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6 Dog Breeds Veterinarians Hate Having to Treat

Some dogs make office visits that much more difficult.

Veterinarians are professionals, which doesn't just mean they know how to treat your four-legged friends, from routine check-ups to more complicated diagnoses. It also means they are prepared for just about any kind of dog to walk through the door—but they may not always be thrilled about it. While every dog is different, and personalities vary wildly even within the same breed, there are certain dogs that vets say make office visits that much trickier. Read on for the six dog breeds vets hate having to treat.

RELATED: I'm a Dog Trainer and I'd Never Own These 5 Breeds "Unless My Life Depended on It."

Siberian Husky

Husky at the vet

Huskies are not a favorite among vets when they come in for treatment. In a Nov. 2023 TikTok, @ajanimalking, a future veterinarian, said that Huskies are one breed "we hate to see at the vet."

"[Huskies are] great dogs until you look at them wrong or barely even touch them," @ajanimalking says in the video, playing a soundbite of a Husky's howl. "All of a sudden, eardrums gone."

Sara Ball, a longtime vet tech and rescue worker, also cited Huskies as a bit difficult in a Quora thread.

"Huskies, with rare exceptions, don't get enough exercise to burn off their excess energy," Ball wrote. "This makes them very, very hard to deal with in a clinic setting."

RELATED: 8 Dog Breeds With the Worst Health Problems, Vet Tech Warns.

Chow Chow

chow chow at the vet
135pixels / Shutterstock

Chow Chows are among vets' least favorite patients, too. On Quora, small animal veterinarian Rai Khalsa noted that Chows are "unequivocally adorable as puppies," but when they grow up, they can be a little unruly.

"This is a breed to whom playing nice doesn't come naturally—with people or with other dogs," Khalsa wrote, noting that Chows are also prone to biting.

Ball puts Chows at the top of her list—but she notes they're defensive for a reason.

"Every [Chow] I've ever dealt with as a tech has tried to take my face off. I was almost gutted by one when I tried to take his muzzle off," Ball wrote. "I don't really think they're a bad breed; they've been bred for thousands of years to be guard dogs. We're poking them with needles, invading their personal space, and usually separating them from their owner (for at least a few minutes). You can't be surprised when their breeding tells them they should react in a guarding manner."

RELATED: I'm a Veterinarian and These Are the Top 5 Neediest Dog Breeds.

Shiba Inu

shiba inu being treated at the vet
thirawatana phaisalratana / Shutterstock

In his TikTok video, @ajanimalking says that Shiba Inus are also unpopular at the vet.

"They're cute until they start peeing and pooping on everything," he says. "I'm telling you, you're working on the floor, doing a nail trim, you got poop on your face, you got pee on the floor—it's the worst thing ever."

Quora user Diana Hannah, a former vet tech with a degree in animal behavior, agrees that Shiba Inus are tough to treat, but for different reasons.

"Shibas are rarely properly socialized for their breed requirements. They are extremely dominant (usually over their extremely passive owners) and don't like being contained," Hannah wrote. "They are so vocal and frankly the screaming just bugs."

German Shepherd

german shepherd at the vet
Beach Creatives / Shutterstock

According to @ajanimalking, while some breeds are troublesome, German Shepherds are "the worst of all" at the vet.

"Man's best friend turned man's worst enemy. How, you wonder? Switch up faster than Anakin [Skywalker] … dark side, right away," he says. "And they're not nice. They're fear aggressive, so when they're scared, those big teeth, they come out."

German Shepherds are also among Khalsa's least favorite to treat, mostly because they're difficult to "read."

"I love these guys—when they're steady-natured and well adjusted. Sadly, that's not always the case," Khalsa wrote on Quora. "The thing that makes these big guys so challenging is that they're virtually impossible for me to read. Most dogs give you clear indications in their body language about how they're feeling about you and about the situation they find themselves in when they need veterinary care."

RELATED: 10 Best Dog Breeds to Own If You're Over 55, Veterinarian Says.


chihuahua getting nails clipped at the vet
Hanna Bukrieieva / Shutterstock

Chihuahuas have earned a spot on the list as well.

On Quora, licensed veterinary technician (LVT) Alex Ross identified these small dogs as "the most commonly aggressive breed and more likely to bite from my experience."

"I have seen many vet tech and assistants bitten anywhere from the face to the hands," Ross wrote. "I've been bitten by two and gone to the ER with a friend coworker who was missing part of his upper lip because he was reaching to take a Chihuahua out of their kennel."

Much like other small breeds—think Dachshunds and Pomeranians—Chihuahuas can become aggressive as a defense mechanism or due to a lack of training, according to former associate veterinarian Kandace Henry.

"These little guys are worried and often defensive and are frequently not taught manners," Henry wrote on Quora. "Since they are so little their transgressions are not taken seriously." This can be even more problematic when owners are overly protective and anxious, worsening reactivity.


vet examining shar-pei
VP Photo Studio / Shutterstock

Shar-Peis round out this list, as vets don't always know what they're going to get.

"They're unpredictable and really hard to read," Della Kidd, a veterinary nurse, wrote on Quora.

They are also known to have some behavioral problems. In a July 2023 TikTok video, vet tech student Sierra Towers said that she would never own a Shar-Pei because of this, noting that they can have a certain "aggressiveness."

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Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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