When it comes to choosing the right dog breed there are many different things to think about. Are you an individual, or do you have a spouse and children? Are you active? Sedentary? Have you had dogs before and if so, what kind of personality did they have? We need to consider more than just the dogs we think are the prettiest or most impressive looking.
Sure, there’s nothing wrong with liking the looks of certain breeds. But before we bring them home, we need to make sure they’re going to be a good fit. Every dog is an individual, but there are certain breed traits that need to be recognized. While they all need training, some are more complicated to work with than others. Many novice owners are not quite prepared for the drive and intensity some breeds possess.
These breeds are then recommended for experienced owners. That said, everyone has to get their first dog at some point – so if you’ve got a good mentor, trainer and a breed club to work with, you might be able to live peacefully with one of these breeds.
#1 – Border Collie
The Border Collie is one of the most versatile working dogs today and because of this, their temperaments are generally not suitable for those looking solely for a family pet. This breed needs a job to do, be it herding, agility, obedience or something else, and without it they will become destructive and difficult to maintain. Their energy and drive is necessary for them to be the successful herding dogs they are today, but it’s also what makes them overly active and difficult to handle inside the house. Without an adequate amount of mental and physical stimulation, this breed will not be happy as a pet and will generally became unmanageable.
#2 – Belgian Malinois
Alongside the Border Collie, the Belgian Malinois is arguably the most versatile working breed in existence today. Although not often used for their original herding job, they are found frequently in police and military venues. Because they are bred almost solely for their working ability, they do not have the temperaments needed to be a social house dog. Without the right amount of mental and physical activity, this breed can become neurotic, destructive and even aggressive. These dogs will keep their owners on their toes, constantly trying to be ahead of the dog, but when well managed can be one of the most rewarding breeds to own.
#3 – Akita
The Akita is a large Japanese breed originally used for hunting large game, such as bear and boar, and guarding. They are independent, aloof with strangers and deeply loyal to their families. Because of this temperament, however, they are not the type of dog that is going to willingly meet strangers at the local coffee shop or greet your mailman with a wagging tail. Akitas are large, powerful dogs that will protect their property and therefore are not recommended for owners lacking the desire to be on top of the dog at all times.
#4 – Patterdale Terrier
Patterdales may be small, but they are seriously mighty. This breed is bred almost exclusively for its working ability. A typical terrier, they are bred to hunt and catch vermin such as fox, raccoon and groundhogs. Because of this, they should not be trusted around other animals, including dogs, as they will often attack them as if they were quarry. They are confident, courageous dogs that require a lot of physical and mental exercise and constant management.
#5 – Korean Jindo
The Korean Jindo is one of the most cat-like dog breeds and therefore is not a good choice for someone looking for a social, affectionate breed. Although generally easy to handle and not aggressive, this breed is known for being a skilled escape artist and should not be left unsupervised in the yard. They are generally not social with other dogs and do require adequate physical and mental exercise to stay comfortable in the house.
#6 – Catahoula Leopard Dog
The Catahoula Leopard Dog originated in the United States as a powerful hunting breed – a job it still maintains today. Traditionally used to hunt boar, they are powerful, courageous dogs that are not recommended for those not experienced with working breeds. They are very active dogs that need a lot of physical exercise and their size and strength alone can easily become overwhelming. Although the breed is good with people and children, it’s working history requires that it has some sort of job to do to be happy.
#7 – Boerboel
The Boerboel is a Mastiff breed from South Africa. Bred for guarding property, they are loyal to their families but aloof with strangers. They are extremely large, powerful dogs that were bred to work independently as guardians and therefore should be supervised around strangers. It’s not unusual for this breed to be aggressive toward unfamiliar people and other dogs, so caution must be taken. This is not a breed you can take to your children’s sports games. They are deeply loyal and affectionate with their families, however.
#8 – Chow Chow
The Chow Chow is one of the oldest dog breeds in existence. Originating in China as all purpose dogs, they were used for hunting, herding, guarding and drafting. They are protective of their family and property, requiring caution when allowing them to meet new people. This breed needs early socialization and regular exercise, although they are quite lazy when in the house. They can be stubborn and independent, but bond well with their owners if training is started early.