You Won’t Believe Which Dogs Really Have the Worst Behavior Problems

In the market for a new dog? Different breeds work better for different lifestyles. Some breed groups do better with families, while others prefer a smaller household. Plus, certain breeds require lots of exercise, while others laze around all day. And some breed groups also come with behavior problems you’ll want to know about ahead of time.

Find out which dog breed groups have the most difficult behavior problems. And don’t miss the one important piece of advice you’ll want to know before getting one of these dogs (page 7).

1. Scent hounds always follow their noses

You might not be able to get their attention once they catch a scent. | Adogslifephoto/iStock/Getty Images
  • Breeds: Bloodhounds, foxhounds, basset hounds

Sporting dogs tend to have an adventurous spirit, stemming from their early days of chasing animals through the woods. Once they pick up a scent, they will track it forever. That said, these loyal dogs will also respond enthusiastically when you call them. Don’t forget to train them to do so!

Next: The following breeds might not work for super affectionate families.

2. Hounds can get aloof

Black and tan coonhound
They’re often more independent dogs. | Avondell/iStock/Getty Images
  • Breeds: Coonhound, greyhound, basenji

Hounds generally have more aloof and independent personalities. They love to scout territory but do not have as much interest in humans as some other breeds. You might have a hard time keeping them engaged for that reason. That said, every dog has its own personality, so that might not ring true for your pup.

Next: Choose one of the following breeds if you need a hardworking dog.

3. Working dogs get very focused

Rottweiler dog
They zero in on tasks. | Globalp/iStock/Getty Images
  • Breeds: Rottweiler, Newfoundland, mastiff

Working and herding dogs have more businesslike dispositions than many other breed groups. They will zero in on a task and remain on it, even to the detriment of doing what you want them to do. However, that can also work in your favor if you need a dog who will not quit, even under stress.

Next: These dogs originally herded sheep, but that instinct can lead to behavior problems.

4. Herding dogs herd everything — even people

Dog, Shetland sheepdog,
They might herd anything in their path. | Yanjf/iStock/Getty Images
  • Breeds: Collie, sheepdog, Australian shepherd

Herding dogs come by that label honestly. These intense dogs will herd instinctively, even children and other animals. For that reason, they may not do well with small children. They also need lots of mental stimulation, so you might not want this breed if you stay away from home for long stretches. If you value your furniture, get herding dogs lots of brain-teasing toys to avoid behavior problems.

Next: If you need protection, the following breed will work out great.

5. Guard dogs automatically protect their territory

German Shepherd
They often want to defend their territory. | Purple_queue/iStock/Getty Images
  • Breeds: Doberman, German shepherd, Akita

Guard dogs can get very protective of their territories, even as puppies. If you need a dog to keep intruders at bay, this instinct can work in your favor. Because they can get aggressive if challenged, make sure you train your dog well. Adequate training and a nurturing environment can go a long way with these breeds.

Next: The following dogs can play fetch forever.

6. Sighthounds tend to chase

Irish Wolfhound
They might want to chase everything that moves. | Ashva/iStock/Getty Images
  • Breeds: Afghan hound, Irish wolfhound, whippet

If you do not want a dog who chases everything that moves, a sighthound might not be your best bet. These intelligent dogs have a strong instinct to follow movement, and that includes kids and other pets. They will play fetch until they fall down exhausted, and they’ll also follow you around like a shadow.

Next: This carries the most weight when it comes to behavior problems.

7. Remember: Good training counts for a lot

American staffordshire terrier
Proper training is key. | Cynoclub/iStock/Getty Images

No matter which breed you choose, proper training goes a long way. The best-behaved dog in the world will act out occasionally, and the worst-behaved dog can improve with attention. If your dog has behavior issues, consider asking a professional trainer for help. Every animal deserves a chance.

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