18 Dogs That Aren’t Suitable for Families With Kids

Written By Jill Taylor

If you’re thinking of bringing a dog into the family home, then you’ve made a great choice! And now, it’s time to make another decision: the breed. There are loads of great options, but it’s best to stay away from the following 18 dogs if you have kids.


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These little dogs might not seem particularly intimidating, but they’re very easy to agitate and can pack a nasty bite. Due to maliciousness or simply rough play, these dogs can easily injure children’s delicate bones.

Chow Chows

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Forbes reports that chow chows, despite looking adorable, are responsible for quite a few dog attacks in the U.S. Don’t let their fuzzy nature fool you, as these dogs have a tendency to be aggressive, and that can lead to nasty consequences.


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The Disney movie 101 Dalmatians paints the breed in a pretty good light, making it the dream pet for many kids! For the most part, they make great pets, but you have to be careful with this breed. They are highly energetic, especially when younger, so they can knock children over quite easily. Plus, they require pretty firm training.

Afghan Hounds

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The Afghan hound is a dog with a particularly high prey drive, meaning that it has a tendency to attack. It’s quite unassuming to look at with its quirky hair, but it is actually quite stubborn with commands, which can make it hard to control.

Alaskan Malamutes

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This breed is very popular as a pet due to its cute face. Despite being pleasing to the eye, these dogs can be very dangerous. They’re large and strong dogs, which is a danger to kids in itself, but they also need a lot of stimulation and can act out when ‘bored’.


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The Weimaraner is one of the most energetic dog breeds, and that can overwhelm younger children. They might not be as dangerous in terms of attacks, but that level of excitement may cause them to behave in a way that upsets children under eight years old.


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The Native Pet tells us that while Rottweilers aren’t as dangerous as they look, they’re large dogs that have a tendency to get overexcited. This means that they can bounce around and knock children over, causing injuries. They also need extensive socialization to be comfortable with strangers and children.


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These unique-looking dogs tend to have a fairly unusual behavioral style, as they’re often quite reserved. This might not be best for young children looking to have fun, but it also might cause children to try to provoke the dog, and then they may act out.

Siberian Huskies

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The beautiful Siberian Husky has a wolf-like appearance that matches its predatorial instincts. These dogs have a strong desire to chase small animals, which might cause them to chase small children as well. They can also be stubborn and difficult to train, so they aren’t the most family-friendly option.


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Bulldogs often suffer from health problems that could be upsetting for children, and the excessive play that young children might demand of them could negatively impact their breathing issues. They also tend to be quite lazy, which won’t be much fun for many kids.


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Getting a mastiff if you have kids is not a good idea, regardless of how well you train it, as they’re a pretty unpredictable breed. Statistics from the Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan show that children are common victims of bullmastiff bites.

Saint Bernards

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The friendly but enormous Saint Bernard is highly likely to step on or knock over small children quite often! It is mainly the sheer size of this breed that puts it on our list today, so they might be okay for older kids.

Great Danes

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Again, the imposing size of this breed means that it’s just not going to be a suitable dog for young children. But they are docile dogs, so they will be pretty harmless to children who have grown to a size that they can handle one.

Doberman Pinschers

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Dobermans are often used as guard dogs, which says a lot about their temperament. They’re super protective and might misread a child’s behavior as threatening, causing them to attack. All of this means that they need constant training, which is a time-consuming task.

Shih Tzus

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On the flip side of many dogs on this list, Shih Tzus aren’t a good idea for young children because they are such fragile dogs! This breed can be injured easily by rough handling and play, which commonly happens with children.

Jack Russell Terriers

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The Jack Russell Club of America recommends that people not get a Jack Russell if they have children under the age of eight. These dogs are very hyperactive, which can overwhelm children. Due to their high prey drive, they’re also prone to nipping.


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The Basenji is well-known for being aloof and acting independently, so it might not be fun for kids who want to play with their dog all the time. Another result of this independence is that they can be hard to train.

Border Collies

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As Border Collies are such intelligent dogs, they may seem like the perfect pet for young children. However, their intelligence means that they need constant stimulation which can be too intense for younger kids.

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