Study finds most aggressive dog breeds: Is yours on the list?

(ABC4) – When looking for a new furry family member, you are likely considering several factors.

What is the cost, which breed suits the family best, how aggressive is it?

Researchers at the University of Helsinki recently looked at the behavior of more than 9,000 dogs to assess aggressive behavior.

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They say factors such as age, gender, anxiety, breed, other dogs in the family, height, and the owner’s canine experience can all affect the level of aggressive behavior.

Overall, the scientist notes that if the dog is male, small, and has high levels of anxiety, the greater the likelihood of aggressive behavior as the dog ages.

SLIDESHOW: Breeds listed in the study most likely to have aggressive behavior
  • A Rough Collie competes in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York on Sunday, February 9, 2020. (AP Photo / Wong Maye-E)
  • A Miniature Poodle is featured in the ring during the non-athletic group competition at the 140th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Monday, February 15, 2016, in Madison Square Garden, New York. (AP photo / Mary Altaffer)
  • A Miniature Schnauzer is shown in the ring during the Terrier group competition at the 140th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Tuesday, February 16, 2016, in Madison Square Garden, New York. (AP photo / Mary Altaffer)
  • FILE – In this photo taken on Jan. 12, 2010, “Kelli,” a two-year-old German Shepherd owned by US Army member Matthew Snider, is resting after playing ball. America’s dogs are having their day as the coronavirus keeps many more people at home with their pets and drives so much adoption and promotion that some animal shelters’ kennels have emptied. (AP Photo / Damian Dovarganes, File)
  • A Spanish Water Dog is shown in the ring during the Herding group competition during the 140th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Monday, February 15, 2016, in Madison Square Garden, New York. (AP photo / Mary Altaffer)
  • A Lagotto Romagnolo competes with the sports group at the 143rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Tuesday, February 12, 2019, in New York. (AP Photo / Frank Franklin II)
  • A Chinese crested dog arrives on the second day of the Crufts dog show at the National Exhibition Center in Birmingham, England, Friday March 10, 2017. First held in 1891, the Crufts is considered the largest exhibition of its kind in the world, the annual four-day event features thousands of dogs competing for the coveted title of “Best in Show”. (Joe Giddens / PA via AP)
  • Channel, left, and Burberry, Coton de Tulears attend the American Kennel Club Meet the Breed event in New York on Saturday, February 14, 2015. (AP photo / Mary Altaffer)
  • A soft coated Wheaten Terrier is shown in the ring during the group terrier competition at the 140th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Tuesday, February 16, 2016, in Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP photo / Mary Altaffer)
  • FILE – In this February 15, 2011 file photo, Sutter, a Welsh Pembroke Corgi owned by California Governor Jerry Brown, and First Lady of California Anne Gust Brown, walk dogs in the background around the east steps of the Capitol in Sacramento, California, America have their day as the coronavirus keeps many more people at home with their pets and stimulates so much acceptance and promotion that the kennels of some animal shelters have emptied. But while a lot is changing for people and pooches in the United States, there is at least one thing that is as stable as a dog with a favorite toy. (AP Photo / Rich Pedroncelli, File)
  • A Cairn Terrier is shown in the ring during group terrier competition at the 140th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Tuesday, February 16, 2016, in Madison Square Garden, New York. (AP photo / Mary Altaffer)
  • Moses, a 10-year-old Border Collie-Labrador-Retriever mix, competes in the Westminster Kennel Club’s agility competition in New York on Saturday, February 8, 2020. Moses received a special award for the best mixed breed dog. Moses ran with handler Jordan York from Evansville, Indiana. (AP Photo / Bebeto Matthews)
  • A Finnish Lapphund dog is shown in the ring during the Herding group competition during the 140th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Monday, February 15, 2016, in Madison Square Garden, New York. (AP photo / Mary Altaffer)
  • Sonnito, a smooth-haired Chihuahua, competes in the toy group during the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Monday, February 12, 2018, in Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP photo / Mary Altaffer)
  • A Smooth Collie is shown in the ring during the Herding group competition during the 140th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Monday, February 15, 2016, in Madison Square Garden in New York. (AP photo / Mary Altaffer)
  • PICTURE DISTRIBUTED FOR PURINA – Export, a Jack Russell Terrier / Border Collie mix from Smyrna, NY, competes in the Small Dog Agility event of the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge at Joe on Saturday July 11, 2015 in Boston, MA Moakley Park. (Marc Andrew Deley / Invision for Purina / AP Images)
  • A Staffordshire Bull Terrier is shown in the ring during group terrier competition at the 140th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Tuesday, February 16, 2016, in Madison Square Garden, New York. (AP photo / Mary Altaffer)
  • Conrad the Shetland Sheepdog competes in the Best in Show competition during the Westminster Kennel Club’s 144th Dog Show in New York on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. (AP Photo / John Minchillo)
  • In this February 11, 2020 photo, a Golden Retriever named Daniel is competing in the Best in Show competition during the 144th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York. America’s dogs are having their day as the coronavirus keeps many more people at home with their pets and drives so much adoption and promotion that some animal shelters’ kennels have emptied. (AP Photo / John Minchillo)
  • FILE – In this file photo dated March 28, 2018, Labrador Retrievers Soave, 2, left, and Hola, 10 months, are napping for photos during Harbor, 8 weeks, during a press conference at the American Kennel Club headquarters, New York . The Labrador Retriever is the American Kennel Club’s Most Popular Purebred Dog of 2018. Labs topped the list for the 28th consecutive year. (AP Photo / Mary Altaffer, File)

When it came to dog breeds, the researchers found that those most likely to have aggressive behavior were gross collies, miniature poodles, and miniature schnauzers. Those least likely to have aggressive behavior were Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers, and Lapponian Shepherd.

Here’s a look at the overall results posted on Nature.com.

Figure 2This graphic was included in the study “Aggressive Behavior Is Affected by Demographic, Environmental, and Behavioral Factors in Purebred Dogs” published in Scientific Reports by researchers at the University of Helsinki.

Dogs that lived without other dogs were more likely than dogs that lived with other dogs, according to the report.

Based on their findings, researchers say that knowing more about dogs and their behavior can reduce aggressive responses. Additionally, understanding that dogs can become more aggressive as they age or when they are afraid can help mitigate the behavior.

You can see the full report below:

Click the square in the lower right corner for full screen mode.

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