🌟Six Traits in a Dog to Avoid at All Costs


🌟Six Traits in a Dog to Avoid at All Costs

Even a good dog can be undesirable

Dogs, Pet Humor


We all make mistakes. Mine was adopting a miniature dachshund that shed profusely when he wasn’t lifting his leg on the furniture. He also liked to chew shoes and woodwork and snarl at everyone, including his master.

When the dachshund, Hans, was finally called home to the big pound in the sky, I didn’t get another wiener dog. Instead, I made a second mistake. I got a Westie, a West Highland White Terrier. Shortly after bringing him home, I realized that “terrier” is the British spelling of “terrorist” because that’s what my lovable, black-eyed dog did. He angrily barked at everyone, often showing his little teeth in the process.

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My terrorist was also named Hans. I liked the name, but I had learned my lesson. I would research dog breeds before buying another dog.

My research would be with dog experts or people presenting themselves as experts on the web. From prior experience, I knew not to ask a Golden Retriever owner what the best dog was. I even once ran into a fierce defender of pit bulls. She commented, “Once they get to know you, they are the most loving dog in the world.” Did you know that pit bulls are responsible for 69 percent of the deaths caused by dog mauling each year? The victims didn’t take enough time to get to know the pit bull that eventually attacked them.

My research focused on six traits that are indisputably a problem—smell, shedding, barking, viciousness, slobbering, and stupidity. Let’s look at each one by one.

Smell (stink)

I once visited a friend and was overwhelmed by a nasty smell. I wasn’t sure whether something had died in the apartment or whether my friend had forgotten how to use his toilet. I started to gag and covered my nose. My friend commented, “Oh, let me get Rufus.” Rufus was an English Bulldog, number two on a list of stink bombs listed on a website.English Bulldog by Nancy Wong via Wikimedia
The top eight, in the order of odor, consists of Saint Bernhards, English Bulldogs, Beagles, Pugs, Bloodhounds, Yorkies, Cocker Spaniels, and Shar Peis.

I made a note to avoid all these miserable choices for a pet. I also noted that some breeds like to roll around in excrement if you take them for a walk in the woods. Even a good dog can stink. I avoided any dog breed with a reputation for rolling in poop.

I was surprised to find the English Bulldog on the list. Some of the finest colleges in the U.S. have adopted Bulldogs as their mascot. Is that an admission that their athletic teams stink? Why would they want to be associated with a dog that stinks?


My miniature dachshund shed regularly. Although a short-haired dachshund, I found dog hair everywhere. It was disgusting. My Westie didn’t shed. I have had a high priority on non-shedding dogs ever since.

The sad truth of dogdom is that most dogs shed. However, some dogs are walking disasters that can wear out a Dyson in a year. Also, scientists have not yet determined whether dog hair causes cancer. I don’t want to find out.

The worst shedders list includes several popular breeds, as well as a few that are rare, fortunately. The list includes Great Pyrenees, which I thought was a mountain range, Alaskan Malamute, German Shepherds, Siberian Huskies, Labrador Retrievers, Akita, Chow Chows, and the Gold Retriever.

I have to admit I am saddened to see the Labs and Goldens on the list. These are exceptional dogs that deserve better. Why did God curse them with excessive shedding? Why would he do that?


When I had the second Hans, I was young and naïve. One day a friend told me there was a vet in town who “disconnected” the vocal cords of dogs with “a barking problem.” I thought about getting the vet’s number for a minute — and I swear it was only a minute. Fortunately, even in those days when I was stupid enough to adopt a Westie, I wasn’t going to subject any dog to abuse.

For a while, I thought Westies were the worst breed for barking. I was wrong by a mile. I found a list of worse barkers. Westies are the list I chose to use for this article, but only because they are terriers.

An outfit that calls itself the soundproofcow.com identified the six breeds that bark loudest: Golden Retrievers (regrettably), German shepherds (no surprise), Siberian Huskies, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Terriers (presumably all terriers), Basset Hounds, and Beagles.

“Barking problems” take more than one form. Loud barking is obnoxious and can lead to deafness, but if your dog only barks occasionally, it is less of a problem than that posed by a dog that barks incessantly.

Who’s on this list of nuisance species? Chihuahuas (you knew these unpleasant dogs would show up a list of dogs to avoid, didn’t you?), Bloodhounds, Basset Hounds, German Shepherds (of course), Beagles, Yorkies, Scottish Terriers, and Miniature Schnauzers.


I shouldn’t be joking around about vicious dogs. They kill some people and frighten the rest of us.

My internet search for the most vicious dogs produced a site that focused on the most dangerous dogs. I was greeted by pictures of three pit bulls and a Rottweiler. What does that tell you? The site indicates that pit bulls killed 33 people in 2019, a full 69 percent of all deaths caused by dog biting. The group also says that another 13 percent of fatalities were by “mixed-breed” dogs, no doubt pit bull or German Shepherd mixes. Boxers, Australian Cattle Dogs, and German Shepherds (no surprise here) each killed two humans.

A dog doesn’t have to kill to be dangerous or vicious. I also came across a law firm, flemingattorneys.com, that serves victims (or the estates of victims) of people mauled by dogs. The firm includes a list of “the five most dangerous dogs.” It includes familiar breeds: pill bulls, Rottweilers, American Bulldogs, Doberman Pinschers, and Wolfdogs.

What is a Wolfdog? I didn’t want to find out the hard way, so I looked it up. The Wolfdog is what you get when you breed a domestic dog with a wolf. Really. Anyone considering adopting one or fostering their dog with a wolf should see a psychiatrist.


Occasionally friends ask if they can bring their dog when they visit. For many years, I would respond by asking, “are they house-trained?” or “are they good with people (meaning, “Are they going to bite me?”). I still ask these questions, but today also ask, “Does the dog slobber?” This question is rarely answered with a simple “Yes.” That results in an automatic “No” to the question of whether the dog is welcome. Instead, I get “just occasionally” or “only a little bit.” Those answers are non-starters for me.

Who are the biggest slobberers? A website called the sprucepets.com lists the worst droolers: St. Bernard (I didn’t need the internet to know that), the French mastiff, also known as the Dogue de Bordeaux, Bloodhounds, Bulldogs, Newfoundlands, and Neopolitan Mastiffs. This last dog looks like it was bred to drool. Fortunately, they are pretty rare. I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t hunting seasons for them somewhere.


A slobbering dog, like a slobbering human, often appears stupid. In the case of dogs, sadly, some of the most attractive dogs, at least to me, are devoid of intelligence.

A group called hepper.com has researched the question of dog intelligence. Its list of stupid dogs includes the obvious, but also a few surprises: Afghans, English Bulldogs, Chow Chows, Bloodhounds, Pekingese (also on my list for the most disgusting-looking dog), English Mastiffs, Chihuahua, Bull Terriers, Saint Bernards, Scottish Terrier, Great Pyrenees (is there anything positive about these dogs?), and the Beagle.

Read also: The 10 healthiest breeds of dogs

Every dog has its fans

I have focused on undesirable dog traits because I knew in advance that my current dog, a Golden Doodle, would not appear on any of the lists. If your dog is on one or more of the lists, I don’t fault you for your choice of pet. I’m intolerant of bad smells, dog hair, barking, dog mauling, slobbering, and stupidity. I’m glad you can look past one or more of these problems and give an animal a home.

Dog Humor

I apologize if this article offended anyone. It is an attempt at dog humor. I love dogs. I even loved two troubled dogs, both named Hans. I think it’s okay to laugh at a dog and think it is wise to avoid loud, biting dogs. I hope you understand.

Contributed by John Dean

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