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12 Dog Breeds With “Type A” Personalities

Written by: Scott H
Scott Haiduc is the Director of Publishing for iHeartDogs, iHeartCats and The Hero Company. When not working, Scott spends his time on the farm, taking care of his animals and crops.Read more
| Published on August 27, 2015

Competitive, impatient and sensitive – these are three commonly used words to describe people with Type A personalities. In dogs, we see these traits as active, intense and reactive. Dogs with Type A personalities are often sensitive to their owners, reactive and sometimes aggressive toward strangers and other animals and very active and high drive. These breeds typically excel at various jobs and sports and are recommended for experienced owners. They may be intense, but they’re great dogs.

#1 – Border Collie


Border Collies are one of the few herding dogs that are still widely used for their original jobs and many argue that they are unparalleled when it comes to working stock. The breed is also popular in dog sports like agility and obedience. They are extremely intelligent, active dogs that are sensitive to their handlers and need patience and consistency to see results.

#2 – Belgian Malinois


Belgian Malinois are one of the four varieties of Belgian Shepherds, which are separated by coat length and color. Malinois are short-coated dogs and are the most widely used breed for police, military and other protection work. Everything you can do, the Malinois can do more intensely. This trait and their desire to work make them successful.

#3 – Miniature Schnauzer


The Miniature Schnauzer may be small, but they are certainly mighty. This breed belongs to the terrier group and has a personality to suit that label. They are active and intelligent dogs, sensitive to their owners but strong-willed and sometimes aggressive.

#4 – Australian Cattle Dog


The Australian Cattle Dog is a hard-working, strong-willed breed that needs a job to remain a suitable canine citizen and family member. They are intelligent and energetic, often hard and aggressive toward other animals but sensitive to their handlers.

#5 – Rhodesian Ridgeback


Rhodesian Ridgebacks are active, powerful dogs that need experienced and athletic owners to keep up with. They are aloof toward strangers, but not usually aggressive. They are intelligent and strong-willed dogs but sensitive to their handlers, so training must be fair and consistent.

#6 – Airedale Terrier


The Airedale Terrier is the largest of the terrier breeds and boasts all of the intense, terrier-like traits. Along with its aggression toward other dogs and animals, the Airedale has been used as a police and military dog. They are strong-willed and courageous but sensitive, and consistent training will produce great results.

#7 – Australian Shepherd


The Australian Shepherd is a very active and intelligent breed that is similar to the Border Collie in its use and success in work and dog sports. They are intense and dedicated workers but can be reactive to their environment and sensitive to their handlers. Fair and positive training works best with this breed.

#8 – Irish Terrier


The Irish Terrier is not the most popular breed, but they are wonderful companions for the right owner. Irish Terriers, like most terriers, have high prey drive and are typically aggressive toward other dogs and animals. They are strong-willed, intelligent but still sensitive.

#9 – Schipperke


What the Schipperke lacks in physical size it makes up for in personality. This small herding breed is feisty, active and not suitable for novice owners. The breed has been nicknamed the “Tasmanian black devil” by those who love it most and this only goes to show their intensity and headstrong behavior.

#10 – Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog


The Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Hound is a large and very powerful breed. Originally used for hunting wild boar, they are tenacious toward prey and brave hunters. They are generally aloof but not aggressive, although they are very protective of their families.

#11 – Cane Cors0


The Cane Corso is an Italian Mastiff and a giant, powerful breed. These dogs are oddly sensitive to their families but can be reactionary and sometimes aggressive toward strangers and other animals. They are surprisingly athletic for a Mastiff breed but do not require large amounts of exercise.

#12 – Belgian Tervuren


The Belgian Tervuren is the sable-colored, long-coated variety of Belgian Shepherd. Although not as popular in protection work as the Malinois, the Tervuren is widely used in various dog sports like agility and obedience. Their temperaments are slightly softer, but still reactive and care should be taken when training.

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