Dog Lifestyle, Pets and Family

The Worst Dog Breed For Families and Kids

We love dogs and the decision to bring a new dog into the home is always an exciting one for any family but these dogs that us, and most experts agree, are not the best suited for families and have made the worst dog breed for family list.

Beige Greyhound dog outstretched and running on grass with muscles showing.

Dogs and Families:Choosing a Dog

As you start your research and consider who your next bestie will be, also consider that not all dogs are the same — and some are definitely not a good match for families with small children, cats, or owners who aren’t really adept at training animals which is why we compiled this handy worst dog breed for families list for you as a reference.

We also recognize that making a list of the worst dog  breeds for families can be a heated issue as there is a general principle that all dogs are special and we are definitely in that camp as well but some dogs may simply be less suitable for families due to their natural and inherent breed traits than others and you want a compatible dog bestie that will make everyone happy.

Though these dogs could be a perfect match for the right person, many experts consider them the worst dog breeds for families.

To further complicate things it also goes without saying, that as certain experts indicate, even if you know which breeds are in your pet, you don’t know whether those individual dogs were typical for their breed.

There are many purebred dogs who don’t look or act like their breed is supposed to.  As such, these are simply general guidelines and assuming the dog is representative of their breed.

Brindle medium sized dog looking into the camera with his head tilted.
Dogs have so many different personalities even when they are the same breed so we are assuming that dogs are reflective of their breed traits

How to choose the right family dog

We have discussed Dog breeds families love. but for the purposes here we also need to touch on some traits that we do not look for in a dog when choosing one for our families and what traits caused some of these breeds to make the worst dog breeds for family list.

  1. High Energy.  Energy is great for playing with the kids but too much energy that is difficult to harness may become a challenge for some families.  So we look for a reasonable amount of energy.  If a walk is missed the house won’t be wrecked.
  2. Too Low Energy.  Some dogs, like people, like to be couch potatoes.  Most families with young kids are not couch potatoes and having a pal to match the energy level of a family is most helpful.
  3. Naturally Aggressive.  Certain dogs, especially small breed dogs make up for their size by being slightly aggressive and protective.  In effect, an inadvertent poke in the belly from a child may be met with a return of aggression.
  4. Sensitive.  Some dogs are simply very sensitive.  Sounds, sights and noise that go hand in hand with family life may bother them more than others.

What are the Worst Dog Breeds for Families?

If you, like us, think the criteria above would make a dog the worst for your family then you may want to avoid these breeds or a mixed breed that has some of these dominant breed traits.


Akitas can be sweet but they have strong natural guard dog tendencies which can increase loyalty but at the same time those guard dog tendencies can come out when not intentioned around children.

Akitas are also indicated by the Kennel Club to not get along with other dogs which adds another set of stressors for a busy family.  For us, along with the long hair which adds a lot of housework, Akitas are on the worst dog breed for the family list.

Akita puppy lying on carpet with a red collar on.
Akitas, although adorable like this Akita puppy may not be the best choice for a family dog

Pointer – Hunting Breeds

We love these breeds for the happy positive energy and focus.  They are a marvel to watch do their job and we love them for that and featured one amazing Pointer doing dog conservation work in our amazing Dog Series. The pointers we have cared for are incredibly sweet, we mean Weimaraner’sshort hair pointers and long hair pointers.

It is hard to generalize about a group but these happy dogs are very rambunctious.  Our book, Motherpuppin’ Adorable: what to do when your dog is better than everyone else’s  has tales of our German shorthaired pointer running amuck through research stations and always on the hunt.

With training they are great dogs but they can be rambunctious around children, knock them down and their high energy needs to be the focus of pet care which, depending on your living situation, can be tough. Weimaraner’s are also known to be prone to separation anxiety.

Two grey Weimaraner dogs running on grass with a stick in their mouth playing.
Weimaraner dogs although beautiful have a lot of energy!


The dog that popularized the purse dog and is recognized as the Taco Bell mascot is not the best as a family dog.

They seemingly fit well into family life due to size but when toiled with by a toddler or inadvertently by an older child they may be protective of their small body and be aggressive.  They are also known to be very vocal which may not work with your living situation (says 10 out of 10 neighbors).

Blonde Chihuahua looking into the camera sitting down with its tongue out.

Bull Dogs

These sturdy pals seem like the perfect choice for families due to their looks and have recently gained in popularity but at the same time they may be difficult to train and may not be very tolerant with young kids.

Bulldogs take some extra care to prevent overheating.   Many a time I have seen young ones run toward a Bull Dog for a bit of a love since they are so adorable only to be warned off by the caretaker.


Huskies are gorgeous.  Their piercing eyes and cuddly coat are irresistible for some.  However, they are also, close cousins to all dogs ancestors, wolves, and may still have a predator instinct.  Some families report that wrestling kids peak Huskies’ interest a little too much for comfort.  This, along with their incredible energy have us add them to the list of the worst dogs for families.

Group of Huskies on leashes running and working mushing in the sun.
Huskies have a lot of energy as they are working dogs.


We are big greyhound fans around here.  When they go into a flat out run our breath gets taken away by their sheer athleticism.,

However, all in all Greyhounds really are couch potatoes and are not very playful.  Kids may regret this choice as the pal they were considering would be their adventure partner prefers the sofa with a couple short bursts of running each day. Greyhounds are also hunters and very focused on hunting which may detract from family bonding. However, it is our fondest hope that families take on a Greyhound since there are so many in need due to racing.

White Greyhound in a leather collar standing on a grass hill in the sunshine in front of blue clouds.
There are many Greyhounds in need of adoption but they may be a challenging pet for families.

To recap, although we love all dogs some of these particular breeds provided their traits are consistent with typical breed traits may not have characteristics that we desire in a family dog but they may be snuggable just the same! If you are opting for a mixed breed for your family also pay attention to when these breeds are part of the mix of a mixed breed dog.

Worst Dog Breeds for Kids and Families FAQ

What breed is not good for kids?

Many breeds are wonderful for kids and will adapt with training, however, some dog breeds that do not meet our requirements of a great family dog and are not good with kids include, Chihuahua, Akita, and Dalmatians.

What dog breed is good for kids with Autism?

The best dog breed for a child with autism will be one that is patient and supportive and make a great emotional support dog, Labradors have won in this category but honestly it will be any dog that your child truly bonds with.

What dog breed is most likely to attack a child?

Any dog breed can be dangerous for kids if untrained and given confusing commands. Even the safest and friendliest breed can attack a child in defense or if in pain, however, certain dog breeds are more prone than others to defend themselves and when they do they can be more damaging, they include Mastiffs, Bulldogs, Pit bulls and German Shepherds and Chihuahuas.