Top 20 Most Aggressive Small Dog Breeds in the World

MT

Breeds like pit bulls and rottweilers get a lot of attention as being “aggressive” breeds. In contrast, most people think of small and toy breeds as cute, clownish and harmless, but that is not always true.

Some small breeds have been bred to hunt and kill prey, and others can be aggressive due to fear or inbreeding, and you should take that possibility into account when choosing the right dog for you.

Here is a look at some of the most aggressive small dog breeds.

1. Manchester Terrier

The Manchester Terrier is a bright, lively and energetic breed that is usually good with kids. These dogs are very playful and enjoy plenty of exercise.

However, like most terriers, the Manchester was bred to hunt vermin, and it was very good at that job thanks to its tenacious and sometimes even aggressive nature.

This terrier has a strong prey drive, which can lead him to be aggressive with smaller animals. He is likely to take off and chase birds, squirrels and other outdoor critters, so keep him leashed outdoors.

The Manchester terrier is not a good choice in a home with small pets like kittens, hamsters and guinea pigs. These pets will not be safe around a dog that was bred to hunt them out and kill them.

The Manchester Terrier is generally not a threat to humans if it is well trained. However, these dogs do need their own space, and can snap at people who refuse to leave them alone when they want some alone time.

As a result, they are not generally recommended for families with very young children. Older kids who can understand when the dog wants to be left alone should not have a problem, however.

Others are reading

  • Ashley Bopp Work

    my two little one are loving and caring dachschunds are the cutest dogs that i know!

    • LeeAnn Gerleman

      They are so cute. My best friend had three miniature dachshunds. And at one time or another, I have been bitten by all three. Once, I stepped over one of the dogs and she jumped up andnipped me on the inside of my leg. Once, the dog bit my shoe and held on and I tried to shake her off. And once I walked in the house and got bit on the foot. They never bit my friend or her family tho, of course.

      • catbell7cat

        protective of her family – a friend’s standard poodle would pull the toddler twins by the diaper away from the backyard side walk — it was hilarious to watch.

  • Joe

    I had a Lhasa Apso named Bill and he wasn’t as described. He was smart but pretty laid back and friendly.

    • BlueVibe

      Ours was dumb as a brick and hated everybody. Glad you had better luck.

      • lonnie93041

        Mine was dumber than a brick and half insane to boot. Oh and yes he hated everybody, I think he even hated himself.

  • Brad Bennett

    This should be titled “17 large dog breeds that will get tired of someones bullshit”. I’ve owned or been in close contact with almost all of these breeds. Never saw an aggressive one that wasn’t taught to be that way. Never saw an ornery one that wasn’t treated like crap by the person who it was directed at. I took in a full blood blue nose pit who had been beaten by the looks of her and nursed her back to health. Never was she aggressive to anyone. One of the most loyal and happy dogs. I have a husky who is the most lovable dog in the world. I have had many shepherds, rotts, pitt, wolf dog mix (with akita/bullmastiff). You know what kind of dog I was once bitten by? A small terrier. For no reason. Caught my foot right in his jaw too.

    • wb7ptr

      Pits are GREAT dogs if treated right, and some of those little dogs can be a nightmare. I’ve owned both, and the pit bull and black lab were my best dogs. The worst … a dachshund.

      • Tess

        However, my dachshund is an Einstein of a dog, the most intelligent dog I’ve known in 70 plus years!

        He possesses all the hallmarks of human intelligence, an extraordinarily high level of consciousness and sensitivity, the same signposts to a higher level of intelligence in homo sapiens.

        In all of my life, I’ve never known a dog like him. He’s extraordinarily gifted. He’s also very focal, making many varied vocalizations, from sighs, to moans, to screams to temper tantrums. His vocabulary is highly extensive and expressive. I know the signs, because I’m also, quite gifted, intellectually.

        • Dr. Dru

          “…He’s extraordinarily gifted…”

          Sure lady. Everybody’s kid is the gifted kid.

          • Kenyyatta Jones

            Lol!

        • jROCKS94

          I have had experiences living with Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, Poms, Lhasas and Schnauzers, and a Bischon. My observation is that overall a dog is a dog unless or until its owner learns facts about dogs and the particular bread and how most effectively and efficiently to apply that information. It’s just like children — what you get out of them is essentially 9 out of 10 times what you put into rearing, caring and guiding them. That comment is not aimed to dehumanize children or personify dogs — BTW.

    • anon

      You kicked the terrier? Wtf.

    • David

      That’s pure bulls/h///t Bennet… I have personally owned at least half of these breeds. Raised nearly all from puppies. You don’t know what you are talking about… I’ve had some that would attack each other as soon as I turned my back or got jealous of me holding the other one.. NOTHING about them was taught to fight.. Everyone raised in the house with family 24/7.. Some breeds have that “SNAP” to them and they will bite the crap out of someone they don’t know.. We’ve had pins, cockers, L.As, Boxers, Chi, Bostons, Pugs over the years, all of those breeds are VERY, VERY snippy especially when they get older.. I’ve had them try to kill each other at times. We always keep our dogs kenneled and separated when we are not at home because if they are left alone unattended, they go to fighting.

    • The Void

      I like how you talk! I know a guy who had to get a $500/month insurance policy on his 2 rotties because a little girl was throwing rocks at one of them and it was snapping at her while chained outside. So, the neighbors freaked out and called animal control. Here’s an idea, don’t throw rocks at animals for fun. That girl should’ve been tried as an adult for animal cruelty. We need to fix our people, not our dogs.

      • Gail Doyle

        there ya go The Void.. best comment so far!!!

  • Louise Reeves

    MY Lhasa is the laziest dog in NJ. He’s aggressive, all right, with kisses….

    • InsaneCellophane

      Then you got very lucky indeed. I used to work at a vet clinic and ALL of the Lhasa’s were A-holes! Aggressive from the beginning before the exam even started, and always snippy and trying to bite us. They even nipped at our heels when we were just letting them out of their kennels to use the bathroom.

      • Jeanette

        In 2000, I took to foster a 2 yr old puppy mill Shih Tzu from a rescue group. (He was big, I thought, for a Shih Tzu.) It took 3 adults to put a harness on him and he bit me twice in the process (tiny teeth so not so bad).
        For the next several months we couldn’t get near him but, as I was not working, I had plenty of time and patience. By18 months he was comfortable with strangers, us 3 not so much (transference?). By the following year he was a “normal” dog. He wasn’t adopted out because of the time it took and because we couldn’t bear to give him up.
        2010 a prolapsed lens diagnosis (inherent to Lhasa Apsos) confirmed my “suspicion” of Lhasa Apso. After 3 more years -numerous visits to the university veterinary clinic, three eye surgeries and eventually heart failure, we had to “give him up”.
        From his 1st two years of life in a cage, a terrified dog grew to be a 100% trusting attachment to my leg. He was a favorite at the teaching hospital (MSU) because he would patiently let the students examine his eyes for two hours at a time. He is immortalized in their teaching film repository.
        BEST DOG EVER!!!
        My take away…………..it’s the owner/environment.

        • Carol

          We rescued a 1 year old Shih Tzu and have had him for 3 years now. He growls when touched, bites both my husband and me. I am at wit’s end as to what to do. We love him but don’t like him very much. Can’t afford obedience school or training and we are definitely good dog parents. Have been around dogs all my life and am totally baffled by his behavior. Had a wonderful Lhasa Apso from a puppy until 15 years old, sweetest dog ever, female.

          • catbell7cat

            try some boiled liver treats for good behavior – that helped with a friend’s dog who snapped at people – worked like a charm – reward good behavior and into the ‘time-out’ corner for the bad behavior. Guess your Shih Tzu’s abuser was male don’t you think so??

      • Jeanette

        Pardon my saying but you don’t sound like the right temperament for a vet clinic.

        • InsaneCellophane

          Why? Because I don’t like getting bit? Let’s see you do that job and get nipped at and bit over and over again without complaint.

  • UpChuck.Liberals

    We had a Lhasa Beagle mix, he was my wife’s dog pure and simple. He would have given his life to protect her. What was interesting was the first time I put a leash on him he was all business, fell into a heel, looking straight ahead, end of discussion. But If the wife and I started playing around, I got a mouth full of teeth. Anybody new to the house, they got bit, after that it was fine. Another funny thing was he loved to chase a tennis ball, in the hall, it’d bounce like crazy and he’d get it, and keep going and going and going. This made him VERY fast, so fast the Vet wouldn’t get within 4 feet of him unless I was holding him. The ONLY reason I kept him was to protect the wife, 24# of pure fury. We finally had to put him down when he started going blind, which made him even worse on the biting.

  • Shantelle Gray

    Totally disagree that Lhasas are one of the ‘most aggressive small breeds.’ Our Lhasa (named Sasha) has been with us for 8 years (she’s 10 now) and I have yet to see her be standoffish with strangers or nippy. This dog lays around 85% of the time and loves human attention. She will bark to let us know when someone is approaching the house, but once we open the door, her guard dog duties end and she wants to be petted by our visitors, lol. We also have a 5 year old daughter and my dog and my kid have learned to get along famously. We taught our child how to properly pet and approach the dog and we keep an eye on both of them for approriate and respectful behavior between them. If you don’t socialize your dog well, they could be more likely to have issues with aggression, but I don’t think that’s a breed issue; it’s a training/owner issue.

    • Sheila Moore

      Almost all dogs were bred for a purpose – if they were bred to flush game (Cockers), they bark. If they were bred to ride horses in the hunt, they jump (Jack Russells), If they were bred to guard, they get their hackles up in a hurry. The mistake is not researching the dog’s origins before getting one.

    • BlueVibe

      That’s one Lhasa out of how many?

      I grew up with American Eskimo dogs. My last one was almost silent–she could bark, but rarely did. Nevertheless, the breed as a whole is very vocal and I would never tell someone, “Well, people say they bark but mine didn’t so I don’t believe it.” They bark. Oh, how they bark.

      Traits are not universal, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t present in the majority of a breed.

      • Chz Avy

        Oh, man. As a groomer, the worst and most vicious bites I’ve gotten were from two different Eskimos. I’ve groomed some very nice ones, some loud, some quiet, but when they bite, they do it instantly and without hesitation.

      • Debbie Swails

        here is another Lhasa….He passed at 18 years and never once growled or nipped or bit anyone. Friends argued as to whose turn it was to watch while I was out of town. From the beginning, do not allow your dog to be aggressive in any form. Kids showed up at door to play with him (parents approval) Train you pets with love and kindness and you will have a loving pet in return.

      • Anna M Yasson

        I had an American Eskimo, real comic, loved to be dirty, would roll in the mud. And smile at you. Always loving.

    • OEMMom

      Our neighbor had a Lhasa. Nasty little critter. We loved their daughter, but NOT the dog. Far more vicious than our Weimaraner or Old English Mastiff!

      • catbell7cat

        in an obedience class with my then Yorkie — the people had purchased two Weimaraners to ‘guard’ at their home in the country – the obedience trainer said the only thing a Weimaraner (sp) would do would be lick the invader to death LOL

  • Peggy Tibbetts

    Aggression is not about breed — it’s about owners who aren’t responsible enough to train and exercise their dogs.

    • GotScience

      While this is very true; it is not totally true.

    • dorothy (o’connor) heater

      most breeds were created with a task in mind – killing rats, protecting the castle, sitting on laps. (only dogs with these traits were used for breeding) I now have a yorki who chews everything, has boundless energy – perhaps the original task was lapdog and entertainment. He’s been the same since he was 8 weeks old.(18 months now) He’s gone to dog school, but if i’m not looking at him asking for attention – he’s happily destroying anything small. I have a peke that came here shy at 10 weeks, she’s the house boss but still shy, tail down when out for a walk – she’s 14 years old. I suppose an owner can modify behavior – but in 55 years with many dogs; I haven’t seen an aggressive dog go gentle. Well there is my old blind mini dachshund – she’s mellowed with age – she was once aggressive. Now she’s a love with strangers.

    • MSM

      If you substitute “protective” rather “aggressive,” it’s clear that genetics as well as training/socialization does play a part. There is a reason that the military, police, security workers & schutzhund fans (and thug types :( ) gravitate to certain breeds — German shepherds, Dobermans, Rottweilers, the Belgian shepherd breeds, among others. Those breeds are not inherently vicious , but it is easier (whether with proper training, or with poor training and poor socialization) to elicit “aggressive” behavior in those breeds than in most breeds. Collies, greyhounds, English and Irish setters, golden and Labrador and flat-coated retrievers (among others) are all large enough to act as a serious deterrent, but they are not the choice of breed for protection/schutzhund/bite work. They could be trained for it – as bulldogs have been trained for agility – but they’re not the dogs most likely to excel.
      Look up the temperamental differences in working line vs. show line German shepherds or Malinois (the people who want a working protection dog pretty much hold show-line GSDs in contempt) , or between the Malinois and Laekenois (the short- and rough-coated Belgian shepherds, respectively) vs. their two long-haired close relatives, the Tervuren & Groenendael. The two long-haired Belgians are not as valued for guard work, though generally still more suitable for it than most breeds. The differences are probably more a matter of drive rather than aggressiveness per se, but in the hands of the wrong handler, that may be a difference without meaning.

      • Cassie

        What Peggy Tibbetts was saying is that it’s not about dog breeds (because no dog was bred for the purpose of turning on their owner), it’s about the dog as an individual. Just like you see a lot of bite statistics for labs because of their popularity, you see statistics with the breeds listed above for their popularity. The only difference being that there are many more ignorant fools wanting to own an “aggressive” Pit Bull or Rottweiler to look tough/cool than there are people wanting to flaunt a lab for the same reason.

    • Peace

      Right on Peggy, and I think you are hot too…

    • Alwuhush

      You’re wrong.

      Some breeds have been bred for hundreds of generations for certain types of aggressive behavior and they are basically hard-wired in that regard. No amount of training and hoofing it up and down the street will change what is in their DNA and breeds of that sort should never be trusted 100%.

      Apologists for these breeds/types will tell you it is the owner, not the dog – but it is the dog. The genetics of the situation sets the stage and all it takes is the wrong set of circumstances and the dog will attack.

      • Cassie Frabutt

        So I shouldn’t own a GSP if I have a child because it will hunt it? It’s about being responsible and training your dog responsibly. It’s funny that you use breeding and genetics as an argument, when these dogs that were bred for “aggression” were bred to listen to and protect their owners under any circumstances.

      • Glen O

        And some people are fear mongers.

      • Humanist

        Mantra to live by, “wrong set of circumstances…” WHO creates those circumstances? It comes down to WHO decided that animals are to be OWNED by humans? The same entity decided humans OWN the Earth, the solar system, the universe?!!

    • David

      Nearly all breeds can be aggressive.. Some may be more prone to aggression than others but I’ve never seen a dog that wouldn’t turn aggressive if it was in the wrong environment.. Heck some of the smaller breeds are the worst about it.

    • Jeremy

      Yor answer is flawed I own a min pin, two Boston terriors and a engam bulldog all raised the same and the only one who is a asshole that I have to worry about my kids with is the min pin he is aggressive and always has been so it’s not always the owners fault some dogs are just assholes and that’s the way it is. Same with people!

  • dorkydoodle

    It’s interesting, Every time I’ve seen a discussion on the characteristics of a dog breed based on statistics and reports, individual owners of these breeds immediately jump in and say that their breed is just the nicest and that it can only be the owner who trains and treats it badly. The point they’re making here is breed tendencies, not individual dogs. Do you understand the difference? My lab is very friendly, however, because they are so common they are one of the most common biters. I’ve met many pit bulls, rottweillers, and other breeds on the list. They were all friendly, just wouldn’t want to be attacked by one because of their strength.

    • vbfg

      Of the numerous comments made about dogs yours is one of the most sensible. I have a medium sized lurcher bitch who can occasionally be aggressive with other dogs when she meets them for the first time if they pester her. She has never been encouraged to do so nor has she ever been encouraged to chase cats, rabbits, birds etc but she still does even though we own 4 cats. She is very friendly with people but I put a muzzle on her when she is off the lead just in case she sees anything that she is likely to chase or a dog she does not like. It is a fact that some dogs of any breed may be more aggressive or more friendly with other dogs or people, however they are treated.

    • LeeAnn Gerleman

      I’ve had dogs in my home for over 60 years. Setters, labs, german shepherds, dachshunds, terriers. I’m going to have a whole pack at the Rainbow Bridge. About fifteen years ago, my ex brought home this gorgeous little puppy, half lab, half chow. I had him potty trained, trained to heel, lay down, sit, etc. At 10 months old, he dug under the fence, and killed the 9 week old puppy next door. I took him , sad to say, to the pound. But I had small children around, other dogs, cats, chickens, etc. And I didn’t feel I could trust him. I have always said that there are no bad dogs, just bad owners. but this is the first, and only dog I’ve ever had that did something like that.

  • Sheila Moore

    My sister, who was a firefighter and EMT, said they would rather encounter a Rottweiler than a Chihuahua. And my vet once said about my sweet Cocker Spaniel “He didn’t read the Cocker Spaniel manual – he isn’t aggressive.”

    • LeeAnn Gerleman

      A good friend of mine breeds St. Bernards and also Cocker Spaniels. She once said that she won’t breed any of her dogs until they are over 4 years old, until she knows their temperment. . Because St. Bs and cockers both were bred for size (in the St. Bs) and coat and bone structure in the cockers. So she waits to see their personality before she breeds them. The only dog that’s ever bitten me was dachshunds.

    • catbell7cat

      well raised and I’ll bet well-treated for good behaviors :)

    • Humanist

      Got bitten by the SWEETEST (according to their owner who happen to be my good friend) Chihuahuas! My aunt’s Chi is the sweetest one. So is it the dogs or the owners?!!

  • BlueVibe

    They should have left rage syndrome out of this. It’s a neurological disorder, not a behavioral one, and the summary does not make that very clear. The dog cannot control it; it’s more like a seizure than actual “rage”. But people who aren’t familiar with dogs and are reading this casually aren’t going to get that. (And I’m not saying cockers won’t bite, but rage syndrome should never have been associated, even by implication, with true aggression.)

    • Ben Tucker

      This is absolutely true, and there’s another factor.. coat color. According to research the rage syndrome in cockers seems to be connected with coat color (as many traits can be). In the U.S. it’s “blonde” cockers (ASCOB); in the UK IIRC it’s the red ones. A black or parti-color cocker is unlikely to have this problem. There’s also an unrelated issue with temperament in general, not color-connected, that goes back to a hugely popular stud who won the Westminster back in mid century.. he stamped his terrible temperament on an awful lot of cocker bloodlines.

  • ken

    I don’t know why yorkies aren’t on this list. There are very few working terriers which are more aggressive, more controlling and space conscious. I know what a bite from one of their little razer-filled mouths feels like as well, many times over.
    I LOVE Yorkshire terriers and I’ve had several – my best buddy Neko here is the most aggressive of them all (towards other dogs, not toward people) so we’ve just had to limit ourselves / devote ourselves to him for the time being. But I don’t regret it, he’s smart and fun and a great ratter / mouser. Still, I don’t see how jack russels and Chihuahua’s beat him on this list.

    • catbell7cat

      Yorkies were originall bred to kill rats in the potato fields — the poor at the time could have a dog no bigger than 8 inches — on the weekends they would toss a yorkie into a pit with rat and the yorkie that killed the rat the fastest was the yorkie they wanted to breed with — so they can be aggressive — smart too — I know mine was she’d do a exercise 4-5 times and then look up and seem to say “I’ve done that let’s move one LOL but I’d never pay for a purebred dog again – too many puppy mills out there I’ve fostered from local spca here to get the dogs acclimated to people, going to the loo outside, etc. they pay for the vet service, food, meds, etc until they can take them on the transportation truck to a location where they are ‘short’ of dogs so ya’ll do spay/neuter your cats and your dogs!! Most spay/neuter clinics are so much cheaper than the vet – as in $15 to $20 bucks for either procedure in a cat or dog and black cats and dogs have a more difficult time being adopted.

      • http://JamesPeacock.com James Peacock

        I dont know that Ihave ever heard of a “spay/neuter” clinic? What part of the country are yu from?

  • OEMMom

    The only dog I’ve ever been bitten by was a Jack Russell. Thank you very much, I’ll take my Old English Mastiff ANY day over an imitation dog!

    • That Trainer with the Flower

      As a dog trainer, and a proud owner of a Jack Russell, I take offense to that. In my line of work, I have been tackled and bitten by an unsocialized Mastiff, but that doesn’t make me hate the dog or the breed. Please remember, no matter how big or small, don’t blame the breed, blame the owner.

      • James Peacock

        What about Pooddles — Micro Tiny Toy Poodles – mini Poodles — ???

      • catbell7cat

        absolutely — I have friends who have amazing pit bulls – rescue dogs that were -re-trained and adopted and with one couple – their rescue pit bull loves their kids and even let the younger ones ‘ride’ them — the key to pit bulls — spay/neuter always always but that goes for all cats/dogs.

        • C.Dolly Fraser

          Kids should not be allowed to “ride” dogs. Even dogs who love children can snap/bite if they get hurt because it’s the only thing they can do…and when it happens the dog is always blamed.

          • Humanist

            Dogs are not horses and horses are not dog. Simple lesson :-)

      • catbell7cat

        when I took my yorkie (Sassy) for obedience training – a man had a lovely small dobie — I heard him tell the owner the dog’s spirit was broken and should be put down because it would be untrainable – and a guy with a mastiff left his dog in his Porsche with the windows half down – dog got bored and ate the leather seats – my vet said do not use rawhide chews – dogs can’t tell the difference between a leather jacket/shoes and a rawhite chew toy — sure enough — and often Dobies are born with mange — a friend’s lovely dobie was and no matter what her vet tried nothing worked very well — a Native Indian woman told her to feed the dog boiled liver daily–1/2 lb with her food – worked like a charm – and right up until her death her ‘mama’ gave her some boiled liver and liver treats regularly — it never came back.

  • PappaDoc

    Pit Bull and Chow I agree with, the rest especially the Siberian Husky and the Wolf Hybrid is total BS having read everything available before owning both the author did not even research well. One that was completely ignored is the Rhodesian Ridgebgack. much more dangerous and more of them around around than some of those Italian mutts he talked about.

    • marshadragon

      You are absolutely correct about the Rhodesian. Because they are relatively rare, most people don’t even recognize one when they see it and know nothing about their temperments or capability for violence and vicious biting. Bred to hunt lions in Africa, they are indeed dangerous and I don’t think the owner has the ability to control their naturall instincts.

  • Sammy

    I loved my Llasa Apso. He was adorable and loved me to pieces. Unfortunately, he bit nearly every person who came close to me, including my granddaughters. I tried so hard to train him, but at 6 months, his breeding came out full force. Oh well. I’d not have another one I don’t think.

  • InsaneCellophane

    Stereotypes exist for a reason. It is because it is the truth for the majority of that group.

    • rick

      Not true. It does help te mentally lazy quickly categorize things though.

      • InsaneCellophane

        So you’re saying that there isn’t an ounce of truth behind stereotypes? Dogs are bred to have certain characteristics for their breed, some of which include aggression. Just because it does not fit some, does not mean that it doesn’t describe the vast majority.

  • InsaneCellophane

    Some animals are just A-holes for no reason, just like some people are.

  • Robert Galloway

    I’m not personally acquainted with most of these breeds. German Shepherds, Rottweilers and Dobermans I’ve been around are very trustworthy, gentle dogs. Those reared to be aggressive obviously have the ability to do more damage. If German Shepherds were especially dangerous it would seem they’d be a poor choice as a service dog for the blind. I’ve been bitten a couple of times by a dog. A Scotch Terrier. Give me one of the breeds I mentioned any time. .

    • LeeAnn Gerleman

      I have two dogs, a bichon/shih tzu male and an 85 pound goldendoodle female. The little dog clearly loves his barking and looking for the mailman. He has a bark collar on, so can only “woowoo”, instead of bark. The UPS man came around and laughed and said, “the little dog barks a lot, but the big dog just doesn’t have a clue, does she?” She barks because the little dog barks, but she can be standing looking into a corner barking, and doesn’t realize she should be looking out the window. LOL. I’d grown up with big dogs. This little dog took some getting used to.

  • mechtild

    As a dog groomer of 30 years:

    Dogs do not act the same when a family member is present as when not. For good or ill.

    Perfectly loving outgoing dogs with family can act exactly opposite when a family member is not present.

    Little hellions at home can be model citizens when a family member in not present.

    Most dogs, unless aggressive or extremely shy when a family member is not present, act more calm, gentle & compliant when family members are not present.

    Aggressive & extremely shy dogs act much better when a family member is present.

    IOW, family members only know how their dog behaves when family members are present. Family members do not know how their dog behaves when a family member is not present unless they have been informed how their dog behaves when a family member is not present. For good or to the ill.

    • LeeAnn Gerleman

      If you remember the show a few years ago where the reformed burglars would break into a customer’s home filled with cameras, then show the homeowners what they needed to fix to be safer? they never worried about the dogs. The dogs, even big guard dogs, usually just sat and watched. They didn’t want to get the strangers mad at them. Some they threw a steak to, but most just sat there quietly. They never turned their back on them, but the dogs didn’t go after them. So they would tell the owners “the big dogs are not a deterrent to crime.”

      • Mike_Trail

        It depends on the Dog…Someone broke into my house and my wolfmalamute chased the person all the way upstairs and cornered them, they crashed through a window and dove off the roof into the Pine tree below–When I got home Quest was standing outside on the roof prowling back and forth..Not all big dogs are a deterrent to crime..but you go sticking your head through a window at my house and your taking your life into your own hands…

        .

        • LeeAnn Gerleman

          I had a neighbor several years ago with a Basenji. They rarely bark, I guess. They came home one evening, the basenji at the door, wagging his tail, happy to see them. And there were bloody handprints all over the walls in the house. A burglar obviously broke in, the dog didn’t bark, And the dog took after the burglar as soon as he got in.

    • LittleBunny FooFoo

      That sounds like you’re describing children. I worked with kids for years and it was exactly the same.

      • tin man

        Except my kid was nicer when we weren’t around. Go fig.

  • dorothy (o’connor) heater

    many years ago I owned and showed Lhasa apso’s in the 70′s I owned Am Can Berm Ch OnBa Khabul Khan of Sharbo – top winning Lhasa for 2 years in the country, two years in a row winner of the breed and group placing at Westminster – with owner showing – and I have plenty of scars – the LHASA’S wouldn’t tolerate a growl from another dog – they’d gang up on any dog if there was a fight – It took constant VIGILENCE , and separate fencing to keep my few dogs happy and safe from each other!!! I must say the ‘pure Hamilton’ were the worst! Those that had dna of shih Tzu in the back ground were less nuts. I now have shih tzus and they are most gentle. Maybe many Hamilton Lhasa’s came from a VERY small gene pool. Don’t go crazy trying to change my mind, I’m old and this is my experience.

  • mariar56

    Brad couldn’t agree more. Whoever wrote this article was certainly off the money. We grew up in an assortment of small dogs. The only things I saw were genetic things like food snatching. But even that is manageable if you do it right. We have 3 small Border terriers now. When we got them their hair was sparse. A sure sign of under nourishment. They were garbage pickers but well fed dogs don’t need that. Sometimes it was a gentle no or physical re direction of the dog. It takes patience just like a small child. But how sweet when you get there.

  • Kathina Mohini Owen

    Rescues often have issues too because they have been abused prior to adoption. Much respect for those who have rescues, but i’d rather raise a young puppy with a clean slate that I can train and mold than have a dog with some unknown past that might have serious issues.

    • catbell7cat

      I met a gal on USM’s campus who re-trained racing greyhounds – she said she required people to be good joggers as they love exercise until they get old – one can give a dog aspirin if they need it but not to cats.

  • catbell7cat

    a friend had a full siamese cat that would attack everyone except her – she thought she would have to put him down but her vet had a client whose cat had died and as he was wheelchair bound and living alone her cat went to him and had a good life :)

  • MSM

    Which “cocker spaniel” does the article refer to? American or English? Different breeds.

  • don3345

    A lot of these little ankle biter dogs are more aggressive than larger dogs. I personally believe some of it has to do with the fact the owners allow it. I have been bit by little dogs in front of theowner and watched the owner act like nothing happened. The think the dog is to small to hurt anyone so do not correct them.
    I want to kick these little mutts across a room.

    • Ted Hoo

      If that happens again do that. You have my blessing to bite the owner too.

  • Tim

    These dogs are trained to be aggressive. It is in their genealogy. Owners of such pets need to be informed as to how to treat these animals. We are the reason for their temperament, therefore we should change them to be more accepted in society it’s not the stereotype of the dog.

  • Ruth M

    I would like to know where the person who wrote this article got his information. He is totally biased and uninformed. I personally know of 2 incidents where a golden retriever has attacked another dog and child. Any breed can produce an occasional bad apple and that dog should be put down, but more often it is the treatment that the animal incurs by its owner that perpetuates the behavior that is termed aggressive, I have come to love and admire pit bulls and have done extensive investigation into the breed and have found that pit bulls are actually one of the most gentle and loving breeds. I also know this from personal experience. My daughter has as american bull dog and while at doggy day care protected a small pit bull from an attack by a golden retriever, by laying across the pit bull and protecting it from the attack by the retriever, all while receiving a huge puncture wound to her face. She never once attacked the retriever or even growled at it and continued to lay across the pit bull until the workers could get the retriever away from the two dogs. I suggest that the person who wrote this article do some real research on these breeds before he publishes any other potentially damaging information on these breeds.

  • marshadragon

    I too have a Pekinese and he is a handful. Got him when he was 6 yrs old because his previous humans couldn’t handle him anymore. I have 3 other smallish dogs and he lost no time trying to prove that he’s THE MAN. He’s also one of the funniest dogs I’ve ever had because he snorts, snortles and snores worse than most men. My Bichon and mixed breed rescue had no trouble with him trying to be the Alpha but the 14 year old ShihPoo female beat his butt! and promptly quashed any delusions of alphaness. She rules and that’s that

  • marshadragon

    Stereotyping my a**. Certain breeds do have definite characteristics. Your ridiculous post is helpful how?

  • marshadragon

    Absolute rubbish. Get a good book about dog breeds and their distinguishing traits and try not to embarrass yourself with ignorant comments again

  • Hoodoo

    Admiral Cochrane in 1814 referred to Americans as Spaniels, which have to be beaten to be made tractable. Unfortunately for him the American “Spaniels” responded to his beating (the burning of Washington) by then biting him twice, first at Baltimore and then at New Orleans.

  • George Blair

    To the individual below, please post some facts. You know, like Pit Bulls (ASTs) used to be known as “nanny dogs”. Or that small dogs bit more often than large dogs. Anything but a childish “neener neener”. Books. Yep. Read em. Also have interacted and owned multiple breeds over my life.

    Rubbish.. LOLLERS.

  • NIcklightie

    The Beagle as aggressive!
    Lol, not a chance unless you are talking about shoes, cameras, glasses, phones…anything that has your sent on it. These dogs are so non aggressive that I don’t think that rabies would make them mean. In fairness, their baying can get annoying at 3a.m.

  • NIcklightie

    Ok, Dachshunds are ankle bitters but a mosquito causes more damage. Great girly dogs.

    • maxiemom

      Not really. The only dog who ever bit me, out of the many pits, terriers, Rottweilers, Dobermans, German Shepherds, collies, my own Lhasa Apso, etc was a neighbor’s Dachshund. It’s a little over forty years later and I still have a small scar from it.

  • BillyBalooo

    You are nuts read the history and record. I used to have your attitude, until my Doberman; which was raised to be a pet and was like a lamb, almost took the ear off of a 4 year old my wife was keeping. The little girl reached out to pet the dog. The dog had been raised around my four sons and all the neighborhood kids. Don’t be a ignorant dog owner, read the history and record of these dogs.

  • Einelorelei

    Lhasas can be really grumpy dogs–especially when they get older.

  • maxiemom

    I have a purebred Lhasa Apso that I got from a shelter. He’d been abused and kept on a chain. He was also part of a puppy mill. It took a lot of work to earn his trust and love, but he’s an amazing dog who really is a sweetheart. He loves everyone, even men, and he was scared of men for a long time. He seems to know now that’s he’s something special and revels in it and the attention people are very willing to bestow on him (and believe me, he has no shortage of admirers wherever he goes, especially now with that long, lovely coat- I’m getting it cut next week).

    Like everything else, it’s the individual dog’s make-up as well as how they’re treated. Of course, there are some dogs who are just wired wrong: my aunt had a dog named Tiger who was very appropriately named….

  • Ted Hoo

    All dogs develop a mind of there own and tend to become aggressive when they are young and not given any type of training or socialization. You may even call this neglect.
    I think the smarter dog can even learn to call the shots to become Top Dog and the owner becoming the pet.

  • BarbaraHoffmann

    My Cocker Spaniel, who I loved, was afflicted with “rage syndrome”. I hired a behavior vet to help me with him. She quickly realized that he had the syndrome and trained me to recognize it right before he would attack. But, no way to prevent it. That meant he could never be around children.

  • pfolfried

    The only truly dangerous breed is called Homo Sapiens

  • betty43

    Not surprised that poodles are on this list. My Koko, even at his advanced age, is still a holy terror!

  • FredC1968

    I got mauled by an enraged Chihuahua. I had to wash up with hot soapy water.

  • Debbie Swails

    I have a 3 year old Shih Tzu and she is a total sweet heart. Over the years I have had Lhasa Apsos, Cocker, German Shepard, Black Lab. All my dogs have been sweet and non aggressive, they were trained that way. Take the time to train and love them and you will be rewarded with kind and loving dogs.

  • fishman2

    ANOTHER thinly disguised story about Pit Bulls. When you guys going to give up on putting lipstick on a pig here ? It is really cold comfort knowing that the bite you just got isn’t the dog’s fault but the owners. It is like that argument that the shark that bit your leg off just mistook you for a seal and it isn’t his fault. Well, if I am going to get bit by accident I would rather get bit by a tiny dog or a gold fish thank-you.

  • catbell7cat

    look at what Pit Bulls & Parolees do to re-acclimate those dogs – amazing – I will leave them $10K when I kick the bucket to help them out in New Orleans – great program ya’ll on animal planet and other dogs are frequently dropped off — they have a website so check them out.

    • Larry

      Agreed! I recently started watching that show, and I love what they do for those dogs.

  • catbell7cat

    my friend’s ‘mini-pincher’ she adopted from a rescue – no bobbed ears or tail and she’s box trained if her ‘mama’ has to work late or the BART train isn’t functioning and she has to bus it home. Very sweet animal – she’ll use the cat’s box in the bathroom when she needs it. I had friends’ who ‘toilet-trained’ their cats with a piece of plastic wrap – the cats just don’t ‘flush’ lol lol

  • catbell7cat

    after taking my adolescent psych final (comprehensive) when I finished (got an A for the course) — a fellow student who had adopted a bischon born with one eye convinced the breeder to sell the dog to her to keep her from being put down – so I ‘dog-sat’ while she took her final — was in a figure-8 harness and a leash and I had a bag of treats – she’d sit/down/roll over/beg/shake hands, and even count when one held up the fingers — and her ‘mama’ named her LuLu LOL LOL

  • Haldurson .

    We have a lot of allergies in our family, but one breed that we’ve owned that has never caused problems was the poodle. Over my lifetime, between me and my brother and parents, we’ve owned about 4 different miniature poodles. The only one that had a problem with being overly aggressive was our first, and it was only after she had gotten fairly old.and was partly blind from cataracts. Oddly, she was also the smartest of all the dogs we’ve owned, figuring out how to open our sliding door to let her ‘boyfriends’ in (neighborhood dogs who the neighbors stupidly let run free). I remember coming home from school and seeing our house literally filled with dogs.

    Also, she used to figure out how to get out of her collar — we’d put her on a runner, and she’d remove her collar and run over to a neighbor’s house. They had these two noisy as hell, and vicious Scottish terriers that were about her size. She’d pick a fight with both of them at the same time (she obviously couldn’t stand their constant yapping either). After this happened a couple of times, we got a better collar (of course).

    All the rest of our dogs have had sweet dispositions — the latest one especially loves children and babies (except when there are 3 or more, in which case she hides behind my legs). She’s actually pretty shy with most people and other dogs, but children and babies, she just wags her tail and sniffs. The neighborhood kids love her and knock on my door to ask if she can ‘come out and play’..

  • Lemur

    Sometimes it’s just the dog. Sometimes it just has a screw loose. I tried for years to break my mother’s Boston Terrier of being an ankle biter. It got to the point where I had to install a different doorbell with an electronic ring because the traditional kind set the dog into a frenzy. Why? No one knows. She was just nuts that way and nothing we did could break it. She remained triggered by bells until the day she died. Luckily, her new Boston is a lot less neurotic.

  • Anna M Yasson

    I have a Bullmastiff great pup,listens, he was mistreated by the breeder s son, I got him when he was five months old, they came for a visit he was eight months, would not go near them just barked at them, thought i was giving him back, I guess. Nut I also just got a female Pug, would take on any dog or person, at times sometimes she ignores people but tries to attack dogs, and never blinked an eye when we brought her here with this big Bully.She will steal his treats if he doesn’t watch.

  • David

    Some of you people have no idea what you are talking about when it comes to dogs. Dogs are DOGS.. They are not human beings.. They have DOG in them and the nature of most breeds is to hunt, protect ( itself or it’s area) and to EAT. The author is CORRECT>. I know they are because I’ve owned many, many, many dogs over my life time and raised many from puppies as well. These dogs don’t have to be mis-treated. You let them get another dog in their space that they aren’t used to having in their space and you will see real fast. You do have a few dogs that are the exception, but I’m here to tell you for a FACT, Pinshcers, Chi, Cockers, Bostons, Pugs and several other breeds were owned WILL FIGHT like the devil . I have taken in dogs for years and had several dozen of my own, you have to introduce them slowly to each other, and you have to REALLY watch them for the first few months .. Particularly if they are older dogs or dominated natured. They will fight and they WILL KILL each other and it has little to nothing to do with anyone mistreating them.. I certainly never would. I love dogs more than I do 99% of the human beings on this planet..

  • DogDefender4Ever

    I’ve owned the top FIVE dogs you mention on this list. Never had a problem! The most dangerous breed: ”humans” who either don’t know what they are getting into when they get a certain breed and therefore don’t care or train it properly OR dog-breeders who are not careful and breed dogs who have negative traits. Yes, some dogs, ANY dog, can be aggressive just like some people are (and some aren’t). Please don’t characterize a breed for the behavior amplified by the media! They never report people getting bitten by Chihuahuas because everyone thinks that’s cute or funny! I was also a veterinary tech for 15yrs – the only times I got bitten was by CATS! The other times I came close to getting bitten was by the little breeds oh and by a Dalmatian! NOT the dogs’ fault – the owners! All very poorly socialized and trained!!!

  • Catherine Casey

    Experienced dog owners have learned how to train dogs, it is easy to forget there are people who are first time dog owners and do the wrong things that can cause their pet to be become aggressive. Hear me out, doing things like pulling on their collar to get them off the couch or laughing when a puppy snaps and growls as it is eating rather than correcting the pup, things like that are often the catalysts for later trouble. If you plan to get a puppy, any breed of puppy, please take the time to study dog training. If you feel the puppy is not responding to your training and is too much for you to handle, find a new home for that puppy as soon as possible or take it to professional puppy training classes which do charge a fee.

  • Kim Kirby

    I don’t have the faintest idea why the author would put beagles on this list. They are very docile creatures and easy to deal with, which is sadly the reason why more than 80% of dogs used in animal testing are beagles. On the flip side, where is the Scottish Terrier?! My favorite breed, I’ve owned four, and I understand the breed extremely well. They were bred to hunt foxes and badgers, and to work on their own, independently of their owners. Which is why they are very difficult to train, need extreme socialization as puppies, and don’t do terribly well at obedience trials. They have a bite force comparable to a German Shepherd, and they are aggressive to other dogs and people (but do well with their own breed it seems, I guess they ‘understand’ each other, lol.) Definitely not the right dog for somebody who wants a lapdog, nor for those who don’t understand or haven’t thoroughly researched the breed. That said, they are one of the most loving and loyal breeds… just don’t expect them to obey unless they believe they have a good reason to. They won’t even look when you call if they don’t feel like it.. Not a dog for those who seek to be a dominating master. They’re not pets, they’re companions and partners.

  • Gail Doyle

    this post of a Beagle being aggressive borders on the ridiculous.. some of these are accurate on the breeds but, come on.. Beagle.. my guy lying next to me lives to be fed and petted …he gets going if he sees one of the many rabbits that come into our yard.. He can be trusted with small babies sitting in their carriers next to him .. I know this because my Grandchildren were introduced to him immediately he licked their foot. and lay beside the baby and fell asleep..

  • Spaniellover

    As a small child, my younger sister sat on the floor and began to play with a Pekinese. We had pets and knew to play gently with them. Suddenly, the Pekinese flew at her face and bit her on the forehead and around the eyes. She had no lasting scars; the wounds were more like scratches. I’ve not liked Peke’s since then and am wary of small dogs in general. I do own a mutt that is beagle and spaniel. Firm handling is the way to go with her. I am the boss.

  • davidlui

    i think personally the most aggressive dog is a miniature pincher

  • Mo

    I have a shih tzu rat terrier mix and a westie maltese mix. Both are beyond sweet. But that is why it’s better to adopt. When I adopted both Henry and Sally they were in foster homes. I knew the dog I was adopting, although they did turn out more wonderful than I was promised.