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Some dogs have intimidating bark and some dogs have intimidating size, but which breeds are the most intimidating looking? It’s hard to tell from a photo how big a dog really is, so we created this list of dog breeds that look like they belong in the horror genre.

So which scary-looking dogs look like they are probably been owned by the Mafia? The top 3 scary-looking dogs are Tibetian Mastiffs, Kangals, and Pitbulls. Kangals and Tibetian Mastiffs, in particular, are massive as well, easily inducing fear on their targets if charged upon. Unsurprisingly, some of these dogs are banned in several countries too.

17. Boerboel

One look at the Boerboel, and it is easy to see why the Mafia would own one. This pooch is large and muscular and has a strong bone structure. The Boerboel was bred by South African farmers who wanted an intimidating and strong guard for their homesteads.

Boerboels are lazy when left to their own devices, but quick to jump into action when they sense danger. They are highly protective, territorial, and loyal, so they hardly ever leave their master’s side.

16. Bullmastiff

A Bullmastiff is a cross between an English Mastiff and a Bulldog. This means it inherits the large size of the Mastiff and the solid build of a Bulldog. If you have watched Rocky, then you have seen one before (Rocky’s pet Butkus).

Bullmastiffs were bred to guard estates, meaning they’re guard dogs by nature. They are aggressive dogs when they need to be and are highly suspicious of strangers. However, they are extremely loyal and laid-back with family members.

15. Caucasian Shepherd

The Caucasian Shepherd was bred to protect livestock and homesteads in the Caucasus mountains. This large and furry mountain pooch is so strong that it could fend off bears. It’s also a great hunter.

Fast forward to modern times, the Caucasian Shepherd is mostly used to guard prisons. It is also intelligentloyal, and strong-willed, something that makes it a great personal guard dog. It has an impressive resume the Mafia can’t pass up.

14. Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies have a wolf-like appearance and a tendency to prefer howling over barking. They’re mid-sized dogs with tremendous agility and energy. From afar, a Siberian Husky might seem frightening, but they’re one of the friendliest breeds on the planet and a popular sled dog. 

Siberian Huskies are non-aggressive and non-territorial in nature and love to play with anyone. I’m sure anyone, including Mafia, would like a good pet for their kids to play with. However, when agitated, they have been known to lash out.

13. Akita

Looking at the Akita’s head, you’d think it’s a cross between a wolf and a bear, which is very frightening. These dogs originated in ancient Japan, where they served as companions for samurai. Akitas are considered to be dangerous and hardy breeds.

They don’t like strangers and will attack them on site. But they are also good and affectionate with children, especially when trained. Any Mafia wouldn’t hesitate to leave their family under this dog’s protection.

12. Dobermann

With its long muzzle, erect ears, black coat, and medium-large size, petting a Doberman is the last thing you’d think of. The primary purpose of breeding the Doberman was for personal protection. If an owner is getting attacked, a Doberman would not hesitate to save them.

On the other hand, Dobermans are highly intelligent. They are also obedient and good with commands. However, they have aggression issues and can be stubborn, which doesn’t make them great companions.

11. Neapolitan Mastiff

Two words that describe the Neapolitan Mastiff are size and power. And if that is not scary enough, its heavily-wrinkled face with loose skin always makes this pooch look like it is not pleased. Its closest relative is the Cane Corso (well-known Mafia dogs).

The Neapolitan Mastiff was bred for big game hunts and protection. This pooch has made an appearance in pop culture as a Mafia dog. It appeared as the pet of Mafia Boss Dominic Cattano in the movie American Gangster.

10. Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentino is an Argentinian white beauty used in big game hunts. Its size coupled with its muscular body and cropped ears is what makes it look very scary. Another reason this dog was bred was to be loyal and protective.

One of Dogo Argentino’s ancestors is the now-extinct Cordoba Dog, which was known to be fearless and ferocious. Despite this, their intelligence helps them distinguish family from strangers. This makes them extremely good guard dogs.

9. Presa Canario

The Presa Canario is another large and muscular Mastiff that was bred for herding livestock and dogfighting. To make this pooch look scarier, owners typically crop their ears. That way, their ears always look erect and alert.

Presa Canario is super aggressive and highly suspicious of strangers. This is a bad combo but it makes them great guard dogs for the Mafia and other gangs. In the wrong hands, these pooches have been known to kill.

8. Great Dane

Great Danes are scary-looking dogs because compared to regular-sized dogs, they are not just large but giants. While you’d think that their size would make them aggressive, they are known as the gentle giant of dogs. They also make great family pets.

Why would the Mafia want a Great Dane? They are known to be exceptionally fearless and loyal guard dogs. If one wants a dog that can protect their family, Great Danes are a great choice.

7. Tosa Inu

The Tosa Inu is a Japanese Mastiff and is known to be one of the most aggressive dogs in the world. In some parts of the UK and Ireland, you can’t own this dog without a license to show you can handle it. Its temper towards humans (strangers in particular) and other animals is legendary.

So why the aggression? It was bred to be a fighter. Yakuza (Japanese Mafia) use Tosa Inus in dogfighting tournaments even today.

6. Cane Corso

Large, black, and big muzzle, the Cane Corso is an intimidating dog by the look of it. This breed is an Italian Mastiff and is a great tracker and guard dog. Due to their loyalty and gentle nature, they mostly serve as companion dogs.

Although law enforcement uses these dogs a lot, they have a more popular name: Corsican Mafia house dogs. They are mostly used by the Sicilian Mafia to guard bosses. Even the Yakuza has been known to use them.

5. German Shepherd

If you look at many modern police units or military forces, they will probably use German Shepherds in some capacity. These large and muscular dogs are great workers and can be trained to follow a variety of commands. They’re intelligent, loyal, and extremely courageous. 

While not particularly aggressive in nature, when it comes down to it, a German Shepherd will lay down its life for its owner. They have been known to guard bosses in the Italian Mafia and Yakuza. And they are probably going to do the same for the 46th POTUS.

4. Rottweiler

Rottweilers hail from Germany, where they were bred to guard homesteads. And due to their size and strength, they were also used to pull meat carts to market. Their intelligence makes them easy to train and their loyalty makes them possessive and territorial.

I can see why the Mafia would want these dogs for protection. Nothing is scarier than a big, black, and muscular dog. And if trained well, they can also be taught to attack command.

3. Pitbull

Pitbulls have a reputation for being very vicious and aggressive. They are the biggest contributors to deaths from dog bites in the United States. Funny enough, they also have a reputation for being very good with people they are familiar with.

People find Pitbulls to be scary thanks to their lean and muscular build. They are very strong dogs too. The Mafia have been known to use them in illegal dogfighting tournaments since they’re aggressive and strong.

2. Kangal

The Kangal dog breed was bred to protect sheep. Thanks to its tall front legs, the Kangal looks slightly taller and intimidating than your average large dog. Kangals are more guardians dogs than guard dogs.

A Kangal’s first instinct is to protect its master rather than attack the threat. So when someone or something is going to attack the pooch’s master, the Kangal won’t hesitate to step in the middle. Plus, they have the strongest bite force (743 psi), meaning no one wants to get bitten by a Kangal that’s protecting its Mafia boss.

1. Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiffs are believed to be strong enough to kill a tiger and they look it. Anyone would want such an impressive dog for protection. Plus, their large size and abundance of fur make them look like behemoths.

Tibetan Mastiffs can be stubborn and difficult to control (this is made worse by their intelligence). This dog is not recommended for newbie dog owners. However, they are highly protective and will usually show restraint before attacking a threat.

Related Questions

What dog has killed the most humans? Pitbulls have killed the most humans. DogBite.org released a report in 2018, detailing dog bite statistics in the United States between 2005 and 2017. 433 deaths occurred during that period with 284 deaths being attributed to Pitbulls. That means Pitbulls killed about 66% of people during that period.

Which dog breed is the ugliest? The Chinese Crested, a Chinese dog breed, is the ugliest dog breed, as agreed by a vast majority of people. If you read any list of ugliest dogs on the planet, the Chinese Crested will probably take the top spot. Contenders include the Neapolitan Mastiff, Mexican Hairless, Komondor, Puli, and English Bull Terrier. Check out our article on 18 of the the ugliest dog breeds.

What dog breed has the scariest bark? When it comes to the scariest dog bark, German Shepherds top the list. Their bark is not only loud, but it is also powerful and frightening. These dogs have been known to bark a lot. Luckily, their intelligence allows them to learn a bunch of useful commands, including the quiet command.

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