21 The Most High Maintenance Dogs Breeds

Dogs can be a lot of work. Many dogs need lots of exercise. Some people love cuddles. Some dogs are hard to train and manage. They all require food, water, and medical care. Many people desire a dog that is easy to care for. However, some end up with a more difficult-to-care-for dog.

High-maintenance dog breeds that are strong-willed and independent can be high-maintenance. Some dogs don’t care about pleasing their owners. Others are anxious or have severe separation anxiety. Others have high energy levels that they quickly channel into destructive behavior. Some are hostile toward pets or won’t tolerate children.

If you are up for the challenge, here are 17 high-maintenance dogs breeds you can own.

1. Akita

Akitas can be large and powerful dogs, so they require a strong owner. They can reach heights between 24 and 28 inches at the shoulder, and they weigh in at 70 to 130 pounds. They live between 10 and 13 years.

21 The Most High Maintenance Dogs

Akitas are loyal, protective, fearless, socialized well, and can bond well with their owners. It is important to socialize and train the Akita from birth with humans and other animals, especially those living in the home. Akitas are known for being cautious around strangers and having a tendency to dislike other animals. You should start training your Akita immediately if you’re thinking of bringing him into your home to be a loving family member.

2. Shepherds of Australia

The Australian Shepherd is a dog with boundless energy and high intelligence. This dog is very energetic and creative, which makes it a high-maintenance pet.

Shepherds of Australia

The AKC states that the Aussie has an ” irresistible urge to herd any animals: birds, kids, or dogs”. Aussies are capable of thinking ahead to the surprise of a novice owner.

According to the Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute, some Australian Shepherds have rage syndrome. These dogs can “go into a type of seizure that causes them to attack anyone or everything that is in their vicinity.” A third of Australians suffer from noise phobia. This can lead to chronic stress and health problems for the dog.

3. Brussels Griffon

The Brussels griffon is a loving dog. According to the AKC, these dogs are ” like Velcro with four feet. They love being near their owners. However, they can be prone to separation anxiety and have less-than-ideal destructive tendencies if left alone. According to the AKC, “They have a low threshold of loneliness so families who are home often will make this dog breed a great fit.”

Brussels griffon

The Brussels Griffon Rescue states that these dogs “attach themselves to one person in a family, sometimes two, and need to be with them 24/7.” It is also known that they are difficult to housetrain. They also tend to be dominant in many other dog breeds, even larger ones. They will lose their homing instincts and sense of self-importance if they leave your yard or home.

4. Border Collie

Border Collies can range in height from 18-22 inches to the shoulder and have a weighted average of 30-55 pounds. The life expectancy for Border Collies is between 12 and 15 years.

Border Collie

Intelligent, loving, loyal, intelligent, often voted the #1 smartest dog breeds in USA, energetic, and hardworking. The Border Collie belongs to the herding team and needs a job. He will find something to do if he isn’t kept busy. He may try to distract himself or start herding your family, just like the Aussie. Border Collie owners need to have the energy, time, and know-how to keep him happy.

5. Boxer

Boxers not only have lots of energy but also have many health issues. They are the most likely dog breeds to develop cancer. They are also more likely to develop heart problems, hip dysplasias, thyroid, and eye issues as well as epilepsy and intestinal problems.


Although boxers make great family pets you should be ready for large vet bills.

6. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

They are 12-13 inches tall, and 13 inches wide at the shoulders. Their average weight is 13-18 pounds. They belong to the Toy Group. The Cavalier has a life expectancy of 12-15 years.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

These dogs are loyal, loving, affectionate, gentle, elegant, and affectionate. They will become your best friend. These dogs were originally bred as companions and lapdogs. They will be content as long they are beside you, on the couch, or in the car. To keep their Cavalier King Charles Spaniels looking great, they need to be groomed regularly. To prevent them from getting matted, they should be brushed every other day.

7. Chow Chow

Although the chow-chow is a medium energy dog, he can be difficult to care for due to his bear-like appearance. These dogs are “cat-like personalities,” which make them independent, stubborn, and less willing to please other high-maintenance dog breeds. They require early socialization and training. The AKC warns that these dogs can be suspicious of strangers. They require more discipline and training than other dog breeds.

Chow Chow

The Chow Chow Club’s welfare committee says that Chow Chow Club chows “are very perceptive and quickly detect people’s emotions.” However, they want people to believe they don’t need them. A Chow Chow will not be eager to please his master and may become aggressive towards other dogs even if they are neutered or spayed.

8. Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel’s height ranges from 13.5 to 15.5 inches at the shoulder to a weight of 20-30 pounds. The Cocker Spaniel’s life expectancy is between 10 and 14 years.

Cocker Spaniel

The Cocker Spaniel is affectionate, loyal, and energetic. Separation anxiety is common. They are a wonderful addition to the family, and they love their human companions. To keep the Cocker Spaniel at its best, he will need to be groomed every couple of weeks. Ear care is essential for any breed with long, floppy ears. His coat must be brushed daily to prevent matting and tangling.

9. Dalmatian

According to the AKC, the Dalmatian is an energetic dog and requires daily exercise. They are great runners and love to go on long walks. Even the most active dog owners will have to offer plenty of activities for their Dalmatians. According to AKC, the Dalmatian can be destructive if bored.


Dalmatian Advice says stubbornness is a frequent temperament issue in this high-maintenance breed. They can be “manipulative” and “obstinate.” These traits make them harder to train than other breeds.

Another major temperament problem for Dalmatians is separation anxiety. Separation anxiety. Some Dalmatians can also be aggressive. If you aren’t careful, they may become aggressive and start to growl, bite, jump, or snap if you don’t control their behavior.

10. Fox terrier

Fox terriers, smooth as well wire, display what the AKC refers to as a “medium energy level”. However, this doesn’t capture the full extent of this energetic high-maintenance dog. Because of the bold nature of this breed, “training can be difficult.” The New York Times reports that the fox terrier will obey your command “Lie down” – when it is in one of two moods. The other is “on fire.”

Fox terrier

The AKC also admits that the Fox Terrier is friendly with families and can be trusted with their needs. However, they are still fox terriers.

American Fox Terrier Rescue says these dogs may end up in shelters because they have ” more energetic than their family can handle.” They also don’t get along well with other dogs and cats. Some can even kill cats. Many will also kill small pets like birds, hamsters, and chickens. A minimum of an hour per day of aerobic exercise for these dogs is recommended, although a short leash walk will not be sufficient.

11. German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer is intelligent and strong, but also very energetic. This dog will need your full attention and exercise every day. According to the AKC, this breed thrives on exercise. A German shorthaired dog will want to be involved in all aspects of your family’s activities. If they aren’t kept busy, they can easily become bored. They might even turn boredom into destructive behavior in your home.

German Shorthaired Pointer

The NorCal GSP Rescue says that German shorthaired pointers maintain a puppy level energy all their lives. They need mental and physical stimulation to keep their energy under control. According to the rescue organization, it is crucial to give time to satisfy a GSPs’ need to learn and train and play as well as to provide companionship.

12. Irish Setter

The Irish Setter’s average height is between 25 and 27 inches at the shoulder. They weigh an average of 60 to 70 pounds. The Irish Setter has a life expectancy of 12-15 years.

Irish Setter

The Irish Setter is friendly, loving, loyal, and agile. The Irish Setter is a graceful, beautiful breed with long, straight, shiny, silky, reddish-red hair that flows effortlessly and floppy ears. It is important to brush his hair at least once a week and trim it every few months in order to keep it from getting tangled. The Irish Setter is energetic and needs to be exercised daily. To help them get their energy flowing, it’s best to have a fenced yard. They will be able to do agility well and enjoy a run or hike with their owner. This pooch is not a couch potato, there are no bones about it.

13. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell terriers are small, but very energetic dogs. He needs a responsible owner who can make sure that he uses his energy constructively and not in destructive ways. According to the AKC, this dog is described as “eager” & “tireless.” The organization also advises that these high-maintenance terriers require lots of exercise and playtime. Although these dogs are fun to have, the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America warns that they can be difficult to keep.

Jack Russell Terrier

They can be aggressive towards other dogs and are often strong-willed. The club says that most behavioral problems can be attributed to a lack of companionship and discipline. However, there is no quick fix. These intelligent dogs will “continue to challenge their limits throughout their lives.”

14. Kerry Blue Terrier

The AKC describes the Kerry blue terrier is a medium-energy dog that’s intelligent and alert. The organization states that these dogs are “a typical terrier personality however and require daily exercise and firm, patient training.” They only obey when they feel like it. The foundation states that this breed is quick to understand where and when it can be obeyed. It is not the best choice for an overly indulgent or submissive owner.

Kerry Blue Terrier

The New York Times notes that almost all terriers can be considered high-maintenance. The Kerry Blue Terrier is no exception. The publication states that the Kerry blue terrier requires socialization with other dogs to curb their dog-aggressive tendencies. They also need to be able to accept and receive love and attention from people.

15. Poodle

There are three sizes of Poodles: Toy, Standard, and Minature. Their only difference is their size.

  • Toy Poodles can reach up to 10 inches tall at the shoulder.
  • Miniatures can reach up to 15 inches from the shoulder.
  • The standard is greater than 15 inches from the shoulder.

Poodles are loving, intelligent, beautiful, playful, and full of energy. Poodles are great family dogs. Poodles are easy to train and should be taught early. They require a lot of grooming, but it is worth it. They will need professional grooming at least every 4 to 6 weeks unless you are able to do it yourself.


The poodle will require ear care, aside from the obvious haircut (including trimming their hair, feet, and tail). Their ears are long and floppy with hair growing into the canal from the inner flap. This hair should be picked and removed. This should be done by your groomer. They should brush their hair daily at home to prevent it from matting.

16. Pekingese

Pekingese are stubborn and self-important, making it difficult for them to housebreak and train.

Pekingese are known for their tendency to bark. The AKC says that training should be started as soon as possible. It should continue until the puppy reaches adulthood. They are intelligent, opinionated, and self-assured. They are small and easy to housebreak, despite their popularity.


The Pekingese club says the breed is well-known for its stubbornness. They can bark at strangers or make strange noises. They are protective of their owners. Pekes can be possessive if they are not trained. Training is also difficult as the Peke is slower to learn than other breeds. “Pekes will need to be cared for as they age — more than any other breeds.”

17. Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu can range in height from 9 to 10.5 inches at the shoulder to a weight of 9 to 16 pounds. This breed has a life expectancy of between 10 and 18 years.

Shih Tzu

These adorable little joy-filled bundles of joy make great companions. Although they don’t need to do a lot of exercise, their silky, flowing hair will make them a frequent customers at the local salon. To avoid mats that are difficult to manage, they should be brushed daily. After a meal, drink, or water, it is possible that they need to be wiped clean. The Shih Tzu is a great family member and will spend every moment with his people.

18. Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies were bred for long distance running. It shouldn’t surprise that this breed is very energetic according to the AKC. According to the AKC, the husky is a lover of running. They will run off if they are allowed to roam free. It’s much easier to keep your Siberian safe at home and secure with a fenced yard.

Siberian Husky

The husky is adaptable to all climates, but it should not be used in the heat of the day. Husky’s are very intelligent and sensitive. They can also quickly develop destructive behaviors if they aren’t getting enough exercise.

The South Florida Siberian Husky Rescue states that Siberians can escape from a yard. They can climb, jump, and even dig under fences. The rescue also notes that “Siberians are intelligent and will find a way out of any yard or kennel if left unattended for long periods.”

19. Springer Spaniel

English springer spaniels are a very high-maintenance breed. They require a lot of exercises and need to be groomed regularly. According to the AKC, this medium energy breed is extremely active and eager to participate in any family activity. The aggressive behavior that the springer spaniel is known for makes it a high-maintenance breed.

Springer Spaniel

According to The Atlantic’s survey, 27% of springer spaniels have bitten someone, which is at least twice the average rate for all dogs.

According to the English Springer Spaniel Field Trial Association, many of these dogs exhibit severe dominance aggression. An expert can often evaluate your dog and help you modify his behavior. However, changing the behavior of your dog can take time and effort. This could put you and any children in your family at risk.

20. Weimaraner

The Weimaraner is a beautiful, intelligent dog that can be difficult to train. The AKC states that this medium-sized dog is able to combine a high level of intelligence and a high energetic level. “Weimaraners love to exercise, and must get plenty of it along with quality time with their owners.” These strong-willed dogs require you to take control. They can behave like puppies for their first two, three, and even four years. Training and socialization can take a lot of time.


The Iowa Weimaraner Rescue states that these dogs often follow their owners around from room to room. “The Weimaraner should not be left alone in a kennel, or in the backyard without any attention.” This could lead to your Weim becoming hyperactive, destructive, and mentally unstable.

Dogs with high maintenance needs need to be exercised. The rescue group warns that even a 2-mile run around the neighborhood may not be enough exercise for this dog. A Weimaraner may find it amusing to chew, dig, or escape your yard if he isn’t getting enough exercise.

21. Yorkshire Terrier

Yorkies can range in height from 7 to 8 inches at the shoulder to a weighted average of 7 pounds. The life expectancy of this breed is between 11 and 15 years.

Yorkshire Terrier

This little girl is a member of the toy family. She’s brave, loving, loyal, intelligent, and loves being the center of attention. Yorkies are not very active, but they will require a lot of grooming. Yorkies will need to be groomed every couple of weeks. Daily brushing is recommended for silky long hair to prevent them from getting tangled or matted.

What Dog Breeds Are Suitable for High-Maintenance Care?

  • It can be difficult to groom fluffy, puffy dogs that require a lot of attention.
  • Dogs with super intelligence may need lots of mental stimulation to keep them occupied. They can get into trouble without it.
  • Dogs with high energy levels may need to exercise a lot each day in order to reduce their excessive energy. They can become destructive if they are not exercised regularly.
  • Some breeds have been known to experience separation anxiety. They are unable to be left alone. They are not happy without their humans.
  • Are aggressive or not good with children. This is a very important behavior to watch out for if you have children at home. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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