The 10 worst dog breeds for first-time owners to wait to adopt (2023)

Dogs make wonderful pets, but not all dogs are right for all owners. Unfortunately, if you don't find a pet that fits your lifestyle, you're going to end up in an unhappy relationship, especially if you've never cared for a dog before.

So be sure to avoid the worst dog breeds for first time owners.

The suitability of a dog breed for a new owner depends on several factors. Different breeds of dogs have different temperaments, characters, and behavioral traits (1,2,3,4).

But mostly, it all comes down to a race.trainabilitymiaggressiveness, and both factors are related to each other.

Two other variables that are slightly less important but still need to be considered are race.stubbornnessmienergy levels.

The 10 worst dog breeds for first-time owners to wait to adopt (1)

Science on breed trainability and aggressiveness

Research shows thatSome racesthey are genetically more aggressive and have a greater hunting drive due to the structure of their brain: the amygdala and hypothalamus (5,6).

Similarly, studies have also found thatcertain racesthey are more difficult to train than others due to their behavioral traits, boldness, reactivity and sociability (7,8).

These two breed factors are important to first-time owners because a dog will be more restless, more impulsive, and less easy to control.

They will require much more skill, experience and patience on the part of the dog owner. And if this is your first time adopting a dog, you may not have the necessary qualities to avoid accidents with yourself, the dog and the people around you.

For example, in astudy 2018that focused on the trainability of specific breeds, the scientists found that Borzoi, Chow Chows, and Saint Bernards, among other breeds, were much more difficult to train and control, while other breeds, such as Collies, Whippets, and German Shepherds, among other. others scored very high on trainability and how good they were at listening to owners and following commands.

Combining these two factors - how easy a breed is to train and how aggressive or reactive it is - along with how stubborn a breed is and its energy needs (it's a veryactive dog, working breed that needs a lot of exercise?) helps us figure out which dogs are less suitable for first-time owners.

Below are ten of the worst dog breeds for first time owners that would be more difficult (but not impossible) to care for if you areinexperienced, terless patience and time, and there is no way for the dog to constantly release energy.

RELATED:The 10 Best Dog Breeds for First-Time Owners

The 10 Worst Dog Breeds for First-Time Owners

1. Sky terrier

Skye Terriers are great little dogs, but they like to get their way and can be very stubborn.

This breed of dog needs regular exercise and lots of walking to stay fit and happy.

They also need regular grooming as their fur can grow very long andend up covering your eyes.

Skye Terriers also need regular baths and brushing, as they are prone to matting. They are fairly high-maintenance dogs, making them one of the worst dog breeds for first-time owners.

2. Cane Corso

This breed of dog was originally a watchdog and was used to hunt wild boar in Italy.

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They are huge dogs and quite stubborn too. They can really end up ruling the house as they like to do things their own way.

Cane Corsos will build strong bonds with their owners and they will become truly special friends.

They are very territorial dogs and also extremely protective of their owners. That being said, if you are a new dog owner, this breed is probably best avoided.

3. Treeing Walker Coonhound

This breed of dog is really not the best choice for a first time dog owner. They are very athletic and need a lot of exercise to stay fit and satisfied.

They are also very competitive and are known for their stamina. Walkers were originally bred to track down and forest raccoons that lived in the wild.

If you lead an active lifestyle, they may be good for you, but if not, you should definitely avoid this breed. Keep in mind that they will also need a large outdoor area to run around and burn off energy.

This is not only one of the worst dog breeds for first-time owners, but also a terrible choice for city dwellers orpeople who live in small apartments.

They love to chase small game, and if you're not up for it, this breed is not for you.

4. Border Collie

Border Collies make excellent dogs and are working dogs. They are very energetic and always willing to please.

Border collies are also highly intelligent, and this breed thrives on human contact. They have a job to do and they do it very well. Where would we be without the Border Collie?

They love having jobs and are happy as long as they please their owners. this raceneeds to be mentally and physically challengedand will need a lot of exercise.

If you can't guarantee he'll get plenty of exercise, it's best to avoid this breed.

5. Hunting Dog

Bloodhounds are adorable dogs and they love their owners. However, they like to be in control and are very stubborn.

They have a powerful sense of smell, which makes thembig hunting dogs, and if a hound picks up a scent it wants to follow, it will, and you'll be dragged after it.

Bloodhounds are prone to chasing other animals, so if you're a new dog owner, the bloodhound might be too difficult to handle.

This is a very active breed that needs a lot of mental and physical stimulation.

They can pick up some mischievous behaviors for fun if you don't interact enough, which is why we've added them to the list of the worst dog breeds for first-time owners.

(Video) Difficult Dog Breeds - 8 Worst Dogs For First Time Owners

6. Mastim Tibetan

This breed of dog originated from the Himalayan mountains and was used to protect families.

They were kept indoors during the day, but often came out at night to protect the family's livestock and act as watchdogs.

For this reason, Tibetan Mastiffs are an independent dog breed and they are brilliant too.

They can be very aggressive towards strangers because they were bred to be watchdogs. This breed will need obedience training and will need to be well socialized as puppies.

This breed is definitely a breed to avoid if you are a first time owner.

7. Australian Cattle Dog

This is a very loyal breed of dog, and its job was originally herding. They are also a very stubborn breed of dog.

Australian Shepherd dogs can be very restless if they don't have work to do. They are bright and very athletic, so they need plenty of exercise to stay happy and stress-free.

We added them to the list of the worst dog breeds for first-time owners because these canines can be very wary of strangers, which can be a problem if you have a lot of visitors in your home.

This breed will take control as they like to do things their own way.

8. Akita

The Akita is such a powerful dog and originates from Japan. It is a large and very strong dog, with strong guarding instincts.

Akitas make excellent watchdogs, but they like to be in control and need a lot of training.

Their temperament can also change very quickly: one moment they can be calm and collected and the next minute they can become aggressive.

This breed should be watched carefully if you have children or other pets at home. They need to be well socialized as puppies to ensure they are used to people and other animals.

This breed will require a lot of commitment, and if you can't guarantee it, you should definitely avoid it.

9. Husky siberiano

This breed of dog is impressive to look at, but they are huge dogs and need a lot of grooming and exercise to stay fit, healthy and sharp of huskies.

Huskies are working dogs and are not happy unless they are out and about and getting exercise. They were bred to pull sleds in snowy weather and are always looking for something to do.

A short walk will not do for this breed. They can walk for hours and will need a lot ofexercise throughout the day. You will need to have plenty of space for this large breed and also be careful around other pets in the house.


Huskies are predatory dogs, and you can never be sure of their temperament from one minute to the next, which is why they are one of the worst dog breeds for first-time owners.

10. rottweiler

A Rottweiler is a huge dog, and for a first-time dog owner, this is probably best avoided. They can seem like scary dogs to some people, but they can be a loving and affectionate breed if properly socialized.

Conversely, Rotties also love to be in control and can be very stubborn.

They can take over quickly if you let them, and they are powerful dogs. Rottweilers are also very protective of their people.

They are very loyal and will make excellent watchdogs for you and your property if you have experience handling these types of dogs.

They're big, though: They weigh up to 135 pounds, and a lot of that is muscle. That's why they are so strong!

honorable mentions

While the following breeds aren't on our list, you won't find them on our list of the best dog breeds either.

Before you get any of the following races, make sure you can handle them and are up for a challenge. They are not necessarily bad, but some can be very challenging to first time pet owners due to their intelligence or energy.

It's worth reading more about these breeds from a reputable source like the American Kennel Club before dismissing them entirely.

  • Shiba Inu
  • Dalmatian
  • bullmastiff
  • weimaraner
  • Chinese dog
  • belga malinois
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • shar-pei
  • airedale terrier
  • Saint Bernard
  • German shepherd
  • beagle

Remember the importance of training and personalities

As you look at the list above and consider your first dog, remember that a dog's breed does not determine its entire personality.

It just determines your personality. Even breeds known for active dogs will occasionally have a dog with low energy.

Also, some of the dogs above may be suitable for new dog owners if they are just pets and lead an active lifestyle.

Training is also critical for the best and worst dogs. Proper training can teach some dogs to leave small pets alone.

It can even transform an extremely energetic dog into the perfect companion dog. This is much easier to do if you also make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise.

Don't forget that dogs need both physical and mental stimulation.

If you can, take the time to get to know a dog before you adopt one. This will help you determine how trainable it is and how difficult it will be to handle.

It's also important to note that you don't need a purebred dog. Consider looking for strays or mixed breeds at your local shelter.

The only concern with a rescue is that you don't know their lives beforehand. For example, a dog that has been involved in dogfighting may be aggressive.

That being said, most shelters will have a good idea of ​​a dog's personality. This makes them a good choice for a first dog, as he may ask for a specific personality type.

(Video) Top 10 Best Dog Breeds for Your First Dog

Common Questions About Dog Breed Choices First-Time Owners Should Reconsider

If you still have questions about one of the dog breed options above, find the answers here.

We'll also answer questions related to first-time dog owners, including the best breed of dog to start with.

What breed of dog is best for beginning dog owners?

Whether you want a family pet or a watchdog, first-time dog owners will want to stick to one of several breeds for an easier experience.

Great options include Papillon, Greyhound, Labrador Retriever, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Maltese, Shih Tzu, and mixed breed dogs. Other dogs can also be great for new dog owners.

This list is not exhaustive.

What is the number 1 most dangerous dog?

Only experienced dog owners should own one of the most dangerous dogs. It would help if you started obedience training early as well, focusing on positive training.

These dangerous dogs include American Pit Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, Bullmastiffs, and American Bulldogs.

What dog can kill a lion?

Not all large dog breeds can kill a dog. Some are secretly gentle giants. If you want a future dog that can kill a lion, consider a Wolfhound, Tibetan Mastiff, Rottweiler, Neapolitan Mastiff, Boerboel, Bloodhound, Rhodesian Ridgeback, Kangal, Dogo Argentino, or Brazilian Fila. .

What is the easiest dog to have?

If you want to make owning a dog as easy as possible, you might want one of the adorable dogs that are easy to own.

Great options include basset hounds, beagles,border terriers, bulldogs, Bichon Frise, chihuahuas, collies y Cavalier King Charles spaniels.

What dog has the shortest life expectancy?

The Dogue de Bordeaux is among the breeds with the shortest life expectancy. They live only five to eight years on average. Additionally, this breed has an above-average stillbirth rate.

What is the strongest dog?

The strongest dog breeds includeRottweilers, Siberian husky, German Shepherd, German Domo, Doberman, San Bernard, Newfoundland and Alaskan Malamute.

You will notice that some of these breeds are on our list of bad choices for a first time owner. That's because many are strong and need physical and mental stimulation to avoid problems.

What is the calmest dog breed?

Calmer breeds include the Golden Retriever, Scotch Greyhound, Greyhound, French Bulldog, Bichon Frize, English Bulldog, and Great Pyrenees.

What is the healthiest dog breed?

Some of the healthiest breeds include the Australian Cattle Dog, Chihuahua, Greyhound, Poodle, German Shorthaired Pointer, and Australian Shepherd.

What is the most difficult breed to train?

The most difficult dog breeds to train are beagles, rottweilers, Siberian huskies, basset hounds, Chinese shar peis, and Afghan hounds.

to doREAD THE FOLLOWING:The 4 scariest dogs according to statistics

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What dogs should first time owners avoid? ›

8 Worst Dog Breeds for First Time Owners
  • 8 Worst Dog Breeds for First Time Owners. ...
  • Border Collie. ...
  • Cane Corso. ...
  • Skye Terrier. ...
  • Bloodhound. ...
  • Treeing Walker Coonhound. ...
  • Australian Cattle Dog. ...
  • Tibetan Mastiff.

Which dogs are hardest to get adopted? ›

Pit bulls, pit bull mixes, black cats and black dogs are the most unlikely animals to be adopted from local shelters, according to those who run them. While stigma and negative perceptions may make pit bulls or pit bull mixes an undesirable adoption choice, overbreeding may also play a factor.

What breed of dog is least likely to get adopted? ›

Most experienced shelter workers will tell you that black dogs are often adopted less than any other coat color. Be it black Labrador Retrievers, Shepherds, Rottweilers, etc., they are often passed over by potential adopters. This discrepancy in adoptions is referred to as “Black Dog Syndrome.”

What dog is not a good family dog? ›

5 Dog Breeds Not Fit For Kids
  • Dog breeds best to avoid for families with children include the Chihuahua, Rottweiler, Chow Chow, Pit Bull and Dalmatian, according to ...
  • Chihuahua — Belonging to the Toy Breed, these feisty little enigmas can be aggressive around young children.

What breeds do vets not recommend? ›

Pugs, French bulldogs, bulldogs

The No. 1 dog on the list isn't just one breed, but basically "any one flat-faced or brachycephalic dog breed," such as a French bulldog, bulldog, or pug. (Singer Lady Gaga owns two French bulldogs, who were dognapped and returned unharmed in 2021.)

What is the most neglected dog breed? ›

The Pit Bull is the most common dog breed (along with pit bull breed mixes) found in shelters in the United States. They are also the most abused, neglected, and the most euthanized.

What is the most disobedient dog breed? ›

#1 – Afghan Hound

These days, those traits are displayed as being aloof and independent. They make up for their lack of obedience by being extremely affectionate and loyal.

What is the 3 3 3 rule for dog adoption? ›

Whether you rescue an older dog or a puppy, a lot of dogs tend to follow the 3-3-3 rule when getting acclimated: 3 days of feeling overwhelmed and nervous. 3 weeks of settling in. 3 months of building trust and bonding with you.

What color dog is least likely to be adopted? ›

According to the report, "Black dogs had the least likelihood of being adopted compared to the reference coat color of black and tan." And dogs of all other colors, such as red, merle, and tricolor dogs, "were preferred only slightly over black and tan."

What is the #1 best dog? ›

As always, the Labrador Retriever tops the list — this time for the 31st year!

What breed of dog is the easiest to take care of? ›

#1: Basenji. This wonderful breed has no "doggy smell," so combined with his short coat and small size, he goes right to the top of the list. The only thing you need to watch out for is not to get water in his ears when bathing him. He is considered a barkless dog, by the way, but he can make plenty of noise.

What's the easiest dog to train? ›

Top 9 easiest dogs to train
  • #1: Border collie. No couch potatoes, border collies are athletes bred to work. ...
  • #2: German shepherd. ...
  • #3: Labrador retriever. ...
  • #4: Golden retriever. ...
  • #5: Australian shepherd. ...
  • #6: Standard poodle. ...
  • #7: Doberman pinscher. ...
  • #8: Papillon.

What dogs don't like kids? ›

Spitz breeds like huskies and Akitas are known for their stubborn streak when it comes to training. Other poor choices around little kids are lumbering giant breeds like bullmastiffs or Saint Bernards, which tend to bowl over toddling children or most anything in their path.

What is the most loved dog? ›

The Labrador Retriever holds the top spot, and this friendly favorite has been No. 1 since 1991. Below, find ranked annual lists of AKC-recognized breeds.

What is the healthiest smallest dog? ›

Healthiest Small Dog Breed: Chihuahua

Technically a tiny toy breed at just 5–6 pounds, Chihuahuas stand out as one of the healthiest dog breeds, too. Not only do they have plenty of spunk and personality, but can also live for anywhere from 12–18 years.

What's the most stubborn dog? ›

Top 11 Stubborn Dog Breeds
  • #1 Akita. The 80 to 90-pound Akita is a gorgeous pooch, but it is the most stubborn, according to dog owners and experts. ...
  • #2 Shiba Inu. ...
  • #4 Jack Russell Terrier. ...
  • #5 Beagle. ...
  • #6 English Bulldog. ...
  • #7 Dachshund. ...
  • #8 Siberian Husky. ...
  • #9 Chihuahua.

Which dog breed barks the most? ›

As People Magazine reports: Based on the numbers gathered from Furbo users, Samoyed dogs bark the most, often up 52.8 times every day. The second chattiest canine, the Yorkshire Terrier, doesn't come close to the Samoyed's record… the little dogs bark about 23.6 times a day.

What is the rule of 7 for dogs? ›

Adapting from the earlier work, the rule of 7 by Pat Schaap, a professional dog trainer who maintained that by the age of 7 weeks, a puppy should be exposed to 7 different surfaces, played with 7 different toys, been to 7 different locations and met 7 different people.

What is the 3 second rule for dogs? ›

Kayla DeLorenzo, handler for Roxy, our Wags 4 Warriors pup, always initiates the three-second rule. “Both dogs are on a tight leash. You want them to have their noses together and tell them to go say, 'hi. ' Just have them do this for about three seconds, and then back them up,” she explained.

What's the 90 10 rule for dogs? ›

When it comes to where dog's get their daily calories, we recommend following the 90/10 rule: 90% of calories from a complete and balanced diet, 10% from treats! Treats can be considered the splurge, but more often, the actual act of giving a treat means more to the dog than the actual treat itself.

What color dog is smartest? ›

This is another of our most frequently asked questions. Is there a Lab coloration that determines how smart a dog will be? The short answer is no. A dog's intelligence is based on breeding, not coat color.

Which dog breed can be left alone all day? ›

Dog breeds that can be left alone for long periods include Labrador and Golden Retriever, Beagle, Peekapoo, or Shiba Inu. Naturally, by long-term periods, it's implied that the period is up to 8 hours a day and not more. Of course, you shouldn't forget about adorable mutts.

What is the best age to adopt a rescue dog? ›

One experienced dog trainer and expert on dog development suggested that the optimum age for a puppy to go to its new owner is about 8-to-9-weeks, when the pup is ready to develop a strong bond.

What should I know before buying my first dog? ›

10 Things to Consider Before Bringing a New Pet Home
  • #1 Can You Commit? ...
  • #2 Will Your Pet Fit Your Lifestyle? ...
  • #3 Interview Veterinarians Before the Adoption. ...
  • #4 Make Your Home Pet-Friendly. ...
  • #5 Choose an Age and Breed Appropriate Food. ...
  • #6 Be Prepared for an Adjustment Period. ...
  • #7 Train Your Pet.
Oct 10, 2012


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