Caucasian Ovcharka playing with child


Chow Chow

The Chow Chow originally came from China and is one of the oldest dog breeds that we know of. They are known for their dark tongues and fluffy coats and usually come in a reddish color. It’s known as one of the most aggressive breeds that people keep as pets in their homes. Because of their aggressive nature, this breed is one to be wary of if you have small children.

A Chow Chow loungingA Chow Chow lounging
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Chow Chows are incredibly protective of their owners and their territory and will show aggression to outsiders. This makes them difficult to keep at home, especially if you have a lot of visitors. Chow Chows will not warm up to new faces and can show extreme aggression, even if unprovoked. They typically don’t warm up to strangers easily and can be dangerous to keep with other dogs.

Siberian Husky

Although the Siberian Husky has become synonymous with the snow of Alaska, they didn’t start there. They were brought over from Asia and did well particularly in snowy environments. Unfortunately being placed in domesticated households, these animals miss the snowy environments which could lead them to find other ways to release energy. Huskies tend to be good with most children, but they can become destructive indoors if they don’t get enough daily exercise.

A couple of Siberian HuskiesA couple of Siberian Huskies
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Another thing to keep in mind is that Siberian Huskies get lonely if left by themselves for too long. They need to be around people or other dogs and animals so they don’t get bored. When you plan on bringing home a Husky, make sure your neighborhood has other dogs as well. This breed also loves to escape from wherever it’s housed, so be prepared for that.

French Bulldog

The French Bulldog is characterized by its scrunched face and small to medium size. They are prone to all sorts of diseases and health issues due to many years of breeding and overheat easily. Due to their tendency to overheat, keeping French Bulldogs in warm places isn’t good for the pet itself. It’s recommended that you keep them in a cool environment so that they don’t get too hot.

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Another thing to know is that French Bulldogs don’t do well in airplane rides. They can become overheated, due to stress and major breathing-impairment, and die if they are transported over long distances without rest. They also tend to struggle with separation anxiety and need constant company and attention from their owners. This makes any sort of travel by owners very difficult, as your dog would suffer greatly


Dalmatians were at the height of their popularity in between 1961 and the late 90s, after 101 Dalmatians by Disney was released and leading up to the live adaptation. Their appearance is marked by the many spots on their coats. Dalmatians aren’t able to hear very well, especially if called from a long distance. They can be difficult to keep at home due in part to their hearing problems.

A Dalmatian in the waterA Dalmatian in the water
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A great number of Dalmatians are affected by varying degrees of deafness, which can make them hard to train and handle. Most owners don’t know that this is a common issue, which means that Dalmatians are often misunderstood and mistreated. They are also really energetic and love being outdoors as opposed to indoors. It would be nearly impossible to keep a Dalmatian happy in an apartment or home without a yard.

Shih Tzu

Another dog breed that comes from China, the Shih Tzu is a popular dog to keep at home and to groom. Shih Tzu’s enjoy being indoors, but that doesn’t mean that they are best-suited to live in your home. They are extremely hard to housebreak, which means our floors won’t last long until they’re trained. Potty training a Shih Tzu will be a frustrating task, especially in houses that are carpeted.

Two Shih Tzus playing in the grassTwo Shih Tzus playing in the grass
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They can also develop multiple health issues due to their difficulty with breathing properly. Shih Tzu’s are known to make a raspy sound when they breathe because of their short snout. This might worry the owner into taking them into unnecessary check-ups, which can be very costly. They also are high risk for eye diseases and skin allergies. They can be expensive to take care of.

Australian Shepherd

Someone messed up with the naming of the Australian Shepherd because it was actually bred in the United States several decades ago. They are very “outdoorsy” dogs and require a great deal of exercise and attention. “Aussies” always need something to do and not everyone has the time for them. This leaves the dog to find other ways of getting energy, ways that might cause damage within the house.

An Australian Shepherd herding sheepAn Australian Shepherd herding sheep
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Keeping Aussies indoors for long periods of time can be harmful to them and your home. They easily become restless if not exercised; they need more exercise than most other breeds with a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes a day. One way to get past that is taking your Aussie on a long walk every day. Only actives people should consider owning an Australian Shepherd.

Jack Russell Terrier

The Jack Russel Terrier may initially seem like a good dog to keep at home, but there are some common problems that potential owners should be aware of. It’s yet another high-energy dog breed that needs to get enough exercise. It also won’t do well in your house if you own other dogs. These dogs like to have the full attention of their owner and may become aggressive if it isn’t received.

A Jack Russell Terrier enjoying the dayA Jack Russell Terrier enjoying the day

Another thing to note is that Jack Russell Terriers don’t do the best with young children or small animals. This depends on how well they are trained, but even the most trained Jack Russell Terriers won’t allow any sort of abuse against them, even if it wasn’t intended as abuse. Owners of these dogs are better off without having the children near them, due to the curiosity of both.


The Greyhound is a dog breed of European descent with a long and streamlined appearance. They have a long history of being trained to race against each other for sport. This gives Greyhounds the need to explore and escape, sometimes making them aggressive and energetic. Although Greyhounds are typically good dogs to keep as pets, they are a little hard to handle when taken for walks.

A Greyhound, racing towards somethingA Greyhound, racing towards something
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Greyhounds can easily escape from their owners’ yards if the fences aren’t at least four to six feet tall. There are also many cities where they must be on a leash at all times when they are outside the house. Greyhounds confuse the owners by acting calm inside the house and then doing the opposite while taken on walks. This gives some owners trouble, since they don’t seem to have issues indoors.


Can you guess where the Pekingese originated? If you guessed “China,” you would be right! A popular toy dog breed, the Pekingese is actually a really good house dog to have. Then why is this dog on this list? Well, the Pekingese is prone to both emotional and physical trauma. When the Pekingese is around other dogs and small children, its body becomes more clumsy, allowing accidents to happen.

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It’s best that you don’t own a Pekingese if your house is full of stairs, especially high ones. They have difficulty with them and can fall down them and injure themselves.  For those living higher up, or on stairs, the Pekingese might not be the best for your environment. Their breathing problems and wealth of diseases make this dog breed not ideal to have around children, who may give them a rough time.

Pit Bull

Pit Bulls have become a touchy subject to talk about due to their history and public perception. Some claim they’re the most dangerous dog breed while others say that’s a misconception. Whatever the case, they are powerful dogs capable of inflicting significant injuries on people and they are high energy dogs. Leaving these dogs unattended around small children is a danger to the child and the dog itself.

A smiling Pit BullA smiling Pit Bull

Unfortunately, these dogs have false connotations surrounding them, giving them more restrictions then other dogs. You have to be careful about owning a Pit Bull depending on where you live. Some places have restrictions on where they can go and if you’re expecting to travel, there are airlines that have banned them from travel. Owners can also be held liable if their dog attacks another person.


The Shar-Pei is one of the older dog breeds, being traced back to China. It has a shared history with the Chow Chow, having been crossbred with them early on. They were bred to be guard dogs in ancient times and still maintain some of that in their current state. Unfortunately, these dogs have false connotations surrounding them, giving them more restrictions than other dogs.

Shar Peis of different agesShar Peis of different ages

Shar-Peis need to be exposed to people and animals early on or they won’t learn to be friendly towards them. They can get aggressive and territorial when approached if they haven’t been trained or made to accept outsiders. This can make them difficult to keep as pets, so raising one from a puppy is recommended. Training can be paid for, which allows the dog to become more open-minded around other animals and small children.

German Shepherd

The German Shepherd doesn’t have an ancient history, only dating back to 1899. It was bred to be a herding dog, specifically for sheep. It’s one of the smartest dogs, ranking at number three out of all the breeds. This can lead the German Shepherd to curious about escaping, especially if living in the countryside. German Shepherds have been used for a variety of jobs, even including acting.

A German Shepherd running in a fieldA German Shepherd running in a field
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German Shepherds are active dogs and need something meaningful to do in order to be happy. They are great with families, but only if they’ve been properly trained or socialized from when they were puppies. Unfortunately, if not taken care of properly they can become aggressive. There are incidents where they are known to bite people but that’s not always the case.


Originally of African decent, the Basenji is known for the distinct yodeling sound it makes, which replaces the normal barking of other dogs. Just like hound dogs, their bark can cause sleeping distractions for the owners and their family. They were originally used as hunting dogs and still maintain that instinct to hunt. For that reason, they are not safe to keep around cats and other small pets.

A Basenji basking in the sunA Basenji basking in the sun
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The Basenji is really difficult to train, it’s actually one of the most difficult out of any dog breed to train. They are incredibly active and can even escape from homes with high fences by jumping over them. Unless the owner keeps these dogs happily trained, these dogs are known to run away from their homes. Families don’t do well with them, since they usually stick to one person.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers are intelligent dogs that learn and are trained quickly. They are also stereotyped to be dangerous like the Pit Bull. Dobermans actually are trained to be guard dogs, so there is some validity to their dangerous posture. They are naturally stubborn but are incredibly loyal to their owners. This can cause aggression to new visitors in the owner’s house, so when taking in a Pinscher, train the puppy to new guests.

Doberman Pinscher looking majesticDoberman Pinscher looking majestic

If trained properly, this dog breed is extremely obedient to its primary owner. This keeps visitors and others safe but only if the owner is present. Dobermans need to be exercised often to prevent their energy and aggression from being built up and expressed. They can also accidentally knock over children due to their size. If owning a Doberman, make sure you have a large backyard or dog park available.

Caucasian Ovcharka

The Caucasian Ovcharka, more often called the Caucasian Shepherd Dog, was mostly bred into existence in Georgia. The Caucasian Shepherd Dog is usually a low-energy dog but can get riled up when unfamiliar faces show up at owners’ homes. They’re especially unfriendly towards other dogs, no matter what breed they are. If you decide to take in another dog while owning a Caucasian shepherd, make sure you allow the dogs to meet first.

Caucasian Ovcharka playing with childCaucasian Ovcharka playing with child

Since Caucasian Ovcharkas don’t do well with strangers, it makes it hard to keep them in your home if you have guests over often. You typically (although not in all cases) have to keep them apart. These dogs don’t have many health issues but are prone to obesity and as a result, need constant exercise. Making sure your dog gets the proper nutrients is a very important part of owning an Ovcharka.


A few Dachshunds playing in a fieldA few Dachshunds playing in a field

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It’s not a great idea to have the Dachshund around children (especially smaller children) because most kids tend to play with dogs, which the breed isn’t fond of unless they have been properly trained. Because of their temperament, Dachshunds aren’t friendly to strangers, sticking to people they’re already used to. This makes the dog easy to keep indoors, but makes it difficult to take around large groups of people.


The Tosa is the only dog breed still used for legal dog fighting in Japan. They can be dangerous dogs since they have been bred to fight for many years. Aggression towards their owner can be remediated with training, but they will always have the primal need to attack. Due to their reputation, there are several countries that ban the Tosa including Denmark, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany.

A closeup of a TosaA closeup of a Tosa
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Unfortunately, the primary purpose of creating this breed is for dog fighting. As a result, they’re mistreated and horrible for home life. It wouldn’t be a good idea to keep one, even if you could get ahold of one. They are large and powerful dogs and not meant to be kept indoors. One way to get around this is by having a large backyard and keeping them outside for the majority of the day.

Afghan Hound

The Afghan Hound’s long hair is its most significant feature. It was originally needed for the climate it was raised in: the cold, Afghanistan mountains. This makes the breed stronger than most others, thus needing hours of exercise. The Afghan Hound is one of the oldest dog breeds, originating before modern breeds. This breed needs daily exercise in order to be healthy and so it behaves.

An Afghan Hound showing off its long hairAn Afghan Hound showing off its long hair
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Afghan Hounds are really good family dogs in general, but require a lot of maintenance and need to be trained to behave. Training, food, and other treatment are things to keep in cost consideration when taking in a Afghan hound. They are energetic and prefer being inside even though they move around a lot. The breed should be kept away from children unless they are used to them.

Skye Terrier

The Skye Terrier is a feisty, loud dog breed. They need daily exercise and love to dig, even indoors. They are actually endangered in the United Kingdom, which they are native to. Their long hair tends to get tangled if it is not brushed often and their faces need to be cleaned by their owners. This high maintenance dog can be difficult for its owner, as it needs more than just some playtime.

A Skye Terrier sitting in the grassA Skye Terrier sitting in the grass
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You should keep the Skye Terrier away from your smaller pets because they have the tendency to attack and kill them. They are also known to attack small children, because these dogs cannot tell the difference. They can be overly aggressive to outsiders unless they are trained to be around people. Skye Terriers can be good family dogs, but it depends on how well they are trained.


Another hunting dog, the Weimaraner is prone to chasing other animals. This breed, like other similar ones, means they need to be trained not to hunt and attack. They have a large amount of energy and needs to be exercised and fed properly. One big problems with owning a Weimaraner is that they tend to have bad separation anxiety. They can become overly attached to their owners.

A couple of Weimaraner dogsA couple of Weimaraner dogs
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If dogs who have developed this issue stay at home, they may destroy property and even hurt themselves in the process. They can also be incredibly loud, barking and howling when their owners are away from home. They need to be really well trained in order to prevent that from happening. Another way to work around that is training your dog with another dog that is used to comfort them.

Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees was originally bred to be a shepherd dog a few centuries ago in parts of Europe. The large breed naturally gravitates towards the outdoors and snow in particular, but doesn’t mind being kept inside. Children and small animals shouldn’t be afraid around the Pyrenees since it protects those around it. However, these dogs do require more than the usual bit of maintenance.

A Great Pyrenees in the mountainsA Great Pyrenees in the mountains
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This dog breed requires brushing several times a week and may drool a lot or not at all. It can develop serious ear infections if not groomed properly and infections in its teeth if they are not brushed by their owners. This high maintenance dog is very good to the family, other than the attention it needs. The Great Pyrenees can overheat easily, which means it will sleep for hours.


The Rottweiler is one of the more territorial dog breeds and although it isn’t particularly dangerous, it can be aggressive if not treated properly. The breed is physically strong and adds to the danger of raising one up without the proper training. They can be good with families if socialized from a young age. Keeping them around other dogs and small children helps the growing dog learn how to behave aroudn them.

A playful RottweilerA playful Rottweiler
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Because of their natural strength and loyalty to their owners, Rottweilers make great guard dogs if you’re looking for one to protect the house. They can be very dominant as a dog breed and need to be domesticated or they will take over the house and assert themselves over their owners. This goes for other dogs as well; the Rottweiler gravitates towards being the leader of the pack unless trained not to. 

St. Bernard

The St. Bernard is a massive dog that is generally friendly to both adults and children. There have been many famous St. Bernards both in real life and fiction over the years. They have been represented in books, movies, and even video games. The breed originates in Italy and Switzerland. The breed originated in Italy and Switzerland. Although the St. Bernard is on this list, their main issue is their sheer size.

A St. Bernard resting in the sunA St. Bernard resting in the sun
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Their huge size makes them difficult to keep indoors, even though they are incredibly friendly; They can knock over children and valuables with their bodies by accident. St. Bernards are generally non-aggressive, but only if they’re trained. They were frequently used as guard dogs and rescue dogs in the past. This makes the dog assertive, which can very rarely lead to aggression

Great Dane

This gigantic German dog is actually really gentle with others, which seems contradictory because it’s so big. Its size is one of the few obstacles to owning one, since it easily can knock over children and other animals. It’s one of the largest breeds, holding the record for the largest dog ever recorded. They were understandably popular as hunting dogs for a long time and make popular house dogs for many families.

A Great Dane standing straightA Great Dane standing straight
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Great Danes are great around children and families, especially if raised around them. Their size makes them a bit of a hazard indoors, especially if you have a lot of fragile belongings. You’ll want them properly exercised, but not too exercised. Like most dogs, they require a lot of care. Maintaining a large dog is just more difficult, but doesn’t take away from its natural friendliness.


The Wolfdog is a hybrid breed developed by breeding dogs with wolves. Since wolves have a dangerous past, this can be a problem around other animals and pets. They have fewer health problems than most breeds; they’re actually healthy dogs. There are many cities where they are prohibited due to their perceived danger towards people. Although their ferociousness isn’t as extreme as it’s made out to be, owners should still exercise caution.

A Wolfdog in the wildA Wolfdog in the wild
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Even if you want to have a Wolfdog, chances are that you won’t be allowed to. Around 40 states have banned owning or breeding them. And if you somehow do end up keeping one in your home, their unpredictable behavior makes them difficult to keep around, especially if you have kids. Training these dogs extremely well is one of the most important parts of owning them.

Dogo Argentino

The Dogo Argentino is another dog breed that is banned in specific countries. They were first bred in Argentina to be hunting dogs and guard dogs. Since this dog, as well as many others, has a hunting past, it can show aggression if not trained. Dogo Argentinos enjoy being around their human family, but their behavior can be a bit difficult to predict and even destructive if not checked up on.

A Dogo Argentino lying downA Dogo Argentino lying down

Because of their strength and natural drive, Dogo Argentinos aren’t necessarily ideal pets for families. They are most useful as working dogs and even happiest. They prefer to be working, either as police dogs, guide dogs, guard dogs, or service dogs. Home life isn’t ideal for this breed as they can get restless. Keeping these pets busy makes them more suitable for home life, but they will rarely be a natural fit for a family.

Cane Corso

Cane Corsos are typically great family dogs; they’re gentle with children and loving with their owners. But they’re not always so accepting of people or animals they don’t know. Training these dogs around other dogs helps avoid these issues. They’re known to chase other animals and display hostility towards strangers who come into their homes or interact with their owners.

A Cane Corso in natureA Cane Corso in nature
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AsyaPozniak/Getty Images

If you do decide to own a Cane Corso, they make excellent guard dogs. They are naturally astute and alert their owners of any suspicious activity by barking. Unfortunately, this can bother small children, so they are not recommended to live with this breed unless the dog is properly trained. This dog breed is one of the more popular ones and should be socialized early on so it grows accustomed to people.

Bull Terrier

Another dog breed that has been subject to bans and restricted ownership, the Bull Terrier isn’t necessarily as dangerous as it is made out to be by others who stand against it. Although there is some validity to that pointt, since the dogs have been known to be aggressive. It comes down to how the breed is trained and what it is exposed to during its upbringing.

A Bull Terrier in the flowersA Bull Terrier in the flowers
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Although they’re smaller than other notoriously-bred dog breeds, the Bull Terrier was also involved in blood sports and hunting. Even so, they are great with families if properly raised. Another potential issue to look out for is deafness. At least twenty percent of all white Bull Terriers are born deaf. Owning a deaf dog is very difficult to do, especially when they have a history of aggression.

Perro de Presa Canario

The Perro de Presa Canario comes from the Canary Islands in Spain. In English, it is named the Canary Mastiff. These dogs are prone to misbehaving and aggression if not trained from when they’re puppies. They can also be dangerous if trained to fight other dogs, which does happen due to their size. This unfortunately can lead to signs of aggression and the owner has to be careful when taking one in rather than raising one from a puppy.

A Presa Canario lying downA Presa Canario lying down
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There have been a few documented cases where a Canary Mastiff has killed people but they’re rare. Even so, it’s good to know the history of a dog before you take it in. Taking in an unknown dog can be risky for the owner and the pet. They may also attack other pets and small animals due to their natural drive to go after prey.


It’s thought that the Chihuahua originated in Mexico hundreds of years ago. Despite being classified as the smallest dog breed by several kennel clubs, chihuahuas are one of the most aggressive breeds. They become overly loyal to their owners or a single person they bond with and lash out at anyone who comes near them. Although they can be loyal they can also be difficult to keep indoors, due to their very persistent bark.  

A chihuahua giving a high fiveA chihuahua giving a high five
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This isn’t always the case and even if it does end up happening, they’re so small that they can barely inflict any damage on anyone. The most significant concern with keeping a Chihuahua in your house comes from having children. Chihuahuas notoriously dislike children, older people, and short people in general. Since they show aggression, keeping them with small children from birth is a good way to train them into acceptance.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

The Rhodesian Ridgeback was created in South Africa and also goes by African Lion Hound because it can keep lions away from its owner while hunting. Even though it protects their owners, since it was born to do so, it might show aggression towards outsiders. The breed has a ridge along its back that grows in the opposite direction than the rest of its coat. This is where its name comes from.

A Rhodesian Ridgeback at the beachA Rhodesian Ridgeback at the beach
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Rhodesian Ridgebacks aren’t exactly the nicest dogs when facing strangers. They bond to their owners right away and don’t trust outsiders. You won’t see a ridgeback attacking other people, such as guests. Even still, the Rhodesian Ridgeback might still attack other animals, especially ones approaching their owner. It’s important to treat these dogs really well since they are sensitive to force and must be trained early on.

Border Collie

The Border Collie is no dummy, topping the list of the most intelligent dog breeds. Border Collies are one of the most active dog breeds, often being entered into competitions or employed to herd sheep. They require a significant amount of exercise and attention — definitely not a dog for people who are always busy. This can also be a problem to people that don’t have a large area for the dog to run around. 

Border Collie in the waterBorder Collie in the water
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Border Collie owners aren’t typically ready to take on the responsibility of owning one. They need a ton of stimulation, both mental and physical, in order to be happy. In addition, they become easily bored and demand a lot from their owners. Without the proper tools, owning a Border Collie can turn into a disaster.  Although the dogs are friendly, they require a large amount of maintenance

Fila Brasileiro

The Fila Brasileiro was bred to help their owners catch or trap animals of varying sizes. They chase after animals and then corner them, waiting for their owner to arrive and kill or catch the trapped animal. Since these animals are hunters, they don’t like being around other animals. Fila Brasileiros tend to dislike visitors it doesn’t know but will cling to their owners. 

A buff Fila BrasileiroA buff Fila Brasileiro

Because they’re generally bred to be hostile, it can be tricky to find one that doesn’t exhibit aggressive behavior. This can further add to its difficulty to manage, especially in the home. Since they show aggressive habits, keeping them away from young children is very important in the training process. Even training it from a young age may not get rid of its untrusting behavior if not done properly.


The Bullmastiff is a purebred dog that is originally a cross between the Bulldog and Mastiff. They may jump at visitors repeatedly until told to stop. They don’t jump to show aggression, but rather affection. This can still be dangerous, due to their weight. This is especially dangerous if they choose to jump on a child. The Bullmastiff weights up to 130 pounds and grows up to a little longer than two feet.

A Bullmastiff in the snowA Bullmastiff in the snow
Image by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Bullmastiffs are great guard dogs due to their size and weight; it’s originally what they were bred for. This means the Bullmastiffs don’t like unfamiliar faces and animals, and will warn their owners if anyone gets too close. Guarding comes naturally, but additional, consistent training is necessary for a Bullmastiff to become acclimated to home life. Bullmastiffs have a shorter lifespan than most dogs at an average of only eight years.


The Boerboel is one of the strongest dog breeds and originates in South Africa. They were mostly farm dogs, doing work for their masters. The Boerboel needs constant work and lots of room to run around. These social dogs bond easily with their owners. They are actually great family dogs and get along really well with children. The problem that some owners run into is their dependency on their owners. 

A Boerboel in a field of grassA Boerboel in a field of grass
Image by Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Boerboels tend to want to stick by their owners, following them everywhere (if they’re not busy being lazy). They easily become lonely and aren’t meant to be left alone often. A busy Boerboel owner isn’t the best fit for these dog breeds. They create great bonds with their owners and don’t tend to like outsiders. They are also protective of their family and can be aggressive.

Catahoula Leopard Dog

The Catahoula Leopard Dog is Louisiana’s official state dog, named after the Catahoula Parish in the same state. These dogs have webbing on their feet, which makes them capable swimmers and great hunters in marshes. These animals blend in with their surroundings and are easily lost when left in large grassy areas. Their coats are generally spotted, almost like a leopard’s, but there are some without a single spot.

The Catahoula Leopard DogThe Catahoula Leopard Dog

Catahoula Leopard Dogs have a high chance of being born blind or deaf or a mix of the two. This unfortunate situation makes training this breed more difficult, especially for an inexperienced dog owner. The likelihood of that happening can be much higher based on their coat’s color. Like many dogs, they are aggressive when faced with others they don’t know. Training can alleviate this normal behavior.

Bernese Mountain Dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog hails from the Swedish Alps, imported from Rome hundreds of years ago. They have one of the shortest life expectancies of all dog breeds, at only seven to eight years.  If raised with young children, their short life span can affect the mental health of the child. They were mostly bred as farm dogs in the past but they also were used to pull carts for their owners.

The Bernese Mountain Dog on its backThe Bernese Mountain Dog on its back
Image by Cuveland/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Bernese Mountain Dogs are usually much happier outdoors rather than inside the home but they adjust pretty well to home life. Even then, they do need a decent amount of exercise to stay healthy and happy.  For people living in large cities, having a large dog park or backyard is ideal. A nearby dog park will be an adequate substitute. They have a high rate of death from cancer compared to most other dog breeds.


Also known as the Monkey Terrier, the Affenpinscher is a toy breed of German origin. Affenpinschers are playful, confident dog breeds that will stand up to anything to protect their owners. These dogs don’t like new faces, particularly if it’s an animal. Potential owners should stay away if they aren’t accustomed to training dogs since the Affenpinscher is so difficult to housetrain.

An Affenpinscher at a showAn Affenpinscher at a show
Image by STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images

Affenpinschers should also be kept away from small children since they are possessive of their toys and territory and generally aggressive if they are attacked or if they are played with too hard. This can be a danger to the family, if the owner is too busy to keep an eye on the dog constantly. They don’t live as long as most dogs of their size, but still clock in at about 11 years.

Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Shepherd is also known as the Belgian Malinois and is a working dog used often as a police dog. They have even been used in the service of the White House on occasion. Although they’re easy to train, they’re not ideal for home life since they prefer to be working. When not trained to be friendly from the start, their instincts kick in and make them a hazard to small children.

Two Belgian MalinoisTwo Belgian Malinois

They also need a great amount of exercise since they are so incredibly energetic. Smaller homes or those with small backyards aren’t able to give them the exercise they need. They are some of the most easily-bored dog breeds, destroying things if they don’t get enough exercise and attention. Belgian Malinois are also effective war dogs, being used in several important operations in the recent past.

Tibetan Mastiff

Utterly massive and primordially imposing, this dog should never be considered a pet. Native to the high Himalaya mountain range, the Tibetan Mastiff is a fearsome guard dog. Often defined as a primitive breed, the Mastiff can withstand some of the toughest conditions on earth – all while taking absolutely no guff from anyone or anything.

A giant Tibetan Mastiff snarls and lunges at the cameraA giant Tibetan Mastiff snarls and lunges at the camera
Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain

While serving their essential purpose guarding livestock and family dwellings, the Mastiff can actually show a soft spot for its owner and family. That said, they still should be treated with a modicum of respect. As if you needed to hear that after seeing those formidable teeth.


Eager, energetic, high-strung… all the words you can apply to the Samoyed don’t even begin to describe it. Bred as a working dog for fast mushing and cold weather hardiness, the everpresent smile of the ‘Sammy’ gives away the secret. These guys have a TON of energy.

A team of Samoyed dogs pulls a dogsled musher in the snowA team of Samoyed dogs pulls a dogsled musher in the snow
Image by Martin Schutt/picture alliance via Getty Images

While they make incredible dogs for super active families and outdoor adventurers (read: must love dogsleds) they aren’t recommended for apartment dwellers or more sedentary owners. If you can give them enough exercise and attention, you’ve got a fantastic companion. Too little stimulation and they’ll chew through everything you own… with a smile!


Insta-worthy and adorably cute, the Shiba dog is a Japanese breed that has been garnering a lot of ‘likes’ lately. With their fox-like countenance, gorgeous coloring, and incredible coat – the Shiba may seem like an appealing choice. Buyer beware, however, they are famously standoffish. Even from their owners.

Shiba inu dog leaping in the snowShiba inu dog leaping in the snow
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If you’re into the whole aloof thing and you can deal with a tricky temperament, the Shiba Inu may be a good fit for you. Just be aware: you WILL get stopped on the street constantly. Get ready to answer the same questions again and again. Yes, it’s a Shiba Inu. No, it’s not a fox. Yes, I know how cute my dog is…


The Vizsla is a photogenic Hungarian breed that likes to do one thing above all. Run. These affable pooches have sweet, soulful faces and kind eyes that say “I’ll be your pal!” Don’t be fooled, however. They need to run. Bred as fowlers, their smooth coat and outright speed help them run through water, swim, and cover lots of terrain.

Muscular Vizsla stands on edge of lakeMuscular Vizsla stands on edge of lake
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If you get the timing right, the Vizsla can be an excellent family dog. Kids can help provide the hyperactive breed with enough stimulation and play as a puppy. Proper socialization can them settle down a bit as they grow up. Still, if you’re a for a running buddy who never flakes: look no further.


Indigenous to the Middle East, the Canaan dog is a rough-and-tumble desert breed that prefers to live on the outskirts of civilization. From the high mountains to the foreboding deserts, the Canaan dog feels at home pretty much anywhere. Except for an actual home.

Two white Canaan dogs walk while holding a stick in their mouthsTwo white Canaan dogs walk while holding a stick in their mouths
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Seemingly indestructible, time has barely altered the ancient breed, sculpted by the environment. These guys are part of a group of dogs sometimes called ‘pariah dogs’, due to the fact that they’ve evolved to live outside the bounds of human settlement. Well, fine. Be that way, dogs!


When you think of a Dachshund or “Wiener-Dog” you’re probably underestimating these little canines. It’s cool, we all do it. At first glance, the diminutive and agreeable hound may seem tame. Don’t let their cute looks deceive you… The Dachshund, A.K.A. “Doxie”, was bred to hunt badgers. Yes, you read that right. BADGERS.

Dachshund running toward the camera with tongue wagglingDachshund running toward the camera with tongue waggling
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Considering that the badger is a burrowing animal, the doxie’s narrow build starts to make more sense. After chasing a fearsome mustelid down into its burrow, the loyal hunting dogs were trained to lock their jaws down and pull the angry furbearer right back out of the hole. Talk about punching above your weight!

Anatolian Shepherd

They’re big, they’re bold, and they’re from Turkey. The Anatolian Shepherd has the kind of imposing demeanor and reserved cool that could only come from central casting. Frequently, dogs with such a presence can be more bark than bite. That’s not the case here, however.

Anatolian shepherd dog in London streetsAnatolian shepherd dog in London streets
Image by Yunus Dalgic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

As a working shepherd dog, the Anatolian makes perfect sense. As a companion in a small space, it’s pretty obvious where problems can arise. Beyond just trying to find room on the bus for your giant friend, you’ll need to make sure they get enough exercise and plenty of kibbles. One thing is sure – whatever you find an Anatolian Shepherd doing, they’ll be looking cool doing it.

Bergamasco Sheepdog

The obvious thing is the incredible fur texture. The less obvious bit is just how much these amazing dogs like to herd things. Don’t be surprised to find a wet nose attached to a bundle of fluff urging you onward while you’re doing chores around the house. Stopping to smell the roses? They’ll keep you on track with a gentle nudge.

Bergamasco Sheepdog or Bergamese Shepherd, Adult laying on GrassBergamasco Sheepdog or Bergamese Shepherd, Adult laying on Grass
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While not the biggest breed out there, males can grow to over 80lbs., so be prepared. On the plus side: where does an adorable 80lb. Bergamasco Shepherd sit? Wherever it wants! Judging solely on that smile, these overgrown mops of love can be a great addition to a farm or forest family. Just don’t coop them up in a shoebox-sized studio.

Standard Poodle

Another hunting breed, the Standard is the big brother to the dainty Miniature and Teacup Poodle varieties we’re more familiar with. Regal, massive, and super athletic, the Standard is a considerable force. While they’re great field dogs, they do less well in confined settings.

A Standard Poodle sits backstage at the Westminster Kennel Club ShowA Standard Poodle sits backstage at the Westminster Kennel Club Show
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Without proper play, the Standard can become depressed or destructive. Their powerful upright stance and springy gait are signs that they love to sprint around. Give them enough room to play and they’ll be bounding after a ball for hours. Give them too little room and your couch will turn into a chew-toy… Poof!


Also known as the Russian Wolfhound, the Borzoi is long and lean. Best suited to hyperspeed sprints in pursuit of a rabbit or other small game, the wiry coursing variety measure almost 3-feet tall at the shoulder. Just think about that: 3-feet tall and over twice as long. You can do the math…

Dog Russian Borzoi Wolfhound Head , Outdoors Spring Autumn TimeDog Russian Borzoi Wolfhound Head , Outdoors Spring Autumn Time
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Owners report an often playful temperament, but Borzois are even known to have a rare contemplative streak when relaxing. Exhibiting denning behavior as other dogs do, you can be lulled into believing these speedsters don’t need to get outside as much. Be warned: a tired Borzoi is a happy Borzoi. That usually means a tired owner = a happy Borzoi, too.

Dogue de Bordeaux

With an absurdly massive head, big floppy jowls, and pretty much all the fur, these lovable slobbering giants are actually super friendly. Even still, that means you may unexpectedly find 100lbs. of big shedding, drooling lug in your lap. A large breed, the furry French friends move fairly deliberately. Lumbering from room to room, you’ll know them by the destruction they leave in their wake.

Dogue de Bordeaux looks at the cameraDogue de Bordeaux looks at the camera
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As that trademark mouth can’t close fully, it’s normal for your Dogue de Bordeaux to salivate on every stitch of clothing, stick of furniture, and important document in your home. The obvious solution? Put all that stuff in storage and Dogue-proof your pad! Or, just consider a slightly easier breed.