When I got my first dog, a Shiba Inu, I thought he was the most difficult, most terrible dog in the world.
He was extremely mouthy, and would constantly bite at my hands and arms. He humped my leg, did extreme leash biting, and was very hyper around the house.
Then, I had a brainstorm; I could just hire a pet sitter/dog walker. In this way, I won’t have to deal with my devil dog all of the time, and someone else can train some manners into him.
I researched the dog walkers in my area, and picked one with seven years of dog walking, and dog training experience.
It took about a month and a half before Sephy got kicked out of his dog walking group. I also explored several different dog daycare centers, that declined to accept my money after meeting him.
But I do not think that Sephy, or even Shiba Inus are unique in this regard.
Many people probably believe that they have the most difficult dog or dog breed.
The most difficult dog breeds are simply the ones that do not fit our expectations, temperament, or lifestyle.
One man’s favorite dog breed is another man’s dog breed from hell. Some dog breeds, become more notorious for their “difficulties” because of popular movies or other media coverage. Dalmatians, for example, became very popular with the release of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians, and many owners were unprepared for the Dalmatian’s energetic nature.
While breed characteristics may predispose a dog towards certain behaviors, each dog is an individual, and each dog-owner pair is unique.
A difficult dog can come from any breed, when paired with an inappropriate owner, an inappropriate environment, or an inappropriate lifestyle.
Here we examine some of the key characteristics that make up the most difficult dog breeds.
Most Difficult Dog Breed 1 – Energy
All young dogs are energetic, but some dog breeds are more energetic than others.
Just like us, dogs need both mental and physical exercise in order to stay healthy and happy. When we are away at work, it is easy to forget that our dogs are at home alone; getting bored and anxious. Bored dogs easily become frustrated dogs; and frustrated dogs, may become aggressive and destructive.
How to calm an energetic dog –
- Walk our dog every day. At least one 30 minute walk per day. Some dogs may require two walks (mornings and evenings).
- Train our dog every day. This could be as simple as asking our dog for an obedience command before we give him anything, including food, toys, backyard access, and walks.
- Play with our dog every day. The flirt-pole is a favorite with my dogs. Soccer, fetch, catch, and tug can also be fun. Structured play sessions can help to make our dog more obedient, and enhance our overall relationship.
- Make our dog work for all of his food; either through training, grooming, or dog toys.
- Provide our dog with safe chew toys and food toys when he is home alone.
One of the most popular, energetic dog breed is the Jack Russell Terrier. Terriers are energetic as a group, but the JRT easily tops that list. JRTs are extremely intelligent, easily bored, and very independent, which make them a high maintenance dog breed.
Only get a JRT if we have a lot of time to spend with our dog, and if we have a very active lifestyle. JRTs require not only a lot of physical exercise, but also a lot of mental stimulation.
Most Difficult Dog Breed 2 – Size
Some dog breeds are more difficult because they are large and powerful.
The American Pit Bull Terrier always comes to mind when we think of a powerful dog breed. Sadly, this breed has received a lot of negative publicity due to their use in dog fighting operations. However, as with any other dog breed, Pit Bulls who are properly trained, and managed by their owners, are loyal, friendly, and well-behaved.
Nevertheless, it also true that larger and more powerful dogs can do more damage than their smaller Chihuahua or Pomeranian cousins.
Owners of larger dogs must be more vigilant and more careful with their training, because large dogs can inadvertently hurt people just from jumping or playing.
Most dog attacks that occur, are directed at children, so it is important to always supervise our dog when there are children around. Supervision is a must for all dogs, even for small dogs. To prevent dog attacks, teach our children the proper way to meet a dog, and how to avoid loose dogs in the neighborhood.
In a dog attack, it does not matter who is right or who is wrong; our dog will always be the one to pay the price. If we love our dog, properly train and manage him so that he is not exposed to stressful situations that may cause him to resort to aggression.
All dogs are capable of aggression, and making excuses for bad dog behavior, especially people biting or nipping, will only endanger our own dog.
Most Difficult Dog Breed 3 – Dominance
Some of the most difficult dog breeds are the ones that are naturally dominant.
What is a dominant dog?
- A dominant dog challenges us more frequently and is constantly testing his boundaries.
- A dominant dog is more likely to fight when challenged.
- A dominant dog will likely respond with aggression when frustrated; and will frequently redirect that aggression onto us if we try and stop him.
Ancient dog breeds such as the Shiba Inu, Akita, and Chow Chow, have a greater tendency to be confident, independent, and stubborn. These traits make them more dominant, as they are more likely to do what they want, rather than what we want.
Protection breeds such as the German Shepherd, and Rottweiler, are bred to be loyal, self-assured, and strong willed, so that they may better protect their owners. These same traits also make them more dominant.
Dominant, confident, and independent dogs can be more difficult to handle, but with proper training, and a relationship of mutual respect, they can become our most trusted and loyal companions.
Indeed many German Shepherds and Rottweilers are used in law enforcement work where they must be focused and alert, take independent action when necessary, while remaining calm and responsive to their handler.
While my Shiba Inu is not as calm, nor is he greatly responsive to my requests, he is a most trusted and loyal companion.
Most Difficult Dog Breed 4 – Maintenance
All dogs require a minimum amount of basic maintenance including:
- Yearly vet visits for immunity shots, teeth cleaning, and a general examination.
- Regular nail clipping (about once every month). Overgrown nails can easily break below the quick and cause our dog extreme pain and discomfort.
- Regular hair brushing (about once every week). Regular brushing helps to remove loose dirt and hair from our dog.
While all dogs require some basic grooming, some dog breeds may require more grooming than others.
Long haired dogs, like the Afghan Hound, require more frequent brushing to keep their hair from matting. Matting or tangled hair can become uncomfortable and ultimately painful for the dog.
It may also take more time to bathe, shampoo, and dry long haired dogs. More frequent baths may also be necessary to keep their long coats clean, especially for light or white coated dog breeds like the Samoyed.
It is best not to bathe our dog more than once a month. Overly frequent baths may wash away essential oils from the dog’s fur and cause dry skin, skin irritation, and an unhealthy coat. Use shampoo that is specially formulated for dogs and not human shampoo.
Health is also a very important part of dog maintenance. Larger dog breeds tend to have more health issues including bloating, and joint disease (e.g. hip dysplasia). Dogs with shortened muzzles such as the Pug may have trouble regulating their temperature, and are more susceptible to reverse sneezing.
Regardless of dog breed, however, all dogs may fall sick, and become more vulnerable to cancer, and athritis as they age. To ensure good health and a long dog life, I keep up with yearly vet visits, provide daily mental and physical exercise, and feed my dog a balanced and healthy diet.
Most Difficult Dog Breed 5 – Noise Level
The barking dog is the bane of neighbors everywhere. Forget the crazy kid parties, and the motorcycles without a muffler, it is the barking dog that causes the most number of neighborhood arguments, and noise complaints.
Dogs bark for a variety of reasons, including stress, boredom, excitement, and frustration.
Some dog breeds, however, have a propensity to be more noisy than others. Certain hunting breeds, tend to bark more because they are bred to find game, and then bark or howl when they find an intriguing scent. The Beagle is a popular dog breed that may do this.
To stop dog barking, I provide my dog with interesting physical and mental activity every day.
Scent hounds, like Beagles, will enjoy a Find-It game where we hide items around our house or yard, and get our dog to find them. Initially, I make the game easy by only hiding the item a short distance away from my dog, and letting him see where I put it.
I make sure to reward my dog with dog treats, dog play, and praise when he finds the hidden item. If my dog needs more motivation, I may also add scent or some peanut butter onto the Find-it toy.
How Difficult is Your Dog?
If we want a dog, consider our temperament, lifestyle, and environment, and get a dog that suits us. Getting an inappropriate dog breed will result in:
- An unhappy, and stressed out owner and family.
- Property damage.
- Loss of money.
- An unhappy, and stressed out dog.
Dogs can be a real blessing, but they can also cause a lot of bad dog problems, emotional stress, and arguments within the family.
Think carefully before taking on the responsibility of caring for man’s best friend.