Some of the breeds on this list love digging and may ruin your perfect garden, while others bark with no end. We’ve rounded up another litter of pups that you may want to avoid adopting, according to veterinarians.
It might be impossible to believe but these dogs were originally bred to be indoor monastery-sentinel dogs by Tibetan Buddhist monks. Yes, these tiny dogs are not scared off easily. If these dogs are left untrained, they can turn into aggressive little monsters.
Highly suspicious towards strangers, they are eager to express their dissatisfaction with their owners. They can also be very stubborn and have been seen to lie flat on the floor without moving when they are not in the mood for walking.
Essentially a popular companion dog, the Shiba still has a predatory instinct as it was bred as a hunting dog. The dogs do not take kindly to provocation and can show aggression, but above all, when expressing emotion, these dogs emit what is labeled as the "Shiba scream." This high pitched scream can ward off unwanted guests and can also serve as a strong warning sign for mishandling.
The Shiba is Japanese (it is a Japanese breed!) for Brushwood, which is a type of shrub or bush that turns red in the fall. Many people believe that is what was kept in mind when naming the dog. On the other hand, in Nagano, an ancient Japanese dialect, Shiba also means small. Either way, this "Little Brushwood Dog" packs a punch.
This is Japanese hunting dog has been described as extremely courageous. They have powerful predatory instincts and can often be spotted hunting smaller animals. They were originally bred for boar and deer hunting.
If these dogs are not socialized well, they can easily become quite combative, but with the necessary training, they are devoted and protective dogs. If you end up adopting one, be wary when they meet strangers.
This dog is not for the faint of heart. Beaucerons are robust and muscular dogs with a strong presence. Reaching as high as 27 inches at the shoulder, these dogs can do quite a bit of harm. The American Kennel Club has described these dogs as "well-chiseled," with dark brown eyes that "project an expression breed fanciers describe as frank and confident."
It is important to stay dominant with these dogs as they can very easily dominate a weaker owner. It is good to note, however, that once these dogs are disciplined, they are excellent with the smaller and defenseless.
This is no easy breed and is not exactly ideal for the new dog owners! These dogs lean towards the stubborn side and need quite a lot of attention. For owners who do spend their efforts on teaching this kind of dog the appropriate behavior, the reward has an incredibly loyal pet.
It's important to remember that these dogs love a job. Without it, they can get aggressive. They are amazingly creative worker dogs with high levels of energy. Hovawarts are wonderful for search and rescue organizations, therapeutic activities, obedience trials, agility trials, flyball, and also make great service dogs.
Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog
Belonging to the LGD group - Livestock Guarding Dog, these dogs are incredibly reliable and loyal to their owners. While these are great qualities, they are accompanied by more aggressive traits. Fiercely protective, these dogs can easily mistrust strangers very.
It's because of its temperament that these dogs get basic training and a strong sense of discipline instilled in them. Their high energy requires them to be walked daily. These dogs need large spaces to roam free and a lot of exercise.
The Thai Ridgeback, with its sleek and athletic build, can be formidable hunters and guard dogs. Without an experienced dog owner, these dogs can get out of hand pretty quickly. They require a great deal of assertiveness and patience. Consistency is key.
The Ridgeback thrives on independence and self-sufficiency. They are naturally inclined to hunt for their own food and are highly intelligent. It's safe to say that this breed is no lap dog, so if you're looking for a pettable pooch, look elsewhere.
This strong and sturdy dog comes from the family of Belgian herders, and this one is the rarest. One of the most distinguishing things about this dog is the blackening around the nose, which indicates a sharp and keen sense of observation. These dogs are pretty fierce watchdogs with their protective nature.
The Laekenois takes a while to warm up to strangers but becomes friendly with passing time. If If you adopt a Laekonis, be sure to keep it active; otherwise, it can get grouchy.
Korean Jindo Dog
Bred on Jindo Island in Korea, the Jindo is a hunting dog that’s well known for its bravery and loyalty. Of course, hunting dog instincts mixed with bravery make a particularly nasty dog, especially if it isn’t trained properly.
Like most breeds of primitive dogs, the Jindo is quite stubborn, which means it can be hard to train. Inexperienced trainers may find that the Jindo is more than they can handle. Because of this, most of these dogs are left untrained, unpredictable, and aggressive.
The Gull Terrier is a popular but rare Pakistani breed of dog. It’s most well known for being one half of the Gull Dong, but the Gull Terrier is dangerous all on its own. Please be aware that this breed is not for the beginner dog owner.
They’re extremely aggressive, which is why they were used alongside the Bully Kutta in order to breed the popular Pakistani guard dog, the Gull Dong. These particular dogs, like other Terrier breeds, should always be watched around small animals and children.
Russian Black Terrier
The Russian Black Terrier has a particularly gruesome past. This is a fairly new breed of dog, having been bred in the 1920s. Another fact is that they hardly shed, which is good for those who suffer from allergies. As far as research shows, the Russian Black Terrier is apparently the only dog that has ever been bred specifically to hunt humans.
It was bred in the former Soviet Union as a dog specifically used to keep prison camp detainees in line. Now, the Russian Black Terrier makes a particularly stunning guard dog, though it’s dangerous past should always be kept in mind.
Mostly popular in Pakistan, the Bully Kutta is also known as the Indian Mastiff. Like many Mastiffs, Bully Kutta is used as a protection dog. They surely are an intimidating breed.
Their size, strength, and trained aggression have made the Bully Kutta one of the most popular watchdog breeds in all of Pakistan. This dog is often warned against being left alone with small animals and children. Its protective drive may work well for protecting territory and adult humans, but there’s always a margin for error.
Dogue De Bordeaux
Otherwise known as the French Mastiff, the Dogue de Bordeaux is a working dog that was originally bred in the Bordeaux region of France. These dogs were mostly used as working dogs, as their size, strength, and intelligence make them easy to train to do work around the farm.
They need to stay physically fit, so daily walks and plenty of activity is a must. This breed is generally friendly with proper socialization skills at an early age. With that being said, they are banned in certain areas and are not covered in homeowner’s insurance policies.
The Moscow Watchdog
This particular breed of dog is a cross between another well-known and aggressive breed of dogs. The Moscow Watchdog is a cross between a Saint Bernard, Caucasian Ovcharka, and a Caucasian Shepherd. They truly are massive and beautiful to look at.
These dogs were first bred in the Soviet Union, specifically designed to be military dogs fit for protection. These dogs were bred to serve and protect their owners, and because of that, they have a particularly high rate of aggression, which can be dangerous to those who are not experienced, dog owners.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
This dog may be easily confused with a Pitbull as they share some of the same physical characteristics. Unfortunately, these dogs, like the Pitbull, and many others are bred for fighting purposes.
If you’re in the market to adopt one of these Terriers, it is not recommended that you bring them into a home with small children or other pets as their temperament is very unpredictable. This breed is also known to be very energetic, so they will need to get plenty of exercises.
If you’re looking for a reliable guard dog, this breed will be right up your alley. In Tibet, these dogs would be chained to a pole at as early as two months only in order to make them aggressive. They would then be used to guard an entire village.
These dogs become very attached to their owners and the ones they love. They guard them with their life. This breed is recommended for experienced dog owners only who can put the time into giving them the proper training.
These dogs are also known as the Pakistani Bull Dog. They are mostly bred in Pakistan and are usually adopted because homeowners believe they will guard their homes. This breed is the perfect guard dog; however, they are not the ideal family pet.
They are very suspicious of strangers and can become very aggressive when protecting their home base. The Gull Dong would be well suited on a farm or in some type of working atmosphere as they need to keep themselves stimulated.
A wolf hybrid is a dog that has been bred with a wolf. Research has been done, and nothing has proved that more socialization and proper training would make them better house pets.
However, there are some wolf hybrids that can be docile and have good temperaments. But there is a higher percentage of these dogs that are prone to attacking people and other animals. More often than not, people will need to obtain certain certifications to own this type of breed.
The American Bandogge is a mix between a Neapolitan Mastiff and a Pit Bull Terrier. They having something called British canine temperament, which means they have a high stimulus threshold and pack mentality.
If these dogs are raised and trained properly, they are more than trustworthy with children, something like a babysitter. On the flip side, this dog is often bred for fighting purposes, which will make them highly aggressive.
The American Bulldog is a breed that is known to be courageous and fearless. They can be aggressive at times when they feel they are being threatened.
Surprisingly, this breed is very friendly and sociable even though they were initially meant for hunting large animals such as bears. Because of their muscular build and confident, headstrong nature, the American Bulldog may be difficult to train and can often cause damage if they’re not careful.
The Akita Inu, bred in the mountains of Japan, is a very independent and headstrong breed. They were meant to be hunting dogs, so their hunting instincts are likely to kick while around smaller animals. They aren’t known to attack their owners, but because of their size and power, they’re likely to do some serious damage if they would attack.
It’s important that these dogs are properly trained and socialized; otherwise, they pose a risk to the safety of other people and animals. It’s common knowledge that if a dog isn’t trained correctly, it can become aggressive and hurt people when they become out of control. It is not recommended that you let these dogs roam free out in the open where it has access to strangers and other animals.
The Japanese Tosa was originally bred to hunt large animals such as wild boar and puma. They were also bred for dogfighting in Asia. Because of their dogfighting tendencies, they are banned in Australia, Cyprus, Denmark, Iceland, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, and Turkey.
If these dogs are not properly trained at a young age, they can turn on their owners in a second's time. It is not recommended that first-time dog owners get this type of dog. They are meant for experienced owners only.
Though The Alaskan Malamute and the Malamute are different breeds together, there are many similarities between the two. They are both very active and strong dogs.
If you don't properly train your Alaskan Malamute or get enough exercise, it may become bored and get aggressive.
This breed looks very similar to the Siberian Husky. However, they are larger and are typically more dangerous by nature. They weigh between 75-100 pounds and are 23-25 inches in height. Originally, they were bred for sled use. These dogs need proper exercise and a lot of room to roam free. If not, they are known to destroy their owner’s property.
They don’t get along well with other dogs, even if they are of the same breed. Fights often will often occur with these dogs. These dogs can also become very possessive of their food and become extremely aggressive if you try to get close to their meal.
The Boxer is from Germany and is a very strong breed. They can weigh anywhere between 50-70lbs. They are known to be energetic and playful, which labeled them as being hard to train. By nature, this breed is not typically violent or aggressive.
If you saw them walking on the street, they do appear unfriendly even though that is most likely not the case. However, don’t mistake this typically friendly dog as never being aggressive because they can attack at any time under certain circumstances. Not anticipating your dog's next move may make it difficult with young kids around.
It’s nearly impossible to resist their sweet charming nature or even their soft fur. However, Pomeranians will find their owner, absolutely irresistible too, and if you’re not prepared for it to blend with your lifestyle, it could get problematic. These dogs can be difficult to train and they need to learn socialization or they may become shy or aggressive.
They are also a barking breed, and they can become annoying. Training to be quiet on command is important and Pomeranians will do well with firm and consistent training.
American English Coonhound
This breed requires comes with some of the most vigorous exercise requirements of them all. They’re prone to jumping and rowdiness, and they’ll become very destructive when bored. Leave this dog alone for a while and you may come home to chewed-up furniture and shoes.
They can easily become distracted, which can make training and controlling them in public, or even just around family members, a bit of a chore.
The Komondor is deceptively small, cute, and cuddly as a puppy. Many have adopted one of these, only to find out that raising them requires very careful planning and consideration. They grow to gigantic proportions, and can easily overpower the owner if they decide to be disobedient.
Their long locks of hair, which add to their unique appearance, can also prove to be challenging, if not groomed on a very regular basis, this breed will wind up being an uncomfortable mess of matted hair and even run the risk of insect infestation.
They are one of the feistiest small to medium-sized dogs around. This dog breed tends to pack a lot of attitude into their small bodies. As one of the most independent and self-willed breeds of all the terriers, training and maintaining control of a Skye Terrier can prove to be a very difficult challenge, especially when they’re young pups.
They tend to have a generally aggressive demeanor towards any other animals, with an instinct to chase anything that moves.
The Pharaoh Hound is an athletic breed whose name derives from its appearance, which resembles that of ancient Egyptian sculptures. As a breed whose exceptional at jumping, which means you should have a high fence to prevent them from leaping out of the yard and wandering off.
They have a very strong instinct to chase other living creatures, and must have a large yard to provide plenty of space for frolicking.
This little fox-like dog is pretty fierce for its size, their sharp ears make this dog very alert. Finkies or Fins as they are nicknamed can be an excellent combination of a loving companion and a watchful guard. They are often suspiciously timid towards strangers, which can make it difficult to have newcomers over for dinner.
Finkies are prone to “separation anxiety”, which can lead to destructive behavior and barking when left alone. The Finnish Spitz is also very stubborn and willful, which can make training this breed to be a pain in the rear.
Cesky Terriers were created by crossing a Scottish Terrier with a Sealyham Terrier. The goal was to have a terrier that was suitable for hunting in the Bohemian forests of the Czech Republic. They’re a very excitable and energetic breed, requiring a lot of activity.
Cesky Terriers are also very “needy”, requiring a consistent stream of attention, and can become completely dependent on their human family for any sense of happiness.
Harriers have been humorously been called the “Beagle on steroids”. They’re a very athletic hunting hound, and as such, favor being active, with a special affinity for exploring outdoors.
Unless raised around other animals from a very young age, Harriers will tend to be aggressive towards any other small pet that it may encounter.
English Foxhounds have been the preferred choice of English fox hunters for hundreds of years, and that's why they are known to be one of the most difficult dog breeds to train.
English Foxhounds often get along well with horses and people but due to their hunting background, they require a lot of exercise as they have a very active demeanor.
Spanish Water Dog
Spanish Water Dogs are a very athletic and high maintenance breed, they need a lot of exercise throughout the day. Originally hailing from Turkey, this breed was imported into Spain to serve as a guard and sheepdog and as such, they are completely loyal.
Without proper exercise and a given task to perform, the Spanish Water Dog will be a very sad pooch and may become destructive as a result.
With a heart as big as the rest of them, these tall doggos were initially bred to hunt wolves and they may have a slight inclination to be aggressive towards other animals. Because of its size, it is important to teach it good leash manners before it gets too big to handle.
Sadly, Irish Wolfhounds suffer from a number of health issues and have a very short lifespan of only five to seven years.
Newfoundlands are gentle giants but they can also be the toughest dogs to own if not well trained early on, as they can easily out-muscle most owners. In addition, Newfoundlands are definitely not a good match for those who want a tidy home as they tend to slobber and also heavily shed twice a year.
Because of their size, they can be destructive without even meaning to – knocking over whatever comes in their path while just being playful.
Labradors may be America’s most popular, but they can be difficult for an inexperienced dog owner to raise properly. Until they reach full maturity, they have a strong urge to chew and can be destructive if left on their own.
And if Labs are not trained properly, they tend to pull their owners while being walked on the leash. Labradors also shed a lot, so expect to find its hair all over your house.
These fascinating dogs have a powerful prey drive, Akitas were originally bred to hunt wild animals, and if not trained properly, they can become aggressive. Akitas can also be very protective of their owner, making them a potential threat to others if they aren't trained properly.
Akitas also have a reputation for being challenging when it comes to raising them.
Their charming personalities can often lead to being a little on the mischievous side but Pugs also want to please their human family, with that being said they may take much longer to be house trained.
They also detest being outside so many try to avoid going outside when it’s cold or rainy. Plus, these little critters rarely show any remorse when they have an “accident” on your floor.
Irish setters have a very high energy level. With their high spirits can make it difficult to train them for long periods. Shorter training sessions are most suitable for these upbeat, yet gentle dogs.
The Irish setter stays a puppy for a long time, this means that an Irish setter will keep their adorable puppy personality for longer than other breeds, which also means more work training him, as well.
Fox Terriers are fearless and have a reasonable amount of energy. Basically they have two moods, either they can be very lazy and want to sleep or they are energy bunnies and have a lot of energy to exert.
Training can be demanding with a fox terrier puppy, as they are known to have a peppery personality.
Bloodhounds are known for their big droop ears and long wrinkled faces, but they're also known for being headstrong, curious, and loving. You can train a bloodhound but as a breed, they are not exactly a star in the obedience ring.
They are wonderfully independent but they are just not very motivated to perform tricks and maneuvers for their own sake, but they might be more obedient if there's a treat involved.
Beagles are very obstinate and easily distracted. Most people automatically take a liking to beagles, but only once they've been trained. Beagles are clever and require a lot more stimulation than most breeds.
Their independent nature also means that obedience doesn't come easy to them but once they have been trained, they make for a loving member of the family.
Basset Hounds may be incredibly adorable but they are also known to be notoriously stubborn, which makes training them quite a challenge. They may be very lovable but their headstrong nature requires a lot of patience.
We have no doubt that adopting a Basset Hound to your home will make for a great addition, but just be prepared for their demanding character.
The Great Dane is an extremely large dog. It holds world records for being the tallest dog. Like the Saint Bernard, it is known as a gentle giant who drools a lot. It’s playful and attentive to children, loves people, and is not overly aggressive. They are known to be dependable and loyal. Great Danes make expert watchdogs.
However, this very large dog needs consistent training, which should start early. Even as a puppy, a Dane can knock over children and small tables. As a grown dog, its tail can clear a coffee table with a single stroke. These dogs grow to 175 pounds. They cannot be carried around the house or easily moved. Contrary to the name, Great Danes were bred in Germany in the 1300s as proficient hunters who were able to take down wild boar.
The Chihuahua was first discovered in 1850 and was named after the Mexican state in which it was found. The diminutive breed is the smallest of all dog breeds, weighing between two to six pounds and standing just inches off the ground. Their bulgy eyes and perky ears define them. But just because it is small doesn’t mean the Chihuahua is innocuous. If it were a larger breed, it would present bigger issues.
Chihuahuas are yappers, nippers, and aggressive. They will courageously go after large dogs with no apparent realization of their smaller size. They are strong-willed, proud, and lively. But they are also affectionate, loving, and a loyal companion. “Small Dog Syndrome” plagues this breed. And, as totally loyal and attached to their human, they go after threats to them, whether real or perceived. Chihuahuas are not good with children. They do not like or trust children and can get snappish.
The Affenpinscher is German for “monkey-like terrier,” and it sure lives up to its name. The inquisitive and busy little guy is also known as “mustachioed devil” in France. The toy-size dog is marked by not just a mustache, but also a beard and bushy eyebrows. At its shoulders is a rough-coat cape. It loves to monkey around and is as playful and mischievous as its appearance suggests.
The Affenpinscher is a barker and a climber. He is not afraid of anything and is a voracious rodent hunter. It will go after big dogs with no regard. This dog makes a stalwart watchdog, but its size prevents any protective service. The Affenpinscher is a loyal family dog but also bold and stubborn. This dog takes vigilant training. Despite its slight size weighing in at barely eight pounds, it will jockey for the pack leader position in your house. Growling, snapping, and biting are your first clue it has taken the lead. Affenpinschers are not good with children, becoming aggressive about toys and territory.
The Shih Tzu is not an outdoor dog, but it is the perfect companion who will share lots of love with you at home in the apartment. They were bred in China for loyalty and as lapdogs. They are playful and fun-loving, and also mischievous. On the other hand, Shih Tzu’s are prone to incessant barking. It’s that familiar high-pitched percussion: Yap! Yap! Yap! House training can be a nightmare unless you plan to replace your floors anyway.
As a brachycephalic, the Shih Tzu is notoriously susceptible to diseases and dental issues. They frequently have respiratory issues that may require surgical treatment. Their round dark eyes are adorable, but bulging eyeballs are at risk for eyeball injury called proptosis, and other eye conditions. There is also a risk for an inherited condition called renal dysplasia.
The Chow Chow has the personality of a cat—aloof, independent, dignified, and sheds like one too. Its Arctic coat makes the Chow Chow a bad fit for mild climates, and its dominant breed-type makes it a bad fit for humans who want to be in charge of this adorable part-teddy bear, part-lion, black-tongued chimera. The unique but vociferous dog is one of the world’s oldest breeds. The ancient breed is believed to have originated from China.
But he won’t make many neighbors happy with a strong tendency to yap. And it will work tirelessly to hold the alpha position of your human household until every human relents. They don’t do well with children or strangers and may become aggressive. If there is an experienced handler in the house, the dog can be nurtured into a well-socialized Chow, but the breed is not recommended for families without a strong, disciplined lead who is familiar with dogs.
Dalmatians were bred to run. Originally, they ran alongside horse-drawn carriages and ultimately were known for running with the fire brigade. So, if you go for a 10-mile jog each morning, that will help. However, it won’t cure its high-strung proclivities. It is one of the most excitable breeds.
This striking white and black-spotted dog with a tall frame, a long tail, and floppy ears can be trained to be a good watchdog, but it’s not easy. Without training, Dalmatians become aggressive and destructive. They are high-maintenance pets who are capable of digging a crater-size hole in your backyard, and they are too excitable to be around small children.
The Great Pyrenees
This breed has the potential to be a devoted pet who is loyal to your family, as well as a competent watchdog. The great Pyrenees tend to be strong-willed and stubborn, however, so a determined training regimen will need to be in place. It does not have the reputation of being an easy dog to live with, but with a strong socializing and training effort at home, he can be a good companion for the whole family.
These dogs are gentle with children and calm inside the house. Outside, this dog will require secure fencing and is not recommended for off-leash walks. Drooling is common. The Great Pyrenees was bred as a flock-guarding dog in the Pyrenees mountains of France and Spain. This background makes the Great Pyrenees a brave and effective guard dog. Its nature is a watchful, protective, and attentive to its family.
The Saint Bernard got its name assisting monks high in the Swiss Alps at the Saint Bernard Hospice. The monks used the dogs for search and rescue missions to track down lost travelers. These dogs saved thousands of lives. With a reputation as a gentle giant, a Saint Bernard doesn’t fall far from the label. They are gentle, friendly, and patient with children.
Dog Breed Info calls them patient, obedient, extremely loyal, eager and willing to please. However, the assessment comes with a warning. “Teach this dog not to jump on humans starting at puppyhood. Bear in mind that an unruly dog of this size presents a problem for even a strong adult if it is to be exercised in public areas on a leash.” A dog of this size is capable of creating a very dangerous situation. It is also prone to heat exhaustion and prefers to stay inside. But watch out! This dog drools profusely and likes to chew up your personal belongings.
A Basenji is a poor choice for a family pet. Owners of the high-strung breed are known to share stories of its mischievous acts of destruction. As an intelligent dog, it knows which of your possessions are held most dear. This breed is smart and independent, with the characteristics of a cat. It’s curious and reserved, inquisitive and clever.
With its perky ears and tightly curled tail, it looks as full of energy as it is. A Basenji cannot bark, but they make plenty of original sounds you have to hear to believe. They howl, shriek and yodel. The Basenji is a primitive breed discovered by Pygmy hunters in the African Congo. Always vigilant, these dogs make great watchdogs, but they must be trained early.
The Bullmastiff is a breed from 1860's England that was used to protect the livestock on large estates from murderous poachers. It’s a brave and powerful dog that weighs up to 130 pounds. This breed is good with children but terrible with other dogs. These dogs will drool, slobber, and snore.
Bullmastiffs are stubborn and require consistent training. On the other hand, the Bullmastiff is a dedicated guard dog with a mild temperament. They are calm and loving. Once this dog is provoked, it is ferocious, true to its breeding. They require full obedience training and to always be leashed. While the Mastiff is a dominant breed, a Bullmastiff is even more so.
The noble Greyhound is an ancient breed from Egypt or Greece. With long legs, an arched back, and a lean aerodynamic physique, this dog was built for speed. Greyhounds are racing dogs, but originally, they were bred by British nobility for hunting fox, deer, and hare. It has a strong prey instinct and is often muzzled—for good reason. Children and small animals may seem like prey to a Greyhound. If you are out on a walk, hang on to the leash! They are extremely fast, the fastest of all dog breeds, and will dart after anything that might be prey.
On the other hand, Greyhounds have a sweet and mild temperament and do not need much exercise. One short walk a day is sufficient, making apartment living surprisingly suitable for this lanky dog. It’s a low-energy breed, a sprinter not an endurance runner, with the nickname “40-mph couch potato.” Cold weather is not the best fit. As a shorthair breed, it is easy to maintain, but a doggy sweater will be necessary for cold days. Also, a high back fence is a must. Six feet high is recommended.
As the representative breed of the K-9 police patrol, German Shepherds are known to be smart and dutiful dogs. However, over at VetStreet, they have some advice. “There’s little he can’t do with the right training, but that’s exactly why he’s not ideal for newbies—it takes quite a bit of training, exercise and dedication to stay ‘smarter’ than he is.” This dog is not recommended for first-time owners, and obedience training should start at an early age.
The breed was developed in Germany, in 1899, for herding livestock - mostly sheep. Soldiers returning from WWII brought German Shepherds home while the beloved Rin Tin Tin became the first movie star dog. Though it was trained as a herding dog, it was also trained for its versatility. It’s a working dog that likes to have a job to do. It is excellent as a rescue dog, guide dog, and police dog, and has excelled at canine sports. And don't forget, German Shepherds need a lot of exercise!
Wolfdogs are less understood than older, traditional breeds. A Wolfdog is a cross between a domestic dog and a wild wolf, but the mix-content is uncertain. There is not a consistency of behavior in dogs of this name. In fact, there is more variation in Wolfdogs than any other dog. What is certain is that this type of dog is legal in fewer than 10 states. In New York, you need to get a “dangerous animal” permit, the same permit needed to keep a lion. Even so, Wolfdogs are sold by breeders for $2,500, despite the fact most pups have no wolf content.
If you get a puppy who has clawed an escape route through the drywall in your house by six months of age, you probably have a true Wolfdog on your hands. A high-content Wolfdog does not make a good guard dog, preferring to hide from strangers. They do not like to be held indoors, they are not interested in pleasing you, and they should never be left alone with small pets and children due to an innate prey instinct. All high-content Wolfdogs need handling as early as 10 days old, as well as consistent socialization.
The Pit Bull is not a breed meant for everybody. They are strong dogs with extremely powerful jaw. If they are socialized and trained properly, these dogs make ideal watchdogs and exceptional family pets. They can be very loving and gentle. Yet, Pit Bulls were bred in 1800s England for the spectator sport of baiting bulls and bears. The blood sport was ruled illegal in 1935, but the equally aggressive blood sport of dogfighting took its place.
Due to breeding, Pit Bulls are aggressive. As one of the most aggressive dog breeds, it will never back down from a fight with another dog. It’s a fight to the death that Pit Bulls rarely lose. A leash is indispensable for Pit Bulls; this powerful canine should be leashed at all times. In dog attacks on humans resulting in severe injuries or death, Pit Bulls are the most frequently sited breed. Another thing to consider is dog owners are legally liable for injuries instigated by their pets.
Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a cheerful, intelligent breed who loves children. It’s one of the widely recognized Swiss mountain dogs. Its thick, long, and silky coat keep him warm in frosty weather. This mountain dog was able to withstand an Alpine climate and worked as a herder or a flock guard.
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a very large and strong breed. This is not too much of a problem since he is such a gentle giant. But one thing you may want to consider before introducing one of these lovers into your home is its lifespan. A Bernese Mountain Dog lives just six to eight years on average. These dogs are susceptible to cancer. Once source from Dog Breed Info said that several of this breed died of cancer between the ages of three and four. One dog as young as two also died from cancer.
Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russel is one tenacious terrier. It digs, barks, jumps and hunts with relentless abandon. The Jack Russell Terrier (JRT) was bred as a hunting dog. Your garden or living room is fair play if your JRT is after prey. Spiders, mice, and other bugs will be hunted to extinction, and your home will be scratched and dug up.
JRT’s tend to fall into behavior problems, like “Small Dog Syndrome”, quite easily. Problems like snapping, separation anxiety, obsessive barking, and guarding may pop up. They are difficult to socialize and need consistent and firm training by an expert trainer. These dogs need a lot of exercise and a high fence. Climbing and jumping over fences is one of its strengths.
As descendants of Bulldogs, Great Danes, and Mastiffs, the Tosa is a very large breed weighing up to 200 pounds. Tosas are not ideal for first-time dog owners. Bred for blood sport, you might not want this creature around your young’uns. In fact, the Tosa is a banned breed across four European nations, including the UK.
To board this type of dog, you’ll need a yard with a fence that is at least 6-feet high. Electronic fences are nothing to a Tosa, the shock will not deter this dog. Standing tall, this breed has the athletic look of a warrior. The Tosa’s history goes back to 14th-century Japanese dogfighting. Named for the Tosa Province on Shikoku Island, the Tosa is vigilant, dignified, calm and courageous. These dogs make excellent guard dogs and caring companions. For training, this eager-to-please breed looks for an abundant supply of positive reinforcement.
The Rottweiler has been a successful police dog, herding dog, military dog, and therapy dog. This breed is highly trainable and very loyal. Rottweilers thrive as work dogs and get bored with nothing to do but chew up your sofa. The Rottweiler’s work ethic stretches back as far as Roman days, when they were likely used as drover dogs. They are named after the location tiles for roofs of Roman baths were sourced, called Rottweil. The dogs may have come from that German town.
Rottweiler’s rank second to Pit Bulls for bite fatalities. Some homeowner insurance policies will not cover your house if you have a Rottweiler, and owners are liable for the damage the dog causes. Rottweiler’s are powerful, large, and extremely protective. At 135 pounds, most of it is muscle, its instinct is to attack a threat. So, you may want to hope it’s not your friend sensed as a threat stopping by. For this reason, it makes a formidable police dog.
The Boerboel, or “farmers dog,” came from South Africa in the 1800s as a protection dog. By 1938, they were used to guard industrial diamond mines. They are very powerful and large, weighing up to 180 pounds. It is an intelligent and stubborn dog and should not be adopted by an inexperienced dog owner.
Experienced dog handlers can bring about a well-socialized pet with continuous training and socialization from an early age. This will help prevent behavior issues and dominating conduct. These dogs have thick coats and enjoy being outdoors in cool weather. Dog parks, however, are not recommended for a dog who is very protective of its family and may attack without warning. Boerboels should always be leashed.
This dog is intelligent, territorial, and makes a good watchdog. As a mastiff breed from Italy, the Cane Corso is a massive breed raised for hunting large game. These dogs weigh in at 120 pounds. Overall, they are not a good fit for novice dog owners. Even folks who have done well with cooperative breeds like Retrievers and Spaniels are no match for this strong, smart, active, and willful dog.
The Cane Corso will not take to strangers, even after consistent socialization—it’s a guard dog in nature through and through. If you have a Cane, you should walk or run him at least a mile each day. Add to that another 20 minutes of training exercise, and this highly active dog may relax a bit. It’s not advisable to take this strong and aggressive canine to dog parks. Left home alone, a Cane will be very destructive and aggressive. To its credit, the Cane Corso is devoted to its family and very loyal due to its protective, guard dog nature.
The Dogo Argentino is another breed banned in the UK under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act. It was bred in Argentina to be a big-game hunting dog for large prey like puma. It was also bred to be a protectorate for humans. But because of his predominant traits—stubborn, intelligent, and domineering—the Dogo was banned in several countries.
This dog is not recommended for first-time dog owners. Besides being intelligent and stubborn, a Dogo is large, powerful, and energetic. Without a leader who is just as strong, plus calm, firm, and consistent, a Dogo will be destructive and in charge. Even a trained Dogo will go after your neighbors’ pets, killing cats and small dogs. A high fence is a necessity with a Dogo. This dog is a natural worker, and without something to do, it will likely chew up your personal belongings.
The Belgian Malinois is not a good breed for children. This dog was bred as a herder, and as a herder, he tends to bite or nip at kids, as if to keep them in line. The Belgian Malinois became a popular breed in the late 1800s, when it worked in Belgium either as a shepherd or a guard dog. To this day, the Belgian Malinois remains one of the nation’s most beloved dogs.
This breed is intelligent and obedient, with strong territorial instincts. The master of a Malinois is firm and even-handed. A harsh owner will find a very uncooperative dog. These dogs need vigorous exercise every day. They are high-energy dogs that can become destructive and unmanageable if not properly socialized and trained.
A defining characteristic of a Shar-Pei is its wrinkly skin, a trait that is especially pronounced in puppies until they gradually grow into the folded flesh. The folds are cute but prone to infection. The folds need to be wiped out with a damp cloth. Like the Chow Chow, Shar-Peis have a dark tongue and were likely cross-bred at some point, as both breeds go back to ancient China.
The Shar-Pei is territorial and aggressive. Like all breeds, it can be trained for proper socialization, but with the Shar-Pei, you will need a professional trainer who starts with it as a puppy. The dog’s aloof attitude, however, may make it a disappointing pet for children. Shar-Peis are not interested in hugs or cuddles, yet need to live inside. It is an intelligent but stubborn breed. This is not the dog for a novice owner.
These highly energetic dogs are big and strong and make outstanding guard dogs. But a Doberman Pinscher is not for anybody. It needs extensive training by a handler who is more dominant than the dog. Without the correct attention, a Doberman will become bored, destructive, and vociferous.
The breed was developed by a German tax collector who needed a powerful and dependable guard for the tax monies collected. It was first recognized at an Erfurt dog show in 1897. Dobermans are tall, shorthaired, and full of strength and stamina. They are loyal, tolerant, and dedicated to family. Though the breed is easy to train, few can deliver the consistent, confident, rule-setting guidance it requires. A Doberman can become willful and stubborn if left to its own terms.
Contrary to its name, the Australian Shepherd originated in North America and was bred as a herding dog in the Western states around the time of the Gold Rush. This is a very active dog that needs a couple of hours of exercise each day. It has very high stamina levels allowing it to work as a herder all day long.
It's also bold, confident, alert, smart, responsive, as a herding breed. If these traits are not released with daily exercise, however, these dogs can make life difficult for its humans. Another trait that is unfavorable to a family setting is its propensity to try to herd children and pets. It will nip and use other herding tactics.
Dachshund is German for 'badger dog'. The short-legged, long-bodied dog was bred to hunt badgers. Chasing them down burrows, the Dachshund was somehow able to outmatch its foe’s tenacity. Dachshunds are fierce and brave. A 2008 study in an academic animal science journal found the Dachshund to be the most aggressive of all dog breeds. Good thing it only stands a few inches off the ground! It comes in three varieties.
The Dachshund is also an inveterate digger thanks to its badger-chasing breeding. The little dog known as the wiener dog, adored by all children for its funny physique, is not a good pet for kids, especially small children. As one of the more aggressive breeds, this little guy can be hostile to strangers and children.
This dog is a barker. Skye Terriers are also avid diggers. It’s tough, tenacious, and needs a lot of attention. The Skye is also a relentless cat chaser. These dogs are difficult to train, stubborn, and do not get along with other dogs. It has long flowing hair that needs to be groomed or becomes matted in tangles. On the upside, the Skye Terrier can be extremely loyal. One Skye slept on the grave of its dead owner for the rest of its life, fourteen years in all.
The Skye Terrier is a moderately intelligent breed from the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Bred as a working terrier, it was used to hunt foxes, badgers, and otters. The breed enjoyed a highly respected station during the aristocratic Victorian period as fashionable pets of noble ladies after Queen Victoria acquired one. One Skye, named Rona II, even posed in a portrait with the Queen. Since then, the breed has become one of the least known terriers.
Perro de Presa Canario
This breed originated in the Canary Islands as a livestock dog. Its duty was herding cattle and hogs, and running off, and even killing, predatory dogs in protection of the herd. It’s a powerful animal. VetStreet highly recommends this dog only for owners who are familiar with training dogs. As a story in warning, VetStreet said that in 2006, two Presas killed a woman in San Francisco because the owner was unable to control his dogs.
Early training and socialization classes are mandatory. Training must continue, and the dog must “work” for everything they get, like treats and toys, by performing a command. Professional training is strongly advised. Also, unless the Presa is prevented, they will chase and kill neighborhood cats and small dogs. Instinctively, it has a very strong territorial and prey drive.
Catahoula Leopard Dog
As if this breed name was not long enough, the full name is Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog. It was used as a working dog on farms in northern Louisiana, and it was in charge of herding hogs to slaughter. Native Americans used this dog to hunt wild game, and the Catahoula acquired its name from those tribes. The Catahoula Leopard is the official Louisiana state dog.
This dog is an affectionate and loyal companion. He needs plenty of exercise and a large, fenced yard. They require firm leadership, and lots of walks or jogs. These dogs should always be on a leash. Owners who do not take the alpha role seriously are not recommended for this dog. When dogs live with humans, we become their pack. You must be the pack leader. Otherwise, the dog is making the decisions, and you will not appreciate its leadership skills.
This breed served its duty well, guarding sheep from wolves and herding flocks in the Eastern European Caucasus Mountain region. As a territorial and aggressive dog, it defended diligently against wolves. The Caucasian Ovcharka breed originated in the 1920s. Its name means “sheepdog” in Russian.
The Ovcharka’s thick double coat requires a lot of maintenance and a cool climate. He’s a low-energy breed but also high-strung and strong-willed. If not socialized fully, these dogs can become aggressive. VetStreet says, “While his protective nature may be attractive to some people, the Ovcharka is not an ideal match for novice dog owners. He’s smart, but also an independent thinker, so he needs someone who can guide him with firm, loving, and patient training.”
If you’re looking for a dog that doesn’t require much exercise, the French Bulldog may be your breed. Frenchies can’t keep up on a jog, can’t swim, can’t tolerate heat, and were bred to be lap dogs. As a brachycephalic, one of the “squished-faced” breeds, the Frenchie can’t regulate body temperature and needs to be indoors in a climate-controlled area. On a positive note, it sheds very little hair.
French Bulldogs are not recommended for first-time dog owners. Because it is brachycephalic, it is prone to disease and other health issues. More importantly, training this dog can be a real challenge. This dog prefers to be the alpha, which makes it aggressive. However, the adorable squished face and perky bat-like ears can be hard to turn away, especially because it’s got an enthusiastic personality and is affectionate with people without being too loud and yappy. But then, he can’t tolerate being alone, so someone must be in the house with it most of the time.
Always a popular commercial dog, we recognize the Bull Terrier with its familiar dense head as the Target store mascot Bullseye. Some remember him as Budweiser’s lively Spuds Mac Kenzie. But the adored Bull Terrier is another breed that is not advisable for families who are new to dogs. Breeding of this dog began in the 1900s, but it wasn’t until 1936 when it was accepted as a separate breed.
True, a Bull Terrier is fun-loving, fearless, clownish, active, and obedient, but they are not recommended for all households. Left alone without enough exercise and mental stimulation, these dogs will become destructive and dangerous to small children. They need supervised entertainment, such as running and playing every single day. They are extremely strong dogs with the jaw power of a Pit Bull. They need to be kept away from other pets like rabbits, guinea pigs, and cats.
The Weimaraner was bred in Germany during the early 19th century, for courage, intelligence, and excellent scenting abilities to hunt large game. They developed a dog with stamina, speed, and hunting versatility to track down prey of all sizes. This breed hunted deer and bear. The distinctively grey breed’s stunning appearance was immortalized by photographer William Wegman.
This breed is so loyal it will almost smother its human. This means the Weimaraner is very unhappy alone and is vocal about it. It is a high-energy dog who needs plenty of outdoor air. If you have time for a very active dog that wants to be with you all day, you may have found the perfect pet. This breed attaches so much that separation anxiety is a common problem. According to VetStreet, “some Weimaraner’s become so distraught when left to their own devices that they bark, dig, escape, and even injure themselves.” On top of that, they can be difficult to house train, stubborn and demanding.
As the quintessential sheepdog, the Border Collie is revered for its herding instinct and ability. Because it is so well-suited to the energy-intensive task of shepherding, this dog is a ball of energy and excitement. It likes to bark. It’s very territorial, another herding instinct. But it’s also extremely playful and affectionate, loves children, and needs human contact. And, if you need a watchdog, this is the crème de la crème of dogs.
The Border Collie loves its family obsessively and will follow you around the house relentlessly. They develop a very tight bond. Because of its herding instinct, it will try to herd your family, the kids in the yard, anything and everything it comes across. Chasing after kids on bicycles is included. They develop other obsessive behaviors like chasing bugs, standing guard over the dishwasher until it stops, or watchfully waiting for a child to wake up from a nap. Due to this obsessive nature, a Border Collie has a high tendency toward destruction when bored, ten times higher than the average dog.
The Fila Brasileiro is another dog on the Dangerous Dogs Act, and is banned in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Norway, and Denmark, to name a few. It is not recommended for first-time dog owners. And, owning one may preclude getting covered by a homeowner’s insurance policy, while legal liability can be costly. They drool and shed profusely and are naturally aggravated by guests or strangers. Bred as hunting dogs, they will protect your family vigorously at any cost.
If you’re still set on this powerful Mastiff, he will need an owner who dominates over it as the alpha. You must be firm, confident and consistent. A passive owner will find the Fila taking the alpha position. According to Dog Breed Info, “A dog with the massive size and strength of the Fila that believes he is alpha to humans is downright dangerous.”
The sleek and powerful Rhodesian Ridgeback is distinguished by a streak down its back of reverse-growing hair. It is affectionate, intelligent and child-friendly. However, this dog is not a good fit for most people. It needs more time and energy than most folks have.
In Rhodesia during the 1870s, this brave dog was known as a good protector against lions. As an intelligent dog, it will become stubborn and strong-willed without proper handling. This breed can become very destructive if it doesn’t get enough exercise and doesn’t recognize any humans as its authority figure. It will likely become combative with other dogs as well. With the proper upbringing, this dog will be a calm, gentle, obedient dog.
The Siberian Husky is from Siberia, where it was bred by the Chukchi people to pull sleds about half a million years ago. This high-energy dog is not a good couch dog and also not a good backyard dog. They are an intelligent breed easily drawn to mischief and are known to be extremely destructive when bored or left alone. These dogs are avid diggers. Escaping confinement is another strength.
PetVet called the Siberian Husky one of the worst breeds for first-time pet owners, saying, ‘The phrase ‘obedient Siberian Husky’ is something of an oxymoron.” They have a strong predatory drive, so other pets like cats or hamsters may become prey. These pups are prone to howling, reaching loud, siren-like whines. They are great jogging companions, as long as it is cool enough. Their thick coat sheds twice a year. Overall, they are happy, playful, independent-minded dogs.
The aristocratic demeanor of this elegant-looking creature goes through to its personality. The Afghan Hound commands attention rather than seeking it out. Beneath the glamorous, long and shiny coat, you may be surprised to find a stalwart hunter. The Afghan Hound is an ancient breed dating back to the Egyptians and was also found in the Middle Eastern mountains where it was trained to leap after gazelle and smaller prey, like hare.
With a strong instinct and ability to run nimbly through mountain terrain, it requires plenty of outdoor exercises. Adopting an Afghan Hound comes with a commitment to daily exercise and coat care. With this level of attention, this dog is a calm and quiet four-legged friend who loves to jump in bed with you. While the Afghan can be trained to be good with children, it is not a playmate type of dog. This dog will be unhappy without attention and left to the backyard.
This breed is legendarily stubborn. Pekingese were bred to be lapdog companions by the ancient Imperial family of China. Some Pekingese were official royal dogs. These dogs retain their royal breeding with a haughty attitude and a strong disposition that commands respect. It’s very difficult to train a Pekingese since it believes it should be in charge and goes about this business with an entrenched obstinacy. This dog may even bite if it is disciplined harshly.
Well-socialized Pekingese are very loving with their owner and family, but strangers are treated as intruders. This makes the breed a great watchdog. They are extremely brave, considering their size. They will fight off strangers to death if determined to be a threat.