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Are big dogs more aggressive?

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2024 | Injuries

The way that people react to aggressive dogs – or the amount of fear that they have – often relates to the size of the dog. For instance, if you came to someone’s house and a Chihuahua came charging across the lawn at you, barking and snarling, you may be surprised, but you probably wouldn’t be that scared. On the other hand, if a German Shepherd ran across the yard, barking and acting aggressively, you may be terrified.

Often, people just assume that large dogs are more aggressive and more dangerous. But studies have found that the opposite is true. It is smaller breeds that tend to be more aggressive. Part of the reason for this could be their size itself. Because they are small, they know they have to be aggressive in the face of larger animals, trying to intimidate them and keep themselves safe.

Large dogs may still be more dangerous

An important distinction to draw, though, is the difference between perceived danger due to aggression and the actual danger that a dog poses.

Large breeds tend to be much stronger and more powerful. They may be less aggressive, but they can cause far more severe injuries if they do attack. 

Similarly, children are often in the most danger from large breeds because of their lack of strength and height. A child may be more likely to suffer fatal injuries to the head or neck, for example, than an adult in the same situation. 

So, though aggression may be higher in small breeds, large dogs often do cause more serious injuries. Those who have been hurt need to know if they can seek compensation from the dog’s owner.