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Top 5 Most Difficult Dog Breeds to Own

A little bit of research goes a long way when it comes to picking the right dog breed for you. This is especially true when it comes to the most difficult dog breeds for families to own.

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. Both of which, could sadly end in a one-way trip to the closest animal shelter.

Top 5 Most Difficult Dog Breeds to Own

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 they have one of the most difficult dog breeds when it is too late and they have already grown fond of their pet.

You often hear people stating they did not expect their dog to have so much energy. You also hear them say they didn’t expect them to be so challenging to take care of or so difficult to train.

They only wanted a great family dog.

Here are the top 5 most difficult dog breeds to own and why.

Basenji dog


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 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. It often worked solo, completely out of the sight of hunters.

This made the breed quite independent and resembled more a cat than a dog. It lacks that special eagerness to please its masters, so typical of dogs.

his makes the Basenji challenging for the average owner.

Beautiful Akita dog


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’. 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.

Beautiful Chow Chow dog with his black tongue sticking out

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 is a stubborn breed and as independent as a cat.

It requires a lot of patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement when it comes to training.

Chow Chows have a strong natural desire for dominance, making them difficult to handle if not properly trained.

Chow Chows are not your happy-go-lucky party dog! 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.

On the flip side, Chow Chow dogs are fiercely loyal and devoted to their owners.

Beautiful Belgian Malinois laying in the grass

Belgian Malinois

This superior working dog used both as a police and military working dog is for only ‘serious operators’.

They are highly energetic and require an active lifestyle to stay healthy. Without the right amount of exercise, they can become bored, leading to destructive behavior.

This breed is not suitable for everyone as they need a lot of patience and consistency in their training.

Belgian Malinois require experienced handlers capable of positively channeling their sharpness, intelligence, and high stamina.

The breed requires lots of work and mental stimulation. However, if provided with something to do it will respond quickly and eagerly.

They are also very territorial and protective of their owners and may be aggressive towards strangers if not properly socialized from an early age.

Bullmastiff standing in the grass with a car in the background


The Bullmastiff is a big, powerful, and active breed of dog and is on our list of most difficult dog breeds.

Early leash training is an absolute must for this massive breed because otherwise, you might find yourself being dragged around in directions, not of your choosing.

It’s also important that training and socialization should begin right away as the Bullmastiff can be aggressive around other dogs without proper training.

These dogs are notoriously slobbery too so if you’re the sort that shudders at the thought of drool flying all over when this pup shakes its head, then maybe you should look into another breed.

They are one of the most difficult breeds and it takes a lot of dedication to raise them properly.

But if you’re up for the challenge, then it can become a deeply devoted companion who will guard and protect you and your household wholeheartedly.

In Conclusion

These are just a few of the most difficult dog 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. Likewise, herding dogs need outlets for their energy. And, hunting dogs may have very high prey drives.

Working dogs in general, have more exercise requirements, 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 breed dogs require the same care in their selection, as they may bring their challenges.

Challenging breeds may be alright with experienced dog owners however first-time dog owners should take these considerations seriously.

Even the most difficult dog breeds can become loving companions with the right owner. Just make sure you know what you are taking on.

Read, learn, and think it over well before allowing that adorable puppy to pull at your heartstrings.

Dogs are live creatures that should not be bought or adopted on the spur of the moment.

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