A dog sitting in front of its owner while going through some training.

Are Dogs Difficult To Train?

One of the essential things your dog requires is appropriate training and socialization. It is important that you begin training your pup as soon as practically possible in order to ensure they are well-behaved and appreciated by everybody. In the same context, many dog owners often wonder if dogs are trainable. If yes, then are dogs difficult to train?

The difficulty level of training a dog depends on many factors. This includes the type of training, dog breed, the amount of effort and time while spent training the dog, and training techniques used. All these factors can decide the difficulty of training a dog. That’s in addition to the fact that all dogs are unique.

The Dog Training Process

A dog sitting while its owner puts their hand out as part of some training.

The dog training process is the series of steps you follow to train your canine companion. These steps include the following:

  • Acquisition
  • Fluency
  • Generalization
  • Maintenance

It is necessary to emphasize that it does not matter how easily a dog can be trained; if the appropriate training techniques are utilized, any dog can pick up new capabilities and obey commands. That said, the following is a list of some of the canines that are the simplest and the most difficult to train. We recommend you go through our whole list if you consider bringing a dog into your home as a pet.

The 5 Easiest Dogs To Train

They are the:

  1. German Shepherd
  2. Miniature Schnauzer
  3. Poodles
  4. Labrador Retriever / Golden Retriever
  5. Doberman Pinscher

The 5 Hardest Dog Breeds To Train

They are the: 

  1. Pekingese
  2. Chow Chow
  3. Basset Hounds
  4. Bulldogs
  5. Bull Mastiff

What To Do If A Dog Is Difficult To Train?

Try to do the following steps if your dog is difficult to train.

Start Slowly

Start by working with your dog on favorite or familiar behaviors. For example, if your dog loves to hide and seek, then start by teaching it how to start and stop the behavior and teach it basic commands such as “stop,” “go,” “heel,” etc. But teach them these commands slowly.

Find The Best Treat/Reward

Create a positive association with training by rewarding even minor successes. Make sure your dog’s training is practical by making the actions you want it to exhibit really pleasant. Your dog’s responsiveness is likely to suffer if it is given incentives infrequently, too slowly, or if the value of those treats is poor. 

It is common practice to see a significant improvement in your dog’s responsiveness and behavior after elevating the value and regularity of the treats. Find out what your dog enjoys the most and use it as a reward for excellent behavior; every dog is unique in the things that are important to them. The dog should be rewarded with special treats, extra attention, or extra time with its favorite toy. 

Use A Dog’s Senses To Your Advantage

Ensure your dog stays focused on the training sessions by taking the necessary precautions. Make an effort to use their senses to your benefit. 

Pick a location with few potential interruptions, such as your kitchen or lounge room. Put away any toys or other objects that will tempt your dog, such as a stuffed animal. If you are doing your training outside, add an added layer of protection by keeping your dog contained within a fenced-in area, on a leash, or in a long line. Even a dog with excellent training may give in to the allure of a cat or a squirrel or become scared by a deafening noise.

Be Understanding And Never Punish

Be kind-hearted and never punish your pup in any circumstances. Your dog will become more anxious and lose confidence in you due to being punished. Punishment might also increase the likelihood of aggressive behavior when used over a longer period of time. 

Instead, go for training methods centered on providing the dog with what it wants when it reacts to a command in the best possible manner, such as treats, petting, and playtime. Redirect it to more acceptable behavior, and give it compensation for that activity rather than penalizing it for its unpleasant behavior. 

How To Make The Training Process Easier For Dogs?

You can make the dog training process easier for dogs by doing the following things.

Limit Training Sessions To 10-15 Minutes

If a training session exceeds this length, the dog could become bored or frustrated. Break up training sessions with breaks or fun activities.

Focus On Only One Task Or Behavior At A Time

Focus on just one behavior or task at once. For example, if you are teaching your dog the “sit” command, then only focus on that. Never teach any other command in that situation. Otherwise, it confuses your pup.

Be Consistent When Training Commands

Check to ensure that you give the same commands to the behaviors you want your dog to exhibit. If you speak the same word repeatedly, but change the context in which you say it each time, your dog will get confused. 

Use The Positive Reinforcement Training Method

When you are teaching your dog, it is best to adopt methods that involve positive reinforcement. Providing your dog with treats and heaps of praise are components of positive reinforcement training. You will be astounded by how much more effort your dog will put out to earn a high-value reward they like.

Why Is It So Important To Train Dogs?

Training is necessary to ensure your pup is well-behaved and well-mannered. Training also lets your dog do whatever you want it to do, making your life much easier and happier.

Additionally, some canine parents will need a properly trained dog due to their lifestyle considerations. It’s possible some individuals don’t have the time or resources to properly train a dog, particularly one that had a difficult start in life and is, therefore, less likely to be obedient. So, training them with a professional trainer is the best possible option.

Conclusion: Are Dogs Difficult To Train?

When it comes to acquiring a puppy, it is crucial to know how to properly train your pup so that you and your canine companion will be content, happy, and satisfied. If you do not know how to train a puppy, it will be difficult for you to get the most out of having a pet, but that’s where professional trainers come in. Ultimately, when it comes to whether or not dogs are difficult to train, all dogs can be trained with the right combination of patience and strategies.

So, what do you think about training dogs? Which strategy are you going to use first? Let us know your thoughts and why in the comments below!

Dr. Muqeet Mushtaq
Dr. Muqeet Mushtaq
DVM, University of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, 2019 MSc. (Hons.) (Animal Breeding & Genetics), University of Agriculture Faisalabad, 2021 Veterinarian, online pet consultant, writer, animal genetic scientist, and pet expert Dr. Muqeet Mushtaq has spent more than 7 years following his passion for animals. He regularly contributes to numerous pet and veterinary industry books, magazines, and websites.