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 to record levels in recent years.
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.
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.
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1. 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
2. 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
Another dog designed to herd and protect, the Rottweiler sometimes gets a largely undeserved reputation for being aggressive. Most Rottweilers are very gentle dogs, but if they are not trained properly they can have a dangerous habit of lashing out in self defence when the actual threat level is small. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. Border Collie
The Border Collie is the world's most intelligent dog breed, but they have been bred to herd and protect livestock - using their teeth if necessary. They may well give a nip while playing or exercising with their owner, but a stern word will let them know it's not acceptable. In every other way they are a loving and gentle family dog. Photo: Canva/Getty Images