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24 Worst Behaved Dog Breeds | Pups on Santa’s Naughty List

When you start thinking about adding a dog to your family, one of the first questions you might ask yourself is, “Will this dog be well-behaved?” 

All pet owners want a dog that fits into their lives easily. An important part of that is choosing a puppy with a good temperament. But some pups take more time than others to learn to behave.

From high-energy Huskies to sneaky Dachshunds, there are a few dog breeds out there that are known to be naughty. However, this doesn’t mean they’re not suited to your family or that you have a bad dog since they usually need proper attention and training. 

Let’s dive into 24 of the worst-behaved dog breeds and their quirks.

Read Next: If you’re looking for a friendly pup, this list of least aggressive dog breeds might be hiding your next adorable pet.

24 Worst Behaved Dog Breeds

From pups that steal socks to those that terrorize the local squirrel population, 23 of the naughtiest dogs are here.

1. Airedale Terrier

airedale-terrier worst behaved dog breeds

Photo by Chris Curry on Unsplash

Airedale Terriers are part of the terrier family and are the largest of the breed. Terriers are known for seemingly having limitless energy; this pup is no exception. They’re also very strong-willed and stubborn. 

At first, they seem like fun dogs, always busy and wanting to play. However, at some point, you might realize their energy doesn’t seem to end. 

When they get bored, they can dig holes in the garden and have the zoomies constantly. Training is crucial for an Airedale Terrier and regular walks and trips to the park. You should only get one of these dogs if you have time, patience, and a big yard to deal with their unique character.

2. Akita


Photo by Hrihorii Sheldunov on Unsplash

Akitas have a distinct look about them. These Japanese dogs have a solid and regal atmosphere that follows them around, and they know it. They’re guard dogs known as silent hunters, which means they don’t bark, but they will let you know if trouble is afoot. 

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As mentioned, these dogs know they’re strong and like to believe they’re the boss. They’re also very moody and tend to have dramatic mood swings that can cause them to become aggressive when they feel threatened. Luckily, these pups are very loyal and a joy to have in your home if looked after well. 

If you can get past their moody nature, Akita’s are a big fluffy dog breed you’ll absolutely adore.

3. Alaskan Malamute


Photo by Monika Stawowy on Unsplash

Alaskan Malamutes are majestic dogs. They have this stunning look about them, from their fur to their stature. However, as big as these dogs are, they are known escape artists. They have a lot of energy that needs to be taken care of, or they will try anything to get out into the world, including digging and jumping fences. 

They can also be stubborn, and due to their size, if they decide to take you on a walk, it can end in you being dragged down the street. Luckily, Alaskan Malamutes are relatively easy to take care of with good training, an exercise regime, and a lot of space to run. Just be sure to invest in a solid leash.

4. Australian Cattle Dog


Photo by Daniel Lincoln on Unsplash

Australian Cattle Dogs are herding dogs known to have a stubborn streak. They’re incredibly intelligent and tend to be little tricksters. They will find a way to get you to give in to their demands. 

These pups also have a lot of energy and need lots of exercise. These pointy eared dogs need a job like they were bred to do, or they will get into trouble. 

Australian Cattle Dogs are also wary of strangers and might even become aggressive if they feel threatened. Training, ample space to run around, lots of toys, and exercise will ensure your pup is happy and will limit their bad behaviour.

5. Border Collie


Photo by Juan Manuel Sanchez on Unsplash

Border Collies are adorable with their fluffy fur and cute expressions. However, these pups were bred to herd livestock; if you don’t have any livestock, they might get bored and easily get into trouble. 

Training them also presents a lot of challenges as they’re very excitable and don’t tend to listen well. Border Collies need a lot of mental and physical stimulation. 

If you have kids or other pets, you might notice these pups trying to herd them. Luckily, if you take them on long walks, let them run in the park, and provide a lot of interactive toys, you should have an easy pup on your hands.

6. Bulldog


Photo by Sébastien Lavalaye on Unsplash

Bulldogs are adorable dogs with their small, stocky bodies and droopy faces. Initially bred to direct cows and participate in bull baiting, these pups are fierce and tenacious. 

They might be small, but they’re not easily intimidated. A bear could charge at them, and they’d try to fight back. Because of how strong-willed they are, bulldogs don’t like to be told what to do. 

Bulldogs do what they want when they want, and they don’t care what you think. Once they’ve learned right from wrong, the only problem you’ll have with these pups is their inability to move from your lap when napping.

7. Bull Terrier


Photo by Magdalena Smolnicka on Unsplash

Bull Terriers have picked up quite a bad reputation in the media. Although most of what has been said about these pups is wrong and misinformed, they can be incredibly naughty. 

If you decide to welcome a Bull Terrier into your home, be prepared for a constant war against stubbornness and disobedience. These dogs are pretty motivated and very wilful. 

They’re headstrong and don’t like to be told what to do. Like the Bulldog, they do what they want when they want to. However, their reputation is undeserved. They’re not aggressive and destructive. 

They’re just very stubborn, but Bull Terriers are little sweethearts underneath. Be sure to have a lot of chew toys around to keep them occupied when they need control over something.

8. Cane Corso


Photo by Shubham Sharan on Unsplash

The Cane Corso is a large and robust dog breed that genuinely believes they’re the house’s boss and the pack’s alpha. They have a very protective nature and can be quite hard to control. You must set boundaries early on with these dogs. 

They need to know that you’re in charge, and they need to listen to you. Otherwise, they might rule the roost and do what they want. If boundaries are set well, and they’re trained early, these pups make excellent guard dogs and have a loyal and loving nature.

You might enjoy reading my articles on Cane Corso male vs femaleCane Corso vs Great DaneCane Corso vs German ShepherdBullmastiff Cane Corso MixCane Corso Pitbull MixCane Corso Bulldog Mix and Cane Corso Great Dane Mix. 

9. Chow-Chow


Photo by Moujib Aghrout on Unsplash

Chow-Chows are tiny bears who come across as well-mannered and easygoing at first. They seem very cuddly and adorable. However, many don’t know how difficult Chow-Chows can be. 

They’re incredibly stubborn dogs. You need to start training them from a young age, or else you will end up with a pup who goes against your rules for the fun of it. 

If you get an older Chow-Chow, it might be tough to train them and get them to follow your rules. An expert trainer should be able to do wonders with your pup. 

You might enjoy reading my article on the Chow Chow Husky.

10. Cocker Spaniel


Photo by Stainless Images on Unsplash

Cocker Spaniels are very happy, affectionate, and playful pups. These dogs are pretty popular because of their loyalty and sweet personalities. 

However, they do tend to develop some bad manners easily. Cocker Spaniels have neurotic characters, which can make them incredibly nasty. 

Their paranoia can cause them to lash out at people and other animals they perceive as threats. Of course, this means having a Cocker Spaniel in your home can be dangerous. 

However, if you get them into therapy and training school early on, they should be fine, and their sweet personalities will shine again.

You might enjoy reading my articles on the most dramatic dog breedsdog breeds that whine a lot and all about the Shepadoodle.

11. Dachshund


Photo by Erda Estremera on Unsplash

Dachshunds are known for being tiny pups with big personalities. They are incredibly charming and have unique physical characteristics, with their low walk and extended bodies. However, these wiener dogs can have a stubborn streak and tend to be incredibly mischievous. 

If you leave them unattended for a while, you might find them chewing through one of your cables. However, they’re not inherently bad dogs – this behavior usually pops up because they’re bored. 

12. Dalmatian


Photo by Karolína Maršálková on Unsplash

Dalmatians may seem like spotted angels at first. But they’re incredibly high-energy dogs. They do make great companions and are an excellent family dog breed. But they do need a lot of exercise if you want your belongings in one piece. 

Dalmatians can become destructive and engage in chewing behaviors when bored and unstimulated. They can also start digging holes in your yard. This spotted dog breed needs space to run, many walks, and playtime to keep them happy, healthy, and well-behaved.

13. English Springer Spaniel


Photo by Rafaëlla Waasdorp on Unsplash

English Springer Spaniels are family pets with a dedicated and friendly personality. However, these adorable pups are on the naughty list due to their hunting instinct. They were bred to hunt, meaning birds and other small animals in your yard are in danger. 

They also like to dig holes and get into things like your garbage or kid’s toy boxes. If you take these pups on a walk, their high prey drive might get them into some hot water, especially if you’re walking in an area with many animals.

14. German Shepherd


Photo by Anna Dudkova on Unsplash

German Shepherds are known as the police of the dog world, so you wouldn’t expect them to be badly behaved. However, their intelligence means they need a lot of training and stimulation, or they’ll use it to bend the rules and get into mischief. 

They’re also high-energy and require a lot of exercise, so daily walks are necessary. With a lot of training and exercise, these pups make great family dogs and get along well with children. They’re protective and will be your loyal companion for life.

15. Golden Retriever


Photo by Enis Yavuz on Unsplash

Golden Retrievers are adorable. They love to go for walks, nap on the couch or indulge in a game of fetch or Frisbee. These intelligent pups are very playful and loyal. However, when Goldies get bored, they can have some bad mannerisms. 

They love to chew through things like shoes or even carpets. These pups also love to steal things and have you chase them to get them back like it’s a game. 

This game is not so fun when they have your underwear in their mouths for the entire house to see. Luckily, this behavior can easily be fixed by giving them chew toys and taking them on long walks.

You might enjoy reading my article about dog breeds with low separation anxiety.

16. Jack Russell Terrier


Photo by Valeria Dubych on Unsplash

Jack Russell Terriers are a member of the terrier family (it’s in the name). This means that these pups have boundless energy. They can indulge in destructive behaviors if this energy isn’t taken care of. These include incessant barking, chewing behaviors, and even aggression. 

Jack Russell Terriers also do not like being left alone, which can result in them bringing the whole house down into pieces. They may be tiny, but they’re mighty. These pups need to be trained well and require a lot of stimulation to get rid of their energy and keep them well-behaved.

17. Labrador


Photo by Daniel Joshua on Unsplash

Labradors are the equally adorable cousins of the Golden Retriever. Labs are so cute when they pull puppy eyes on you that they can do so well. So don’t be fooled by their charming looks. These pups aren’t always well-behaved and sweet, but they’re brilliant and have a lot of energy. 

If you don’t take them on walks or have enough toys to keep them busy, you might come home to your bedding in a million pieces all over the house. The kicker is that your Labrador Retriever will be sitting on the couch, looking at you as if to say, “What’s the problem?” Like Golden Retrievers, Lab’s bad behaviors only come out when bored.

18. Rottweiler


Photo by Joel Moysuh on Unsplash

Rottweilers are large and intimidating. Although they appear to be aggressive-looking dogs, they can be super affectionate. The thing is, they are also very stubborn and need to have a strong leader, or they’ll end up taking control of you. 

Rotties need an alpha to show them the way. They can get excited and jump on people, so you need a firm hand and a strong leash. Taking your Rottie on a walk is a great way to keep their energy levels down.

19. Shar Pei


Photo by Tiago Vasconcelos on Unsplash

The Shar Pei is a weird-looking dog with wrinkles and a broad muzzle. This Chinese dog might seem like an adorably ugly dog breed at first. But, they are very anxious and distrustful of strangers and other animals. You cannot have a Shar Pei in your home if you have other pets or people constantly coming in and out. 

They can also get bored easily if they don’t have enough mental stimulation. Shar Peis need a lot of toys to keep them busy, so it’s worth investing in some interactive puzzle toys for them.

20. Saint Bernard


Photo by JJ Shev on Unsplash

Saint Bernards are adorable pups known as gentle giants, and that’s for a reason. They’re a friendly dog breed and very loving pets. However, they still come with challenges. These pups need a lot of mental stimulation, or your socks and underwear might suffer. 

Once they get bored, Saint Bernards will start chewing and destroying things. They can also be stubborn and refuse to listen to you, so training is essential. Luckily, as long as you keep these big pups entertained and take them on walks, they’re easy to handle and will be a loving family pet.

21. Siberian Husky


Photo by Ayush Madikunt on Unsplash

Siberian Huskies are fast sled dogs with a high energy level. These pups will keep you on your toes at all times. They need plenty of exercise, and we mean plenty. One walk a day isn’t going to cut it with Huskies. 

If they’re not entertained, they will start pulling out their Harry Houdini tricks, jumping fences, and digging out of yards. Luckily, they’re not destructive dogs. They just want to be out in the open to run. 

22. Tibetan Mastiff


Photo by Grisha Grishkoff on Pexels

Tibetan Mastiffs are very loyal and affectionate dogs. This bear-look-alike dog breed is in the same family as the Bull Mastiff and was bred as a watchdog. They’re incredibly independent and intelligent, making them wary of strangers. 

They can also be stubborn and like to do what they want when they want. If they’re bored enough, you might catch them somewhere in the house causing mischief to your socks or sofa. However, if you take care of these bears, they will take care of you.

23. Weimaraner


Photo by freddie marriage on Unsplash

Weimaraners will steal your heart with their beautiful blue eyes. However, there’s mischief in those eyes if you look close enough. 

This pup can be a handful and very difficult to housetrain. These powerful dogs still have their chase instinct and will chase small pets and animals like squirrels and birds. 

Weimaraners also struggle with separation anxiety, which can cause these behaviors to get worse. This breed needs early socialization and lots of exercise. They love to run, so taking them on a jog with you is a great idea to bond.

24. Japanese Spitz

The Japanese Spitz, with its cloud-like fur and sparkling eyes, might look like a little angel, but don’t be fooled! These fluffs can be quite the mischief-makers. Known for their intelligence and playful nature, they sometimes channel their smarts into naughty antics.

Japanese Spitz dog
Japanese Spitz dog

From chewing shoes with gusto to artfully dodging bath time, they’re masters of mayhem. They’ve got a vocal opinion on everything, often expressed through persistent barking. Their boundless energy can turn a quiet home into a frenzied playground.

Final Thoughts on Naughty Doggies

Even though this list of dogs might not make it onto Santa’s nice list. These pups can still be an excellent addition to your home and your family with proper training and patience. There really is no such thing as the worst dog breeds, it is more about a bad owner.

However, if you don’t have the time to dedicate to your pup, one of these low-maintenance dog breeds might be better suited for you.

This article does contain affiliate links. That means if you click through on some of the links in this article and end up making a purchase, I may receive a small commission. It won’t affect the price that you pay. Just wanted to let you know.

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