When it comes to housetraining, faster is always better, and the easiest dogs to housetrain tend to be the most intelligent breeds. With that said, that doesn’t necessarily mean that breeds who are difficult to housetrain are less intelligent. In fact, most of housetraining has to do with habit rather than actual through the process, as we discuss in our Dog Savvy Small Dog Training Made Easy course.
Instead, for some breeds like the dachshund, a combination of biology and sense of smell make them a difficult house training case. In other breeds, such as so-called “teacup breeds” extremely small size can mean their bladders are just physically smaller than other dogs and cannot “hold it” as long.
When it comes to the “good” housebreaking breeds, intelligence and eagerness to please can definitely work in your favor. However, that doesn’t mean that the individual dog doesn’t get a say. Any breed can pose a difficult house training case, and if you struggle with housebreaking you might benefit from adding our Ask The Trainer program for some extra help with your dog.
Easiest Breeds to Housetrain
This classic breed packs intelligence and loyalty into a single fun-loving package. Because they are good-sized dogs, you don’t struggle with the small bladder capacities of some other breeds. Add in a solid level of intelligence, and an eagerness to please their owners and the golden poses a great example of an easy-to-housebreak dog.
When following the housebreaking rules that we outline in our Dog Savvy course (rules that apply to any size dog mind you!) you can generally expect fast and easy results from this breed. They take quickly to training and thrive under the praise they receive when they do well, which lands them on this list!
Poodle (Standard, Miniature, or Toy)
While larger sizes have an easier time than the toy breed due to biology, the intelligence of the poodle makes them easier to housetrain than some other breeds. When it comes to small breeds, miniature and toy poodles don’t quite give you a run for your money like a chihuahua might!
Famed for their intelligence, poodles are also incredibly competent when it comes to learning new things. They love to please, and their owners don’t find them nearly as stubborn as some other dog breeds can be. Stubborn isn’t a fantastic trait when it comes to housebreaking, so this makes poodles another great option for a dog that is easy to housetrain!
If there’s one group of dogs who is the most intelligent in the class, it’s always the herding breed. Shetland sheepdogs have an incredible amount of intelligence and loyalty to boot! This breed is a great option for pet owners who want a smaller breed, but don’t want the headache of a “small breed” housetraining journey.
Smart, easy to train, and eager to please, the Shetland Sheepdog can make a fantastic member of the family who doesn’t give you a hard time during the housebreaking process.
Most Difficult Breeds to Housetrain
While discussing housetraining, let’s take a look at some breeds who are notoriously difficult to housetrain as well. Just because a breed is difficult to housetrain, doesn’t mean they are not intelligent or they make a poor pet. It does, however, mean that you should prepare ahead of time for their housetraining and anticipate a longer process!
We mentioned them before, but it’s worth mentioning again. If you have a Dachshund, do not wait until your dog has been having accidents for a year to reach out for help! The longer your dog continues to have accidents, the more difficult time you will have housetraining them.
Dachshunds have an incredible sense of smell, and an incredibly long body to go along with it.
That lengthy body might have something to do with how difficult it is to housebreak a Dachshund, but there isn’t any hard evidence to support that. What we do know is that like all scent hounds, this breed has an incredible sense of smell. This means that even the best cleaners can still leave behind the distinct “bathroom” odor of a spot they have accidents.
Any Breed Using a Potty Pad
We discuss this in our housetraining section of the Dog Savvy course, but using “pee pads” or potty pads, or any indoor housetraining method for that matter, can cause serious problems when you’re trying to housetrain your dog.
This issue is particularly common with small breed dogs, as lots of pet owners treat them more like cats than they do dogs. While certain instances, such as dangerously extreme weather conditions or medical issues, necessitate the use of potty pads the pads themselves can drastically reduce the effectiveness of your housebreaking.
A dog trained on potty pads, particularly one who does not take to it naturally, is significantly more likely to have an accident at any given time throughout their life than a dog who has been trained “traditionally” to go to the bathroom outside.
As we discussed briefly before, this is because much of housebreaking involves habit, and when the entire goal is to have your dog potty outside they can become confused if there are instances where they are pottying inside. If you plan on having your dog go to the bathroom outside, you should train them as such immediately.
No matter if your breed is traditionally easy to housetrain, or if they are more difficult, you should be prepared for the housetraining process before you even pick up your dog in the first place. Use the housetraining rules in our Dog Savvy Course, and be prepared to supervise, supervise, supervise.
The only way to ensure they have zero accidents inside is to make sure they never have the opportunity to have an accident in the first place! So use your rules, stick to your guns, and see results.