Monday, December 27, 2010


As a dog, I would first of all like to say that tearing stuff up is loads of fun!  And not only is it fun, but it releases stress and gives a bored dog something to do until his humans come home.  Also, tearing things apart is perfectly natural if you are a carnivore, which dogs are.  And this is because when you catch some yummy prey that you are going to eat for supper, that prey does not come with a carving knife, which is why you have to use your teeth to rip it into more bite-sized pieces.

So now that I told you that, I will also tell you that back in September of 2008, an insurance company in the UK did a survey of 3000 dog owners to find out which breeds were the most likely to do expensive damage in the house.  And the first thing they learned was that 60% of those dog 3000 owners had paid to have repairs done on something that their dogs had destroyed.

Then the insurance company made a list of the breeds who were the most destructive and the breeds who were the least destructive.  And when Mom and I looked at the list of the most destructive dogs, we were shocked to find that basenjis weren't on it!  Because most people who have basenjis think that this breed is very likely to chew up your furniture and eat your underwear and maybe also dig in your flower bed.  And it's not just basenji puppies who do this.  Lots of older basenjis do it, too.  So we think maybe the 3000 dog owners that were surveyed didn't include enough basenji owners.  Otherwise, how can you explain the results?

Anyway, now I will tell you what the survey showed, and the number one destructive dog on the list was the Great Dane.  Probably, since Great Danes are really big dogs, they not only chew things up but they also bump into things and knock them down and break them.  Plus they have long tails that can do a bunch of damage, too.

So it is not too surprising that Great Danes are number one on the list.  But what is surprising is that the number two dog is the chihuahua.  It seems like chihuahuas would be too small to do much damage, but I guess this isn't true.  They have sharp little teeth that can tear stuff, and they might also ruin a lot of carpets by peeing behind the sofa or in corners and sneaky places like that.  But I'm just guessing about this, so I could be wrong.

Anyway, here's the whole list of most destructive dogs, in order from most destructive to least destructive, with the average amount of insurance claims for damage:

  1.  Great Dane  £700
  2.  Chihuahua  £638
  3.  Mastiff  £586
  4.  Basset Hound  £564
  5.  Whippet  £519
  6.  English Setter  £485
  7.  Bulldog  £446
  8.  Dachshund  £445
  9.  Boxer  £404
10.  Beagle  £400
11.  Greyhound  £393
12.  Dalmatian  £388
13.  Doberman Pinscher  £380
14.  Rottweiler  £200
15.  Border Collie  £179
16.  Labrador  £172
17.  Rhodesian Ridgeback  £170
18.  Newfoundland  £163
19.  Jack Russell  £161
20.  Golden Retriever  £149

The kind of damage that was done most often was stuff like soiled carpets, scratched doors, chewed door frames, ripped sofas, chewed wires, ruined clothes, and broken ornaments.

There was one story about a Great Dane who thought the patio doors were open, so he ran right into them and knocked both the doors and the frame out of the wall.  And then there was a border collie whose tail hit a glass of red wine and spilled it onto a brand-new cream-colored carpet.  But in my opinion, it's crazy for anybody with pets to get a white carpet.

Also there was a labrador puppy who chewed up three pairs of his owner's Nikes that were worth £75 each.  It seems to me that the owner should have learned after the first pair of shoes got chewed up, but I guess this person was kind of a slow learner.

Anyway, if you are looking for a dog breed that is not so destructive, here's a list of the 10 least destructive breeds.  The pug turns out to be the very least destructive of all, but all of the owners of the dogs on this list made insurance claims of less than £1.

  1.  Pug
  2.  Saint Bernard
  3.  Pointer
  4.  Poodle
  5.  Corgi
  6.  Highland Terrier
  7.  Old English Sheepdog
  8.  Cocker Spaniel
  9.  Border Terrier
10.  King Charles Spaniel

A lot of dogs do damage in the house if they have separation anxiety or if they are not properly house-trained.  Some breeds of dog are more likely to get separation anxiety than others, but that is a topic for another time.  Also, a lot depends on the individual dog.

Anyway, if you don't want your dog to chew up your stuff, my advice is to keep your stuff away from the dog, or keep the dog away from the stuff whenever you can't be there to watch what's going on.  And if you want to have a perfect house where nothing is ever harmed or broken, you should not have any pets or children.  At least that's what I think!


  1. Good morning...Dodi here! Hmmm...interesting subject. In fact, when mom read the blog to Di and me, she handed me the laptop - stating, "this is your area of expertise." I don't think it was a compliment? Sometimes it's hard to tell with my mom! My mom's last Viszla wasn't destructive, however, when mom and her ex-husband would go out-of-town, Nellie (the Viszla) would pull all their clothes out of the closet. I think that's funny, but my mom didn't think so...she said Nellie was more upset at our leaving, than being destructive. I'm wondering if you're going to research the same subject about cats? I have been told many many many times, that I am "destructive." Can you believe that? My mom said the second photo could be our place. I have gotten better about tearing up toilet paper; mainly because my mom hides it! I will close for now, mom says I've once again been too chatty.
    Love, Dodi

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