10 High-Maintenance Dog Breeds


Some dog breeds have more care requirements than others. For instance, if you’re considering a working breed, you’ll need to be aware that it will likely require more exercise and enrichment than many other dogs. Likewise, a long-haired breed generally needs more grooming than a dog with a short coat. And some dogs’ instincts, such as their prey drive, are very hardwired, so you’ll have to put in extra training to keep them manageable.

Here are 10 high-maintenance dog breeds that need some extra attention.


For dog breeds that are high energy and always looking for a job to do, dog sports, such as agility or flying disc, can be a great option. There also are herding and scent-tracking courses to put your breed’s natural instincts to the test.

  • 01 of 10

    Belgian Malinois

    Belgian Malinois running
    fotografiehalle / Getty Images

    If you’ve ever seen a Belgian Malinois involved in obedience training, police work, or search and rescue, you’ll know what smart and driven dogs they are. But a Mali requires a special type of home. If they aren’t given the opportunity to put their drive to use, they can become bored, stressed, mouthy, overexcitable, reactive, and overall a big challenge. Dog sports are an ideal match for this canine’s energy and work ethic.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 22 to 26 inches

    Weight: 40 to 80 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Muscular body; short double coat; colors include fawn, mahogany, and red with a black mask

  • 02 of 10


    sssss1gmel / Getty Images

    The Puli has an incredibly distinctive look. Its unique double coat forms into strands resembling dreadlocks. This makes the dog’s grooming regimen quite involved. Unless you’re prepared to devote a lot of time to maintain and separate the cords, then this isn’t the dog for you. Even bathing a Puli is a project. The cords need to be fully dried after baths to prevent mildew from forming.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 16 to 17 inches

    Weight: 25 to 35 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Square build; naturally corded coat; colors include black, silver, and white

  • 03 of 10


    Westend61 / Getty Images

    Greyhounds can make affectionate and easygoing companions. But one factor to be aware of if you’re considering a greyhound is the breed’s strong prey drive. On walks, these dogs often want to chase wildlife. And in the house, they might not be able to live alongside small furry pets. You’ll have to put in a lot of work on recall training, and your dog might only be able to go off leash in secure spaces.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 25 to 30 inches

    Weight: 60 to 80 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Long legs; athletic, thin body; long, narrow head with pointed muzzle; short, smooth coat in many different solid and brindle colors

  • 04 of 10

    Border Collie

    Purple Collar Pet Photography / Getty Images

    Border collies excel at herding, but this built-in drive can sometimes manifest itself in a negative way. They might nip at the heels of family members or even chase after cars or bikes. Enrolling them in herding courses is a great way to channel this instinct and get out some of the breed’s ample physical and mental energy. Border collies also excel in most other dog sports, as they’re athletic and eager to please.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 18 to 22 inches

    Weight: 28 to 48 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Rough or smooth medium-length double coat; comes in a variety of colors but most commonly black and white

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.

  • 05 of 10

    Siberian Husky

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    Siberian huskies are high-intensity, high-endurance dogs developed to have the stamina to cover many miles pulling sleds across the harsh arctic tundra. These dogs have a natural instinct to roam, and they can be unreliable when it comes to recall off leash. They also are notorious escape artists, so you must have a secure high fence to prevent them from scaling it and running loose.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 21 to 23 inches

    Weight: 35 to 50 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Dense, plush double coat; ranging from black to white and other colors; erect ears; well-furred tail

  • 06 of 10


    Manuel Breva Colmeiro / Getty Images

    Beagles can be quite vocal dogs. They were bred to use their distinctive baying howl to alert their human hunting companions to the scent or sight of their quarry. Some beagles also just vocalize for the love of it, and very little is needed to set off a fit of howls, yelps, whines, and barks. Providing your beagle with lots of exercise and mental stimulation can help to keep it quiet at home. Consistent training also is a must to reward quiet behavior.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 13 to 15 inches

    Weight: 20 to 25 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Muscular body; domed skull; squarish muzzle; long floppy ears; perky long tail held upward; short coat in all hound colors, including but not limited to tricolor (tan, black, and white), red and white, and lemon and white

  • 07 of 10


    Tara Gregg / Getty Images

    The large Japanese Akita is known for being brave, unfailingly loyal, and protective. However, Akitas can be wary of strangers, and they’re often intolerant of or even aggressive toward other dogs. Early socialization and training are key to make sure an Akita is good around guests and other dogs. But many will still be best for one-dog households and must be carefully watched when around other dogs.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 24 to 28 inches

    Weight: 70 to 130 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Triangular head; curled tail; thick double coat; colors include black, fawn, red, and more

  • 08 of 10


    Michael Roberts / Getty Images

    Over the years, bulldogs have been bred with a more squat appearance. They have more wrinkles, and their face has become flatter. This selective breeding for appearance has not worked in the breed’s favor. Now, bulldogs are often plagued with health problems, including breathing difficulties, overheating, eye disorders, skin conditions, and joint issues. Even if you go to a breeder with a good reputation, be prepared for potential health problems.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 14 to 15 inches

    Weight: 40 to 50 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Thick-set body; straight, short, fine-textured, smooth coat; colors include red, white, fawn, and fallow (pale brown); massive, square, short-muzzled head

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.

  • 09 of 10

    Chow Chow

    Iurii / Getty Images

    While chow chows can be calm and loyal dogs with their families, they aren’t suited for novice dog owners. Chows can be reactive toward other dogs, and they’re known for being independent and strong-willed. This can make training a challenge. Consistency, patience, and lots of positive reinforcement are a must when it comes to teaching your dog good behaviors.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 17 to 20 inches

    Weight: 45 to 70 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Blue-black tongue; thick, dense double coat that can be rough or smooth; colors include red, black, blue, and more

  • 10 of 10

    Jack Russell Terrier


    Jack Russell terriers have spunky personalities, and they’re quite intelligent and energetic. But their terrier traits can be a challenge. Given their reputation as champion vermin catchers, they often have a high prey drive, and they love to dig. Working on recall training is essential. And you might have to give them a special place to dig unless you’re fine with holes around your entire yard.

    Breed Overview

    Height: 13 to 14 inches

    Weight: 13 to 17 pounds

    Physical Characteristics: Smooth or rough coat; colors include white with black, brown, or tan markings; square compact build; head is small and blocky with almond-shaped dark eyes; dropped ears set high; slim, erect tail

10 Best Energetic Dog Breeds for Active People

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