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Top 10 Most Aggressive Dog Breeds

Updated on September 1, 2012
This is dangerous!
This is dangerous!

Numbers Don't Lie

A study was done by the University of Pennsylvania on aggression in dog breeds. They wanted to find out what breeds would top the list. They recorded attacks/bites towards strangers, owners, and other dogs. This study was preformed in 2008, the findings may just surprise you. The totals were averaged in each breed and listed according to the overall percentage of aggression.

1) Dachshunds

With a whopping 21% aggression towards strangers and 18% aggression towards other dogs puts dachshunds in first place as the most aggressive breed of dog.

2) Chihuahuas

Coming in close behind is the Chihuahua with 16% aggression towards strangers and 18% towards other dogs.

3) Beagle

In Beagles they saw 8% aggression towards all people (including their own owners) and 10% towards other dogs.

4) Jack Russel Terriers

Jack Russel Terriers have numbers close the Beagle with 8% towards strangers but half that towards their owners. Jack Russel Terriers are more loyal to the people who care for them, but their aggression towards other dogs at 22%.

5) Australian Cattle Dogs

This breed is right where it should be for its intended purpose of guarding and watching over herds. Their stranger aggression is at 10%, owner aggression is only at 1% and towards other dogs is up at 21%.

6) Cocker Spaniel

Cocker Spaniels start the second half of the list with 5% aggression towards strangers and 7% towards other dogs.

7) Border Collie

Border Collies made the list in 7th place with 8% aggression towards strangers and 13% shown towards other dogs.

8) Pit Bull Terriers

The breed everyone has been waiting to see on this list only comes in at 8th place for aggression. With 7% aggression towards strangers and 22% aggression towards other dogs, aggression towards owners was only at 2%.

9) Great Dane

Great Danes only showed 6% aggressive behavior towards strangers but a surprising 25% towards other dogs.

10) English Springer Spaniel

Bringing up the end is the English Springer Spaniel with only 4% aggression towards strangers but 18% with other dogs.


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    • profile image

      4 years ago

      That's why I hate Dachshunds. It barks very loud too much.

    • DrMark1961 profile image

      Dr Mark 5 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Interesting list. My personal experience is different and I would not have put the Beagles on the list.

      Numbers can lie. That is the reason Pit Bull attacks are reported so much more often than these more aggressive little dogs. When a person is bit by a Pit they report it and the numbers indicate that, often Chihuahua and Doxie bites never even make it.

      Great job in pointing out this information.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 5 years ago from Wales

      So very interesting and I was surprised to see Beagles on the list.

      I had one when I was small and also I have known many who have also owned one and they have never shown any aggression.

      Still I suppose there is good and bad in everyone and everything.

      Thanks for sharing this hub which left much food for thought.

      Enjoy your day .


    • alexadry profile image

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 5 years ago from USA

      Awesome! When we moved to my in-laws they were a bit scared of my Rotties around children and their other dogs. While we were there, their dachshund bit their 2-year-old nephew (and this was not the first time) and their collie bit a lab and caused its eye to bleed. Our dogs never showed any signs of aggression neither to other dogs or people! I wished this list was showed to insurance companies and towns that blacklist pit bulls and Rotts, voting up!

    • kgarcia1113 profile image

      Kassi Garcia 5 years ago from Las Vegas, NV, USA

      And what most people think is that because of this hub that it means that every dog of a specific breed is that way and that is by far not the case.

    • profile image

      bignlittle 5 years ago

      I have a dachshund/Chihuahua mix who's not good with strangers or other dogs most of the time. She's feisty, but has never bitten anyone. I also have a Springer spaniel which is great with people but terrible when he meets other dogs, again he has never bitten, but this study seems right on.

    • profile image

      Rider76 5 years ago

      I own an intact german rottweiler and an American pit bull terrier. I love it that people jump to the other side of the street when they see us coming down the sidewalk. They have no idea that they are nothing but over sized lap dogs.

    • lindalou1963 profile image

      Linda 5 years ago from Texas

      I have had 4 pits and they have been the most awesome dogs. I've written several hubs about the girl we have now. She was attacked by a chihuahua and ran from it!

    • profile image

      Nigel 5 years ago

      You have an APBT, but not Schnauzers? I have met 3 schnauzers, all 3 of them wanted to kill me, not kidding.

    • profile image

      Heather 5 years ago

      I've been bit in the face twice, by two different dogs. They were both chihuahuas. You'd think I'd learn the first time, don't get a chihuahua near your face.

    • kgarcia1113 profile image

      Kassi Garcia 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV, USA

      I get annoyed trying to explain that aggression doesn't mean that a dog can do a lot of damage. Which is where people get confused. Large dogs can cause a lot more damn then small breeds in one bite or attack but the possibility of a bite or an attack is sometimes higher with smaller breeds. Knowing the numbers and backgrounds of breeds is often an overlooked aspect in selection a dog as a pet.

    • danijean99 profile image

      Jessica Miranda 6 years ago from NYC

      Great hub! I've worked in vet's for almost 4 yrs, this sounds about right! lol

    • Georgina_writes profile image

      Georgina_writes 6 years ago from Dartmoor

      Interesting list of facts. I have two Jack Russels, they are both softies with us, but the male (unneutered) can be aggressive with dogs he doesn't like. rating up.