It happens more often than thought and contributes to the dog over population problem: people choose dog breeds that are just too difficult to own.

A little bit of research goes a long way when it comes to picking the right dog breed for you. It is not unusual to hear people dealing with frustrating issues that could have been prevented if only they attempted to learn more about specific dog breeds. The results are owners left to deal with high energy dogs, or worse, behavioral problems that could sadly end in a one way trip to the closest animal shelter.

It is a matter of fact that there are some dog breeds that need that extra care that makes them not suitable for everyone. It is unfortunate though that most people come to realize this when it is too late and they have already grown fond of their pet. You therefore hear people stating they did not expect their dog to have so much energy, to be so challenging to take care of, or so difficult to train. Following is a list of some of the most challenging dog breeds to own and why.


Even the American Kennel Club is frank in the description of this breed. It is described as ‘independent and aloof with a preference to meet strangers on his own terms’. This breed is often sought for because it’s claimed to be ‘barkless’ however, there is a price to pay to trade for this trait. The breed was used for hunting in Central Africa, however it often worked solo, completely out of the sight of hunters. This made the breed quite an independent one,

resembling more a cat than a dog, and lacking that special eagerness to please its masters, so typical of dogs.


While the movie and true story about Hachiko gave a portrait of loyalty and extreme devotion, there are some traits of the Akita breed that can be less appreciated. The American Kennel Club lists the Akita as a breed that likes to play the role of ‘pack leader’ and therefore it requires a strong leader and a good dose of obedience training to keep harmony in the household. Temperament- wise, they can range from bouncy to aggressive, and therefore, should never be left alone with children or other pets.

Chow Chow

This dog with a peculiar blue tongue and teddy bear resemblance is not as sweet as it looks. This ancient breed of Northern China can be indeed stubborn and independent as a cat. They require loads of socialization since they are naturally discerning towards strangers and quite aloof. They are also less eager to please when compared to other dog breeds.

Belgian Malinois

This superior working dog used both as a police and military working dog is for only ‘serious operators’. They require experienced handlers capable of positively channeling their sharpness, intelligence and high stamina. The breed requires lots of work and mental stimulation, but if provided with something to do it will respond quickly and eagerly.

These are some of the most difficult breeds to own. Of course, each dog has its own personality, and therefore, a black and white statement cannot be made for each individual dog. There are many other challenging dog breeds out there, that simply do not fit in certain households. No generalizations can be really made.

Guard dogs for instance, require lots of socialization and training, herding dogs need outlets for their energy, and hunting dogs may have very high prey drives. Working dogs in general, require lots of exercise, and if allowed to get bored, may exhibit challenging behaviors.

Researching a dog breed is therefore very important before inevitably falling in love with a certain dog. Even mixed dogs require the same care in their selection, as they may bring their challenges. Read, learn and think it well over before allowing that adorable puppy to pull at your heart strings. Dogs are live creatures that should not be bought or adopted on the spur of the moment.