Are small dogs more aggressive?

My latest science story for the BBC on the topic of dog psychology. Why is it smaller dogs seem to have aggressive behaviours? Is this real, imagined, acquired, innate? Read the article to explore more…

2 thoughts on “Are small dogs more aggressive?

  • September 26, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    One other potential explanation…

    Docile behavior is something that results from many genetic factors, in addition to the more widely recognized experience factors. Studies indicate that domestication can occur on very short timescales with deliberate selective breeding. See Wikipedia’s article on the “Origin of the domestic dog”, in particular the section “Positive Selection”.

    There is a strong correlation between aggressive behavior risk and animal size, It is therefore quite possible that we have tolerated/ignored aggressive behavior in small breeds relative to their larger brethren. This might have led to a real statistical difference in this trait with a truly genetic root cause.


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