Top 10 Worst Dogs for Kids and Families

Like we mentioned in our other posts, a dog can bring happiness and joyfulness into any home. However, there are some dogs that are just not as good around children as other dog breeds. Dogs must be treated with respect and sometimes your child may not treat your dog in this way, therefore, there could be consequences such as bad behaviour or even worse, a dog bite.

Here at The Pet Embassy, we have compiled our “Top 10 Worst Dogs for Kids and Families” to help you pick a dog breed if you have a young child. If this is the case, then we have also compiled a list of the best dog breeds for children here. Conversely, if you want to know what dogs to potentially avoid below please read on.

Please note, we have tried to combined a number of factors when analysing which dog breeds would not be suited to kids and family but we truly appreciate that we are generalising breeds and that your dog breed may appear on this list and you disagree with us and that’s fine! We would love to hear it in the comments section below.

The Pet Embassy’s “Top 10 Worst Dogs for Kids and Families”


Top 10 Worst Dogs for Kids and Families
Attentive Rottweiler waits for instructions on the green grass. Photo by Alexander Nadrilyanski from Pexels

Size: Large

Temperament: Calm, Confident and Intelligent

A Rottweiler is a calm and confident dog breed and is very self-assured. Originally bred to drive cattle and pull carts for farmers and butchers. Their heritage shows through their broad chest and heavily muscled body.

The Rottweiler is a fantastic guard dog albeit with a mellow temperament. Rottweilers have a natural instinct to protect their pack and will be very demanding in their defence. Please ensure early socialisation to allow them to channel their power and protectiveness, otherwise, they may become a dangerous bully rather than the protector that you want in your household.

Owning a Rottweiler is very challenging but rewarding. Rottweilers are not the best for first time dog owners. You must be able to show your Rottweiler leadership so he can trust you and respect. Otherwise, there is a chance that your Rottweiler will assume the role of top dog for themselves, which can be very bad considering the intelligence and power of the Rottweiler and a reason why the Rottweiler one of the worst dog breeds for kids and families.

Rottweilers are one of the most intelligent dog breeds and are very trainable if you’re firm and consistent in your actions. They may look to test you to see if what you say is actually what you mean, always be specific in what you ask and don’t leave any loopholes for this intelligent dog breed! Their intelligence is just one of the reasons why the Rottweiler features on our favorite large dog breed list!


Top 10 Worst Dogs for Kids and Families
A cheeky Akita gets a little scratch from their friend. Photo by Maksim Goncharenok from Pexels

Size: Large

Temperament: Alert, Courageous and Friendly

Originating from the Land of the Rising Sun, this Japanese breed is considered the National Treasure of the Country. The Akita of today is an extremely loyal dog breed that watches over his master and family members due in part to their roots as a guard dog. However, they can get defensive when it comes to unfamiliar people, places, and animals, so proper socialisation is necessary and they require their owner to be an experienced dog owner. In addition, this defensive nature combined with their sheer size means the Akita is one of the worst dog breeds for kids and families.

The Akita’s thick coat and loyal nature make them a perfect dog breed for cold weather activities as they will not get cold and they will also come back and find you if you get seperated.

The Akita is an intelligent and loyal dog breed, however, their independence and stubborn nature can be a problem if they aren’t properly trained. Akita’s require lots of training in their early stages. Using high value and high frequency rewards to motivate them is important. Once trained, they are incredibly loving and protective. Unlike many other large breeds, the Akita doesn’t require hours of exercise, they are generally happy with long brisk walks!

Akita’s have a thick undercoat and this is something that needs to be maintained regularly as they are also prone to malt.

The Akita is one of our favorite large dog breeds and one of our favorite working dog breeds too!

Siberian Husky

Top 10 Worst Dogs for Kids and Families
Husky sitting in the snow looking away from the camera. Photo by Joey Marrone from Pexels

Size: Large

Temperament: Friendly, Gentle and Outgoing

The Siberian Husky is believed to have originated among a tribe of Siberian nomads called the Chukchi. Siberian Huskies were bred to pull sleds over long distances in tough terrain in Siberia, which has meant they have evolved into powerful dogs with a great thick coat. Siberian Huskies are adored by many for their friendly and gentle nature, this makes them lousy watch dogs, but, they are one of our favorite large dogs.

Due to their origins pulling sledges, the Siberian Husky is one of the most active dog breeds and have copious amounts of energy. Ensure you take your Siberian Husky on daily long walks, hikes or runs to keep their strength in their legs. These elegant dogs are happy to go on any adventure, however, their thick fur is perfect for keeping them warm meaning they are a great dog breed for cold weather, they are also are prone to overheating.

The Siberian Husky features on the worst dog breeds for kids and families list because of the amounts of effort that the husky needs as well as their power which could hurt small children. In addition, Husky have a high prey drive and they may think of the little children as prey!

Also, the Siberian Husky is one of our favorite working dog breeds.

Alaskan Malamute

Top 10 Worst Dogs for Kids and Families
All smiles with this lovely Alaskan Malamute. Photo by Aleks Michajlowicz from Pexels

Size: Large

Temperament: Energetic, Sturdy and Powerful

The Alaskan Malamute is a powerful and sturdy dog which is built for both stamina and strength. These dogs are one of the oldest artic sled breeds and they were raise to help in the transportation of goods and people over long distances as well as to aid in the hunting of both seals and polar bears. They usually have a white body with grey, black, or brown markings, either way, they are one of our favourite large fluffy dog breeds.

The Alaskan Malamute is a dog that is very easily excitable and they require lots of exercise otherwise they will get bored and show some signs of destructive behaviour.

The Alaskan Malamute, looks very similar to the Siberian Husky which is also on this list, however, they are larger – which can be a bad thing for children and families. As quoted above, they enjoy play and may play rough if they are not getting enough exercise in those powerful legs. Lastly, they are a very proud and strong breed, therefore, they do not make the best dog breed to be on a leash as they may pull or jump. For all of these reasons, the Alaskan Malamute features on our worst dog breeds for children and families list.

The Alaskan Malamute were bred to have a thick dense coat to shield them from the extremely cold elements that they had to deal with when pulling sleds in the Artic climates, which means they easily make it onto our best dog breeds for cold weather list.

Chow Chow

Top 10 Worst Dogs for Kids and Families
Fluffy Chow Chow sitting on grass. Photo by Sharmaine Monticalbo from Pexels

Size: Medium

Temperament: Independent, Protective and Proud

The Chow Chow is a said to be one of the oldest dog breed, and many genetic tests have proven that to be true. This ancient breed is believed to have been originated in Northern China and Mongolia. The Chow Chow is a very distinctive-looking dog breed with a mane of hair, which is why they are one of our favorite large fluffy dog breeds. The Chow Chow are a very proud and independent dog breed who are suspicious of strangers. However, the Chow Chow is known to be a lazy dog and is happy to lay on the couch for hours. What a good looking and lazy dog breed!

The Chow Chow needs an owner who understand and respects their independence but does not let the dog take over. It is imperative that the Chow Chow is socialised from an early age and introduced to new dogs, people and situations as soon as possible to ensure that they’re relaxed as adults. The Chow Chow is one of our favorite medium dog breeds!

The Chow Chows main like hair needs to be brushed at least twice a week to keep their coat in good condition.


Top 10 Worst Dogs for Kids and Families
A Chihuahua practising their hide and seek skills. Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh from Pexels

Size: Small

Temperament:  Alert, Courageous and Lively.

Chihuahuas are an entertaining and expressive little dog breed. The Chihuahua is absolutely brimming with confidence. Their personality makes them an adorable companion and they can really brighten up the mood in any home. Chihuahuas are one of the most loyal dog breeds around, so much so they are often described as “Clingy”; that’s how loyal this breed is in general! Their loyalty and personalities is just one of the reasons they are one of our favorite small dog breeds!

Due to their small size and expressive personality, chihuahuas don’t require the long walks that other dog breeds do, which makes them one of our least active dog breeds, they are equally as happy in a flat as they are in a massive yard, as long as they get as much attention as possible. They are one of the best dog breeds for apartments. However, their small size means they can quite easily be injured when playing so it is best to avoid having them play with children or larger dogs if possible. Another positive of their size is that they are very easy to maintain and need regular brushing.

The Chihuahua is also one of the longest living dog breeds. The Chihuahua can live up to 20 years old! In general, Chihuahuas live to be around 12 to 14 years. Chihuahuas are one of the oldest living dog breeds on the planet.


Top 10 Worst Dogs for Kids and Families
A brown Pekingese looking into the distance. Photo by Elisabeth Fossum from Pexels

Size: Small

Temperament: Independent, Intelligent and Tough

The Pekingese, were once a dog of Chinese royalty and anyone who has a Pekingese will know that they still carry some royalist traits! Pekingese are an affectionate and independent dog breed who will pretty much do whatever suits them at that time.

The Pekingese is a very versatile breed and will thrive in almost any household, which are just a few of the reasons as to why they are our favourite small dog breeds. They are one of our least active dog breeds as they do not require the long walks of other more active dog breeds and like to cuddle on the couch.

The Pekingese is an intelligent dog breed, however, their independence can mean that training may be a challenge and they are not a great dog for beginners. They are an extremely vigilant dog breed which makes them a great watchdog! They are weary around strangers and take some time to warm up to them. In addition, the Pekingese tries to act bigger than it is and this will be by barking and nipping at intruders or people they are unfamiliar with, therefore, the Pekingese is one of the worst dog breeds for kids and families.


Top 10 Worst Dogs for Kids and Families
A beautiful white Maltese in a field of Grass. Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

Size: Small 

Temperament: Friendly, Gentle and Intelligent

The Maltese dog breed has an interesting history, their breed can be traced back into ancient times. This small charming dog breed was immortalised by many ancient civilisations in Greece, Italy and Egypt. They were even mentioned by a famous Greek philosopher called Aristotle! 

Maltese are very people orientated due to their long history as a companion dog. The Maltese is one of the least active dog breeds in the world, however, they are very intelligent and really easy to train. They thoroughly enjoy pleasing their owners. The Maltese responds well to lots of positive reinforcement, after all, how can you not be positive and happy around such a lovely dog breed. The Maltese is one of our favorite small dog breeds.

Their love and affection combined with their gentle temperament, making the Maltese one of the best dog breeds for seniors.

The Maltese doesn’t require the space that some larger dogs do and the fact they are a relatively lazy dog means they are a great dog breed for apartments.

The Maltese is prone to getting the chills, especially if they are damp or walking in a cold environment. A nice warm coat is recommended if you live in colder climates.

In addition, the Maltese has a hypoallergenic coat. They are one of our favorite small hypoallergenic dog breeds.


Top 10 Worst Dogs for Kids and Families
A Bullmastiff playing on the grass. Photo by Julissa Helmuth from Pexels

Size: Large

Temperament: Gentle, Loyal and Relaxed

The Bullmastiff is a fearless family guardian. They are known for being weary around strangers but having a soft spot for their loved ones. The Bullmastiff is known as the “silent watchdog” as they hardly ever make any noise and spend most of their time on the couch. However, once they hear or see anything slightly suspicious they are ready for anything. Their size and confidence is enough to scare off any intruders. All of these reasons are why they the Bullmastiff is one of the best dog dog breeds for protection.

The Bullmastiff is a strong, independent dog and will do better than other dogs when left alone for long periods of time. They are good around children but due to their size they may accidentally knock down the child, so please keep an eye out when your Bullmastiff is playing with children.

The Bullmastiff is one of the least active dog breeds. A few short walks and a little playtime will meet their energy demands. They are a very mellow dog breed and are happy living in an apartment or flat, as long as you ensure that they get their regular exercise.

Shih Tzu

Top 10 Worst Dogs for Kids and Families - The Pet Embassy
A brown Shih Tzu posing for the camera. Photo by Steshka Willems from Pexels

Size: Small

Temperament: Funny, Mischievous and Tough

More than 1000 years ago, these chinese “lion dogs” were the stuff of royalty. However, despite their proud lineage, they are a cheeky and mischievous companion that will offer you hours of entertainment to you and your family, which is why they are one of our favourite small dog breeds.

Shih Tzus are a dog breed that loves everyone they meet and will happily be introduced to strangers as long as they get their attention! They are an easy going breed, which makes them a great choice for seniors. Shih Tzus are of the least active dog breeds that are equally happy resting on your lap, but, like all dogs enjoy running around in a park. Shih Tzus are known to be difficult to housebreak so they will need lots of training early on to ensure your house is clean!

The Shih Tzu is a lazy dog that does not require the levels of exercise as some larger dog breeds. They are very happy lying on the sofa with their favorite person, therefore, they are one of the best dog breeds for apartments.

The Shih Tzu is a tough dog and they do not tolerate much. They feature on our worst dog breeds for kids and families list as they may snap if their patience is wearing thin! In addition, they are always at your feet and may accidentally trip up your children if you are not careful!

They can live up to 15 years or older, which makes them one of the longest living dog breeds in the world. Please make sure that you constantly keep their fur in check and take them to get groomed often!

In addition, the Shih Tzu is one of our favorite small hypoallergenic dog breeds, so you can cuddle for hours without having to worry about allergies!

Is your dog breed featured in our “Top 10 Worst Dog Breeds for Kids and Families” list? Let us know in the comment section below.

Many of these dogs also feature in our other posts so why not read them below!

Top 10 Most Loyal Dog Breeds for Your Home

Top 10 Best Dogs for Beginners and First Time Dog Owners

Top 10 Most Energetic Dog Breeds for Active People

Top 10 Dog Breeds for Kids and Families

Top 10 Smartest Dog Breeds (Intelligent Dog Rankings)

Is My Dog Depressed? – What To Do If Your Dog Seems Sad and Tired

Top 10 Favorite Small Dog Breeds to Keep You Company

Top 10 Least Active Dog Breeds for Lazy People

Top 10 Best Dog Breeds for Seniors and Older People

Top 10 Best Dog Breeds for Apartments and Smaller Living Spaces

Top 10 Longest Living Dog Breeds to Fill Your Home With Love

Top 10 Best Dog Breeds for Protection and To Keep You Safe

Top 10 Favorite Medium Dog Breeds That Encompass The Best of Both Worlds

Top 10 Favorite Large Dog Breeds for Any Adventure

Top 10 Small Hypoallergenic Dog Breeds for People Who Suffer From Allergies

Top 10 Working Dog Breeds to Help With Those Tasks

Top 10 Herding Dog Breeds for Active Families

Why Does My Dog Do That? An Answer to The Most Googled Questions of 2020

Helpful Tips to Follow When Introducing Dogs

New Puppy Checklist to Help You Ease Your New Companion Into Your Home

How To Build a Dog’s Confidence In A Shy or Fearful Dog

Ways to Recognize Stress in Dogs To Help Them Through a Tough Time

Top 10 Big Fluffy Dog Breeds That Are The Same As A Real Life Teddy Bear

Top 10 Terrier Dog Breeds to Keep You Entertained

Why Does My Dog Run Away and How to Stop Them

Dog Body Language Guide: How to Read Your Dog Like a Pro

How to Train Your Dog to Play So You Can Have Hours Of Fun

Top 10 Dog Breeds for Cold Weather Adventures and Activities

Top 10 Gassiest Dog Breeds

Top 10 Ideas for Your Dogs Birthday – Things to do for Your Dog’s Special Day

Top 10 Healthiest Dog Breeds

Top 10 Double Coated Dog Breeds to Cope With Difficult Weather

How to Puppy Proof Your Home For Your Newest Member

Training a Rescue Dog: Everything You Need to Know

10 of the Worst Foods For Your Dog – Top Toxic Foods for Dogs

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