10 Dog Breeds Best Suited for Experienced Owners
Man’s best friend might be the ultimate companion, but that doesn’t mean every breed is suited for every man.
Some of the most popular dog breeds are notorious for being the hardest to train—yet many families continue to adopt them without being aware of what they’re getting themselves into. It’s one of the largest contributing factors to overcrowding at shelters worldwide.
If you’re a first-time dog owner, it might be in your (and the dog’s) best interest to steer clear of the following breeds until you have a little more experience under your belt.
Arguably one of the most visually stunning breeds around, the Siberian husky owes much of its popularity to its resemblance to a wolf. Unfortunately, this leads many first-timers to crave one as a pet. Huskies are infamous for their stubborn attitudes and enormous amount of energy. They require more than just a couple of walks around the neighborhood to remain happy. While friendly, they’re also somewhat needy as far as dogs go and can become destructive when left alone.
German Shepherd Dog
Don’t let that intimidating look fool you: properly trained, these guys are some of the biggest love bugs around. Improperly trained, however, they can become damaging and neurotic. The amount of work that goes into training a GSD is astounding, just ask your local police force. Don’t attempt ownership of one unless you’re willing to put in the time and effort required—we’re talking classes for the entire first year of the dog’s life.
Chihuahuas have gained quite the reputation as the purse-dwelling companions of upper class celebrities and bored housewives. If you think that means these adorable little pups are easy to train and own, think again. They’re small stature actually puts them on the defensive around other animals and humans, so it’s important to socialize a Chihuahua more than you might any other breed. Though tiny, they tend to become aggressive and territorial in and out of the home.
The “Gray Ghost” might have gotten its nickname due to the illustrious color of its coat, but we can’t help but wonder if the “ghost” part comes from the breeds’ propensity to always make its presence known, even when not welcome. Weimaraners are one of the most intelligent dog breeds on Earth. They’re loyal to a fault, friendly and can outlast even the most hardcore athlete. However, they also need constant attention, active owners, and they are the breed most prone to separation anxiety. The prey drive in a Weimaraner is no joke, either—avoid these if you have any small animals around, ever.
Australian Cattle Dog
High energy and equally high strung, the Blue Heeler requires more attention than most owners are able to provide. They often make excellent farm dogs because the sheer amount of work available for them. The breed needs a job to thrive and an owner who is committed to providing serious amounts of attention on a daily basis. Simple walks around the block and a game of fetch won’t even come close to meeting a Heeler’s exercise needs. When not properly employed these dogs will become destructive and, in some cases, aggressive.
Harriers are sometimes called Beagles on steroids. This high-energy breed has one of the strongest prey drives off all dogs, so no cat or squirrel is safe in their presence. Much like the beagle, these guys are “gifted” with the ability to bay, which they do just as much as they bark. Training that out of one is no easy task, making them unsuitable for most first-time owners.
The tallest breed of dog in the world requires a lot of patience to raise. As puppies they’re infamous for their energetic jumping which, with those long legs, can easily allow them to reach unexpected heights. They’re also prone to suspiciousness toward strangers and other animals when not thoroughly socialized. Though lovable, they’re also fiercely independent. On top of that they come with a myriad of health problems and a shorter-than-average lifespan.
With enough patience and firm training early and often, the Great Pyrenees can be a delightful family pet. Without the right owners, however, this breed can turn quickly to aggression in an uncomfortable situation. These dogs are known for their independent thinking and aloof attitude, as well as a propensity for destructive behavior when bored. This, combined with their large size, wandering demeanor, and bombastic bark make the breed ill suited for first-time dog owners.
The Pekingese is the ultimate case of “looks can be deceiving.” Though it might seem cute and cuddly, this breed is synonymous with stubbornness and known for being high maintenance. Aside from the consistent brushing required, the amount of hands-on training necessary to make a Pekingese listen is downright astronomical. New owners are often surprised to find these pint-sized beasts aren’t afraid to take charge. Also, they’re notorious for taking forever to pick up on potty training.
The Chow Chow breed is something of an enigma. Highly intelligent (they’re possibly the easiest breed to potty train) they are also some of the least friendly dogs around. With lots of love, and experienced owners, they can make great family pets. Without these things the Chow Chow can be aggressive toward guests or members of its own family. They’re excellent guard dogs but their history of being hunting dogs means they don’t do well with other animals.