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Research Study Finds Most Aggressive Dog Breeds

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Many people have preconceived ideas on the character of a dog based purely on their breed. This of course is unfair.

With Breed Specific Legislation acts coming into place within many states, dog such as Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers and other breeds that are generally considered more aggressive, are in danger of losing their homes and in some cases their lives.

In many ways the media has exacerbated the issue. The notion that such breeds are innately more aggressive than others has been allowed to seep into the public conscience.

The Doberman Pinscher - unfairly considered an aggressive breed

The Doberman Pinscher – unfairly considered an aggressive breed

While cases of aggression in such breeds does happen, and severe cases will almost always be reported, there are other issues at play here.

A study released in 2008 in the journal of Applied Animal Behavior Science provides scientific data on what breeds are statistically more aggressive – and the results go some way to readdressing the balance of these long held dog breed stereotypes.

The study involved researchers from the University of Pennsylvania as well as 6,000 dog owners.

And the number one aggressive breed out of the 33 different breeds surveyed? The Dachshund. Non other than the wiener dog.

dachshund dog breed

The study found the Dachshund to be the most aggressive breed

The results of the study found that “one in five dachshunds have bitten or tried to bite strangers, and a similar number have attacked other dogs; one in 12 have snapped at their owners.”

Number two on the list of most aggressive dog breeds is the tiny Chihuahua, while Dobermans and Jack Russells came in third and fourth respectively.

jack-russell-terrier

Jack Russells were found third most aggressive in the study

The researchers concluded that bite statistics released in recent years are skewed because most dog bites are not reported.

Larger breed dog bites are more likely to require medical attention, and hence are officially reported.

However, this does not mean that those breeds are doing the majority of the biting.

One of the teams researchers, Dr. James Serpell, believes that smaller breeds may be more genetically predisposed to aggressive behavior than their larger counterparts.

chihuahua

They may look cute, but Chihuahua’s came second in the study of aggressiveness

Serpell says, “Reported levels of aggression in some cases are concerning, with rates of bites or bite attempts rising as high as 20 per cent toward strangers and 30 per cent toward unfamiliar dogs.”

And the results for those breeds that are stereotypically considered the most aggressive dogs of all?

Well Pit Bulls and Rottweilers scored average or below average in the aggression study.

The most passive breeds to come out of the study were Basset Hounds, Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Siberian Huskies and Greyhounds.

So next time you are taking a walk through the park and a dog comes up sniffing, remember that looks are deceiving. The diminutive Jack Russell is statistically more likely to bite you than a Rottweiler.

The result should the latter decide to bite you, is of course a different story.

Rottweiler

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  • Ryan M

    I have a wiener dog…..he is 10 now, never bit anyone and is very friendly. I am surprised to hear that they are #1 on this list.

    • s perogi

      You probably did a good job of raising it. As we know, it’s not the breed, it’s the owners and training (or lack thereof).

      • Nicholay Hovland

        As we know, it’s the combination of both breed and owner. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be more likely for a smaller dog to be more aggressive, unless it could be proven that quintessential behaviour encouraging violence occurs more towards smaller dogs.

        • Nauj

          Little dogs tend to be socialized less by their owners because many owners are protective of them due to their size.

          • Akshun Jaksun

            This! And they tend to have Napoleon complexes.

          • NoU

            Naw I think its because of your insatiable appetite for large black cocks

    • PredeKing

      Kinda hard to dispute the statistical significance though .

    • TravMac

      I have Pit Bull. She is 4 years old, never bit anyone. I’m surprised to hear they’re killed on sight by police because they’re scared of their shadows.

    • FiMurca

      Oh I’m not. The only dogs that have ever really acted aggressively towards me are those little dogs. Most people just take as … awe my cute dog is just protecting me. REALLY? That is pretty aggressive. Big dogs usually don’t try to bark or bite me. I can usually just approach, let them sniff, and we are good. Those little dogs? Yeah screw them. They just bark. Damn ankle biters. There is a reason that term exists.

    • Rosalie Kitchen

      Well his ancestors were bred to take on badgers on their home turf, so they can be aggressive as the animals they were bred to hunt.

  • RCW

    Who cares if Costa Rica happens to be the world’s most aggressive nation? They don’t have an army. No teeth, no bite.

    • What.

      • RCW

        Analogy Explained: Who cares if tiny dogs are aggressive. They also have tiny teeth.

  • Helvin

    OMG! So much agreement to this! The only dogs that have ever bitten me have been Dachshunds and Chihuahuas – like random ones that people have been walking down the street. And did I go and demand they get murdered??? NO! All the “dangerous” dogs I’ve owned/known are lovely and much less scary than the tiny evil doggies haha

    • Guy

      many who are attacked by the other don’t live to talk about it. Typical PC BS

      • Helvin

        The majority of those cases are because the owners are dickheads though. With great power comes great responsibility 😉 haha. Dash’s and Chi’s seem to be aggressive even with nice owners.

        • SamanthaA

          It’s true, we have both a Pit Bull and a Chihuahua, and even though we raise both our dogs very well, the Chihuahua can be a little terror sometimes. If our Pit tries to play with a toy the Chi wants, the Chi goes ape shit and snaps and snarls, and the Pit just walks away because she doesn’t want to deal with it. Love them both to death but yes, our Pit Bull is the most loving and sweet dog as our Chi is a dink lol. PS he is very well socialized, he even gets to come to work with me, he just has his snotty little dog moments!

        • Winston Sharpe

          True that, my son has two Chi’s, he is a great son but I cant get into visiting him often as I dont want his dogs to put any bad ideas into my pittie’s head as she is the most placid natured dog I’ve ever owned.

          • Mary Ann Redfern

            ……

          • Suzee Robinson-Cassidy

            I would never put my grandsons with your chihuahua. Funny thing is this article was posted on a friend who is a vets FB page, who had a bitey chi, but had no teeth so no issue. She even commented she knew that chi’s would be top of the charts

          • Suzee Robinson-Cassidy

            there ya go!

          • Mary Ann Redfern

            I don’t have a Chihuahua, idiot.

          • Suzee Robinson-Cassidy

            Then how do you know so much about them. Do you have any certifications or degrees in veterinary medicine? I’m sure you don’t but you can read and be influenced by untruths. How about facts, ask any Vet, ask any Veterinary career worker at all. Stop being a media whore and listen to facts.

        • Mary Ann Redfern

          Ugh

          • Suzee Robinson-Cassidy

            Have you even been bitten by the so called sweet little landsharks….I have many times. Facts are facts….Media doesn’t report facts. The NIH has the facts, the AKC has the facts. Go pound sand and control your dogs. I can walk down the street with all 3 of my pitbulls and they won’t make a sound towards your dog, I have to always stop for the yippie yappers because they are trying to attack my dogs. As far as I’m concerned if your dog comes after mine and mine bites yours back, it’s your fault that now your improperly managed and behaved dog is injured. Shame on you

          • Mary Ann Redfern

            ..

          • Suzee Robinson-Cassidy

            How many times will you show that pic. I show my own, not the media’s , again you are a media whore and need to work for FOX News. They would love you there. You probably push your uneducated, lack of fact opinions out there for many many issues.

          • Marty Kirkpatrick

            No one here is saying that a pit can’t do more damage than a chihuahua,or is more dangerous…they are however stating a fact as the little guys are far more aggressive.

    • Mary Ann Redfern

      Eye roll, Helvin…

      • Suzee Robinson-Cassidy

        Well as being a veterinary technician that works emergency, I have encountered pits in every aspect of injury …..hit by cars, abused, emaciated, bait dogs, burned (every reason not to trust a human) and have NEVER been even nipped by one. But try and give a subq injection or even take a chihuahuas vitals and yes I have been mauled…arm ripped up. You can ask any Vet or Tech in the WORLD and they would rather work on a horrifically injured pit before a health chihuahua any day of the week. I love them because they are dogs and inherently I believe somewhat innocent, but they are biters and I haven’t come across one yet that isn’t. You Mary Ann Redfern need to look at facts and not the MEDIA CIRCUS.

  • Guy

    the question should be which kills more people! Not many wiener dogs killing people. Typical PC deflection.

    • Um.

    • FiMurca

      Ummmm no. So it’s okay if people are bit by small dogs because they have small teeth and likely won’t kill you? Really? My dog is an American Staffordshire Terrier. Call her a Pit if you want. She goes off leash and is known by our neighbors as a dog that plays with the kids. They pet her and she just plays ball. The little dogs on the other hand, constantly bark at anyone the walks by. I’m more worried one of them will bite a kid than my dog. And statistically, they do. I don’t trust a little dog. Not at all.

  • ShinAkuma

    Terrier owner with over 30+ years of experience here.

    The main problem with these small dogs is that most people who obtain dogs like these tend to treat them as if they are teddybears. Most people (usually old ladies) who I have encountered who has a small dogs get one because they do not want to have the same responsability of owning a large dog. The main problem however is that they completely ignore the fact that small dogs require (like any other dog) proper training. They never allow their tiny dog to greet or play with any other dogs. They don’t train it to be off-leash nor do they properly raise the dog not to bark nor proper obedience. Most people instead of correcting their tiny dog when it is behaving disobedient is by picking it up which is completely and utterly wrong thing to do.

    Treating a tiny dog as if it’s a teddy bear and not properly raise is a guarantee of having a confused and eventually a messed up dog and this is obviously the result. They are agressive, possessive and defensive because they are insecure of themeselves, they are afraid and they attack because they feel preassured.

    By a vast majority most chihuahuas and dauchunds go completely and utterly batshit insane everytime they see my dog walking across the street and the owner almost never properly corrects their dog for this behavior – even though their dog is not only barking aggressively at my dog – but also at me.

    As for Jack Russel Terriers – they are few terriers breeds out there that have more of the terrier temperament than the Jack Russel Terrier. JRT are a real terrier and people think just because it’s a tiny dog that it won’t be demanding. Very wrong. JRTs are the most high-energy, stubborn rat-hunter to ever lived on the face of this planet and if you think having a dog like that doesn’t require effort then you seriously need to revaulate your choice of a dog breed.

    TL;DR – Treat your lapdog like as if it’s a teddy bear = you get a messed up dog. Jack Russel Terriers are rathunters – not teddybears

    • Sean Mitchell

      yep and the main problem with large dogs such as pitbulls is that trashy lowlifes get them to be guard dogs and not companions. the 2 pitbulls that I have in my life are by far the most affectionate, loving and harmless dogs I know, where as my shi tzu is quite aggressive, although getting the same treatment as the others.

      • Annalize Kloke

        I agree 100%. I have a pitbull staffy cross and I can not ask for a more loving dog ever. We love him to bits and even my brothers little 2 year old loves him so much and they always play for hours and he is so gentle with her. I won’t swop him for anything in the world. If you want a true friend get a pitbull.

        • Tawny Daniels

          As a doberman owner I see this to be the case. She’s my sweet baby.

      • Doug M’Jay

        Exactly. It’s not pits’ fault they attract bad owners. Also, I think part of the stigma is pits tend to be kind of growly. My two pits growl when they play (which sounds like I’m running a dog fighting ring in my yard). They also growl when they see another dog they want to play with….or when they’re excited about me getting home….or when they’re about to be fed. People equate growling with aggression and, in my experience, one is not necessarily indicative of the other.

        • Christine Manske Lies

          My male pit rolls on the ground scratching his back and growls like his trying to kill something. We call it “get the ghosts”. He just rolls around making noise, growling at no one and nothing. Always stops when I try to film it.

      • Marty Kirkpatrick

        I agree completely…I once owned TWO very large German Shepards..a brother and sister..along with a 100 lb.pit bull,which I have had no problems with after 14 years..the pit was raised by a mountain feist/chihuahua mix…all three of the larger dogs came to attention when the feist emitted even a low decibel growl…they were ALL scared of her!

    • sheilasu

      Well, not sure if I qualify for “Little old lady” status – but my Dachshund is well socialized and plays with dogs of all sizes. Maximo-Valentino has travelled all over Canada, USA and Mexico with me – we will be heading for Portugal for 6 months next year. He goes everywhere with me and is a great buddy; he is also very protective and aggressive and loyal – it is a trait that is in his DNA — so, PLEASE: don’t blame the “old ladies”!!

      • skydivepaul

        I’ve had 4 dachshunds and none of mine have shown aggressive behavior to anyone other than when they were protecting me.

    • pattha990

      I could not agree more. I have a yorkie who is big at 10lb but still a tiny dog. We have been through obedience training and we train every day. Yet I still get folks stopping us all the time because they can’t believe he isn’t: barking, jumping, snapping, etc. you name it that small dogs get the bad reputation for he doesn’t do it. My favorite is when someone wanted to take his picture because I had him walking on a leash in the dirt and grass in the park. They wanted proof that they had seen a yorkie out acting like a dog. I always tell these nitwits well what do you expect. . . he’s a DOG.

    • Binder Twine

      ive trained shepherds,dobies,border collies, Doxies,and especially Labs for hunting,(seeing that i was born there) … just about ever dog you can imagine… my mother was the President of SPCA in Labrador, my Uncle Bobby trained police dogs in Glasgow,Scotland, and i took a coarse on training dogs from the RCMP in Regina Sask… show me a bad dog owner, and ill show you a bad dog!!

    • Cindy B

      I have to agree. I have owned a miniature poodle for over 11 years. My Aunt has her sister. Vastly different dogs. However, mine is a dog, knows she is a dog and acts just like a dog. My Aunt’s poodle however is a whole different story. She has spent the majority of her life being carried everywhere and cuddled always. She is a mean little bitch. My dog has manners and I have not noticed aggression in her at all, but she does not like strange dogs, it doesn’t matter if they are far bigger than her. Poodles were at one time bred to hunt, so maybe that’s why. Treat your dogs as dogs, if you want to cuddle something, buy a doll.

      • Winston Sharpe

        You dont have to buy a doll to cuddle, I didn’t but I DO cuddle my Pittie, cant stop or help it, she is just a lil cuddle bug and I feel that most pits are if they have the right owner. Had a few breeds of dogs in my time but since getting ,my pittie she has changed my outlook towards dogs. People who have never gotten love from a pittie are missing out on something special, they are an amazing breed.

  • Julie Iola Priest

    Anecdotal evidence for your consideration : My family raised hunting dogs. I’ve been around large dogs since I was a baby. All our dogs were gentle giants because they were trained to be loyal, friendly, and to use their “aggressiveness” to work, to hunt and retrieve. They weren’t raised to protect drugs. They weren’t used to patrol the perimeter of a marijuana farm. They weren’t raised to fight. They weren’t taught to attack on command for any reason. Meanwhile I was taught as a child how to approach (and not approach) all kinds of dogs, and how to not appear threatening or be annoying. I’ve never had a bite by any large dog. The neighbors’ chihuahuas, left unattended and not tied up, and the untrained and spoiled and always forgiven dachshund at my friend’s house, and the ignored poodle and yorkie at my boss’s house are all another story. I’ve only ever been snapped at and bitten by tiny terrors who had bad or no training. In my experience a dog is RARELY born “bad.” Some owners and trainers and breeders, on the other hand…. Well…

    • ShinAkuma

      Hunting dog breeds are specifically bred to be obedient and to please their owner.
      They are also a vast different kinds of hunting dog breeds for different kinds of hunting tactics and methods. You cannot compare apples to oranges. Hunting dogs and lapdogs are two completley different dog breeds. A hunting dog will not care at all about strangers nor other dogs. They have been specifically genetically designed to only do what they have been ordered to do regardless of distractions and surroundings. Normal housedogs do not have these traits. You cannot use them as a base of comparison to other dogs.

  • I’m skeptical that small dogs are genetically predisposed to aggressive behavior. I think it’s more likely that most of the biting is fear-related rather than actual aggression, which makes sense because small dogs are often less likely to be socialized (many owners wrongly treat them like housepets instead of like normal dogs who need to get out and do things) and are also smaller than all of the people and animals they’re meeting, which would be intimidating to them.

    I know a lot of small dogs thanks to my show/breeder friends, and because all of those dogs have grown up attending classes and shows and meeting lots of people/other dogs, and because they’ve been selectively bred for not just conformation but also temperament, they’re not fear-biters. The worst dogs I’ve ever met as far as “unpredictable” biting have been a pet chihuahua belonging to an elderly woman who never took it anywhere and a JRT who ran loose around a farm but didn’t go anywhere else.

    • Carolyn Fotofili

      aggresion IS fear related?

      • Andrea

        Fear isn’t a genetic disposition, it’s an environmental factor. Nature v nurture.

        • Doggiecleo

          I don’t necessarily agree with that. I rescue dogs and we have rescued pregnant mothers from horrible situations. The mothers are scared, fearful of humans. Now, if Nature vs. Nurture was correct, then all of the puppies, if socialized and given human interaction early on, SHOULD be well adjusted dogs right? Well, the puppies from those mothers for the most part ended up being scared and skittish themselves. Even though from birth they were handled, socialized, and given a lot of human interaction….Some things are definitely in the genes and I do think that a fearful disposition can be one of them…

          • Richard Phillips

            This is not unusual and has recently spawned a new branch of genetic science. Why, for instance, did the children of people growing up during the starvation of Belgium during WWII end up with a 60% obesity rate. No matter where they lived, or what they did in life.

    • Courtney Franz

      Cranberry, I have a question. I’m trying to get my baby girl trained to be a service dog for me. I have RRMS, n live in Md. Can u help me find someone who can help me? I live on a seriously fixed income n cannot afford to get her trained, but I need to get her trained though. Can u help me? You can e-mail me at cefranz1@yahoo.com. Thnx

    • Rosalie Kitchen

      Dachshunds are predisposed to aggression, they had to be since they were bred to go into the burrow of a badger and pick a fight with said badger on its home turf.

  • Jaime D Pinette

    I have a Dachshund and I can attest to this! She can be very sweet but is also very crotchety! She has nipped at my husband, my brother, my best friends husband. Not hard enough to cause injury but still.

    • Warren Albee

      JDP….Like, duh…you DID know that Daschunds were bred to be badger hunting dogs, right ? The will dig into a badger den, bite it, and drag it out.
      Maybe google Badger to get an idea. They are loyal, fearless, and ferocious. They were NEVER intended to be cute and cuddly lap dogs.

    • FiMurca

      Yup. There is a good reason why the term ankle biter exists. Lol.

  • fuzzystapler

    The owners of pit bulls and dobermans are partially to blame for their pet’s perceived violent nature. Why not let them keep their ears and tails? They look too cute that way, which is often not the way the owner wants them to look.

    • Warren Albee

      They were docked in order to allow the dogs to fight better. Less for the opponent dog to grab onto .So, that became the breed standard. Lovely, right ?

      • Jessica Hluchan

        That is actually not why they docked the tails on dogs….in fact fighting pit bulls have their tails they crop ears but tails are left alone. Docking tails were first used on working breeds like hunting dogs to prevent tail injury like in hunting but then turned into a cosmetic thing with some breeds because people are crazy

      • FiMurca

        Yeah … You really don’t know do you?

        • Warren Albee

          Enlighten us then….why do folks dock the ears of Pits ? Tell ya what I do know. Every time my 4 dogs have been aggressively threatened with being torn to shreds at the off leash dog park, it has been by the same perps every time. Coincidence ? I think not.

          • FiMurca

            For the same reason they dock lots of dog breeds. Are you saying that docking in Dobermans is for fighting? The reason it is commonly done is primarily for show. Especially for the variety known as American Staffordshire Terriers. Show dogs are scored by having a certain look. Ears are docked to keep up with that look. It has always been a personal preference to dock ears.
            It depends on the area you are from. Here is what I know from experience. Usually, low income areas are full of people who buy dogs for the purpose of aggression. They treat their dogs in such a way as to make them aggressive. In my area, I RARELY see aggressive Pit Bulls. They are loving animals as most people will attest to. I do though … see little dogs who are always very aggressive. They bark at anyone who walks past. I’m not ignorant enough like yourself, to say that all small dogs are this way. I’m well aware that people in my area are the type to treat small dogs as teddy bears, so they don’t really socialize them very often. And when they bark. they treat it as a cute act because the little guy is just defending their mom. No steps are taken to correct their behavior because they are little dogs.
            I agree that there are aggressive Pitbulls. But they are only aggressive because of the way they were raised. When I walk through areas with lots of gang members … hell yeah I see lots of aggressive Pitbulls. But, this is not the majority of them. If I get bit by a small dog, likely I just scream and say choice words. It is never recorded. But if a big dog bites me, I likely will go to the ER where they will record it. Small dog bites are rarely recorded. You can have 60 small dog bites to one mistreated Pit Bull bite … and the Pit Bull gets the rap because well … as far as records are concerned, the only dog that bit was the Pit Bull.

    • seanmft

      I agree that docking their tails and cropping their ears makes these dogs look less friendly. But everyone I’ve ever known who has had a pit bull with cropped ears has adopted it, had no control over what was done to its ears, and would rather its ears were not cropped. There are a LOT of pit bulls up for adoption at shelters, so when you see someone walking around with a scary looking pit bull just remember that there’s a good chance they adopted it or are fostering it so that it wouldn’t get put to death.

    • Toby Betancourt

      The only problem is a lot of pit or doby owners is that they rescue. Most of the people I know who own a pit have him/her second hand and were given a dog already altered 🙁 My pitty has his ears and tail, thankfully.

    • Debbie DiFrancesco

      my boy, he loves all, we teach what they learn… how we raise them does play a big role in their behavior, what we teach them shows in their action….

    • Hillary Wentz

      Not everyone that has one of those dogs with cropped ears/tails did that to them. Many pits are rescues and come from horrible homes where the previous owners chopped off their ears. As for dobies, it comes from the AKC. That’s their “standard” look, sadly.

  • Gervis

    I get this. The difference is the risk for catastrophic injury. If a Chihuahua bites you, its probably going to hurt. If a Pit Bull bites you, a visit to the ER is a distinct possibility. That is why the reputation exists.

  • Arboc

    Could the results be skewed due to the popularity of small breed dogs? For example if the majority of the 6000 people interviewed were owners of small breed dogs the results as they are represented here would be meaningless. Also I would guess that if you asked a large dog owner and a small dog owner if their dog had ever bit someone, I think the small dog owner would be more likely to be truthful.

  • Lisa Fredsall

    Aggression is often a result of lack of training. It is the owner’s responsibility to address aggression by seeking help and alleviating potential harm by taking precautions. My dog is not the most open to other dogs but I maintain him on a leash and he has undergone obedience training and behavior specialist training to address his issues. I can’t tell you how often an off leash dog comes along and the owner does nothing to stop the dogs from meeting. I doing all I can to avoid a potential bad situation but even after I scream to the owner please get your dog – I am the one who is looked at as wrong. Owners step up!

  • Paul Giacinto

    The small dog bite typically doesn’t require medical treatment. So the general public isn’t aware of this. The damage a larger dog and perception play a large part. Small dogs don’t appear threatening and seem cute to most even when they show aggressive reactions. A large animal is instinctively feared. Final note..microchip, spay and neuter, and keep leashed at all times. Nobody has total control over a dog, they do think and react on their own. It only takes one time for your dog to run off and have a tragedy happen.

  • Megan Kurtz-Pifer

    Loved the article . It would be easier to share with proper punctuation however. I hate to say it but people with big dog hating complexes look for reasons to discredit things they do not want to believe. I had a Rottie that was my best friend and soul mate. I completely agree with you.

  • Nancy_in_TX

    The photo of the Doberman is copyrighted. Do you have permission from Gay Glazbrook to use it?

    • Debbie DiFrancesco

      why does it matter…. geesh

      • Nancy_in_TX

        It matters because copyright infringement is illegal. Gay makes her living as a photographer. Using an image of hers without permission or payment is the same as stealing from a store.

  • CosmicJoe

    I treat my Pit like a teddy bear and he acts like it. The sweetest dog in the world!

    • Mary Ann Redfern

      So what? A LOT of pits maim and kill.

      • Suzee Robinson-Cassidy

        Because PEOPLE are irresponsible. PEOPLE leave their children alone with dogs, people train their dogs to be aggressive. I’m sure I can find stats on your precious Chi’s I just choose not to because again I love all animals and you are just an idiot. Try becoming educated, you are probably one of those religious fanatics also, another bunch of uneducated idiots

      • Really? How about all the other people killed by OTHER dogs? Dont you think its more of a size/power/owner thing rather than an evil breed? For example when you say pitbull how many breeds do you include? Take 10 large dog breeds – all different. Now not talking about a loosely typed group here but actual breeds. And out of 10 you could easily classify say 4 as being a pitbull – weather it be mixed or otherwise. The stats are severely biased because you are talking about a type – not a breed. However start classifying dogs into type – for instance guard dogs. I doubt very much that the statistics would show your pitbulls killing more people than guard dog types. You have a hatred for a breed of dog. Its obvious. and all the crap you show above amounts to nothing because it includes mixes, type breeds and many other intangible statistics or flawed reports. People were dying from German Shepard’s in Australia in the 70s – they caused huge concerns. The breed was banned and renamed Alsatians – miraculously the attacks stopped. Pitbulls were also banned in Australia. Not one death was caused by a pure bred american pitbull yet they were banned. Labs however accounted for deaths – yet they were not banned. I dont think any dog should be banned. They are all by nature loving animals and aggression is 99% of the time caused by lack of owner discipline and/or attention. To many people buy a dog and leave it in the back yard – never make it part of their family. And others forget the fact that dogs are animals and can drop back to basic wolf instincts given the right circumstances. I have owned bull breeds, Collies, Pointers, Chinese cresteds, won multiple titles in dog shows and also training. jHow many bull breeds have you owned Mary Ann? How many different breed dogs have you owned? You regurgitate sensationalised media articles and claim them as fact. So what REAL life experience do you have in OWNING one of these breeds you love to criticise so much?

        • Mary Ann Redfern

          Pit bully breeds are estimated to be five to six percent of the US dog population. Yet, pit bully breeds currently account for around 75% of deaths by dog attack. This is a fact. Research it yourself…the info is available. You do not have to remain ignorant except by CHOICE.

          • Mary Ann Redfern

            ..

          • It depends what information you seek. For every report condemning a
            breed will be other statistics stating the opposite – What you show above are news articles – not reputable facts. Now look at the For example what constitutes a pit bull or bully breed? A mix? No one has a definitive answer on that – every statistic you present has no definite or even approximate
            answer on how to account an accurate population of what defines a so
            called bully breed. And if you are taking into account mixes – which by
            the way most reports do – your 5% – 75% is seriously flawed from the
            start. The population boundary would be significantly greater and not even relative. Now show me a report where they take actual dog breed papers. Then you have an actual statistic.
            . Any dog with papers is usually owned by respectable dog
            owners. I speak from over 30 years full time experience with many
            breeds. I don’t regurgitate some politically or media biased report
            (nearly ALL from the above are from news media)-
            And i can say without hesitation after spending 1000s of ours handling
            bull and other breeds that they are similar to every other breed of
            dog. Most dog inbred personality
            depends largely on the lines. And you can change the majority of dog
            personalities by selective breeding. For example i you want fighting
            dogs you breed alphas with alphas. If you want couch potatoes you breed
            submissive with submissive. Not every pup ends up being submissive or
            alpha but the majority do. You will find when idiots used pits for dog
            fighting thats what they did. Thats one way to produce a fighting dog
            and it will work with any breed. Of course they did more to spur the
            poor animals on but just as the lines can be made dominant, the lines
            can be made submissive. Every dog comes from the wolf. Every breed of
            dog has a very similar gene pool with certain attributes enhanced – but
            nonetheless the same brain. Do you think all other dogs are harmless and anything with a bull in it is responsible for dog attacks. So after you eliminate the bull breeds how about focusing on the guard dogs? Then move onto the all large dogs? Once all the big dogs are gone you will be left with only small dogs only that are still the same but cant kill because they are so small. Now what is the probability of a dog death in America today? Is it more than the same chance of being struck by lighting? Why are all the owners of bull breeds in this thread not disclosing mutilated children and horrendous dog attacks? Are they dumb? Are they lucky? Are they like the Hannibal lector you proudly publish to mock the owners? So let me ask you again Mary when did you own a pitubull to become such an authority on the breed? You never answered….

          • Mary Ann Redfern

            I have heard your asinine argument many, many times from many, many bully fans. It holds no water. Fact is, a dog breed that represents only five or six percent of the USA dog population, is responsible for the vast majority of maiming injuries and death. You know this. You pit nuts just love debating and obfuscating. You cannot deny the pics of victims and their killers I posted above. Yet, you will deny them. That is where bully sociopathy comes into play…denial in the very face of the maimed and dead. Don’t believe for a second anyone with brains is fooled by your obfuscation. You are simply another bully breed fan in extreme DENIAL. What, pray tell, does my having or not having ever owned a bully breed dog have to do with the breed’s propensity for grabbing, gripping, tearing and repeating until their “opponent” is dead? It is what they were bred to do…kill each other in pits. Don’t pretend you are some kind of expert when it is obvious to me that, either you arre simply avoiding the unavoidable or you are truly ignorant of the breed’s history and breeding. Get real. Stop with this ridiculous bullsh*t.

          • Nicole Davidson

            Not only do you seem to be a sad and hateful person, but you are extremely biased. And to base your facts on what’s being reported by the media is simply ignorant. With the amount of backyard breeding, and inbreeding, happening in our society now, I’m curious as to what history of the breed you’re referring to. Are we talking 100 years ago? How about 50? I assume you don’t know that traits can be bred in or out within 5 to 8 generations, so what you are trying to claim historically truly “holds no water”. The fact of the matter is it all boils down to people. We are the ones creating more dogs to suit a variety of selfish wants and needs. So don’t hate the dogs. It’s not their fault for being born. If you insist on hating something or someone, it should be directed towards the people.

  • Enchantress6274

    I had the most terrifying experiences when a child and visiting homes that had little dogs that were really old. It doesn’t help that dogs sense fear.

  • Jeanette Appleton-maxwell

    The worst breed from my experience to date,as a groomer and vet nurse is definately the Cocker,particularly bad here in Ireland.

    • Machoo

      You shouldn’t be dating dogs, especially not enough to have an opinion on which breed is the worst to date.

    • Rosalie Kitchen

      Well that is likely because of Rage Snydrome

  • Kelly Theodore-harrisonsmummy

    I have 3 staffys and a jack Russell they are all amazing doggies but my jack Russell definitely rules the roost lol

  • Debbie DiFrancesco

    Senate Says Cities Can’t Ban Pit Bulls, Other Dog Breeds
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    By MICHELLE WIRTH
    On Wednesday, the Georgia Senate passed a bill that prohibits local governments from making laws about specific breeds of dogs.

    • Debbie DiFrancesco

      have u seen this, I am horribly pissed at some of these comments… I own a male 31/2 yr young pit, he is so mellow, loving, and well behaved round people and other dogs…kids, I have 3 grandchildren, yes I wouldn’t leave my grandkids unattended around him, I wouldn’t around any ANY dog….PERIOD!!!!! loved ur article

  • LDB

    Having owned small dogs and currently having 6 pitties in my home 1 of which is a miniature – also known as a pocket pit – I can tell you I have been bitten by smaller dogs far more often and their bites have done damage to my achilles tendon and left scars on the backs of my calves. I have been bitten by 1 large dog and it was a lab mix as a child and still carry a scar from the hole left in my leg by that bite. I would not have been bitten had I followed the rules as I knew them to be and had been following for months. The adults had no reason after 8 months not to trust me with the dog. The biggest issue I have seen with the smaller dogs is simply that they do not get the proper training and people perceive their “big dog” act as cute. It isnt cute and its dangerous. All dogs NO MATTER THE BREED need training and incorrect behavior chastised. I know of 2 infants that died due to poodles biting their neck while the infants laid on the floor and played. No one perceived them as in danger cause “well its just a little poodle”. So yes ladies and gentlemen any breed can damage and kill no matter how big or small. All dogs need proper training and time – EVERYDAY!!! As they get old the training time needed lessens but is still needed. SOCIALIZATION is also very important so they dont bite strangers or strange dogs. I watched a chi mix go after a great dane because the great dane was terrorizing a child. The chi bit it in the neck and applied so much pressure the Great dane went down and stayed down til the child was safe. If the chi had bitten that dane in the wrong area of the neck it would be dead from a little dog that was literally over 150lbs lighter and 1/100th of its size. Sp please always remember all dogs need training, time, and love. You have to love them enough to teach and raise them right just like any child.

    • Debbie DiFrancesco

      OMGOODNESS, LDB, I heard of these pocket Pits but never seen one, do u have any pic’s… I loved to see him,her ???? what was this pocket pit bred with???

  • Cheryl Huerta

    In the end as always regardless of how predisposed any dog breed is to being aggressive it is always the human and how a dog is handled that determines whether or not the dog will bite.

  • Devon

    It not about “nice owners” if you have a nice owner that babies their dog and doesnt give them boundaries then you may still end up with a nasty dog. I have a Rottweiler and a Chihuahua and neither of my dogs have EVER tried to bite anyone because they know better and are balanced well behaved dogs. If you are a responsible owner you will have a well behaved dog regardless of breed :-D.

  • Margo Mossburg

    Thanks for posting this. As a 24 year Dachshund rescuer and a Dachshund breeder for many years before that this breed was bred to hunt and kill badgers and wolverines. Dachshunds are bred to be aggressive and protective which is exactly why I started this dog rescue, Dachshund Rescue NW near Spokane, Wash. Their owners refuse to train them and treat them like stuffed toys with no basic manners so they bite the kids, visitors, neighbors, their owners, other dogs, cats, chickens, vets and vet techs, etc. Even well trained wiener dogs are way too smart to take too much guff off of anyone for long because they do think they are huge dogs in small packaging.

    I am always trying to scare folks off this breed and doing my job to let them know the good, the bad and the ugly about each dog they get from us. Folks must appreciate it because we have now placed over 1200 in this breed alone since 1991.

    Please read first before buying a cute puppy as this breed of wieners can be very tough. If their owners are not tougher and smarter than their dog and do not do a lifetime of dog training then they are asking for trouble and stitches later. Yes some Dachshunds are sweet but most have a very high prey drive and are hunting dogs, not couch pillows.

    Sincerely,
    Margo
    Director of Dachshund Rescue NW and Dachshund Club of Spokane

    http://www.spokanewienerdogs.org

    • Winston Sharpe

      Get yourself a Pittie, you will never know love from a dog until you get it from a pit.

      • Mary Ann Redfern

        • Guest

          ……..

        • Suzee Robinson-Cassidy

          You should get a job at Fox News, they could use another idiot

        • Seddi

          Dear lord, woman, are you actually going to present a real argument or are you just going to keep spamming pictures from the internet?

          • Mary Ann Redfern

            Well, YOUR comment was certainly informative.

      • Suzee Robinson-Cassidy

        Mary Ann Redfern is an idiot who is a media “whore”. Let’s put her on the staff at FOX News

  • Seattleite4

    I took offense at the term “old lady” owner. Makes me feel aggressive. ;o/

  • Cheri Dufresne Barry

    I love my pitty she the best dog I have ever had. She is 14 Yrs old. I have been bitten by more smaller dogs big ones and I work in a vet office for a long time and loved it so much.

  • suenoir

    The difference is between being nipped by a dachshund and being bit by a pit bull. Those little dogs nip, the pit bull rips and tears. Compare the consequences, not the number. What breed is responsible for emergency room visits?

    • GREG k9

      also take into account the popularity of the breed(s) that sends more people to the ER.

      • Winston Sharpe

        We hear of more Pitties being aggressive because there are more DICKHEADS out there who own one who shouldn’t, AND, the media hypes them so they can sell news. We will hear about all the Pit attacks, we wont hear about all the smaller dog attacks and we sure wont hear about about all the good Pits that dont hurt people will we???

  • sarah stephenson

    As an owner of 1 of the big dangerous dogs lmao, bullmasstif, i have sed for years that smaller dogs are more dangerous, the amount of times iv been out with my bully an some snappy little mutt goes for her is unbelievable, i hate little dogs ther all snappy an unpredictable, giv me a rotty ,bull or doberman anyday,
    Anything smaller than à cat should b in a cage like hamsters, they bite,
    Its about time the bigger dogs actually got some good wright ups, my bully is as daft as a brush my kids can crawl all over her an she never flinches,

    • Mary Ann Redfern

      Bully breeds are NOT for families with kids, EVER….

      • Suzee Robinson-Cassidy

        They mix wonderfully……You do not mix with society. You are prejudice and need a reality check

  • Kelly Monin Rose

    I own a dachshund and he’s incredibly mellow, gentle and well socialized. He’ll bark if somebody comes on to our property when we’re outside, but once he greets the person, he is quiet. He never barks at people or dogs when we’re out walking. To the contrary, when walking or playing in the park, he ignores just about everything. I feel confident allowing children to pet him — he stands there quietly while they touch him — and I feel safe with him around all dogs. He’s a great little dog, but he’s also very well trained. I don’t carry him around, he sleeps in his own bed, he’s not allowed to beg for food, and he gets lots of exercise. As many have said, it’s the owners, not the dogs.

  • Samantha

    I own 2 dachshunds and 2 Jack Russells and I’ve found that the females are more aggressive in both breeds. The male jack Russell and male dachshund are very laid back and sweet while the females have both bitten people. The females are both aggressive toward the males too, my female jack Russell is the worst, she has made the male Jacks skin nothing but scars because she’s attacked him so many times. It will be at random, he’ll just be jumping off the couch or sleeping and she’ll attack him. Sometimes she’s done it several times in a week and sometimes she’ll go a year without attacking him(he’s 10yrs old and she’s 8). My father and I both have been bit (deep) many times trying to break the dog fights up. We got her fixed thinking she’d calm down but it made her worse.

  • Cassy Michael

    Amusing fact, the three best dogs I have known in my nearly 30 years, were a Pitbull/Rottie mix so friendly we got robbed 7 times in that house, a (Fixed of course) Cheweenie that was so much of a mother that she tried to raise the chickens we brought home and the Rat that was 3 years older than her, and a dog that is so mixed all we can say is maybe pit/Lab, who the vet has jokingly threatened to take home with him.

  • Jeff MacKinlay

    I’ve always said it’s the tiny dogs with giant attitudes that are more dangerous. Just because tiny dogs don’t inflict as much damage, it seems less of a big deal. My 6 YO frame red nose is the most loving creature ever. Sweetheart is an understatement. My new born son is her gem, God help u of u threatened or hurt him though.

    • Mary Ann Redfern

      ………….

      • Mary Ann Redfern

        Expert….

  • Sharon Calway

    Its the way they are trained…….Simple plain truth. All species of dogs can turn on their owners or other animals……it has nothing to do with the species……… big dogs will obviously do more damage than a little dogs but it still comes back to the way they are trained. A very simple fact……

  • Mazzy Black

    The problem with this whole article is that while the content states all small dogs doing the majority of the biting (truth!) they throw a pic of pits, rotts, and dobes up within the article, knowing full well most people will only read the title and see the pics, clearly doing nothing but perpetuating the stereotype of the big dogs they are claiming as less aggressive. This article is clearly designed to ignore the content within it and that makes it a bad job. This company should fire the person who was tasked with getting this article up on site. Their agenda couldn’t be more transparent.

  • Mary Ann Redfern

    Whatever….

  • Lee Walker

    We have Staffordshire Bull Terriers here in the UK they’re sometimes called Pitbulls but that’s not what they are, although they’re very similar.

    I’ve never been bitten by one (although I was chased by one once, I was shitting myself, but when it caught up it was playful), some of the nicest dogs I’ve ever come across have been Staffy’s, however I have noticed aggression towards other dogs with them, but then you see the owner and you see exactly why they’re so aggressive towards other dogs, because their owners are arseholes who use the dog as a trophy or a weapon and train it that way and get kicks out of how strong it is and how fast it can rip through a pigeon.

    As for Rottweilers, they’re absolutely lovely to be fair, I’ve come across hundreds of them, being out and about or at friends houses etc and they’ve been nothing but docile and affectionate wanting attention.

    Its not the breed man, its the owners, and bad owners are more attracted to tough looking dogs, its all about how they’re raised, the same with children.

  • Deborah

    Yeah I totally agree with this I have been chased by a terrier mix through an estate and have never had any problems with larger dogs that are sais to be dangerous. I have a husky, staffy, lurcher and a Springer cross Jack Russel and will say have no trouble with the bigger ones but the Springer cross will. Act aggressive towards other dogs even though they have all had the same up bringing. I reckon that it’s to do with personality of the dogs we have not thier breed.

  • Mike Stephen

    I have a serious issue with the picture of the pit bull being at the top of the article about aggressive dogs. Your article is about how they are NOT aggressive, but you are perpetuating the stereotype to the casual browser.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone know the title of the Applied Animal Behavior article mentioned? Almost every article on dog aggression I find there focuses more on spaying/neutering and whether or not a dog is purebred, and ignores the categorization of breeds entirely.

    Whilst I believe this study, I would like a report on the matter which I can readily cite.

  • Courtre

    I’ve been in dog rescue all my life, and have probably fostered over 100 dogs. I tend to get the effed up ones because I’m like the dog whisperer. And bottom is that dogs are a mixture of nature and nurture. Dachshunds and Jack Russels were bred to bum-rush badgers in their own homes. THAT’S aggressive. Greyhounds will always chase small furry creatures. Border Collies will always herd. German Shepherds will always guard. Pit Bulls will always fight for their life. RESPONSIBLE, LOVING, OWNERS can successfully raise this breed, and they never feel threatened, therefore will not be aggressive. If a Pit Bull gets to the point where “fight or flight” kicks in? They’re fighting. Every. Single. Time.

    SO, I agree that Pit Bulls are not aggressive by nature. I agree that bad owners, make bad dogs. But we cannot ignore that “nature” part of ANY dog’s genetic make up. It’s truly sad humans took these “nanny dogs” and made them into fighting dogs.

    I have 3 Pits, and I wholeheartedly believe there SHOULD be bans on this breed. Not because they’re a bad breed, but because humans treat them so poorly. Go into ANY animal control, from New York to Georgia, and it looks like a Pit Bull Rescue. The ban should be aimed at inner cities around the country, and it should be illegal to breed them without being AKC registered.

  • Cathy E.

    I have had Wire Fox Terriers for 25 yrs and now Airedale Terriers….I have 2 boys 11 and 13 yrs old that grew up with my Wires. I don’t care what kind of dog it is….I would never trust any dog with a child alone…especially a large breed dog. I would be interested in knowing how many people a wire fox terrier has maimed or killed??? It only takes one bite to scar a child for life….no matter the size. I would not want a dog around small children that I could not take down myself if it ever got aggressive.

  • Michael Lee

    I own an American Pitbull Terrier and he looks intimidating weighs 115lbs. But he is as gentle as can be. Extremely obedient and my family loves him to death. My cousin owns a Chiquawa (sorry for spelling) and he is extremely aggressive bites me almost every time I visit him and his family.