Owning a dog is one of the most rewarding experiences that generates a sense of being unconditionally loved and appreciated. In order for a dog breed to thrive in a specific environment, potential dog owners need to be well informed of the breed’s needs and shortcomings.
Although we were reluctant to categorize any breed as “difficult” or “to be avoided”, the following list serves as a reminder of some of the breeds that require more time, attention and effort from their owners to reach their full potential and develop into elegant, loving companions.
On the other hand, they require lots of exercise and are not the best breed for individuals who would rather spend their free time in front of a TV or enjoying a quiet movie night.
Weimaraners are very proud and sometimes even arrogant dogs, so their owners must be strict, firm and experienced with difficult breeds.
These dogs do better in the countryside than in a bustling city with little open green space where they can run around for hours on end, so individuals living in smaller apartments in downtown areas are advised to look for smaller breeds that are happy to lounge on the couch by their owner’s side.
Rottweilers’ nature can sometimes be vicious, making them instinctively run after their prey, which can be almost anything, from a person they don’t know that could be your friend, to a child who runs away screaming.
Like most guard dogs, Rottweilers are very suspicious of the unknown, but with the right type of training, they can be taught to watch over their owners while still tolerating strangers.
Rottweilers shouldn’t be left alone with children as they may not understand the child is playing and not being attacked by friends on the playground.
Huskies are not the recommended breed to have with small children or other small pets in the house, such as a cat or a parrot.
In addition to their instinctive nature to survive and thrive in some of the harshest environment, Huskies shed all year long, and families that like their homes spotless need to look for other breeds that are simply easier to groom and keep in the house.
12. Saint Bernard
Their sweet nature disagrees with city living, and small children or pets, as they can unintentionally hurt them or make a huge mess in the house.
In order to give a Saint Bernard a proper environment to thrive in, the owner has to have the dog trained at a very young age, as Saint Bernards take longer than other breeds to mature and may stay at the puppy level mentally for several years while physically reaching their full size.
11. Jack Russell Terrier
Jack Russell Terriers are one of the most difficult dog breeds to own due to the fact that they are extremely energetic and require more exercise than a regular dog owner can provide.
Jack Russells are watchdogs, and like most terriers have a wild nature that needs to be channelled the right way.
These dogs are rather skilled hunting dogs with the instinct to run after smaller animals and kill them if possible.
Jack Russell Terriers may not do well with small children as they are not as tolerant and don’t like to be bothered, pulled or stepped on.
They are short, but sturdy, which doesn’t make them the safest pet for small children to be around.
Bulldogs can’t swim because of their heavy torso and short legs, so anyone with a pool or a habit of spending free time near a body of water needs to be extra careful as Bulldogs shouldn’t have access to a pool of water.
This breed is prone to a variety of health issues and is more difficult to train compared to other breeds.
Bulldogs do have a large fan base, but they are not the best choice for first-time dog owners or individuals looking for an easy-to-own breed.
9. German Shepherd
German Shepherds are excellent police and military dogs as there is very little they can’t be trained to do.
This is precisely why they are not suited for newbies or individuals who can’t devote a few hours every day to this dog.
German Shepherds are one of the hardest workers around, and need owners who can animate and engage them in different tasks all the time to keep them from misbehaving, as their energy has to go somewhere.
They are working dogs, and extremely useful when properly trained, but when there is nothing to do they are likely to engage in destructive behaviour, especially when bored.
Dalmatians need to be entertained with tasks all the time, otherwise their mischievous nature can get the best of even the most experienced dog owners.
Dalmatians don’t live as long as some other breeds and are prone to different health issues. They are guard dogs, always on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary, which means they require strict training at home if they are to be kept as family pets.
7. Border Collie
Dog owners who don’t have a lot of experience with demanding breeds will be better off with a poodle or a golden retriever.
Border Collies are herding dogs that require lots of space and a walk in the park a few times a day is just not going to cut it. This breed requires more than a normal investment from the owner as far as time and effort to keep the dog busy go.
Without proper stimulation, Border Collies become hyperactive and can drive owners crazy by misbehaving and engaging in destructive behaviour.
6. Tibetan Mastiffs
These dogs were confined during the day, and let loose to perform their guarding duties at night.
In addition to their humongous size, Tibetan Mastiffs are very independent and often want to run things around the house as well.
They are overprotective dogs, thus sometimes confusing friends with intruders. These dogs are loving in nature and make loyal family pets, but require proper training from an early age to learn acceptable behaviour and fit into family life.
Professional training and a firm and strict hand at home might be too much for new and inexperienced owners to bear.
They are often moody and seem malevolent, but they are actually good companions for single adults.
Families with small children are advised against getting this breed as children will treat it like a toy, pulling its coat, ears and tail, and the Pekingese is not as tolerant of small children as some other dogs.
This breed can develop the so-called Small Dog Syndrome, where they are pampered to a point that they start to believe they are the pack leader in the house.
4. Great Dane
Great Danes absolutely need plenty of space and shouldn’t be kept in small city apartments.
With regular grooming and proper exercise, these dogs can make lovely companions, but they have to be socialized at a very young age more frequently than most other breeds to promote healthy development and constructive behavior.
Great Danes can be rather dominant with other pets, and although most of them are excellent guard dogs, their territorial instincts may differ from pooch to pooch.
3. Chow Chow
Chow Chow is actually one of the most dangerous breeds when faced with strangers and unfamiliar pets, so it needs to be socialized properly at an early age in order to prevent any potential problems that may arise from its killer instinct.
It should be noted that dogs that are labeled as “dangerous” are in most cases trained to be aggressive and intimidating, exploiting their introverted nature.
If a Chow Chow is raised in a loving home and given proper care and training, it will turn out to be a great family pet.
The breed was created to be intimidating and threatening, but when given proper training, it is a very dependable and reliable guard dog that will go to great lengths to protect its owner.
Dobermans shouldn’t be kept in small places or with other pets, and require very firm and consistent behaviour on part of the owner.
Inexperienced dog lovers may make the mistake of adopting this breed without knowing what it takes to give a Doberman the environment it needs to thrive.
Anyone who is not willing to sometimes be the “bad guy” in order to properly train this breed is advised against owning a Doberman.
Akitas are strong-willed dogs and like to dominate. It’s almost as if whichever Akita puppy you pick, it will turn out to be an alpha dog.
Akitas like to be the pack leaders, and that’s why it’s crucial that they are given proper training.
A strict, consistent owner needs to put Akita in its place, and new owners are seldom equipped to deal with this huge ball of fur.