Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Most aggressive dog breeds?

Just as a reminder, Praline is a Jack Russell Terrier, Chuy is a Chihuahua/Dachshund mix, and Mochi is a tweenie dog- midway between a mini Dachshund and the standard size model.

On Facebook, my friend Holly tagged me in a link to this article about the most aggressive dog breeds.

The article basically ascribes EBR status to Rottweilers, Pit Bulls and Dobermans-- they look scary but they are not the most aggressive breeds. Don't let the weenie dog's otter-lope fool you-- they weigh in as the most aggressive breed. I have to begrudgingly agree, at least in my limited experience. Mochi is an expert starter of Le Shit. While nature definitely plays its role, in my experience, nurture plays a massive role in how the nature of the dog manifests. Mochi spent the first 5 months of her life chained in yards, and often without food and water. She is a guttersnipe and eternally starving and thirsty, because that was her early experience. She goads Praline and Chuy into sparring with her, and I really think there is no hitch in her gitalong when it comes to fighting: she wouldn't think twice about taking on a grizzly bear. There is no more cuddly dog on the planet, though. And again, the otter-lope gets me every time. Is there a sight more majestic than a loping wiener dog? Probably, but it makes me smile and fills me with delight, so I'll take power-cute over majestic any day.

So far, Mochi's kill board includes the one mockingbird I mentioned here recently.

I continued reading the article, and to my surprise, the second most aggressive breed is the Chihuahua. I looked over at Chuy, sprawled on his back, and ventilating his former ball area, and thought "top two aggressive breeds? PAH!" Chuy is such a cool and mellow little dog. He was from a litter my wonderful vet in Richardson (north of Dallas) rescued. Chuy has always been gently treated and handled, and he just loves Love. When you hold him, the is so sweet and trusting, and you can tell he's never been dropped. He's a love sponge, a love lump, and a power cuddler. He is a little more wait-and-see than Mochi, but if his sisters were fighting something non-pack, there's no doubt that he'd be in the mix. He is more deliberate and takes an engineering sort of approach to things, calculating angles and weighing the odds and all that before taking action. Mostly, though, he's a little Edwardian dandy. He has his little suit on with the proper vest, derby hat and the watch chain swagging across his barrel chest, umbrella in one paw and a folded copy of the London Times tucked up under his arm. Tail curled at a jaunty angle. Chuy's hobbies are being loved and chewing off Mochi's whiskers. Himself teases me that Chuy is a con-man, and I think that is mean because Chuy is clearly sweet, innocent and pure.

Chuy's kill board includes baby bunnies and lots and lots of blue jays. Chuy is Blue Jay death on paws. I've noticed fewer of them seem to hang out here lately, for some reason. I don't think the bunnies have nested in my yard this year, FWIW.

Can you guess the third-most aggressive breed? Yes: Jack Russells. Wow. Praline is a sweet girl, but she's very focused and prone to obsessing if there are furry varmints she needs to subdue. Praline can be cuddlesome, but she is also the one who least likes being picked up and cuddled. Taut as a high-wire, she's always on the case. Like Mochi, she's fearless and always ready to stomp a mudhole and walk it try. (poor frogs). She is the watch dog, and she sleeps on top of the covers to keep watch over our little pack. Nothing slips past her. At the end of the day, though, she's a fastidious and loving little dog, and very happy with her home and her pack.

How did I end up with the three most aggressive breeds, though? What are the odds? Jack Russells were a deliberate choice with my first dog Valentine. I love their intrepid spirit and their jolly can-do attitude. If dogs did silly human things, Jack Russells would be the ones to find the source of the Nile and to climb Everest. Dachshunds, of course, were bred for badger-hunting, and badgers aren't exactly pushovers. Chiweenies? Clearly bred for melting mommy's heart. Chuy and Mochi were both rescues, and dachshund and Chihuahua were the two breeds I said I would never own. Go figure. I'm so glad it worked out this way, though. Turns out I'm very happy with my little pack of aggressive beasties, too.


Tass said...

You should try barn hunting with all three! It's the new 'sport' for varmit hunters. Just came back from a trial in McKinney. Loads of fun, dogs must search over,under,in straw bales to find the tube with the rat. (no rats were harmed in the pursuit of said sport-most slept through the thing while the dogs sniffed & snorted about.)

FarmGirl said...

The reason small breeds tend to be more aggressive and or less well behaved is because (and this is particularly true of chihuahuas) so many people refuse to treat them like DOGS. Or like anything other than some kind of perpetual infant. You don't discipline an infant when it cries or waves it's arms and knocks something over, they don't understand and it would be mean.

Too many people treat their dogs that way, and it results in horribly behaved dogs that thing they're in charge and get aggressive to make the point.

Honestly, I always attributed Chuy's loveableness to his raising and the usual step back from overbreeding bad genes that happens with a mix, as most of the chihuahuas and daschunds I've met have been evil little bastards at worst and annoying little barking "watch him he'll sneak up and bite" types at best... and I do honestly believe that there are effects of overbreeding that become apparent more quickly in the small dogs, but span every breed, that can have serious impact on personality and aggression.

On the other hand I met an entire pack of daschunds a while back (three of them) that are absolute sweethearts, bigger attention whores than dear Chuy and sweet as can be. I've always thought weenie-dogs were adorable and used to think having one as a go-everywhere pup would be neat, until I met so many awful ones.

After meeting these though, if I weren't completely full up on dogs and saw one of the girls' pups? I'd probably have to tie myself to something sturdy to keep from taking it home. I am, however, full up on dogs, so that's a relief.

Laura said...

amusingly...i've never met a doberman i wouldn't want to own. i've met more aggressive labs and goldens than just about every other breed, and i can't stand'em. heck, i've been attacked by a few representatives of both breeds, and i bear the scars to prove it.

i think the biggest problem with supposed aggressive breeds is they're generally very intelligent dogs and need handlers/families who can take that in stride. there needs to be more readily accessible education on breed-specific traits.

drjim said...

I had a Doxie in highgschool, and I agree. When they get wound up, watch out! I tried to get one of my socks back once, which he'd dragged behind the couch. I wasn't in any mood to play, so I pulled the couch away from the wall, and went in there.

Six stitches later I decided the dog had won.

My wife has always had Pit Bulls. If you raise them right, they're not any more aggressive than any other dog. They're very loving and loyal to their owners (every sit with an 80 pound lap dog?) and will defend their territory.

As Eisenhower once said, "It's not the size of the dog in the fight that matters. It's the size of the fight in the dog"!

Jedi Master Ivyan said...

I think Farmgirl hit it on the head. Irresponsible breeding and bad discipline are the major culprits with small dogs. One of the friendliest and sweetest dogs I ever met was a doberman. Of course, this makes me think of that rooster-killin' your man investigated, lol.

Jess said...

They're aggressive, but they're the most loyal, also. When you add the love, they're the most wonderful to have.

Old NFO said...

Good pooches all, and it's all about HOW they are treated!

Anonymous said...

My rescue doxie-mix MiniPup only gets aggressive if another dog gets too personal, but she'll tolerate strange kids petting her when I take her out for walks. (However, if another dog gets a bit TOO personal, she'll growl and snap to make a point.) When we were looking at dogs, I made sure to ask if the dog had any problems, and my doxie-mix raised ZERO aggression flags that would merit further testing.

Then again, maybe we have an unusual bond between us? (She listens fairly well for a stubborn doxie!)

Vinogirl said...

Too cute...great descriptions of your fearsome pack :)

Matt G said...

The study is of questionable worth, though, due to the fact that it was a voluntary study, with certain self-selection bias.

Pit bull owners and Rottweiler owners are more invested in believing that their animals are sweet and non-aggressive, while smaller breeds' owners may marvel at the shrew-like aggression that their pups may display.

Anonymous said...

I used to have a Spitz mix and a shorthaired brown mutt.
Both from the pound, and very gentle.

The current livestock (roomie's dogs) are 3 chihuahuas - one shorthair, one long hair (who just turned 19!) - both girls, and a hairy meat tube unaltered boy - who wears a dydee, as he likes to pee everywhere.
All very sweet. The shorthair is the watchdog.
ALL are scared of the massive cat.