General Question

chutterhanban's avatar

What is the least likely dog to bite you? Most likely?

Asked by chutterhanban (1020points) June 20th, 2008

I’ve heard that a golden retriever is least likely and dalmatians are most likely—but it could have been a load of crap.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

29 Answers

scamp's avatar

That would be correct.

trudacia's avatar

I know that some breeds can be more aggressive then others. However, I’d guess that most vicious dogs become that way because of their owners! I’ve met very sweet pitbulls with very sweet owners and evil dogs (normally known as a gentle breed) with very stupid, neglectful owners.

Bottom line.. Before choosing a dog people should do their homework and choose a breed that fits their lifestyle and personality.

Dog's avatar

It really depends on the temperment of the individual dog.

Biting is due to many factors such as fear, past abuse, training etc.
While some breeds are overall more aggressive it is foolhardy to generalize if you are approaching a dog.

Always look at the dog’s posture, where the ears and tails stand, the fur on the back etc. Of course bared teeth are a no-brainer.

If you are looking for a family dog that is a less agressive breed then your Retrievers are fantastic.

Dalmatians can make great family dogs- but the breed is more agressive and headstrong and they need firm training. (I have had two and one lays at my feet as I type)

Always research breeds well if you are looking for a pet. There are many resources out there that explain breeds, traits and more.
It is the best investment of time you can make in order to ensure a great pet match for your lifestyle and family.

beast's avatar

I’ve been bitten twice by a Doberman Pinscher. So that’s the most likely for me. Least likely? Gordon Setter. What a sweet dog.

Knotmyday's avatar

I have had my ankle savaged by two pomeranians and a chihuahua (on separate occasions).
I grew up with Dobermans, but have never been bitten.

Maybe the answer is “whichever dog wants to bite you the most,” which I suppose depends on mood and temperament. Dogs have personalities too, some are nice and some are just mean sons of bitches.
bad pun. sorry again

TheHaight's avatar

little yappy dogs seem more likely to bite you.

playthebanjo's avatar

it’s not the bite, it’s the teeth. Get a dog that has gums and no fangs.

syz's avatar

Consider the purpose for which a purebred was developed. Obviously, guard dogs, dogs bred to kill vermin, fighting breeds and so on will be more prone to agressive behavior. Breeds developed for their soft mouths and gentle temperaments (retrievers) are an example of a breed that has less tendancy to bite.

That said, never underestimate the ability of unscrupulous breeders to screw up an animal. Any dog has the potential to bite.

Allie's avatar

Knotmyday: I was going to say chihuahua, too. Those little buggers can be mean!

SuperMouse's avatar

I’ve heard Chow Chow’s can be pretty aggressive. I’m with thehaight, the little yappy ones seem to be biters too, poodle, cockapoo, min pin, etc. For what it’s worth, my pug doesn’t ever bite.

Mrs_Dr_Frank_N_Furter's avatar

It mostly how you treat the dog

beast's avatar


I think they’re talking about dogs in general, not your particular housepet.

Adina1968's avatar

Any breed of dog can bite but least likely to bite – a Pug. Most likely to bite-a Rottweiler.

pixiequeen12's avatar

as many have already said, most dogs that bite are a product of their environment. however, there is something to be said for the disposition of a breed—meaning that a dog might be genetically predisposed to certain behaviors that you would need to know how to train it out of…
a pitbull is a great example. we’ve had four in the family. it’s true that it was bread for aggression, but all this really means is that knowing this about the breed allows you to know what to emphasize when training. the key is, ultimately, just to do a lot of research and be prepared for what you’re getting yourself into, whatever the breed.
retrievers are awesome dogs. i’ve had three. they’re great family dogs. very loyal and very unlikely to bite, unless they feel provoked or feel that their family is being threatened (and they will very rarely misread such signals).
overall, i’d say that the most likely to bite are actually smaller dogs with big personalities, like little terriers, for instance. they tend to want to compensate for their size. their bite may not have the same effect as a pitbull’s, but it’s still teeth sinking into skin!
least likely to bite, in my experience, has been portuguese water dogs. my dog now is one, and it just would never occur to him to bite. he was bread to rescue people and to be a companion, so aggression just isn’t in his coding. he’s actually not even aggressive with other dogs or animals. very docile. very sweet… but then again, docility and the accompanying dependancy produce problems too…

Look, the point is that dogs are awesome. Study the breed. Anticipate the negative traits (and every breed has them in one form or another), and train the dog accordingly. Whatever you pick will be rewarding.

truckling's avatar

Vets will tell you that its the small, poorly socialized dogs that tend to bite. they’re
poorly socialied because they’re treated like human babies and not given
obedience training like bigger dogs

marinelife's avatar

Breed is not a predictor of biting behavior. A dog of any breed will bite in certain circumstances.

gimmedat's avatar

supernutjob’s pug is a BEAST, don’t let that answer fool you!

Knotmyday's avatar

@Dog- Forgot to mention that my parents had a Dalmation that recently passed away; the worst that dog ever did was stole french fries. They’re a much-maligned breed… Also, my sister has the nicest, if completely moronic, pit-bull ever. Who knows.

kelly's avatar

Brittany Spaniel is a mello breed and great with kids. Dad had several during the years I lived at home. they were hunting bird dogs and so were always kept in a kennel ( so their noses would remain true to birding). we would play with them outside all day winter and summer. loved human interaction, but when we went to the field, they were all business.

cheebdragon's avatar

The most likely to bite you is the one you least expect…

ninjaxmarc's avatar

its all about how they are raised.

buster's avatar

I have been bitten by a chow. She was just plain mean. I have been bitten by an old english sheepdog. I was little and pulled its tail. And i have been bitten by a dalmatian. It was deaf. I was going to pet it. It didnt hear me when i touched the dog it surprised it and it turned and bit me on the ass.

cheebdragon's avatar

My son was bitten by a lab/chow mix, on his cheek when he was 14 months old. 16 stitches in 3 places, its horrible to watch doctors hold down your child while they put in stitches, but they did a great job and you cant see any scars from it….

arnbev959's avatar

I’ve been bitten by 2 different Dalmatians on separate occasions.

@kelly: My dog is part spaniel, and my cousins have a brittany spaniel. Spaniels are so sweet and gentle.

ht1979's avatar

Lots of herding dogs (heelers, shepherds, collies) have ingrained in them a nipping instinct. They use it (in conjunction with their physical bodies) to herd sheep/cows/etc. SOmetimes, especially with kids, this can be misinterpreted as a bite. It’s not actually an aggressive behavior so much as the dogs way of herding. Still – it’s a consideration if the dog will be around too many littler kiddos. I think you can train this out of the dog, but it may be harder than with other dogs that lack this instinct.

suse's avatar

Labs. instinctively gentle, vet once said to me that if he saw a nasty lab it must have been severely mistreated to be like that. And even then most wont. Good idea is to see the parents of the dog too, and their demeanour.

05doberman's avatar

I own 2 Doberman Pinschers a 9 yr old neutered male and a 1 yr old spayed female….neither has ever bitten anyone. As a matter of fact no dogs I have ever owned had ever bitten anyone.
I have had 2 other dogs a black lab and a airedale terrier as a child growing up.
I strongly believe if you have a dog you are unsure of, you don’t let that dog out of your sight!! it is YOUR responsibility!!
As a homeowner I had to get my dogs on my policy & they told me Doberman’s are not on their list of “aggressive dogs” but Chows and German Shepherds are!
When you or your child is lost in the woods what do you think will help find you? A German Shepherd!

brewerrkj's avatar

As a very small child we had a Weimaraner around four young rambunctious kids.
Seemed we could do just about anything to that dog, tease it, ride on it’s back, throw his dog biscuits in a wash tub to make him dunk for them and never so much as nip or growl at any one of us. Later on we had a lab/collie mix and while she did have the herding characteristic of the collies, the only time she would become aggressive was if somebody was threatening (or even roughhousing) a family member. She would go nuts whenever she saw horseback riders near our property but she never bit any of them. Our neighbors, on the other hand, kept an Airedale Terrier. Now that dog was a nut-case. They obviously didn’t have the first clue how to train the dog to be obedient to their voice commands, every time they let it out, it would make a bee-line for our dog crossing the property lines, our dog, to her credit would merely chase the Airedale back into his yard and she’d actually stop right at the boundary of the properties (no fences)! She knew who’s yard she was supposed stay in!

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther