Are large dog breeds more aggressive?

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2024 | Catastrophic Injuries

Many people believe that larger dogs are more frightening and more aggressive. They are especially afraid of dogs like Pit Bulls, Rottweilers or German Shepherds. They believe that these dogs are the most likely to bite.

But is this true? Studies seem to indicate that it is not. It’s actually smaller breeds, like Chihuahuas, that exhibit the highest levels of aggression. Larger breeds are much more likely to be passive or friendly. Smaller dogs, in part because of their size and the feeling that they need to defend themselves, exhibit more aggressive traits on the whole.

Why are people more afraid of large breeds?

The reason people are more afraid of large breeds is because they are more likely to cause serious injuries or fatalities. As aggressive as a Chihuahua gets, the odds that it could ever inflict fatal damage are rather low. But when you look at the statistics, large breeds do this consistently. 

For instance, one study found that Pit Bulls were involved in the most fatal dog attacks from 2005 to 2017, and it wasn’t even close. That single breed was involved in 284 fatal attacks. The next closest breed was Rottweilers, with 45 fatal attacks, followed by German Shepherds, with 20.

Larger dogs are more powerful, and it’s easier for them to reach dangerous places, such as a person’s throat or face. This is what makes them so dangerous, and it’s why those who have been injured – or who have lost a loved one – need to know about all of their legal options to seek compensation.



FindLaw Network
Nathan A. Cobb