10 Most Stubborn Dog Breeds According to Science [Most Independent]

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Science recently named the 10 most stubborn dogs breeds, and it will come as no surprise to terrier owners that 2 terrier breeds made the top 10.

And that’s Science with a capital “S” because this list comes courtesy of a study published in the academic journal Science.

The study covered much more than just stubbornness. In whole, it was about “ancestry-inclusive dog genomics.”

And for the most part, it found that breed stereotypes are often misleading.

However, when it came to “biddability” – how well dogs respond to human direction – the scientists found that was the trait most heritable by breed.

And to be clear, the study doesn’t use the word “stubborn.” Instead, they call the least biddable breeds “independent.”

But when you’re a breed at the bottom of the list for responsiveness to human direction, let’s just call it what it is – stubborn.

Interestingly, 6 of the dogs on this list also made the list of most popular dog breeds in New York City.

Think your dog made the list? Read on to find out the 10 most stubborn dogs breeds.

10. Yorkshire Terrier

10th most stubborn dog breed: Yorkshire Terrier

Ah, the Yorkie. This little bundle of energy and sass is the 10th most stubborn breed, according to the study.

Don’t let their small stature fool you. These terriers are renowned for their tenacity and determination. They have a mind of their own and aren’t afraid to make it known.

Yorkies have a reputation for being tough, but that toughness can often translate into stubbornness.

It might seem like your Yorkshire Terrier has selective hearing when it comes to commands. But remember, this trait is less about defiance and more about independence.

Their ancestors were bred for catching rats in clothing mills, after all, so they’re used to making their own decisions.

If you’re a Yorkie owner, you’ll need a good dose of patience, consistent training, and a sense of humor. Yes, your Yorkshire Terrier might be stubborn, but that just means they’re filled to the brim with personality.

And hey, aren’t we all a little stubborn sometimes? After all, it’s just one of the many things we love about our Yorkies. They remind us that being a little independent isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

9. Dachshund

9th most stubborn dog breed: Dachshund

Coming in at number 9, we have the Dachshund, a breed famous for its long body, short legs, and a spirit that won’t quit. Now, we can scientifically say they’re also among the top ten most independent, or, let’s be honest, stubborn breeds.

Dachshunds were originally bred to hunt badgers, so that determination and tenacity are ingrained in their DNA. They’re known for their courageousness and are very self-assured, which often shows up as a strong-willed streak.

It’s not uncommon for Dachshund owners to feel like they’re part of a never-ending negotiation when it comes to commands and training. These little pups have their own agendas, and they aren’t easily swayed.

But don’t mistake this independent spirit for a lack of affection or loyalty. Dachshunds are very loving and dedicated to their families. They just like to keep everyone on their toes.

Keep in mind, their stubbornness might be a challenge, but it’s also what gives them their unique character. And isn’t it that fiery spirit that made us fall in love with them in the first place?

So, Dachshund owners, keep up with the positive reinforcement and stay patient. Your little sausage dog wouldn’t have it any other way.

8. West Highland White Terrier

8th most stubborn dog breed: West Highland White Terrier

The number 8 spot and the most stubborn terrier is the West Highland White Terrier, fondly known as the Westie. This spunky little breed with its thick white coat and expressive eyes is well-loved for its feisty, friendly personality.

And now, we can officially add “stubborn” to their list of attributes if it wasn’t already there.

Westies, like other terriers, are known for their determination. They were originally bred for hunting rodents in the rocky highlands of Scotland, and this “go get ’em” attitude is still very much part of their character today.

It’s no surprise to see them on this list of the most independent dog breeds.

Westie owners know this trait well. Your Westie might seem to have a mind of their own when it comes to following commands. Don’t worry, they’re not ignoring you. They’re just taking a more, well, independent approach.

But despite their stubborn streak, Westies are incredibly loyal and loving. Their tenacious spirit is matched only by their affection for their human companions.

In the end, even if your Westie is a bit more headstrong than other breeds, it’s just one more trait to love about them. Because, let’s be honest, who can resist a little stubbornness wrapped up in such a cute package?

7. Beagle

7th most stubborn dog breed: Beagle

At number 7, we find the Beagle, a breed cherished for its joyful disposition, friendly demeanor, and those soulful, pleading eyes.

Beagles are popular for many reasons, and now we have another – they’re among the most stubborn breeds out there.

Originally bred as scent hounds, Beagles have an incredible sense of smell. Once they’ve picked up a scent, there’s little that can distract them.

They’re very much single-minded when they’ve got a job to do. As you can imagine, this makes them wonderfully stubborn.

This means that Beagle owners often find themselves trying to outmaneuver their furry friend’s willful behavior.

If your Beagle has ever ignored a command in favor of an interesting scent trail, you’re not alone. They aren’t intentionally disobeying you, it’s just that their nose is leading the way!

Despite their stubbornness, Beagles are incredibly good-natured and sociable dogs. They are loving, gentle, and are known to be fantastic family pets.

Yes, training your Beagle may require a bit of creativity and persistence, but it’s all worth it. After all, who can resist that face, even if it is a little stubborn?

6. Siberian Husky

6th most stubborn dog breed: Siberian Husky

Claiming the 6th spot is the Siberian Husky, a breed renowned for its striking blue or multicolored eyes, gorgeous thick coat, and a spirit as wild and free as the landscapes they were bred to traverse.

If you’ve ever interacted with a Husky, their ranking as one of the most “independent” breeds will probably not surprise you.

Originally bred to pull heavy sleds across vast icy terrains, Huskies are built for endurance and have an incredible work ethic. However, that same tenacity and determination can sometimes translate into a bit of a stubborn streak.

Husky owners know that these dogs are intelligent, yet they seem to possess a highly developed sense of “selective hearing” when it comes to commands. It’s not that they don’t understand you, they’re just deciding whether or not they want to comply at that particular moment.

But don’t let their strong-willed nature fool you. Huskies are exceptionally loyal and affectionate with their families. They have a playful nature and are known to be good with children.

Training a Husky may require some extra patience, consistency, and a lot of positive reinforcement. But when you look into those beautiful, expressive eyes, you know all the effort is worth it.

Besides, life with a Siberian Husky is never boring! Their stubborn streak is just part of the package of this truly magnificent breed.

5. Great Pyrenees

5th most stubborn dog breed: Great Pyrenees

Holding the number 5 position is the majestic Great Pyrenees. This large and imposing breed, known for its stunning white coat and dignified demeanor, has a history of being used for livestock protection, which may explain their place on our list of the most stubborn breeds.

The Great Pyrenees were bred to make decisions independently while guarding sheep in the Pyrenees mountains, and that autonomous spirit has carried through to today’s dogs.

They’re highly intelligent, which means they can be choosy about when and how they respond to commands.

To a Great Pyrenees owner, their dog might seem like they’re operating on their own time and judgment. Is it stubbornness, or is it just that they’re used to calling the shots?

Despite their obstinate tendencies, the Great Pyrenees are known for their gentle and affectionate nature. They’re excellent family dogs and are particularly patient with children.

Their protective instincts make them great guardians, and their independent streak is just a testament to their capabilities.

Training a Great Pyrenees can be a bit of a challenge due to their independent nature, but it’s also rewarding. Your Great Pyrenees might be a little headstrong, but their loyalty and love for their family make every moment worth it.

Besides, there’s something quite special about sharing your home with such a noble and intelligent breed.

4. Miniature Pinscher

4th most stubborn dog breed: Miniature Pinscher

Claiming the 4th spot on our list is the lively and spirited Miniature Pinscher, often referred to as the “King of Toys” due to its small size and fearless personality.

This compact, sturdy breed is now scientifically recognized as one of the most “independent,” or, let’s say it, stubborn dog breeds.

These pint-sized pups are full of energy and have an innate curiosity, often leading to a stubborn streak when it comes to training. With a background in hunting rats and other small vermin, they’ve learned to trust their instincts and often prefer to make decisions on their own.

Miniature Pinscher owners know that these dogs can be a bit obstinate. But it’s not them being difficult, it’s just their inner “king” or “queen” shining through. They have minds of their own and aren’t afraid to show it.

Despite their stubbornness, Miniature Pinschers are known for their affectionate nature and loving personalities. They’re energetic, outgoing, and love to be the center of attention.

Training a Miniature Pinscher might require a bit more patience and creativity due to their independent nature.

That strong-willed nature and spark of independence make them the fun, engaging companions we love.

So, Min Pin owners, hold onto your crowns, the king of stubbornness is here to stay.

3. Shiba Inu

3rd most stubborn dog breed: Shiba Inu

At number 3, we find the Shiba Inu. These fox-like dogs from Japan are gaining popularity worldwide for their unique looks and spirited personalities.

Now, according to Science, they’re also top 3 most stubborn breeds around.

Bred to hunt in the rugged mountains of Japan, Shiba Inus are known for their agility and bravery. However, these same traits can also manifest as a stubborn streak when it comes to training and commands.

Shiba Inu owners often describe their pets as having a “cat-like” demeanor, independent, and sometimes aloof. They have a mind of their own and aren’t afraid to show it.

If your Shiba seems to be questioning your every command, it’s not just you. They’re just living up to their breed’s independent nature.

But don’t let their stubbornness fool you. Shiba Inus are extremely loyal and form strong bonds with their families. They are intelligent and alert, making them excellent watchdogs.

Training a Shiba Inu can be an exercise in patience. They require consistent, positive reinforcement to overcome their independent streak.

Despite the challenges, life with a Shiba Inu is filled with love, loyalty, and yes, a bit of stubbornness. But we wouldn’t have it any other way, would we?

2. Alaskan Malamute

2nd most stubborn dog breed: Alaskan Malamute

Claiming the runner-up spot as the second most stubborn dog breed is the Alaskan Malamute, a breed that embodies strength, endurance, and an independent spirit.

If you’ve ever tried to convince a Malamute to do something it wasn’t interested in, you won’t be surprised to see them ranking second in the list of most stubborn dog breeds.

Originally bred for hauling heavy freight across the harsh Alaskan terrain, Alaskan Malamutes are built for stamina and self-reliance. This inherent independence can sometimes be mistaken for stubbornness, especially during training sessions.

If you’re a Malamute owner, you’re likely all too familiar with this scenario: you give a command, and your dog gives you a look that says, “I heard you, but I’ll think about it.”

It’s not disobedience, per se; they’re just used to making their own decisions based on their assessment of the situation.

Despite this independent streak, Alaskan Malamutes are known for their friendly and affectionate nature. They’re great family dogs and tend to be very good with children.

They’re also incredibly intelligent, which means they can learn quickly when they want to.

Training an Alaskan Malamute might require extra patience and a consistent approach, but their loyalty and love for their family make it all worthwhile.

1. Basset Hound

Most stubborn dog breed: Basset Hound

And finally, claiming the top spot on our list of the most stubborn dog breeds according to Science, is none other than the Basset Hound.

With their droopy ears, mournful eyes, and distinctive bay, it seems these lovable hounds are also leaders in the stubbornness department.

Basset Hounds were bred for hunting small game. They are scent hounds, which means their noses are incredibly powerful.

In fact, they have one of the best senses of smell among all dog breeds. This can make them single-minded when they pick up an interesting scent, leading to what many interpret as stubborn behavior.

As a Basset Hound owner, you might often find yourself waiting for your pooch to finish a lengthy sniffing session before moving on during walks. And during training, you might have noticed a certain… reluctance to follow commands immediately.

That’s not your Basset being difficult, they’re just showing their independent nature.

Despite their obstinate reputation, Basset Hounds are incredibly friendly and good-natured. They’re known for being exceptionally gentle and patient with children, and their laid-back nature makes them excellent companions.

Training a Basset Hound will certainly teach you the virtues of patience and consistency. However, their loving nature, combined with their unique personality quirks, makes every moment with them worth it.

After all, a bit of stubbornness is a small price to pay for a lifetime of loyalty and love from these scent hounds.

Stubborn Dog Breeds Takeaway

So, there you have it – the top 10 most “independent” or, in plain terms, stubborn dog breeds according to Science.

From the lovable Basset Hound to the spirited Yorkshire Terrier, these breeds certainly keep their owners on their toes.

However, let’s not forget that stubbornness isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s often a sign of intelligence, curiosity, and a strong spirit.

Each of these breeds possesses a distinct appeal that far outweighs any challenges their stubborn streaks may present.

Ultimately, whether your furry companion is on this list or not, we know that their quirks and individualities only make us love them more.

After all, it’s these traits that give them their character and make our lives with them so much richer. Stubborn or not, we wouldn’t have them any other way!

Kevin William

Kevin grew up with a female West Highland White Terrier named Murphy who was always by his side. Kevin currently lives in New York state with his family including a Labrabull (Labrador Retriever Pit Bull) named Lily.

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