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All dogs have the potential to be beasts of destruction. However, some require much more physical activity than others to leave your home furniture and household items alone.

Destructive behavior is directly related to boredom and separation anxiety, but some types of dogs are built to channel it better. We’ll be looking at the top five most destructive dog breeds, and you will see some unlikely candidates populating the list. 

1. Belgian Malinois

a German shepherd is breaking through the windowa German shepherd is breaking through the window
Source: Instagram Photo

Although they are one of the most used working dog breeds in the world, they’re definitely not a pet you would want to own. Even with high-intensity workouts throughout the day, a Mali will find ways to make your life more miserable.

As an owner of one, I can tell you that they are a menace indoors. If you don’t give it a purpose, every item within its reach is in danger of getting chewed, ripped, broken, dragged, shatter, etc.

If there is one dog that is more energetic than Labs, that’s the Malinois. The breed is also very barky

Thousands of dollars in damages is the norm, and this disgruntled father on Reddit has quite a few distressing things to say about owning a Malinois without enough structure and a daily job. Listen and watch what dog-training-industry expert, Garret Wing has to say on this.

Crate training a Malinois can make things easier, but the Reddit thread this father started saw him and many others state crate destruction is a standard for the Malinois. Some users on the Belgian Malinois Subreddit suggest scent work as a decent solution to destructive behavior.

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Being an owner of one, I shared most of their troubles. No matter how much physical activity he got, I always returned home to moderate disasters. Thankfully, I picked up some great tips and tricks in this Belgian Malinois training article.

When in doubt or desperate, get a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to help you manage the destruction. To understand better, watch this good Samaritan’s YouTube video.

2. Labrador Retriever

Most Lab owners will not be surprised by their second-place position. One of the biggest factors that make them destruction experts is their energy level. Anything they can wrap their chewers around is going to get damaged.

Even the most well-behaved Labrador retriever will do some damage. Whether due to boredom, or pure clumsiness, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. 

I will not label any of the breeds like they’re specialized in a particular type of destructive behavior, but Labs do have an affinity towards chewing and ripping. If you don’t believe me, simply check this thread on Reddit.

the mischievous Labrador Retriever tore up the pillowthe mischievous Labrador Retriever tore up the pillow
Source: YouTube Video

There’s more “horror” stories of people who simply cannot handle a Labrador. Reddit user MrSkavenger said their chocolate Lab managed to destroy about $600 worth of random stuff around the house in no less than seven weeks.

If you feel adventurous enough, you can go through the /Labrador Subreddit and see for yourself why people usually cry for help.

3. Siberian Husky

The Belgian Malinois is a big barker breed, but the Siberian Husky vocalization is a thing of beauty. For new Husky owners, this might come as a shock. 

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You never know how annoying something is until you experience it over and over again, but you probably don’t want to experience this.

the dog made a mess in the kitchenthe dog made a mess in the kitchen
Source: Twitter

If you think this was staged, you can see for yourself a proud Husky lying in the middle of the mess it made. It’s scary.

However, their chatty nature is not the worst part. They are full of energy and love disassembling things. A Husky gets bored easily, and fares badly when left alone for prolonged periods of time.

All this combined makes for a dog that can wreak havoc inside or outside your house. Leave it in the yard, it will dig or jump its way out. Indoors it will break fragile stuff, climb on things that aren’t designed for that, eat houseplants, spread soil across the house, and more!

siberian husky sits and looks at the camera after the messsiberian husky sits and looks at the camera after the mess
Source: Instagram Photo

4. Dachshund

Small but packing a big dog personality, the Dachshund is one you probably wouldn’t suspect of destructive behavior. However, their razor-sharp teeth and infinite pool of willpower makes easy work of any object.

Discussions on the Dachshund Subreddit can be summarized as asking for advice on chew toys that cannot be destroyed in a matter of minutes. Those who do not replace the “dead” toys in time become victims of Dachshund destruction.

The dachshund sits on the laminate and looks at the mess that has been madeThe dachshund sits on the laminate and looks at the mess that has been made
Source: Instagram Photo

Chewed up shoes, mobile phones, decoration, plants, and plenty of other indoor objects are the next target for a bored Dachs. The small size means nothing when the dog is smart and stubborn.

To add insult to injury, other problems Dachshund owners face include defiance of the third degree. No matter how much effort is put into obedience training, the Dachshund owners seem to agree on one thing – don’t expect much compliance from this breed. 

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5. Whippets

People look at Whippets like small Greyhounds, which is a fair point, seeing how their needs and traits are very similar. However, the Whippet is often the fabric of nightmares.

During puppyhood, they will whip up mischief out of nowhere. Scrolling through the Whippets Subreddit, I noticed people were surprised the breed was capable of “violence”. 

Indeed, the breed is high-intensity and, like most energetic dogs, requires a lot of physical activity. If you don’t hit this level of exercise, Whippets will resort to dark magic. When you’re not looking, a side of the leather sofa might disappear.

the dog is sitting on the leather sofathe dog is sitting on the leather sofa
Source: Twitter

Despite acting like gremlins at times, they are a very sensitive breed. They react really badly to punishment and negative approaches. Their sensitivity is often the cause of separation anxiety, which then leads to destructive behavior.

All of you who have watched the Harry Potter movies know that their looks and behavior are best explained by comparing them to Dobby, the house elf.

On a more serious note, destroying the house due to separation anxiety usually happens very shortly after owners leave, and it becomes less intense as time passes [1]. By the time you’re home to witness the chaos, the dog already forgot what the fuss is all about.

Honorable Mention

Although it didn’t quite make it on my top five, the French Bulldog is definitely one to look out for. Being the most popular breed in the US for a few years in a row now, according to the AKC, future owners should know what they’re getting themselves into.

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Cute, small, and cuddly, these undercover demolishers can do quite some damage. If boredom hits hard, they will rip into the sofa, your shoes, or any clothes left out in the open. The fluff from plushies is a favorite among all dogs, Frenchie included.

a french bulldog lies on the laminate next to a scattered spongea french bulldog lies on the laminate next to a scattered sponge
Source: Instagram Photo

This, however, should not be unexpected. After all, they’re Bulldogs, which means stubbornness is a trait you cannot avoid. Studies show that small dogs are more aggressive than large dogs, and problematic behavior is not unknown to Frenchies.

Cesar Millan featured a Frenchie with serious unwanted behavior and aggression in one of his Cesar 911 episodes. If not taken care of the proper way, a French Bulldog will not disappoint the Gods of Destruction.

Destructive Behavior Is Part Of Every Dog Breed

To be fair, every dog breed has the potential to destroy things in your home. It boils down to how entertained or tired the dog is. It also matters whether the dog is socialized or not, but these breeds definitely require a knowledgeable owner.

If anything, we can conclude that crate training and a structured approach to obedience training and exercise is the best cure for destructive behavior. If your home is in danger of getting wrecked by your dog, check out Reddit or hire a professional to help you out.

References:

[1] Ogata, N. (2016). Separation anxiety in dogs: What progress has been made in our understanding of the most common behavioral problems in dogs? Journal of Veterinary Behavior, 16, 28–35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jveb.2016.02.005

By Andy Marcus

Hello, my name is Andy Marcus, and I am a passionate dog lover and enthusiast. For me, there is nothing quite like the joy and love that a furry friend can bring into our lives. I have spent years studying and learning about dogs, and have made it my mission to share my knowledge and expertise with others through my website. Through my website, I aim to provide comprehensive information and resources for dog owners and enthusiasts. Whether it's training tips, health and nutrition advice, or insights into dog behavior, I strive to create a platform that is accessible and useful to everyone who loves dogs.

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