According to one study, smaller, older, and male dogs are more likely to be aggressive and growl, snap, and bark at people.
Some breeds are also more likely to exhibit aggressive behavior than others, with long haired collies like Lassie being the most aggressive of all breeds.
Loved for their docile temperament and gentle nature, Labradors and Golden Retrievers have been classified by scientists as the least aggressive breeds.
When comparing the Rough Collie (left) with the Labrador (right), the least or most aggressive breed, the researchers found that the former were 5.44 times more likely to be more aggressive. ‘
Which breeds of dogs are the most aggressive?
The following list was compiled by researchers from Helsinki who studied the behavior of more than 9,000 and dogs.
However, it only covers 23 races and is not exhaustive.
For example, notable breeds such as Rottweilers, Dobermans, and British Bulldogs are not included.
- Rough collie
- Miniature poodle
- Miniature Schnauzer
- German shepherd dog
- Spanish water dog
- Chinese Crested
- German Spitz means
- Coton de Tulear
- Wheaton Terrier
- Pembroke Welsh Corgi
- Cairn Terrier
- Border collie
- Finnish Lapphund
- Smooth collie
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Staffordshire bull terrier
- Shetland sheepdog
- Lapponian Herder
- Golden retriever
- Labrador Retriever
A study of more than 9,000 pets covering 24 breeds was conducted by researchers from the University of Helsinki.
It revealed the aspects of a dog’s personality that affect its likelihood of engaging in aggressive behavior towards people.
It was found that small dogs are more likely to behave aggressively than medium-sized and large dogs, but are often not viewed as threatening due to their size and are therefore not addressed.
The study, published in Scientific Reports, also found that male dogs are more aggressive than females and that spaying and neutering has no effects.
How experienced the dog owner was also had an impact on the likelihood of aggressive behavior in a pet pooch, researchers found that the first dogs of inexperienced pet owners were more likely to behave aggressively.
The study also showed that dogs who spend time with other dogs behave less aggressively than those who live without other dogs in the household.
However, dog breed is the factor that affects aggressive behavior more than any other variable, with the exception of advanced age.
“In our dataset, the long-haired collie, the poodle (toy, miniature and medium) and the miniature schnauzer were the most aggressive breeds,” says Professor Hannes Lohi from the University of Helsinki.
‘Previous studies have shown that long-haired collies are scared, while the other two breeds express aggressive behavior towards unfamiliar people.
‘As expected, the popular Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever breeds were on the other end.
“People considering getting a dog should familiarize themselves with the breed’s background and needs.
“Breeders should also pay attention to the character of the mother candidates, as both fear and aggressive behavior are inherited.”
Miniature Poodles (left) and Golden Retrievers (right) were classified as the second most aggressive and second least aggressive breeds, respectively
Lapponian Shepherd Dogs (right) are the third lowest breed of dog that is aggressive, but Miniature Schnauzers (left) and the third most aggressive. Schnauzers are 3.34 times more aggressive than the Lapponian shepherds
When comparing the Rough Collie with the Labrador, the least and most aggressive breed, the researchers found that the former was 5.44 times more likely to be more aggressive.
“Aggressive behavior is often undesirable in normal family dogs, while some dogs with official duties are expected to be aggressive,” says PhD student Salla Mikkola of the University of Helsinki.
At the same time, aggressiveness can be caused by welfare issues such as chronic pain.
The fear of “dogs” was strongly related to aggressive behavior, with fearful dogs being many times more aggressive.
In addition, older dogs were more likely to behave aggressively than younger ones.
‘One of the possible reasons for this could be pain caused by an illness.
“Impairment of the senses can make it harder to notice people approaching, and dogs’ reactions to sudden situations can be aggressive.”
How old is your dog REALLY in “human years”?
The oft-made statement that one dog year equals seven human years is wrong, according to a dog expert.
Instead, the equation is more nuanced and depends on a dog’s cognitive and behavioral characteristics over time, as well as its breed.
A new study shows that a dog becomes a teenager by just six months of age, is a full adult by the age of two, and is a “senior” by around seven years of age.
A review of previous studies examining the effects of dog age on pet health was published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science.
Dr. Naomi Harvey, Research Manager at Dogs Trust and an academic at the University of Nottingham, conducted the review.
She says just because dogs live seven times shorter than humans doesn’t mean that every trip around the sun is worth seven for a dog.
“Dogs mature faster than we do,” says Dr. Harvey.
“Many one year old dogs have reached their full size, and most will have passed or nearing puberty, so they are definitely not the equivalent of a seven year old!”
Instead of using the simple factor of the seven equation, Dr. Harvey Determining When a Dog Is Puppy, Adolescent, Adult, Senior, and Geriatric.
Their results show that a one-year-old dog is a teenager who is just finishing puberty and resembles a 15-year-old human.
But just 12 months later, at the age of two, dogs have reached full maturity like a 25 year old human.
Dr. Harvey noted that dogs are considered older by the age of seven and geriatric by age 12.
Pictured how various metrics change a dog’s behavior over time. Green shows how the brain is developing and declining in recent years. Orange shows how some traits like cognitive decline increase exponentially over a dog’s geriatric years. Red shows a dog’s slow decline in activity and alertness