Top 10 Not-So-Obedient Dog Breeds

Afghan Hound

Yesterday, we posted up the Top 10 Most Intelligent Dogs according to Stanley Coren’s book, The Intelligence of Dogs. Today, here is his list for the Top 10 Least Intelligent Dogs. Many readers took offense at equating obedience with intelligence. So, if I didn’t do well on the SAT because I refused to take it seriously, does that make me stupid? Depends on who you ask. And I also bet that The Intelligence of Dogs sells better than The Obedience of Dogs.

To get these ratings, about 200 judges from the Canadian and U.S. Kennel Clubs completed a questionnaire about the characteristics of various dog breeds. The intelligence ratings were based on how many repetitions it took for a certain breed to master a new command. The breeds on this following list took at least 80 repetitions (or more) to learn a new command and tended to obey first commands less than 25% of the time.

Stanley Coren’s list of least obedient dogs by breed:

#1 — Afghan Hounds: These dogs are considered to have a low “obedience level” among dog breeders and trainers. They are courageous, sweet and sensitive. The book also describes the Afghan Hounds as having many “cat-like” personality traits. Are those fighting words?
#2 — Basenjis: These dogs are most known for their unique bark and some even refer to them as barkless dogs. They also have cat-like personality traits (see above). They are thought to be harder to train than most dogs.

#3 — Bulldogs: These dogs are courageous, dependable, and quite gentle. They were originally bred to guard, control and bait bulls.

#4 — Chow Chows: They are loyal and have a dominant nature. Their stubbornness may be mistaken for a lack of intelligence.

#5 — Borzois (also known as Russian wolfhounds): They have a free thinking and independent personality. They are not as driven to please their owners as most other dogs. This may make them harder to train. They are loyal and affectionate.

From petmedsonline.com:

#6 — Bloodhounds: They can track any scent, even a scent trail that is over one hundred hours old. The Bloodhound is determined and a hard worker. Training requires a firm hand and plenty of patience.

#7 — Pekingeses: They are very independent and dominant which makes them difficult dogs to train. They are extremely brave and make good watchdogs.

#8 — Mastiffs: They can be quite stubborn at times, which some may confuse with a lack of intelligence. When training a Mastiff, try keeping the sessions short (around ten to fifteen minutes) but frequent (two or three times a day.) Because Mastiffs are quite sensitive, you will have better results if you train using an excited and happy voice.

#9 — Beagles: They are independent which makes them a challenge to train. They are great family pets.

#10 — Basset Hounds: They are well known for their scenting ability and endurance when tracking. Housebreaking and training can be difficult.

Feel free to add your comments about this list. We know you can’t wait.

18 Responses to “Top 10 Not-So-Obedient Dog Breeds”

  1. ~Martha~ says:

    Appears that “least intelligent’ and ‘least obidient’ closely relate to “most stubborn”/”indpendent”…. than dumbest. :)

  2. Holly says:

    I notice there are a lot of hounds on the list. Many hound breeds are bred for their independence, which can make training difficult. It’s not that they aren’t intelligent, they just have better things to do than listen to us humans.

    I have 2 greyhounds. My older one is very well trained, but it took a lot of work. And when she sees prey, her hunting drive kicks in, and you the human cease to exist.

    I think a better way to characterize these lists is “easy to train” and “difficult to train”.

  3. Pit Bull Lover says:

    Itchmo! Hahaha… Feeling a little snarky? LOL

    —————
    “So, if I didn’t do well on the SAT because I refused to take it seriously, does that make me stupid? Depends on who you ask.”

    “I also bet that The Intelligence of Dogs sells better than The Obedience of Dogs.”

    “Feel free to add your comments about this list. We know you can’t wait.”
    —————

    Rare is the day Itchmo.com fails to make me laugh. One way or another.

  4. Pit Bull mommy x 4 says:

    They are NOT using the correct training methods. I’m an obedience trainer, I’ll train bull dogs and pit bulls before most other breeds. These breeds are independent and loyal, using those traits combined with their desire to please the handler, the work is done for you.

    I often use the term “operator error” when discussing training of these breeds. Need I say more.

  5. Holly says:

    Question for pitbull mommy… I’m curious to know what training methods you are using. I love GSDs but I have worked with many breeds and regardless of the breed and trainability, I find that motivating them and working with them instead of forceful and fearful training methods goes a long way. I have a rescue Elkhound cross. He can be very stubborn at times but patience and working with him goes a long way. We have no problems with him even though there are times where he would rather plunk himself down and not budge. So different from the GSD who won’t sit still and will bring you the kitchen sink if it wasn’t attached! We can all learn so much from all of them. Only if we have the patience and are humble enough to learn!

    Thanks for the post. Please note any websites, references if you have any.

    BTW, I’m a different Holly than the earlier post.

  6. Kathleen says:

    I have had at least one dachshund in my home my whole life (many years) I am very partial…. Extreme work in training the first few yrs. Dedication, patience etc… and for goodness sakes don’t move or do construction! It makes the Dachshund nervous! LOL - but totally worth it! The day we got our Am Staff! Wow what an awesome experience for me! Training was a breeze (compared to Dachshund training that is) This baby was getting the morning newspaper in 2 weeks time! The Sunday paper was a bit tough until she grew more….. and of course the Dachshund is now waking us all up, sometimes earlier than the paper arrives, because she gets a treat just for following along!

    Thanks for the post!

  7. dog collar addict says:

    i’d have to agree with the bulldog comment. my friend has one & it’s dumber than a bad of hammers..

  8. Val says:

    Sighthounds are very independent and intelligent! I have had Afghan Hounds and Saluki’s since the 70’s and this Stanley Coren is an idiot. I think he is confusing independent thinking breeds to dependent type breeds. I love the sighthound out look on life!

  9. mittens says:

    in mind it’s generally the humans associated with any breed of dog who are the most untrainable and not the sharpest tools in any kennel.

    it’s hard to see the alpha dog in a blithering dolt- who can blame the so called ‘ ‘untrainable dogs’ for not listening.

    borzois were the to- have dog of the flapper 20s- and there weren’t many of them about at the time.

  10. Pit Bull Mommy says:

    Holly,

    The only way to train any breed is with Praise and Reward. Dogs will do anything for the handler/owner for that GOOD BOY, GOOD DOG, GOOD SIT.

    Have you ever seen a dog look at you with a big smile after completing an obedience command? They are looking for their praise and the reward of your pleasure.

    Don’t confuse boredom with stupidity. I’d be bored too, if I worked my butt off and no one told me how great I job I did.

  11. Holly says:

    Thanks pitbull mommy,
    I agree wholeheartedly with you. That is my philosophy. I wanted to know what you use because so many people think one has to be tough with either the big breeds or the stubborn breeds. I’m glad to hear others using good old praise and reward. It may take longer but the benefits in the long run are well worth it.

    Holly

  12. pickynickike says:

    This man obviously hasn’t owned a Borzoi since he thinks they are among the least obedient of dogs. I’ve obedience trained three of them. They ARE bred not to look to the master or hunter for instruction but to do what they are bred to do, but that does not mean they aren’t obedient.

    I found them to be among the most intelligent of several breeds I’ve owned.

    They are members of the giant breeds and it does take praise and reward in initial training. I would use that method with any breed.

    He’s right as rain about Bassets being difficult to house train, though. lol

  13. Mastiff Master. | 7Wins.eu says:

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  14. Saa says:

    #4 — Chow Chows: They are loyal and have a dominant nature. Their stubbornness may be mistaken for a lack of intelligence.

    I own a Chow Chow, Black Labrodor Retriever mix, and This description matches him almost perfectly. My dog, Buddy, is very loyal, and he does have a dominant nature. So dominant, in fact, that we had to separate the dog pen that he shared with another male Lab mix, because he was constantly trying to start fights. He is very stubborn, and refuses to walk on a leash. He is, howerver, very obedient. I’m not sure why anyone would say a Chow Chow isn’t obedient, as they are just as obedient as any dog. I believe that obedience lies within the dog itself, not the breed of dog.
    ?~Saa

  15. Saa says:

    QUOTE: #4 — Chow Chows: They are loyal and have a dominant nature. Their stubbornness may be mistaken for a lack of intelligence.

    I own a Chow Chow, Black Labrodor Retriever mix, and this description matches him almost perfectly. My dog, Buddy, is very loyal, and he does have a dominant nature. So dominant, in fact, that we had to separate the dog pen that he shared with another male Lab mix, because he was constantly trying to start fights. He is very stubborn, and refuses to walk on a leash. He is, however, very obedient. I’m not sure why anyone would say a Chow Chow isn’t obedient, as they are just as obedient as any dog. I believe that obedience lies within the dog itself, not the breed of dog.
    ?~Saa

  16. dog breed intelligence list says:

    […] sells better than The Obedience of … Stanley Coren??s list of least obedient dogs by breed: …http://www.itchmo.com/top-10-not-so-obedient-dog-breeds-1503Dog Intelligence … as well as several other ranks in the bottom tier of &quotThe intelligence of […]

  17. Lindsey says:

    I own a Basset Hound and they are very intelligent dogs he was shipped from Tennessee by plane to Ontario Canada at 6 weeks old .. before he was 7 weeks old he had learned sit and shake a paw and with in the next two weeks he had learned roll over lay down speak and dance which was just a twirl. He was difficult to house train but he knows everything I tell him like he talks English and listens very well. he’ll wonder around the farm and disappear when no ones paying attention but when he hears his name and the word COOKIE right after he comes right back.

    I also taught him to chase his tail using only praise with words instead of food as an experiment and he learned it.. took a little longer than the others though.

    my basset hound was a very quick learner on tricks he was just a little longer at potty training.

  18. Betty says:

    I have a mix breed dog of Chow & Golden Retriever. He is an excellent watch dog and very loyal to his family. However, he is the most stubborn dog I have ever owned. He refuses to respond to any command. He loves to play and jump all over us. There is one thing I can count on, if he barks, I know something is around that shouldn’t be. This has a range from people, raccoons or snakes. He is my Buddy, he takes care of his family and we love him!

    PS: When Buddy was approx 12 wks old he was put out and left. A man took him to our vet where my 14 yr old daughter fell in love with him. Needless to say we have given him a good home.


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