The 3 Most Aggressive Dog Breeds May Surprise You

A lot of Care2 readers already know that some bigger dogs, like Pit Bulls, are misunderstood and unfairly labeled as aggressive breeds. So what are the most aggressive dog breeds? I came across a study published in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science a few years ago, and the answer surprised me.

The most aggressive breed, the study found, was the Dachshund. The researchers discovered that that one in five have bit or attempted to bite a stranger, and one in twelve have lashed out at their owners. Chihuahuas were in second place, and Jack Russells were the third most aggressive breed. Up to 30 percent of these smaller breeds have bit or attempted to bite unfamiliar dogs.

Surprised? One of the study’s researchers thinks that bigger dogs were thought to be more aggressive because past research looked at bite statistics—but most bites are not reported. Bigger dogs have bigger bites, which makes it more likely that those–not Dachshund bites—are the ones being medically treated and therefore reported. This study, however, surveyed 6,000 dog owners instead.

The least aggressive breeds included Basset Hounds, Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Siberian Huskies, and Greyhounds. Pit Bulls and Rottweilers scored about average to below average in the study.

Image credit: fionamcallisterphotography via Flickr

Related:
13 Friendliest Dog Breeds
10 Rules Every Kid Should Know to Avoid Dog Bites

The Real History of Pit Bulls

660 comments

Jan S
Jan S2 months ago

My adopted Yorkie mix attacks every one! She has even bit us.
My chihuahua though is a lover.

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Clare O
Clare O2 months ago

Terriers were bred for killing rats, badgers, foxes and other creatures that live in holes. Stands to reason they need a built in level of aggression.

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Glennis W
Glennis W3 months ago

Very informative Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W3 months ago

Great information and advice Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W3 months ago

Very interesting article Thank you for caring and sharing

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Paola S
Paola S3 months ago

thanks

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Jeramie D
Jeramie D3 months ago

I love pit bulls and have 3 that I rescued. I am crazy about the breed, but you do need to know how to keep them safe.

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Camilla V
Camilla V4 months ago

noted

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Nicole Heindryckx
Nicole Heindryckx5 months ago

More than a couple hundreds comments mean generally that the article was not published a couple of months ago. I took a couple of mins. to scroll till the first comment. 3 / THREE years ago. Notwithstanding what I put in my previous comment, I wonder if this article is still up to date. Have some other "scientists" published other articles in the meantime ?? and what is the most evil biting dog now ?? The whole "biting dog" story started with pit bulls. Until NOW, most people think a pit bull is a "biting" and aggressive dog. NO... Neither are the Staffords, who also at a certain moment got this nice name.... And now it is the Dachshund... Sorry, sorry, sorry : each real dog lover, who knows how to treat his animal, will tell you the same : THERE ARE NO BAD, EVIL, BITING DOGS...... WE HAVE LEARNED THEM TO BITE AND BE AGGRESSIVE.

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Nicole Heindryckx
Nicole Heindryckx5 months ago

The title "most aggressive dog breeds" makes me angry. I am 66 now, have had dogs of various breeds from my 18th. I only had 1 dog who "loved" biting. It was a rescued dog, from a shelter, just like all the other ones. Apparently this one had been maltreated and abused (kicked, slammed, beaten, etc..) The first thing that was very curious was the fact that when he came into our kitchen, and we put him a bowl of food, he refused to eat. Okay, we thought. He needs some time... But abt 1 hour later, he took the bread (pure and simple bread without anything on it) from the table, whilst I was making the coffee. And this continued... We finally got him so far to eat bread with paté spread on it of cheese spread. And after a couple of weeks, he ate normal dog food. Just to tell you this dog had not had a normal life until he came with us. And dogs who have been maltreated, or have been learned to attack people or other dogs bite. There are NO bad, biting breeds. There are ONLY bad, ugly, disgusting dog owners. And even this article will not change my mind.

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