Avoid These Breeds: Top 6 Worst Dog Breeds for Autism

worst dog breeds for autism

Finding the right dog breed for a child on the autism spectrum can make a significant difference in their well-being and development.

While many dogs offer companionship, comfort, and support, not all breeds are suitable for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Certain breeds may have traits that can be overwhelming or difficult for these children to manage.

In this article, we will explore the characteristics of dog breeds that should be avoided for children with ASD and highlight the worst dog breeds for this purpose.

We’ll also suggest some of the best breeds that can provide the right kind of companionship and support.

Characteristics of Dog Breeds That Should Be Avoided for ASD

When choosing a dog for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it’s important to think about the unique needs and sensitivities of the child.

Not all dog breeds are a good fit, and understanding which characteristics might be challenging can help you make the best choice.

Here are some things to consider:

High Energy Levels

Dogs that are very energetic need a lot of exercise and attention.

While these dogs can be fun, their constant activity might be too much for a child with ASD.

The child might feel overwhelmed if the dog is always running around or jumping, which can be stressful.


Some dog breeds can be more aggressive or protective.

While many of these dogs can be loving pets, they might react aggressively if they feel threatened.

Children with ASD might not understand a dog’s boundaries, which could lead to the dog snapping or biting.

This can be dangerous for the child.

Loud barking

Dogs that bark a lot can be very upsetting for children with sensory sensitivities.

Loud and frequent barking can cause anxiety or sensory overload for a child with ASD, so it’s better to choose a quieter dog.

Independent nature

Some breeds are very independent and might not seek out much interaction.

These dogs might not form the close bond that can be comforting for a child with ASD.

Choosing a more affectionate and sociable breed can provide the emotional support and companionship that the child needs.


Breeds that are stubborn and hard to train can be challenging for families.

Training is important to make sure the dog can safely interact with the child.

Stubborn dogs might not listen well, making it harder to have a calm and reliable pet.

Siberian Huskies

Worst Dog Breeds for a Child on the Autism Spectrum (ASD)

Based on the characteristics mentioned above, here are some dog breeds that might not be the best fit for children with ASD:

Siberian Huskies

Siberian Huskies are beautiful dogs known for their striking appearance and high energy levels.

They love to run and play and need a lot of physical exercise and mental stimulation.

This can be difficult for families with a child on the autism spectrum, as the constant need to keep the dog active can be overwhelming.

Huskies also tend to howl and vocalize, which can be distressing for children with sensory sensitivities who are sensitive to loud noises.

Akita dogs

Akitas are large, powerful dogs with strong protective instincts.

While their loyalty and bravery can be positive traits, these dogs can also be very independent and sometimes aggressive if they feel their family is threatened.

This independence can make it hard for a child with ASD to form a close bond with an Akita.

Managing their behavior requires a lot of training and experience, which might be too challenging for some families.



Dachshunds are small dogs with big personalities.

They are lively and playful but also very stubborn and prone to barking.

Their territorial nature can be problematic, especially for a child with ASD who might not understand the concept of personal space.

Dachshunds can become anxious or aggressive if they feel their territory is being invaded, making them a less suitable choice for a child who may struggle with respecting boundaries.


Beagles are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, but they are also very vocal and have high energy levels.

They love to bark and howl, which can be too much for a child with sensory sensitivities.

Beagles also have a strong prey drive, meaning they like to chase after small animals, which can make walks and outdoor activities more difficult.

Their need for attention and training can be overwhelming for some families.


Chihuahuas are small dogs with big attitudes.

They can be very vocal, often barking at anything that catches their attention.

Their feisty and sometimes aggressive nature can be challenging, especially for a child with ASD who might not understand how to interact gently.

Additionally, their small size makes them more prone to injury, which can be a concern if the child is not always careful with the dog.

Miniature Schnauzers

Miniature Schnauzers

Miniature Schnauzers are intelligent and alert dogs that need a lot of physical and mental activity.

They are known for their high energy levels and tendency to bark, which can be stressful for a child with ASD.

These dogs require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy and healthy, which might be more than some families can provide.

Best Dog Breeds for a Child on the Autism Spectrum

While some breeds may not be suitable, many others can provide the right kind of support and companionship for children with ASD.

Here are some of the best dog breeds for this purpose:

Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds for families and for good reason.

They are incredibly friendly, tolerant, and gentle. Known for their patience and easygoing nature, Golden Retrievers are easy to train and eager to please.

Their calm demeanor can be very soothing for a child with ASD, providing a sense of stability and comfort.

These dogs love to be around people and are known for their affectionate nature, making them excellent companions for children.

Bichon Frisé

Bichon Frisé

Bichon Frisés are small, cheerful, and playful dogs.

They are affectionate and gentle, making them a great match for children with ASD.

One of the added benefits of Bichon Frisés is that they are hypoallergenic, which is ideal for families concerned about allergies.

Their friendly and sociable nature helps them bond quickly with children, and their playful antics can bring joy and laughter to the household.


Newfoundlands, often referred to as “gentle giants,” are known for their calm and patient nature.

Despite their large size, they are incredibly gentle and loyal.

Their calm demeanor can be very reassuring for children with autism, providing a comforting presence in the home.

Newfoundlands are also known for their protective instincts, which can give parents peace of mind knowing that their child has a loyal and watchful companion.

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retriever

Labrador Retrievers are another excellent choice for families with children on the autism spectrum.

They are friendly, patient, and great with kids. Labs are highly intelligent and easy to train, making them ideal for households where structure and consistency are important.

Their playful yet gentle nature can provide the perfect balance of fun and calm, helping children with ASD feel more at ease.

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their calm, affectionate, and good-natured temperament.

They are patient and gentle, which can be very comforting for children with ASD.

Their larger size can provide a sense of security, while their friendly demeanor helps them form strong bonds with children.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are also very loyal, making them wonderful companions for children who need a steady and loving friend.

Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard

Saint Bernards are famous for their gentle and patient nature.

They are calm and affectionate, making them well-suited for children with autism.

Their large size and friendly demeanor can be very reassuring, helping children feel safe and secure.

Saint Bernards are known for their loving and protective instincts, making them excellent family pets.


Choosing the right dog breed for a child on the autism spectrum requires careful consideration of the child’s needs and sensitivities.

While some breeds may pose challenges due to their high energy levels, aggressiveness, or vocal nature, others can offer the perfect balance of companionship and support.

Breeds like Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their gentle and patient nature, making them excellent choices for families with children with ASD.

Always consider the specific needs of your child and consult with professionals when making this important decision.


Can any dog be suitable for a child with ASD?

While many dogs can provide companionship and support, it’s essential to consider the specific characteristics of the breed and how they match your child’s needs. Some breeds may be more suitable due to their gentle and patient nature.

What should I consider when choosing a dog for my child with ASD?

Consider the dog’s energy levels, temperament, trainability, and how they interact with children. It’s also important to think about your child’s sensitivities and needs.

Are there any specific training programs for dogs to help children with ASD?

Yes, there are specialized training programs that can help train dogs to support children with ASD. These programs focus on developing specific skills that can assist with the child’s needs.

Can a dog help improve my child’s social skills?

Yes, dogs can help improve social skills by providing companionship and encouraging interaction. They can also help reduce anxiety and provide a sense of comfort and stability.

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