A Serious Introduction.
Welcome everyone. This hub is intended for those of you with children or a family and are thinking of getting a dog. Whilst there are many guides and booklets out there that tell you how to care for your dog and how to pick a healthy one from the litter, there simply aren't enough out there to tell you what type of dog is right for you. Before getting a dog, it is important you thoroughly research your chosen breed, if any warnings flash up about it being hard to train, difficult, overly energetic or a working dog, it is not going to be right for a family.
I have experience as a dog handler, working in animal shelters and my own experience and research. My aim here is not to incriminate dogs as I believe each dog breed has a required owner and should only be sold or given to someone that is truly right for it. In 2015 we have too many abandoned, neglected or even dogs for rehoming because people buy it and can't handle it or it becomes unruly. Whatever breed you choose you MUST train it and give it as much attention and exercise as it requires. ANY dog has the potential to become dangerous or aggressive, not just banned dogs or notoriously nasty breeds. My goal here is to do something to help these poor dogs and help you as a new owner decide which breed is right for you.
Known for their beautiful long fur and often dressed in very stylish little coats, the Afghan Hound is not a breed you should pair with children. These dogs require a quiet home with plenty of space and a thoroughly fenced garden. They should be trained constantly and kept fully under control, if not 100% trusted you should never allow them to be loose unless in a fence or indoor environment.
These dogs need a lot of exercise, extensive training, mental stimulation and daily grooming. If they are not given these things properly it is common that they will turn aggressive, stubborn, disobedient, hostile, dominant or may display unwanted behaviours. These dogs thrive in consistent environments with an experienced dog owner that knows exactly what they are doing and that can provide them with absolute stability. They are a larger breed of dog and with long hair that can easily be yanked, the dog will not thank someone for tugging on it and could easily injure a child.
Afghan's by nature can be very reserved or even hostile. They don't do well in large groups or families and may be unsociable with both humans and other animals. They are best left in quiet homes, with show people or with those that can give them what they need.
Afghan Hound Portrait
The Japanese or American version is much the same. These dogs are a lot like Malamutes and Husky dogs with their beautiful thick fur, high energy and their exotic appearances. However, they can easily become unruly, hard to manage, overpowering or even aggressive. They resemble another Japanese counterpart the Shiba Inu.
These dogs require a lot of training, a lot of exercise and should preferably be worked rather than played with. They are intelligent and can be very stubborn, disobedient and even anti-social towards people and other dogs. Akito's need a serious owner with plenty of dog handling experience and can easily lose respect for their owner or get carried away whilst playing. Such intelligent dogs need a lot of time, patience and stimulation and don't do well in family environments.
An Italian breed of dog often dark coloured with red or amber eye tones. This dog is one of the most frequently reported dogs for attacking people I am surprised it hasn't been banned.
It isn't hard to improperly train these dogs and have them turn on their owners and savage them. These dogs need an experienced owner that knows exactly what they're doing, that can handle them. They require a lot of training, exercise and obedience and are much better with a single person or as a guard dog than a family pet. They can build wonderful bonds with an owner that can care for them correctly and make brilliant pets, however, inexperienced people having them or if the dog is not being stimulated enough or socialised properly it is very likely to become stubborn, aggressive, destructive or even dangerous.
The tiniest dog breed in the world with a tiny shaky body, a big head, bat like ears and even bigger eyes, the Chihuahua is commonly known as a lapdog or a handbag dog and is all the rage among celebrities.
Whilst being small and cute, the Chihuahua is incredibly fragile, can be very nervous or timid and is prone to snapping, snarling or biting people. They can very easily be injured, hurt or turn nasty due to their temperament, usually poor breeding and their anxiety. These dogs are more suitable for quiet homes, single people, couples or even the elderly as they do much better in a calm and quiet atmosphere. They tend to grow very attached to one owner.
Another issue with this breed is food. Chocolate is a highly toxic substance that when consumed, can easily be fatal to dogs. With its tiny size, the dog needs the tiniest amount of chocolate consumed to be killed in a horrible manner. There are also many other foods e.g. cheese and ice cream dogs should not have that children consume.
Chinese Chow Chow
The Chow has a notorious reputation for being powerful, disobedient and unpredictable. They are not suitable for novice owners, children, families or the elderly/disabled. These dogs require heavy training, a lot of exercise and regular grooming.
Chows can be beautiful dogs for showing or competitions but not ideal as a family pet. You could never allow your Chow alone with a child or another dog as in many cases they can suddenly turn, become boisterous or unpredictable even when trained. They can be very hard to handle and manage and are reported as being intolerant of children in many cases.
They can be fiercely protective, stubborn, dominant and at times overpowering. It is advised they are better as a single dog and the person having one should not have any children or other animals.
Known as being a big ball of wrinkles, these dogs are prone to an A-Z and beyond list of health conditions, some are not even currently known enough to be correctly identified or names. These dogs are often poorly bred, interbred and incorrectly handled.
As well as health conditions, these dogs can be very temperamental and very aggressive. They are often bred for showing or as guard dogs and require a lot of training and exercise. These dogs should not be left outside for long periods and their wrinkles require regular cleaning to prevent many types of infections.
Their size and power can make them difficult to manage if they should become boisterous or aggressive. These dogs are completely unsuitable for novice owners, families, children or the elderly/disabled.
Disney may have made an adorable adaptation of the book, but in real life, these dogs are not suitable for children to own as pets... other than fluffy today's.
Dalmatians are high energy dogs with boundless intelligence, and a need for a lot of training. These dogs can be very stubborn and disobedient and are prone to becoming bored and barking, becoming highly destructive, ill-mannered or even digging up the garden. They tend to be reserved to strangers, children or certain people and can be very protective of their owner. They can be aggressive towards other dogs, but tend to be okay with other pets.
The nature of a Dalmatian is very active, very enthusiastic but at the same time very much like a teenager. They can be rude, loud, destructive and even at times aggressive. They like to have their own space and quiet time and can be very boisterous. They tend to show little warning signal before they go off and can be temperamental. They are better for teenagers or adults and often don't respond well with children.
They are also known for a variety of skin conditions, joint problems and even deafness which is built into their breed.
Doberman's can in many cases be wonderful dogs, however, they have a desperate need for serious training, a lot of exercise, supervision and attention. They are not family dogs to be messed around with and are often used as guard dogs. They tend to be very possessive and protective of their owners and due to their size and speed can easily knock children down.
Whilst by nature these dogs are not necessarily aggressive, they can easily become aggressive if not trained enough, exercised enough, mentally stimulated enough and they will not tolerate being messed about or tugged about. These dogs are not classed as dangerous dogs or a banned breed, they can have cropped or loose ears.
Sometimes used in fighting, these dogs are not to be messed around with or mistreated. It is not hard to make a Doberman turn whether they are friendly or not. They can be slightly unpredictable and untrustworthy at times, especially when you and do much better in a quiet home with an experienced dog handler that knows what they're doing. You do need a strong disposition and the ability to mentally and physically manage the Doberman to prevent it from becoming stubborn, headstrong and even dangerous.
Another dog to add to the UK banned list and is also banned in many other places around the world. This is a very large, extremely powerful dog that resembles a pit bull. Bred originally for hunting board, puma and other large animals, this dog is suitable as a companion for a hunter, a guard dog or a working dog. In some cases they are also used for fighting.
These dogs are so powerful and have a terrible bite that even being playful they can do severe damage and their instincts can take over and they easily become feral and dangerous. These dogs are not for families and importing them into the UK (and other countries) or owning them can cause serious criminal charges.
On the UK banned dog list and also banned in many other countries, this is a large and very powerful breed of dog. Importing, purchasing or ownership of this dog in a banned area can result in serious criminal consequences.
These dogs resemble loveable bloodhounds and mastiff's and are a working breed of dog often used in hunting, fighting and tracking. They have an unforgiving nature making them incredibly dangerous, very powerful senses of smell and stiff determination. These dogs have been known to attack and not stop and can be extremely difficult to handle, manage and are very dangerous. They are often used in herding large livestock or tracking larger animals or even humans.
Among all else, these dogs can be highly possessive.
Whilst not known for being aggressive, they can be similar to terriers if not trained or treated correctly. The French Bulldog suits a quiet home preferably with a single person as they look to one person as the pack leader and require lots of attention, training and work to keep them occupied. They are a very small breed of dog which are by nature happy and friendly. These dogs require quiet homes.
If these dogs come in second, third, or anything less than the baby of the family, they can become bored, aggressive, snappy, hostile or even aggressive towards other dogs. Small dogs are very commonly associated with Small Dog Syndrome which, as stated above, they are like the child of the someone and will acquire undesirable traits if not given this position. They are prone to becoming fearful of people, especially small children who could harm them, or other dogs which in turn may result in hostility or snapping or disobedience.
Bred in Pakistan for fighting, people often adopt this type of dog to protect them from attacks or thieves. These dogs are extremely dangerous and although not banned, they are not safe to own as pets, especially for families. They resemble the American pit bull and can grow quite large.
These can be fiercely protective, territorial, aggressive and hard to train. They are prone to becoming destructive, ill-mannered and disrespectful. They require a quiet house with a very experienced owner. They can be highly excitable dogs and even if just excited and playful, they could easily cause serious harm and become dangerous or get carried away.
This breed is another to make the UK banned dogs list along with Australia, Hong Kong and many, many other countries.. These are very large dogs that resemble the Bullmastiff, they are physically incredible powerful, dominant and energetic.
These come under the same category as the Husky, Malamute, etc as in if not trained every single day for several hours and disciplined, controlled and exercised heavily, they WILL take over the house, dominate and even maul humans. These dogs are banned for a reason and banned in other parts of the world due to them being prone to outbursts of high aggression or dangerous behaviour. These dogs are bred as fighting dogs and can be incredibly dangerous.
In the UK if you are reported/caught owning or importing one of these dogs there can be a hefty penalty against you.
Jack Russell Terrier
Notoriously known for their snarling and nipping at fingers. Jack Russells 9/10 times are again another little piranha. Whilst there are some families that have them and they are okay, these are the rarity.
Jack Russells are very noisy dogs. They love to bark, dig, run around and chew. They can be hard to manage even for experienced breeders and can be highly disobedient and will sound extremely nasty when they snarl. Despite their small size, they require a lot of exercise, a good amount of garden space, a very high level of training and even then it is built into their nature for them to snap before they think, bite and hunt. If you have other pets, they will likely kill them, this includes cats. Jack Russells are prone to ratting, attacking small animals or even other dogs and biting at heels. They can also be highly territorial and often like their own space and will retreat into seclusion not to be disturbed.
Due to the unpredictable nature of these dogs, they require a very experienced owner in a quiet house that can manage and train them. They can easily take over a household making it impossible to sit on furniture or even pet the dog. They might be small but their teeth are like razor blades. Saying this, they can be fiercely protective and even possessive of their owner and tend to bond strongly with one person becoming suspicious or even aggressive over new people, situations or animals.
Much like the Husky, these dogs do not make suitable family pets or pets for a child. These dogs were bred originally for hauling heavy loads and then on to Alaskan sledding. They are a large breed of dog that is very intelligent, strong and can be difficult to manage. These dogs are very active and require not only a lot of training and exercise, but a lot of mental stimulation. Whilst these dogs are known to have a playful and affectionate temperament, they require a lot of work, they can be extremely expensive to purchase and care for (Especially if they have poor breeding) and if not given the amount of time and effort they need they are prone to becoming very dominant, taking over households or even turning on their masters.
Sadly, many of these dogs are mass bred because of their beauty and are sold on a poor market for high prices and purchased by people that wants something that looks exotic and beautiful, not something they can care for. These are not family dogs or beginner dogs, most people with families or full-time work are not able to give these dogs everything they need.
Please don't confuse a pit bull and a pit bull terrier. The pit bull terrier is a banned dog in the UK and has been for many years. The pit bull terrier is bred to be dangerous, a fighting dog and are often overbred and interbred which can account for severe mental instability, health problems, deformities and aggression. In no way are these dogs legal in the UK (and many other countries/cities) but they are also completely unsuitable as family pets.
These dogs are a cross between the pit bull and the Bulldog producing a smaller stature and stocky version of a pit bull. It can be hard to tell the difference and many, many pit bull terriers are bred illegally and sold as pit bulls or other breeds of dog. These dogs are banned in the UK (and other countries/cities) for a reason, they are not intended for being cute and cuddly pets. Many people will get them due to lack of understanding of the breed, them being passed on or sold around to rehoming or mistake purchases. The untrained eye may struggle to notice the difference between a true pit bull and the terrier version which is far more dangerous. These dogs are bred for fighting, savaging and dangerous guard dogs and are often born almost feral or damaged beyond repair. Ones that have been bred and are not used for fighting are not 100% stable and will not be suitable for family pets. Owning ones of these dogs in the UK can carry hefty penalties.
Shepherd dogs: Australian Shepherds, Shetland Sheepdogs, Border Collie etc
Whilst not actually aggressive or overly large, these are herding and farming dogs. They have been bred with the intention of working on farms or in fields commonly herding sheep into pens and make excellent pets for agility showcasing. Collies or Shepherds are known for extremely high energy levels, they will run and run and run sometimes until they vomit or collapse and are very hard to tire. They are often a few years old before they listen and require a lot of training and a large house and garden.
The issue raised with these dogs is they are prone to herding, they will herd other animals, children, bikes and even other people and this can't be bred out of them. These dogs are prone to nipping at heels or even biting, growling or becoming physically rough if the herding isn't going to their plan. These dogs commonly chase cars or bikes on the street which can lead to injury to themselves, to other people, or even the dog being reported - especially if it touches someone. If you can imagine them chasing a bike, imagine them chasing the neighbours kids or random kids at the park, the child running away and the dog will see it as a catch-the-rabbit kind of thing which, as you can imagine, is not safe.
They require a lot of training and are very high energy dogs. These two things combined with their intelligence and the herding make them very unsuitable family pets and are best left to people with fields or farms that can work the dog and occupy its mind allowing it to do what it does by instinct.
People immediately put Rottweiler and mauling together, in most cases where the dog has been handled and care for correctly, this is not true. However, these are not suitable dogs for families. Families often struggle with these dogs as they don't have the time or the knowledge to correctly train and care for them.
Rottweilers have a catch and chase instinct, if a child starts running, the dog may run after and knock them down and hurt them by accident. You can't stop the instinct of a Rottweiler to chase and catch or retrieve, nor can you remove it from them as it is bred into them. Many accidents occur where a dog will chase another animal or a child, etc, and causing or meaning no harm, knock them down, jump on them or grab them and it is seen as aggressive. Whilst in many cases a poorly trained or bred Rottweiler will show aggression when chasing, others it is their sheer size and power which causes the harm rather than actual aggression.
These are VERY powerful, large dogs that need a lot of heavy training, obedience skills, exercise and socialisation with humans and other dogs from a very early age and are not suitable family pets. They can become bored very easily due to their intellect and cause a lot of damage to your home, they are not suitable for caging.
Rottweilers require someone who is single or in a couple, someone younger and someone with dog experience who can handle them and give them what they need.
Known largely for their adorable appearance, fluffy coats, cute jumpers and for being cuddly lapdogs, this does not mean a Shih Tzu is suitable for a family.
Like with Westies, Shih Tzu dogs can be full of nervous energy. They very commonly snap and bite or snarl before they think and it is bred into the nature of 9/10 of these dogs to be grouchy or even snappy. The sheer nastiness they can display is very much like the terrier attitude and can be frightening. Many breeders or pet stores will refuse sale to people with children as these dogs can be very nervous around children due to fear of being hurt, harassed, etc. Children want a dog they can play with and pet and cuddle. A Shih Tzu is not this dog. They bond much better with adults in a quiet home where they are the only dog.
Another reason why they are not good for children is they can be moody, temperamental at times, often poorly bred resulting in behavioural problems or increased aggression and people with children/ the elderly often allow their aggressive, snappy and moody nature to show through. These dogs can essentially take over the house, prevent you from sitting on furniture or biting you for putting you hand down on the floor.
These dogs require daily grooming, have long hair and commonly do not enjoy long walks or walking through long grass, mud, water or through fields. They are not overly sociable dogs and are much better off in a quiet home with a handler.
The Siberian Husky
Typically known as a "dangerous dog" these intelligent, beautiful animals are by nature not aggressive to humans. They are very lively, strong and bountiful dogs that can live happily among other dogs, however, there are many reasons why they should not be kept as a family pet, especially around small children.
Husky dogs require extensive training from infant age throughout their lifetime. You won't meet someone who is a professional show person, breeder or trainer that will tell you to ever stop training your husky. They are intelligent, witty and can be extremely headstrong. They are somewhat distant descendants from wolves and are used as working dogs for sledging and other outdoor activities, thus they are better used for work rather than play. These dogs are prone to taking over a household, dominating humans, becoming unmanageable and even aggressive without constant training and mental stimulation. A trot round the local park once a day isn't good enough for these dogs and they can quickly pose a threat to safety. They are dominant dogs and need a much more dominant owner, children are unable to be pack leaders.
Whilst this type of dog is not known for being highly aggressive, they are extremely high energy dogs and due to their large size they come with the speed and power enough to destroy your house and knock everybody down. These dogs need an intense amount of training, handling and care throughout their lives and require more exercise than many people can give/ are willing to give them. Due to their boisterous nature and size, they are not suitable for people with small children or the elderly, however, they make better pets for teenagers, adults or single people.
These dogs are prone to many health conditions and require a lot of social interaction. If not given, they can become difficult to manage or even in some cases, depressed. They are also known for being "moody" or "emotional" and if poorly bred, this type of issue can lead to emotional or mental instability. In short, they are highly emotional, highly intelligent, highly social with other dogs and highly unstable. They are urgent dogs that unsupervised or not trained correctly can become overpowering and hyperactive in a dangerous way.
The thought pattern of a Weimaraner is: who?!?!what?!?!?what's that?! where are we going?! attention! attention! now! more, more, more!!!! yeah!!!! run! jump! chew! destroy!!!!!
West Highland - "Westie" Terrier
Did you know Westies can come in black, grey or white?
People often make the mistake of saying that because a Westie is small, fluffy and cute it's a good family pet. It couldn't be further from the truth. Westie's are ratter dogs and are highly temperamental. 9 times out of 10 a Westie will snap, snarl, lunge or attack you or another dog before they even realise they're done it, it's built into the terrier nature and also applies to Scottie dogs and Yorkies. Westie's need space to retreat into quiet solidarity, if disturbed it is likely they will attack.
Whilst the list of health problems for Westie's is relatively low compared to larger dogs, they should be kept ideally in a quiet, calm house with a moderately experienced dog owner. They are not suitable for children or the elderly due to their unpredictable and often aggressive natures and will snarl, bite and even take over the house. Westie's are not overly sociable dogs and can be very anxious, frightened and agitated easily. Westie's attack before they retreat in a fight or flight response, it's rare you find one that's a cuddly family pet. These dogs are best for showing or with an owner that can train it, have a professional breeder selected and handle them as they can be extremely stubborn, disobedient and fearless. They are also likely to attack and even kill other animals e.g. dogs, cats or small animals in the house.
They can make wonderful show dogs or pets as companions for single adults or couples. They are very quiet dogs but are also bouncy and playful with their toys and tend to make strong bonds with one owner.
Thank you for taking the time to read this hub. As I mentioned above, I am not incriminating any dogs or saying they shouldn't have good homes. I wrote this hub because the dogs NEED permanent homes from the day they are taken from their mother. Too many people make the mistake of taking a dog for Christmas, or one they can't handle or one that ends up attacking a family member. These dogs above are not criminals, nor do they deserve wrong things to happen to them. Most of the time it is the fault of the owner how the dog has turned out and not the dog itself.
No dog is 100% safe no matter how gentle or loveable, you should never leave a dog unsupervised with children for the dogs sake as much as the child's, children DO hurt dogs more frequently than dogs hurt children. Please be very careful, do your research and get a very good breeder or rehoming centre that can give you as much advice as possible and a brilliant quality pet that is right for you.
A massive thank you for reading, if there are any more dogs you'd like to add to the list please comment them below. I hope you have an amazing time with your new furry family member, let me know what dog you've chosen in the comments!
GalaxyRat on June 27, 2017:
Hi, you are correct on the Dalmatian named Tori. My Mum had one and she was aggressive towards the family and other pets (a golden called Lily). However, I have a dog whose part JRT and she is the sweetest thing. Only bites when you pick up human food that she's gonna eat. Won't bite you if you mess with her dog food. Will eat out of your hand; she will growl, but if you kiss her she will calm down.
There's this funny thing she does. Before she kisses you, she will give you the "I'm gonna bite you" look even when she isn't. Then she attacks... with kisses.
Thanks for the Hub overall, though.
cjjRogers on June 22, 2017:
The Auther; in reading the comments has received some criticism.
I do not know enough about the other breeds but the personality of the collie and Weimaraner is spot on.
Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on March 12, 2017:
Great article! Having experience of breeds like Guldong, Fila, Cane Corso, Tosa Inu, etc, I think the information is generally correct. However, if a puppy is taken at 8 weeks and is properly socialized, results could be different. An example is American Pit bulterrier. I would like to know how do people owning these breeds feel about this article.
Dog LOver on January 07, 2017:
liar liar liar! pit bulls are amazing, gorgous kid loving dogs! And westies! AAAAAHHHHHHHH!1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Best. Dogs . EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Seiriously! It all depends on socialisation and the owner.....
Acidman303 on December 26, 2016:
The author here has the same dog expertise as a Sun journalist. He says that the Pitbull terrier and the Pitbull are a different dog and that the Pitbull terrier is a cross between a Pitbull and a bulldog. What a load of misinformed rubbish. The Pitbull terrier came from crossing the bulldog with terrier dogs to make a skilled fighting dog. Didn't you wonder how the word terrier came into it if it was a bulldog/Pitbull cross?? They are not dangerous because of the dog fighting history either, they are dangerous because most of them nowadays are owned by young thugs. A Pitbull with a responsible owner if very family friendly. They love attention from all people particularly children. They are even very friendly with strangers. I do not deny their are bad ones but not when they are trained properly. Their are lots of bad ones nowadays but that's because they are popular with irresponsible people.
Maybe next time when doing an article you should read the BASIC facts up first. You could read the first page in a book or the first couple of lines on Wikipedia to learn where Pitbull TERRIERS came from.
Lex from Denver, CO on December 22, 2016:
While I don't agree with the generalizations the author claims for some of the breeds described, I think it's important to remember his experience is with re-homed animals. That said, I'm sure the claims made are very true for the individual dogs he's encountered. Re-homed animals are often not trained or socialized properly and do indeed display the behaviors listed in this article. It's very important to research the breeds you are considering adding to your family, AND the types of behavior problems you may encounter when adopting a pet from a shelter or another situation. ThePetMaster, I think a preliminary paragraph explaining your experience may be helpful and less alienating to your readers. Good info here overall, considering. Hate to see it ignored.
Stephanie on December 07, 2016:
I am a husky owner and don't really agree what it's written here about the siberian husky. This beautiful breed is originally bred to protect children and keep them warm in cold climate. Whenever I go to work, I'll leave my husky in the yard. The fence I've got is lower than 5 feet. She is never caged or chained. She tends to dig and create lunar landscape sometimes when she becomes bored but she never escapes from home. She is never aggressive towards my 8-year-old kid but is patient and tolerant enough to please and to play with her. It's all about the bond between the owner(s) and the dog.
Brady on November 24, 2016:
Yeah...this is all bullshit
Fred on October 06, 2016:
This whole column is rubbish. You have no idea what you are writing about.
Taynew on May 17, 2016:
I have a rottweiler that we trained from 5 weeks old. Training is essential because they are very large and have the potential to cause serious damage. However, you will not find a more loyal, patient and trainable companion. My rottie loves other dogs (socialization is key) and is very good with strangers especially off property. Rottweilers are highly intelligent and are a wait and see dog. They will take cues from their pack leader (which had better be you) and will attack only if encouraged or physically threatened. Overall, if you want a rottie yiu want a big, loving dog who's heart I'd as big as its head. They are loyal, intelligent, playful and guarding.
ThePetMaster (author) on May 07, 2015:
Whilst they do, many of them have been bred with the sole purpose of being used for fighting, guarding or generally aggressive behaviour.
PitbullKhaleesi on May 02, 2015:
The picture of the "pitbull terrier" or so you call is an American pitbull terrier, which is known to be a wonderful family dog. Most bully breeds make great family pets.