Being descendants of wolves, dogs are still left with a genetic trail where some of them can be more dangerous than others in specific situations. Dogs are animals, and can be unpredictable at times, and show signs of aggression when pushed to their limits.
Aggression in dogs is one of the most commonly studied subjects in the canine scientific literature. It mostly comes down to their lineage, genetics, and what these breeds were originally bred for for some breeds. With other most dangerous dogs, this is a result of what humans have done to them over the years.
Fortunately, nearly every dog, with isolated exceptions, can be trained and socialized to the point of being less aggressive and less dangerous to the public. In the end, this lies with the handler to adhere to what the dog actually needs to thrive and how much time and effort is spent to training some of these most dangerous dogs.
20 Most Dangerous Dogs Known for Aggression
The American Pit Bull Terrier (a close cousin of American Staffordshire) has been on the doggy radar for the last decade as one of the most dangerous dogs in the world, with dog bite statistics ranking it as the second-highest after the Rottweiler. This breed has been used in dogfighting for a very long time.
Strong and muscular with an extremely strong jaw bite power that can crack bones, it’s understandable why this breed is still considered as one of the most aggressive and dangerous and why so many people continue to have a fear of Pit Bulls.
There used to be a myth that American Pit Bulls were once nanny dogs and would look after the kids when the parents went out. It has since been debunked. Nowadays, not many people go out to adopt American Pit Bull Terriers, even though they make amazing family pets and are really great with kids when raised and trained well.
Even though Pit Bulls are one of the most dangerous breeds, not all stories about them are true. Did you know that American Pit Bulls are less likely to bite than a Labrador in most cases? Their patience outweighs their dangerous nature. Although an experienced handler and a professional trainer are really important when owning one of these dogs.
2 Dogo Argentino
Dogo Argentino is also known as the Argentinean Mastiff. These dogs seem to have a worse reputation than the Pit Bulls when it comes to lists of most dangerous or most aggressive dogs.
It’s not a widely known breed and certainly not a dog you hear of often. White and very large, these dogs have almost no markings on their bodies. Any type of marking will consider the dog flawed.
Dogo Argentino breed was bred for hunting big game and being a loyal guard dog and are often considered as one of the best-hunting dogs for very specific types of hunts.
Even though the Dogo Argentino is considered a dangerous breed, they are good with children if they socialized with them from a young age.
Some experts say that most of the aggressive traits were bred out, and even though this is the case, Dogo Argentino dogs (alongside a few other breeds on this list) are still banned in Australia, United Kingdom, Ukraine, and Singapore.
In the UK, it is illegal to own this breed or a Pit Bull unless the authorities have been notified about it.
Independent and powerful, the Akita breed isn’t a dog for a first-time owner. This dog breed has a dominant personality which means they might just walk all over someone who is new to owning a dog. The Akita is aloof when it comes to strangers and doesn’t care very much for anyone outside of their family.
If not trained properly, Akita dogs can become aggressive and territorial. They have bitten people in the past because of these reasons, as this story describes. Statistics speak for themselves, and it's surprising to see Akita as one of the most dangerous dogs. Be cautious when your dog is dealing with unfamiliar animals, especially smaller dog breeds.
Akitas are not very tolerant of other dogs who are of the same sex as they are, which means it will be better to own a male and female if you'd like to have two. This breed has an affinity for children, especially if they’ve grown up in a household where there are kids present.
Another time to practice caution with Akitas is when it comes to their dog food. They will react aggressively when bothered while eating, and this resource guarding behavioral issue needs to be addressed when the dog is still a puppy. Akitas makes wonderful pets with proper dog training; just don’t leave them unattended with other small animals.
4 Perro de Presa Canario
Perro de Presa Canario, a Mastiff dog breed derived from the Canary Islands, was bred to be a guard dog. They are very powerful, large dogs who have a love for swimming. Intelligent, calm, and self-confident sums up the Perro de Presa Canario. However, they are also often part of any list of most dangerous dogs for several reasons.
This breed is not for the inexperienced owner, and for anyone looking to adopt this dog, they should do lots of research. They are extremely suspicious of strangers and need very early training as well as socialization. But even with early training and social activities, these aggressive dogs still remain on guard, which could lead to trouble. High energy, high prey drive, and extremely territorial, the Perro de Presa Canario needs a job to do. Without proper exercise and stimulation, this breed may become destructive.
5 Gull Dong
The Gull Dong originates from Pakistan, and it's one of the rarest dog breeds. We don't see many Gull Dong dogs in the west. This beautiful dog can be wary and very suspicious of strangers, which might cause aggressive and dangerous behavior. They tend to have a grumpy nature and are not generally suited as family pets.
An experienced owner is a definite must when thinking of adopting one of these dogs. They have been known to turn on their owners before and are not suited for living in apartments and homes with small yards.
Given their size and strength and the fact that they are considered one of the most dangerous dog breeds, it's best to learn this breed well before adopting one (provided you can find them). These dogs thrive when living on farms and working.
The Doberman Pinscher breed was primarily bred to be intimidating, which makes sense that so many movies use this dog when scenes with scrapyards are present. They are known as one of the most aggressive dogs, but only because they’re known to protect their owners. That does not mean they are violent, but it does mean that a professional dog trainer is best used to train this breed.
Normally, anything that would seem like a threat to a Doberman's handler will immediately be met with ferocious tenacity from a Doberman Pinscher. Their main focus is always aggression. This breed is commonly used as a guard dog or for self-defense. They also rank pretty high on the dog bite statistics alongside Pit Bulls and Rottweilers.
Speaking of Rottweilers, this passive yet attentive large dog has long been considered as one of the most dangerous dogs and the most aggressive dog breed. It is one of those breeds that many people fear because of the news that follows them, and the statistics have shown this to be partially true. However, when raised from puppies and trained well, Rottweilers (or Rotties) can be wonderful pets and great guard dogs. Socialization is a must for them as puppies.
The Rottweiler is a very relaxed dog in general until it comes to their home and family is in danger, or what they may perceive as danger. Because of its large stature and strength, this dog breed is not one people tend to mess with.
8 German Shepherd
The German Shepherd is hands down one of the most favorite breeds for most people, right there with Huskies, even though a reputation as one of the most dangerous dogs in the world tends to follow them around, and rightfully so. This working breed has earned its name as the best police dog breed but can become aggressive and dangerous when it is not doing anything constructive to let out all that energy. They were bred to always be doing something, even if it’s a long run or hike.
The German Shepherd Dog (or GSD) cannot be left at home all day with nothing to do, and they need constant exercise. Otherwise, you’ll come home to a bored dog who will most likely knock you over, not to mention your house might be in shambles.
The German Shepherd isn’t good for any first-time dog owners either and should be trained with a lot of understanding and respect. GSDs are very loyal without fault and will protect their home and family to the death.
The Chow Chow is ranked high on the list as one of the most dangerous dog breeds in the world because they’ve been known to turn on their own handlers simply because they get bored. Usually considered a very lazy dog breed, they still require some exercise to expend their energy. Chow Chows don’t like any strangers and can be very irritable when they aren’t given an outlet.
This breed needs an owner with a strong personality who won’t allow this dog to walk all over them. As with most of the dangerous dogs on this list, it's imperative that the Chow Chow is properly trained and socialized at a young age to avoid aggression issues.
10 Tosa Inu
Another rare breed, particularly in the west, the Tosa Inu was bred in Japan. They were bred primarily as fighting dogs and are banned in some countries, like Dublin and Hong Kong. To this day, Tosa Inu (or just Tosa) are still used in dogfighting in many parts of the world and are easily one of the most dangerous dogs you can adopt.
This dog breed is known to bite their own owners, and it doesn’t help that they have extremely powerful jaws. As you have probably already guessed, the Tosa Inu is not a family pet and will not do well when there are children around. It will take many years to breed out all the bad trains that have led it to be the breed it is today.
This mean-looking dog was originally bred to be a hunting companion to avid hunters, and because of their strength, Cane Corso was great at catching mountain lions and boar.
This breed is one of the most dangerous dogs because they have a high prey drive and will be well suited with someone who is extremely well familiar with the breed and understands how to train and keep them. Nowadays, they're also becoming more popular as good police dogs.
The Cane Corso is not a good dog to own when you have kids in the family due to their unruly and rambunctious nature. They've never been known as great with kids, and they need training from a very early age and have to be socialized from puppyhood too.
Any dog with a wolf in its name will most certainly bring forth challenges and assumptions about that breed. There are several wolf-like dog breeds, but one, in particular, is simply called Wolfdog. It has a high prey drive and therefore needs to be exercised every single day to keep them from getting bored and becoming very aggressive and attacking other animals. Because of its large size, this breed can knock over children and even small adults when in a bad mood.
Mostly due to their breeding history, this is one of the most dangerous dog breeds and definitely not a dog for a first-time owner. The Wolfdog hybrid will thrive with someone who understands their needs and caters to them.
Any owner who owns these potentially dangerous dogs should have a strong personality as well and not allow the dog to do whatever he wants. There’s still a lot of wild in this breed, so make sure to do your research before venturing out and adopting one.
Rhodesian Ridgeback is also known as African Lion Hounds. These dogs did what their name entails. They hunted lions and kept farms and their stock safe from predators, which is what they were originally bred for.
Today, Rhodesian Ridgeback is much more family-friendly, and you can see them in many households. However, they are still considered as one of the most dangerous dogs due to their aggressive nature and a strong sense of prey drive. The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large dog who was built for strength and speed in particular. They are very cautious with strangers and will protect their families to no avail.
Boerboels, another rare dog breed, are very large and dangerous dogs. Their heads can sometimes be twice the size of ours. In fact, this dog breed was bred to keep lions and hyenas from picking up their owners' sheep and cattle, which should tell you something about their strength and fierceness.
The Boerboel tends to be a very passive dog in general, but once settled in with their family, they don’t take kindly to anyone they don’t know entering their property. This is another dog that needs a strong handler due to its size and somewhat strange attitude. It's best to keep them away from children and other animals unless they were raised alongside them as puppies.
Czechoslovakian Vlcak breed is another wolf and dog hybrid. Specifically, it's a mix between the German Shepherd and Carpathian Wolf and very much looks like the Wolf part of its breeding. The Czechoslovakian Vlcak is a courageous and fearless dog with a high prey drive. They are very intelligent and extremely curious animals who can run miles upon miles without tiring.
They are very loyal to their families, although when it comes to children, there should be supervised when the dog interacts with the kids. When it comes to strangers, they can be suspicious and very aloof, which makes them one of the most dangerous dog breeds.
This is an independent and dominant breed, so it’s definitely not for a first-time owner. They can’t be left alone for long periods of time, or they will howl for their family. This can lead to problems with neighbors. As with any other dog, and even more so, this breed needs lots of stimulation and exercise; otherwise, you will have a very big problem on hand.
16 Alaskan Malamute
A close cousin to Huskies, the Alaskan Malamute is not only another beautiful dog breed, but it's also one of the most dangerous dogs we have today. This slow learner is a large dog with a personality to match. They are resourceful and very intelligent, with a very high prey drive, which means being cautious when smaller animals are around.
The Alaskan Malamute is an unreliable watchdog and very difficult to train for most people. Training and socialization of an Alaskan Malamute are very important from a young age because this breed can be very aggressive towards other dogs. It's best to avoid adopting this dog as an adult unless you really know what you're doing.
Many people don't think of the Boxer as one of the most dangerous dogs. However, it's only very partially true. Normally, Boxers are a playful and high-energy breed with a powerful bite and a very strong jaw. They can be distrustful towards strangers due to their instinctive guardian-like persona when it concerns their family.
The Boxer is amazing with children and widely considered a family pet. Surprising for a dog that makes the list of one of the most dangerous dog breeds, but they're so fiercely loyal that they are really only a danger to other animals and people who aren't in their family.
They tend to be headstrong and need consistent training from puppyhood. As a working breed, the Boxer needs lots of stimulation and exercise. Positive reinforcement is the best way to train any Boxer. This breed can be standoffish towards larger breed dogs of the same sex but really enjoy the company of smaller dogs.
One of the oldest known breeds to man, the Husky very closely resembles the wolf. These dogs were bred to pull sleds and work and to see how popular they are; it may be surprising to some to know that it's also considered as one of the most dangerous dog breeds. They have very high energy and, therefore, need an owner who will put all that energy to good use.
The Siberian Husky tends to be wild and somewhat skittish, so early dog training methods and puppy socialization is a must. Getting your Husky puppy used to different situations, people, and also other animals (particularly small breeds or cats) is extremely important.
The Husky has a high prey drive, so it won’t be wise to leave them alone with other small animals in general. Due to the fact that they can be skittish, unfamiliar places and sudden movements might cause this dog to get into the protective mode and bite.
The British cousin to our American mentioned above, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, also affectionately known as the Staffy, this dog has a reputation that doesn’t seem to fit the bill. Fearless, loyal, energetic, and strong-willed, all this dog needs is a lot of stimulation, training, and early socialization to keep him out of trouble. Nevertheless, it's still one of the breeds to watch out for.
The only thing that makes this one of the most dangerous dogs is that it doesn’t like other dogs very much, but they are good with kids. Either way, this is something that can be worked on from puppyhood, and with proper training methods, it can be easily solved.
20 Saint Bernard
Saint Bernard is last on the list, but surely will be surprising for anyone who has seen “Beethoven” movies. Unfortunately, these large dogs, with their passive temperaments, are not easy to train, which eventually has put them on the list of the most dangerous dogs in the world (although nowhere near the top).
Shy and timid, Saint Bernards who end up in situations that spooks them can lead to dangerous outbursts and show a lot of aggressive behavior towards everybody around. Their size and strength are what hits another mark.
They aren’t easy to train and tend to have a headstrong attitude when it comes to doing what they’re told. This seems to be a bigger problem with males because of their dominant personalities. Socialization and training are very important when adopting this breed, but they do make amazing companions when given the right tools.