Smaller, older, male dogs are more likely to be aggressive and growl, slam and bark at humans, study finds.
Some breeds are also more likely than others to behave aggressively, with long-haired collies, like Lassie, the most aggressive of all breeds.
In contrast, Labradors and Golden Retrievers, valued for their docile temperament and gentle nature, have been judged by scientists to be the least aggressive breeds.
Comparing the Rough Collie (left) with the Labrador (right), the researchers found that the former was 5.44 times more likely to be aggressive.
Which breeds of dogs are the most aggressive?
The list below was compiled by researchers in Helsinki who have studied the behavior of over 9,000 dogs and.
However, it only includes 23 races and is not exhaustive.
For example, notable breeds like Rottweilers, Dobermans, and British Bulldogs are not included.
- Rough collie
- Miniature poodle
- Schnauzer miniature
- German shepherd
- Spanish water dog
- Chinese crested
- German spitz means
- Cotton Tulear
- Wheat terrier
- Pembroke Welsh Corgi
- Cairn Terrier
- Border collie
- Finnish Lapphund
- Smooth collie
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Staffordshire Bull Terrier
- Shetland Sheepdog
- Berger lapponien
- Golden retriever
- Labrador retriever
A study of more than 9,000 pets spanning 24 breeds was conducted by researchers at the University of Helsinki.
He revealed aspects of a dog’s personality that affect his likelihood of showing aggressive behavior towards people.
Small dogs have been found to be more likely to behave aggressively than medium and large dogs, but due to their size they are often not considered threatening and therefore go untreated.
The study, published in Scientific Reports, also found that male dogs are more aggressive than females and their sterilization has no impact.
The experience of owning a dog also has an impact on a companion dog’s risk for aggressive behavior, the researchers found, with novice pet owners’ early dogs 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 those who live without other dogs in the household.
But dog breed is the factor that influences aggressive behavior more than any other variable except advanced age.
“In our data set, the long-haired collie, poodle (toy, miniature and medium) and miniature schnauzer were the most aggressive breeds,” says Professor Hannes Lohi of the University of Helsinki.
“Previous studies have shown fear in long-haired collies, while the other two breeds have shown aggressive behavior towards unfamiliar people.
As expected, the popular Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever breeds were on the other extreme.
“People who are considering buying a dog should be familiar with the background and needs of the breed.
“As for the breeders, they also have to pay attention to the character of the candidates for the mother, because fear and aggressive behavior are inherited.
Miniature Poodles (left) and Golden Retrievers (right) were considered the second most aggressive and the second least aggressive breeds, respectively.
Lapponian Sheepdogs (right) are the third least likely dog breed to be aggressive, but Miniature Schnauzers (left) are the third most aggressive. Schnauzers are 3.34 times more likely to be aggressive than Lapponian breeders
Comparing the Rough Collie to Labrador, the least and most aggressive breeds, respectively, the researchers found that the former was 5.44 times more likely to be aggressive.
“In normal family dogs, aggressive behavior is often undesirable, while some dogs with official functions should have the capacity for aggression,” says doctoral researcher Salla Mikkola of the University of Helsinki.
“At the same time, aggression can be caused by well-being issues, such as chronic pain.
Fear of “dogs” was strongly associated with aggressive behavior, with fearful dogs being several times more likely to behave aggressively.
Additionally, older dogs were more likely to behave aggressively than younger ones.
“One of the potential reasons behind this can be pain caused by illness.
“Impaired senses can make it harder to detect approaching people, and dogs’ responses to sudden situations can be aggressive. ”
How old is your dog REALLY in “human years”?
The oft-uttered claim that one dog year equals seven human years is false, according to a canine expert.
Instead, the equation is more nuanced and depends on a dog’s cognitive and behavioral traits over time as well as its breed.
A new study finds that a dog grows into a teenager at just six months old, is a full adult at the age of two, and is a “senior” at around seven years old.
A review of previous studies on the impact of dog age on companion animal health has been published in the journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science.
Dr Naomi Harvey, head of research at Dogs Trust and academic at the University of Nottingham, conducted the review.
She says that just because dogs live seven times less than humans, doesn’t mean that each trip around the sun is worth seven times for a dog.
“Dogs mature faster than us,” says Dr. Harvey.
“Many one-year-old dogs have reached full size and most will have gone through puberty or are nearing their end, so they are certainly not the equivalent of a seven-year-old!” “
Instead of using the simplistic factor of seven equations, Dr. Harvey sought to determine when a dog is a puppy, juvenile, adult, senior, and geriatric.
His findings show that a one-year-old dog is a juvenile finishing puberty and resembles a 15-year-old human.
But just 12 months later, at two years old, the dogs have reached full maturity just like a 25-year-old.
Dr Harvey discovered that dogs can be considered to be entering their senior years at the age of seven and are considered geriatric at 12 and over.
Pictured is how various measures change a dog’s behavior over time. Green shows how the brain grows and then begins to decline over the last few years; orange shows how certain traits, like cognitive decline, increase exponentially during a dog’s geriatric years; red shows a dog’s slow decline in activity and attention