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8 Dog Breeds For Experienced Owners Only

Finding the perfect dog to fit into your family is about more than bringing home the first pretty face you see. There are some dog breeds for experienced owners only – and for good reason. You need to think about your life and choose a dog that’ll be happy in the kind of home you can provide. To start, are you an individual, or do you have a family with children? Do you spend your free time being active, or do you prefer a relaxed life indoors? Have you had dogs before, and if so, what kind of personalities did they have?

There’s nothing wrong with falling in love with the look of a certain breed, but personality is important too. Every dog is an individual. But there are certain traits tied to each breed that can’t be ignored. Experienced dog people know that while every dog benefits from training, some breeds are more complicated to work with than others. Many novice owners are excited to welcome home a new dog, but the feeling fades as they realize they’re not prepared for the drive and intensity some breeds possess. Here’s a list of dog breeds for experienced owners only.

#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. Historically, their job has always been herding the family’s livestock. They’re still welcome working dogs on farms across the globe, but today they also do everything including agility, obedience, flyball, and almost anything else their families make available to them.

If they don’t have an appropriate outlet or an assigned job, they’ll make up their own. Their natural herding instinct will lead them to “herd” children in less than productive ways. Without proper training, they tend to resort to nipping and pushy behavior to keep their charges in line. They might also decide it’s their life’s purpose to put a hole in every shoe in your closet. They’re hard to keep up with, and if you fall behind, they’ll become destructive and difficult to manage.

Without an adequate amount of mental and physical stimulation, this breed will not be happy as a pet and will generally became unmanageable. The good news is, their intelligence and natural talent for obedience means that with the right person, Border Collies make excellent companions. They just need someone willing to put a lot of time, effort, and energy into their upbringing.

#2 – Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is a popular choice for police and military venues. Their work ethic makes them great candidates for jobs of all kinds including weapons detection, bomb sniffing, protection, and even water rescue. They have a natural drive to train and be active, and their high intelligence, alertness, and loyalty toward their people are all valuable character traits for a working dog. 

When it comes to being a family pet, however, those same traits can be difficult to manage. Because they are bred almost solely for their working ability, they don’t always have the temperament of a social house dog. Instead of spending a lazy weekend with their family, a Malinois will want to be up and moving all day. Instead of happily greeting neighbors that walk into the yard, an untrained Malinois might resort to their protective instincts. While most dog owners are willing to take the time to teach their pups basic lessons like “sit” and “shake,” not everyone is ready for the commitment of raising a Belgian Malinois.

Without the right amount of mental and physical activity, this breed can become neurotic, destructive, and sometimes aggressive. These dogs will keep their owners on their toes, but when well managed, they can be one of the most rewarding breeds to own.

#3 – Akita

Image source: Nicola Bursi Gandolfi via Flickr

The Akita is a large Japanese breed originally used for hunting large game, such as bear and boar.  They also have a proud history standing beside Japanese royalty as their personal protectors. Weighing up to 130 pounds, these big dogs can easily overpower a person. If they get it in their mind that a specific person is a threat, it can be hard to hold them back. Their intentions are usually to protect either themselves or the people they love, but an Akita without training can be unpredictable.

These dogs are independent, aloof with strangers, and deeply loyal to their families. Because of this temperament, they are’t the type of dog that is going to willingly meet strangers at the local coffee shop or greet your mailman with a wagging tail. They have a definite silly side when with the people they’re comfortable with, but it’ll take more than a friendly greeting to convince an Akita you’re one of the good guys. Same-sex aggression with other dogs is common, and Akitas typically prefer to be the only furry members of a family. They need owners who are willing to work around their needs and preferences.

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. The American Kennel Club stresses the fact that Akitas need to be well socialized from birth to feel comfortable around people and other dogs. 

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