8 high maintenance dog breeds

8 high maintenance dog breeds

If you are considering adding a new fur baby to your family, first stop and think. Each breed has its unique needs when it comes to grooming, exercise and activity, so it’s worth thinking it through before you make the big decision. In fact, you might want to know straight out what are the most high maintenance dog breeds out there.

What do we consider high maintenance dog breeds?

  • The fluffy puffy pooches that need lots of grooming and their fur is super difficult to keep in order.
  • The super intelligent pups, that can require lots of mental stimulation. Without any, they tend to get themselves into mischief.
  • The high energy dogs that  can require lots of daily exercising to relieve their excess energy needs.
  • The breeds that we know tend to suffer from separation anxiety more than others.
  • The breeds that are not so good and patient with children, and nope, I don’t mean pitbulls.


Poodles make great family dogs. They are affectionate, brilliant, beautiful, playful, and full of energy. They are easily trained and should be trained early. Their grooming needs are definitely high maintenance, but well worth the trouble. Unless you can do it yourself, they’ll need professional grooming every 4 to 6 weeks. Other than the obvious necessary haircut the poodle will need ear care. They have long, floppy ears with hair growing on the inner flap and into the canal. So, that hair must be picked and cleaned out. Your groomer should automatically do this. At home, they need daily brushing so their hair doesn’t mat.


Yorkshire terrier

These tiny tots are absolute pocket pups, weighing about 4-8 kilos. Their life expectancy is between 11 -15 years, and they make the perfect companion dog.  A member of the toy group, this little darling is courageous, loving, loyal, smart, and adores being the center of attention. Yorkies don’t require tons of exercise, but they’ll keep you on your toes in the grooming department. They’ll need groomer visits every few weeks. Also, daily brushing is best for their silky long hair so they don’t get tangled and matted.


And finally, these tiny pups also made the list. And why? As sweet, smart and affectionate they can be they tend to have an aggressive streak. Perhaps, it’s down to their size, and the reason is fear or inferiority complex. Nonetheless, it is surprising to know that according to a 2016 US study, 25% of all dog attacks came from sausage dogs. They were bred to hunt badgers, and hunt in packs. So if your doxie is bored and agitated, don’t be surprised if they dig up your whole garden. They are very stubborn, and you should start training them early. Early socialization is very important to make sure they don’t snap at strangers or children. Some might disagree with me, but they are not the top best family pets.

high maintenance dog breeds

Border collie

Loving, intelligent, often named the #1 smartest dog, energetic, and a hard worker. The Border Collie is part of the herding group and he needs a job to do. If this guy is not kept busy, he will find things to do. Like the Aussie, he may start herding you and your family or he may get into mischief trying to occupy himself. The Border Collie needs a take-charge owner who will have the time, energy, and know-how to keep this guy happy.

Jack russel terrier

These pooches are intelligent, energetic, playful, and quick. They need to be trained early and their energy needs to be channeled. Jack Russell Terriers certainly aren’t dogs that can just be hanging around at home on autopilot. They don’t do well with idle time. As a matter of fact, if left on their own without a purpose they are likely to become destructive. It’s not their fault, they were bred to be active and they need stimulation. They do well in sports activities, running, agility, hunting, etc. The bottom line here is, they are loving great dogs, but aren’t right for everyone.

Cocker spaniel

The cocker spaniel is a happy and gentle dog with a sweet, trusting, and playful disposition. So it might surprise you to hear the cocker spaniel is another relatively high-maintenance dog who hates being left alone. This dog breed can display serious separation anxiety that will leave both you and your dog frustrated. They have a medium energy level, and they can channel a lot of that energy into destructive behaviors.

Plus, according to a recent study, the English cocker spaniel might be the world’s most aggressive dog breed. Researchers found “English cocker spaniels were more likely than other dogs to act aggressively toward their owners as well as unfamiliar people.” They also numbered among the dog breeds who are most hostile to other dogs. Proper training can help any dog curb unwanted behavior — whether that’s separation distress or aggression.

high maintenance dog breeds

Irish setter

Irish Setter: friendly, loving, loyal, agile, and graceful. This breed has a beautiful, lean, and graceful body with radiant long, flowing, silky red hair and floppy ears. To keep his hair in the best condition and to avoid tangles it should be brushed at least every other day and trimmed every couple of months. The Irish Setter has lots of energy and requires a good amount of exercise daily. It’s best if they have a fenced yard to help get their energy out. They are well suited for the agility course and will thrive on a good run or hike with their human. So they are ideal for people living a country life or for those who keep active.


Putting these gorgeous pups on the list might surprise you, but they are among the most high maintenance dog breeds. They were bred to hunt, and they are agile, active and strive to work. Their high energy levels will leave you out of breath. Not to mention that they can be stubborn and destructive if left alone. So if you don’t give your vizsla a job on a regular basis, don’t be surprised to come home for a garden that’s been dug up, or shoes destroyed. As high maintenance as they can be, they also respond very well to training. You should start training your vizsla puppy early, and get them socialized with other dogs. Keeping them active is also key. A quick turn around the block just won’t do for these dogs, you need to give them enough mental and physical stimulation. Read on to learn more about vizslas!

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