GENERAL BREED INFO

Most Dangerous Dogs: The Darkest Top 10 for Pet Owners

Appearances can be deceiving
John Walton
Written by John Walton

The most dangerous dogs in the world might look really cute and harmless until something triggers an aggressive behavior. Dogs that are considered dangerous don’t necessarily need to look fierce in order to manifest in an unwanted way. Because of this reason, the lists with fearsome dogs often contain dog breeds such as Chow Chow, Dalmatian and Siberian Husky. Although the number of these lists is considerable and sometimes their components do not match, it is good to know that some dogs are more dangerous than others because of their nature.

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However, any dog can become dangerous if it finds itself in a confusing situation and it doesn’t know how to react or if it is not used to be around people or around other animals.

Fierce dog breeds listed as top 10

In their attempt to put together a list of top 10 most dangerous dogs, specialists came up with the following dog breeds: Boxer, Presa Canario, Chow Chow, Alaskan Malamute, Siberian Husky, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Rottweiler, Pit Bull and Dalmatian.

They have considered specific aspects that aren’t only related to a dog’s size or other physical characteristics, but mostly related to their innate instincts and the way they might react in certain stressful or threatening situations that may look inoffensive to any dog owner. The order in which these dog breeds, and their unique characteristics are presented is not at all relevant.

Pit Bull #1

Pit Bulls weigh between 55 and 66 pounds. They have a powerful jaw, fact which is their most defining physical feature. When they attack, they aim towards a person’s neck. This is because they were trained to be aggressive a long time ago. A canine specimen belonging to this dog breed is fearless and it can defeat almost any opponent by using its fangs until it kills. In addition, Pit Bulls were trained to fight other dogs and they are known to be dangerous for people as well. Educating such dog is not impossible, but it might be ineffective in some situations.

Pit Bull infographic

Even if a Pit Bull is trained to be friendly and it is used to having people and other animals around it, it can still develop an aggressive behavior when it reaches maturity. Thus, it is advisable for every owner of a Pit Bull to avoid its interaction with other dogs unless they are strictly supervised and have the knowledge on how to separate two dogs when they start fighting.

Furthermore, these dogs need firm training and an owner that can dominate them and take responsibility for them. A Pit Bull can be stubborn, demanding and prone to develop unwanted behaviors towards other male dogs more than female dogs and humans.

Rottweiler #2

A Rottweiler has a minimum weight of 100 pounds and it is an animal with a highly developed sense of territory. Thus, it tends to be very aggressive when a person or another animal invades its personal space. Although it is an excellent guard dog, it requires intensive training because otherwise it could attack others, including its owner. Because of all these reasons, it is considered among the most dangerous dog breeds.

What triggers their aggressiveness is the feeling of someone trying to take over their territory. This tendency can be explained since they were used to guards flocks of sheep. Therefore, they were guarding and protecting them at the same time, keeping anyone and anything away from them.

Rottweiler dog breed

A Rottweiler can sometimes act in a mischievous way and be mildly aggressive, but this happens rarely if its owner has taken care of its training since it was a pup. It can become very devoted and loving in time. In addition, it is intelligent and calm with a strong personality and often ambitions. If it is attacked or provoked, it turns into a strong fighter that doesn’t give up easily. A Rottweiler is confident and obeys to only one person who is preferably dominant and knows how to handle it without investing too much energy or resources in it.

If you think that this may be the breed for you despite being labelled as one of the most dangerous dog breeds, you should definitely check out more in our article dedicated to the Rottweiler.

German Shepherd #3

German Shepherds are very intelligent, strong and weight between 55 and 66 pounds. They are very good guard dogs, but they tend to become aggressive if someone provokes them or if they think that someone provokes them. Because once they get irritated they are hard to calm down, they are considered dangerous to both other pets and humans.

However, dogs from this breed are very intelligent and vigilant. These qualities make them useful in search and rescue missions. Also, they are known to be trustworthy, fearless, strong and easy to train. Among the 10 favorite dog breeds from the US, German Shepherds are loyal and useful if they receive proper training.

German Shepherd aggressive dog breed

This dog is affectionate, it doesn’t have high demands and it protects its master when he or she is in danger. Breeders and fans of German Shepherds think that this type of dog knows the difference between a dangerous situation and a harmless one. It is said that it has the ability to see the difference if it is trained by a specialist.

In general, this quadruped is direct and bold, not hostile, but rather confident. When it is approached from distance, it stands still because it wants to prove its confident nature and calmness at the same time. However, it might become unpredictable.

Siberian Husky #4

A Siberian Husky usually weights around 66 pounds and it is an energetic dog. Although it is intelligent, it is also the type of dog with a temper. Its unpredictable behavior is among the reasons why it is considered dangerous. A Siberian Husky is not considered a good guard dog because it looks and acts gentle. This happens until it attacks people out of the blue. However, it is useful in search and rescue missions.

As for its origins, it has first appeared in North Asia, where it was used to pull sleds by the Normandy populations. Brought in Alaska in 1909, the Siberian Husky was trained to participate in different kind of races that highlighted their incredible strength and endurance.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies are known to withstand freezing temperatures without problems and they can run around in snow for hours. Somehow, the fact that their ancestors were sled dogs is impregnated in their nature.

Having to survive and do chores all day made them resistant, but also gave them an incredible independent way of handling things and reacting in different situations. However, just as any other dog type, the Siberian Husky can be trained and controlled in most situations. Their unpredictability is manageable by most owners who choose to have such dog as a close friend and pet around the house.

Interested in taking this breed home with you? You’d do best to read up more on the Siberian Husky before you do.

Alaskan Malamute #5

Energetic, intelligent and devoted, the Alaskan Malamute can weigh up to 100 pounds. Even if it doesn’t attack without being provoked, it can become unpredictable when it is not properly trained and when its energy is not channeled towards positive activities.

Being a very energetic and active dog means that it can destroy everything around it and it can become aggressive if it gets bored. An Alaskan Malamute needs plenty of exercise in order to be happy. However, it is a loyal dog that manifests its friendly side especially with children. It is also very smart, but independent and has a strong personality as well.

Alaskan Malamute

This dog breed was created by a tribe in the northwest side of Alaska and it was used for pulling sledges. Because of that, it has adapted to the harshest weather conditions. This dog was more useful for transportation than for participating in different races.

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Nowadays, even if it is considered friendly, it can sometimes become stubborn and be hard to handle. In most situations, only a specialist can provide a consistent and balanced training for such canine specimen. The exception is valid in case of firm owners who have experience when it comes to educating dogs and teaching them to behave.

Doberman Pinscher #6

Doberman Pinschers weigh between 77 and 88 pounds. They are very intelligent, loyal and vigilant, qualities that are perfect for a guard dog. Despite the fact that they are very attached to their families, Doberman Pinschers show an increased aggression level towards people who seem threatening in any way.

Thus, training is necessary for this dog breed in order to control its aggressive impulses. They can act like real bodyguards and if they are provoked, they can become very aggressive. However, it seems that they only attack in order to defend their property or to protect their families if they are in danger.

Doberman Pinscher

This dog breed was created in Germany in the late nineteenth century and brought to its current form in time. It is the result of several crossings between the German Pinscher, the Rottweiler, the English Greyhound, the Weimaraner and the Manchester Terrier. Thus, it retains certain behavior characteristics that are present in every dog breed mentioned above.

Since it’s a complex dog, it can serve as a pet or it can be used in army and police operations after a period of specialized training and practice. They are great at attending blind people and protecting them in diverse situations.

However, this breed still has a lot going for it, which you can discover in our article about the Doberman Pinscher.

Presa Canario #7

Presa Canario is a dog breed originated from the Canary Islands. It was trained for hunting and fighting, so its physique is well developed, weighting between 77 and 114 pounds. Extremely aggressive when provoked or when it predicts danger, Presa Canario is not known to let go of its prey unless it is unconscious or even dead.

Also known as the canary dog, Presa Canario is a massive dog with innate protective skills. However, it can become a reason to be scared for both other dogs and people because of its strong and dominant character, as well as sharpness and calm appearance.

Presa Canario dog

Presa Canario gets along just fine with other dogs that have a weaker character. In addition, it seems to like opposite sex dogs more than male dogs when it comes to a casual interaction. Training is not an easy process for this type of dog because it is dominant and needs to learn what submission and obedience means. This can only be achieved through constant sessions of training and endless patience from the owner’s side. Any dog can be tamed at some point regardless of its level of aggressiveness or its difficult personality.

Chow Chow #8

Although the name and the appearance of a Chow Chow don’t imply that it would be aggressive, this type of dog can become very violent when it interacts with strangers. Born in China, these dogs can act very aggressively even if they look like innocent teddy bears. Their personality and strong will contribute to their dangerousness.

Excessive attention determines them to become distant and sedentary without feeling good enough to humor their owners or meet new people for that matter. They are capricious and really sweet at the same time, but appearances can definitely be deceiving in their case.

Aggressive Chow Chow

Chow chow is a dog that puts trainers in difficultly. It is among the hardest dog breeds to train. Therefore, only specialists can handle them in a professional way. This is because they are experienced, calm, authoritative and balanced as well. Their training sessions must be firm, consistent and balanced too. Furthermore, it needs to participate in different activities because its energy level is medium and it tends to use it in all the wrong ways. From its utility point of view, a Chow chow is a very good watchdog and lately is increasingly sought as a pet.

Dalmatian #9

Although sensitive, Dalmatians can often be aggressive with people. However, most times they are only too active, so they need plenty of exercise in order to behave less threatening. This dog breed is known for its intelligence, independence and survival instincts.

All these are proof that they can be trained. It makes a good companion for the right owner and it becomes dangerous occasionally if it is not kept under control or something takes it by surprise. As a curiosity, former president of the United States, George Washington liked dogs and Dalmatians in particular, being fond of their looks and personality.

Angry Dalmatian

The name of this breed supposedly comes from the Dalmatian region situated near the Adriatic Sea. Despite this assumption, the ancestors of this breed were not found. One of the most probable theories says that it comes from the crossbreeding between Bradak Bull Terriers or from Bengal and English Pointers.

During the eighteenth and nineteenth century, Dalmatians were used to guard people and their goods. In our days, this dog breed has gained popularity after the well-known movie called “101 Dalmatians” that was very appreciated and loved especially by children and by grownups almost to the same extent.

If you think this breed would make a great addition to your family, find out what you’re really getting into by reading up on the Dalmatian so that you’re aware of the breed’s characteristics and personality traits.

Boxer #10

A Boxer usually weighs about 55 pounds and it was initially used for hunting. It may become aggressive and dangerous in the presence of outsiders, but also in strange situations like playing certain games by stimulating its primal instincts. Even the name of this breed suggests violence.

Boxer dogs

However, while they worked as police dogs for the German forces, this name made sense. Actually, their courage goes way back during World War II and World War I when they worked as messengers. Things have changed nowadays, but their degree of usefulness in certain situations is still much appreciated.

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Other than that, it is an intelligent, curious, eager to learn, vigilant, lively, even exuberant and quite active dog. Cheerful and friendly especially with children, Boxers are especially loyal and attached to their owners. In fact, they are suspicious when it comes to strangers and in some circumstances they may become violent.

Not noisy, Boxers use barking only in alarming situations. Training them, just as the other dangerous dogs, is quite tricky. This matter is not something experienced trainers can’t solve, but it is a problem if their owners do not focus on its training sessions with or without professional help.

Conclusions for violence in dogs

As seen, these dog breeds appeared in times when dogs were not used as pets. They were working dogs that were actually helpful to people living in cold areas of the world, such as Alaska. Despite that kind, there were also dogs used in violent cases or dogs that had to survive wars and serve the people involved in them. Because of all these reasons, the fact that they might be dangerous in certain situations is explicable. However, since there are so many training methods applied by professional trainers in the modern society, they should not represent a danger anymore.

Dangerous dog

Indeed, there are certain dog owners who don’t take this circumstance seriously and some situations take the wrong turn. Besides that aspect, dogs belonging to the Chow chow breed, for example, can behave, but their reasons to stop interacting should be taken into consideration by people who end up provoking them without thinking about their mood.

About the author
John Walton
John Walton

John Walton lives in Somerville, MA, with his two dogs, two sons, and very understanding mate. He is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants, a mentor trainer for the Animal Behavior College, an AKC Certified CGC Evaluator, and the Training Director for the New England Dog Training Club.

  • Patricia Parket

    My family is thinking of getting a Chow chow this year.
    However, I’m having second thoughts when I read that they can be aggressive towards people. Has anyone here have a Chow chow? What can I expect in terms of temperament?

    • Kris Bee

      I have a chow chow and he is amazing. Dont listen to any stories of them being aggressive as 9 times out of 10 they just havnt been socialised properly. A well trained and looked after chow is the best dog you could ever ask for and stroking that lovely soft fur by their ears and their tummy’s is the best

      • John Walton

        Kris pretty much sums it up when it comes to Chow Chows. The key to an effective pet parenthood for this dog breed is early, good, and proper socialization because this is how the dog’s personality will be primarily molded as it grows up.

  • Ruth Harris

    Our neighbor’s dog has always been friendly. Lately, she’s showing some aggression to the new dog brought home by his owner. How do we modify the dog’s behavior? Please help!

    • John Walton

      Hi, Ruth,

      We have to determine the dog breed first to have a baseline behavioural management for it. If you can ask your neighbor (or if you know the breed already) kindly let us know.

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