Smaller, older, and male dogs are more likely to be aggressive and growl, nip and bark at people, a study found.
Some breeds also display more aggressive behavior than others, with long-haired collies, such as Lassie, being the most aggressive of all breeds.
However, Labradors and Golden Retrievers, beloved for their docile temperament and gentle disposition, were considered by scientists to be the least aggressive of breeds.
Comparing the Rough Collie (left) with the Labrador (right), the least and most aggressive breeds, respectively, the researchers found that the former is 5.44 times more likely to be aggressive. ‘
Which dog breeds are the most aggressive?
The list below has been compiled by Helsinki researchers who have studied the behavior of more than 9,000 dogs.
However, it only covers 23 varieties and is not exhaustive.
Notable breeds such as Rottweilers, Dobermans, and British Bulldogs, for example, are not included.
- Rough Collie
- Miniature Poodle
- Miniature Schnauzer
- German shepherd
- Spanish Water Dog
- Chinese crest
- German Spitz means
- Cotton Tulear
- Wheaton Terrier
- Pembroke Welsh Corgi
- Cairn Terrier
- Border Collie
- Finnish Lapphund
- Smooth Collie
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Shetland sheepdog
- Lapse Shepherd
- Golden retriever
- labrador retriever
Researchers from the University of Helsinki conducted a survey of more than 9,000 pets in 24 breeds.
It revealed the aspects of a dog’s personality that affect the likelihood of him exhibiting aggressive behavior towards humans.
Small dogs have been shown to be more aggressive than medium and large dogs, but due to their size, they are often not considered threatening and are therefore not addressed.
The study, published in Scientific reports, also found that males are more aggressive than females and neutering has no effect.
How experienced the dog owner was also affects a dog’s likelihood of a dog’s aggressive behavior as a pet, researchers found, with early pet owners being more likely to behave aggressively.
The study also indicated that dogs who spend time in the company of other dogs behave less aggressively than dogs who live without other dogs in the household.
But dog breed is the factor that influences aggressive behavior more than any other variable, except for advanced age.
“In our dataset, the long-haired collie, the poodle (toy, miniature and medium) and miniature schnauzer were the most aggressive breeds,” says Professor Hannes Lohi from the University of Helsinki.
Previous studies have shown fear in long-haired collies, while the other two breeds have been shown to display aggressive behavior towards unknown people.
As expected, the popular Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever breeds were on the other side.
People considering purchasing a dog should familiarize themselves with the breed’s background and needs.
“Breeders should also pay attention to the character of parent candidates, as both fear and aggressive behavior are inherited.”
Miniature Poodles (left) and Golden Retrievers (right) were considered the second most aggressive and second least aggressive breeds, respectively
Lappish Shepherd Dogs (right) are the third least likely to be aggressive, but the Miniature Schnauzer (left) and the third most aggressive. Schnauzer’s are 3.34 times more likely to be aggressive than the Lappish Shepherd’s
When comparing the Rough Collie to the Labrador, the least and most aggressive breeds, respectively, the researchers found that the former is 5.44 times more likely to be aggressive.
“In normal family dogs, aggressive behavior is often undesirable, while some dogs with official duties are expected to be aggressive,” says PhD student Salla Mikkola from the University of Helsinki.
At the same time, aggressiveness can be caused by welfare problems, such as chronic pain.
Canine fear had a strong link with aggressive behavior, with fearful dogs often acting more aggressively.
Plus, older dogs were more likely to be aggressive 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, and dogs’ reactions to sudden situations can be aggressive.”
How old is your dog REALLY in ‘human years’?
The oft-stated claim that one dog year equals seven human years is false according to one dog expert.
Instead, the comparison is more nuanced and depends on a dog’s cognitive and behavioral traits over time as well as its breed.
A new study reveals that a dog becomes a teenager when he is only six months old, is a full-fledged adult by the time he is two years old, and is a ‘senior’ at around seven.
A review of previous studies on the impact of dog age on pet health has been published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science.
Dr. Naomi Harvey, research manager at Dogs Trust and academic at the University of Nottingham, conducted the review.
She says that just because dogs live seven times shorter than humans doesn’t mean every trip around the sun is worth seven times to a dog.
“Dogs mature faster than we do,” says Dr. Harvey.
“Many one-year-old dogs have reached their full height and most will have passed through puberty or are nearing its end, so they are certainly not the equivalent of a seven-year-old child!”
Rather than using the simplistic factor of seven, Dr. Harvey tried to determine when a dog is a puppy, a young dog, an adult, a senior, and a geriatric dog.
Her findings show that a one-year-old dog is a young dog who has just finished puberty, and is related to a 15-year-old human.
But just 12 months later, at the age of two, dogs have reached maturity in the same way as a 25-year-old.
Dr. Harvey found that dogs can be considered geriatric at age seven and are considered geriatric from the age of 12.
Depicted, how different statistics change a dog’s behavior over time. Green shows how the brain develops and then begins to decline in higher years; orange shows how some traits, such as cognitive decline, increase exponentially in a dog’s geriatric years; red shows the slow decline of a dog’s activity and alertness