10 Most Destructive Dog Breeds According to Research

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Ask any dog owner and they will be able to tell you about the time they came home to find a pillow torn to shreds or their brand new sunglasses all chewed up.

While we love our pets, let’s face it – they don’t always behave.

At times (like when I came home to a torn up trash bag and garbage all over the house), we may all feel that we have it worse than others.

However, a study by money.co.uk has determined the dog breeds most likely to wreak havoc in their owner’s homes.

It should come as no surprise to terrier owners that the research named 3 terrier breeds to be among the most destructive.

Think your dog made the list? Here are the 10 most destructive dog breeds.

10. Dachshund

Dachshunds are the 10th most destructive dog breed.

Don’t let their small size and cute face fool you. The Dachshund comes in at number 10 on the list. With a personality that’s both curious and stubborn, these dogs can often turn destructive when left alone for too long.

Dachshunds were originally bred for hunting, which means they’re natural diggers. Give them a chance, and they may just remodel your garden for you, one hole at a time. And indoors, well, their digging instincts can quickly turn towards your furniture, especially if they’re bored or anxious.

On top of their fondness for digging, Weiner Dogs are also known for their strong jaw strength. That plush toy? Done for. Your favorite book? History.

Remember, though, that Dachshunds aren’t destructive out of spite. They’re just energetic, curious little dogs who need plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

If you own a Dachshund, consistent training and a good dose of daily play can help keep those destructive behaviors in check.

9. German Shepherd

German Shepherds are the 9th most destructive dog breed.

Ranking at number nine, we have the German Shepherd. One of the most owned dog breeds in New York City, German Shepherds are a favorite for many roles, from family pets to police dogs. But their energy and smarts can sometimes get them into trouble.

As a breed, German Shepherds are known for their high energy levels and need for mental stimulation. Left alone or under-stimulated, they can easily turn to chewing and digging to relieve their boredom or anxiety.

Your furniture, shoes, and garden may quickly become casualties if your German Shepherd doesn’t have an appropriate outlet for their energy.

Originally bred for herding, these dogs are also quite protective and may exhibit destructive behavior when they feel their home territory is threatened.

Keep in mind, though, that every German Shepherd is an individual. Not all will display these tendencies. And even those who do can usually be redirected with consistent training and plenty of exercise.

Mental stimulation is key for this intelligent breed. Interactive toys, obedience training, and plenty of playtime can help keep your German Shepherd happy and your home intact.

8. American Staffordshire Terrier

American Staffordshire Terriers are the 8th most destructive dog breed.

At the number eight spot, we find the American Staffordshire Terrier. These pitbulls are known for their strength, determination, and, at times, headstrong nature. This combination can lead to some destructive tendencies if not properly managed.

AmStaffs are often described as tenacious. This can translate into relentless chewing, especially when they’re young or if they get anxious. From furniture legs to your favorite shoes, if it’s within reach, it could be at risk.

Moreover, these dogs have quite a bit of energy to burn. If they’re not given enough exercise, they might just find a way to expend that energy indoors, often at the expense of your household items.

But don’t let this deter you. American Staffordshire Terriers are also known for their loyalty and affectionate nature. With a bit of patience and a lot of exercise, these dogs can be just as well-behaved as any other breed.

Remember, daily walks, plenty of playtime, and consistent training can make a big difference in curbing their destructive behavior.

7. Cavapoo

Cavapoos are the 7th most destructive dog breed.

Coming in at number seven on our list is the Cavapoo, a designer breed and mix of the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Poodle. With their adorable looks and friendly nature, it might come as a surprise to find them on this list. But, they do have their moments.

Cavapoos are very social dogs that love being the center of attention. This means that when left alone, they can struggle with separation anxiety. This stress can lead to destructive behaviors such as chewing or scratching at furniture, doors, and anything else within their reach.

Additionally, Cavapoos inherit the intelligence and curiosity of their Poodle parent. They’re problem solvers, which is great, except when the problem they’re solving is how to get into the trash can or open the pantry door.

Despite these tendencies, don’t be too quick to judge. Cavapoos are very trainable, and with a good routine, plenty of mental stimulation, and lots of love, these behaviors can be mitigated.

So, if you’re a Cavapoo owner, remember to keep them engaged with plenty of interactive toys, and try not to leave them alone for too long. With the right approach, you can keep their minds busy and your belongings safe.

6. Bull Terrier

Bull Terriers are the 6th most destructive dog breed.

Next on the list, at number six, we have the Bull Terrier. These distinctive dogs, known for their egg-shaped head and muscular build, are full of energy and have a playful, yet stubborn streak.

Bull Terriers are active dogs with a strong desire to explore and play. That might sound great for outdoor fun, but when that energy is directed indoors, it can lead to a mess.

If you’ve ever found a chewed-up shoe or seen teeth marks on your furniture, you’ll understand why they’ve made it onto our list.

These dogs are also known to be a bit hard-headed at times, which can make training a challenge. However, it’s not an impossible task. Like any breed, Bull Terriers can learn to behave appropriately, it just requires consistency, patience, and a fair bit of exercise.

With their playful nature, Bull Terriers can benefit from lots of toys (especially tough ones, to withstand their chewing) and plenty of physical and mental stimulation. Regular walks, playtime, and interactive games will not only keep your Bull Terrier happy, but also help prevent destructive behavior.

Remember, the key with Bull Terriers is channeling their energy into productive activities. If they’re entertained and exercised, they’re much less likely to turn your home into their personal chew toy.

5. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers are the 5th most destructive dog breed.

We’re halfway through our list and landing at number five is the Jack Russell Terrier. Known for their boundless energy and fearless attitude, these small dogs pack a punch when it comes to potential for destruction.

Originally bred for fox hunting, Jack Russell Terriers possess a high prey drive and an instinct to dig. If left to their own devices, your yard could quickly become riddled with holes as they “hunt” for critters. Inside, they might decide to excavate your couch cushions or tear into a favorite pair of shoes.

Add to this their seemingly endless energy, and it’s no surprise that they have made the list. Jack Russells need plenty of exercise to keep them happy and to curb destructive behaviors. If they’re bored or under-stimulated, they can quickly find less-than-ideal ways to entertain themselves.

But don’t let this deter you. Jack Russell Terriers are intelligent, trainable, and incredibly loyal. With consistent training, ample exercise, and lots of mental stimulation, these dogs can become wonderful companions.

Whether you’re playing fetch, going for a jog, or offering puzzle toys, keeping your Jack Russell Terrier’s mind and body active can go a long way towards protecting your home from their more destructive tendencies. It’s also beneficial to provide chew toys to help satisfy their natural urge to chew.

4. Shih Tzu

Shih Tzus are the 4th most destructive dog breed.

On to number four, we have the Shih Tzu. These dogs, known for their cute faces and luxurious coats, might seem like an unexpected addition to this list. However, their stubborn nature and dislike for being alone can lead to some destructive tendencies.

Shih Tzus are known for being a bit independent and can sometimes be stubborn when it comes to training. This can lead to challenges when trying to curb unwanted behaviors such as chewing on household items or scratching at doors.

Perhaps more significant is their tendency toward separation anxiety. Shih Tzus are very sociable dogs and love being with their people. When left alone, they can become anxious and resort to destructive behavior as a way to cope.

Despite these issues, Shih Tzus are generally known as great companions. They’re friendly, outgoing, and very affectionate. The key to mitigating their destructive habits lies in good training, plenty of attention, and a consistent routine.

Providing plenty of chew toys and puzzle games can help keep your Shih Tzu entertained when you’re not home. And, remember, patience and consistency are key in training. With the right approach, your Shih Tzu can be a well-behaved and loving member of your family.

3. Collie

Collies are the 3rd most destructive dog breed.

Breaking into the top three, we have the Collie. Known for their intelligence and often associated with the iconic TV dog, Lassie, Collies are wonderful dogs with a few potentially destructive habits.

Originally bred for herding, Collies have a lot of energy and need for mental stimulation. Without enough exercise or activities to keep them engaged, they can become bored, and a bored Collie can quickly turn into a destructive one.

They might resort to chewing on furniture or digging in the yard to keep themselves entertained.

Despite these tendencies, Collies are extremely intelligent and trainable dogs. With proper training and ample opportunities for exercise and mental stimulation, they can be fantastic pets.

If you’re a Collie owner, make sure to provide your dog with plenty of activities. Long walks, playtime, and interactive toys can all help to keep their minds occupied and their chewing instincts focused where they belong – on their toys, not your belongings.

2. Beagle

Beagles are the 2nd most destructive dog breed.

Just missing the top spot at number two, we have the Beagle. Famous for their excellent sense of smell and friendly disposition, Beagles can also be a handful when it comes to potential destruction.

Their remarkable sense of smell can sometimes lead them into trouble. Beagles have been known to tear apart trash bags, dig into laundry, or chew through food containers in search of an interesting scent. If there’s something that smells good to a Beagle, they’ll likely stop at nothing to find it.

In addition, Beagles are pack animals and don’t like being left alone. Isolation can lead to separation anxiety and destructive behavior as a way to cope.

Despite these issues, Beagles are still incredibly popular due to their friendly and outgoing nature. It’s hard to resist their charm, even when they’re causing a bit of chaos.

As a Beagle owner, training, mental stimulation, and lots of exercise are key to managing these behaviors. Offering a variety of chew toys, keeping your Beagle busy with puzzle games, and ensuring they’re not left alone for too long can help to curb destructive habits.

1. Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers were found to be the most destructive dog breed.

And finally, the number one spot on our list of the most destructive dog breeds goes to the Labrador Retriever. This might come as a surprise to many, given their reputation as excellent family pets. However, their high energy levels and intelligent minds can sometimes lead to mischief if not properly managed.

I can personally attest to this one, as my Labrador Retriever Pit Bull mix was the culprit for the destroyed trash bag and garbage all over my house.

Labradors are an active breed with lots of energy to burn. Without sufficient exercise, this energy can be redirected into unwanted behaviors like chewing, digging, or generally causing a ruckus around the house.

Their intelligence can be a double-edged sword. While it makes them highly trainable, it also means they require a lot of mental stimulation. Boredom can quickly lead to destructive behavior with this breed.

However, Labs are also known for their friendly disposition, eagerness to please, and love of fun. These traits make them one of the most popular breeds around the world.

With a consistent routine, plenty of exercise, and a variety of stimulating toys, Labrador Retrievers can be wonderful, well-behaved pets. Training should start at an early age and continue throughout their lives, to keep their minds sharp and prevent destructive behavior.

Remember, a tired Labrador is a well-behaved Labrador. So, keep them active, keep them stimulated, and you’ll have a happy dog and a safe home.

Destructive Dog Breeds

Every dog breed has its quirks, and yes, some breeds may be more inclined to cause a bit of household destruction than others.

It’s essential to remember that training, mental stimulation, and physical exercise can go a long way in preventing destructive behavior.

If your beloved pet has made this list, don’t despair. Understanding their needs and providing for them appropriately will keep your home safe.

After all, the bond between a pet and owner, despite the occasional chewed shoe or dug hole, is undeniably worth it.

Kevin William

Kevin grew up with a female West Highland White Terrier named Murphy who was always by his side. Kevin currently lives in New York state with his family including a Labrabull (Labrador Retriever Pit Bull) named Lily.

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