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The Top Worst Dogs for Families

Updated on June 12, 2013

Small dogs do not always make a good fit

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While dogs have been man's best friend for many centuries, it must be admitted that not all dogs are suitable for families. This is why extreme care must be taken before selecting a canine companion. Dogs can live for a decade or more, and  therefore, adopting a dog should not be a decision made lightheartedly.

While it would be unfair to generalize on specific dog breeds, prospective dog owners must realize that some dog breeds are more demanding than others and require a bit more experience. However, it is also true that dogs have unique personalities, and many times within a breed you can find a wide spectrum of personalities that may be a far cry from the breed standard.

Following is a guide on dogs not suitable for families and why. But again, no generalizations can be made. These are not black or white statements and therefore each dog should be seen as a case to case basis There can always be bad apples in a batch of puppies belonging to a family oriented breed just as there may be loving dogs from breeds you would not expect to turn out suitable for families.There are good dogs and bad dogs in just about every breed.

Dogs Not Suitable for Families and Why

• Dogs of Unknown History

If you find an ad on the newspaper of somebody giving up on a dog and giving it for free, beware. The dog may be having behavioral problems that may not be seen right away, but that can pop up once adopted. For instance, you may find a family giving up on a dog that looks friendly with the kids and very loving, but you may only notice it is extremely food possessive once home. Same goes with the stray that follows your kids home one day. Be very wary of dogs with an unknown history: they may be carrying a baggage of behavioral problems.

• Dogs from Bad Breeders

Of course, any dog breed bred from a backyard breeder is not a safe choice. Back yard breeders do not typically temperament test their dogs nor do they perform health tests. They mainly breed dogs for money. There may be chances that the cute puppy licking your face may turn out being not a good choice for your family because it has ''weak nerves'' or is too ''dominant''. A responsible breeder will temperament test its breeding specimens and will help you choose the most appropriate puppy in the litter.

• Dogs from Puppy Mills

Puppy mills are dog factories. Female dogs are bred over and over again and the puppies are sold in pet stores or online. Because of this, it is quite easy to get hands on unsocialized puppies with major behavioral problems. Puppies born in puppy mills often lack the appropriate stimulation required to become well rounded dogs. They are then sent to stores where again, they will miss important milestones that will help them grow happy and healthy.

Fragile Small Dogs

Small dogs are often not suitable for a family with young children. Chihuahuas for instance, being so petite are often tempting for children to pick up and cuddle, but can be quite fragile. Dachshunds, may easily get their backs injured upon being picked up and mishandled by children. Not to mention, that some small dogs may feel vulnerable and may be prone to biting if left with small children who are too rough or careless.

• Hyperactive Dogs

Dogs prone to hyperactivity, generally do not do well in families with children. Children may increase the level of hyperactivity in dogs making them often unmanageable. it is not unusual to notice how in a family with hyperactive kids, there is often a hyperactive dog, suffering from stress and the inability to relax.

• High Drive Dogs

Some dogs are very high in drive and need a lot of stimulation in their lives. Such dogs often are not suitable for families with little time on hand and that cannot cater to the dog's needs. If you have to take your kids to school, go to work and then pick up the kids, prepare dinner and give the dog a pat, then these dogs will not do well and will very likely develop behavioral problems. High drive dogs are high energy dogs that require a costant outlet for their high energy.

• Abused Dogs

Some abused dogs may be particularly fearful and the unpredictable movements of children may add to their stress and fears. While many abused dogs can be rehabilitated, it is important that you get the dog evaluated carefully before adopting. Rescue dogs with a history of abuse or neglect can make great pets, but make sure they are suitable for your lifestyle and family structure.


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