A scientific study has determined which dog breeds are the most aggressive. But other criteria must also be taken into account: the animal’s age, sex and environment.
Most of us would think that big dogs are the most aggressive, right? Think again! A study published by Nature found that many small dogs are more likely to be aggressive than large dogs.
The study collected behavioral data from over 13,000 dogs and found that the dog breeds most likely to exhibit aggressive behavior were the Rough Collie pictured below, the Miniature Poodle (of all types, from toy to medium) and the Miniature Schnauzer. At the other end of the spectrum, the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever and Lapponian Herder were the least likely to show aggressive behavior.
The graph below taken from the survey gives the probability of aggressive behavior depending on dog breed. Races on the far left have the highest probability of being aggressive, those on the right the lowest.
The dog’s age and gender are also important. Older dogs and males were more likely to be aggressive. Furthermore, sterilization had no clear effect on aggression, despite some popular beliefs.
Furthermore, aggressiveness is not solely determined by race or physical characteristics. Environmental factors also play a central role. Dogs that did not live without other dogs in the household were more likely to be aggressive. And surprisingly, dogs owned by first-time owners were also more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior.
So what does all this mean for us dog lovers? It reminds us that every dog is unique and that breed is only one of many factors that can influence its behavior. It also emphasizes the importance of education and the attention we give our four-legged friends.
So the next time you come across a small Miniature Poodle or Miniature Schnauzer, remember that despite their small size, they can have a strong temper!