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7 WORST Dogs to Have as Pets, According to Vets

Worst Dog
Photo by Krakenimages.com at Shutterstock

Which breeds do you think are the worst dogs to own?

Dogs are widely and happily considered man’s best friend. But if you’re thinking about getting a dog for the first time, one of the most significant questions you can ask yourself is: Which is the WORST dog I could possibly own?

There are almost 200 pure-breed dogs and an unlimited number of cross-breeds out there. So there’s no reason to get a pooch you can’t control or care for correctly. Some may be aggressive, while others need excessive activities. There are also those with a shorter life span.

But whatever the case may be, keep reading as we look at the 7 worst dog breeds you can get that might give you cause for concern.

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147 Responses

  1. You guys are so off base! I have a pit/boxer mix. 70/30. He is the friendliest dog Ive ever been around. Loves all humans and other animals…maybe not squirrels. I have met many pitbull owners. They love their pits. Generally super friendly. Not aggressive. And also extremely low maintenance. Get the facts!!
    Have you talked to many vets for their thoughts? Not likely!

    1. Also John Sharp: It’s my belief that pit bulls were raised, not to fight, but to be babysitters. They are loyal to their family. Dog fighters have ruined many pits and their reputation.

      1. They were the Nana dogs for the rich in the ,20s-40s .not born violent the greedy fighters did that!

    2. Your thinking is the reason that PitBulls kill more people that all other breeds combined. They are looking at banning them here in the US. Already banned in many other countries. Because of folks like you that don’t understand canine behavior.

    3. John sharp..you are off base..the article response to your pet is a direct coralation to the amount of pitbull attacks on people and animals and children..(we actually have pitties on our block..I carry a hunting knife just incase one gets loose..I will kill it!..the owners of these dogs are most of the time not responsible enough to own that breed)..they were bred for a specific..(just like most dogs)…so get over your snowflake attitude and understand your dog in society…I have a 120 lb shepard..people are scared of it because not only his side but he is also on list of dogs as yours is…I don’t play the crying game when people tell me that..I just go on my way…..
      Cause if you going to get so offended by a silly article..stop reading them..(most suck anyhoo!)
      Have a great day john!..
      Pet the pup for me🙂 ..tell em I said “hey pups!!

      1. Shepherds are on this list. Maybe neighbors should carry a knife in case yours gets loose. Both Pits and Shepherds are very protective if their people.
        I’ve been bitten by a shepherd but not a pit. I say this having experience as a dog control officer for 20 years.

    4. I have the best dog I ever had and she’s a pitbull. Loving, gentle, friendly, happy, devoted, well mannered. I can go on and on, but hopefully the tide has changed and the pitbull stigma has changed.

    5. I agree. It also depend how they are trained? Every dog can be friendly.its owner responsibility who they trained and treaded kindness.

    6. I agree 100%!!!!! My son has had a pit mix and a pure bred brown nose stafforshire terrier (pure pittie)Both wonderful, sweet tempered, loving dogs!!!! He just got another pittie mix and he is the same way! Just like people, it depends alot on how they are raised and most importantly, LOVED!!!

    7. I had a pit once before and he was also a very sweet dog and I think it’s all on how they are raised. His name was Harley, but he had his moments and I never turned my back on him. I also had a black lab along with Harley and he would protect the lab as well. Some one tried to break into my home, and Harley was not having it! So again, it’s all on how a pit is raised

    8. Pit bulls are more dangerous than other dogs. That said, pit bull attacks can cause a lot of damage due to their size, strength, and determination. Pit bulls also have an incredibly strong jaw that allows them to clamp down on their target, leading many victims of pit bull bites to say the dog would not let go. They are not aggressive until they are. Many owners and children have been mauled by them despite their owners claiming they were super friendly. No insurance company wants to insure them. Wake up to reality.

    9. Sure, we know, it’s the owner, not the breed. When reports of Golden Retrievers eating peoples faces come out be sure to let everyone know

    10. U know y they say that cuz they probably never had one. We were raised around pitbulls and my father taught us to always respect the animal. The minute u stop respecting the animal that’s when he will turn on u.

    11. Thank you John!!!
      I have had the pleasure of being a pittie mom for over 30 years and they are my favorite!!!!!
      I have not feared for my life I have enjoyed every minute I have had with all of them and my only regret is that they couldn’t be here with me longer in this life!!!! The BEST family members I could ever have they loved 🥰 me and took care of me through health issues never wanting to leave my side and were the best companions and family members ever!!! I will protect them defend them til I die!!!! The biggest hearts ❤️ and total love ❤️ snd devotion I have for them!!! Instead of getting rid of breeds let’s start with ASSHOLES and go from there, then let’s start with when did a pit/ any dog rape a woman or child??? Never but we let them still live and commit more crimes , then when was it a human ever sniffed out a cell phone ??? They are more valuable than a lot of those that are taking up valuable air!!!

    12. Pit bulls match their owners!
      If the owner is nice and friendly then so is the dog!
      If the owners are insecure, unpredictable and fearful then the dog is the same!
      Their default is sweet and lovable however they will mirror their owners

    13. Pit Bulls used to be called Nanny dogs because they were so good with children!
      I have had & still have a Pit Bull as does my daughter. They are the most loving & devoted dogs. The only negative…& probably due to being a rescue…is my one dog had separation anxiety & had to be crated in a high impact crate when I wasn’t able to take her with me.
      I wish people would research the breed & stop trashing them!!!

    14. The article about pit Bulls states they have natural aggressive tendencies. NOT TRUE!!!
      Fighting dogs like the ones Michael Vick owned were routinely tortured, starved & abused & lived in horrendous conditions.
      When Vick’s ring was broke up & he was arrested, 5 of his dogs were rehabbed & adopted! Pretty amazing if you ask me!!!

    15. I’m an ER doctor of about 30 years.
      I see a lot of dog bites, many to the face of children. I can swear to you the majority of these dogs are Pitt Bulls or Pitt Bull mixes.
      Just my observation.

    16. True very True I had a pit/boxer he was a great dog great with my kids and my wife and everyone around her Awesome animal smart incredibly.

    17. There are neighborhoods where owners go out of their way to abuse their pit bulls to make them super agressive. This is what makes them as a breed unreliable. Make a large dog agressive and you will have a problem. When an owner calls his dog an American Staffordshire, it is an indication that he has made an effort to raise a well behaved pet and not an attack animal.

    18. I agree John.. Initially Pitties were NOT bred to fight.. they were more commonly known as “Nanny Dogs” due to their protective nature and were raised to be around babies and children..
      That and I don’t believe in a bad breed, just bad owners! 🙂

    19. i never heard of a lab or a golden retriever attacking and killing them or tearing them up for life just because yours may be fine others sure are not . a very dangerous breed in many ways and many of a pit owner have echoed your same words until…….

      1. At 56 yrs old, I’ve had pets my entire life. Dogs, cats, birds, albino mice…you name it I had it! And my last was a Staffordshire Terrier, otherwise known as a “pit bull”, which isn’t even a breed by the way. He was by FAR the best fur baby I’ve ever had!!! He was kind a gentle and just wanted to be loved. It’s not the dog to blame! It’s the owner!!!

      2. First dog I was attacked by as a child was a golden. ALL dogs have the capacity to be aggressive, it’s often due to the owners not properly socializing/training them as pups. I currently have 2 pit/mastiff mixes that do great with doggy day care and play groups. The older one prefers to hang out with people and get belly rubs while the younger one just loves everybody and will slobber you to pieces if given the chance.

      3. I agree Al, I’ve read enough about these dogs being totally unsafe around children and adults and even their owners to be convinced that of the group listed, which is spot on, they are probably the worst!

    20. I loved our blue nose with all my heart but he did attack me. He was almost 8 years old at the time and we had him since he was 8 weeks old. He was the smartest dog we’ve ever owned. I actually KNOW a lot of people with pits and they are such good dogs like ours was but you just never ever know. So the fact is it could happen and when it does these dogs are very strong and can cause a lot of damage. Need to always be aware, especially when there are children around. You never know.

    21. I agree with you. All of these breeds (although pit bull isn’t a specific breed, but rather a group of breeds that tends to get lumped together) tend to require a more responsible pet owner that will properly socialize and train them from a young age. I had a childhood friend that had a ‘pitbull’ and we could wrestle with him for as long as we wanted and he never once snarled or tried to bite (this was back in elementary school and junior high). I’ve often found the smaller breeds to be much more aggressive, likely due to not socializing/training.

    22. I walked a small white female pit as a volunteer at my local humane society for a year before she was adopted. The entire staff adored her, and if I hadn’t been renting, I would have taken her. I would sit on a bench with my left arm around her after our walk, and talk to her. I trusted her to be that close to my face because she never showed anything but love to anyone. She even ignored the other dogs When I walked her past the other kennels as they barked at her.

    23. Agree 💯.
      Unfortunately it’s the nasty unruly owners that teach them to become fighting 🐕 and very aggressive 😤. I had a full breed Staffordshire Terrior. He was my best friend, loved to play at the dog park ❤️, he was a great great dog. Wrong people have put a black mark on pitbulls.

    24. Pits are the best!!!!! Mine is a sweetheart. They get a bad rep because of BAD owners. It pisses me off when people talk trash.

    25. I agree With you 100%, I had a Stafford triple terrier. Sweetest dog I have ever owned everyone in our community.Love that dog especially the kids.

  2. i currently have TWO Great Danes ages 11 and 12. they are the sweetest animals in the world and i wouldn’t trade them for anything. both are adopted. the younger one was abused and we had some issues when we first rescued her at age 4 but she is the sweetest little girl. I would recommend Danes to anyone. Our first was a male and he would wait in our driveway for school to let out to play with the kids every day. He did die young (8) which is why we replaced him quickly with our current two.

    1. I HAD DANES FOR OVER 30 YEARS..I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU ABOUT DANES..THEY ARE THE MOST AWARE DOGS OF THEIR OWNERS AS TO WHEN THEY ARE SAD OR HAPPY. I ALWAYS SAY ONCE YOU HAVE A DANE THERE IS NO OTHER DOG IN THE WORLD FOR YOU.

    2. I agree with you 1000 % my Dane past away at 13 years old never replaced her only because of the thought of losing such a sweet and wonderful loving Dane again is to much to bare.

    3. I adopted a 2-12 yr old Mantle Dane, and he was The Best dog ever….more human than dog. He liked everyone but kids because at his first home the next door neighbor kids threw rocks at him. He was not aggressive to kids…he would just tyrant walk away.

      I had to say goodbye two weeks before he was to turn 8 because he had painful degenerative neuropathy. I still miss him 10 years later.

  3. Pit Bull is not a breed of dog — it is a class of dogs. The class contains several breeds to include the breeds American Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

      1. I’m surprised that they didn’t mention cane corso. My youngest daughter had an ESA in the form of the silliest, friendliest, and very protective pup. He kept my daughter safe and she was able to go out without her anxiety getting the best of her. He was well trained as he only took commands from her, but he protected all of us!

    1. Thank you for clarifying this. Mine is an American Pitbull Terrier who we rescued at one year old (vet’s best conclusion). We’ve had her for eleven years.

    2. Pit bulls are amongst the dumbest, most destructive dogs that I have ever been around. They get tangled up and don’t know how to untangle themselves. A German shepherd would easily untangle themselves. Even my English Mastiff could unwind her chain. The pit dog will drag out her 5 gallon water bucket placed in a tire and dump it. She kills anything that gets near her on the farm. Cats, small dogs,, chickens, ect. If I were not dog sitting her for my grand daughter, I would go out and put a .44 through her head. This is the most useless breed that I have ever had on my property.my advise, get a different breed!!!

  4. Named after Mt Shasta in northern calif, my Alaskan Malamute-German Shepherd cross who lived for 11 years was a fantastic companion dog. Was my loyal hiking, camping and traveling buddy. Easy to train, very social with adults, children and other dogs. When certain humans or other species concerned her, she alerted with a low growl but was never aggressive or bit anyone. Good protector, not much of a barker and was really a “shadow” dog. Only criticism I had was her love of digging. She destroyed all backyard plants and lawn during her lifetime.

    1. It’s true I had a pitbull who was a named Oreo. Loving dog he would watch over me ex-wife. I called him a big whimp he would hide under the blanket when he heard fireworks or would climb up in my lap.love and missed him. There are no bad dogs only bad owners. I have a shepherd. And my daughter has a German shepherd she is loving I can’t believe Alaskan malamute is on this list mine was mixed German shepherd and malamute he was gentle and loving my best friend growing up

  5. We have adopted and loved many Great Danes. All were gentle giants except one. As you described, he was hyper active and nuts. Due to his behaviors it was advised we put him down when he was 9 months old and already 120 lbs. Our other Danes were wonderful but expensive. The giant breeds cost more to feed and medical bills are much higher due to their size. Potential owners must take that into consideration as they become part of your family and you want to keep them happy and healthy. Plus be prepared to wipe slobber high off your walls when they shake their heads!

  6. I’m 79 and prefer big dogs. When 3 kids were little we had a wonderful German Shepherd for 8 yrs.
    After that, we had 5 pairs of Great Danes, owners have two, all colors, and my favorite dog. All my
    children are now big dog folks, with Danes and Mastiffs and never a problem – lucky or smart owners I guess. my Danes live to be over 10, 11 12 never slept on cement or were over weight. Our good fortune carries on today, having had 3 or the 7 breeds, amazing.

    1. I always prefer big dogs too. My husband does too, and my mother did as well..

      Some small dogs are cuties, I’ll admit … but,they’re hardly even big enough to see😉. After all, they’re all descended from wolves and there are *no* wolves the size of a miniature poodle, let alone a toy, or a teacup!

  7. I had a Rottweiler and he was the sweetest dog and I had a baby and a major. Nobody went near him so I don’t wanna hear nothing bad about Rottweilers

    1. I had a rott/ husky great dog he lasted 11 years i miss him alot my beast friend an was frindly with people

      1. Wow half Husky half Rottweiler – he sounds like he was a cool dog for sure!
        I know what you mean too.. you loved him and he loved you.. of course you still miss him.
        I understand.
        I love German Shepherds.. they live a good long time compared to many dogs, but this one had very seriously bad arthritis and bone spurs that caused him great pain and at 6.5 years we had to have him put down I cried for months and I still think of him.

    2. It literally says if not we’ll trained in every breed it deemed aggressive. Didn’t say one time that the breed in general was not good to own so…

  8. I bred and raised Great Danes for 25 years. They are not territorial or aggressive. I imagine you could find one that had those characteristics, but that is uncommon for the breed. They are lazy, sweet and good natured. They are called the Heartbreak Breed due to their early deaths. They are also called the Gentle Giants because they are both. My children learned to walk using our Danes for support. I never worried about my babies taking naps with my dogs. They were very tender with them. They do not need a large fenced in yard, but that would be nice for them. They are excellent pets for anyone who will invest their time in training them as puppies. If you do not take that time, you should not own any dog, but it especially important with a dog who will over-power you in no time at all.

    1. I love my nephews Great Dane. She is so sweet and such a well behaved dog. They have 3 kids. One is 13 and the other two are 2 1/2 and the other baby is 5 months. I would love to own a Great Dane after seeing this dog around these children and just people in general. They are gentle giants.

      1. Such is my experience too, Robin.. Great Danes are big (so lots of food needed) and they often don’t live as long as other big dogs.
        BUT your experience is like mine. Great Danes are sweet and gentle and kind and seem kinda simple. But they’re very good nonetheless, and they’re sensitive to children.

  9. I’m a dog owner our small dog is a great member of our family I’m so sorry to see so many dogs that are very aggressive and could cause great harm to people.
    I have friends that had Akitas and Rittewellrs but we’re well trained.
    That’s the Most Important Thing

  10. We own two of the breeds listed – German Shephard and Alaskan Malamute. Both are great with children and defend their families. I do agree that the Malamute is difficult. This one is our 4th Malamute, three purebreds and one Shephard/Malamute mix. The mix was the best , smartest and easiest to train. Malamutes are stubborn and difficult to train. They definitely are destructive, we’ve lost chairs and couches, outdoor cushions, dentures, glasses, and tons of toys. After they are two they tame down and are mostly out of the chewing stage however, they always remain food aggressive. You also have to watch their aggression toward other family pets. This one and the last had a terrible problem with our boxer, who was older. Malamutes like to assert their dominance and you have to make sure they know who is alpha. Our Shephard, on the other hand, is mellow and just holds back. He loves kids and runs with them, and will put himself between other people and dogs who they are leery of,.

    1. Toni, I;m a dog and cat lover. I ours now is a rescue .She is Australian Shepherd and Dingo. We were blessed with a brace of Malamutes for14 years. a terrific.time in my life, He was a champion defender of me and his pack. Train them early! Very loyal. Obedient if you do early. Just love those dogs!

    2. I remember walking a malamute at the humane society. He was friendly and sweet, but I was not prepared for the food aggression when I handed him a biscuit! No gentle taking it out of my hand there!

  11. I have breed and raised bull
    Mastiffs for many years! They were breed as guard dogs for sentry work in Europe years ago NOT WAR dogs!!
    They are protective just as any other animal would be as part of their pack! I’ve raised my children around them from babies and never once a problem. So I’m not sure where your getting your information but you might check with reputable Breeders for their input before spewing drool about dogs you don’t know anything about, except reading stats which can be skewed any way one wants them! Thanks

    1. Thank you for your comment!! There was the biggest male mastiff I have ever seen at the dog park.
      He seemed to enjoy watching my two tiny poodles. It was so hot and all dogs at least got near the edge of the water.
      There was a big train of dogs having a great time running in place in and out the water.
      If the “ train” got too close to my little dogs, this beautiful big dog just stood up. The train moved over.
      We had a beautiful day❤️

  12. Informative and well written article. So important to educate prospective dog owners before they buy or adopt a certain breed.

  13. i think you are correct especially regarding pit bulls. a danger to people and other animals. that’s why you see mostly this type in shelters to be adopted. people don’t realize what they are getting

    1. Had pit bull mix she was gentle dog of all it way they are train any dog who train right will be aggressive big and small we had few type of dogs through years and all were great with the kids and grand children

    2. Have you ever owned one before you make your comments? I have two 10 month old pix mixes and they are super sweet with everyone. They have never destroyed a single thing and love kids. My daughter was bit by a dog as a child and it was a tiny terrior type. So any dog can be good or bad it is the owners that in