Dachshunds rated most aggressive dogs

Britain’s respected Daily Telegraph reports that Dachshunds topped a list of 33 breeds which were rated for their aggression, after academics analysed the behaviour of thousands of dogs.

Chihuahuas were second place on the aggression index and Jack Russells held down third.

According to the Telegraph

Dr James Serpell, one of the researchers, said smaller breeds might be more genetically predisposed towards aggressive behaviour than larger dogs.

“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,” he added.

Until now, research into canine aggression has almost exclusively involved analysis of dog bite statistics. But the researchers said these were potentially misleading as most bites were not reported. Big dogs might have acquired a reputation for being aggressive because their bites were more likely to require medical attention.

The findings have angered owners of small breeds. Chris Moore, secretary of the Northern Dachshund Association, said: “As far as breeders in the UK are concerned, this is rubbish. It is not in the dogs’ nature. I have never been bitten in 25 years.”

Unfortunately, Rottweiler owners took the news of their dogs average aggressiveness less than gracefully and with a large grain of schaenfreude. Commented Joyce Summers, treasurer of the Rottweiler Club in Britain, said: “I am not surprised Jack Russells are up there near the top; they are yappy little things.”

Among the lowest scoring breeds for aggression were Basset hounds, golden retrievers, labradors, Siberian huskies and greyhounds. Having just dog-sat a Basset this weekend, I can attest that he was a lovely fellow but a total wuss. He was scared of cats and small children although he did have a good frolic at the dog park this morning.

The study, published in the journal Applied Animal Behaviour Science, was based on interviews with 6,000 dog owners by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

If you want to see pictures of the most and least aggressive dogs, the Telegraph has some great shots.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail has put its customary tabloid spin on things:

And on this side of the Atlantic, the Discovery Channel has been probing the news and has the most complete results including a table which shows different breeds’ aggressiveness towards human strangers, owners and other dogs.

9 thoughts on “Dachshunds rated most aggressive dogs

  1. Mrst

    Just because they are small does NOT mean that Dachshunds are aggressive! I have never seen aggression in any of the Dachshunds I have owned. In fact they are great with my kids and have even helped raise orphaned kittens! Check out my Dachshund article and photos at http://www.gomestic.com/Pets/Ive-Got-the-Hot-Dog-Whos-Got-the-Bun-The-Joy-of-Owning-Mini-Dachshunds.160769. In my opinion Doxies are the sweetest and most friendly small dog around! The AKC website even states that they are friendly and even tempered!

  2. Anonymous

    They are not mean. You are ignorant. It’s how you treat and raise the animal. Just like with any dog.
    I have had several Dachshunds. They are sweet and loving animals.

  3. Anonymous

    If you think dachshunds are vicious then you obviously don’t know squat about dogs. they are the most loveable dogs I have ever owned and have never bitten anyone. As a matter of fact I;ve never known anyone who has one that has bitten someone.

  4. Anonymous

    I’ve never owned any Dachshunds, but I’ve had many friends who did. They were excellent owners and good people.
    Their dogs were loyal to the owner but I often noticed they were aggressive toward other people, ones the owner had known for years. This was common in several of the Dachshunds. One of the dogs was sitting calmly in one person’s lap and suddenly tried to bite the person in the face for no apparent reason.
    I started forming a stereotype (based in experience) about the breed.
    Not until very recently did I meet an ultra-friendly Dachshund. I would say, statistically, 85% of the Dachshunds I’ve met are aggressive (or unusually unfriendly at least) toward people outside its circle.

  5. Anonymous

    I have a three year old mini Dachshund named Roxy. She is very loving towards people she knows and dogs she know; but when it comes to strangers, children, or other dogs…. it is a different story she becomes vicious and nips at people. She has nipped about four people. I have tried to socialize her and discipline her but she continues to act out. Im really not sure what else to do

  6. Chaz G.

    I have had Daschunds over 10 years, and while the majority are docile, some are certainly aggressive. My long haired female Chrissy is very loving with me and my roommate, but she hates strangers. She has even bitten me on several occassions. She is very spoiled and has never been abused, just tempermental. If you go to pick her up and she does not want to be moved, you will be bitten.

  7. dai bachs mammy

    i’ve had dachshunds for over 20 years and my first dachshund sasha doo was the best dog ever she never barked or bit anyone, then i had my little boy dachshie dai, he is a great dog also but loves to bark and loves people he knows but can be stand-offish with strangers or big dogs he doesn’t know he has never bitten though he just backs up and hides behind me or wants me to pick him up, he loves our german shepherd though and often follows him arround the house and garden and the shepherd loves him.

  8. dachowner

    I have a dachshund and know quite a few others (about 14) and none of these are aggressive, however i have met a few other dachshunds and their owners, what became perfectly clear was the fact the owners ‘spoilt’ their dog and didn’t correct their dogs bad behaviour, so the dog just acts out.
    They can be little buggers if not trained- just like everyother dog…
    They ARE stubborn dogs and need owners who will look after them correctly, if not they end up like the little bratty children you see on supernanny and the like.

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