Choosing a new four-legged member of your family is not as easy as you might think. There are many important factors that you need to consider before getting a dog—especially if you have small children.
While dogs are considered man’s best friend, you need to be sure that your breed of choice will get along with not only your own children, but other young visitors and neighbors.
Not all dog breeds can be trained to get along with kids. Worse, some breeds even command a homeowners insurance premium hike. Here are the dog breeds experts agree should not be around children and young families.
Chihuahuas are cute. Many people are quick to assume that, because of their small size, they are also the best breeds for children. In reality, they are one of the very strong-willed and stubborn dog breeds.
They are quite hard to train especially if they sense weakness in the human leadership shown. They also have the tendency to become aggressive and jealous of young children—all because of their sense to display their dominance over the younger members of the pack. Apparently, they see your kids as members of the pack.
The Alaskan Malamute was bred to survive the harsh and isolated environment of the tundra; thus, they are hardwired against being around playful children. They are also notorious for being difficult to train especially if the owner shows signs of weakness.
As very firm pack leaders, they require socialization not only from other dogs but also from humans. They are known to attack smaller animals including children. Aside from potentially harming children, they also shed a lot and this is not good especially if—even just one—member of the family suffers from asthma.
Rottweilers can grow very large. They were first bred for their strength as they are used to pull small carts and herd livestock. Rottweilers are very courageous and loyal; thus, they have a tendency to act violently around strangers.
Their strong personality can be controlled with proper training and it is fairly important to show strong leadership all the while. This is the reason why Rottweilers are perfect as guard and police dogs. While strong, they do love to play around. So much so that they sometimes mistake play for something real thus they have a propensity to go on full attack mode.
Bullmastiffs can grow very large and they don’t seem to be aware of their size. This can cause a potential problem especially if you have small children because this dog can easily knock your child down when they start running.
They are also more aggressive than other breeds of dogs but their aggression can be trained as long as you show strong leadership. However, you need to train them early because they are difficult to train later in life. They look up to their human as the leader of the pack, so you should avoid showing signs of weakness.
The Saint Bernard breed is quite infamous thanks to the movie Beethoven. These dogs are very adorable and can be trained, albeit harder due to their very playful nature. They can be trained to behave well around small children.
While they look lovable, the main problem with these dogs is their enormous built and size. They have the tendency to unwillingly hurt small children by knocking them over. The thing is, the playful nature and the size of a Saint Bernard make them difficult dogs for families with very small kids.
Originally a hunting dog, the Weimaraner is full of energy that they need to expend, daily. They love to run around thus they have a tendency to knock children over if they are in the way. They easily get bored and their hunting instincts make them excited when they are in the presence of small creatures, and that includes your kids.
But aside from their easily excitable nature, the Weimaraner is also very needy in terms of physical activities and exercise. Their elevated energy, size, and physical needs can often lead to the dog unwillingly injuring young tots.
An energetic and courageous dog breed, the Australian Shepherd was bred as disaster rescue dogs and watchdogs. This dog breed requires frequent physical activities as they are bursting with energy. They need to have their daily walks otherwise they develop behavioral problems.
This daily need can be too onerous for families who have young children. Perhaps another reason why this dog breed is not family-friendly is that they are uneasy when meeting new people for the first time. Moreover, they often have the tendency to mistake children as part of their pack, thus they become aggressive towards children’s transgressions.
Siberian Huskies are a strong breed of dogs and they are popular for their inexhaustible energy. They were bred to pull sleds in the snow and their instincts tell them that they take no interest in protecting the family and guarding homes.
They also require a lot of care and if you have to take care of both huskies and children, it will be too taxing for you as these huskies can compete with small children for attention. Although it has a strong personality, a Siberian Husky can be trained so that it becomes an extremely loving pet—IF you have the patience.
The Affenpinscher is a mischievous dog breed and they are known to monkey around. They are also inquisitive and stubborn by nature. They are amusing to watch and have around, but if you have small children in the house, then they can be a problem. How? Since they are small, children often think that they are toys, thus the tendency to mishandle them.
Although the Affenpinscher can tolerate children’s rough playing, they sometimes defend themselves especially if they don’t feel comfortable. They can be trained. However, you need to show leadership as they can be disobedient the moment you show signs of weakness.
Chow Chows look like the perfect companions for children because they are toy-like and fluffy. But in reality, there are other better dog breeds that are better suited for you children. Chows may be cute and cuddly but they are large dogs and they have been known to injure small children unintentionally.
They also require strong leadership—something that children have trouble understanding and displaying in front of the dog. Moreover, chows are very attached to their owner and they are overly jealous of other people who approach their fur parent.
Afghan Hounds were bred for hunting and guarding homes. This makes them inherently strong-willed. They require strong leadership all the time. If not properly trained, they can easily become destructive and disobedient. But aside from its instincts, the reason why they are not good for families with small children is that of their size.
You also need to be calm, collected, and kind when interacting with them. Their big size may be a hazard for small children who easily get knocked over by these hounds. Finally, they might see the playful nature of small kids as a sign of aggressiveness towards them and react negatively.
The English Toy Spaniel
Everyone thinks that the English Toy Spaniel is a great dog for kids because, for one, they have the word toy as part of their moniker. Another reason for this misconception is their cuddly appearance and cute size. But here lies the problem. Toy Spaniels may perceive the rough play from children as threatening.
They violently react if they feel mistreated. It is important to show them strong leadership because they can become dominant in the household. A dominant Toy Spaniel is very aggressive and can attack both children and adult. But if trained properly, they can be amazing pets.
Greyhounds have been bred for racing and they are reared for their incredible speed and energy. They require a lot of running around as part of their daily exercise and this can be difficult especially if you have to take care of small children. With a propensity to attack small animals, they may do so with little tots.
They also dislike rough play thus they don’t tolerate children hovering or trying to cuddle them. If not properly trained, they become reserved towards their master making them unpredictable. These are the reasons why they are not ideal pets for families with small children.
The French Bulldog is a playful dog breed, but this does not mean that they are great for children. They are quite demanding in terms of time and affection which is something that households with small children are short of.
If not given proper training and affection, they feel unappreciated and ignored and these lead to behavioral problems such as aggression and mischief. If you still decide to care for French Bulldogs, make sure that your children understand that they need to display authority over the dog as giving them free reign can be a disaster for your household.
Japanese Chins are small in size and they are very adorable. They were bred to be companion dogs to the royalty. As such, it is their instinct to demand time and affection from their masters. Unfortunately, time and affection are both hard to give especially if you have small children.
You need to show strong leadership when training your dog. If they are pampered too much, they feel that they call the shots. And once they feel neglected, they become very jealous. Just think of it this way, getting a Japanese Chin is like adding another child to your family.
The Shih Tzu is the least recommended dog breed for families with small children. The reason for this is that they are easily overexcited and frightened that can lead them to bite children. This is especially true when children play rough with them. They bite when frightened as part of their natural defense mechanism thus it is important to never leave kids unsupervised when playing with them.
Shih Tzus also require the constant presence of their masters as they easily develop separation anxiety if left alone. And since parents do not have the luxury of time when kids are in the picture, thus owning a Shih Tzu is not a good idea.
Pekingese may look cuddly and cute but they do not want to be treated like toy dogs. Despite their looks, they are independent and courageous. Unfortunately, small children do not understand the nature of Pekingese, so they have a tendency to play and cuddle the dog.
When Pekingese sense weakness, they become difficult to control. If you opt to care for this breed, make sure that your children understand their nature. Your kid also needs to step up as a pack leader and show authority when they are around these cute dogs—or else better look for another breed.
Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell Terrier is well-known to be an energetic dog breed. They require constant and structured training at all times. The thing about children is that they like to pinch, pull, and poke dogs. Since Jack Russell Terriers do not tolerate rough play, they have a tendency to bite kids to defend themselves as well as their space.
Caring for these pets also require a lot of time and attention. If not trained properly, they can develop behavioral problems. Because of their high energy and low tolerance threshold, they are not recommended for families who have small children.
The Shar Pei looks very cute with all their extra skin and folds and their docile nature but they are not good for families with small children. First off, Shar-Peis often suffer from health issues and their skin folds can become home for various pathogens.
Children may run the risk of getting sick when in contact with a sick Shar Pei. Another reason why they aren’t so family-friendly is that they are difficult to train due to their aggressive nature. So if you want to train them, doing it around small children is not a good idea.
Dachshund (Standard Smooth)
A Dachshund is a small dog breed that originated from Germany during the 17th century. They were used to hunt small game animals. They have strong hunting instincts thus they do not go well with other small pets like kittens and hamsters.
Because of their small size, they are susceptible to the small dog syndrome wherein they try to make up for their small size by having a large attitude. This often leads to behavioral issues. They can do well around children but do not tolerate rough play. They tend to be aggressive if they sense that they are being manhandled by humans.
The Dalmatian is a large-sized dog that was originally bred for hunting small rodents and games. They were also used as guard dogs in the past. While they are depicted in movies as adorable and friendly dogs, they are very reserved towards other dogs.
They require constant socialization and affection from their masters, which is limited if you have small children around. Otherwise, they develop behavioral issues such as biting and scratching. They are good to have around with larger kids but because they need to release their high energy, they can easily knock small kids around during play.
This rather ugly dog was bred in Argentina with the intention of assisting humans with big-game hunting. It has even been trained for several other duties, including law enforcement and guiding the blind. Its toughness has also made a viable fighting dog, and that aggressive side to the Dogo Argentino has made it banned from being a pet in over half a dozen countries.
Even with dogs of this breed that have been trained, they have been known to attack humans without warning. The tenacity of the animal hasn’t been bred out of them, and so insurance companies are reluctant to allow homeowners to keep one.
As the name implies, this large dog breed hails from southern Africa. Hunters in African tend to use them when tracking lions, which should tell you everything you need to know about keeping one as a pet. The Rhodesian Ridgeback also has a reputation for attacking children.
They can also be quite dangerous if they get loose outside by jumping a fence or breaking free of their leash. At times, they can appear calm and docile enough to have as bets. But things can get ugly in a hurry if one starts to get aggressive, which is why this is one dog breed that just doesn’t work as a pet.
this article originally appeared at livestly.com