20 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds You Mustn’t Mess With

Dogs and wolves share a lot in common, and some breeds still carry on the aggressive tendencies of those wild beasts.

These canines are considered aggressive and dangerous, with dog legislations featuring them more.

There is some truth in the stereotypes as some of these most dangerous dog breeds have unfortunately attacked people and other animals.

Some of these attacks have been fatal, others serious enough to be a matter of concern.

Research further confirms this as it seems that most records of attacks revolved around some specific dog breeds.

The Pit Bull is one such dog breed, responsible for the highest number of canine attacks.

That being said, it isn’t the destiny of these dogs to be fierce monsters.

Adequate training, care, and socialization can reduce the tendencies to a bare minimum.

Some of these so-called dangerous dogs love humans and are very friendly when properly trained.

You do need more effort to shape up these canines, which is why they are not advisable for new pet parents.

Also, aggressiveness in dogs has its purpose. Not all dangerous dogs make good guard dogs, but many do.

Aggression is the force that pushes them to launch an attack against an intruder.

Some owners need a security dog, and if that’s you, then an aggressive dog is your best bet.

Training is essential, though, to prevent it from becoming a nuisance to visitors.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most dangerous dog breeds in the world. Read on to find out more.

The Most Dangerous Dog Breeds in the World

1. American Pit Bull Terrier

Sturdy American Pitbull Terrier Dog Looking Fierce

When the words dangerous and dog are used in one sentence, most people would think of the American Pit Bull Terrier, commonly known as the Pit Bull.

Banned across several American states and some other countries, the Pit Bull’s reputation went from being a sweet nanny dog to becoming a dread after a series of attacks it meted out.

In a way, you can’t blame this breed. It was developed as the Bull and Terrier and started out engaging in the sports of bull and bear-baiting.

Thereafter, it was also used in dogfighting. Some modern owners get it for instilling fear, thus neglecting the need to give it proper training.

All these combined have given the Pit Bull a bad rep.

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However, aggression towards humans is considered undesirable, not the norm.

During the fighting days, they were not developed to attack humans so handlers could separate them in a dog ring without getting hurt.

The Pit Bull is one of the most dangerous dogs on this list that would make a poor guard dog because of its love for humans.

In the hands of an experienced trainer, these dogs good qualities will supersede the aggressive side.

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2. Akita

American Akita Pup Standing on Grass

A wild-looking dog breed with a dominant personality, the Akita isn’t a sweet, mushy pooch.

It isn’t also a good choice for a new pet parent or a timid one.

Even the experienced owner would have to deal with moments of rebellion from this breed.

Unlike the Pitbull, the Akita sees no need being friendly to everyone. It is territorial and will become aggressive if that nature isn’t curtailed.

Akitas are also not the best choice for a home with multiple dogs, especially dogs of the same sex.

Even proper socialization may not be a full guarantee that they would relate with other canines.

They can equally get aggressive when disturbed during a meal, or in the presence of a small pet (this breed has a strong prey drive). 

Their aloof nature, protectiveness, alertness, and loyalty make them good candidates for guard dogs.

Intruders would have to battle a super protective canine once they have the Akita as a security system.

That being said, it should learn to differentiate between intruders and guests.

3. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher Dog Breed Standing on Walkway

Forget the cute nickname enthusiasts gave this breed (Dobbie).

This breed was developed to be intimidating, and Hollywood has done a good job in letting the public know that.

In history, when a tax collector named Louis Dobermann wanted some protection as he went about his business, he bred what later came to be known as the Doberman Pinscher. 

The aggressiveness of this breed has a purpose. Like the Akita, Dobbie is one of the best guard dogs you’d find.

It is also a popular police dog breed that has helped the cops chase and apprehend criminals.

Dobbie is highly protective and loyal to its family. As such, any danger to its family is met with a fierce defense.

You can count on this breed to keep your house safe.

It isn’t a violent breed, however. Although there have been cases of attacks, Dobbie isn’t a societal risk.

Training is vital, and a professional trainer is your best solution to keeping this breed in check.

You must socialize it too as it is naturally wary towards strangers.

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4. Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentino

Just when you think the Pit Bull is the most notorious dog, here comes the Dogo Argentino with a worse track record.

Its only saving grace is that it is less popular than the Pit Bull so the latter still wears the crown of the most feared dog breed.

The Dogo Argentino is banned in some countries, just like the Pit Bull.

Bred to be a hunter, this breed has a high prey drive that spells nightmares to smaller pets like cats and rodents.

Its reputation also stems from its ancestry. Its ancestor, the now-extinct Fighting Dog of Corcoba, was a fierce fighter like the Pit.

While experts have bred out the aggression from this breed, some people still train it to fight.

Consequently, it strikes fear in the hearts of many. 

However, don’t be blindsided by its aggressive tendencies.

Dogo Argentino is a happy, loyal dog breed that loves adults and is protective of kids.

It is known to be born independent and aloof, so it should be trained and socialized by an experienced pet parent.

5. German Shepherd

German Shepherd Dog Breed

The German Shepherd (or GSD) has a better reputation than the aforementioned dogs, including the Pinscher and the Akita.

It is one of the most popular dog breeds in America, and a favorite of many.

Too many Hollywood movies have portrayed GSDs as police dogs that many refer to them like that.

To their credit, they are one of the most common K9 officers. They can get aggressive, however, especially when they haven’t exercised enough.

This is an active dog breed that should not be left in the hands of a couch potato or someone who lives a sedentary lifestyle.

It needs enough work to do or exercise to cover that up if it is kept as a household pet.

The GSD was developed to be a worker, and sleeping on the couch all day is not its idea of a good time.

Furthermore, its loyalty to family, protectiveness, and wariness of strangers can make it aggressive towards someone it doesn’t know.

Like others on this list, only an expert should consider owning this breed.

The owner should also be an active person for whom exercise is fun, not a chore.

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6. Perro de Presa Canario

Perro De Presa Canario Dog Standing Sideways Looking Forward Panting

The Presa Canario is an impressive guard dog whose appearance alone can deter an intruder.

With a weight of over 100 pounds, it is a large and confident breed.

It is also known among the most dangerous dogs out there as it has some records of attacks that dent its image.

Even proper training and socializing won’t completely eradicate the aggressive tendencies of the Presa Canario.

If all you want is a household pet, do not get this breed. Being a guardian is its first role and it takes it seriously.

It is safer to keep it chained when you have a first-time visitor, as it can’t be trusted to remain calm.

On the plus side, it is a strong security system and a loyal breed.

The ideal owner should be both experienced and active as it can get destructive if it isn’t given enough exercise.

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7. Rottweiler

Rottweiler Dog Fully Standing on Ground

A discussion about guard dogs won’t be complete if the Rottweiler isn’t mentioned.

It is also feared, perhaps more than the Pitbull. The series of attacks it has been accused of are accurate.

However, just as we’ve said, training is what these dogs need to be less dangerous.

The well-trained Rottweiler can be a household pet as much as a guard dog.

Loyal and dedicated, it puts its family first and would defend them with its life.

Its aloofness towards strangers is also an aggressive trigger, but only if the stranger acts shady.

More often, the Rottweiler doesn’t attack unless provoked. 

It also needs enough activities or exercise to keep it from getting bored.

Good training is necessary, even if you got the Rottie specifically for its guardian skills.

It should be able to distinguish the ‘good guys’ from the ‘bad guys,’ and stop attacking at your orders.

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8. Chow Chow

Close Up of Chow Chow Dog Standing on Grass

Although it looks like a big teddy bear dog and has a name that sounds cute, the Chow Chow is considered one of the most dangerous dog breeds in the world.

It can even attack its owner if proper caution isn’t taken.

Training and socialization must start at a very young age if you hope to have no issues with this breed.

The Chow Chow is also aloof towards strangers to the point of outright dislike, a situation that won’t bode well if the stranger is a visitor, a mailman, or your old neighbor.

It needs to be introduced to visitors before it can accept them, but don’t expect it to be chummy like the Pit Bull. 

This isn’t an eager to please breed.

It is independent and refined like a cat, preferring its own company and not given to cuddles (which is unfortunate, given its cuddly coat).

It is loyal and devoted towards its family, though, and will protect them as much as it can.

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9. Bully Kutta

You’ve probably not heard of this breed, and that is normal. Besides its native country Pakistan, it is a rare breed.

There aren’t many Bully Kutas in the West. The rareness might be appealing to you, but you should also know of possible risks.

One such risk is the aloofness towards strangers that it shares with many other dog breeds on this list.

It is also not a friendly and affectionate breed, making it a poor option for a household pet.

This breed is more ideal if you need to scare people off your properties.

Training it is a drag as it doesn’t feel any need to please its owner and can even attack the owner.

It is considered highly dangerous and not for every family. 

10. Tosa Inu

Adult Tosa Inu Dog Standing on Grass

Like the aforementioned breed, the Tosa Inu is rare in the United States.

It was developed in Japan as a fighting dog and is illegal in different regions. It has a comfortable spot on our list.

It is used in dogfighting competitions and is considered very dangerous.

It isn’t a good household pet and can attack its owner if the latter isn’t firm enough to handle it.

Its jaws are strong, so no one should risk getting bit by it.

It isn’t good with children either, so get this dog breed if your only goal is security. 

Training this dog breed is difficult, even for the experienced.

It takes a long time to curb its aggressive tendencies, and that may never happen.

Do your necessary research before owning one.

11. Cane Corso

Sturdy Black Cane Corso Dog Standing Facing Forward

This is a strong dog breed that was bred to hunt large game.

Though it can be in a household, it is not the best option for a family as it isn’t good with kids and may snap if roughly handled.

Only someone who knows a lot about this breed should handle it as it isn’t easy to train. 

Not surprisingly, it is fast losing its place in households and finding a good spot in the K9 police unit.

Its strength and hardworking spirit make it a good asset for cops.

Another factor that contributes to its aggression is its high prey drive.

The Cane Corso will consider every other animal as prey, including your beloved cat or the rabbit running down the street.

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12. Boerboel

Boerboel Dog Breed

This breed fares better in a household than the Cane Corso, Tosa Inu, and the Bully Kuta. It is rare as well and is huge.

The average Boerboel gets up to 200 pounds!

This breed was developed in South Africa to defend its owners’ properties against lions and hyenas.

You can’t underestimate its strength. It has also been banned in some countries.

Boerboels are considered passive and don’t have a high energy level, but don’t let that fool you into seeing it as a docile giant.

It still needs exercise and mental stimulation to prevent it from getting bored and destructive.

It is also not kid-friendly, especially around toddlers. A very territorial breed, cooperating with other dogs is not its forte.

Strangers too may be greeted with a growl and a suspicious look. 

This breed needs space, a good and patient trainer, care, and proper socialization. 

13. Wolfdog

Wolfdog Standing Close Up with Mouth Open

Everyone knows there must be an element of danger when a wolf and a dog produce a hybrid.

This isn’t the only dog with wolfish looks, but unlike most others, it has clear wolf genes.

Domesticating is a hard job and it is a poor choice for a household pet. It is best for security and those who want a touch of the wild.

The owner of this breed must not just be experienced, but also be confident.

You can’t afford to overindulge this breed as that would be disastrous.

It is also energetic and needs daily exercise to stop it from wrecking your property.

The Wolfdog is strong-willed and can get wild, so be ready for a hard task taming it. 

This isn’t a breed you should buy or adopt on a whim. Do enough research to be sure you can handle it.

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14. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Sturdy Rhodesian Ridgeback Dog on Grass

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a South African dog breed like the Boerboel and is recognized by the distinctive ridge that runs along its back.

If you think the Boerboel is cool because it protected people from lions, you’ll be impressed by this breed.

Also known as the African Lion Hound, the Rhodesian Ridgeback hunted as prey to the king of the jungle.

It is a strong and dangerous dog breed.

It is more of a family dog now than in the past and can be a companion, but that doesn’t erase its aggressive streak.

This ever protective breed will take on an intruder like it would a lion, and woe betide anyone caught facing it without any form of defense.

It is a formidable guard dog, loyal to its family and devoted.

Training and socialization should not be neglected, given this breed’s inherent suspicion of strangers.

It also requires exercise and enough space.

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15. Boxer

Boxer Dog Breed

Though not as highly dangerous as some other breeds we’ve seen, the Boxer has elements of aggression that can make it a risk, especially towards other big dogs and strangers. 

To its credit, it is a good family dog. The Boxer is friendly with kids, devoted, and loyal.

It is a strong protector who ensures that no harm comes to its family. This protective instinct is the first aggressive trigger.

Without proper socialization, Boxers will see every stranger as a potential intruder, which won’t end well.

It needs good training, one that should be done with experience as this breed can be stubborn. 

Regular exercise is important too as this breed is energetic and shouldn’t be left with pent-up energy.

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16. Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamute Standing Sideways on Grass Looking Forward

The Alaskan Malamute is a sled dog with the looks of a wolf.

Though not as dangerous as its wild relative or even the Wolfdog, the Malamute is not to be underestimated.

Not only is it difficult to train, but it also has a high prey drive and finds it hard to coexist with other dogs.

Its size is another factor to consider. Unless you have experience handling big dogs, the Malamute will be overwhelming.

As you might have guessed, the training difficulties you would face are due to its independent spirit and stubbornness.

This is not a good first-time dog or one you should adopt as an adult unless you can cope with its hardheaded nature. 

Training and socialization must begin when the Malamute is still a puppy with a size that’s easy to handle.

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17. American Bulldog

American Bulldog

If you can recollect Spike’s energy and behavior in Tom and Jerry, you have an inkling at how overwhelming and destructive this dog breed can be.

It has been the unfortunate culprit in some dog-related attacks, making it a dangerous dog breed you shouldn’t mess with.

Nonetheless, it is a good family companion and even does well with children when properly socialized.

The American Bulldog is loyal, affectionate, and loving to every member of the family, but doesn’t extend that courtesy towards strangers.

As we know, there is a thin line between protectiveness and aggression.

Guard dogs like the American Bulldog are known to cross the line on many occasions.

That being said, this breed has also saved people before, which makes it a noble one.

It can be stubborn during training, but overall a good fit for a family.

18. Czechoslovakian Vlcak

Close Up of Czechoslovakian Vlcak - Czechoslovakian Wolfdog Lying on Grass Panting

This breed with a complicated name is the result of a cross between a German Shepherd and a Wolf.

In appearance, it looks more like a wolf than the GSD.

It is considered dangerous for the same reason many other dog breeds on this list are: its aloofness towards strangers.

Unlike the other Wolf hybrid on this list, Vlcak can integrate into a family.

It is loyal, intelligent, and can even cope with kids—though you should supervise to avoid accidents.

It doesn’t like to be left alone and may start howling if no one is around.

Notwithstanding its family-friendly qualities, Vlcak is a dominant and stubborn breed that would give the owner a hard time to train.

It needs a firm, confident pet parent.

19. Saint Bernard

Happy Saint Bernard Dog at a Dog Park

This breed isn’t considered overly dangerous and fits well in families, but can risk getting aggressive due to its size and the difficulties owners face in training it.

It is stubborn and dominant would want to challenge its owner’s authority, though it isn’t known to attack the owner.

Another factor that can make it aggressive is its shyness.

Fear-based aggression is common amongst dog breeds that are prone to timidity.

Saint Bernard is not an exception. Socialization is the key to reducing this shyness. It will help this dog breed feel more comfortable with other people. 

With proper training and other met needs, Saint Bernard is a good companion.

20. Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky Standing on Grass

The last breed on our list is a popular face in the canine world, and the success of shows like Game of Thrones made it even more popular.

Enthusiasts of the show rushed the Husky because of its resemblance with the dire wolves on the show.

Unfortunately, some of these enthusiasts were blindsided by the beauty of this breed and did not do proper research to know what they are getting into.

The Siberian Husky is difficult to train and gets easily distracted.

It has a high energy level and gets excitable—a trait that can make it bite out of nervousness.

The energy level can also make it destructive unless you give it enough exercise.

Having said that, it makes a poor guard dog because of its love for people.

Huskies are social and friendly, even with strangers.

They also cope with other dogs, but their high prey drive makes them unsuitable for a house with smaller pets.

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FAQs About Dangerous Dog Species

What is the most dangerous breed of dogs?

In America and some other countries, the American Pit Bull Terrier is usually considered the most dangerous dog breed.

This might not be accurate, however, as some rarer dog breeds are known to be deadlier than the Pit.

What dog has killed most humans?

According to research, the Pit Bull has been held responsible for the highest number of bites, many of which were fatal.

This has earned it a bad reputation that persists till today. 

What’s the most protective dog?

Many dogs are known to be excellent guard dogs, including the German Shepherd and the Rottweiler.

However, the Tibetan Mastiff is best known to intimidate even the strongest intruder with its size and alertness.

What dog can fight a lion?

The Boerboel and Rhodesian Ridgeback are both South African dog breeds that are respected for their abilities to take down lions.

They’re also among the strongest dog breeds in the world.

Final Thoughts

It might be scary to even consider owning one of these pups on the most dangerous dogs list, but remember that aggression has its advantages if you know how to handle it.

Firm training and commitment to meeting all their needs would keep them in check.

While some aren’t fit for the household, the majority make good pets for the owner who has the experience to handle them.

If you want to get one of these potentially dangerous dog breeds, be sure it isn’t illegal where you live.

This would help avoid legal situations. You should also do enough research on what it takes to be a pet parent to these dogs.

Authored By

Ben Pierce

Ben Pierce is a canine behavioral and nutritional specialist, professional dog trainer, and the CEO of Puplore. A former military working dog handler, Ben founded Puplore to provide owners with breed-specific information and to act as a go-to guide to health, nutrition, care, and to help them find the confidence they need to step up to the plate and become the best pup parents they can possibly be. A firm believer in treating all animals with kindness and compassion, and that positive discipline is paramount in achieving a harmonious canine-human relationship, Ben’s former and present careers have enabled him to become a leading light in his chosen profession and business.

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