The Most Dangerous Dog Isn't Always The Largest Dog

Dogs are amazing creatures. They come in all shapes and sizes, varying colors, and each breed was developed for specific purposes in order to benefit their devoted masters. However when it comes to size, being the largest dog isn’t always an asset. For instance, there are many laws that focus on large breeds of dogs and bite issues. Condo associations and some communities even go so far as to ban dogs larger than a certain size or weight. Unfortunately for those larger breeds they are often targeted for being perpetrators of misdeeds and this is unfair.

Any dog owner can tell you that dogs aren’t always the most self-aware when it comes to size consciousness. There are many smaller dogs that feel as if they are the largest dog or certainly act the part despite their being vertically challenged. Dog lovers can also certainly attest that even the largest dog can sometimes get the notion that they are lapdogs. Quite frequently in dog parks and when walking my dogs I’ve witnessed the comical sight of the largest dog on the turn tail and run when being chased by one of their much smaller counterparts.

I am amazed how so many homeowners associations seem to focus on size when it comes to which breeds of dogs are acceptable in being included in their community. I suppose it may be the result of the many sensationalized stories offered to the public in general about a larger breed of dog attacking a child or individual. It is very rare that one reads or watches a story about a Chihuahua or some other small breed of dog biting someone. I can only guess that the reason is that such a story would not either be believable or interesting. Perhaps such a story would appear comical to editors instead of garnering the serious attention to which they believe such a tragic event should elicit from their viewers or readers.

Conversely it’s not always the largest dog that does the most damage when biting a human or another animal. There are many documented cases where the offender has been a Chihuahua, a Pomeranian, or even a Cocker Spaniel. I’ve personally witnessed a very serious injury inflicted on a child by a Cocker Spaniel. The victim had to have reconstructive surgery. Of course I’m not implying that Cocker Spaniels should be banned, my point is, why is it that it’s always the largest dog that gets the bad rap? The focus shouldn’t be on the largest dog breeds.

In all honesty when one of the largest dog breeds inflicts a bite the chance of it being a serious bite is greater due to the dog’s size and strength. It is true that being bitten by one of the largest dog breeds does pose more risk. However the factors that are considered when deciding whether any dog poses a bite risk should be more than just size alone. One must consider the individual dog’s temperament, training, and whether the owner is responsible with his or her pet. Without a doubt, being the largest dog shouldn’t considered to be a liability.

Statistics show that the primary factors involved in dog bites more often than not involve dogs running at large unattended, dogs that are chained in their yards, and dogs that are intact. Another interesting fact that shows up in studies is that Chihuahuas are one of the breeds cited as being prone to biting. The studies prove that size alone should not be the determining factor in a community’s or an association’s decision to allow a dog to reside there. The largest dog breeds shouldn’t be banned for their size.


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