Dog Breeds That Weren’t Meant for Your Home

By Bee B.Last Updated Apr 18, 2020 9:23:03 PM ET
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All dog breeds originally come from one common ancestor but have drastically changed over the years. Genetic variance and selective breeding by humans has drastically diversified what dogs look like and how they function.

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Dogs aren’t meant to be kept as pets originally and even though some have been bred and trained to stay indoors, they don’t all benefit. These are the top dog breeds that vets agree weren’t meant for your home.

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.

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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. 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. Huskies tend to be good with most children, but they can become destructive indoors if they don’t get enough daily exercise.

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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. 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. 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.

Dalmatian

Dalmations 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. They can be difficult to keep at home due in part to their hearing problems.

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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.

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.

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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. 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.

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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. 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.

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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.

Greyhound

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. Although Greyhounds are typically good dogs to keep as pets, they are a little hard to handle when taken for walks.

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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. This gives some owners trouble, since they don’t seem to have issues indoors.

Pekingese

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.

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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. 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.

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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.

Shar-Pei

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.

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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.

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. German Shepherds have been used for a variety of jobs, even including acting.

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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. There are incidents where they are known to bite people but that’s not always the case.

Basenji

Originally of African decent, the Basenji is known for the distinct yodeling sound it makes, which replaces the normal barking of other dogs. 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.

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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. 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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Dachshund

The Dachshund is lovingly referred to as the wiener dog or sausage dog; it’s actually known by those names more than by "Dachshund." This breed is one of the most aggressive, but isn’t too much of a threat due to its small size. The Dachshund was originally a popular hunting dog.

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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.

Tosa

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. Due to their reputation, there are several countries that ban the Tosa including Denmark, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Germany.

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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.

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. 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.

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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. 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.

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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 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.

Weimaraner

Another hunting dog, the Weimaraner is prone to chasing other animals. 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.

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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.

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.

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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. The Great Pyrenees can overheat easily, which means it will sleep for hours.

Rottweiler

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

Great Dane

This gigantic German dog is actually really gentle with others, which seems contradictory because it’s so big. 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.

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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.

Wolfdog

The Wolfdog is a hybrid breed developed by breeding dogs with wolves. 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.

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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.

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. 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.

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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.

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. They’re known to chase other animals and display hostility towards strangers who come into their homes or interact with their owners.

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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. 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. It comes down to how the breed is trained and what it is exposed to during its upbringing.

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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.

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.

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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. They may also attack other pets and small animals due to their natural drive to go after prey.

Chihuahua

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.

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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.

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. 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.

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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. 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.

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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.

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. Fila Brasileiros tend to dislike visitors it doesn’t know but will cling to their owners.

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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. Even training it from a young age may not get rid of its untrusting behavior if not done properly.

Bullmastiff

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. 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.

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Bullmastiffs are great guard dogs due to their size and weight; it’s originally what they were bred for. 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.

Boerboel

The Boerboel is one of the strongest dog breeds and originates in South Africa. They were mostly farm dogs, doing work for their masters. 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.

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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 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. Their coats are generally spotted, almost like a leopard’s, but there are some without a single spot.

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Catahoula Leopard Dogs have a high chance of being born blind or deaf or a mix of the two. 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. They were mostly bred as farm dogs in the past but they also were used to pull carts for their owners.

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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. They have a high rate of death from cancer compared to most other dog breeds.

Affenpinscher

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. Potential owners should stay away if they aren’t accustomed to training dogs since the Affenpinscher is so difficult to housetrain.

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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. 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.

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They also need a great amount of exercise since they are so incredibly energetic. 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.