Even seasoned pet owners can fall victim to selecting an animal based on a cute face. But no matter how fluffy or fabulous a dog is, they can still be high-maintenance, aggressive, or prone to health problems. In a viral TikTok video, user Ben The Vet, a UK-based veterinary surgeon, revealed which types of dogs he would never have as a pet—and the list might turn your ideas about the best pets upside down. Read on to learn which five dog breeds he says he would never own.
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It's not entirely surprising that this breed made it on the list, as they have a reputation for being a little bit nasty. "I'm sure there are some nice ones, but I just find they often don't have a very nice temperament, they can be really aloof, and they're often very aggressive at the vet's," says Ben The Vet to kick off his video.
Ben also notes that Chow Chows' squishy faces, though adorable, make it hard to fit a muzzle on, and they "suffer quite commonly with a ton of eye problems." He adds that their "purple tongues are a bit unnerving."
If you still wish to own a Chow Chow, the American Kennel Club (AKC) says that their aloofness is mostly with strangers and other dogs and that they are "eternally loyal to loved ones." That is, if you can handle the blue-black tongue.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
Surprised to see this pretty little pup on the list? Ben says they are lovely dogs and that he'd probably choose this breed to own himself "if it weren't for all of their health issues." He explains that many Cavalier King Charles Spaniels develop a heart condition called mitral valve disease. "In my opinion, breeding a dog with such high probability of disease is not fair," he says.
According to the pet care website Wag, this breed is predisposed to mitral valve disease, which is their leading cause of death. "Statistics show that the condition affects more than half of all Cavalier King Charles Spaniels by the time they reach 5 years of age, and more than 90% of Cavaliers over the age of 10."
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Like the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Ben says the Dachshund is another dog breed with a fantastic personality that only makes the list for its health issues and the heartbreak that potentially causes. "One in four of them develop back problems in their lifetime that can range from just pain to complete paralysis." He explains that they often require spinal surgery, "which is obviously a massive undertaking and has a really long recovery period."
If you're already the owner of a "sausage dog," the AKC recommends being vigilant about keeping them at a healthy weight to avoid such back problems, as well as closely monitoring their activities so they don't have an accident.
Another disease-prone breed is the Shar-Pei. "They even have a disease named after them called Shar-Pei Fever," notes Ben. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, it's "a hereditary condition that affects nearly one in four Shar-Pei dogs." They develop "recurrent episodes of fever and inflammation, with no identifiable underlying cause."
Aside from the 25 percent chance of disease, Ben says their signature wrinkles, though endearing, are quite hard to care for. "They're so wrinkly that they have to have their eyelids tacked in place so the hairs don't rub on their eyes." He also shares that when he sees this breed at the vet's office, "they're often trying to bite the face off of all the staff."
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Bulldogs and Pugs
Coming in at number one is any flat-faced dog, scientifically known as a brachycephalic dog, such as an English Bulldog, French Bulldog, or Pug. You may have heard these dogs panting heavily or snoring, which can seem cute, but it's actually much more serious. "Society has normalized the fact that these dogs snorting means that they can't breathe very well," explains Ben.
The AKC explains that brachycephalic dogs have "shortened snouts or faces that appear flat and, as a result, have narrow nostrils and smaller airways." This means they have trouble regulating their temperature when it's hot or catching their breath when exercising.
"They're so prone to so many problems—spinal issues, skin problems, eye problems," Ben adds. "The fact that over half of them have to have a cesarian to give birth is enough of an ethical issue for me to never want to have one."