With demand for puppies showing no sign of letting up, here are the breeds of dogs that are most likely to bite humans.
If you’ve been thinking about welcoming a new dog into your home then you’re not alone – Kennel Club figures show that the number of people looking for puppies has surged since the start of the global pandemic.
But with 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your family’s latest four-legged addition – whether you want a large dog, family-friendly dog, or crossbreed.
There’s even academic guidance to seek out, with Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ ranking breeds by instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.
Different breeds of dog also tend to have very different personalities – with some more likely to lash out with nips, nibbles and even bites.
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Of course any dog is capable of delivering a damaging bite, while most dogs of any breed are unlikely to do any damage unless seriously provoked, but there are certain breeds who have temperaments making them more likely to be aggressive than others.
Researchers in the USA carried out a survey of some of the estimated five million canine bites suffered in the country each year, seperating them into types of dog.
Here are the 10 breeds of dog that they found were most likely to bite.
1. Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is not a breed for a novice dog owner. They are intelligent and playful but can get belligerent, rowdy and destructive - particularly if they don't get the huge amount of exercise they need or if their owner doesn't fully assert their dominance. This problematic behaviour can unfortunately include biting. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. Jack Russell Terrier
It may surprise some that the Jack Russell Terrier is the dog most likely to bite. These popular small dogs were originally bred to hunt and kill rats and other vermin, so giving chase and biting are very much in their DNA - although can be minimised with training. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. Cocker Spaniel
An unexpected entry in this list, the adorable Cocker Spaniel is unlikely to do any damage but owners will know that they often nip as puppies. The majority of adult dogs will grow out of the habit. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. Tosa Inu
Another breed banned in the UK, the Japanese-born Tosa Inu is a dog that was bred for fighting, with a fearsome bite. Like all dogs, they can become gentle family pets if properly trained, but it's a serious challenge to do so, and there's alway a chance that they could deliver a nasty bite if scared or anxious. Photo: Canva/Getty Images