Dog attacks study highlights dachshunds as the most aggressive breed
A 2008 analysis of dog attacks by the University of Pennsylvania revealed an astonishing conclusion – dachshunds are the most aggressive breed.
The analysis was pioneering in its methods. Prior to the study, dog attacks analyses had almost exclusively involved the study of dog bite statistics but such a method is flawed. Dog bite statistics are skewed heavily in favour of maintaining the non-aggressive reputation of smaller breeds. This is because dog bites are only likely to be reported in the event of the bite victim requiring medical attention. Big dogs naturally produce bigger bites which result in greater need for a visit to hospital. Thus, larger breeds accrue unfair reputations.
The 2008 dog attacks study broke away from this, instead choosing its source as a survey of 6,000 dog owners. The dachshund topped the list of 33 breeds for aggression, whilst the rottweiler, pit bull and Rhodesian ridgeback scored average or below average marks for hostility towards strangers.
Though originally bred to hunt for badgers, hence its ‘sausage’ shape, the dachshund has never had a fearsome reputation. Even with the findings of the Pennsylvanian study, it seems unlikely that attitudes will change. The sausage dog will not shed its placid harmless reputation whilst breeds that wage more savage dog attacks, albeit less frequently, are almost certain to remain regarded as ‘aggressive’.