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Thread: What are the most aggressive breeds?

  1. In vino veritas
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    #1

    What are the most aggressive breeds?

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    What are the most aggressive dog breeds? A university study provides interesting insight

    I'm always amazed to hear the preconceived notions that people have of dogs in general.

    The one topic really makes me shake my head: The misconceptions of dog aggression particularly when it comes to breed. In working with any number of breeds on a given day, I can attest that aggression is far less common than one might think.

    The truth is, any dog can become aggressive. But there a handful of breeds that rise to the top when it comes to exhibiting this most-unwanted behavior, and the findings of a study done by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania will certainly make one stop and think.

    In my experience, I can say that the study, published in an issue of the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science, a few years ago, reflects what I see on a regular basis: the breeds of dog that have a higher incidence of aggression, snapping or attempting to bite strangers, their own humans and other dogs tend to be small breed.

    In fact, the top three, are in order dachshund, chihuahua and Jack Russell terrier.

    So, is it a Napoleon complex? Something else?

    A researcher who worked on the study, Dr. James Serpell, says that smaller breeds may have a genetic predisposition towards aggressive behavior than larger dogs.

    "Reported levels of aggression in some cases are concerning, with rates of bites or bite attempts rising as high as 20 per cent toward strangers and 30 per cent toward unfamiliar dogs," he noted.

    The study included questioning 6,000 dog owners. Breeds that scored lowest for aggression included Bassett hounds, golden retrievers, Labradors, Siberian huskies.

    It's interesting to note that the Rottweiler, pit bull and Rhodesian ridgeback scored average even below average for hostility towards strangers.

    Greyhounds rated the most sedate.

    One important note, citing the study:

    Our results indicated that there are certain types of aggressive tendencies (territorial, predatory, and intra-specific aggression) that are not reliably exhibited during temperament testing using this particular evaluation process

    .

    One reason that these smaller breeds don't make for noteworthy attention when it comes to any hostile behavior is clear: because of their size, a chihuahua won't inflict the same amount of damage as a larger dog.

    As an aside, I notice all too often that the signs that a small breed dog is conveying that they are uncomfortable with a social situation sometimes because of their babyish size and appearance can be overlooked.

    Do owners of these breeds have a tendency to not have the same criteria in mind when it comes to teaching them self-discipline as they might for a large breed dog, like training classes?

    There are many complex reasons, beyond genetics, surely.

    In any case, it's vital that we understand that every dog has the capacity to behave aggressively. More importantly, it vital to note that in most cases, they choose not to do so, just like us.
    Obvi this isnt some article about the evils of chihuahuas or that all pit bulls are angels, but it IS a great point about knowing your breed before you buy and to always practice safe dog behavior, no matter what kind of dog.
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    #2
    I can't picture a basset hound being aggressive AT ALL
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    #3
    my grandparents had the meanest Pekingese in the world, he bit all of us at some point when we were kids. And my yorkie is a a total asshole.
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    #4
    I agree. Little dogs are often not given the same treatment as bigger dogs, i.e., furniture sitting, being allowed to beg, Never being truly disciplined, etc. This causes them to have the "alpha pack" mentality and makes them super agressive sometimes, or what a lot of people call the "yappy" syndrome. Not saying they are any better or worse, just that they often are not trained or treated the same because they are "cute."
  5. Life is an adventure!
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    #5
    That's really interesting, I'm making my mom read it. She thinks pits are crazy, man eating dogs.
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Cedes View Post
    I agree. Little dogs are often not given the same treatment as bigger dogs, i.e., furniture sitting, being allowed to beg, Never being truly disciplined, etc. This causes them to have the "alpha pack" mentality and makes them super agressive sometimes, or what a lot of people call the "yappy" syndrome. Not saying they are any better or worse, just that they often are not trained or treated the same because they are "cute."
    They also have a tendency to be insecure dogs, totally reverse of alpha mentality, - and insecurity leads to biting/aggressive behavior. When DH adopted Bogey (pom) I knew we had our hands full - classic little dog issues, so insecure it isn't even funny. He STILL has his moments (mainly because DH sucks at following through on the work I do with him )
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Katayoun View Post
    I can't picture a basset hound being aggressive AT ALL
    I can. My basset is an evil bitch when she gets riled up she's aggressive in an extremely playful manner but god damnit she's feisty!!! She's not even a year old yet so I don't think she knows she's supposed to be lazy!
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    #8
    I definitely think that there's something to be said for smaller dogs biting more than larger dogs. They are often put in situations that people don't recognize makes them uncomfortable (overzealous kids, etc) and ignore the warning signs before they bite.
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by SamInCT View Post
    I can. My basset is an evil bitch when she gets riled up she's aggressive in an extremely playful manner but god damnit she's feisty!!! She's not even a year old yet so I don't think she knows she's supposed to be lazy!
    Someday she'll learn to be perma-drunk
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    #10
    This is a huge reason why we've gotten our mini doxie into training. She is a puppy and I don't want her growing up with little pup syndrome. She needs to learn manners and that she isn't Alpha.
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