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Are small dogs actually more aggressive?

On Behalf of | Dec 21, 2023 | Dog Bites

People are often more afraid of large dog breeds than they are of small breeds. They naturally think of them as being more dangerous and more aggressive. Some dog owners will even say that they wouldn’t consider buying a large breed, but they will consistently buy smaller dogs – in part because they believe the odds of a dog bite are much lower.

But researchers find that small dogs actually have more aggressive traits. They tend to have aggressive personalities and are more likely to snap or bite. To some degree, this may be because the dogs are small and so they know that they need to be aggressive to protect themselves. But this temperament may not make them ideal pets. They are often on edge and anxious. 

Why do people worry more about large dog breeds?

The issue with larger dogs is simply their size and strength. Many dog bites involve children, and a large dog – like a German Shepherd – may be stronger than the child. Some breeds are even stronger than adults.

In other words, a pitbull might be far less likely to bite someone than a Chihuahua. But if someone gets bitten by a Chihuahua, their injuries will probably be relatively minor. If they get bitten by a pitbull, on the other hand, the dog is strong enough to inflict serious or even fatal injuries.

So, in this sense, it is true that large breeds are often more dangerous. But that is different than being more aggressive. In any case, those who have been bitten by a dog of any breed need to know exactly what legal steps they can take to seek compensation.