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21 Most Stubborn Dog Breeds You’ll Still Love

Ever wondered why some dogs seem to have a mind of their own, blatantly ignoring your commands as if they’re suggestions rather than instructions? It’s not just your imagination – some breeds are notoriously more headstrong than others. In this article, we’re going to explore the most stubborn dog breeds. 

From the independent Beagle, who would rather follow its nose than your directions, to the majestic Husky, known for its ‘talk back’ attitude, get ready for a humorous and enlightening journey into the world of dogs who march to the beat of their own drum. Let’s find out why these adorable rebels refuse to play by the rules and the most common stubborn traits.

17 Most Stubborn Dog Breeds

1. Siberian Husky

Ah, the Siberian Husky, a stunning breed known for its striking eyes and wolf-like appearance. Siberian huskies are the epitome of stubbornness, often doing what they want, when they want.


They were bred to think independently in the harsh climates of Siberia, which means they’re not always keen on following orders unless it’s on their terms. Training sessions at a young age are key for this breed and they may not be the best choice for first-time dog owners.

2. Beagle

Beagles, with their adorable faces and floppy ears, might seem like they’d be obedient, but they’re actually quite the opposite. Their strong sense of smell can lead them on endless adventures, often ignoring your calls to come back. Their nose leads them, and once they catch a scent, good luck getting their attention.

beagle dog best behaved dog breeds
beagle dog

3. Jack Russell Terrier

Don’t be fooled by their small size; Jack Russell Terriers have a lot of energy with a mind of their own. They were bred for fox hunting, requiring them to be tenacious and fearless, traits that translate into a stubborn streak. They love to dig, bark, and explore, often ignoring commands if something more interesting catches their eye.

jack russell with headphones on in owner legs

4. Dachshund

The Dachshund, famously known as the sausage dog, is as stubborn as they are long. Originally bred for hunting, they have a fierce independence and can be quite willful when it comes to listening. Their charming personalities often make up for their selective hearing, though.

dachshund-dog most stubborn dog breeds

5. Bulldog

Bulldogs have this grumpy old man vibe that’s hard not to love, but they’re notoriously stubborn. They often decide where they want to go and what they want to do, and good luck convincing them otherwise. This stubborn pup might not be the most energetic, but when they set their minds to something, they stick to it.


6. Chow Chow

The Chow Chow is not just a pretty face with its lion-like mane; they’re also known for being quite aloof and stubborn. They are very independent and can be quite resistant to training. Loyalty to their family is their top priority, but they do things on their own terms.


7. Shar Pei

The Shar Pei, with its unique wrinkly skin, is as headstrong as it is distinctive. They were originally bred as guard dogs, which makes them very independent and often resistant to commands. They’re loving with their families but can be quite stubborn when it comes to following instructions.


8. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus may look like little lap dogs, but this ancient breed has a stubborn streak a mile wide. They were bred as royal companions, which might explain their attitude of expecting the world to revolve around them. Training a Shih Tzu requires patience, as they tend to have a ‘what’s in it for me?’ attitude.

shih-tzu-dog-breed best dog breeds for couples

9. Basenji

The Basenji, often called the ‘barkless dog’, is incredibly independent and stubborn. They’re known for being cat-like in their behavior, doing what they want and when they want. Their intelligence means they can be trained, but they often choose to do things their own way.


10. Basset Hound

Basset Hounds, with their long ears and droopy eyes, might look sad, but they’re actually quite stubborn. Their sense of smell is second only to the Bloodhound, which often leads them astray. Once they’re on a scent trail, it’s nearly impossible to get them to focus on anything else.

Basset Hound
Basset Hound

11. Akita

The Akita is a noble breed from Japan, known for their loyalty and also their stubbornness. They are very independent and can be quite headstrong when it comes to listening to commands. Training an Akita requires a firm, consistent hand and lots of patience.


12. Bloodhound

Bloodhounds are famous for their incredible sense of smell and tracking abilities, but this can also make them quite stubborn. They are single-minded when on a trail and can be difficult to recall once they’ve caught a scent. Their determination is admirable, but it can be a challenge for their owners.


13. Scottish Terrier

Scottish Terriers, or Scotties, are small but mighty with a stubborn streak. They were bred to hunt vermin, which means they’re fearless and independent. Scotties can be quite willful, often choosing to listen only when it suits them.

Scottish Terrier
Scottish Terrier

14. Cairn Terrier

Cairn Terriers, known for their role as Toto in The Wizard of Oz, are equally as stubborn in real life. They are spirited and independent, often preferring to explore and hunt rather than listen to commands. Training a Cairn Terrier requires a lot of patience and a good sense of humor.

Cairn Terrier
Cairn Terrier

15. French Bulldog

French Bulldogs, with their bat-like ears and smooshy faces, are adorably stubborn. They tend to have a mind of their own and aren’t always eager to please when it comes to training. They’re charming and affectionate, though, which often makes up for their stubborn tendencies. (The English bulldog can also be stubborn).

french bulldog
french bulldog

16. Lhasa Apso

The Lhasa Apso is a small breed with a big personality, known for their independent and stubborn nature. Originally bred as a watchdog in monasteries, they take their duties seriously and often do things their own way. They can be quite aloof with strangers and resistant to commands.


17. Pekingese

The Pekingese, with their regal demeanor, are as stubborn as they are elegant. They were bred to be companions to Chinese royalty, which might explain their somewhat imperious attitude. They’re loving with their family but often ignore commands and do as they please.

Pekingese brown dog

18. Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound, known for its elegance, good looks and dignified demeanor, is often described as stubborn due to its independent streak. Originally bred for hunting in the challenging terrains of Afghanistan, this breed developed an independent mind, often preferring to do things on its own terms rather than obediently following commands.


This breed’s high intelligence and independent thinking, while admirable, can often be mistaken for stubbornness, as they tend to weigh their options before responding to a command, making training a patient and understanding endeavor.

19. Chinese Shar-Pei

The Chinese Shar-Pei, easily recognizable by its deeply wrinkled skin and solemn expression, is often deemed stubborn owing to its strong-willed and independent character. Originally bred for hunting and guarding, this breed has a natural inclination towards making its own decisions and being self-reliant, traits that can manifest as stubbornness during training or when given commands.


Their loyalty and protective nature mean they can be resistant to following instructions, especially from strangers, preferring to trust their own judgment over external guidance.

20. Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier, with its tuxedo-like coat and charming personality, can exhibit a streak of stubbornness, often stemming from its strong desire for attention and interaction. This lively and intelligent breed sometimes chooses to ignore commands if they’re more interested in play or exploration, showcasing their independent thinking.


Their stubbornness and strong will often surfaces when they’re motivated by their own interests, requiring consistent and engaging training methods to balance their playful spirit with obedience.

21. Shiba Inu

The Shiba Inu, a small but spirited breed from Japan, is renowned for its stubborn streak, which is a hallmark of its independent and strong-willed nature. Bred originally for hunting in mountainous terrain, Shibas developed a keen sense of self-reliance, often preferring to act on their instincts rather than following directives.

Shiba Inu
Shiba Inu

This breed’s intelligence and boldness, while admirable, can manifest as stubbornness, especially during training, where they may resist commands that don’t align with their interests or curiosity. Pet owners will need to make sure these dogs get plenty of exercise. 

So there you have it, 21 of the most stubborn breeds in the dog world. Each of these stubborn breeds, with their strong personalities and independent streaks, requires an understanding and patient owner. Their stubbornness isn’t a flaw but a characteristic that adds to their charm.

With the right approach, obedience training, positive reinforcement and a bit of humor, these breeds can be not only lovable companions but also amusing partners in crime. Having said that, they are not necessarily the best dogs for first time dog owners. 

If you’re dog is being particularly stubborn you may want to consider getting some professional help. Check out these tips from the American Kennel Club.

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