Dogs often charm even their naughtiest moments, but some really push their luck. Lydia Stangroom takes a look at some of the most notoriously destructive races and the mayhem they cause.
“Dogs are the magicians of the universe,” said Clarissa Pinkola Estés. A quote that seems to both embody the indescribable bond we have with our furry family members and also allude to the mischief and chaos they can cause.
Dubhe, our beloved Lakeland Terrier had a real penchant for stealing strangers’ underwear at the beach and devouring whole blocks of goat cheese at dinner parties. Expelled from the puppy class after two weeks, he took it upon himself to personally see to the eradication of pet guinea pigs in the neighborhood.
And rabbits. And the postman. Anything that moved, really.
I once met a lady with a Lakeland pup, and when I told her ours was 18, she asked me ‘at what age do they start behaving’…I said we were still waiting.
International Dog Day fell earlier this week, and to mark its arrival, the people of good move conducted a survey to find the six most destructive dogs and meanest breeds, as well as examine the most common damage they cause in the home.
Their research revealed that 35% of these breeds dig up the garden; 29% torn upholstery; 28% were eager to be taken for a walk and (ahem) defecated in the house; 28% scratched furniture “including doors and cabinets”; and 26% chewed on their owners’ shoes and clothes.
And which races would have been the worst? Read on to find out, then don’t forget to revisit the terrifying stories we gathered when Britain’s baddest dog was discovered a few years ago.
Filling out the top spot — which may or may not come as a shock — are Labradors. Obedient, good with children and as infinitely affectionate as they are, upholstery is no match for their boundless appetite. Notoriously “big chewers”, my in-laws have two black labs who have a personal vendetta against the beanbags – the destruction of which is still apparent three years after the first incident, with small polystyrene balls still appearing in the cracks of the floor and under cupboards.
Are they the biggest chewers, though? The sausage dog should not be overlooked. “Dachshunds are sneaky”, a member of the country life says the team, with “very strong jaws, so even if they don’t chew much, when the urge takes them, an entire plush toy can be gone in an instant”.
2. Border Collies
Coming in at number two on the most destructive list is another breed that will surprise many dog owners and leave you questioning, well, just about everything.
A breed famed for its sheep and cattle herding abilities, pinpoint hearing, and flawless response to commands, we’re not too sure the hard-working Border Collie deserves its runner-up spot. There’s no doubt that he rose through the ranks by virtue of the fact that when he becomes destructive, his strength and cunning allow him to cause real chaos.
One can already here howl of recognition and agreement of the owners about this one. Originally bred to hunt hare, Beagles are hardy, active – and sadly chaotic – companions. But, again, do they deserve such a ranking? With German Shepherds and Boxers notorious for devouring entire arms of canapes, we’re curious to know what mayhem a Beagle can cause.
4. Cocker Spaniel
Two whole slippers, half a sneaker, sunglasses, cushions and a good try on the new leather sofa – all in the workday of a six-month-old cocker spaniel on a Tuesday morning.
5. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
The Staffie makes a well-deserved appearance. One of the owners of the inappropriately named Mabel – despite being only half an employee – insisted she “isn’t destructive at all”. But she kills squirrels… and rabbits… and a few deer. Destructive if you are small and fluffy, then; but the couch will be safe.
6. English Springer Spaniel
Cockers and Springers both have huge followings, and there’s not much to choose between them – so no surprise to see them close together on the list here.
Those who grew up with dogs probably already know what breed they want to own, and have done so for years.
Credit: Christopher Howe
Nothing is too good for our four-legged friends, as this selection of utterly wonderful, if slightly unbalanced, shopping options shows.
Credit: Getty Images/500px
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