With their big and muscular bodies, dogs like rottweilers and pit bulls, especially those who are trained to act threatening, they may seem the scariest of their kind. But the evidence shows that Smaller dogs can actually be more aggressive than many of their large counterparts.
Then, Why are small dogs so ferocious? First, it is important to define what counts as small for a dog. “Small dogs in the less than 9 kilogram range tend to be more reactive,” he said. James Serpell, director of Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society at the University of Pennsylvania College of Veterinary Medicine. For example, dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and Jack Russell terriers are the most likely to try to bite, according to a 2008 study in the journal Applied Animal Behavior Science which surveyed the owners of more than 30 breeds of dogs. Other aggressive behaviors seen in small dogs include growls, growls, and lunges. There are some theories as to why this is the case.
Small size can make dogs more fearful and can lash out in self-defense, He said Serpell. Small breeds are more likely to react defensively because they have more to fear.
Alternatively, the reactivity of small dogs could be the result of the behavior of their owners. “Owners tend to infantilize small dog breeds and regard them as defenseless babies,” he said. Serpell a WordsSideKick.com. The owners Of pets they can be overly protective of small breeds, so it is possible that do not socialize them or teach them how to react appropriately in stressful situations.
The aggression could also form part of the evolution of puppies. “If you are attacked by a Chihuahua, obviously the consequences are much less significant than if you are attacked by a Great Dane or a Siberian husky,” he said Serpell. In other words, over the millennia, humans may not have bothered to generate aggressive behavior from small dogs because the consequences weren’t that severe like being attacked by sizable hounds.
That latter theory is supported by studies that have found a link between aggressive behavior and the growth factor gene which makes small dogs small. The association could be a coincidence, but research has shown that Small dogs are not only more extreme in their aggression-related behaviors; Compared to large dogs, small dogs tend to have more severe separation anxiety. they generally bark more and are more likely to urinate in the house, he said Serpell. This gives credence to the theory that genetics play a role in the extreme behavior of small dogs.
Scientists are not sure which of the theories are correct because have not yet studied the root of the fierce behavior of small dogs, He said Serpell. All theories could potentially play a role. Some small breeds are an exception to the rule. An example is the Coton de Tulear, also known as the Royal Dog of Madagascar. This dog is small, white and fluffy, resembling a bichon frize.
“For whatever reason, that breed seems to be fairly moderate demeanor across the board, but it also has all sorts of medical issues,” he said. Serpell. “It is not clear if that is because perhaps they lack some critical genetic factor. Or it could be related to the fact that they are less healthy and have less physical capacity to react with force ”.
Some aggressive behaviors can be safely addressed while living with the dog, but a professional dog handler should be the one working to correct the behavior. according to VCA Animal Hospitals, a system of animal hospitals.
The body size It may not be the only small dog attribute associated with aggression. The lower height alone is associated with undesirable traits in some breeds, according to a 2013 study in the journal PLOS One. For example, dog breeds with shorter legs they are more likely to fear unfamiliar dogs and to be aggressive from their owners. It’s unclear why this is so, but it may be something to keep in mind when looking for your next pet.