Dubious Dog Rankings

Dogs are judged in numerous ways. Tallest. Fastest. Most expensive. Most obedient. These are all solid, familiar metrics. However, there are more important things to look at, as this list, culled from personal experience, research and opinions expressed on social media, will show.


There is no scientific test for dog stinkiness that I am aware of; however, there is more of a consensus on this one than you’d think. Dogs that are prone to skin problems, like Shar-peis, Bassets, and Bloodhounds, can develop smelly infections. Many hounds are gassy, too. And personal experience has taught me that beagles in particular love to roll in vile stuff.

  1. Basset (Flatulence, skin issues, rolling in stuff)
  2. Beagle (Flatulence, rolling in stuff, eating non-food)
  3. Shar-pei (Major skin issues)
  4. English bulldog (Skin issues, flatulence)
  5. Bloodhound (Flatulence, skin issues)


This category, compiled from a German study, refers to dogs whose need for attention has a degree of desperation. It’s often accompanied by nervous behaviors, and sometimes is a sign of separation anxiety.

  1. Mixed breed dogs
  2. Cocker Spaniels — Why exactly Cockers are prone to clinginess is a bit of mystery to me, considering that I’ve known a lot of them who were aloof little curmudgeons. Then again, I wasn’t their human, either, so maybe that’s the difference.
  3. (tie) German Shepherds, Border Collies and Australian Shepherds — Dogs that need a job can become neurotic and anxious if they aren’t given enough to do.

Most Destructive

Wow, this list, culled from a UK survey, was a surprise to me. I would have had husky right at the top (in reality the breed is in the top 10). I’m not surprised about dachshunds, because they are very purposeful, and Dalmatians, who aren’t great at self-soothing.

  1. Chihuahuas
  2. Dachshund
  3. Boxer
  4. Dalmatian
  5. Bulldog

Most Hyper

This list was compiled from a survey of veterinarians and is fairly consistent with what I’ve found. The only surprise for me was Boston Terrier, but I haven’t been fortunate enough to know many of those, so it might be true.

  1. Jack Russell Terrier
  2. Border Collie
  3. Australian Shepherd
  4. Boston Terrier
  5. Australian Cattle Dog

Loudest Barks

  1. Bloodhounds
  2. Beagles
  3. German Shepherds
  4. Bassets
  5. Pomeranians

Most Vocal

These are the dog breeds with the most to say. Note that this is a list of the dogs who bark most frequently, NOT those who bark the loudest.

  1. Chihuahuas
  2. Cairn Terrier
  3. German Shepherd Dog
  4. Miniature Schnauzer
  5. Scottish Terrier

Least Obedient

Some people might call this category Stupidest Dogs, but I reject that. Just because a dog doesn’t do what you say doesn’t make him stupid. It makes him independent.

  1. Afghan Hound
  2. Basenji
  3. Bulldog
  4. Chow Chow
  5. Borzoi

So, anyone who saw these lists would think that Beagles, Bassets, Bloodhounds, and Chihuahuas should be avoided at all costs. Obviously, that’s not accurate, any more than these lists are scientific. In fact, I consider it a badge of pride to have owned and fostered so many of these “Worst in Class” dogs.


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Moretta is a caring nurturer, a member of several 12-step programs, but not a licensed therapist. Her Twitter is

3 thoughts on “Dubious Dog Rankings”

  1. RE: Cockers and Not Being Their Person

    That’s exactly it. Cocker Spaniels are independent curmudgeons who want to have their people on demand. That does not mean they want to be right next to them all the time. It means that they want to know their whimsical demands can always be met. Usually those demands are: “2 minutes and 30 seconds of your complete attention. No more, or I’ll pretend to bite you.” “No one has fed in me in exactly 12 hours and I know that it’s time. Chop chop.” “Play time. I will now drop my toys on your head until you acquiesce.” “We must all sleep now. It’s time for rest. I’m going to go make my bed and then you may show up and claim whatever space is left.”

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