Dangerous dogs are a controversial topic in the world of pets. Whether you think they are misunderstood or that they should be completely banned, there is no denying the impact they have had of pet ownership trends and regulations. As a dog enthusiast, it is always important to acquaint yourself with problematic pooches whether you want one or want to avoid accidentally bringing one home.

Pitbulls, Rottweilers, and Doberman pinschers are some of the most recognizable dangerous dog breeds. But you will be surprised to find out that popular doggies like the Dalmatian, Labrador Retriever, and cute-faced Boxers are just as formidable. Let’s take a closer look.

32. Dalmatian

To be honest, the famous animated film featuring this iconic breed may not have portrayed the most accurate picture of what it is like to live with a dalmatian.

They got a few things right of course including their high intelligence, friendly nature, and their spirited nature. However, not many people realize just how dangerous these spotted beauties can be.

This side usually comes out with abused and neglected dalmatians where they develop a strong mistrust for humans.

31. Labrador Retriever

The labrador retriever has been the highest ranked dog breed by the American Kennel Club for several years now. They are super intelligent, very friendly, and generally easy to deal with. That is why it is so odd to imagine them as dangerous dogs.

But this is actual reality as these pooches can be very vicious in the right settings. This usually happens as a result of mistreatment from an early age.

30. Dobermann

The Doberman pinscher is a very elegant dog with its strong features and graceful agility. The highly intelligent dog has been used for centuries in law enforcement and the military for everything from tracking to guarding.

As with the rottweiler, an untraumatized and well trained and socialized Doberman should not be too problematic to strangers. However, they are capable of the most grizzly attacks especially if they feel that you are a threat to them and their families.

29. Great Dane

The great dane is one of the largest dog breeds in the world. For the most part, they are considered gentle giants with their calm temperament and undying devotion to their families.

However, their size alone makes them very dangerous to get on the wrong side of. This is because they are very hard to fight off when they get aggressive.

They are also not very gentle and should not be left alone with children and other small pets.

28. St. Bernard

If you know anything about the St. Bernard, it might seem like an odd entry into our list of most dangerous dog breeds. I mean the dog was literally bred to save human lives by working as a rescue pooch on the Swiss Alps.

For the most part, they are the very embodiment of the “gentle giant” personality with their even-temperedness and their friendliness even towards strangers.

However, they have been known to get very aggressive especially when psychologically frustrated. This also happens a lot in cases of trauma early on in the dog’s life.

27. Alaskan Malamute

Image from Instagram:@iamcoyam

This dog is often confused for other breeds including spitz types like the samoyed, husky, and Greenland dog.

In addition to subtle physical differences, the Alaskan malamute stands out from its relatives mainly in terms of the temperament.

Generally speaking, these dogs are fantastic companion pets. They tend to get along even with strangers and rarely ever bark. However, if you have other dogs or smaller pets in your home, things may get a little complicated as those circumstances trigger the malamute’s aggressive side.

26. Bullmastiff

This dog is a cross between two of the most fearsome and brave hunting breeds in dog history which are the Old English Bulldog and the English Mastiff. 

More often than not, bullmastiff dogs get along with children, strangers, and even small pets.

However, males in this breed are very territorial. They therefore often get into problems with other males whether they are bullmastiffs or other dog breeds. In these cases, spaying is probably the best solution.

25. Perro de Presa Canario

This is also known as the Canary mastiff after the Spanish island where they originated. What is probably the most intimidating thing about these dogs is their strong face. With its broad features and powerful jaw, this is very clearly a dog you do not want to get mad 

Due to their history as fighting, hunting and guard dogs, the Canary mastiffs can be quite dangerous. Even with training and socialization, they have been known to attack indiscriminately including a number of attacks against their actual owners.

24. Bull Terrier

The bull terrier is probably not the first thing anyone thinks about when they are considering dangerous dog breeds. All they seem to bring to the table is their weird aesthetic and impressive athleticism. 

But do not let that weird but lovable little face fool you. These dogs can be quite dangerous especially towards strangers and other animals as they are very protective and territorial. They can also be very stubborn making reeling them back in difficult.

23. German Shepherd

The German Shepherd has been one of the most popular dog breeds in the world for a very long time and currently sits at the number 2 position on the American Kennel Club’s 2019 ranking. Its popularity is probably a reason why the 46th POTUS has two.

With its high intelligence, devotion to its family, and obedience levels, it is not so hard to see why.

Despite all this awesome stuff there is to say about them, there is no ignoring the fact that they can be very dangerous attack dogs. Their ability to do harm manifest in the fact that they are often employed as a police dogs in many countries.

22. Belgian Malinois

This dog resembles the German shepherd in more ways than one from the appearance to the temperament. They are actually sometimes referred to as the Belgian shepherds.

Like their German counterparts, these doggies are often only dangerous when commanded to attack by their handlers. They are actually very popular in the United States for use in law enforcement.

This includes their use as guard dogs for the White House grounds because they are the Secret Service’s exclusively chosen dog breed for their canine taskforce.

21. Boerboel

The Boerboel is a giant dog breed weighing in at around 110 to 180 pounds and measuring 24 to 30 inches in height. The dog is native to South Africa where it was used mainly to guard homes and livestock.

They are very territorial and wary of strangers and can be very dangerous if not socialized early enough. They are also very energetic and need plenty of exercise to avoid outbursts due to inadequate stimulation.

20. Wolfdog

Image from Instagram

This is a combination between a wolf and any breed of dog. Due to the innately wild nature of the wolf bloodline, the resulting mixed breed will most likely be very difficult to tame and control. This is why they are banned in so many places around the world.

They also tend to be driven by dangerous instincts and can pose a serious danger to children and small pets.

They also tend to be more dangerous when mixed with equally aggressive, large breeds.

19. Giant Schnauzer

The giant schnauzer is the large version of the standard schnauzer and can grow up to 28 inches and more than 100 pounds. Like its other two relatives, this breed is known for its unique form and signature bearded snout.

In order to understand the source of this dog’s aggressive streak, it is necessary to have an idea of how it came about. Breeding experts and dog historians believe that its development included mixing a wide variety of dogs including aggressive breeds like boxers, rottweilers, great danes, and German shepherds.

18. Chihuahua

Let’s take a break from all the big guys and look at smaller but almost equally as troublesome breeds.

The first is the chihuahua. These little dogs are very aggressive. More often than not, all they do is charge and bark and will rarely cause serious harm to able adults. Attacks on young children and small pets may be more serious but they are rarely fatal.

Whatever the case, it is best to get them trained and socialized early to avoid any incidents.

17. Japanese Akita

The Japanese Akita dogs are very popular in the country second only to the shiba inu. When trained properly and cared for adequately, these are some of the best dogs to live with.

They can occasionally be a bit stubborn and mischievous but they are generally very friendly, loyal, and affectionate.

However, a traumatized akita is one of the most dangerous dogs. They are quite sensitive to mistreatment and will eventually start to lash out violently.

16. Siberian Husky

This is another super popular dog breed that not many pooch enthusiasts realize could be super dangerous.

Siberian Huskies are incredibly smart. You have probably come across a video of one using a human toilet or saying “hello” and there is truly nothing as amusing.

Despite this, they can be very impatient with mistreatment, and volatile. This is why they commonly attack children who rough handle them especially if they haven’t been adequately socialized.

15. Jack Russell Terrier

Jack Russell Terriers may be small but they pack quite a punch as far as aggression goes. They are known for being some of the most sensitive and physically intolerant of all dog breeds.

Any rough handling will be met with violent retaliation including barking and biting. This makes them particularly dangerous to have around children as they have the same reactions even when it is obviously unintentional.

However, they can get along with the little humans if the socialization starts at an early puppy age.

14. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

Staffordshire bull terriers have a sort of yo-yo personality depending on the specific circumstances and how comfortable they feel.

When they are around people that they trust, they are highly affectionate and very friendly. In these cases, they could even get along with strangers who approach cautiously.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, these doggies can be quite aggressive. This happens when they feel threatened. Their bold and protective nature may lead them to aggressive outbursts ranging from barking fits to chasing and biting.

13. Dachshund

Dachshunds are typically very playful dogs with an impressive zest for life. They are often distrusting of strangers if they are not socialized early and this trait is the root of most of their aggression issues.

They usually react to stress or suspicion with barking but they could also bite especially when dealing with other animals.

In spite of the fact that they are very devoted doggies, doxies can actually also turn against their owners.

12. Tosa

The tosa inu from Japan is naturally a very even-tempered pooch that rarely shows aggression towards human beings.

However, it is evident from their use as blood sport dogs that they have an aggressive side. This usually only comes out when they are provoked either by abuse or strangers who approach intimidatingly. Their impressive strength and agility also makes them very formidable foes to have.

Otherwise, it is a very friendly dog especially when adequately socialized.

11. Bernese Mountain Dogs

It is important to note that the Bernese mountain dog is one of the friendliest dogs on our list towards humans. This counts whether it is an adult or a child as they are very patient, friendly and affectionate.

However, they have definitely earned their spot on this list with their colorful history of aggression mainly towards other pets. These dogs are very territorial especially the unspayed males and are very likely to attack any pets that they feel threaten their dominion.

10. Dogo Argentino

This dog breed was specifically developed to display traits like being brave and protective and that is exactly what was achieved. Given their mean streak, it is safe to say that the breeders may just have done their job a little too well.

These dogs can be very aggressive towards humans. They often start with warning barks and growls before going in for the potentially deadly attacks. It is therefore best to walk away if you feel you have pissed one off.

9. Caucasian Shepherd Dog

This is yet another breed that though typically calm can be volatile when adequately provoked.

The fact that they are built like bears in terms of their size and intimidating appearance does not make it any easier to approach one fearlessly.

In addition to their size, their dangerous nature can be associated with other factors including the fact that they are very brave, dominant, and they take time to warm up to unfamiliar people and animals.

8. Gull Dong

Unfortunately, aggression and general mistrust for humans and other animals has been hammered into this dog breed’s psyche for a long time given their use in dog fights.

They have also served other aggression-based tasks including working as hunting dogs as well as personal protection as guard dogs.

As a result of their volatile nature, these dogs have been banned from several countries all over the world both in public settings and at-home companionship.

7. Chow Chow

Chow chows are pretty low key dogs and tend to keep to themselves most of the time. They choose to bond with very few people who they are exposed to often and will just have an aloof attitude towards anyone else.

They can be aggressive to human beings especially if they feel that either their own safety or that of their family is at risk.

However, their aggression is more often than not directed towards other dogs.

6. Fila Brasileiro

This is also known as the Brazilian mastiff and is easily one of the most intimidating dogs on our list as far as looks go. The massive pooch weighs 80 to 110 pounds and measures 25 to 30 inches and has one of the most powerful jaws.

They are bred to be aggressive and protective for use as guard dogs and this is a job that they do very well. With their build, physical prowess, and personality, this is definitely a dog you do not want to be acting suspicious around.

5. Bandog

The bandog is a mix of some of the most intimidating breeds including the English Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Pit Bull Terrier, and American Staffordshire Terrier.

These dogs are known for being very intelligent, loyal, and protective. With proper socialization, they can live peacefully in homes even those with children.

However, this is a waste of their true talents as they are happiest doing guarding jobs where they make use of talents like their alertness, agility, and bravery

4. Czechoslovakian Wolfdog

This is the result of mixing between a German shepherd and a Carpathian grey wolf. That information alone is enough for you to understand why the Czechoslavakian wolfdog has a cozy spot on our list of deadly dogs.

While they can be trained and socialized to be calm and social, their default setting is distrusting and aggressive. They will not hesitate to return to these ways if for any reason they feel they have to defend themselves.

3. Boxer

The deustch boxer is another very unexpected entry into our list of aggressive dog breeds. There is just something about their cute little, smooshed in faces that makes them more adorable than they are scary.

Don’t let the heart melting cuteness fool you. These dogs are among the most dangerous on our list. They can be very volatile and often go for potentially deadly bites over barking when they are really ticked off.

2. Rottweiler

Unlike the pitbull, the rottweiler is not a natural trouble maker. However, they are very confident and mistrusting of strangers. They also have a long history of use as guard dogs and have developed a pension for attacking suspicious individuals.

For the most part, if you do not ruffle their feathers, or fur, there is very little cause for them to attack you. But with their strength and resilience, an attack is the last thing you want to deal with.

1. Pitbull

The pitbull is without a doubt the most infamous dog breed when it comes to attacks. They just seem to go after anyone from strangers and other pets to their very owners.

This is largely due to their aggressive and territorial temperament. Their sheer strength and powerful bite do not make matters easier and in fact result in increased rates of fatalities from pitbull attacks.

However, with early obedience training, socialization, and a ton of safety measures, they can be kept as companion dogs.

Related Questions

What Dog Has Killed The Most Humans? The pitbull is the single most implicated dog breed when it comes to fatal attacks on humans. In the United States alone, they account for more than 60% of these tragedies. This is largely due to their powerful bite and sheer strength as well as their headstrong, aggressive personalities. Even with socialization and obedience training, caution is still advisable.

Which Dog Can Kill A Lion? The Rhodesian ridgeback is widely believed to be one of the only dog breeds capable of killing a lion. This is not entirely true. While the breed may be large, strong, and fearless enough to pose a credible threat, they rarely go for actual physical attacks. Instead, they were used to corner the wild cats by intimidating them with their agility and barking.

What Dogs Are Banned In The USA? Different dog breeds are banned in different jurisdictions within the USA with the most commonly banned including wolfdogs, pitbulls, and the Dobermann pinscher. Other lesser known breeds include the presa canario, fila brasireilo, and cane corso. The degree of control varies with some states and cities banning the dogs completely and others strongly restricting their public.

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