With patience and persistence, it’s possible to potty train almost any dog. However, there are some breeds that are more difficult to housebreak than others. Different breed groups have different toilet training issues. Some are prone to marking, while others are just plain stubborn. Dogs that are harder to housetrain include scent hounds, sight hounds, pointers and setters, terriers, toy breeds, and late maturers.
Scent hounds have a one-track mind and will forget about eliminating once they’ve picked up the scent of a rabbit or squirrel, which they will chase down. If your scent hound’s potty area is in the backyard, make sure that it is fenced. Also, always use a leash to prevent your pet from running off.
Should your pooch have an accident, clean the spot thoroughly with an enzymatic deodorizer. Feed him or play with him near that area afterwards. Because scent hounds have a very strong sense of smell, the odor must be eliminated to keep them from returning to the same incorrect spot.
Scent hounds that are hard to potty train include the American Foxhound, Beagle, Dachshund, Basset Hound, and Bloodhound.
Sight hounds are mostly racing dogs that chase anything that moves. A sturdy leash is a must with these dogs as they might start running after a vehicle during outdoor toilet training. The sight hound category includes the Basenji, Irish Wolfhound, Saluki, Borzoi, Afghan Hound, Whippet, and Norwegian Elkhound, as well as many hunting dogs such as setters, pointers, retrievers, and coondogs.
It’s absolutely necessary to have a fenced area when you own a sight hound. Many breeds are very long-legged and can easily jump over fences. Keep your pet on a leash every time you go outside and hold on tightly. Again, these dogs will run after anything that moves.
Pointers and Setters
These hunting dogs are similar to scent and sight hounds. The English Setter is one example of a breed that falls under this category.
Terriers are very territorial, making them prone to marking behavior. They also have independent minds and are usually unwilling to follow commands. You need to be patient and firm when housebreaking a terrier. These dogs are very smart and will quickly learn when they can get away without obeying orders. As with the earlier categories, have a fence and always make sure that it is secure at the bottom.
Terriers that are difficult to housebreak include the Jack Russell Terrier, Norwich Terrier, Cairn Terrier, West Highland White Terrier, Irish Terrier, Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier, and Norfolk Terrier.
Think of your toy breed as a dog and not as a baby. Expect the same things from him as you would with a Great Dane or Golden Retriever. If his outdoor potty area is covered with grass, see to it that it is kept short as toy breeds cannot wade through tall grass. Also make sure that he cannot see or be seen by larger dogs or other “threatening” animals when he’s in his potty spot.
Toy breeds that are challenging to toilet train include the Havanese, Maltese, Pekingese, Affenpinscher, Papillon, Pug, Yorkshire Terrier, Pomeranian, Shih Tzu, and Italian Greyhound.
Some breeds are late maturers, both physically and mentally. They may take longer to develop control over their bladder and bowels. The larger the breed, the more acute the problem. You may have to wait until your dog is three years old before he is completely accident-free.
Late maturing dogs include the Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, Chinese Shar-Pei, and all Mastiffs.
Other breeds that are difficult to potty train include the Lakeland Terrier, Cocker Spaniel, Pit Bull Terrier, Belgian Griffon, Rat Terrier, Siberian Husky, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Boston Terrier, Bichon Frise, Schipperke, Alaskan Malamute, and Welsh Terrier.