Dog Whisperer: Most Aggressive Breeds

Our partners at NatGeo currently have a special episode of ‘The Dog Whisperer’ up on Hulu*– The Most Aggressive Breeds.

45 minutes and 59 seconds of me bawwwing.

There are no bad dogs. Just bad owners. Reminded me of the UFC pitbull vs rottie/germie fight I had in my apartment this time last year (weenie dog ring girl):* Episodes rotate, so this link will only be good for a week, I think.


  1. #1 laserboy
    June 16, 2010

    Wait a minute, dogs have a range of behaviours just like people. If you take a litter of labs: they don’t behave identically and some will be more aggressive than others.

    Now, if you were to say that there are no breeds that exhibit a statistically significant increased likelihood of aggression, then that *might* be supportable, given a study that controlled for the influence of the owners.

    But to say that no dog is ever naturally aggressive (e.g., bad), is simple not supportable.

  2. #2 Optimus Primate
    June 16, 2010

    *Googles “Presa Canario”*

    *Wants to smooch the face*

  3. #3 BeamStalk
    June 16, 2010

    How did you make it out of that apartment alive???

  4. #4 ERV
    June 16, 2010

    Optimus– Youve got to see the episode on Roscoe. He looks like a BIG Maxbear.


  5. #5 D. C. Sessions
    June 16, 2010

    Of course there are aggressive breeds. The ex had a thing for miniature Dachshunds. Those little suckers would attack anything — at their size moderation isn’t a virtue. I fondly recall one swinging full-length from the throat of a Great Dane. Everyone was amused and no harm done; once the demands of honor were satisfied all concerned settled down and had a great time. (The little idiots were aggressive but actually under control — they never broke skin, even accidentally.)

    And, no, the same behavior in an Akita would be totally intolerable. Which is why our Akita was so totally mellow. You have to see a 100+ pound Akita and a ferret who might weigh one pound soaking wet taking turns chasing each other around the house. When the ferret caught the Akita, he wrapped himself around a foreleg and savaged it with teeth and all four paws. I so wish I’d had a camera handy to catch the Akita looking at a critter who wouldn’t even make a mouthful, puzzled, then picking up the leg and shaking it to see if the little guy would let go.

    He eventually did, and they reversed roles again.

  6. #6 William Wallace
    June 16, 2010

    There are more areas to consider, such as the strength of the dogs jaw, the sharpness of his teeth. Who cares if a cocker spaniel is aggressive? It’s not nearly as dangerous as a pit bull, temperaments being equal.

  7. #7 Nora
    June 16, 2010

    Awwww. All weepy here too.

  8. #8 Mu
    June 16, 2010

    Dachshund means badger dog. If you’re designed to go down badger holes and get the badger out, you better be one mean dog (or at least the ones that made it into the gene pool were).

  9. #9 D. C. Sessions
    June 16, 2010

    If you’re designed to go down badger holes and get the badger out, you better be one mean dog (or at least the ones that made it into the gene pool were).

    Mean? Maybe not.

    Shy and retiring? Timid? Cautious? Easy-going? Doesn’t sound like a reliable plan.

  10. #10 Optimus Primate
    June 16, 2010

    Holy moley, he does look like Max in the face! People ask me all the time if he’s an Akita.

    Yeesh, that episode digs up some terrible memories.

  11. #11 Tyler
    June 16, 2010

    There is a difference between an aggressive dog and a bad dog. Pitbulls are far more aggressive than almost all other dog breeds. Fact. It’s science.

  12. #12 fnxtr
    June 16, 2010

    When’s the last time you heard of a collie ripping some aspiring model’s face off? Dogs descended from bear-baiters, and war dogs that were bred for aggressive behaviour for hundreds of years, aren’t going to just mellow out in a couple of generations.

  13. #13 simba
    June 17, 2010

    Fnxtr- are you kidding me? Don’t know about other breeds of collie, but border collie seems to be one of those breeds which has more than its fair share of vicious suckers. Out of the dogs I’ve known well, most of them were dogs you’d never walk past without a stout stick and a possibility of retreat or a tree to climb. Kids especially were bitten, and some got permanent scars.

    They were working dogs with sheep and cattle. If they’d been pets or pit bulls they’d have been put down. Anyone read this before? Dachshunds, chihuahuas, and jack russel terriers come out top. Wonder if it’s because people don’t take aggression as seriously in small dogs.

    All dogs can bite. The idea of ‘aggressive breeds’ just makes people complacent about aggressive ‘nice’ dogs. Most med-large dogs can bite hard enough to do damage or sometimes kill, including labradors, golden retrievers etc.

  14. #14 Equisetum
    June 17, 2010

    Fucking Hulu. They’ll show me the fucking ads in Germany, but not the video.

  15. #15 kat
    June 18, 2010

    No Hulu in Australia ๐Ÿ™

  16. #16 KristinMH
    June 20, 2010

    I couldn’t watch the Dog Whisperer either – no Hulu in Canada. ๐Ÿ™

    I love how dog playfights (like between Arnie and friend) just sort of fizzle out when one participant wanders off or falls asleep.

    Here’s my dogs and their epic battle for dominance:

  17. #17 LKL
    June 20, 2010

    wow- I’m not much of a Milan fan, but that was a really good show: it addressed three *separate types* of aggression and gave the *different* responses needed for all three.

  18. #18 cyborgsuzy
    July 8, 2010

    LOL, I love how whenever you post about pit bulls, you get a bunch of commenters (who likely are smart n’ sciency in other ways, being as they read sciblogs) who are ignorant about dog behavior/breeds going all “buh wah? But everyone knows pit bulls is dangerous!!”

    Keep blowing their minds, Abbie. ๐Ÿ˜€

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