If I learned anything when doing the research for this article, it is that dog owners get very emotional when their pet’s breed makes it on to a “bad” list. There are generic comments such as “Any dog owner who leaves a child and a dog alone is an idiot” to the more sedate “If you train them properly, they are not bad dogs.” Both are true, and which dogs make the list is a sensitive topic for many people. So we tried to be objective. To make things clearer, a child is someone who is a pre-teen. (Yes, we know “eleventeen” sounds normal and natural, but less than 13 years old is the bright line here.) Though teens and adults do irresponsible things, they are also more aware of how not to behave around animals in general and dogs in particular. A 5 year old may be more likely to stick their finger in doggie’s eye accidentally.
The first dogs to make the list are dogs generally considered to be more aggressive than the rest. Dogs, being animals, will always be animals and even the best dogs tend towards aggressive behavior from time to time. We can never know what might cause a dog to go psycho on a child, so the more aggressive the animal, the more likely the possibility they will go nutso at any random time. A second characteristic is temperament. This is different than aggressiveness because not all dogs have a bad temperament, but most dogs are aggressive to one degree or another. These are the types of dogs that will snap or bite based on its genetic nature instead of poor training or having been abused. A dog with an attitude can be a good thing, but it must be kept under control, something that is easier said than done.
One final thing worth mentioning before the list. I was a dog owner for more than 20 years, and have been around everything from a Sheltie to a Rottweiler. My brother bred Samoyeds for show. The only dog I had a problem with was a mixed breed that got loose because the owner left the gate open. It nipped me on the back of the leg, but because I had a heavy pair of denim jeans on and because the dog immediately responded to its owner, I let the incident go. (OK, so she was Latin American hot as well. Sue me.) No bite marks, no breaking of the skin.
This list is in no particular order. There are videos to help you understand better, and you are likely to find a political connection or two among some of the breeds.