Why Are Smaller Dogs More Aggressive

According to Serpell, dogs who are small may become more scared and aggressive in self-defense. Because they have more to fear, little breeds may be more prone to take a protective stance.

The evolution of the pups may have incorporated aggression. The effects of being attacked by a Chihuahua are undoubtedly considerably less severe than those of being attacked by a Great Dane or a Siberian husky, according to Serpell. To put it another way, over the ages, people may not have tried to breed aggressive traits out of little dogs because the repercussions of being attacked by large hounds were more severe.

Studies linking aggressive behavior to the growth factor gene that causes little canines to be small lend credence to the last argument. The correlation could simply be a coincidence, but research has shown that little dogs exhibit more extreme aggression-related behaviors than large dogs do, as well as more acute separation anxiety, more frequent barking, and a higher likelihood of urinating indoors, according to Serpell. This supports the hypothesis that the extreme behavior of tiny dogs is influenced by genetics.

Because they haven’t yet investigated the causes of the aggressive behavior of small dogs, scientists are unsure which of the theories is accurate, according to Serpell. Every theory has the potential to be relevant.

The regulation does not apply to all little breeds. The Coton de Tulear, also referred to as the Royal Dog of Madagascar, is one illustration. This dog resembles a bichon frise since it is petite, white, and fluffy.

According to Serpell, “the breed appears to have generally quite restrained demeanor for whatever reason, but it also has a variety of medical issues.” “It’s unclear if this is a result of them possibly lacking a crucial genetic component. Or it might have something to do with the fact that they’re simply less physically fit and able to react strongly.”

Do smaller dog breeds tend to be more vicious?

Little dogs are not only more inclined to snap at people, but they also tend to be less obedient and poorly housebroken.

Cute! How tiny are we talking about? Everything little, from miniatures to toys to lap and handbags.

For sure not. It’s official, I’m afraid. Small dogs are more hostile to people than huge dogs are.

Ridiculous. Timmy Stitches, my favorite mini-pooch, doesn’t sound anything like that. Why is Timmy Stitches his name?

Long story short, ask me first if you want a cough drop from my purse. According to a University of Helsinki study involving more than 9,000 Finnish pets, smaller dogs are more likely than large and medium-sized ones to exhibit violent behavior.

Obviously, it depends on your definition of aggression. barking, snapping, growling, and biting.

Breeding is the only factor in that kind of behavior. If so, the little, purebred animals do not look good. Labradors were the least aggressive breed, while miniature poodles and miniature schnauzers were the second and third most aggressive breeds on the list.

Perhaps the unfortunate creatures are simply acting out of fear. You might be correct. Previous research have shown that fearfulness is connected with small size, and that anxious and apprehensive dogs are known to act more aggressively toward strangers than relaxed hounds.

That makes total sense.

They are so defenseless. Small canines are frequently less trainable and less obedient.

No comments. It’s interesting to note that owners of little dogs are less likely to address aggressive behavior because they are perceived as less dangerous, which may contribute to the higher occurrence of aggression in smaller breeds.

Aggression must be influenced by factors other than just body size. They exist. According to the Helsinki study, male dogs are more violent than female dogs, and older dogs are more violent than younger dogs.

The issue is that Timmy Stitches is a man, old, and little. That would probably explain a lot of his anger management issues. He might not enjoy living in a purse.

Are you serious? This is Anya Hindmarch. What can be done about our adorable, little, aggressive dogs? The authors of the study recommend enhancing owner education “may lessen hostile behavior toward others.

Do say: “You should have that checked out even if it’s only his method of showing you that he likes you.

Why are larger dogs more amiable?

Compared to most small dogs, big dogs have less barking, are better with kids, and are simpler to train. These dogs make wonderful family pets. Dogs are the ideal pet, but which breed is more popular—small or large dogs? According to a 2018 RightPet survey, bigger cuddling mates are more common.

Are smaller dogs bitier than larger dogs?

Large dogs can bite harder. Doberman pinscher, German shepherd, pit bull, and Rottweiler jaws are more powerful than those of small dogs. Additionally, larger dogs are believed to bite more frequently than smaller dogs.

The most common reasons dogs bite include fear, feeling threatened, stress, being too protective or possessive, being ill, startled, or playful. It is your responsibility to socialize your dog early so that they feel at ease in a range of environments and are less likely to become ill.

You must understand and exercise control over your dog in order to be a successful dog owner. Find out how to prevent dog attacks by leashing, approaching other dogs, training, spaying or neutering, and exercising your dog. It’s crucial to speak with a dog bite attorney if your dog bites someone or if you or your dog are bitten to make sure you are aware of your obligations and legal rights.

What kind of dog has the most anger?

According to a recent research of more than 9,000 pets, rough collies are the most aggressive breed of dog.

Smaller dogs are more prone than mid-sized and large dogs to act violently, snarl, snap, and bark, according to research from the University of Helsinki. German Shepherds, Miniature Poodles, and Chihuahuas have all been shown to exhibit violence, yet no dog breed is inherently vicious.

The research, which was published in Scientific Reports, found that male dogs are more aggressive than female dogs, and that a puppy’s disposition can influence whether or not it would act aggressively around humans.

According to Professor Hannes Lohi of the University of Helsinki, the Long-Haired Collie, Poodle (Toy, Miniature, and Medium), and Miniature Schnauzer were the most aggressive breeds in his dataset. According to earlier research, Long-Haired Collies exhibit fearfulness while the other two varieties exhibit aggressive behavior toward strangers.

The research team discovered in other parts of the study that dogs who spend time with other dogs are generally less hostile. Unsurprisingly, Labrador Retrievers and Golden Retrievers are two of the least aggressive breeds.

Before choosing a dog, Professor Hannes stresses the value of doing your homework, saying: “The popular breeds of Labrador Retriever and Golden Retriever, as expected, were on the other end of the spectrum. People who are thinking about buying a dog should educate themselves on the history and requirements of the breed.”

Which tiny dog is the meanest?

Most people think of large breeds like pit bulls, German shepherds, Rottweilers, etc. when they think about dog bite injuries. In fact, large, aggressive canines have the strength and size to result in severe injuries or even fatalities. A 63-year-old woman was recently killed while running in southern California after being attacked by four unrestrained pit dogs.

However, there have also been instances of much smaller dogs terrifying entire towns, like the Chihuahua packs that have been prowling a neighborhood in Phoenix, Arizona. According to several locals, the tiny canines travel in bands of 8 to 15 and are making parents scared to let their children play or walk to school alone.

The fact is that dogs of any size have the ability to turn aggressive and harm people. The following six small dog breeds are thought to be more prone to undesirable behavior, such as biting and hostility. If you come into one of these breeds, take extra care not to spook the dog in any way. Just go about your business knowing that, if the dog strikes you without your fault, you may, with the aid of a knowledgeable dog bite injury attorney, make the owner or handler legally accountable for your injuries.


According to certain research, dachshunds are more likely than even the largest, most feared dogs like pit bulls and Rottweilers to attack both people and other dogs. The Dachshund’s name, which translates to “badger dog,” reflects the purpose for which it was produced in Germany: breaking into badger dens and killing badgers. You can understand why Dachshunds have such strong, obstinate personalities and never back down from a fight if you are familiar with how skilled a fighter badgers are.


Chihuahuas can weigh up to 6 pounds, but they act like much bigger dogs. Many owners find it adorable how closely they and their Chihuahuas bond and how protective they are of their owners. They permit their Chihuahuas to engage in a variety of extremely aggressive behaviors that would never be accepted in a larger dog, such as barking, snarling, lunging, etc.

Spaniel Cocker.

Some of the saddest dogs in this breed include “The cutest dog eyes you’ve ever seen. Some Cocker Spaniels, nevertheless, have a “They may have a genetic rage disorder that causes them to lash out violently for no apparent reason before returning to their normal, almost mopey selves moments later.


Children or strangers do not get along well with this breed of dog. Given that they were raised in the Chinese Imperial court and were lavished with care and attention for generations, it only makes sense that they have an impetuous, sensitive disposition.


Beagles have a very strong motivation to engage in this behavior because they were developed to hunt and follow odors. They are also impulsive and often excited. Due to this, it can be perilous for beagles to be left alone in unfamiliar settings. Even the best-trained beagles have the potential to get enthralled by a scent and escape their owners’ grasp and control. If the dog is startled or anxious, it may lash out and possibly bite.

Robert Russell

In the history of dog breeds, this tiny terrier, which was developed to hunt foxes and rats, only recently gained popularity as a pet. The primary issue with Jack Russells is that they have a lot of energy and require constant mental and physical engagement to stay calm. Unsocialized or bored Jack Russells may be dangerous.

Do little dogs have more anxiety?

Small dogs frequently have a lot of psychological baggage, ranging from biting their owners to snapping at phantom insects. McGreevy and his coworkers provide a dozen potential explanations. Genes and nurture are both involved in some of these (environment).

Nature first. Small dogs’ bad habits often result in less harm than those of big dogs. Therefore, those who adore little dogs are more likely to put up with their pets’ negative conduct. Consider biting. If the researchers are right, tiny breeds are more likely than large breeds to retain genes linked to human violence.

An earlier C-BARQ study that determined that Chihuahuas and Dachshunds were the breeds most likely to attack people supports this theory (here). (Pit bulls, by the way, were about as violent as poodles and were in the middle of the pack.) Another biological theory holds that little dogs’ unintentional genetic side effects of selection for genes that code for both infantile appearance (cuteness) and immature behaviour include behaviors like begging, attention-seeking, and urinating.

McGreevy also makes the argument that owners may be to blame for a little dog’s undesirable behaviour rather than genetics. For instance, excessive indoor time in small breed dogs may prevent them from obtaining enough exercise. This might lead to hyperactivity. Additionally, owners of little dogs may frequently indulge in “baby and unintentionally encourage actions like begging, jealousy, and attention-seeking.

Of course, there are other ways to look at the tiny dog issue. For instance, according to my colleague David McCord, a personality measuring expert, little dogs have a propensity to score low on Conscientiousness and Agreeableness and high on Neuroticism on the Big Five Personality Inventory. My wife claims they have a “Napoleonic Syndrome

If you have a tiny dog that you adore, bear a few points in mind regarding this study. First, rather than being based on direct research observations, C-BARQ scores are instead based on owners’ opinions of their dogs’ behaviour. The latter is more significant. These findings are generalizations based on statistical analysis of samples. McGreevy does not imply that all little dogs have severe psychological problems. My parents shared their home with several Willie-named Dachshunds. All of the dogs were lovely and greatly improved the life of my parents.

However, if you have a little dog who is difficult to live with, take a look at this great piece of advise from the ASPCA.

See this article by a group of researchers led by Bridget Waller of the University of Portsmouth for “hot off the press” research demonstrating that humans preferentially select (adopt) dogs based on baby-like traits (paeodmorphism).

Do tiny dogs have lower intelligence?

According to recent studies, larger dogs have superior self-control and short-term memory than smaller ones.


According to a recent study led by the University of Arizona, bigger canines with larger brains perform better on several tests of intelligence than their smaller canine counterparts.

On tests of executive functions—a group of mental operations required for regulating and coordinating other cognitive abilities and behaviors—larger-brained dogs perform better than smaller dogs. According to a study published in the journal Animal Cognition, bigger canines had superior short-term memory and self-control than more diminutive puppies.

The Arizona Canine Cognition Center member and primary study author Daniel Horschler of the University of Arizona remarked, “The jury is out on why, necessarily, brain size could correspond to cognition.” “Whether it’s variations in connectivity between neurons or variances in the amount of neurons involved, we think of it as likely a proxy for something else that is happening. Nobody is entirely certain yet, but we’re curious to learn what those deeper things are.”

But not all forms of intelligence appear to be correlated with canine brain size. Horschler discovered that a dog’s success on social intelligence tests—which assessed each dog’s capacity to imitate human pointing gestures—did not depend on its brain size. Additionally, it has nothing to do with a dog’s capacity for inferential or physical reasoning.

The study’s results confirm what researchers have already shown to be true in primates: executive performance, but not other forms of intelligence, is correlated with brain size.

Because most or all of the previous research involved primates, Horschler said, “we weren’t sure whether the result was an artifact of specific elements of primate brain evolution.” “Dogs’ enormous range in brain size, to a degree you don’t find in pretty much any other terrestrial mammals, makes us believe they are a particularly good test case for this. You may choose from Great Danes and Chihuahuas, and anything in between.”

Horschler’s research is based on information from almost 7,000 domestic purebred dogs of 74 distinct breeds. Based on breed criteria, the size of the brain was estimated.

Dog owners were asked to test their short-term memory by covering one of two overturned plastic cups with a treat while their dogs were present. Owners then held off releasing their dog to get the treat for 60, 90, 120, or 150 seconds. Smaller dogs had a harder time finding the treat’s hiding place.

Owners placed a goodie in front of their sitting dog and then banned the dog from accepting it in order to test self-control. Following that, owners either turned their backs on the dog, covered their own eyes, or watched the dog. Larger breed dogs usually took more time to obtain the restricted reward.

Whether the dogs had been trained was a factor that Horschler and his associates controlled for. No of how much training the dogs had gotten, they discovered that larger-brained breeds had greater short-term memory and self-control than smaller dogs.

Horschler stated that in the future, he would like to conduct comparative examinations of cognitive capacities in several breed variants, such as the tiny and considerably larger standard poodles, which are nearly identical save from size.

Horschler stated, “I’m extremely interested in how cognition evolves and how that arises organically. We’re learning that brain size affects cognition in some way, whether it’s directly tied to brain size or just a proxy for something else.

Story Origin:

University of Arizona donated the materials. There may be length and style edits to the content.