Find out below as we talk through 10 different breeds that seem to carry bad reputations as the most aggressive dog breeds.
Dogs are some of the most adorable pets a person can have. With that said, there are certain breeds of dogs that can be quite ferocious and can make your heart race if you treat them wrong.
Before adopting a dog of any breed, consider whether you are able to provide the necessary discipline and training. Do you have the time, patience, and money to train your dog?
Should you get a male or female dog? For example, the findings, published in Scientific Reports, discovered that male dogs are more aggressive than females.
But probably, one of the biggest questions you might be asking yourself is what breed of dog is best for you and your family. Some breeds may be more likely to be aggressive, and may not be the best choice for timid owners or families with young children.
Aggressive behaviors include barking, biting, lunging, snarling, etc. These behaviors may be accompanied by fearful or submissive body postures and expressions such as crouching, tucking the tail under, licking the lips, and backing away.
10 Most Aggressive Dog Breeds
In doing this research, I found that different organizations and experts have differing opinions as to which dog breeds are the most aggressive, so I’ve listed the 10 that most sources seem to agree on below.
1. American Pit Bull Terrier
|18-21 inches (male)
17-20 inches (female)
|35-60 pounds (male)
30-50 pounds (female)
Pit Bulls were created by crossing Bulldogs and Terriers. When people talk about Pit Bulls, they are actually talking about several different breeds, as well as Pit Bull mixed breed dogs.
Pit Bulls are responsible for the most bites by a known breed. They also have one of the most damaging bites, with 235 pounds per square inch (PSI). They areare well-known to not release their bite so easily.
Research shows that during the 16-year period from 2005 to 2020, canines killed 568 Americans. Pit Bulls and Rottweilers accounted for 76% of these deaths. Unsurprisingly, the American Pit Bull Terrier is the most abandoned dog in the United States.
Pit Bulls were used for dog fighting for a long period, a practice now outlawed in the United States.
On the other hand, many Pit Bulls are absolute sweethearts. Pit Bulls who have not been trained as fighters, tend to be loving, affectionate family pets who are not naturally aggressive.
|24-27 inches (male)
22-25 inches (female)
|95-135 pounds (male)
80-100 pounds (female)
Rottweilers are not a beginner’s breed. Like Pit Bulls, Rottweilers have a reputation for being aggressive. They are known for being very protective and loyal dogs, and can often be quite powerful for this purpose.
The Rottweilers are a protection dogs. If they feel their home or family is threatened, they may be more likely than other breeds to react aggressively.
Since Rottweilers tend to struggle with being territorial, other dogs are their most common trigger. Because of that, Rottweilers must be thoroughly socialized at an early age so that their territorial instincts are controlled rather than indiscriminate.
Rottweilers must be trained and must be loved. Skipping on either of those aspects begets an aggressive animal. However, in the hands of a dedicated owner, Rottweilers can be well-socialized and trained to become docile family pets.
3. Doberman Pinscher
|26-28 inches (male)
24-26 inches (female)
|75-100 pounds (male)
60-90 pounds (female)
Doberman Pinschers are built to work in a personal protection roll. Because of this, many people see them as potentially overly aggressive and dangerous.
And for good reason. If you’ve ever seen a Doberman attacking someone, you’ll understand why. When they’re in attack mode, they’re relentless.
This highly intelligent breed instinctively does its best to guard their owners from perceived threats and most likely acts from a deep-seated need to defend the owner and the family home.
It is important to socialize your Doberman early on in order to teach them how to behave around new people. With the proper training, they can be very friendly dogs.
|26-28 inches (male)
24-26 inches (female)
|100-130 pounds (male)
70-100 pounds (female)
Originally used for guarding royalty in ancient Japan, the Akita is now known as a fearless, faithful, and fluffy companion. They have an aggressive gene, which can be difficult or even impossible to change.
Their temperament can change from playful one minute to aggressive the next. So, never leave small children or other animals alone with one.
Above all, they are guard dogs. So, it’s no good idea to run up and grab someone who is strolling in a park with her Akita. Her dog will most likely bite you if you try that. In addition, they generally do not tend to back down when provoked.
Owning an Akita is a challenge, and may not be suitable for all families. Their guarding nature does mean that they will attack seemingly out of nowhere.
Akita are loyal dogs to the point they will do whatever necessary to keep their family safe.
5. Perro de Presa Canario
|24-26 inches (male)
22-24 inches (female)
|110-130 pounds (male)
83-110 pounds (female)
Presa Canario dogs are predisposed to be aggressive. They are tall, massive dogs that can weigh upwards of 130 pounds and they will demonstrate their power and physical dominance when necessary.
It’s crucial that children must understand that play-fighting is not acceptable at any time. In addition, guests should be sure to never enter a home without proper introduction, even if they have met the dog.
These natural guard dogs are constantly on the lookout for strangers and dangers which means that without appropriate training and handling, they can react to a situation with aggression.
They are not the right fit for every family. Potential Presa Canario adopters with other small pets or dogs, as well as very young children, may not be the best fit.
6. American Bulldog
|22-25 inches (male)
20-23 inches (female)
|75-100 pounds (male)
60-80 pounds (female)
The American Bulldog is a breed of dog that is involved in a few cases of dog-related attacks every year. According to Forbes, the American bulldog is the fifth dangerous dog breed in the United States.
The American bulldog has tenacity, determination, great strength, and confidence. He lives for his family and will guard you and his home. They are very protective creatures by nature, so it is essential to break down those barriers early on.
Beyond exercise, the most important thing for any owner is to socialize their dog with other canines and humans.
It’s not recommended that anyone who is not an alpha male or female attempt to raise an American Bulldog. This is a breed that requires a very strong, very dominant owner who is not afraid to show this breed that is it in charge.
|23-25 inches (male)
21-23 inches (female)
|60-85 pounds (male)
55-65 pounds (female)
The Boxer is another protective breed which is popular in the United States. However, their energetic and playful behavior gives them a label of being headstrong and difficult to train.
The Boxer is a powerful dog that can be dangerous without proper training and socialization. Do not make the mistake of messing around with them, as it may land you in serious trouble.
Most Boxers are dominant dogs and show aggression towards other same sex dogs. In some cases, the dog may attack you anytime and anywhere, but only in certain circumstances.
Many of the Boxer attacks involve small children. Without proper handling of this breed, things can quickly escalate into something dangerous, and even fatal.
It’s important to note that when training Boxers we should avoid punishments and harsh treatment as it may provoke them.
8. Cane Corso
|25-27 inches (male)
23-26 inches (female)
|100-110 pounds (male)
90-100 pounds (female)
The Cane Corso breed originated in Italy. These dogs were bred to be brave and powerful and were used as Roman war dogs.
Unfortunately, in recent years, the number of Cane Corso bites and aggressive incidents have increased. This includes some fatalities.
Cane Corsos are big dogs, which can lead to dangerous situations if you don’t train them properly or don’t work on socialization from a young age. These alert giants make amazing guard dogs, and they are constantly on the lookout for anything they might deem a threat.
These dogs require significant time spent on socializing. There are aspects of the Cane Corso that make it more likely to bring about an aggressive reaction. For example, the breed is wary of strangers.
So, if you want a dog that greets your guests like members of its own family, look for a breed other than a Cane Corso.
Children in a home with Cane Corsos must understand that play-fighting with friends is not acceptable. These dogs are fiercely protective of their homes and families and may not understand that the children are just playing.
9. Siberian Husky
|21-23 inches (male)
20-22 inches (female)
|45-60 pounds (male)
35-50 pounds (female)
Siberian Huskies are best known for their athletic stamina exhibited during Alaskan sled racing. They have a bite force of about 320 PSI. In other words, their bite is close to as strong as a wolf’s defensive bite, which is 406 PSI.
However, the problem is that Huskies are always full of energy and extremely active, which may lead to aggressive tendencies. When a Siberian Husky becomes bored and frustrated, they may take out that frustration on anything around them.
Siberian Huskies can have unpredictable personalities, and children and strangers should be cautious when approaching them. Like Boxers, most Huskies attacks involve children as they don’t know how to act around them.
As with all breeds, the most important thing when it comes to controlling the dog’s behavior and mitigating risk is proper training.
If you are a first-time dog owner or otherwise do not have the time to dedicate to a Siberian Husky’s training and care, you may want to consider adopting a different breed.
10. German Shepherd
|24-26 inches (male)
22-24 inches (female)
|65-90 pounds (male)
50-70 pounds (female)
German Shepherds are extremely intelligent, highly trainable, and athletic dogs. Their bite is strong enough to break bones. It’s no surprise that an aggressive German Shepherd could pose a real danger.
The German Shepherd is more likely to bite a stranger than a Labrador Retriever, but it is not nearly as aggressive breed as a Pit Bull or Rottweiler.
As with all kinds of dogs, the most important thing to keep in mind is that how a dog was raised as a puppy will influence how they behave in their adult life.
German Shepherds are naturally protective of its owners, but can make safe, loving family pets if they are exposed to different people and animals at a young age.
Some dogs are considered dangerous due to their size, while others are considered dangerous due to their genetics.
So, if you see one of your favorite breeds on this list, don’t fret. Certainly, given the proper environment and training, the above mentioned breeds can flourish into loving and gentle companions.
There are around 70 million stray dogs in the US, and some are abandoned by their owners. One million of them are euthanized each year.
If you are considering adopting a dog, early socialization and consistent training by a firm owner is critical to ensure your pet learns to distinguish normal interactions from threatening situations.