What do you think is the most dangerous dog? A pit-bull, right? Nope, wrong. Surely then it must be a Rottweiler, a German-Shepherd, or maybe even a Chow-Chow. Again, nope, no-way, and incorrect. The correct answer is… a Dachshund. Yes, you read that correctly. Dachshunds are the most dangerous type of dogs. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania recently surveyed 6,000 dog owners and 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.”
So, surely the number 2 dog on the list must be a pit bull, right? Wrong! It appears that Napoleon Syndrome is real because the number 2 dog is a Chihuahua. Chihuahuas have similar statistics to dachshunds when it comes to biting strangers, their owners, or other dogs. Completing the top 3 list is the Jack Russell Terrier. So, why is that we assume pit bulls, Rottweilers, and Chow Chows are the most dangerous dogs?
The answer is actually quite simple. It’s because most clinical studies on this subject use medical data as the basis for their research. Since big dogs create bigger wounds they’re reported more frequently and this causes the medical data to be skewed inaccurately toward big dogs. Truthfully, all breeds can be provoked to bite. Whether or not a dog actually bites is generally a result of how well it’s been trained and treated. So, the question really is what dog breeds are genetically predisposed to aggressiveness? Here’s a list, in no particular order, of the 15 most dangerous dogs.
1. Giant Schnauzer – Similar to German Shepherds, the Giant Schnauzer was trained in Germany to assist soldiers. This dangerous dog possesses the size of a Great Dane with the intelligence of a Schnauzer. These qualities in addition to his natural tendency to be fiercely loyal make this a dog of which to be aware. Stranger anxiety in the Giant Schnauzer is more common than other dogs.
2. Akita Inu – The Akita Inu is a heavy boned, powerful, and alert dog. He possesses a dignified and courageous persona and has a tendency to be aggressive toward other dogs.
3. Chow Chow – According the American Kennel Club, “… the Chow is reserved and discerning with strangers. Their cat-like personalities make them independent, stubborn and less eager to please than other breeds. They require early socialization and training, and some kind of exercise daily.
4. Bullmastiff – The Bullmastiff is fearless and confident. They were originally bred to guard natural game preserves from poachers as such they are natural guardians of the home, but do not bark much, as silence was a virtue when guarding the preserves. Bullmastiffs are independent thinkers and may not respond to traditional obedience training.
5. Papillion – The Papillion, is very small and very loyal to its family. It can be weary of strangers and though they are generally sweet tempered they need to be watched carefully around non-family members or other dogs visiting their home.
6. Old English Sheepdog – Old English Sheepdogs (OES) are athletic and energetic and require lots of exercise. The OES was bred to herd sheep. He has retained his natural tendency to herd whether or not there are sheep and accordingly he may try to herd people or other objects. He is generally a loving, sweet animal but may become aggressive if he feels someone or something is interfering with his herding job.
7. Dachshund – The Dachshund, meaning “badger dog” in German, was bred to dig into holes, hunt for, and fight to the death with badgers. Dachshunds tend to be territorial and in order to make the integration into family life as smooth and happy as possible he requires consistent assertion from his owners throughout his lifetime.
8. Llasa Apso – Llasos were bred for hundreds of years as indoor watchdogs. They are naturally suspicious of strangers. Additionally, the dog possesses an aloof and independent personality – it requires consistent handling throughout it’s life and requires daily walks or exercise. Llaso’s are best for adult only families.
9. Miniature Pinscher – Miniature Pinschers are fearless, animated, and independent creatures. They are spirited, and require consistent reminders about who the true alpha dog is in the family.
10. Jack Russell Terrier (officially known as Parson Russell Terriers) – These little dogs are bright and very energetic. They require lots of exercise and are better in families with older children as they do not tolerate rough handling from small children.
11. Pit Bull – What is commonly known as the pit bull is officially known in England as the Staffordshire Bull-Terrier and in the United States it’s known as the American Staffordshire-Terrier. Whatever you call it, this dog is actually very people-oriented and is happiest when he is made part of the family and given a job to do. He is generally very friendly but is loyal to a fault to his family and will protect them from any threat.
12. Rottweiler – Rottweilers love their people and are protective of their territory. They do not welcome strangers until properly introduced. Obedience training and socialization are musts.
13. German Shepherd – The German Shepherd is a renowned guard and military dog. It is also a loving family companion. The breed is direct and fearless, with a strong, muscular body. He is a great family dog and is only on the most dangerous list because he can be trained to be aggressive (as can most dogs)
14. Dalmatian – The Dalmatian is the only horse “coaching” dog in the world and he has retained a natural affinity for horses. Dalmatians are very energetic and require daily long walks or romps in a fenced yard. Without regular exercise he can become destructive.
15. Chihuahua – Swift moving and terrier-like in behavior, Chihuahuas are highly intelligent and should not be underestimated even though small in size. They do not tolerate the rough handling that comes with young children so they are best for families with older or no kids.
Remember, all dogs can be provoked and all dogs, given the proper training, can be well mannered animals. Whatever breed you decide to add to your family it is important to socialize your pet with other animals and people as soon as possible. Also, consistent routines, affirmation, and discipline will make your new dog a happy member of the family.