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Researchers surprised when study proves which dog breeds are most aggressive

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Small dog syndrome is real, according to animal experts. A recent study found that tiny pooches are the most aggressive and often have the biggest 'attitude' problems!

By Ashley Murphy

Published on the 11/05/2021, 18:00, Updated on the 04/06/2021, 16:20

The research comes from the University of Helsinki, where canine experts examined the behaviour of over 9,000 dogs of all sizes.  And while no breed is inherently aggressive, the results suggested that little dogs are more likely to snap, growl, and bark.

Moreover, tiny canines are often less obedient and less well-house trained. As a result, Miniature Poodles, Miniature Schnauzers, Chihuahuas, and Corgis all made it onto the top 20 aggressive breeds list. And, of course, the Jack Russell made an appearance. Those little guys think they're tough enough to take anyone on.

Nuture trumps nature

But a dog's 'nature' is only a small part of their story. Because as we all know, nurture is far more important to a dog's development. For example, the study indicated that dogs who spend time in the company of other canines from an early age tend to be less aggressive. And researchers found that dogs with inexperienced owners display more challenging types of behaviour. 

Learn all about the best small dog breeds

Age is another factor. On average, senior dogs are more aggressive than younger pups. As their senses become impaired by old age, dogs find it harder to notice people or other pets approaching. And many dogs react to unexpected situations aggressively. What's more, older dogs may be living with chronic pain, which can contribute to a general sense of 'crankiness.'

All dogs need the proper training

As of yet, scientists don't understand why smaller dogs are the most aggressive. One theory is that owners are less likely to correct troubling behaviour in smaller dogs because they view it as less threatening. 

In other words, we let tiny dogs get away with being 'naughty' because they're so cute. But all dogs, including the ones who can fit inside a handbag, need the proper training. It keeps them and everybody else safe.