I'm a dog expert – these are the breeds I'd never own and two types of pooch I'd never let near my kids | The Sun

I'm a dog expert – these are the breeds I'd never own and two types of pooch I'd never let near my kids | The Sun

January 20, 2023

ONCE you've settled on the idea of welcoming a dog into your home, the next biggest decision is what breed to get.

From health and temperament to home environment, there are a whole host of different things it's important to consider.


But if you're after a little more advice, then you're in luck – because we've got just the man to help!

Will Atherton, 32, is the UK’s foremost canine behaviourist with more than 2 million followers on social media, including Instagram and TikTok.

His tutorials on YouTube alone clock up millions of views every month from owners in the UK and across the world desperate to improve their dog’s behaviour.

Speaking exclusively to Fabulous, the Derbyshire-based gentle giant has revealed everything from the breeds he'd never own to the types of pooch first-time owners should steer clear of.

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And according to the canine expert, there are two breeds that aren't well-suited for children.

"The two breeds I see people making this mistake with the most frequently is the Belgian Malinois and Border Collie," he explains.

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"Both are incredibly capable and highly trainable dogs.

"Many people are seeing them on social media performing incredible feats and think this means they're easy to train/live with, which couldn't be further from the truth."

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He continues: "Although insanely capable, they're also some of the most highly driven and high energy breeds, which if not handled with masterful skill, will become bored.

"It's very common for both of these breeds to 'herd' children when they become bored, which sees them chasing children around, biting and nipping the back of their legs and pulling on their clothes."

And when it comes to first-time dog owners, Will notes there are a few different breeds he wouldn't recommend.

"Any breeds that are specifically bred for high-intensity working roles like protection, herding, sled pulling or livestock guarding roles," he says.

"For example breeds like Belgian Malinois, working line German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Turkish Kangals, Caucasian Shepherds, Siberian Huskies and Border Collies very, very rarely make a suitable breed for first-time owners."

Will has three beloved dogs of his own including one rescue – a Labrador, English Mastiff and an unknown Mastiff mix breed.

But he points out there are a few dog breeds he'd never personally want to own.

"For me I often split breeds into two categories," he explains.

"One being breeds suitable for companion dogs and the other being suitable for working dogs.

"A common mistake people make is getting working breeds for companion dog purposes.

"As for me personally, when it comes to working dog breeds, I'd never own any of them unless I had a reason to buy them for their working roles.

"For example, I wouldn't own a working line German Shepherd unless I intended to train and work it as a protection dog."

He continues: "When it comes to companions dogs the risks are often less severe, so personal preference can be better used.

"For my personal companion dogs I prefer calmer energy levels, so I wouldn't choose a breed like a Cocker Spaniel or any of the Terrier breeds."

Will goes on to discuss some of the neediest dog breeds, pointing out that any breed can develop behaviour problems linked to separation or attachment issues, which he warns can be "incredibly challenging to overcome."

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However, he notes there are certain breeds more likely to be independent and not "needy."

""In my experience, some breeds known to be more needy or what some may call 'Velcro dogs' are often Labradors, Maltese, Vizslas, French Bulldogs and one that people are often surprised by, Dobermanns," he says.

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