21 Dogs That Require A Lot Of Attention


Though every dog requires a lot of attention, some breeds really give the word ‘high maintenance’ new meaning. That, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are automatically difficult pets as their owners have a direct influence on their behavior and level of independence.

If you own, or want to adopt, a dog from this list, you should at least have some previous experience with dogs, as well as enough energy and time to bring out the best in them. Here’s our list of 21 most demanding dogs:


The English bulldog can really be described as man’s best friend, but that also means that they get very attached to their humans and basically want to spend every waking hour with the ones they love.

Ignoring an English bulldog is one of the most serious offences in their book, and they will not easily forgive you for not paying attention to them. Also, they are stubborn little fellows who may be hard to train and housebreak – most trainers would agree that they are not dogs for first-time owners who still haven’t figured out how to handle pig-headed pups.

On top of it all, these little charmers are prone to a wide variety of health issues, including bad eyesight, mast cell tumors, heat strokes, allergies, and hip problems, which means you may end up spending a lot of time and money at the vet’s office.


2. Akita

Anyone who has ever heard the heart-wrenching story of Hachiko and his late master has considered adopting a Japanese Akita, the devoted breed that will love you forever and ever.

No one can deny that Akitas are unbelievably faithful and intelligent, but there’s only one problem – they are also excessively willful and overly protective. These traits may not seem like a deal breaker now, but once the Akita becomes the dominant one in the family, inexperienced owners simply won’t know what to do with their beloved pet.

To put it simply, Japanese Akitas know what they want and how to get it. Only owners who understand how the pack works can assert themselves as pack leaders; others will fail miserably and blame the lack of success on the strong-willed dog.


3. Australian Shepherd

The Australian shepherd is an ideal dog for families who live in the countryside, but may prove to be overwhelming for people who live in cities and work from 9 to 5.

Like all working dogs, the Australian shepherd needs to have a job or something that will occupy their mind and body. As a matter of fact, they thrive on work and feel completely miserable when they are inactive. They need a lot of daily exercise and when we say a lot, we mean they need much more physical activity than the average dog. If they have nothing to do all day long, Australian shepherds will eventually become troubled and destructive.

On the other hand, they are easy to train and if you can really keep up with their active lifestyle, these friendly dogs will be a wonderful addition to your family.


4. Border Collie

Like the Australian shepherd, the amazing Border collie was also created as a hard working dog who can’t imagine life without a job. Basically, almost everything we have said about the Australian shepherd applies to the Border collie, and more – these exceptional dogs are known for their intelligence and submissiveness and cannot lie around the house for days on end with nothing to keep them occupied.

They are not the ideal pet for people who don’t like to exercise and spend time outdoors, but if you’re into sports, you and your collie will be like two peas in a pot. Unfortunately, physical activity is not the only issue; border collies also need to know who’s in charge of the household, and must in no way become the dominant one in the family because they may become aggressive and destructive.


5. Brussels Griffon

The Brussels griffon is a real sweetheart of a dog; they are the most amazing pets ever who love their humans with all their hearts. Though it sounds amazing, they may be too clingy for the average person.

They are happiest when they spend time with their beloved owner and they never want to part with their family– the Brussels griffon wants to go everywhere with you, and can’t understand why you wouldn’t want to take them to work. They will basically shower you with attention and demand the same in return.

But their unconditional devotion is not the biggest problem; these darlings are very emotional creatures who suffer a lot and feel rejected if they are not the center of your universe. On the other hand, people who are prepared to adore them will enjoy every second with their Brussels.


6. Alaskan Malamute

The beautiful Alaskan malamute may look like your favorite oversized toy, but the largest of the Arctic dogs is nothing short of demanding. They were specifically bred for hauling heavy freight, which means they are working dogs who won’t be happy without a job and/or plenty of physical activity.

Generally speaking, high-energy working breeds are not the best family companion because they don’t have the need to cuddle all day, follow you around the house and perform cute tricks for your guests. In fact, the Alaskan malamute is an independent dog who likes to be in charge and doesn’t have a problem with disobeying some of your commands.

It can be extremely hard to train and housebreak them as they need to be highly motivated to obey the rules and change their behavior.


7. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

Known as the ‘love sponge’, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a companion dog who demands your undivided attention at all times. Loveable as they are, these gorgeous pups are always willing to please and will do everything it takes to brighten their owner’s day.

They are ideal pets for people who don’t need to go to work every day and spend a lot of time at home, including stay-at-home parents, freelancers, artists and other people who work from the comfort of their own house.

However, folks who lead hectic lives won’t have enough time to devote to them, and their little Spaniels will be completely and utterly miserable. Also, they may develop the nasty Small Dog Syndrome if their owner treats them as a toy and allows them to behave badly under the excuse of cuteness.


8. Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russell terrier is a mischievous little dog who loves nothing more than to run, play and jump. They may not look like it, but these little rascals are highly energetic dogs who simply can’t stand still and demand way more physical activity than the average pup.

Moreover, they are easily bored and hate being left alone, especially for long periods of time. The only way to keep them somewhat satisfied is to really tire them out before leaving for work, and repeat the routine when you get back home. And that’s not all.

When Jack becomes a member of your family, forget about adopting other animals; due to their strong hunting instincts, they can never be trusted with smaller pets. They are also hard to train and housebreak, and have the almost magical ability to escape from confinement – if you don’t find a way to amuse them, Jack Russells will take matters into their own paws.


9. Yorkshire Terrier

The biggest problem with toy breeds is that people tend to treat them as playthings and that’s probably the worst approach an owner can have toward their Yorkshire terrier.

If they are not trained and socialized properly, Yorkies will exhibit some serious behavioral problems that will prevent you from fully enjoying their (otherwise charming) company. For instance, some of the characteristics of the Small Dog Syndrome – which they are quite prone to – include aggression, overprotection and hostility toward other dogs (they sometimes seem to forget that they are teacup dogs).

Also, just because they are tiny pups doesn’t mean they should never leave the house; they need to exercise and explore their surroundings regularly. Though it probably goes without saying, their coat is high-maintenance and it’s up to you to take care of their lavish fur.


10. Poodle

Poodles are best known for their luxurious coat, but these dogs are also famous for their intelligence and ability to learn a wide variety of tricks.

They are among the most trainable breeds who thrive on success and don’t take criticism well. They can’t handle fault-finding because they are basically in love with their owner and don’t want to do anything to disappoint them.

Furthermore, poodles are very dependent on their beloved humans and can’t stand being left alone for longer periods of time – they are prone to separation anxiety and need a master who will be able to deal with this issue. Unsurprisingly, they want to be in the center of attention and suffer a great deal if they are ignored or neglected.


11. Labrador Retriever

Labrador retrievers have been one of the most popular breeds in the States for years, but that doesn’t mean they don’t require a lot of attention from their human family.

These dogs are smart and easy to train, which makes them amazing at almost any job they are given. Additionally, Labradors love spending time with people and don’t mind playing rough with kids. They may sound too good to be true, but the problem is that they are high-spirited dogs who need lots of exercise and can’t imagine life without physical activity.

They also get easily bored and need an owner who will know how to grab and keep their attention. Essentially, Labradors are happiest when they get to exercise with their family – they are superb jogging partners, and love nothing more than to play with their owner in the water.


12. Boxer

The Boxer is another favorite breed in the United States. Boxers are excellent service, guide, therapy and law enforcement dogs. Understandably, they are extremely clever and can’t stay in one place for a long time.

Though they are easy to train and socialize, it’s very difficult to keep them focused: boxers require creativity and variety in everything they do and expect the same from their owner. Apart from being able to keep their attention, their owner has to be the dominant one in their little pack – boxers tend to be strong-willed dogs who like things to be done their way.

In a nutshell, they are not difficult and aggressive by nature, but can become agitated and resentful without proper mental and physical stimulation.


13. German Shorthaired Pointer

Like all hunting dogs, the German shorthaired pointer also has to be on the move constantly and nothing makes them happier than an active family. They are not satisfied with indoor confinement and require way more than the average daily walk – the shorthaired pointer is not the type of dog to be pleased by hanging out around the house all day.

Moreover, they are prone to separation anxiety and don’t like being separated from their loved ones. These hunters need an authoritative figure in their life that will teach them how to behave. Sadly, first-time owners probably won’t be able to deal with the shorthaired pointer and meet all their needs.

Their humans also need to be aware that these pups will, given the chance, bring them dead trophies from time to time – it is of utmost importance to teach them which animals are prey and which are out of bounds.


14. Rhodesian Ridgeback

When a dog breed is known as the African lion hound, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out they are not your typical family pet.

The Rhodesian ridgeback is a powerful and active dog who needs energetic physical activity and plenty of opportunities to run freely. They were once used to prevent lions from coming too near their masters during a hunt and it’s perfectly understandable why they can’t thrive indoors or without exercise. If they are left without physical stimulation, these large dogs may become hostile toward other canines and it may become impossible to control them.

Despite the fact that Rhodesian ridgebacks can be outstanding watchdogs, and even gentle companions, they are not suitable pets for the majority of people, let alone first-time or inexperienced owners.


15. American Pit Bull Terrier

Even though they have a bad reputation, American pit bulls are not aggressive toward humans.

Due to the fact that they were bred to bait bulls and bears, and were later used in dog fighting, pit bulls have a tendency to be hostile toward other animals and dogs, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be affectionate and gentle family companions. Unfortunately, not all owners can properly train and teach them how to behave in a friendly manner – that’s why pit bulls are banned in several U.S. states.

On the other hand, if you have what it takes to be a pack leader, the pit bull will obey your rules and follow your commands. It may be hard to believe, but they love to please their humans and do everything they can to make their owner proud.


16. Wolfdog

Although science has suggested that dogs and wolves have a common ancestor, dogs were domesticated by humans thousands of years ago, whereas wolves are still wild animals.

The beautiful predators have long been associated with humans, but their relationship has never been a friendly one. There have been attempts to train wolves to live with people, and the wolfdog is the most successful example. Fans of this lovely hybrid have to keep in mind that the wolfdog is part wolf and can never be completely tamed.

To make things worse, their character and behavior will be determined by the traits of both animals – what if your wolfdog ends up being more wolf than dog? Of course, it goes without saying that inexperienced owners should steer clear of them, or at least keep away from higher wolf-content animals as they can be very aggressive and unpredictable.


17. Siberian Husky

The gorgeous Siberian husky is yet another working dog on our list who is full of energy and needs plenty of physical activity, especially when they are younger.

Besides, they get bored quite easily and it’s up to the owner to think of fun and creative ways to keep their attention. Their human family also has to be able to keep up with their active lifestyle and give them enough freedom to explore their surroundings, if possible.

In addition to enjoying being in the center of everyone’s attention, huskies like to spend time with their owner and participate in all sorts of dog-friendly activities. They are exceptionally smart dogs who are easily trained, but might prove to be a bit too demanding for first-time owners as it may be difficult to impose your will on the stubborn sled dog.


18. Schipperke

The schipperke is a curios little fellow who has been used for a wide variety of jobs, and is definitely not accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle. The adorable sheepdog prospers when they are kept active, and suffers when they are made to sit still, though the latter rarely happens.

If you don’t want to keep them busy, schipperkes will find a way to pass the time and you probably won’t like whatever it is they are up to. Future schipperke owners should also be aware that these mischievous pups are often called ‘the little black devil’ and there’s more truth behind their nickname than you think.

Of course, not all schipperkes are compared to the personification of evil. Like with most high-maintenance dogs, their behavior will depend primarily on your skills and experience in training and socialization.


19. Kooikerhondje

The kooikerhondje is still a relatively unknown dog breed, but the Dutch working dog is becoming more and more popular due to their excellent watchdog skills.

They are great family pets as long as their humans know how to handle the intelligent pooch and keep them exercised. Luckily, of all the demanding breeds on our list, the kooikerhondje is the most adaptable and will be perfectly happy as long as you devote your time to them.

They enjoy playing dog games, as well as accompanying their owner on hikes or runs.  As a matter of fact, they don’t care what they are doing – as long as they are doing something. This unusual breed is also very clever and willing to learn, so the best thing you can do is start training them as soon as possible, preferably when they are still young and able to modify their behavior.


20. Dalmatian

Dalmatians are sensitive souls who only react well to positive reinforcement and suffer greatly if they are not rewarded for their efforts. They need lots of praise and encouragement and their owner has to be a patient trainer who will not push them too far – who will know their boundaries and when to call it a day.

Moreover, Dalmatian puppies are overly excitable and energetic and not everyone has the patience to train and socialize them. As a matter of fact, almost one half of Dalmatian owners don’t know how to handle their temperament and give pups away or abandon them before they turn 1.

For this reason, it is important to assess your abilities and preparedness to devote time and energy to them – if you are not committed enough, chances out another Dalmatian will end up on the street.


21. Irish Setter

The Irish setter is a dog of many talents and it would be a shame to let them go to waste. They know everything there is about hunting, and prosper when they have the opportunity to show their humans some of their skills.

They may be fast learners, but Irish setters are also quite independent dogs who have a hard time obeying the rules. Though it is easy to housebreak them, submissive and passive people will have a hard time training them – not only does the owner have to be experienced and dominant, but also ready to work hard with the pup and keep them mentally and physically active throughout their entire lives.

To make things worse, these active dogs mature slowly, so you’ll basically have to deal with an energetic puppy in the body of a full-grown Irish setter for a few years.

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