Research Finds Greyhounds Are The Safest

Greyhound
A University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine study by the Center for the Interaction of Animals and Society has found that the much maligned greyhound is rated the most docile or least aggressive canine by breed.

The research involved researchers from the University of Pennsylvania questioning 6,000 dog owners.

Breeds scoring low for aggression included Basset Hounds, Golden Retrievers, Labradors and Siberian Huskies.

The Rottweiler, Pit Bull and Rhodesian Ridgeback scored average or below average marks for hostility towards strangers.

Greyhounds rated the most docile and were the least aggressive toward both humans and other dogs.

The most vicious breed ?

Heading the list of 33 dog breeds that were rated for their aggression in a study that analyzed the behavior of thousands of dogs, was the Daschund.

Dr. James Serpell, a University of Pennsylvania researcher who worked on the study, said smaller breeds might be more genetically predisposed towards aggressive behavior than larger dogs.

“Reported levels of aggression in some cases are concerning, with rates of bites or bite attempts rising as high as 20 per cent toward strangers and 30 per cent toward unfamiliar dogs,” he added.

Most research into canine aggression up to now has focused on dog bites, but researchers said that data (pit bulls aren’t at the top of that list either) is misleading. Most dog bites aren’t reported, and because the bites of big dogs are more likely to get reported, they are generally viewed as more aggressive.

    The Aggressive Top Ten

  • 1. Daschund
  • 2. Chihuahua
  • 3. Jack Russell Terrier
  • 4. Akita
  • 5. Australian Cattle Dog
  • 6. Pit Bull
  • 7. Beagle
  • 8. English Springer Spaniel
  • 9. Border Collie
  • 10. German Shepherd
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DFDK9
DFDK9
5 years ago

@Linda – Same here. Never heard of Greyounds being considered aggressive, either in the States or in Europe when I lived there.

PattiGoettler
PattiGoettler
5 years ago

This is one reason Greyt Hearts Service Dogs uses Retired Greyhounds.  The Training and handling they get from their Breeders and Trainers turns and already wonderful animal into a wonder dog, loving and ready to learn!

PattiGoettler
PattiGoettler
5 years ago

StacieDinkel A “MIX cannot be a Retired Race dog…and unless you know the actual parents, it may have no Greyhound at all. Retired Racers are Neutered or Spayed so you DON’T get mixes….   You do need to talk with a good Trainer or behaviorist. This is a lack of training issue you are facing. Good Luck.

John Tracey
John Tracey
5 years ago

DFDK9 The greyhound racing control body in NSW has adopted a previous policy of providing funding for a working canine scientific group which does research and runs annual conferences and will address the issues that you are concerned with as well. The announcement of the incentive was due to be made on Wednesday but is still awaited. There are several studies on the subject and the one chosen here needs to be tested as do all attempts to provide research. The greyhound inquiry (select Committee) submissions and hearings brought forward some interesting research items apart from a lot of self… Read more »

Red_Rabbit2
Red_Rabbit2
5 years ago

It’s DACHSHUND, not DASCHUND.  Anyone who can’t even spell the breed correctly should be taken with a grain of salt.

John Tracey
John Tracey
5 years ago

Sorry I made a typo myself I should have said Cunnington Page 34 on my reply. Apology.

KittyIsHerselfTheElf
KittyIsHerselfTheElf
5 years ago

I do feel, also, that since temperament is largely genetic, that the breed results could be skewed by the popularity of certain dog breeds making them more susceptible to be backyard or puppymill bred by unscrupulous breeders who do not test and select for optimum health and temperament therefore making those popular breeds more susceptible to poor bred ill temperaments 


RuthVanWhyHagenbaugh
RuthVanWhyHagenbaugh
5 years ago

KittyIsHerselfTheElf  This is why we are fighting so hard to keep racing alive so these wonderful dogs don’t get caught up in improper breeding and puppy mills. Now they are regulated by the NGA and bred with only the best of the breed. But if racing ends, you will find under ground breeding and racing which will ruin the breed forever. We have to keep the bloodline going and keep it as perfect as possible so this wonderful breed will not be ruined.

John Tracey
John Tracey
5 years ago

RuthVanWhyHagenbaugh KittyIsHerselfTheElf Research shows that that visibility of the animal protects its welfare and there is noting more visible than animal racing with a few exceptions being highlighted at the moment. The combined upper and lower house government of NSW are currently holding a joint select committee into the conduct of companion animal breeding which includes puppy farms and the conduct of vets etc. The enquiry has taken about 400 submissions and even though the submission date has closed it will consider late submissions if appropriate. Submissions will be published on their web site and they anticipate submissions will be appearing… Read more »

greygarious
greygarious
5 years ago

JanetBidwell It is my understanding that in Australia (perhaps other countries too), owner of pet greyhounds are subject to a law requiring their dogs to be muzzled when taken out in public.  That is not a requirement for other breeds, and reflects an ignorant misunderstanding of the greyhound’s typical temperament.  Because they are muzzled during racing, it was assumed that they are unusually aggressive dogs.  I live in the USA, where people who have no knowledge of or experience with the breed frequently share this misapprehension.

RuthVanWhyHagenbaugh
RuthVanWhyHagenbaugh
5 years ago

John Tracey RuthVanWhyHagenbaugh KittyIsHerselfTheElf  You’re talking about greyhounds in the UK, I’m referring to retired racers in the USA. Totally different. The UK has a long way to go to protect their greyhounds, but here in the US, we work very hard to keep our greyhounds protected and make sure they retire into good forever homes. Puppy mills for other breeds and mixed breeds are a big problem here, that’s why we’re fighting to keep greyhounds away from that.

greygarious
greygarious
5 years ago

   Here is a 32-yr survey of dog bites, by breed, which resulted in human injuries/deaths in the USA and Canada:   http://www.dogsbite.org/pdf/dog-attack-deaths-maimings-merritt-clifton-2014.pdf

   As for this article, I agree that it lacks references and supporting data.  I notice that some of it is identical to a different news article, written 7 years ago: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/2254479/Sausage-dogs-are-the-most-aggressive-dogs.html    

JanetBidwell
JanetBidwell
5 years ago

greygarious JanetBidwell

I have had people mention she has scary teeth, LOL! Usually children, who then fall all over her. I’m in the US, too.

JanetBidwell
JanetBidwell
5 years ago

RuthVanWhyHagenbaugh John Tracey KittyIsHerselfTheElf I’ve often thought their general good nature had to do mostly with their environment and upbringing. They’re usually pretty social, they don’t get excited around other dogs (well mine does sometimes. :) ), and their demeanor is so pleasant. While I understand people want to shut down racetracks, I think the breed would change.

JanetBidwell
JanetBidwell
5 years ago

Red_Rabbit2 I have two of those wonderful little dogs, along with the grey. I can’t decide which I like better!

JanetBidwell
JanetBidwell
5 years ago

EllenMaull Mine live with 2 dashchunds, they all get along fabulously. The two cats, too!

GerardElwell
GerardElwell
5 years ago

It’s great to see such a selfless fight on behalf of the Greyhounds by trainers to continue racing. It’s obviously the very existence of the breed that is at stake here. We would all lament the disappearance of Greyhounds the way that Dalmatians went when there was no longer a demand for carriage dogs. You are saints and should be awarded the recognition you deserve from the animal welfare groups. Instead, you receive ignorant skepticism that, just perhaps, there is a financial motive that clouds your obvious selfless animal welfare campaigning.

TanNim1
TanNim1
5 years ago

You say Dachshund, I say wiener dog. Bleah dog either way.

klechner
klechner
5 years ago

StacieDinkel this is rather belated, but Tracker is correct that many greys (some estimates are up to 1/3) have thyroid issues.  If you get your dog’s levels tested, please be certain your vet is familiar with the greyhound norms as they are different from that of other dogs!!  What is normal for another breed could very well indicate a need for medication for a greyhound. 

John Tracey
John Tracey
5 years ago

One of the posts on this site mocks the passion of people involved in greyhound activity and thats Okay as far as it goes but there is a reasonable case for people being concerned about the future of their sport and the advancement of greyhounds. The USA has 77.8 million dogs in households in 2015 this is down from the peak of 83.3 million in 2014 but is well over the 2000 figure of 68 million. The rate of dogs in the population being born has probably dropped as the euthanasia numbers (recorded) have dropped from 11.5 million to around… Read more »