Surprisingly Toxic Traits of 10 Popular Dog Breeds

We love our and our dogs love us. That much is most certainly true. But, some dogs are not so easy to live with, even the popular dogs. Let’s discover some Toxic Traits of 10 Popular Breeds.

Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terrier Popular Dog Breeds
Image by Pezibear from Pixabay

Oh, how can I start off with the cute and sweet little ? They certainly can’t be toxic?

Oh, but they can. A Yorkie that has been spoiled or not properly socialized can and usually is a shrill nasty little beast. They are nippy, yappy and pee all over the house.

Of course, toxic traits in dogs tend to have a human cause. A properly trained and socialized Yorkshire Terrier is none of these things. But, it’s quite easy for humans to spoil and dote on these little dogs and forget to give them the training they need to be well-adjusted pets. In fact, it’s quite common in little dogs in general, because people tend to see them as not needing training. Don’t fall for it. Get into training classes with your little buddy as early as possible. You’ll be thankful you did.

German Shorthaired Pointers Popular Dog Breeds

German Shorthaired Pointer
Image by Mat Coulton from Pixabay

A good-natured and dependable dog with a knack for hunting and the skill of a sensible guard dog, the is also a good family dog that hangs out at the top of the AKC’s most popular dog breeds lists.

They are great dogs, especially if well-trained and well socialized.

So, what are the GSP’s toxic traits?

It all starts with vigorous exercise requirements. If they are not met, things tend to get toxic real quick from there.

Rowdiness, aggression toward other animals, chasing, along with a distractible mind of its own, ignoring calls and commands.

All of this can be avoided by picking a breed that matches your energy level. If you can’t or are unwilling to match a dog’s exercise requirement, choose another breed or another pet altogether. Even the best training can only go so far if basic exercise needs are not being met.


Popular Dog Breeds Rottweiler
Image by PublicDomainPictures from Pixabay

Yeah, you expected Rotties to end up on this list, but perhaps not for the reasons you’d have guessed.

Yes, Rotties have their share of negative traits. The media made fortunes overemphasizing and demonizing the breed. So, no need to talk about those traits here, most of which can be dealt with through training, socialization, and meeting their less than modest exercise needs.

To reiterate what I said about the GSP, “the right dog for the right person.” If you can’t or won’t match the needs, don’t get the dog.

A bigger issue with the Rottie comes from the breed’s multitude of health problems, many of which can be serious or fatal. Those who are not financially prepared for the breed can quickly find themselves broke and in debt. Health issues are important when considering a breed. Of course, doing your due diligence when choosing where you get your dog can mitigate the risk of getting an unhealthy dog, but it’s not a guarantee. Also, keeping a breed popular does nothing for the overall health of the breed, as popularity spawns mills, who have no interest in the breed other than how much it’s worth.

Poodles Popular Dog Breeds

Image by chili71 from Pixabay

Poodles… they just look like they’d have some toxic issues, don’t they? Tall, slender, beautiful hair. Red flag, red flag…

The Standard is one of the smartest and most easily trained dogs in the world. What toxic traits can it possibly have?

OK, everything I said about high-energy dogs, bring that here. Serious potential health-issues, yup, got those. Add skittishness and emotional sensitivity to stress, tension, and loud voices, both of which are prevalent in some lines and can’t easily be “diagnosed” by a potential pet parent when the dog is a puppy.

You can avoid some negative traits by choosing an adult dog from an animal shelter or rescue group. With an adult dog, you can easily see what you’re getting.

If you want a puppy, again, due diligence in researching the breeder goes a long way. You should know more about your breeder than you know about your mom before choosing your puppy.


Image by Nick115 from Pixabay

According to Michele Welton’s Honest Advice About Dogs, Beagles are conveniently-sized, handsome and easy-to-groom, friendly with people, peaceful with other pets. And with their appealing soulful expression, it’s perfectly natural that many people consider them as potentially wonderful pets.

Most of the ’s toxic traits come back around to high exercise needs. And there’s concern about a lot of potential health issues.

One of the bigger problems with the Beagle is its nose. The Beagle is downright nosy in the most literal way possible. It is, after all a hunting hound. They have an insatiable wanderlust, are expert escape artists, are proficient diggers, adept climbers, and incorrigible chowhounds. In other words, you can not let your Beagle out of your sight for even a second, or it will be gone or into something.

You’re not leaving food unattended on the kitchen counter anymore. Because even though your Beagle is short, it will find a way to get to it.

All that and they are not easily housetrained. But, they sure are cute.

Bulldogs Popular Dog Breeds

English Bulldog
Image by Nick115 from Pixabay

If farting is a toxic trait, then I could end this section of the video right here. English Bulldogs have some seriously toxic gas, which along with loud snoring and excessive drooling might be enough to be a deal-breaker. But, those are all a bit superficial reasons to avoid breed.

A super huge issue is sky-high vet bills that come along with your Bulldog. Your vet’s accountant will know you well.

English bulldog puppies from small-scale breeders are likely to cost between $1,500 and $4,000. But the price of owning one is much more, due to their poor health and vet costs.

To start, your Bulldog will almost certainly require specialized dog food. There will be no budget options.

Medical Insurance is an absolute must for the breed. The $500-1200 per year you pay for it will be much lighter than the out-of-pocket expenses you will incur. If you insist on the dog, get the insurance.
On the plus side, there are absolutely no behavioral problems caused by being high energy.

French Bulldogs

French Bulldog Popular Dog Breeds
Image by Kossi007 from Pixabay

Another not-so-high energy dog is the . It would seemingly make a great pet for a low-energy type of person.

As comfortable in an apartment as it is on a farm, it is more lively than you might suspect from his chunky appearance. It is usually polite with everyone and doesn’t bark much. It’s a great little dog for those that don’t have a lot of space or energy.

However, your rugs and carpets are more than likely to be doggy lous. Frenchies are notoriously difficult to house train. In fact, they can be quite stubborn about it throughout life.

Can you work around it? Sure. There are fake grass pads for doggy use that you can put down.  Is it a deal-breaker? I guess that depends on whether you have a love for expensive rugs.

Golden Retrievers Popular Dog Breeds

Golden Retrievers in Water
Image by Sabrina Eickhoff from Pixabay

The dogs in this list were not picked by the number of “toxic traits” they have but by their popularity. And the is consistently at the top of almost any popularity list. I guess it’s a blond thing. Maybe not.

In all fairness, this is one of the finest family dogs in the world: cheerful, demonstrative, trustworthy with everyone, and forgiving of any mistakes made by inexperienced owners. The Golden is a great dog.

It’s smart and loyal, making it a top pick for guide and assistance dogs of all types and it’s quite intuitive for novice dog owners.

So, what is the Golden’s toxic trait?

Excessive exercise needs? Yup.
Serious health concerns? Yup, most notably cancer.

Those golden locks also do not come without costs. One, the Golden Retriever sheds a lot. Heavy shedding is an understatement. And it mats and tangles. Your Golden will require lots of brushing. And, baths, because Goldens have a very noticeable doggy odor.

But, the deal-breaker for a lot of people is the mouthiness of the breed. The Golden requires something in its mouth at all times. It is a proficient shoe destroyer, a TV remote chewing, couch cushion destroying, monster.

You’ve got to start early training your Golden what it can and can not chew on. And it must always have something it can chew on around.

German Shepherds

German Shepherd
Image by cortez13 from Pixabay

German Shepherds are highly intelligent, can learn almost anything, and are quite loyal to their families. There’s plenty of reasons they are the top military and police dogs. They are easy to work within that capacity and they are athletic and strive on challenges.

However, there is a whole list of caveats when it comes to introducing a GSD into a family home.

  • Needs plenty of exercise and interesting things to do
  • Needs careful socialization
  • Destructiveness when bored or not exercised enough
  • Potential aggression toward other animals
  • Constant shedding – 365 days a year
  • Legal liabilities (insurance issues, increased chance of lawsuits)
  • High risk of serious health problems

I love my rescued German Shepherd, but they are NOT easy dogs to live with all the time. In fact, she can be quite frustrating. Mine in particular has an allergy to chicken. Doesn’t seem like a big issue, but finding dog food with absolutely no poultry byproduct in it is quite challenging. If it has the tiniest amount, I end up with a poo fountain. It’s not pleasant.

And because she wasn’t socialized for the first two years of her life, we have to deal with behavioral issues toward strange dogs and people. It’s not a deal-breaker for us, because we are very experienced dog owners. She’s a big powerful dog that can completely overwhelm a novice owner.

This again brings me back to the right owner for the right dog. Do the research before you choose the dog.

Labrador Retrievers Popular Dog Breeds

Labrador Retriever
Image by Gerd Maiss from Pixabay

Oh, come on, Labs? The most popular dog, like ever? Surely they can’t have serious toxic traits?

Everyone loves the Labrador. It’s amazing. Being closely related, everything I mentioned about the Golden is true about the Lab, other than the matting of the fur. They still shed a lot, in fact perhaps more, since it doesn’t mat. And they stink.

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It’s, of course, going to need a lot of exercise. It would probably enjoy if much of that exercise was in water since they love to swim. It’s kinda what they were bred to do. Don’t be surprised if your Lab escapes your yard only to be found in your neighbor’s swimming pool.

I hope I haven’t come off as too negative towards any of these breeds. They are all great dogs, which for the most part is why they are all popular dog breeds.

But, almost all dogs have caveats or toxic traits that we, as dog owners, need to decide if we can live with before taking on the responsibility to care for a dog for its entire life, provides for its needs, and be a loving friend to. For all the love they give, that’s the least they could ask for.

If you already have a dog that you just can’t handle, please consider consulting a professional dog trainer before considering the option of surrendering a dog to a shelter. Many times they can teach you how to correct your dog’s innate behaviors. They aren’t toxic after all.



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