With Breed Specific Legislation acts being brought forward in more and more areas across the country, dogs like Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers and other “scary” looking breeds are in danger of losing their homes and even their lives. These breeds are often touted as being extremely aggressive – however a new study released this week in the journal of Applied Animal Behavior Science provides some statistical facts on what breeds actually ARE the most aggressive – and the answers may surprise you!
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The study involved researchers from the University of Pennsylvania as well as 6,000 dog owners. The number one aggressive breed out of the 33 dogs surveyed? The Dachshund. Yes – the wiener dog. 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.”
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The researchers say that the bite statistics that have been released in recent years are skewed because most dog bites are not reported. Big dog bites are more likely to require medical attention, but 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. 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.”
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