Is there a list of dog breeds based on their aggressiveness?

Our question this week was:

Dear Dr. Debra,

Is there a list somewhere that rates dog breeds on their aggressiveness? I have had two Shi Tzu's (still have one), that seem to be the least aggressive dogs I have ever encountered. My curiosity is based on a comment I once heard about a dogs home life is the major contributing factor in his/her aggressiveness.

Ken Blackmer

The Shi Tzu is God's way of showing us He still loves us.


Hi – thanks for your email. I agree with your quote – "The Shi Tzu is God's way of showing us He still loves us.". I've never read that before but I like it. Very sweet.

You asked an interesting question – is there a list of dog breeds that are categorized or rated based on aggressiveness. I've never seen a list of all dogs rated based on aggression. What I have is a list of dogs most likely to bite, a list of dogs that are known to be good watchdogs and a list of dogs good with children (low levels of aggression).

You might find these articles interesting:

Dogs Most Likely to Bite
Great Watch Dogs
Dogs Good for Families

In my experience – it is possible to see a dog in any breed be aggressive. I believe the Shi Tzu is a very nice sweet dog in general with low aggression tendencies. In general, they are great for seniors, good with children and sweet little dogs.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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