Study finds most aggressive dog breeds: Is yours on the list?


A Rough Collie competes at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

(ABC4) – If you are looking for a new furry addition to your family, you’re likely considering multiple factors.

What are the costs, what breed best fits the family, how aggressive is it?

Researchers at the University of Helsinki recently studied the behavior of more than 9,000 dogs to assess aggressive behavior.

They say factors like the dog’s age, sex, fearfulness, breed, other dogs in the family, body size, and the owner’s dog experience can all impact the level of aggressive behavior.

Overall, scientist founds the probability of aggressive behavior is greater as the dog ages, if the dog is male, is small in side, and has a high level of fearfulness.

SLIDESHOW: Breeds listed in study as having highest probability of aggressive behavior

When it came down to dog breeds, researchers found those with the highest odds of aggressive behavior were rough collie, miniature poodle, and miniature schnauzer. Those with the lowest odds of aggressive behavior were labrador retriever, golden retriever, and Lapponian herder.

Here’s a look at the overall findings, published on

Figure 2
This graphic was included with the study “Aggressive behaviour is affected by demographic, environmental and behavioural factors in purebred dogs” from researchers at the University of Helsinki, published in Scientific Reports.

Dogs living without other dogs had higher odds for aggressive behavior than dogs living with other dogs, according to the report.

Based on their findings, researchers say increasing your knowledge of dogs and their behavior can decrease aggressive responses. Additionally, understanding that dogs may become more aggressive as they grow older or when fearful can help mitigate the behavior.

You can review the full report below:

Click the square in the bottom right corner for full screen.

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