to use patience and consistency. Also, make sure that you provide plenty of opportunities for your Basset Hound to relieve themselves.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to potty training any dog breed, the most important factors are to be patient and to try to start when the dog is young, preferably still a puppy. 

Don’t expect to house train your dog overnight. Instead, you will need to work slowly and steadily over a period of weeks or months. Always remember that consistency is key. 

Keep all of this in mind and you should be able to potty train even the most difficult dog breeds!

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.