Aggressive Dog Breed Hall of Fame

There is some aspect of the nature vs. nurture debate that applies to children as well as to dogs.

With children, there is a long-standing debate as to whether the environment in which a child is raised determines personality, character or temperament more than what is genetically determined in their DNA.

With children who are adopted as babies, or grow up with different relatives than their parents or siblings (such as by a grandmother or an uncle), it has been a fascinating study to see if human children grow up to show characteristics that are consistent with their parentage or whether the environment plays a role in “training” the child to be a certain way.

Does this debate extend to other species, such as pets like dogs? There are a number of pages that claim to offer authoritative information about dog breeds that are aggressive, but the question may sometimes come up whether the aggression is natural or nurtured, or can the aggression be nurtured out of a dog’s nature?

Whether the aggression is natural or evolved from training doesn’t seem to matter, because we have for you five of the most aggressive dog breeds as considered by many authorities. As this is compiled as a consensus from other lists, chances are these are pretty generally regarded as naturally aggressive.  You might be surprised – or not – that those with small stature seem to have much bigger dog bites than their barks (or bodies, in these cases).

Dachshund

The little wiener dog? Really? Yes, believe it or not, even though dachshunds are among the smallest dogs in the world, they are quite aggressive. Upon a further thought, it makes sense – because they are so small, they are easily threatened by virtually anyone, even children. According to research, about 20 percent of all dachshunds bite a stranger at least once, while about 8 percent of them bite their master at least once.

Chihuahua

By the same logic, the Chihuahua is also a dog that is threatened by anyone that is bigger than its body. These can be extremely loyal and devoted to owners, but are prone to jealousy and will snap or bite any stranger that comes too close to an owner. Because children are generally precocious, Chihuahuas do not take well to children, though they can be socialized to them if the child is in the house first.

Jack Russell Terrier

The most famous such dog is Eddie from the long-running NBC sitcom “Frasier,” which often stole scenes without even making a noise. While it is highly trainable, it can also be very aggressive partly due to its small size. It is very active but does not play well with others, even other dogs. It does not like roughhousing, and it does not play when it bites – playtime can be dangerous as Jack Russells take any rough play as a threat.

Chow Chow

Perhaps the signature dog of China, the Chow Chow looks cute and fluffy, but these have been responsible for killing people. They are generally irritable, very territorial and very loyal and protective of their homes and masters. They can be a good security dog, but they can’t be trusted alone with other dogs or children.

German Shepherd

Perhaps the most loyal and loving dogs with its owners and family, the German Shepherd is a noble but very aggressive breed – it is popular as a K-9 member with many law-enforcement organizations, mainly because of its great sense of smell, strong loyalty to its master and its intelligence. It is highly dangerous not just because of its aggression, but because of its massive weight compared to other dogs on this list.

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