While large-breed dogs certainly can be aggressive, do you ever feel like it's the small breeds that seem the most like they want to harm you? Do they show you these signs of aggressive behavior far more often than their larger counterparts?
Some of it may have to do with their small size. People often comment that dogs forget how big or small they are, but perhaps small dogs actually just know that their small size leaves them vulnerable. They have to act more aggressively to make up for it.
However, researchers believe that breeding also plays a big role. Over time, people have worked hard to breed aggressiveness out of large dogs. They wanted friendly, rather docile animals to be family pets, so the ones that fit that mold naturally see their genes passed on more often.
The problem is that small dogs, even when they exhibit negative behaviors, lack the physical stature to cause as much damage. People tend to tolerate them and allow the bad behavior to continue.
Over time, this means that aggressive traits in larger dogs will diminish, as people can't afford to put themselves and their family members at risk. In small dogs, these traits may persist a higher percentage of the time, so these breeds are then viewed as "naturally" more aggressive than others. It may be natural, but it is also based on human selection.
No matter what size a dog is, a bite can lead to serious injuries, infections and other complications. Make sure you know all of the legal rights you have to compensation.