Whether you teach your dog to sit, roll over or catch a ball, any trick will bring a smile to your face and happiness to your dog because they love performing for their owners.

But some dog tricks are more difficult to train for than others.

A dog's inherent love of pleasing owners and their enthusiasm to learn new tricks makes it easier and enjoyable for us to teach dogs different kinds of commands and stunts.

You can train a dog with a simple combination of dog training treats, verbal praise, and the use of a dog clicker.

You'll want to begin slowly with simple tricks to teach your dog like ‘sit, ‘lie down and ‘stay.'

You don't want just to force them to learn a trick they won't like.

You want to make sure you are teaching fun tricks for dogs. Make sure to reward them when they deserve it.

Otherwise, training will be a slow and painful process.

Here are a few quick videos and step-by-step guides to get started:

Once your dog gets used to performing some of these simple tricks on command, you can move on to some of the hardest tricks to train dogs using this foundation.

These 25 difficult dog training tricks will test your patience and a dog’s temper but attempting to train a dog with these tricks will help develop and improve their brain function.

You will also encourage agility, strength, and alertness in your dog.

Dog Tricks Training Factors

Before we delve into the serious business of determining the top twenty-five hardest tricks and commands to teach your dog, let's discuss dog training itself so that you understand why some tricks or commands are more difficult for certain dogs or their owners.

  • Dogs easily understand simple commands like stay, sit, heel, stop, and rollover. The easiest tricks to teach a dog roll over, play dead, shaking paws, and catching objects.
  • Female dogs learn more quickly than male dogs.
  • According to surveys, around 3.2% of dog owners are not serious about training their dogs.
  • Around 19% of puppy parents are spending less than 30 minutes each week training their dog.
  • The easiest dog breeds to train include the German Shepherd Dogs, Golden Retriever, Labrador, Poodle, Rottweiler, Boxer, Doberman, English spaniel, Border Collie, to name a few (here's a full list of smartest dog breeds).

Difficult Tricks to Train Dogs

Common Questions About the Most Difficult Dog Training Tricks

If you have some questions about teaching your pooch the most difficult dog training tricks, you are not alone. Keep the following in mind as you explore the hardest tricks to teach your canine. 

What Is the Most Difficult Dog Breed to Train?

Beagles are the most difficult dog breed to train. They are followed by Rottweilers, Siberian Huskies, Basset Hounds, Chinese Shar-Peis, and Afghan Hounds. 

What Is the Hardest Dog Breed to Train?

Some of the hardest breeds to train include beagles, Basset hounds, Chow Chows, Afghan hounds, Chinese Shar-Peis, Bullmastiffs, Siberian huskies, and American Pit Bull Terriers. 

How Do You Train a Stubborn Dog?

Take it slowly when training a stubborn dog, and do your best to be consistent and in control of the environment. 

How Do You Train a Stubborn Dog to Come?

Start training a stubborn dog to come in an area with minimal distractions. Show your pooch that you are holding a treat or toy and praise them when they walk to you. Please give them the reward when they get to you. Repeat a few times and then add a verbal cue. 

What Are the Stupidest Dogs?

The stupidest dogs are Afghan hounds, followed by Basenjis and bulldogs. 

Difficult Tricks to Train Dogs

Tricks to Teach Your Dog: Mistakes and Pitfalls

To make it easier to teach your dog even the most difficult dog training tricks, do your best to avoid the following mistakes: 

    • Repeating commands when the dog doesn’t respond
    • Not training frequently enough
    • Being inconsistent
    • Not training for the right amount of time (pay attention to your pooch’s attention span)
    • Not training in multiple environments
    • Using too much emotion 
    • Over-relying on treats instead of praise
    • Not being proactive 
    • Not being confident
    • Not accounting for your dog’s personality

Difficult Tricks to Train Dogs

Dog Tricks List: 25 Most Difficult Commands 

Based on the above facts, the degree of difficulties in dog training your pooch relies on the breed, sex, and the dog owner.

Here is my list of the hardest tricks to teach your dog.

We start with the easiest tricks (out of all the hardest ones) and work our way down to the most difficult tricks to teach a dog.

1. Wait


There is a tendency for the dog to confuse this command with ‘stay.'

Teaching a dog the Wait command is a five-step process and needs to be done in 3 or 5 seconds intervals.

You'll need to repeat the process until the dog understands the ‘wait' command.

This is one of the more basic hard tricks to train a dog and a good point to start with.

Take a look at the demonstration video linked above.

2. Bark or Speak or Howl


While dogs bark naturally, teaching a dog to bark on cue is a little bit frustrating.

When you often make your pet sit in front of you and teach him to bark by using the ‘speak' command, the dog will offer silence and stare at you.

But there is some tricks to teach your dog how to howl, bark, speak a bit quicker – see the video demonstration.

3. Army Crawling


Crawling is a dog's instinct, especially if your pooch wants to get something under the furniture.

And it is only when you want your dog to crawl on command and for several lengths for no particular reason that makes it harder.

Army Crawl dog trick is tough to train a dog, and some dogs, they may never get it, but you can give it a try, as shown in the above video.

4. Spin


Spin sounds like an easy trick to teach a dog, but it needs to be taught with the right technique as the verbal command is not enough for the dog in many cases.

Like the Army Crawl trick, this one is one of those more unique, fun commands on the dog tricks list that usually takes a lot of patience on both owner and dogs.

a dog sitting pretty from the dog tricks list scaled

5. Sit Pretty


Here's something a little easier – the Sit Pretty dog trick is very similar to the basic command of “Sit” with a bit of a spin to it. It can be easy to teach, but you need to ensure that your dog is healthy.

Sitting pretty is quite strenuous on the back legs when done very often and for a few minutes at a time. Zak George has a great video on this.

6. Go and Fetch


This is a viral dog training trick with owners, but the dog will not cooperate in some cases. Similar to the above, it's closer to the above basic commands.

Still, it is especially frustrating if you are training a stubborn dog like the Jack Russel Terrier, Afghan Hound, Rottweiler, or Shar-Pei.

Check out the demonstration for some quick tips.

7. Stand Tall (On Hind Legs)


Teaching a dog the Stand Tall trick can be quite easy but difficult if you’re dealing with senior dogs.

If your dog is healthy enough, this trick will develop strength and stamina. But similar to the “Sit Pretty” trick, you need to check your pooch beforehand.

If your adult healthy dog is up for it, this one may be where you should start with advanced dog tricks because the results are faster.

8. Say Your Prayers


They Say Your Prayers is an amusing dog training trick in our multi-pet household, and my dogs look so cute sitting and placing their front legs and dropping their head to signify prayer, and they always seem to enjoy performing the trick.

The relatively difficult part of this command, however, was getting my dog accustomed to the position.

9. Walking Backward


Other than getting your pooch to understand what walking backward is physically possible, the other difficult part of this advanced dog trick for you will be to always walk beside your dog during the training process.

However, this trick is a good bonding moment between you and your pet and can result in some laughs.

10. Open The Door (Tug / Tugging)


Here's another more simple and easy command among these hardest tricks to train a dog – simply opening the door (called tugging).

Despite its simplicity, your friends will be impressed when your dog knows how to open the door.

However, not all dogs can easily train this trick as factors like size, height, and handle type will matter.

11. Dance


Dancing is ideal for small dogs, but bigger breeds can learn how to dance too! To learn this difficult dog trick, your pooch needs to be healthy, and they need patience and gentle motivation from their owners.

It is also frustrating to teach when your dog is overweight, as their hind end may not support dancing movements.

12. Salute


Because this is one of the hardest dog tricks on this list, teaching dogs to salute will really test your patience.

It will take a lot of time and repetition, not to mention plenty of enticing treats.

Fortunately, I've found a fantastic demonstration video from the popular Surf Dog Richochet that does an excellent job at explaining it.

13. Collect Garbage


This is a good way to change the way your dog thinks about garbage.

It will be a very repetitive process, and it may be difficult to get your dog to throw the garbage in the bin instead of eating it at first, but having your pet help with your daily chores eases your life and gives your pup a job to do.

Check out the Urban Dog Training video above.

14. Moving Hoop Trick


This command is related to agility training dogs, and you have to teach your dog to jump inside the hoop first before moving onto the full Hoop Trick.

This is one of those complicated tricks to teach your dog that really challenged my dogs and my dog training skills, as it requires me to pass the hoop from right to left and left to right.

15. Wipe Your Paws


Here's a command on the dog tricks list that's not as complex as some above yet may be quite difficult depending on your dog's temperament, and you'll also need to choose the right doormat.

If a mat is too rough, your dog may not want to wipe his paws on it, as one of my dogs was particularly picky where they chose to wipe their paws. See the How-Cast video.

16. Watch Me


This dog trick will train your pooch concentration and focus because it makes your dog ignore other people and focus only on you. As I experienced, dogs tend to have a short attention span. Thus, it takes hand motions at the same time to make the dog understand when I say ‘watch me.

17. The Bang Performance


Why is The Bang Performance dog trick so hard? Because you need to teach your dog the following tricks first: crawl, limp, and play dead. This is the accumulation of some of the hardest tricks to train dogs we've gone through above, and Bang is often called one of the best dog tricks ever. My other big challenge here is that I have to ensure that the dog is familiar with the three tricks mentioned.

18. Handstand


While the above dog training trick takes time to accumulate different types into one, the Handstand dog trick is by itself significantly more difficult and quite tricky, as your dog needs to build muscles to perform this feat. Like other difficult tricks, this is much hard for bigger dogs. The above video has very easy-to-understand steps to follow.

dog is doing one of the hardest dog tricks peekaboo

19. Peek A Boo


Here's another advanced trick to train dogs that requires many repetitions for dogs to understand the essence of the stunt. The Peekaboo is not so much a difficult trick as it is time-consuming and frustrating for impatient trainers.

20. Play Piano


Teaching a dog to play the piano can be quite tedious, as I have to start with short sessions until my dog realizes that he'll get treats for pressing the piano's keys. Gradually, you'll be able to work your way up to longer sessions. Liam Thompson's video with millions of views shows one example, but there are more on YouTube.

a dog skateboarding which is one of the hardest tricks to teach your dog

21. Skateboarding


Skateboarding dogs are one of the videos that everybody has seen, especially the famous Bulldog. You can teach your pooch, too, but the hardest part is making your dog get used to the skateboard's nose. In addition, you also need to allow the dog to get used to the object by inspecting it on his own terms.

22. Fetch a Drink From the Refrigerator


Getting back to more practical and useful dog training tricks, fetching a drink will impress your friends and will be a pleasure for your pooch to learn. However, as the Training Positive video shows, this dog trick is difficult as you need to train your dog first to exercise control over food. He might end up eating what’s inside the refrigerator instead of fetching you a drink.

23. Use The Toilet


You have probably seen many videos on YouTube showing dogs using the toilet. If you want to teach your dog to use a toilet, too, it's doable, and it's also one of the hardest tricks. This is an excellent training command for dog owners with mobility problems. It takes a very long time to teach this trick to your dog.

24. Pick Up Toys


This trick makes this trick very difficult for me because I need to use intense determination to teach this trick to my dog.

It is a tedious process considering that you throw the toy, use hand gestures to guide him to the toy box, offer a treat, and repeat.

Now, what if your dog drops the toy? Start all over again.

25. Sing


This is probably the hardest trick to teach a dog, as you need to find the right song that will motivate him to sign.

This is going to be especially difficult to teach a quiet dog. If your dog howls or barks often, it may be easier to teach him to sing.

The popular channel Gone to the Snow Dogs has a fantastic demonstration video for various dog tricks versions.

25 Dog Tricks Summary

This list of dog tricks if mastered can be an awesome bonding experience between you and your dog.

Some of these tricks to teach your dog can be a cool stunt in front of the whole family, making you feel good, and your pupper will love the praise.

Try these fun tricks for dogs and see which ones your dog picks up the quickest.

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25 Super Difficult Tricks to Train Dogs

Patrick has been a long-time dog adopter and currently lives with his two dogs - Tarzan and Loki - in Brooklyn, NY. He is a certified dog trainer, writer on all things dogs, animal shelter volunteer, freelancer researcher of animal sciences and aspiring author.