The World’s Most Dangerous Dog Breeds

Billie Delgado

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Bad behavior can typically be curbed with thorough training, but it's important for dog owners to know if their pets have any troubling tendencies. Here is our rundown on the world's most dangerous dog breeds.

Caucasian Shepherd

Often called the Caucasian Ovcharka, our first canine has been known to grow very large. Sometimes, up to 200 pounds! As a result, this dog breed can be a very difficult, and at times a dangerous dog to own.

Caucasian Shepherd, Dangerous dog
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Thankfully, the Caucasian Shepherd can be trained to be a loyal and well-behaved companion. These dogs are often used to herd and guard livestock due to their dominant and confident nature. However, these traits can also lead them to become aggressive if not properly trained.

Pit Bull

Over the years, Pit Bulls have become more and more popular as a breed. With proper training, they can be loving and loyal pets. However, they are also commonly bred as fighting dogs, which has led to the stereotype of the breed as violent and aggressive due to careless owners and improper training.

Pit Bull, Dangerous breed
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A statement was even shared by PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, about the rising problem: "Pit Bulls face systemic, relentless abuse and neglect," they explained, which is the major cause of dangerous Pit Bulls. It's also the main reason that the breed is responsible for higher rates of injuries.

German Shepherd

This breed has been one of the most popular kinds of domestic pets in the world for decades and is also often used in both law enforcement and the military. German Shepherds are fiercely protective, which is why they are used in such roles. But it may also be the reason they appear on this list.

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German Shepherds are devoted to protecting their loved ones, according to the CDC. But the agency has also used US Humane Society data to show that these dogs have caused 19 fatalities over 17 years in the US alone, showing the importance of thorough training for these loyal beasts.

Rottweilers

Another type of dog that was bred for a specific purpose is a Rottweiler. The breed was once used as draft dogs, guards, and cart haulers. This is a shame as these dogs are very intelligent and alert. But they also require attention and regular exercise and can become aggressive when their needs are deprived.

Rottweiler, Dangerous, Breed
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This may lead to some of the biting and charging that has occurred between some Rottweilers and humans. The Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT) reports that these dogs can bite at 328 psi (pound per square inch), almost 2.5 times more than humans.

Alaskan Malamute

These gorgeous fluffy furballs were originally bred as sled dogs and are sometimes still used in that capacity today. Alaskan Malamutes are pack animals, and as a result, they need assertive leadership and discipline. Without proper rearing and training, they can lack control and may charge strangers.

Alaskan Malamutes, Dangerous dog
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They are very task-oriented dogs, hence why they are used as sled dogs. Malamutes will run in any requested direction until told to stop by their owner, which can be another cause for potential danger with these dogs. Thankfully, strict discipline training will erase these risks.

Kangal

These friendly dogs are great as family pets since they are naturally strong enough to protect people from attackers, particularly predators like wolves and bears. Kangal’s derive from the Mastiff family and are sheepdogs with genetic roots from Turkestan. But without proper rearing, a Kangal can be a nightmare for its owners.

Kengal, Dangerous dog
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Kangals are very instinctively protective, which means they can either be a threat to you or a savior, depending on their environment and how they have been raised. They are wonderful pets when they feel safe, but if they feel threatened? They are likely to put their 742 psi bite to good use, according to Inside Dogs World.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky’s are another breed of snow dogs that can sometimes look deceptively sweet and cuddly, particularly when they are puppies. These giant animals are bursting with energy, which can sometimes be used in the wrong way if these dogs feel that they are being mistreated.

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Though they are loving and loyal dogs, they also have a reputation for being exceptionally stubborn. Because of this, Siberian Huskies require strict and consistent training. These dogs need structure, and a lack of it can cause them to become unpredictable, volatile, and potentially dangerous.

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois, also known as Belgian Shepherds, are adaptable dogs that can acclimatize to any kind of weather. They are known for their value and skills as hunting dogs. One can imagine how dogs that are accustomed to hunting could become dangerous with poor training.

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What’s more, because of the innate personality these dogs have, they are also used as police or guard dogs and can become aggressive without proper training. And with a psi of 195 (according to Inside Dogs World), we can see why good training is so essential for this breed.

Doberman Pinschers

Doberman Pinschers are handsome animals, known for their affectionate protection of their owners, particularly children they have been raised with. But they are also immensely powerful dogs, making them a good choice as guard dogs. But when strength and protectiveness are mixed with a poor upbringing, issues may arise.

Doberman Pinschers, Dangerous, Breed
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In fact, a poorly trained Doberman Pinscher can become very irritable when they are in protective mode, which can lead to aggression and potential danger. These dogs need a solid routine of exercise, training, and socialization with humans and dogs to assure that this aggression is not easily provoked.

Chow Chow

Chow Chows are deceptive in both name and appearance - not only is ‘Chow Chow’ a super cute name, but it seems like a perfect match for these soft, fluffy furballs. But when you take a look beneath the fluffy facade, you’ll see that they are more like lions than fluffy puppies.

Chow Chow, Dangerous, World
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It's no wonder that their Chinese name "Songshi Quan" translates to "puffy lion dog," according to The Chow Chow Club. And according to Inside Dogs World, they have teeth to match, with a 220 pound per square inch bite. Potential aggression in these dogs can also be fueled by their potential to be overly protective.

Boxer

Boxers are not only calm and intelligent animals, but they are also comparatively easy to train. With this in mind, it’s hard to believe these gentle dogs could be on a list of most dangerous dog breeds. But that’s because when a Boxer is not given adequate training, it has a penchant for attacking smaller animals.

Boxer, Dangerous, Breed
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And the Boxer also has some interesting genetic traits, according to allboxerinfo.com. Part of the reason these dogs are such good hunters is due to the strength of their jaw and the structure of their nose/nostrils. This allows them to breathe while they are locked in on their prey.

Akita Inu

Make no mistake about it: Our next canine may appear calm and approachable at first glance, but under its fluffy coat and long tail is a big-boned animal. While loving and loyal to their favorite humans, the Akita Inu is contrarily not the same with strangers or foreign animals.

Akita Inu, Dangerous dog
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They can be very unfriendly to other animals, which can result in bouts of aggression. This is made even worse when an Akita Inu has not been trained or sufficiently socialized or is not used to being around strangers. As a result, the breed has the potential to become very dangerous.

Perro de Presa Canario

The Perro de Presa Canario, also known as the Canary Island Catch Dog, is a muscular dog that was bred to direct and protect livestock in past centuries. These animals are very powerful, so if you plan to raise a Perro, it must be properly trained and socialized.

Perro de Presa Canario, Dangerous
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These dogs can cause a lot of damage when they feel threatened, and they are known to become easily aggressive in these scenarios. According to Inside Dogs World, the Perro de Presa Canario has a psi of 540 and weighs in at around 100 pounds. These are dangerous stats when a dog has not been thoroughly trained.

Fila Brasileiro

The Fila Brasileiro can be a loyal and protective pet in the right hands. These dogs should typically only be raised by an owner who has experience with large dogs and is physically able to handle these large dogs. These boisterous canines have dominant personalities and can become aggressive in the wrong situations.

Fila Brasileiro, Dangerous breed
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If these dogs feel threatened, they can lose control, hence the need for a diligent owner. They are heavily-muscled and stubborn dogs, weighing in at around 90-100 pounds. According to petplace.com, they can be gentle family animals or hostile creatures, depending on how they are brought up.

Great Dane

These gentle giants probably look closer to a small horse and can grow as tall as 32 inches. Great Danes are regularly bred as family dogs, partially because they are known for their gentle nature and ease with children. The American Kennel Club writes that they are taller than most humans when standing on their back legs.

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But despite their patience and gentleness, these natural guard dogs can change their attitude very quickly when they feel threatened. Great Danes can easily overpower virtually any human, so they need to be properly socialized to ensure they do not lose control when in high alert mode.

American Bulldog

These American Bulldogs have a dual-sided reputation. They are both known as loyal and loving family companions but are also believed to have a strong and aggressive temperament. The difference, of course, is the training they have been given and the environment they were raised in.

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All it takes is a warm, loving, and happy home environment with sufficient training to ensure that this canine grows up healthy and even-tempered. But American Bulldogs must be trained - with their muscular stature, it can be easy for them to hurt children and animals without even meaning to.

Saint Bernard

Saint Bernards are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, as the American Kennel Club states. And we certainly believe them. The handsome canines have appeared in endless movies and are well known as friendly and intelligent. But the Swiss natives also need proper socialization.

Saint Bernard, Dangerous dog
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Why? Unfortunately, most Saint Bernards don't realize just how powerful they really are. These canines can weigh anywhere between 120-180 pounds, depending on the gender. They are incredibly powerful beasts and often underestimate their strength which can cause injury, hence the need for thorough training.

Basenji

This unique breed has been wandering the earth for almost 5,000 years, and yet humans still have a hard time understanding or communicating with them. This is because the “barkless dogs” express themselves with an unusual yodeling noise. Unfortunately, these communication differences can cause difficulties.

Basenji, Dangerous dog, breed
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Sure, these little dogs only grow as large as 22-24 pounds. But they are also known for their boundless energy. As a result, they can become aggressive when they feel frustrated or threatened. Owners of a Basenji need to go out of their way to train, exercise, and understand their pet.

Gull Dong

Unfortunately, Gull Dongs are well-known for their aggressive tendencies. So much so, that Inside Dogs World has warned that these dogs should not be placed in households with young kids, small pets, or any other dogs. They weigh between 90-140 pounds and are considered difficult to train.

Gull Dong, Dangerous dog
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Gull Dongs are often owned by people who want an effective guard dog. The canines' natural protectiveness, strength, and instinct for fighting make them the perfect candidate. Unfortunately, these traits can also lead to wanton aggression in the household.

Boerboel

The Boerboel is another breed that often does not understand its strength. These dogs can weigh anywhere between 120 and 200 pounds and have historically been used as guard dogs for families or hunters. When trained properly, they are affectionate and protective of those in their household.

Boerboel, Dangerous dog, breed
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The name Boerboel translates to “Farmer’s dog,” which can be misleading as they can be very fierce when in protective mode. Their survival instinct mixed with physical power can translate to overt aggression. In fact, the American Kennel Club recommends major discretion for first-time owners, including thorough early training.

Dogo Argentino

The Dogo Argentino is another breed known for its fierce protectiveness of its family members. It is recommended, though, that these dogs should be treated carefully by strangers. They can be easily compelled to prove their strength if they feel that they or their family have been threatened.

Dogo Argentino, Dangerous breed
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This can be alarming as these native Argentinian dogs can grow to 100 pounds and are very muscular. When agitated, they have been known to show aggression by biting or lunging at strangers. This is why it is so important for the Dogo Argentino to be properly trained and socialized.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Since the 19th century, the Rhodesian Ridgeback has been used as a powerful hunter in the country now known as Zimbabwe, according to petplace.com. They were so powerful, in fact, that they were frequently used to hunt lions! They are also known as "the dog with the snake down its back" due to their unique fur.

Rhodesian Ridgeback, Dangerous dog
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The snake patterns on their fur are also symbolic of the dogs' characters. Though they are not the biggest, weighing between 70-85 pounds and standing at around 25 inches in height, the canine can be powerful when showing aggression. This is why early socialization and training are crucial.

Bull Terrier

These little canines are more than just the Target brand mascot. They also have a reputation due to their muscular build and fearsome strength. As a result, first-time Bull Terrier owners are recommended to be careful with their dogs around children and animals.

Bull Terrier, Dangerous, Breed
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Their reputation for aggression is largely due to their history - Bull Terriers were originally bred to be dogfighters, and these instincts can still come to the surface. Thankfully with thorough training and a good household environment, these dogs can be good-natured and affectionate.

Labrador

American Kennel Club has said that the gorgeous Labrador is the number one breed in America for dog-owners. This has to do with their friendly, affectionate, and calm nature, making them the ideal family pet. However, these dogs can still lash out when they feel provoked, threatened, or have certain medical issues.

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"A Lab who doesn't get enough exercise is likely to engage in hyperactive and/or destructive behavior to release pent-up energy," as the American Kennel Club explained. These high energy levels are a good reason for all Labrador owners to make sure their canine friends are trained and socialized.

Cane Corso

With a name that translates directly to "Guardian dog," according to the American Kennel Club, it should be clear what role Cane Corso's have taken on. These mastiff dogs are of Italian descent and have long been used as guards for humans and property. They've also been used to participate in lethal bloodsports.

Cane Corso, Dangerous breed
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Sadly, these breeding habits have led to the Cane Corsos reputation as aggressive and potentially dangerous dogs. But with care and good training, these dogs can be loving, loyal, and fiercely protective of their owners. It is largely irresponsible ownership that causes aggressive behavior in these dogs.

Bullmastiff

Given the name, it's no surprise that the Bullmastiff is a cross-breed between a Bulldog and Mastiff. It has been a popular breed for over a century. Weighing in at 100 pounds and growing as much as 27 inches tall, these dogs have long been trained to defend against poachers.

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They have been bred and trained to show aggression for many years. But Bullmastiffs can actually bond well with their human owners, becoming loyal and friendly companions. Beware, though, if the canine has not been trained properly, they may channel their aggressive historical tendencies.

American Bandogge

Also known as the Bandog, American Bandogges are another cross-breed: Between an American Bulldog and a Mastiff. Because of this unique mix, the Bandogge is both muscular, quite graceful, and very intelligent. Despite the high praise, the American Kennel Club does not recommend this breed for first-time pet owners.

American Bandogge, Dangerous dog
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These confident dogs need a good dose of attention, affection, and a strong sense of leadership. Without these things, they can become frustrated and even aggressive. According to Inside Dog World, the American Bandogges have a psi of 730 and can cause significant harm to their “prey.”

Tosa Inu

The Tosa Inu, or Japanese Mastiff as they are sometimes known, were bred for centuries as dogfighters in Japan. This may have to do with their significant size and power: They can weigh up to 200 pounds. The American Kennel Club reports that they can even tug up to 3,000 pounds using the power of their jaws and body.

Tosa Inu, Dangerous breed
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Because of their reputation, many people are intimidated by the Tosa Inu. But with training, care, and socialization, these dogs can be gentle and loving family pets. Their reputation is bad enough that some countries, including the U.K, have banned their breeding and sale, according to BBC News.

Tibetan Mastiff

Weighing in at anywhere between 90 and 150 pounds, the Tibetan Mastiff can be an intimidating sight to strangers. Nonetheless, these dogs are carefully devoted protectors of their loved ones. They have even been touted as the "Guardian dog supreme" by the American Kennel Club, as they are very protective and wary of strangers.

Tibetan Mastiff, Dangerous breed
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Historically they were the guard dogs of the Himalayas, and we can see why. These hulking beasts have serious strength and muscle hidden beneath those bundles of fur. And when they sense a threat to themselves or their family, they can use that strength (and their 24-26 inch height) to great advantage.

Wolf Dog

The last doggo on this list is the Wolf Dog, and its name alone should indicate why it appears here. The Wolf Dog is a cross between a domestic hound and a type of wolf. Unsurprisingly these exotic pets are a controversial choice, and ownership of them is banned in several U.S states.

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This is partially because of the Wolf Dogs' genetic makeup - featuring a fearful personality that makes them difficult to control. As a result, they can be very volatile and unpredictable pets, according to the International Wolf Center. Though these dogs can still make wonderful pets, given thorough training and understanding.