12 Worst Dogs For the Suburbs

It may seem hard to believe that any dog wouldn’t thrive in a suburban setting. Although, particular breeds, like toy dogs and terrier dogs, are not recommended for suburban living. Not because they won’t appreciate the open space, but because it is potentially hazardous for them or for you as their owner. Try to avoid selecting one of these 12 breeds if you live in the suburbs.


Affectionately known as the Monkey Dog, this terrier-like breed’s origins are in Germany where they were used to hunt and kill rodents. This is a toy breed that usually weighs somewhere between 6.5 and 13.2 pounds and is 9 to 12 inches tall. Affenpinschers normally get along with other dogs and pets and have an adventurous, stubborn, and curious personality. They also have some protective instincts despite their size and are very loyal to their family. This breed tends to become aggressive if they feel threatened or attacked and they show no fear in a hostile situation. Because of this behavior, it is not recommended to have this breed in a suburban setting because if they come into contact with a wild animal they will not hesitate to attack and can get themselves hurt or into trouble.

Brussels Griffon

Nicknamed Griff or Bruss, this dog’s origin is in Brussels, Belgium, hence their name. Similar to the Affenpinscher, this breed is also terrier-like and used for catching and killing rodents. This breed is known for being very dependent on their owner and are very devoted to them. A Griff is not a shy or aggressive breed but they are quite sensitive to hostile environments. This breed has the ability to get along well with other pets in the home but they have a Napoleon complex in the sense that they believe they are a large dog which can get them into serious trouble with other dogs and wild animals.

Bull Terrier

This type of terrier also comes in a miniature version; both variations are known for the shape of their head which is seemingly egg-shaped. The shape of their head allows their under-jaw to be very deep and possess incredible strength. Bull Terriers are also very strong, independent, and stubborn. Socialization is immensely important in this breed because they can develop behavioral issues like being over-protective and neurotic. Like most Terriers, their prey instinct is very strong and they have a tendency to hunt and kill wild animals and other pets. Because of their potential behavioral issues, it is not a good idea to have a Bull Terrier in a suburban setting because they may prey on small dogs in the neighborhood as well as wild animals. Bull Terriers are very confident in their strength, but like any animal there is always something out there that is stronger.

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

This miniature spaniel is categorized as a toy dog with a silky coat and a friendly disposition. Unlike most breeds of this size, their lifespan is under ten years. This breed is very affectionate and eager to please and as such, these dogs are said to be very good with children. Cavalier Kings are not shy towards other dogs so it’s not unlikely that they will go up to a large dog, though this can be disastrous for them if the dog they choose to try and make friends with has a high prey drive or is very aggressive. It’s important to keep a very close eye when walking this breed throughout the neighborhood and to always have them on a leash in order to minimize contact with larger dogs or wild animals. Another issue with having this type of dog in a suburban setting is that they enjoy chasing things and may take off after a car. This is a hard habit to break so it’s advised to keep them inside or to not have them in a suburban area.


This is known as the smallest breed of dog you can get weighing just 4 to 6 pounds and being only 6 to 10 inches tall. This breed is easily excited and made nervous so it’s not unusual for them to attack so it’s not wise to have them around small children. Chihuahuas are also devoted to just one owner and will be very protective of such, particularly when their owner is in contact with other people or animals. Because of this protective instinct, it’s important to limit contact with other animals as much as possible because there is a good chance that the chihuahua will attack and get itself hurt. The small size of a Chihuahua is a major concern for them in other ways as well, because they are so tiny they are at risk of becoming prey for wild animals and can be easily carried off. It’s not advised to have this breed in a suburban setting where these dangers occur daily.

Chinese Crested

This hairless breed can be born with fur, but more often are hairless. One of their other more notable features is their primitive mouth structure. Their teeth are very sharp and can be overcrowded or missing. Another concern for this breed, especially in suburban areas, is their allergies and potential for autoimmune disease. Allergies are statistically worse in suburban areas rather than cities and these conditions become so severe that they may lead to premature death.


This toy breed comes from the country of Malta and makes a fantastic companion dog. They are playful and maintain their energy level into old age. This breed is known to bite at small children and so they should be supervised when playing. Being that their energy level is relatively average, though long-lasting, they thrive well in smaller yards because they prefer small, enclosed areas. Malteses are also known to be very vocal which can be a problem in a quiet suburban area and it can be an issue when confronted with other dogs who may perceive this behavior as aggressive.

Miniature Schnauzer

This is a small breed of Schnauzer that originated in Germany with their original purpose being to hunt and kill rodents. This breed is known to be energetic and makes a great watch dog because they don’t attack those that intimidate them right away. Miniature Schnauzers are also known to be very obedient and easy to train due to their intelligence. This breed is not too aggressive and not too timid which seems like a happy medium but when it comes to a confrontation they are likely to attack if they are provoked for too long. Their high prey drive will lead to them attacking other small pets in the home and sometimes cats although it is possible, though difficult, to break them of this habit.

Scottish Terrier

Affectionately known as the Scottie, this independent breed is also territorial and loyal. They are known to snap quickly if they feel intimidated and also make a very good watch dog. This type of Terrier is arguably the most territorial and aggressive. They are very intelligent and loving but can also be quite stubborn. Scotties also have a tendency to choose favorites within the family and are particularly suspicious of strangers. This breed is also known to be very aggressive with other dogs unless they are socialized early on. The original purpose of this breed was to hunt and kill badgers and other vermin.

Smooth Fox Terrier

This is one of the least common Terrier breeds and is generally only desired for showing and hunting. This energetic breed is not a good choice for inexperienced dog owners because they have a high prey instinct and it takes an experienced owner to break them of this habit. This breed is one of the few Terrier breeds that doesn’t mind strangers and are friendly to just about everyone but it is important to keep their prey instinct in mind when bringing them into a home or allowing them into a large, suburban yard. This is because they will likely seek out prey and possibly get themselves hurt or into trouble.

Welsh Terrier

This breed was originally created for hunting fox and other vermin. Originating from Wales, this breed is in danger of extinction due to their low reproduction rate at this time. This breed is known to have a typical Terrier disposition in the sense that they can develop quite an attitude. When they suspect they are being challenged or provoked they will not back off and often fight with their aggressor. This breed is highly independent as they were bred to hunt on their own so it isn’t unusual that they will try to escape and risk getting hit by a car or running into a larger, wild animal that may kill or hurt them.

Yorkshire Terrier

This is another very small breed of dog that was used to catch rodents. Like Chihuahuas, they don’t usually get heavier than seven pounds but can weigh as much as fifteen pounds. Nicknamed the Yorkie, this breed has a huge personality. They are completely aware of their appearance and they love attention. Though. This breed is very protective thanks to its Terrier roots. Yorkies are generally easy to train because they often continue to teach themselves after you show them a trick. This breed is also known to be very vocal which isn’t ideal for a quiet, suburban setting but with an experienced owner and proper training that can be broken of this habit. Because of their small size, it is not advised to let them outside alone, especially if there are raccoons in your area. Most veterinarians will not give this breed the Leptospirosis shot because they are too small and they are therefore at risk for picking up disease from raccoon urine.