Author Topic: 3 Most Aggressive Dog breeds  (Read 7410 times)

Offline ZooCrew

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3 Most Aggressive Dog breeds
« on: January 15, 2009, 07:16:32 am »
This was posted on another forum I frequent:

THE THREE MOST AGGRESSIVE DOG BREEDS
Mutts, a blog by John Woestendiek of The Baltimore Sun

Attention, America, or at least all you state and local politicians who are banning or considering banning ownership of pit bulls, Rottweilers and other big, scary dogs: In the midst of your rush to pass breed specific legislation, a new study has shown that the most aggressive dog breed in the world is ...

Yes, the Dachshund, the wiener dog, better known in some countries as the sausage dog.

This vicious beast, despite enjoying a good reputation, is at the very top of a list of 33 dog breeds that were rated for their aggression in a study that analyzed the behavior of thousands of dogs.

One in five Dachshunds have bitten or tried to bite strangers; about one in five have attacked other dogs, and one in 12 have snapped at their owners, according to the study, which was reported in the London Telegraph.

Before all you Dachshund owners start experiencing the same fears as pit bull owners, and begin contemplating how to hide your pet from authorities (a large bun, perhaps?), it should be pointed out that, as a small dog, a dachshund won't inflict the same amount of damage as a large one, or the same amount of headlines.

So you're probably safe. Now that we're all relaxed we can move on to No. 2 on the most aggressive list .... German Shepherd, maybe? Perhaps the Chow Chow, or Doberman.

Nope. It's the Chihuahua. Look out, Paris Hilton.

Chihuahuas, even smaller than Dachshunds, and the fashion accessory of choice for Paris Hilton and other celebrities, were the second most hostile breed.

According to the study, they are fairly regularly snapping or attempting to bite strangers, family and other dogs.

In third place was another small dog ... the breed that captured our heart in the television show, Frazier -- the Jack Russell terrier. The study shows beyond any doubt: Small dogs are not to be trusted.

Just kidding, of course. But that is precisely the sort of generalization those passing laws against pit bulls are making. (Then again, they are probably small politicians, who really can't be trusted.)

There may, however, actually be some basis behind my theory that small dogs often display a bit of a Napoleon complex -- at least judging from the number that yap and snap at my big dog.

Dr. James Serpell, a University of Pennsylvania researcher who worked on the study, said smaller breeds might be more genetically predisposed 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 added.

Most research into canine aggression up to now has focused on dog bites, but researchers said that data (pit bulls aren't at the top of that list either) is misleading. Most dog bites aren't reported, and because the bites of big dogs are more likely to get reported, they are generally viewed as more aggressive.

The study, published this week in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, involved researchers from the University of Pennsylvania questioning 6,000 dog owners. Breeds scoring low for aggression included Basset hounds, golden retrievers, Labradors, Siberian huskies. The Rottweiler, pit bull and Rhodesian ridgeback scored average or below average marks for hostility towards strangers. Greyhounds rated the most docile.

The study also showed that "temperament testing" isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Owners of 67 dogs temperament tested and subsequently adopted from one shelter were interviewed by telephone within 13 months of adoption. The interviews included questions about jumping up, house soiling, separation-related behavior, barking and aggressive behavior.

In evaluating dogs that passed the temperament test used by the shelter, it was found that 40.9% exhibited lunging, growling, snapping, and/or biting after adoption. When barking was included, this percentage rose to 71.2%.

"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," the researchers said The researchers said temperament tests often fail to identify certain types of aggression.


My only complaint on the article is that it sounds like the dog owners were questioned for the study and they didn't actually see the dogs themselves.  Which does make me wonder if some owners weren't entirely truthful on their answers as we all know some owners are oblivious to their own dogs' bad behaviors.  But overall, I thought it a great article/blog and wish I could see the study results.

Tonda

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Re: 3 Most Aggressive Dog breeds
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2009, 12:48:18 pm »
I've always loved the fact that pits pass the temperament test at a higher rate than goldens. Yep, the baby eaters are actually MORE (or just about equally) docile, friendly, happy, and good tempered than the family favorite. I actually printed the results up on cards and handed them out when I owned my Staffie.

Offline Berner_Mom

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Re: 3 Most Aggressive Dog breeds
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2009, 01:29:38 pm »
Well, isn't that interesting?

I am not surprised. I have been personally bitten by all three of those breeds:

My mom's friend in BC, Canada, had a daschund named Doc, who (though he was great friends with our border collie, Nikko) bit me TWICE on different occasions.

My best friend in high school had a chihuahua named Noodle (this is going back way before chihuahua's were popular "accessories") and he bit me one time at a sleepover, and I wasn't even anywhere near him.  He leapt off his bed and ran across the room to bite my foot, because it was "close to his toy". Humph.

AND finally, I house/pet sat about 8 years ago for my parents friends who had a Jack Russell terrier named Jack (original, eh? Though I think technically the name was Jack-Boy) and he bit me once right after his owners had left on their vacation and I was left in the house in charge. Jack had other plans I guess.

So, yeah, interesting study.

For the record, I also have friends that own or have owned Rottys, Pits, and one huge bull mastif...and I've never suffered so much as a scratch.
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lins_saving_grace

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Re: 3 Most Aggressive Dog breeds
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2009, 03:16:22 pm »
i've been telling people for years that even a little fuzzy fur ball will hurt you just as easily as my big rott (the breed that is commonly mistaken for the number 1 of the most aggressive and fatal bite).  and i've also had to tell people that Cugo was not a Rott.

Tonda

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Re: 3 Most Aggressive Dog breeds
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2009, 05:00:55 am »
Cockers are way up there (specifically the American ones, not the English ones). They can be quite high strung, and people commonly get them for children, which leads to fear biting. *sigh* 

Offline Newly Newfed

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Re: 3 Most Aggressive Dog breeds
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2009, 05:35:37 am »
I'm not suprised that the top three are small dogs.  I've always heard reports that small dogs are more prone to bite.

I haven't had any experience with a Jack Russell or Dachsund, but Jeff's uncle has a Chihuahua that he brings everywhere with him, so I see her a lot.  Let me tell you, I won't go NEAR that dog.  She scares the H-E-double hockey sticks out of me.  She is always snarling and growling and she makes runs at you like she's going to attack but then backs off right before she gets to you.  I hate her.  My friend's Chi is the same way way except her dog doesn't make charges at you.  I don't hate Chi's in general, just these two dogs specifically.  And neither one of these dogs EVER SHUTS UP!
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Offline ZooCrew

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Re: 3 Most Aggressive Dog breeds
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2009, 06:11:55 am »
I've had attempted biting by all 3 of those breeds, although none succeeded..... ...lol.  ;D  As far as large breeds go, I've had attempted bites by more labs than anything else.

The only dogs that have ever actually bit me though, were a schipperke, a min pin (that one was my fault), a cairn terrier, 2 beagles, a bichon, and 2 of my own dogs.  All but the schipperke and bichon were out of fear, not outright aggression.  And the schipperke was only annoyed b/c he wanted me to put him down........lo l.  Was chewing on my finger like an ear of corn.........l ol.  The bichon is a piece of work but I love him anyway.  He's got an attitude but that's why I like him........lol .  Luckily, none have caused any serious damage.  I've had worse cat bites, and the scars to prove it........lol.

AudgePadge

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Re: 3 Most Aggressive Dog breeds
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2009, 06:48:46 am »
hm...I've been bitten by 3 chis (not all at the same time ;)) once was my fault, the other two times it was a little out of nowhere. I keep my distance from little dogs, so I rarely get bitten.

Big dogs- got bitten by my friend's lab/pit mix, she's always been a bit sassy, and neurotic.  Then once by a lab, but I step on his foot so it was my fault...

Offline Newly Newfed

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Re: 3 Most Aggressive Dog breeds
« Reply #8 on: January 16, 2009, 09:54:52 am »
The only bites I received were from my uncle's springer spaniel, it came completely out of nowhere and he immediatley knew he had done something wrong and started to lick me with his head down and tail between his legs.

The other times were fom two of my Siberians and they were both my fault completely.  I was bitten by one husky when I was 5 years old.  I had accidentally let him loose and he started fighting with our Saint.  I was a dumb kid and could only focus on the thought that I was going to get in trouble for letting the dog loose so I reached in and tried to break up the fight.  Then I got bit and I ran and hid, bleeding terribly, still thinking I was going to get in trouble.  (Yes, I was very afraid of my mother :D)  30 years later I still have the scars on my wrist.  Actually we were never sure if it was the Husky or the Saint the got me.

The other incident was my fault too.  We had a husky who was sweet and loving but would not tolerate being stared at.  Well, I was pushing him one time to see how far I could go and I found out his limits.  He snapped at my face and left a scar right under my bottom lip and another up above my hairline.  He also realized right away that he shouldn't have done it and I never told my mother how it happened.  I didn't want the dog getting in trouble and I was wrong to push him knowing he took staring as a challenge.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2009, 09:56:07 am by Newly Newfed »
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lins_saving_grace

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Re: 3 Most Aggressive Dog breeds
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2009, 05:52:50 am »
What about Cocker Spaniels? I thought they were right at the top of the biter list.
Spaniels are almost number one i think.  i looked up stats once about which dog was number one for fatal bites.  I remember it wasn't the breeds people expect it to be.  Spaniels and goldens were higher than rotts i think.  believe it or not, dauchshaunds (so mispelled but you know i mean weiner dogs) have killed babies.

our beagle bit me on the belly button once.  it was hot, he was sleeping and i wouldn't leave him alone.  he just wailed on me.  i asked for that one.
I think people need to know that any dog can hurt/kill you.  they don't usually without a reason (good or not).  it's up to them to respect animals enough to not make them uneasy or give them a reason.  unfortunately, some people are just plain scared of dogs and sometimes that's enough of a reason for the dog to think that person is a threat. 
« Last Edit: January 17, 2009, 05:57:41 am by Lin »

Offline sc.trojans

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Re: 3 Most Aggressive Dog breeds
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2009, 01:06:29 pm »

I think it has been well documented that small dogs are the most prone to "warning bites" given that they are small, and feel vulnerable and extra defensive - they tend to get a free pass as a result of causing little harm.

All of the US statistic compiling, and most behaviorists distinguish between bite numbers and bite severity - this is why the pits and rotties take such a beating - they bite less, but when they do, they often kill.

JAVMA came out with a special report on it in 2000:

http://www.dogbitelaw.com/breeds-causing-DBRFs.pdf

And this site is interesting to follow national incidents:

http://www.dogexpert.com/FatalDogAttacks/fataldogattacks.html
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lins_saving_grace

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Re: 3 Most Aggressive Dog breeds
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2009, 03:15:00 pm »
very true.  i wouldn't want to be bitten by one.  Each can deliver a bite using 400 pounds per square inch.  actually, i think the pit can go a little higher than that, but that's the number for a rottie. 

Offline vmimom2006

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Re: 3 Most Aggressive Dog breeds
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2009, 03:29:57 am »
Not surprised at all...that's why I call them little ankle biters!

I just watched a show over the weekend on Animal Planet on Pit Bulls. They basically said even pits that were mistreated were turned around with training to become very loving dogs. They were showing the pit bulls recued from Michael Vick's and how the dogs were so gentle. I was so glad to see how happy those dog were now. It was a good program.
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Offline Newly Newfed

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Re: 3 Most Aggressive Dog breeds
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2009, 07:35:19 am »
Kudos to Animal Planet for showing the program.  Every little bit of good publicity for Pits can help...
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Offline vmimom2006

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Re: 3 Most Aggressive Dog breeds
« Reply #14 on: January 20, 2009, 07:44:02 am »
Yep, it was hosted by Drs Foster & Smith and they went on how Pits were super sweet and gentle dogs. It was so good!!
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