Dogs to avoid for kids

Dogs are firm favourites as family pets. They offer companionship, opportunities for exercise, and also help teach children about responsibility when it comes to feeding them (or picking up poop!). Some breeds are great when it comes to being around kids, and some are totally unsuitable. Of course, what contributes most to aggression in dogs is ill-treatment at the hands of their owners. Bad humans create "bad" dogs.

We looked at a couple of sites to see which breeds enthusiasts suggest are not great around kids:

Chihuahua: This tiny breed is smaller and cuter than one of your child’s soft toys, but also tends towards nervousness, territoriality (so you want to sit on MY seat, punk?)    and easily hurt if roughly handled.

Rottweiler: This powerful breed is responsible for the second highest rate of human fatalities by dog attack. They need extensive training and handling.

Chow Chow: This breed may be highly temperamental, and also enjoys bullying. It is liable to snap at stray hands just to show who’s boss. “Back awaaaaay from my mane, buddy,” is a loose interpretation of a chow chow’s bark.

Pit Bull:  Bred for aggression, the preferred attack method being the throat-grab, these dogs need to be handled by someone who is able to demonstrate control. Occasionally they are known to be friendly, but would you take that chance?

Dalmatian: Most kids have enjoyed 101 Dalmatians, the story and movie, but the breed is actually not great around kids. Dalmatians are quite jumpy and nervous, this attributed to being susceptible to deafness. They need quite a calm environment and loads of exercise.

Don’t blame the dog!

Don’t blame the dog, though. Very often aggressive traits have been bred into specific breeds, or poor breeding lines have resulted in negative traits persisting. Previously badly handled or mistreated dogs are also not easy to rehabilitate. Also, kids need to be taught how to respect animals, and handle them properly. Many dog owners with kids have also had these breeds listed and experienced no issues whatsoever. Any dog which has been the victim of abuse may react defensively or aggressively.

Finally, your child's friends need to be told and shown how to handle (or avoid handling) the dog. Sometimes it is not the child but someone outside the family who provokes defensive behaviour or aggression in a loyal family pet.

Getting a dog for the family involves reading up about breeds, checking the reputation of the breeder and the health of the dog, and making sure that your kids and living environment are suitable for a particular breed.

For more information on dogs click on the links below:

The Seven Worst Dog Breeds for Families

Top 5 best and worst dogs for children

The Ten Worst Dog Breeds for Your Family

Disclaimer: The views of columnists published on Parent24 are their own and therefore do not necessarily represent the views of Parent24.

Which breed would you say makes the best family dog?

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24