Canine behaviourist: Dog breeds to never own – West Highland Terrier, Pug and Husky


A canine behaviourist has caused a stir online after he spilled on which dog breeds he would never own. 

Will Atherton, from the UK, said he would never own a West Highland Terrier because of their relentless ‘yapping’, a Pug due to their genetic breathing issues or a Siberian Husky. 

The dog trainer listed the three breeds in a viral video posted to his popular TikTok page and left some pet owners up in arms with his choices.

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Canine behaviourist Will Atherton  (pictured) has named the three dog breeds he would never own himself

Canine behaviourist Will Atherton  (pictured) has named the three dog breeds he would never own himself 

Number one on the dog trainer's list is the West Highland Terrier (pictured) which Will said bark and yap too much

Number one on the dog trainer’s list is the West Highland Terrier (pictured) which Will said bark and yap too much

The number one pooch Will said he could never live with day to day was the West Highland Terrier.

‘Frankly the barking and yapping is just something that would drive me mad,’ he said.

‘Yes, there are things that you can do to minimise it but I’ve found that you can never truly remove it.’

Will said while Pugs have loveable personalities he could never own one because their brachycephalic or short-nosed facial structure often cause breathing difficulties

Will said while Pugs have loveable personalities he could never own one because their brachycephalic or short-nosed facial structure often cause breathing difficulties 

'Every single one I've worked with it breaks my heart to see how much they struggle with breathing and just living and that is not something I would want to live with day to day,' he said

‘Every single one I’ve worked with it breaks my heart to see how much they struggle with breathing and just living and that is not something I would want to live with day to day,’ he said 

Will said while Pugs have loveable personalities he could never own one because their brachycephalic or short-nosed facial structure often cause breathing difficulties.  

‘They are cheeky chappies, their character is full of personality,’ he explained. 

‘But every single one I’ve worked with it breaks my heart to see how much they struggle with breathing and just living and that is not something I would want to live with day to day.’

The last breed on Will’s list of dogs he would never own is the Siberian Husky however he offered no explanation. 

In a previous clip, he said Siberian Husky owners should be ‘very very careful’ about letting them off leash in a public space as they have ‘terrible recall’. 

‘Incredible wanderlust, want to run, not engaged with a handler, difficult to train, all combined, makes them a nightmare to train recall with,’ he said. 

In the clip’s comments, owners weren’t happy with Will inclusion of their beloved breeds on his no-go list. 

The last breed on Will's list of dogs he would never own is the Siberian Husky as they are a 'nightmare' to train and have terrible recall

The last breed on Will’s list of dogs he would never own is the Siberian Husky as they are a ‘nightmare’ to train and have terrible recall 

‘Stop hating on the husky. Best family dog I’ve ever had. Yes, a little cat-like but a fantastic dog with so much personality,’ one animal lover said.  

‘I have a 20-month-old husky, she is the best and very well trained love her to bits,’ a second agreed. 

‘My Westie was the best dog ever. Not a barker either,’ a third wrote while another said: ‘Loved my pug! He lived until 11 and never had any breathing issues’. 

But not everyone disagreed with one viewer replying: ‘As a Siberian Husky owner they are definitely not for everyone, I love mine to death, but I will not be getting another’. 

‘I own a husky never will I own another, they love to escape, love not listening, loves howling at 3am,’ said another. 

Previously, he revealed the worst-behaved dogs he's seen during his time as a trainer with the Cocker Spaniel coming in at number one

Previously, he revealed the worst-behaved dogs he’s seen during his time as a trainer with the Cocker Spaniel coming in at number one 

This isn’t the first time Will has shared his opinions on dog breeds. 

Previously, he revealed the worst-behaved dogs he’s seen during his time as a trainer with the Cocker Spaniel coming in at number one. 

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. 

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

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

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

‘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’. 

‘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. 

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

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

‘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

 



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