Dog trainer shares the two breed that are the worst behaved

Dog trainer names the two worst-behaved breeds he has ever worked with – and one of them is his favourite

  • Canine behaviourist reveals the worst behaved breeds
  • Will Atherton is a dog trainer from the UK
  • He said he sees Cocker Spaniels and Cane Corsos most often

A canine behaviourist has revealed the two dog breeds he sees most frequently in his line of work. 

Will Atherton, from the UK, said the Cocker Spaniel and Cane Corso can develop hard-to-manage behaviours as they are often adopted for the ‘wrong reasons’ in a viral TikTok clip. 

He said Cocker Spaniels are from a ‘working’ line but pet owners adopt them to be ‘couch potatoes’ or ‘Instagram dogs’ without realising how much training they need. 

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Canine behaviourist Will Atherton (pictured), from the UK, has spilled on which dog breeds he thinks are the worst behaved 

Will put the Cocker Spaniel (pictured) at number one because pet owners buy them to be ‘couch potatoes’ or ‘Instagram dogs’ without realising how much training they need

‘As a canine behaviourist, I specialise in working with dogs when things go terribly wrong,’ Will said in the video. 

‘Because of that I see the same breeds cropping up over and over again, displaying the same kinds of negative behaviours.’ 

He said ‘working line cocker spaniels’ are the most mischievous pooches and the ‘number one breed people get for the wrong reasons’. 

The worst behaved dog breeds I’ve ever worked with #fyp #dogbreeds #behavedog

The other dog Will sees most often is the Cane Corso (pictured) who he says needs time, dedication and experience to train

‘They bring this dog that is bred to do a job and work in the field all day and expect it to be a couch potato, Instagram dog,’ Will explained. 

‘Because of that they display reactivity, barking, pulling, resource guarding and terrible recall.’

The other dog Will sees most often is the Cane Corso which is an Italian mastiff and what he calls one of his ‘personal favourite dog breeds on the planet’. 

‘Again, people get them for the wrong reason without the time, dedication or experience required that lead them to have bad reputation of aggressive reactive dogs,’ he said. 

Top ten most popular dog breeds in Australia 

1. Cavoodle

2. Labrador Retriever

3. Greyhound

4. Border Collie

5. Golden Retriever

6. Goldendoodle

7. Labradoodle

8. German Shepherd

9. English Staffordshire Bull Terrier

10. French Bulldog

Source: Scratch 

Research recently revealed which dog breed is the smartest and two of Australia’s most beloved dog breeds scored surprisingly low.

The Border Collie has long been thought of as the smartest dog in the world but a recent study from University of Helsinki in Finland found it is actually the Belgian Shepherd Malinois. 

More than 1,000 dogs from 13 different breeds were put through rigorous intelligence testing with the Labrador coming in ninth and the Golden Retriever taking last place. 

The Belgian Shephard Malinois (pictured) has been found to be the world’s smartest dog breed after a recent study

More than 1,000 dogs from 13 different breeds were put through rigorous intelligence testing with the Labrador (pictured) coming in ninth and the Golden Retriever taking last place.

Study author Dr Katriina Tiira told The Telegraph one breed stood out among the rest throughout the testing. 

‘The Belgian Shepherd Malinois stood out in many of the cognitive tasks, having very good results in a majority of the tests,’ she said. 

Top four smartest dog breeds

1. Belgian Shepherd Malinois

2. Border Collie

3. Hovawart

4. Spanish water Dog

Belgian Malinois are popular choices for those looking for a canine to make a good sniffer, guard or police dog but they proved themselves to also be independent, good problem solvers, quick to respond to and good at reading humans. 

Border Collies proved their smarts and performed outstandingly in the tests but the Belgian Shepherd Malinois pipped them at the post.  

Saara Junttila, study author and a PhD researcher in canine cognition at the University of Helsinki, said most breeds studied had their own strengths and weaknesses.

‘For example, the Labrador Retriever was very good at reading human gestures, but not so good at spatial problem-solving ability,’ she said. 

‘Some breeds, such as the Shetland Sheepdog, scored quite evenly in almost all tests, i.e., they had neither very high nor very low scores for any test.’

One of the dogs’ tasks in which they were presented with two food bowls, one full, one empty, to see if they could identify which was empty yielded no results as there was no difference in behaviour between each breed. 

However three tasks which measured a specific aspect of dog cognition were more telling including one where the subjects had to navigate their way around a V-shaped fence.

Border Collies (pictured) proved their smarts and performed outstandingly in the study’s intelligence tests but the Belgian Shepherd Malinois pipped them at the post


Out of a potential 39 points, Hovawarts (left), were a close third behind the Border Collie with 25 points, and the Spanish Water Dog (right) was one point off with 24

Another presented the animals an ‘unsolvable task’ – food placed in a box that couldn’t be opened – to see how quickly they would seek a human for help, determining how independent they were. 

The third measured how the dogs were able to read humans, rating how they responded to five gestures: constant pointing, brief pointing, pointing with the foot, pointing at something while facing another direction and following a gaze. 

The Beligian Malinois came out on top for both the human gestures and the V-shaped fence tasks scoring 35 points out of 39 beating the second-placed Border Collie who scored 26 points.

Hovawarts, which is an old German working breed descended from the Newfoundland and Leonberger, were a close third with 25 points, and the Spanish Water Dog was one point behind with 24. 

The beloved Labrador and Golden Retriever scored well on the gesture test but fell behind on the other two tasks coming in at ninth and 13th respectively. 

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