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Top 10 High Maintenance Dog Breeds for Those who Seek Challenge

Chow Chow
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If your idea for owning a family dog is an occasional walk, some playtime, and mostly laying on the couch, stop reading here. These dogs are only for people who have a lot of time and are eager to take on a challenge. These high maintenance dog breeds are demanding. They demand time, effort, exercise, playtime, training, mental stimulation, and much more.

Factors to keep in mind

Some dogs are classified as high maintenance dog breeds because they need a massive amount of exercise. Others are high maintenance because of their vet bills. You also need to consider grooming. For example, there are dogs with curly hair that require daily brushing, otherwise, their coat will entangle.

Last, but not least, intelligent dog breeds are smart, but they get bored easily. And then they want to play a new game, learn new tricks, or try some other mental stimulation toys.

With that in mind, here are 10 dog breeds that are just a challenge to care for.

Top 10 High Maintenance Dog Breeds



The Akita is a large dog, and that by default means a lot of care. Add in grooming needs for their unique and sensitive coat, and you have a high-maintenance dog. Last, but not least, you have to take into account their exercise needs.

The Akita, contrary to popular belief, is not a friendly dog, especially toward other animals. They can learn to be tolerant, but they are prone to killing small animals.

Therefore, you have to be the one walking the Akita for long hours before she spends her energy. They are essentially a guard dog, protective of their family. While they can be trained to be ideal dogs, any mistake in training, socialization, and exercise can result in a disaster.

Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd

This dog seems to never run out of energy. Essentially a herding dog, the breed benefits from the natural energy levels. He is also quite smart and intelligent. That means training for his body, and for his mind as well.

You will rarely see the Australian Shepherd lying on the couch, or doing anything that is not a chore or a task. If bored, he can start digging in the garden. Simply put, you always have to find him some activity to keep him busy. Chances are, you will wear out before he does.

Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terrier

Speaking of no-limit high-energy dogs, the Jack Russell terrier is next on the list. There is a reason why they call this dog “Pain in the arse”. He might be your best and most loyal friend. But you will have to work for it.

Jack Russell terrier can run/walk up to 30 miles per day. Think of that for a second. He is just an endless source of energy. And same as the Australian Shepherd, he wants stimulation for his mind as well.

Like many terriers, the JRT can be stubborn and strong-willed. That is another challenge for prospective owners. But if you train him properly, exercise him daily, and provide stimulation for his mind, the JRT is one of the best dogs to have around.

Border Collie


A lot of people love the Border Collie because he is the most intelligent dog breed. Well, all that intelligence requires exercise and training. His desire to work borders on obsessive levels. Same as the Australian Shepherd, the Border Collie will try to find work anywhere in the home.

He is a herding dog by nature and will try to herd kids, animals, toys, even a bag of fruits. The Border Collie is a great competitor in dog sports, but if he is left unemployed, he might turn to destructive and compulsive behavior. If you are prepared to keep him busy, then definitely invest in one.



The Boxer has a couple of issues that make him a high maintenance dog breed. For starters, he is loaded with energy. But he also suffers from several health issues, meaning your vet bills might skyrocket through the roof. For example, the Boxer is one of the few breeds that are prone to cancer, but also heart conditions, thyroid issues, eye issues, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and allergies.

Boxers are great family pets, as they are kind to children, love to play, and are generally friendly with other animals. They say the Boxer is a kid who never wants to grow up. Just be prepared for the possible high vet bills.

Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever might be one of the most popular dog breeds, but that doesn’t mean he is easy to take care for. When you think of it, he is a joy and delight to have around. But you have to understand that he requires a lot of exercise.

The Goldie loves to play, but he also loves learning new commands and tricks. And more importantly, daily brushing is a must. That long coat needs to be silky and smooth, right?

If he is bored, he might turn to destructive behavior. Similar to the Boxer, the Golden Retriever is prone to some health issues, namely cancer, hip dysplasia, and ear infection.

Chow Chow

chow chow

The Chow Chow is an independent, strong-willed, and stubborn breed. They can be quite difficult to train and handle, especially for novice owners. If they are not socialized properly, the Chow Chow might develop aggressive behavior.

Yes, they look beautiful with that thick coat. But that same coat requires a lot of maintenance and grooming. Daily brushing is a must, and every now and then, you need treatment from a professional groomer. If not, your canine friend might develop an uncomfortable matted pelt.



A high intelligence dog that does not shed, requires a moderate amount of exercise and is friendly with others. That is the Poodle. Now, you are probably wondering where is the high maintenance here? Well, that beautiful coat requires a lot of brushing. If you do not brush your Poodle, her hair will become tangled, and shed.

Yes, the Poodle is adorable. But that curly coat is very high maintenance. And since the Poodle is one of the smartest dog breeds, they require a lot of mental stimulation as well. Visits to professional groomers are a regular job when owning a Poodle.

German Shepherd

German shepherd

The GSD is one of the most popular breeds in America. But they are not easy to take care of. The main problem with the German Shepherd is his health. They are prone to a lot of health issues, including immune system deficiencies, pancreatic problems, bacterial skin infections, hip dysplasia, and cancer.

If you manage to prevent health issues, the GSD is a wonderful dog. He is a loyal companion who is protective of his owner. Just remember, they require a lot of training, playtime, exercise, and brain games.

Yorkshire terrier

Yorkshire Terrier

How can a toy dog breed be a high maintenance dog? Well, simply put, grooming needs. The Yorkie is fun to be around, but his long coat requires weekly baths, daily brushing, and frequent visits to the groomer.

They do not shed, and they do not require a lot of exercise. And being a small breed means the Yorkie will be well fed with just a tiny bit of food. But those grooming bills can go high. One downside, the Yorkie can bark a lot. Even though he is small in size, he packs a lot of character. And he is not afraid of anyone.

via Doggypedia

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