18 Dogs You Shouldn’t Get If You Have Kids

Dogs are fantastic pets for children, and forming a loving bond with a four-legged companion can be a great source of comfort, as well as teaching them about caring for an animal. When choosing your next family pet, it’s important to look out for traits that might not be best suited to family life, so we’ve compiled a list of 18 breeds you might want to avoid if you have kids.

Dachshund

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Dachshunds’ long backs can make them prone to injury, and Pet Helpful says to avoid this, you should stop your Dachshund from using the stairs, jumping on furniture, or becoming overweight. They also say it’s important to pick up and hold your Dachshund in the right way, something that might not come naturally to kids.

Doberman Pinscher

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Large and powerful, the Doberman could be potentially overwhelming for small children, and the dog’s protective instincts could misinterpret a child’s play or noise as a threat. They also require consistent, experienced training to manage their guarding tendencies, something that might not suit a busy family.

Caucasian Ovcharka

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According to the Pet Health Clinic, the Caucasian Ovcharka was bred to protect flocks of sheep from human and animal predators. As a result, they are “very assertive and strong-willed.” They also go on to say that “some exhibit ferocious and unmanageable tendencies,” and they are not suitable pets for apartments or families with small children.

Australian Cattle Dog

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Bred for herding, these dogs could chase or nip at children when playing or running around together, and their protective nature might lead to aggressive behavior toward unfamiliar children. They are also high in energy and require extensive exercise and mental stimulation, which may not suit family life.

Fila Brasileiro

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These dogs are known for their protective nature, which can sometimes lead to aggression if they are not managed by a confident, experienced owner. They are also very intolerant of rough or disrespectful handling, which may be problematic with young, playful kids.

Dalmatian

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Dalmatians are large dogs with high levels of energy. Originally bred to run, they may get overly excited when playing with children and accidentally knock them over. They also require a lot of exercise, something young children and families might find too intense.

German Shepherd

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The PDSA says that German Shepherds “suit very active households as they need a lot of exercise every day. They are great dogs for owners with a lot of experience and time as, like most dogs, they can get bored easily.” This may be too demanding for families with young kids.

Bull Terrier

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Strong-willed, Bull Terriers require consistent, firm training, something that may not fit in with a busy family life. They can also be boisterous and overly energetic, which may lead to small children getting hurt, and they have been known to chase children when playing.

​​Chihuahua

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Although small, Chihuahuas can be fiercely protective and territorial, and they are known for becoming snappy or anxious around the unpredictable behavior of children. Their fragile size also increases the risk of injury during rough play.

Rottweiler

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Rottweilers are generally gentle; however, their strong guarding instincts can lead to aggressive behavior if they are not properly trained. As a result, they require consistent leadership and socialization from a young age, something that might not suit family life.

Akita

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Akitas are known for their loyalty to their families, but they can also be aloof or protective. This independent nature means they may not tolerate handling or disturbances by children, and it can lead to aggression. They also have a strong prey drive, which can be triggered by running or loud noises.

Siberian Husky

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Known for their high energy levels, a Husky’s constant need for activity can be overwhelming for kids and young families. They are also known for their tendency to escape, so they need secure containment—something to consider if you are a busy family with lots of comings and goings.

Chow Chow

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Aloof and independent, Chow Chows might not tolerate much interaction with children. PetPlan says they “aren’t known for their playfulness or patience, so they are better suited to families without boisterous younger children.” They can also be protective and territorial, which may lead to aggression if they aren’t socialized at a young age.

Alaskan Malamute

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Similar in size and energy levels to Siberian Huskies, the Alaskan Malamute can be a more dominant breed of dog. They require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation, which can be difficult for busy families, and they also have strong pack instincts in which they will attempt to establish dominance, including over children.

Weimaraner

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Large and very energetic, Weimaraners may accidentally knock over children during play. They also require consistent, firm training and lots of exercise. Finally, they are prone to separation anxiety, which could lead to destructive behavior if left alone.

Greyhound

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According to Pet Keen, “Greyhounds don’t enjoy chaos or erratic behavior. A small child might startle a Greyhound often, which can lead to nervous tendencies and potential biting.” They prefer a quiet, gentle household, which might not be suited to busy family life.

Airedale Terrier

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Terriers are known for their strong personalities and stubbornness, meaning they require consistent and firm training that can be time-consuming. Airedales are high energy, and their play can be rough, which might be too much for small children.

Saint Bernard

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Gentle giants, Saint Bernards can unintentionally cause injury to small children simply due to their sheer size. Their long coats also require regular and consistent grooming to avoid matting, which can be time-consuming, and their shedding might be problematic for some families.

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