14 Cute Dog Breeds That Make Terrible Pets

Cheerful Weimaraner standing on field in dusk

Aleksandr Zotov/istockphoto

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Cheerful Weimaraner standing on field in dusk
Aleksandr Zotov/istockphoto

Problematic Pups

With all the dogs in the world, no doubt there is one perfect for nearly everyone — which is why you should think twice before welcoming one of the breeds on this list, which tend to be on the more difficult side. While they are all adorable, they are subjectively known for having traits that make it more complicated to treat them as a typical house pet.

Related: The Easiest and Hardest Dog Breeds to Train

Afghan hound dog on the run

1. Afghan Hound

This beauty can be a beast. The Afghan Hound has a silky mane and elegant look, but that coat doesn’t maintain itself. Owners should be prepared to spend hours weekly on grooming their Afghan. The breed is also known for being somewhat difficult for dog owners who don’t have a lot of experience. For one, the dogs can be aloof toward anyone who isn’t their “person,” and a fenced-in yard is a must — the breed is notorious for refusing to come back when it’s on a chase.

Related: 36 Popular Dog Breeds That Don't Shed

Senior calling dog to him

2. Bouvier de Flandres

Strong and stubborn, the Bouvier is quite brainy. Their intelligence makes them successful for everything from herding to police dog work. But their independence makes them difficult to live with as a family pet. As fluffy and cuddly as they look, they can be fierce watchdogs that need to be working. This is not a breed to hang out on the couch at home. 

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Basenji Kongo Terrier Dog. The Basenji Is A Breed Of Hunting Dog. It Was Bred From Stock That Originated In Central Africa

3. Basenji

This sleek, perky little dog is not known for being a barking breed. Sounds fantastic, right? Well, not so fast — Basenjis are actually quite noisy. Instead of barking, they typically emit a unique yodeling noise and can even sound like they are screaming. Apartment dwellers may want to think twice about this breed, unless they enjoy having cops called on them. Additionally, the Basenji isn’t known for being the most obedient breed, and will do what they want, when they want, despite training.

Related: Otterhounds, Pulis, and 23 Dog Breeds You've Never Heard Of

Close-up portrait of a chihuahua in the park

4. Chihuahua

There is a lot going on in the tiny package of a chihuahua. Because these guys are so small, it’s easy to think they are basically cuddly stuffed animals. But its small size actually makes the breed feel the need to defend itself even more. These dogs can be highly aggressive toward anyone other than their owner, and are not known for being child-friendly. 

portrait chow-chow

5. Chow Chow

These dogs look like lovable lions, and have some fantastic traits going for them: They are almost like cats in their cleanliness levels and almost never have that doggy smell. But the breed can be very stubborn. When not properly trained, they may be suspicious of strangers and even aggressive toward other dogs and people.  

Shar pei

6. Shar-Pei

Those wrinkled faces — who can resist? Despite their kissability, this breed is not for the average owner who wants to spend their time snuggling. They are not particularly friendly with unknown people and other dogs, and are prone to eye disorders. 


7. Shiba Inu

Their cute faces look fox-like, and unfortunately they can be as sneaky as a fox as well. This breed can’t be trusted off leash, according to the American Kennel Club, no matter how much training they get. Shibas are also known for their cat-like personalities, so if you are looking for a dog that’s going to be the life of the party at the dog park, this probably isn’t the breed for you.  

Weimaraner Puppy

8. Weimaraner

This silky dog is called the “grey ghost” thanks to its beautiful coat, swift speed, and beguiling eyes. The biggest problem with this breed is its incessant demands for exercise. Daily running, not walking, is essential, and not just short bursts: If you’re not prepared to provide a minimum one to two hours of running a day, this breed isn’t for you.  

Cane Corso
Predrag Vuckovic/istockphoto

9. Cane Corso

This majestic-looking breed gives off serious bodyguard vibes, and for good reason. They are bred to protect, and must be socialized early and trained properly to avoid a tendency to be dominant. 

Great Pyrenees and sheep

10. Great Pyrenees

This fluffy snowball of a dog breed is generally good with kids and living in a family due to its calm and devoted nature. But there are a couple of musts before one considers owning one of these majestic dogs. They were bred as loners who guard sheep, so the breed is by nature independent and prone to making its own decisions, meaning training is bound to be difficult. They do better in rural or suburban areas, where they can have lots of outdoor space, so city apartment dwellers will want to pass. 

Related: The Most Family-Friendly Dogs to Bring Home to the Kids

American Akita Golden Purebred Dog on the grass

11. Akita

These large, powerful dogs are yet another breed that experiences stranger danger. They can be antagonistic toward other animals, and are cautious around humans they don’t know. The plus is that the breed is on the quieter side, and not known for barking much. 

Coursing. The Race of Russkaya psovaya borzaya

12. Borzoi

This is another dog breed that acts like a cat. Borzois behave as elegantly as they look, and aren’t a fan of roughhousing like a typical Labrador. They also absolutely need a fenced-in yard, because they will take off running at the sight of squirrels or even actual cats. 

Portrait of a small dog Pekingese

13. Pekingese

Legend has it that this ancient breed from China came from lions shrunk down to lapdog size, and if you judge by their fierce nature, it’s totally plausible. Despite their tiny package, they have guard dog tendencies and can be very stubborn. But really, one of the biggest concerns to keep in mind when owning a Pekingese dog is the amount of work that goes into keeping their coats healthy — frequent coat brushing and trims are needed to keep them from getting matted.

Adopted dogo argentino sunbathing

14. Dogo Argentino

It takes only one look at this extremely powerful, athletic breed to know you’re not going to be able to get away with taking one around the block for a walk and calling it a day. The Dogo Argentino was bred to be a hunter (of boar and mountain lion) and a guard dog, and is known for having a high prey drive. Unfortunately, because the breed has been used for fighting, these dogs have been banned from a number of towns and cities, and even from some countries.