21 Tough-to-Train Dog Breeds


All dogs are great, we can’t lie. And though there are some that are smarter than others, they can all make great pets. It just usually depends on what you are looking for.

However, there are some breeds that are harder to train than others. Certainly, this does not mean that you can’t train them, you just need to have more patience in the process. Ultimately, regardless of the fact that they are a bit harder to train, owning one of these breeds can be just as rewarding as any other breed, maybe even more.

1. Afghan Hound

Owning an Afghan hound always comes with a certain sense of pride. These majestic animals have something royal in them and simply exude grace. Of course, as most dog enthusiasts know, Afghan hounds are exceptionally fast and also very loyal. To put it simply, they are exquisite dogs with hundreds of qualities.

Unfortunately, according to some experts, intelligence is not one of those qualities. It’s not that Afghan hounds are stupid – far from that. It’s just that their intelligence is not on the same level as, say, shepherds, mastiffs and other so-called “working” dogs. The problem may be their trainability.

Some dogs are bred so that it’s easy for them to learn to follow orders. This was not the case with Afghan hounds, who, historically, had to rely on themselves and to think for themselves – otherwise they would have made very lousy sighthounds.

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  • That Trainer with the Flower

    I feel like this more of a list of difficult to train dogs, not dogs that are necessarily unintelligent.

  • Ted Hoo

    Difficult to train dog could also be stubborn and aloft. From the looks of some of these dogs, there is dumb written all over their face.

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  • Debbie Radziewicz

    Ridiculous. I have a female and a male and they are quite intelligent. Hard headed and loveable but very intelligent an I found them easy to train.

  • Meowhiss

    Basenjis are VERY intelligent they are just fiercely independent.

  • Oldilocks

    The picture with the mastiff entry is of two Dogues de Bordeux, not mastiffs.

  • JB-asdf

    Whoever wrote this has no idea what they’re talking about. Chows are “jealous and like to be at the center …” -100% false.

    Chows are one of the most intelligent breeds, they are too independent to take orders from strangers – like some guy in an obedience school. and unless you are one of the 2 or 3 people to which they are devoted; they would rather not even be touched by you.

  • reformed1

    English Bulldogs are intelligent by convenience but are easily distracted. The right treat gets quick results! Had bulldogs for years. Fav breed! Can see the wheels turning when these guys are thinking. I agree with “that trainer with the flower” stubborn does not equate to unintelligent, quite the opposite in this breeds case. Never seen a collie skate board.

  • Blind Squirrel

    “Not So Intelligent”?? The Beagle??

    Clearly the author needs to either pick up a dictionary, or actually work with the breeds they’re citing here, because either (a) the title doesn’t line up with the message or (b) they haven’t got a clue as to what they’re talking about, and likely have never worked with or trained a dog the right way.

  • Blind Squirrel

    Here’s another one: Incidentally, the dog in the Mastiff picture, while a type of Mastiff, is actually a Dogue de Bordeaux.

  • Blind Squirrel

    Be careful with that dissenting opinion. The author might get her panties in a bunch and delete your post like she did my initial ones.

  • gggreggg

    almost all dogs of the hound persuasion are independent-minded. dachshunds are hounds (badgerhound) and are easily distracted by any scent that they find interesting.
    (I, too, find these dog lists inaccurate.)

  • gggreggg

    I think it would have been useful to note traits that have been bred into these dogs that cause health problems—such as breathing difficulties that bull dogs and other dogs with “crunched up” noses.
    (I think some of these dogs should no longer be bred for the sake of the dog.)

  • Tamme Pompilio

    THANK YOU! Glad to see someone else besides myself knew that! I also agree that this list should be labeled as “Hard to train dogs” and not unintelligent. I have bred Chows and they are one of the only dogs that I know of that really doesn’t require potty training if they are around other potty trained dogs……they train themselves and do it quickly! I know my dogs and all the traits listed for each breed is accurate, but being categorized as unintelligent is NOT accurate (in fact they say that in each one)!!!

  • Yorkshire Rose

    I disagree with St. Bernards, I have Great Pyrenees who are the same size and have had them around my children from a very young age. They have been nothing but aware of their size and been very gentle. A trait the St. Bernard also has I believe. I would have added Border Collie, Bearded Collie and Old English Sheepdog to this list. The first two being herders with a tendancy to nip (I grew up with Bearded Collies in the household, and while ours lived in the house, they could nip when they wanted to), OES are natural guard dogs and not a breed I would have around children. All lovely but common sense has to prevail. I just wish alot of people would read up on breeds before they bought a puppy as so many end up in dog shelters for being what they were bred for.

  • Montana Crawford


  • SarBear21

    Duh, if it’s Not-So-Intelligent dogs, why am I seeing the word intelligent in the descriptions??

  • Tamme Pompilio

    We had a Saint when I was very little and he was very protective of me, but very gentle at the same time. He was a big clown, but he let us do whatever we wanted to him. We would hang on his tail and he would slide us around the foyer and he loved it!! We hooked him up to our sled and he would would pull us in the park in the winter. He loved every minute of it and he NEVER knocked us over with size! He was so gentle that he actually wanted to play with our white mouse and he carried him around his mouth and never hurt it! My Aunts Irish Setter on the hand was an obnoxious dog that rammed his nose in your crotch and knocked you over all the time!! That breed should be listed as a clutz or obnoxious.

  • lily

    I have an oes and a child. They are great with children and people. You should be the one looking up breed standards before talking about a breed as a whole. They were bred as drover dogs, which is herding, which is why they are a part of the herding group.

  • Melanie Collins Pennock

    AKA French Mastiff…..a beautiful breed!

  • Melanie Collins Pennock

    What? What would THEY say about your face??

  • kulaid

    A mastiff at 135 lbs is a runt. Not sure what dog you’re talking about here.

  • Mary Scouten

    Being independent, and difficult to train does not equal stupid, on the contrary in my opinion the dumbest dog I ever met was our Black Lab, although he was easy to train, he did not learn from experience. He would chase and catch porcupines, and skunks repeatedly. No matter how often he got sprayed or quilled, we finally gave him to a relative in the city when he was blinded in one eye after the umpteenth time of getting quilled. He was only there for a short time when he tried to chase a snow plow that was backing up, he was hit and required a hip replacement and months of rehab, the result was that the following winter he was better, but bolted out the front door and got killed by the same snowplow doing the same thing the very next winter. Stupidity is NOT learning from experience.

  • Spiritof America

    On the Irish , they bred beauty in, brains out.

  • Melissa

    Basenjis are hard to train…they’re actually intelligent dogs. People who don’t take the time to be patient with basenjis are who you got your “facts” from. They are also independent dogs, but that doesn’t make them dumb. Please own a few basenjis and base your opinion on experience. Or rather, don’t — you don’t have the time to do real research, so why would you have the time to own a dog and actually give a crap about it?

  • KDN4

    I’m a proud basenji owner and I must say she is ultra smart, she learns quickly on anything new I teach her. Yes, she also trains me and holds a grudge when I discipline her, but that’s what happens when you raise a Khaleesi.

  • Tamme Pompilio

    One of my favorite movies!! That is when I came to love the Bordeaux! Oh and another movie that me love a dog was Rocky…..Butkus was an awesome and beautiful baby!

  • Tamme Pompilio

    Yes they did!! They succeeded at it too! LOL!

  • Angela

    This is a pretty ridiculous article….a lot of these dogs listed as “not intelligent” routinely end up on lists from much more reputable sources as very intelligent breeds. Having grown up with a Lhasa, and have four sleeping Shih tzus downstairs right now, I can say they are extremely intelligent…they’re actually regarded for their intelligence. Any dog that is let to run wild will do just that, but that doesn’t make them unintelligent.

    I’ve also only had one of my small guys ever nip…but I think I should mention that he came from an abusive home and I scared him when I came up from behind him and startled him as he was sleeping. He never even bared his teeth, but immediately knew he had done wrong and pawed at my shirt, whimpered and gave tons of face kisses to apologize. Doesn’t sound like a very unintelligent, only out for themselves dog, does it….

  • David Rudenstein

    U are exactly correct

  • Rosemary Tottoroto

    You call this list “Not So Intelligent Dog Breeds” then go on to say how intelligent the basenji breed is. We have owned basenjis for over 20 years and they are by far the most intelligent breed I have ever encountered. They ARE very independent and are aggressive hunters but they are also, as you mention, affectionate and eager to please. They do not bark but they do yodel when they are happy and when they greet people.

  • Beagles can’t stand cats? That’s a laugh! My beagle and cat sleep all curled up together.

  • Steph

    I loved my great pyrenees. She had 0 interest in learning. The only thing she learned was to come when you called her. Sweet gentle dog that loved my children and watched over them. She would “tell” on them when she thought they were doing something dangerous. Climbing the toddler slide was a no no in her books. She would alert me every time one of the kids was on the slide lol. Wonderful family dog as long as you don’t expect to train them to do things. If you want a breed that take direction a German Shepherd is a better bet.

  • Steph

    I think the article is talking about sit, stay lay down roll over go fetch type of training. I had a Great Pyrenees and she was a wonderful part of my family. Best dog I’ve ever seen around toddlers. I had to call her my nanny dog because she watched everything they kids did, if they did something she didn’t approve of she’d come to me and tell me about it. Climbing the toddler slide was on her no no list. My autistic son could do anything he wanted to her(of course I didn’t let him hurt her) like pat her or even rub dirt on her fur she’d just lay down and let him. I have had a lot of experience with different breeds and this breed does not want to perform. They are fantastic family pets but they are not going to put on a show.

  • marinyx

    I am not going to write about all the dogs you list however, I do not agree with the Husky and Malamute category. I have had numerous huskies and mals and even a wolf-dog. My children and grand-children have grown up with them. They can be dangerous because of their size ratio to small children but, other than that there is nothing there that does not apply to any other dog breed. Training is necessary so they know who is boss (but don’t expect a huskis or mal to blindly obey…they DON’T…they obey out of love and loyalty…as you treat them, they treat you), you also need to train the CHILDREN, no tugging of tails, no falling on the animals…yes they are pretty big (especially the mals) but they can still be hurt. My grandchildren especially have loved my dogs over the years…have never been bitten, but have certainly been growled at when the kids pushed the wrong buttons. You have ANY dog breed…you need to train the animal, you need to train the children and you need to give the animal love and time. That being said…if you like a pristine garden and a house without ONE dog hair in it…don’t get a snow dog! If you don’t want to share love and play time, don’t get ANY dog!! You won’t be doing them any favors.♥♥

  • Ginger Thompson

    We assume the harder they are to train the less intelligent they are. Actually, a dog who is hard to train by human standards might be the most intelligent. Makes people upset that dogs are smarter than they and won’t cave to their “master” for a little treat. Doen’t make them unintelligent.

  • Weimeraner and bulldog momma

    Weimeraners are wonderful with kids. But they need a owner that is as stubborn as they can be. But I think that is true with most of the dogs on this list. They need firm masters that are the pack leader.

  • Big Al

    Snoopy is a Beagle.

  • Mary Ellen

    Being difficult to train has NOTHING to do with the dog’s smarts. I have had Pekingese for over 40 years and they are anything but unintelligent; they manage to get their owners to do whatever they wish so that is certainly NOT a sign of lack of intelligence in any way, shape or form. Some people consider “intelligence” tantamount to being easily manipulated or told what to do.

  • Sam Gold

    Just because it’s on the internet doesn’t mean it’s right or worth reading.

    Great Pyrenees: “They are courageous, very loyal and obedient.” A dog can’t be obedient and unintelligent. Obedience suggests adhering to what the owner wants and/or trained the dog to do: INTELLIGENCE!

  • nise

    Boy did they get the Beagle wrong. Smartest dog I every had. Hated to cuddle. VERY easy to train ( if I was holding a hot dog).

  • Makimaus

    Isn’t it funny how, when a dog is good at taking their own lead but bad at taking orders, they’re considered stupid, while with Humans it’s exactly the opposite?

  • azzy23

    The list is “21 not so intelligent dog breeds.” I’m up to item 4 on the list, and each one has very clearly stated these dogs are willful, not stupid.

    As a sighthound aficionado I can attest, Greyhounds (Afghan Hounds, Borzoi) aren’t stupid. They’re independent enough to want to be paid for their work. Why should they sit? What’s in it for them? When you develop a rapport with the dog, they blow your mind. For example, my Italian Greyhound totally ignores everything when he’s hunting a rat; you’d think he didn’t even know his name. If my husband calls to him in German, however, he stops what he’s doing and intensely focuses on the words. He knows this is a command he isn’t familiar with, so he instantly focuses to understand our ask. After he figures it out, and reliably performs it a few times? He’ll ignore it unless there’s food in our hand. If there’s food in our hand, he knows *all* the tricks.

  • forgot

    Actually, the Afghan hound is Very intelligent. But they are a breed made for Work. Like other older working breeds (think Pyrenees, Akita, Chow, Llasa, etc) This means they don’t care about “pleasing” people and are independent thinkers. They aren’t overly concerned over who is “pack leader”. It’s more of a case of “unintelligent” people who assume all dogs act like labs, or are just “automatically command oriented” that is the more issue……..

  • forgot

    Dogs “nip” to keep those they consider “underlings” in line from unwanted, undesirable behaviors. This is how they train their own pups. Anyone who gets “nipped” has not been paying attention to “dog etiquette”… These dogs will display other subtle signs of warning before the “nip” happens. So, yes, Common Sense MUST Prevail when you own ANY breed of dog.

  • Philp Yung

    Chihuahuas are stupid dogs??? WHAT!?

    That makes me so angry, I want to rage on this article. But I’m not going to.

    Just be aware, anybody reading this article, this stuff is NOT TRUE. This article is NOT TRUE. Chiuahuas are NOT STUPID. You can’t train them to sit, or roll over, etc. but they are not stupid dogs! God it makes me so mad! This article needs to be purged! It is wrong! YOU GO TO HELL! NO no I’m sorry I said that. I shouldn’t say that. Please delete this article from the internet. Please.

  • George Blair

    I’m thinking the only stupid one around here is the author of this article.

  • k9sue

    Dogs are rarely “stubborn”. They are either unmotivated or unsure what you want. Also, dog that have been trained iwth punishment and scolding freeze up. They are afraid to do anything or they will be hurt.

  • k9sue

    Great Pyrenees do not have the same basic temperament as the
    ST Bernard. Also, the ST. has been poorly bred for the pet market for years and their temperament has changed. Pyrs are not a Fad breed and are usually bred byresponsible breeders, so they are more true to type. I have owned Pyrs and as a trainer have worked with a number of Saints.

  • SassKatt

    Please, Beagles are extremely intelligent. The one we had growing up was trained to not leave the unfenced yard, no matter where us kids ran off to.
    Beagles do not like cats??? Mine slept with my cat every night. The were the best of buddies.
    Obviously the guy doing this article is simply regurgitating some crappy information he found somewhere. I notice there are no sources sited for any of his assertions.

  • RugosaB .

    I have found with this breed, they are HIGHLY intelligent. My goal in breeding was to produce a dog that could survive if I threw it out back in the woods.
    That’s intelligent. Socialization, like the article said, is very important, at an early age (but not something necessary to survive in the African wilerness)
    When training a basenji, remember they are always thinking “What’s in it for ME?” (again, a very intelligent way to look at things)

    They need to be off this intelligence list and onto the ‘hard to train’ list.
    I never placed pups in homes that I did not think the humans were smart and could at least keep up with the dog’s intellignece.

    For instance, teraching a dog to fetch:
    Maybe 3 times a basenji will run, get, and bring back what is thrown. After that, they kind of get this look as if saying “If you want it, why do you keep throwing it? I’ll get it and run with it – you want it so bad, chas me!”

  • Didley Dale

    I take great offense that the CHIHUAHA is on this list….my Czarina (ZaaZaa) is smarter than most fifth graders. Loving and brilliant, rarely barks unless it is a burglar, the other night I wasn’t paying attention and thieves entered our gated site yard and stole my prized bicycle. I am sure that had she not barked they would have stolen my $800 kayak as well. Kudos to my ZaaZaa. Who in the world would rate a dogs intelligence…that shows how stupid humans are. If a dog is uncooperative, as many humans are (me included) does that lower their iq. How smart are sheep? LOL! No matter the breed, life without a dog is no life at all.

  • Rosey_the_Robot

    Shouldn’t this be titled 21 independent dog breeds. I happen to know many of these breeds are very intelligent. Maybe they are more intelligent than the average dog for not rolling over so someone can get their kicks!

  • Rosey_the_Robot

    My greyhound is super intelligent. Instead of waiting for ridiculous commands from me, he figures things out on his own. He does follow simple commands such as “wait”., but, seriously, he figures life and the order of the household out on is own. He has taught himself many words in the English language and we find ourselves spelling around him so he doesn’t know what we are saying sometimes.

  • Rosey_the_Robot

    Many breeds are absolutely stubborn. I can tell the difference when My dog is listening and trying to figure out what I want, or if he’s just ignoring me or doing what he wants. He is extremely stubborn (although a really good dog too).

  • Fairisfair

    I too would like to know how he made these assumptions.If you take 2 identical dogs (same sex same age etc) you will find one is easier to train. Why? because like any other animals each is different. Doesn’t mean one is stupid.

  • labrylao

    really i thought this was a list of those without intelligence… but #2 has this statement. Really??? “Beyond any doubt, the Basenji is an intelligent dog, but also they willing tend to use their intelligence to take care of their own will.”

  • k9sue

    A breed can’t be “stubborn”.No members of a “breed” are 100% like. They are individuals. To tell if your dog is ignoring requires you to read minds. If you can read dog’s minds you would be rich and famous.
    If you use punishment in training, it is more likely your dog hears, you but is afraid to do anything for fear of punishment. Very common in dogs. I know, I have trained 1,000s professionally and have studied dog behavior for 35 years.

  • Foster Mom to Bassets

    Basset Hounds Stupid? Articles like this are part of the reason so many end up being owner surrendered. They are difficult to train and require firm consistent but gentle training! I have had Bassets figure out how to get past my child proof locks!

  • emjayay

    Beagles do tend to be very food oriented and will easily gain weight because they often like to eat as much as possible.

  • John E

    Tell Charlie Brown that Snoopy is not intelligent. 🙂

  • Gretchen K

    Oh? & by the way? Dogs are CANINE… not human.. They live by a different mentality than human. There are “Alpha Males” & “Alpha Females”, then “Omega Males” & “Omega Females” THEN there are everyone else in the “pack”. So, If you put a dominant or Alpha breed of canine with a “everyone else in the pack” human… you will have problems. It’s common sense.. oh wait… many don’t know THAT either.

  • LB401

    This article is titled “21 Not-so-intelligent Dog Breeds”… so then why is every dog on this list called “intelligent” in the descriptions by the author(s)? Perhaps this list should instead be called “21 Hard-to-train Dog Breeds” as others have mentioned.
    Also, something that people (the author included) need to realize is that breed tendencies do not reflect 100% of the dogs of that breed. I’ve known Beagles to be very well-mannered and hang out with cats often… I’ve known Dachshunds that would bark constantly, never listen, pee on everything, and destroy furniture and garbage, yet they aren’t on the list. It depends on the individual dog (every one has different personalities, just like people), and the training.

  • threedogmama

    I have had two Chows and both were highly intelligent to the fact that my last Chow had seen her “brothers” go outside to do their duty after being home only one day. And my first Chow had to be told not to wake me up as one time that I forgot she jumped on the bed (which she had never done) to wake me up.

  • kurtmudgeon

    If the ranking of all the breeds is as flawed as English Bulldog #3, this piece is not to be taken seriously.

  • otto

    Our Lhasa is very smart. His name is Jackson and he is the best.


    Tell Snoopy that Charlie Brown is intelligent. I can see Snoopy tumbling off of the roof of his doghouse pointing at Charlie and giggling now.


    I used to have a beagle I named Gladys. She was very loyal to me and didn’t ‘hate’ the three cats we had. I miss Gladys very much. I have a picture of the two of us sitting in a patio lounge chair. Gladys is next to me resting her head on my knee.

  • LifeStudent1

    My beagle was NOT intelligent. If a TV show sounded a door bell, she’d run to our front door in anticipation of a visitor.

    My beagle favored my wife. She’d follow her everywhere. Nightly, my dog would sandwich herself between the couch backing and my wife. It was adorable. When my wife died, my beagle exhibited indifference.

    She exhibited intelligence only when food motivated. For instance, if food was wedged in holding device, she’d toss it in the air to jar open the contents when hitting the floor.

    She never exhibited loyalty and allowed anyone to take her for a walk or a trip in the car.

    I used to hide from her and call her name. She never found me until I left the hiding place and greeted her.

  • I’d rather post as a guest

    Hmmm … the headline doesn’t exactly dovetail with the content: a list of unintelligent breeds, with many of its articles specifically touting the intelligence of breeds that made the list. There is a substantial disconnect going on here.

    And another thing – what exactly constitutes ‘intelligence’ anyway? Dogs, like people, can be intelligent in different ways. Loyalty and obedience, for some observers, could be a sign of a rather stupid dog (or person). For others, playfulness and independence signify lack of ‘intellignece’.

    – A famous person once said, it depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.

  • TsarBomba

    Pitbull is hosting the AMA awards, does he count too???

  • Douglas Mend

    Read the other article where dogs discuss the more stupid and not so intelligent owners, Great article!!!!
    WTF??, everyone here is a dog whisperer.

  • This is a poorly titled post. Many of the dogs are actually described as intelligent. I know of many dogs that would be classified as unintelligent are not on this list.

  • Jessica

    I am liking the fact that Staffordshire bull terriers are NOT on here!! Great they are the best family dogs. Its the owners not the bloody dogs.

  • richardwisecarver

    Beagles are not meant to be pets. They bare hunting dogs who will literally hunt anything with fur or feathers. They are relentless in their pursuit of game of any kind. They can dig huge holes, climb 6 ft. chain link, limb large trees, kill chickens or cats with great glee, bark at every cock roach that crosses your property, run the pads off their feet and refuse to quit hunting, and cause divorces and make your neighbors hate you. When they scent, they do not cast but follow the exact trail of the animal they are pursuing., Known for their pursuit of fox and cottontail rabbits, they and their fox hound relatives will gladly pursue deer, bear, bob cat, lynx, raccoon, pheasants, skunks, porcupines, and your neighbors cat. Hunters with well built kennels love them but their wives hate them. NO THEY ARE NOT GOOD PETS!!!!!

  • Dave

    I really wish I didn’t read this. First of all most of these breeds are incredibly intelligent dogs. Second the dominance theory stuff has to stop being perpetuated. Dogs don’t have “pack leaders”. The study of dominance theory came from a captive wolf study on an incredibly dysfunctional group. I wish people that wrote articles on explaining how to train certain types of breeds actually knew how to actually train dogs.

  • Dave

    Got blocked by the moderator for posting on dominance theory. Go figure.

  • agshare

    she obviously wasn’t YOUR dog,then.she was your WIFE’s dog.

  • LifeStudent1

    We shared responsibilities; walking, feeding, doctor’s etc. Tell me a bit about your beagle….

  • I have a friend with a male and female. The male is very anti-social and will bite at the drop of a hat. The female is very affectionate once she knows you, and not at all vicious. Neither are what I would term as overly intelligent, but are far from dumb the way a basset hound appears.

  • LifeStudent1

    if my dog was actually my wife’s dog……..how does ownership affect intelligence?

    You’ve received three upvotes? I’d love also hear their rationale.

  • SOS

    Agree with Blind Squirrel. Since when does independent equal unintelligent?

  • RugosaB .

    I’ll give an example:
    Many basenjis, when woke up by someone petting them while they are sleeping, will wake up in defense mode, possibly biting. One might think, “what a dumb dog, all I was going to do was pet it!”

    These dogs came from the bush in Africa, in fact are still found living there. Over there, if a dog gets woke up by surprise, it better wake up in ‘fighting mode’ because it never knows what’s waking it up.
    They retain many of the characteristics that enabled them to survive, (considered one of the oldest breeds in the world) sometimes this is one of them

    Now, is that intellignece? Breeders like me think so. When I placed puppies, I always told the people I WILL NOT place a puppy with dumb people. It is important to understand why a dog does something, to figure out how to train it not to do that. With the biting when woke up scenario, just calling the dog’s name before petting it takes care of the biting.

    Unfortunatley, some breeders do not breed for temperament, and do not teach the new owners how to live with their basenji. In the end, the dog loses, if only its reputation and that of the breed.

  • jgh59

    My Chow was extremely intelligent, he could be in another room and know when my wife was getting a pill out of a bottle and would then run and hide. He could tell by the expression on your face whether a treat had a pill hidden inside. He knew exactly when it was time for his walk. He also was well aware when I was preparing for a business trip or when I was straightening up prior to my wife coming home. My 3 Shih Tzu’s, not so much. Sweet, yes, smart, no. My dachshund, on the other hand, an evil genius.

  • cathy

    #9 is a dogue de bordeaux, right?

  • American

    They forgot to put the Pelosi and Reid dogs on this list.

  • Julie

    I definitely agree with you. this is NOT a list of “not so intelligent dog breeds”… perhaps stubborn yes…

  • MidloJagz

    Great Pyrenees are by far a SUPER smart dog.. they are just stubburn as heck..

  • MidloJagz

    You’ve never owned a Great Pyr.. 🙂 Donkey stubborn they are.. 🙂

  • MidloJagz

    True.. but traits run in the breed.. and MOST Great Pyrs are stubborn as a rock.. But also loyal and sweet.

  • mustangsallyann

    No doubt about it, most of the time it’s the human that needs the training. We’ve got 2 Pomeranians which aren’t on this list but I’ll tell you, they’re perfect little angel’s for me and run all over dad. He gets so frustrated but I can’t convince him that it’s him that needs to be trained. It’s a shame as Pom’s are one of the smartest dogs but a lot of their potential is lost due to him. At least they’re not ankle biter’s, yapper’s and are very good with little one’s since it could’ve gone the other way, had it not been for my being consistent and also being the one who spends the most time with them.

  • EmilyNJ

    I have been and am the proud human to 2 Basset Hounds. While they may look dumb, they most certainly are not. They are quite intelligent. What they are is completely and utterly stubborn.

  • LoveLife

    LOL. That’s exactly what I was thinking. LOL. 🙂

  • robert kinney

    I am sorry but I have to agree with the majority of posts. I don’t feel that this list says anything about the intelligence of these breeds. The Chihuahua for example is one of the only dogs who realizes its own size. The Saint Bernard can be trained to identify smells of their own people and associate it with a name. ie “go find Matthew.” the dog will find Matthew not Nathan. Perhaps the experience with these breeds is a little on the short side.

  • Eric Jeffrey

    Exactly. They are intelligent when it serves them. My former Basenji could learn anything he wanted, even if you were not trying to teach it to him. Such as learning that he could get attention by jumping on top of the pool table and running away with one of the balls.

  • KS

    Dogs absolutely can be stubborn, and there are personality traits that are typical for a breed. Obviously every dog is different, but that doesn’t mean that a breed isn’t more typically stubborn than another. For example, basset hounds were bred to be independent and stubborn. That’s part of what makes them such great trackers. Like many people have pointed out, that also doesn’t make them stupid just because they don’t want to listen to you haha. Trust me.. I have two of them currently. When they want to do something, they don’t give up, and when they don’t want to do something, they won’t. Food is definitely a strong motivator though!
    And it’s pretty ridiculous to say that someone couldn’t tell if their dog is ignoring them vs trying to figure out what they want. If you’re a dog trainer and have studied dog behavior, then I’m sure you’re aware of the fact that dogs can convey things through body language and behaviors. No mind reading necessary. It also doesn’t mean that someone is hitting their dog.

  • k9sue

    I have owned and trained two Pyrs. Very intelligent dogs. They are NOT stubborn, They are just not motivated to work with a handler. They were bred to guard sheep. They need to be motivated to work with us. Like all dogs, it is about how to get their attention and interest.

  • k9sue

    Breeds have general behavior/drive differences, but personality is individual. Two littermates can have opposite personalities. I have experienced that many times in my 35 years of professional dog training and dog behavior counseling. I am well educated in subtle body language, which the average person is not. Did you know that lip licking is a sign of stress or fear? Yawning? Slow licking? Looking away? That is just a few examples.
    It is not ridiculous to say humans mist-interpret their own dogs emotions. In my profession I find it quite common. Most of my clients miss-interpret dog body language and facial expression. While dogs are emotional creatures, humans want to project human emotions on their dogs. They watch too many Disney movies where dogs can speak and understand like people.
    Stubborn is not a canine emotion, which would require that your dog is ignoring you on purpose. Non- motived is not stubborn. Lack of communication is not stubborn. Dogs have one track minds, unless you have his attention, he in not ignoring you, he just does not see or hear your cues. Humans also think dogs can understand them speak, when in fact it is you body language that dogs understand. Very few people can read subtitle signs of fear and read it as “guilt”. Evidenced backed controlled studies support this information. Dogs are amazing, in their own way, but they are not furry humans.

  • k9sue

    Since when is intelligence related to motivation? Neither dogs nor humans do anything unless they are motivated. Dogs are scavengers and have motivation to eat. The most intelligent dog is the one who can figure out how to find food. Dogs who do not find any “value” in humans ignore them. That does not make them stupid.

  • Mary Shockley

    I have 4 Boston Terriers,so I guess I pretty well set.Very good dogs and very intelligent.I love all dogs so to me any dog can be trained given the right owner!!!!!

  • Barbara W

    I have my 3rd Great Pyr. Each one has been easy to train, great with kids and strangers and they are known by the AKC as Gentle Giants, I don’t know where these people are coming from. It is a shame these wonderful dogs, who train well enough to win major dog shows are in this list. I think these people are cat people afraid of large breeds.

  • MidloJagz

    True.. But the point is they are SMART not “Not-so-Intelligent”.

  • Kari

    What exactly does “dog intelligence” refer to in this article? If it is the ability to joyfully become a slave to every word their human says, my dachshunds aren’t very bright at all… but if it’s a matter of problem solving and coming up with alternative solutions to problems, they’re smart as a whip.

  • Just about every dog in the world runs to the door when the doorbell rings on tv. I dont even have a doorbell..we go to my brothers home and his doorbell rings and they run to his door.

  • LifeStudent1

    You use the words “just about every dog….” What about the dogs that don’t? Each human and non-human have unique characteristics.

  • Blind Squirrel

    Consider yours the exception then. Just about every beagle I’ve encountered has been smart as a whip.

  • LifeStudent1

    ……”just about every beagle?……what about the rest?

    My dog was over 12 years old when she died. I took painstaking efforts to ensure her comfort and well being.

    Thanks for your input. Now I can relax knowing my assertions of my dog’s stupidity have been approved from an anonymous poster with the user named Blind Squirrel.

  • psychedelicsanta

    If the dog won’t do what we say, then it is not intelligent? Maybe these are the smarter dogs…

  • Sweep_the_leg_11590

    If you want to see stubborn, try a Westie ; )

  • hf2hvit

    The dog probably knew you didn’t like it because, obviously, you didn’t.

  • LifeStudent1

    Are you a dog whisperer? What’s this ” ……dog probably knew”…? Are you Cesar Millan……please tell me you’re Cesar Millan.

  • k9sue

    Exactly! The one I raised from a pup was incredibly smart. My rescue came from a neglectful owner and did not bond with people.

  • larrygrant876

    You didn’t mention liberal democrats.

  • Cheryl Aisoff

    Some dogs bred to work as team with people, others bred to work independently, not a intelligence issue, kind of like which is smarter cats or dogs.

  • Marlen

    Huh…Have you ever actually owned a Shih Tzu before writing this? (whoever wrote this, I don’t care) I’m an owner of two and let me tell you they’re one of the coolest breeds… Who else can say that their furbabies were smart enough to be potty trained in 2 days? Plus, my older one has helped people with special needs, does agility with me and my younger one is also following those steps. I vote for us to stop searching for the “not-so-intelligent-breeds” and start looking for the “not-so-intellingent-humans” instead… Untrustworthy with children and adults???? You have to be kidding me… A well bred Shih tzu (bred from a reputable breeder, thus bred for his good character too) is a social butterfly, he loves all people and especially children… I only wish that people and families who wish to get a tzu don’t read this… They might think they’re about to bring home a vicious dog…

  • Blind Squirrel

    You misunderstood my post completely, and thank you for your rude snarky comment . You made the assertion about your own dog, not me. I merely stated yours was an exception to the rule based on the numerous beagles I’ve encountered to you ONE.

    Incidentally, LIfestudent1 is about as anonymous a name as Blind Squirrel.

  • Blind Squirrel

    You’re basis your assertion on your one. I’d venture to say someone who has had experience with several will be better positioned to say what the norm is versus your experience with one.

  • disqus_MLmlL96ffq

    Funny how it’s acceptable to consider some types of dogs to have different traits than others, but completely unacceptable to apply the same thoughts about people. We’re actually supposed to believe that Japanese people are likely to riot, and Blacks make good engineers.

  • Anita Pierson

    chows being on an unintelligent list is……stupid. Is it really a sign of intellect to conform to your masters every wish and whim, and no thought of what you wish for yourself? I’ve had many different breeds, some pure bred, some mutts, and chows rank very high up the list on brains. my criteria on that discernment is, what is the situation, how does the dog react, how intuitive is the dog to what is happening around him, how the dog actually thinks for him/herself on a dailuy basis, not how well it conforms to us….

  • Marie Noybn

    human traits are based on environment and upbringing, not the color of their skin. What you are talking is racism. Whether or not one group of people acts a certain way is because of generations of examples and teachings, it cannot be “bred” into the group because humans do not have different “breeds” as dogs do, they are all simply humans, what you are talking about would be more like saying that “black chow chows are more stubborn than red chow chows” um. no. Its just a matter of appearance. This shows up most obviously in interracial adoptions. You generally get children who act like their parents, even when their biological parents are of a different color. The rioters have been living in those areas, around those same people, usually for generations, those behaviors are TAUGHT. Asians, as a group, in their native countries, prize education.. now look at the asian gangs in displaced areas and tell me that this is not a learned action. Dont generalize based on color, if you must, generalize based on common experiences.

  • Marie Noybn

    yeah, but lemme tell you.. before you rescue one, find out if she HAS been potty trained, because if not.. and shes over 2 years old? may as well forget it. We have a dog that WOULD BE an awesome dog. Great with the kids, smart as a whip in most respects, cuddles up with the cats like shes one of them.. but from the day we got her home till now (four years later using every trick in the book) she WILL NOT BE POTTY TRAINED! She now has to live between outside and in her crate, only coming out when she can be DIRECTLY supervised every moment! She can go outside for HOURS, come back in, and if she doesnt go in her crate (which she never pees in, thank goodness) she will pee or poop in the house first chance she gets. Its a damned shame too because we love her and generally she would be sleeping in my daughter’s bed, but because of her refusal to stop messing on the floor, instead my daughter sleeps with her head on a cage to be near the dog. We wont get rid of her because if we tell the truth, no one will take her, and if we lie, someone would likely dump her at the pound or worse, but it cant be the best life for her in the winter! Though she SEEMS content.. as soon as you open the cage door she goes right for the front door, and when you let her back in, she goes right for her crate, very smart… and obviously CAN control herself. but WONT! very frustrating. No idea about her breeding, we only took her in the first place because the previous owners lied, said she was being “picked on” by his larger dogs and that she was housebroken, etc.. he admitted it a year later when we confronted him, once he realized we werent going to kick her out no matter what..She absolutely ADORES my kids, knows im the alpha dog and obeys me immediately, all around a great dog, but this one, major, life altering flaw.. ::sigh::

  • Marie Noybn

    we had a chow mix who was blind as a bat, rescued him as a puppy when his mother and litter mates died in a fire in our neighborhood, neighbor couldnt bear to keep him and was going to have him put down. He was smart as a whip, loyal, and could get around and do things as well or better than sighted dogs. He would run around the room full speed and if you moved something (say, put your purse on the floor) he would trip once, and jump it the next time. GREAT dog. My shih Tzu.. ::sigh::

  • just saying it isnt that unusual…can you grasp that?The dogs that dont….dont. The Majority do, that has been my experience.

  • Rachel Florence Fletcher

    Since man has been dominated by mediocrity; terrible is the blind judge of sight.

    You are quite right in your comment; the above piece is a self-inconsistent criticism of self-aware creativity of thought, not of obstructed capacity to read the world, which is in fact what low intelligence, in any species, regardless of manner of perception or social expectation, is. An independently formed thought in fact requires a higher general intelligence than does a repetition of pre-formed response, for the former requires clarity of perception through more levels of our infinite universe than the latter.

  • LifeStudent1

    Dogs are nothing more than four-legged humans……..can you grasp that!

  • Calico Roni Rosenberg

    ‘Beyond any doubt, the Basenji is an intelligent dog,’ … what? so confused. i was interested in/promised one thing from this artcile…

  • The Daddy Phantom

    I had a Basenji. Beautiful dog! Got him as a puppy and treated him like a prince, but that dang thing never took to training like my German Shepard’s did. Nice to know it wasn’t me. I still miss that dog though. Then again, you never forget a best friend.

  • Jeff Weisman

    Firstly, I have 17 yrs w/my beagle and 11 with my Old English. My beagle was smart as a whip, but “me” oriented. She’d hear the ice ream man’s bells and bring me my wallet and her problem solving skills were incredible. Very trainable with positive motivation, she didn’t care if you were entertained, she liked doing WITH you, as long as a treat was involved and she wasn’t distracted by her nose.
    My OES was a clown, anything to make you laugh and engage you. As a puppy, he was an independent handful, it took a professional training session to finally get his attention. When he understood (in dog terms) that he was NOT the “alpha” of the house and his leash meant “business”. It took 12 minutes for him to get the “idea”. From there, on, he was the most trainable dog and smart dog the trainer had ever worked with! When the leash was off, he returned to being a big, independent clown. His demeanour was happy, caring, well balanced, very friendly, fiercely loyal and appropriately protective… a fabulous family dog with amazingly good judgement and problem solving skills. An OES will obey all commands … unless … they decide they have a more suitable way to accomplish what you ask, the dog would always add his own “spin” to completing a task (go left instead of right, sit 3 X instead of once, turn fetch into chase me, do the command, but silly, just to get a chuckle).
    We now look for a new dog to accompany us in our retirement, small, eager to please, a rescue fer sure. We know a family isn’t a family without kids n pets. A dog will be a dog with its own personality and it will decide its proper place in the family with proper training.

  • Manalto

    Difficult to train dog can float? Or fly?

  • Manalto

    I question your powers of observation then.

  • Ahhhh yeah…whatever

  • RobertNorwood

    Unfortunately people will still choose their dog for all the wrong reasons and end up a miserable slave to it. A friend finally caved in to all the patently false promises her two kids made when campaigning for a dog and ended up with a Basenji. After a predictable period the kids found dog ownership a lot of work, over rated, and boring.
    When asked she’s a bit mute about the affair but concedes she ended up with all the work.

    I’ve always owned German Shepherds. Highly intelligent, easy to train, always interesting, will protect you and the family instinctively.

  • RobertNorwood

    You’re right, I wouldn’t own any of them if you paid me. They either all slobber miserably, don’t listen, run off, and are more work than they are worth. Most people get them for status or think they’re cute. Heck, folks thought Ted Bundy was cute.

  • RobertNorwood

    You’re right, I wouldn’t own any of them if you paid me. They either all slobber miserably, don’t listen, run off, and are more work than they are worth. Most people get them for status or think they’re cute. Folks thought Ted Bundy was cute.

  • Nicthalon

    “The Bullmastiff … possesses great intelligence.”
    That’s how you start the description of a dog on a list of “not-so-intelligent” dogs?

  • gadgetcoder

    With the Sheepdog, WHICH ARE VERY INTELLIGENT, in one paragraph the author says “Loyal, protective and intelligent…” then two paragraphs later says ‘…they are not very intelligent…” These breeds are ALL intelligent. I have owned sheepdogs, and Mastiffs. Both breeds are highly intelligent in my experience. But both breeds require some patience because smart animals WILL try to be dominant. If a soft minded person fails to properly train a dog, that is not because the dog is stupid – it is because the HUMAN is stupid.

  • Hawksnest

    Where is the Dalmation on this list?? According to AKC it is the #1 most biting dog in America. As well as the Poodle!

  • Lou Vito

    I”m surprised that Pit Bull wasn’t the first one on the list of dogs NOT to have if there are children in the house. They’re known for mauling little children whom will have to endure years of surgery and rehab, if they survived the vicious attack. No reason for this breed to exist, and most are used solely for watch dogs in the hood, chained to a post, where drug dealers rule.


    If Chows aren’t stupid, why are they on this list?


    I was owned by a 96 lb. Chow Chow!!!

  • Marlido9

    The entire article needs an editor! Aside from terrible spelling and grammar, the section discussing the Mastiff has a photo of 2 Dogues de Bordeaux, NOT an English Mastiff.

  • Kinda Gamey

    I have four of them. Regardless of breed. Ha ha ha

  • trailwuld

    Do you have any articles on “Ideal Family Dogs?”

  • lolol

    No mention of bullDogs

  • FredC1968

    I have a Japanese Chin. He’s been my best friend for the past six years.

    In Sept ’05 I had H1N1 and a really nasty antibiotic resistant respiratory infection. My employer showed no mercy, and my now ex was worse.

    My Japanes Chin,”Chipper” – stayed by by side.

    I no longer work for that particular company, and my ex is no longer a part of my life. However, “Chipper” is still my dog.

    Dogs where purposely bred for specific jobs. Japanese Chins were bred to be companions.

  • Jessi

    Bull Terrier? Serously? They are very smart.

  • necronautx32

    I agree

  • dk504

    English Bull dogs are amazing. They are totally loyal to the children of a family. You have to be patient and determined to train them. They aren’t dumb.

  • Jackie333

    My chihuahua is smart, not sure who made this list up but a number of these breeds are smart.

  • gref

    You are missing the single most unintelligent stubborn dogs ive seen in 20 years bishon frense or how ever spelled. Just lays in one corner until someone comes home and barks uncontrollably for 15 minutes then doesnt know what to do. The only dog I really don’t like

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  • Dan Witzke

    Basenjis come from central Africa, not Central America. Seriously, like, the LEAST bit of fact-checking and proof-reading would have made this tripe marginally worth the time it took to read.

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