These Are the Most Destructive Dog Breeds You Can Own

If you’re a dog owner you know it’s perfectly normal for your pup to chew on things and be protective of his or her territory. But when normal chewing — on things you give the approval seal to — turns into destructive behavior, you’re talking about a whole different ball of wax. If you have a destructive dog, you might be in for some expensive repairs for things like furniture, shoes, doors, and carpet.

According to The Telegraph, Esure Pet Insurance interviewed 3,000 dog owners regarding items they had to repair or replace because their canines destroyed them. Let’s take a quick look at the most destructive breeds, and what each cost interviewees on average over the dog’s lifetime. The No. 10 dog breed can be destructive inside or outside if you’re not careful.

1. Great Dane

Great Dane standing in green field with ball
Don’t leave your great Dane home alone. | dmussman/iStock/Getty Images

Average lifetime destruction bill: $925.94

Great Danes are among the largest breeds of dogs, and although they’re known for being gentle giants with people, they do have a destructive side. According to the website yourpurebredpuppy, Great Danes do not like being left alone — that’s when they get into trouble and start chewing. And don’t forget that a Great Dane’s size alone makes him or her like a bull in a china shop.

Next: Small, but fierce

2. Chihuahua

Chihuahua dog lying on the bed with white background.
Chihuahua’s need careful training like any other breed. | thisislover/iStock/Getty Images

Average lifetime destruction bill: $882.76

These tiny dogs are hella chewers, according to Rugs, carpet, furniture, clothes, shoes — they’re all fair game for these little devils.

There are different reasons for the chewing, including too much energy, boredom, separation anxiety, and nervousness. If this is your breed of choice, keep a lot of rope, rawhide, and squeaky toys around and hope for the best.

Next: Hot diggety dog

3. Mastiff

puppy bullmastiff
These pups are known to drool.  | cynoclub/Getty Images

Average lifetime destruction bill: $585.71

According to the website petful, mastiffs love to dig. And not necessarily in the yard. These dogs need plenty of exercise and play to prevent them from becoming bored and destructive. In addition, the breed is known for drooling, which in and of itself can destroy stuff. Last? They’re prone to gassiness.

Next: One howlin’ hound

4. Basset Hound

Basset Hound Puppy
Male basset hounds are harder to housebreak. | Chillin/iStock/Getty Images

Average lifetime destruction bill: $809.88

Another breed that hates to be left alone, according to, these low-slung droolers can cause a lot of destruction. The males are particularly hard to housebreak, which can ruin your carpets in no time.

If you leave your basset hound alone not only will he likely howl, he’ll chew on anything in sight. In addition, these dogs are diggers, so make sure you set up a designated dig space for him.

Next: Runs like the wind

5. Whippet

Two whippet dogs in a garden
These dogs have a michievious streak. | Onetouchspark/iStock/Getty Images

Average lifetime destruction bill: $717.47

Whippets can be destructive and mischievous, according to yourpurebredpuppy, And they pretty much insist on being up on the furniture. Because whippets love to run, it’s essential to give them a heapin’ helpin’ of daily exercise. Once you meet their intense exercise needs, they are generally quiet, calm dogs.

Next: Set your sights on some chewing. 

6. English setter

English setter dog breed
English setters shouldn’t be home alone all day. | Rjgunn007/Wikimedia Commons

Average lifetime destruction bill: $671.19

When a website like yourpurebredpuppy claims an English setter “must not be left alone all day without the company of people or other pets,” it’s a definite red flag. This breed becomes quite destructive, venting frustration through barking and chewing. In addition, this breed sheds heavily and is difficult to housebreak.

Next: You’d better stay home with this one. 

7. Bulldog

American bulldog
They are ultra protective of their families. | Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Average lifetime destruction bill: $616.92

Jim Young, DVM, posted on his website that bulldogs don’t do well when they’re left alone. Sounds like a familiar tune here. When left alone, Young says, they can be very destructive.

Because bulldogs are sensitive to heat, it’s a bad idea to keep them outside when it’s hot — instead, stay with them inside. In Young’s words, it’s “nearly impossible to lavish too much love and attention on a Bulldog.”

Next: You won’t believe this cute dog is naughty.

8. Dachshund

Two months old dachshund puppy smooth eating from a white bowl.
They love to dig and chew. | Proxima13/iStock/Getty Images

Average lifetime destruction bill: $609.52

Who woulda thunk these cute, lil wiener dogs could wreak havoc? Apparently, plenty of people who own them.

According to the American Dog Blog, it is part of the breed’s genetic makeup to dig and chew. Dachshunds have a very high energy level, which can turn into destructive behavior easily. Even if you give this breed lots of playtime and exercise, you might need to consult a dog training expert to help prevent your dachshund from creating chaos.

Next: This breed is stubborn, too.

9. Boxer

Puppy Boxer Dog
Make sure you give this little guy enough playtime! | ELizabethHoffmann/iStock/Getty Images

Average lifetime destruction bill: $558.58

According to the website AllBoxerInfo, boxers are rather stubborn, which might require a significant amount of training. And once again, this breed needs stimulation throughout the day to stave off separation anxiety and boredom — or you’ll be risking your household items. Boxers are high-energy, playful dogs, so you might want to put those priceless heirlooms up high if you choose this breed.

Next: Pig in a dog suit

10. Beagle

Young woman with Beagle dog in the park
He’ll need plenty of walks to tire him out. | SbytovaMN/iStock/Getty Images

Average lifetime destruction bill: $552.59

Beagles are notorious chowhounds, according to yourpurebredpuppy, so you’ll have to watch your trashcans — and your plate — if you have this breed. And don’t leave your beagle outside alone or he’ll likely howl — and dig. These explorers and chasers need regular exercise to keep from getting fat — and to burn off that destructive energy.

Next: Smaller animals could get hurt

11. Greyhound

Portrait of a female Italian Greyhound dog in a home setting.
Greyhounds have a tendency to chew household items. | Rauluminate/iStock/Getty Images

Average lifetime destruction bill: $543.19

Because of their racing heritage, greyhounds can be serious cat and small dog chasers. If you have any of the latter in addition to a greyhound, prepare for destruction in your house.

To keep your greyhound from chewing and destroying things around the house, according to yourpurebredpuppy, give him lots and lots of exercise so he can work off that energy. In addition, you might want to consider using a crate if you need to be out of the house for an hour or two.

Next: Keep this one entertained. 

12. Dalmatian

Dalmatian peaking out of window
Dalmatians need lots of obedience training. | Oliver Lang/AFP/Getty Images

Average lifetime destruction bill: $536.29

Dalmatians are yet another breed that becomes destructive when you don’t provide them with enough exercise, according to Because Dalmatians were originally bred to run for miles alongside carriages and basically look good, they have an unusual amount of energy.

If you don’t exercise your Dalmatian every day he could become bored and … wait for it … destructive. They also don’t do well when left alone for long periods of time, so this isn’t a great breed to own if you work all day.

Next: This one might outsmart you.

13. Doberman pinscher

doberman dog outdoors
Dobermans have loads of energy. |

Average lifetime destruction bill: $525.98

Doberman pinschers have high energy levels and require a lot of exercise to avoid destructive behavior, according to the website petwave. It’s also key to vary the activities you do with your Doberman because the breed is very intelligent and bores easily.

Dobies are at their best when they’re working and learning new tasks, and they also need a lot of mental stimulation. If you own a Doberman, consider taking him to agility competitions or take him along on a bike ride — he’ll easily keep up.

Next: A possible rotten undertaking

14. Rottweiler

Smiling rottweiler in front of water
Rottweilers need a firm hand. | horsesdogscats/iStock/Getty Images

Average lifetime destruction bill: $277.03

Rottweilers are known for being destructive chewers, according to RottweilerGuide. This breed loves to explore its surroundings, which often leads to them chewing objects. They also chew to deal with social anxiety, stress, and boredom.

Make sure your Rottie gets lots of exercise and try not to leave him alone in the house for long periods of times. Play a lot of fetch and tug-of-war with him, and make sure he has a lot of chew bones and toys to play with — maybe your furniture will survive.

Next: A possible rotten undertaking

15. Border collie

little puppy border collie lying near people foot
Border collies need lots of mental stimulation. |

Average lifetime destruction bill: $247.51

According to Vetstreet, any dog can become destructive if he’s he is bored, unsupervised, or untrained. But with a border collie, Vetstreet says, you can “multiply the destructive potential by a factor of 10.” These frighteningly smart dogs must have jobs — even if it’s just retrieving a tennis ball — or you can kiss your household items ba-bye. 

If you want a dog who will lie around the backyard with you and watch TV by your side, a border collie is not for you. Try to keep him inside and you’ll end up with a barking, bored, destructive dog.

Read more: Top 15 Dog Breeds No Insurance Company Wants to Cover

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