Alright, dog owners…it’s official, smaller dogs are more likely to be aggressive than bigger ones, as a new study has found…
Testifying the ‘small man syndrome’ theory about ill-mannered pooches, small dogs usually tend to be more confrontational with other dogs, especially larger ones.
While there’s a handful of factors in how argumentative they are – age, upbringing, temperament, how comfortable they are with other animals – small dogs will be more inclined to start a fight with a passing pup than a bigger one.
As published in the Scientific Reports journal, researchers looked at the behaviour of over 9,000 dogs of a variety of breeds and analysed how often they’d bark and growl, as well as any other displays of snappy behaviour.
When it came to specific breeds, miniature poodles and schnauzers topped the list of testy, smaller dogs, with the likes of labrador retrievers, golden retrievers and Lapponian herders at the opposite end of the list.
However, there was one exception: the rough collie, which is said to be the most aggressive of the lot. Sadly, they’re commonly quite fearful dogs.
The study notes how fearfulness is associated with smaller dogs more often than bigger ones, making them ‘more vulnerable to behavioural problems in general.’ As small dogs don’t usually receive the same level of training as bigger breeds, this could lead to more aggressive tendencies.
Professor Hannes Lohi, a co-author of the study shared: ‘People who are considering getting a dog should familiarise themselves with the background and needs of the breed. As for breeders, they should also pay attention to the character of dam candidates, since both fearfulness and aggressive behaviour are inherited.’