25 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds: A Pet Parent Guide

Posted by , Updated on November 13, 2023

Are there really 25 most dangerous dog breeds in the world? The answer is a resounding “no.” The dogs on this list have been misperceived as being one of the most dangerous dog breeds because for one reason or another, but it’s not their fault. However, there are many factors that play a role when assigning a “danger” level to a dog but most critics and researchers disagree as to what these factors are. As predictable as they are, in many ways, dogs are still a mystery. 

Consequently, it’s unfair to callously label a dog as dangerous. There are some very dangerous animals on earth, but domesticated dogs are not. Many times, the environment they are in and the humans who train them are the culprits of their behavioral issues.

Nevertheless, it can’t be helped that some dog breeds have more potential to cause serious harm to a person if the dog were to decide to attack. According to the SPCA, aggression is the number one behavioral issue that pet parents seek help with.  The SPCA provides a list of indicators that your four-legged best friend may be exhibiting aggressive behavior. This includes:

  • Becoming very still and rigid
  • Guttural bark that sounds threatening
  • Lunging forward or charging at the person with no contact
  • Mouthing, as though to move or control the person, without applying significant pressure
  • “Muzzle punch” (the dog literally punches the person with her nose)
  • Growl
  • Showing teeth
  • Snarl (a combination of growling and showing teeth)
  • Snap
  • Quick nip that leaves no mark
  • Quick bite that tears the skin
  • Bite with enough pressure to cause a bruise
  • Bite that causes puncture wounds
  • Repeated bites in rapid succession
  • Bite and shake

Lastly, It is important to note that most dogs are bred with the desire to please their masters. Thus most incidents involving dogs stem from improper training and harsh ownership. Therefore, our 25 most dangerous dog breeds focus on the potential of a dog to cause serious injury to a victim.


Tosa Inu

Tosa InuShutterstock

The Inu dog breed is a massive dog with some variations weighing anywhere between 130 to 200 lbs. and can reach heights of 24.5 to 32 inches. Originally bred to be a fighting dog, it is considered dangerous and legally restricted in some countries.


American Bandogge

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The American Bandogge is an incredibly strong dog that is a crossbreed between an American Pit Bull Terrier and a Neapolitan Mastiff.

In spite of its muscular look, the dog was not originally bred for fighting. Nevertheless, some have used it as a fighting dog.


Cane Corso

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The Cane Corso dog breed is a well-muscled dog that can weigh anywhere between 99 to 150 pounds.

The breed is known as a true and quite possibly the last of the coursing Mastiffs and is a descendant of the Canis Pugnax, which were dogs used by the Romans in warfare. It’s understandable why this large dog breed is on the list of the 25 most dangerous dog breeds, but they are truly not that aggressive.

Again, it all depends on the training when they are puppies, and their living eniroment.


Bull Terrier

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Bull Terriers are known for their large egg-shaped heads. This dog breed is exceptionally strong with a #1 ranking in pound-for-pound lean muscle tissue.

Though not particularly aggressive, the breed is known to have a strong “prey drive” which makes the Bull Terrier a dangerous dog towards smaller animals.


Rhodesian Ridgeback

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The Rhodesian Ridgeback was originally from Southern Africa. They are known for their ability to keep lions away from prey while their masters make the kill.

This semi-domesticated ridged hunting dog is loyal and intelligent but is very aloof to strangers.

Rhodesian Ridgeback also requires positive reward-training, avoidance of rough treatment, and good socialization skills since they can be over-sensitive and may develop an aggressive side.


Dogo Argentino

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The Dogo Argentino dog breed is a large, white, muscular dog that was developed in Argentina primarily for the purpose of big-game hunting, including wild boar and puma.

Though extremely strong and athletic, the Dogo was bred to be non-aggressive towards humans. Nevertheless, it is illegal to own a Dogo in the United Kingdom under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991.


Boer Boel

Boer Boel https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=94861535

The Boer Boel dog breed is a large, mastiff dog breed from South Africa which was bred for the purpose of guarding a home or farm. These dogs were often the first line of defense against predators and were valuable in tracking and holding down wounded game.

Bore Boels are loyal but very protective of their families. Do they belong on the list of the 25 most dangerous dog breeds? Probably not. However, as mentioned numerous times in this article, training, and their home environment is critical to how they will interact and engage with people and other pets.


Gull Dong

Gull Donghttps://medium.com/@Dogvog1/gull-dong-dog-breed-the-loyal-and-protector-c0ea98d700c5

The Gull Dong dog breed (also known as the Pakistani Bull Dog) is a cross breed between the Gull Tarrier and the Bully Kutta.

Extremely strong and powerful, the Dong was specifically bred as a fighting dog and is known to be very aggressive and difficult to control.




The Basenji dog breed is a hunting dog that originated from Central Africa. They have been classified as a sighthound, and exhibit alertness, curiosity, and affection. Though they are reserved with strangers, they can be sociable if trained at an early age.

Are Basenjis aggressive enough to be on the list of the 25 most dangerous dog breeds? Probably not. However, depending on their training and environment, aggressive behavior can develop.


Saint Bernard

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The St. Bernard dog breed is a large, hard-working dog that originated from the Swiss and Italian Alps. Originally bred as a rescue dog, they have been made famous by tales of their gargantuan size and Alps rescue mission abilities.

However, just like with other very large dogs, Saint Bernards must be trained to be sociable with strangers and other dogs during their infancy in order to prevent aggressive territorial behavior.


American Bulldog

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The American Bulldog is a muscular heavy dog. Though they are known for their pleasant and friendly demeanor, they can also exhibit the trait of ‘stubbornness’ as American Bulldogs are extremely confident.
American Bulldogs were originally bred as a working farm utility dogs that could catch and hold wild boar and cattle, kill vermin, and guard an owner’s property.


Great Dane

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Also known as the German Mastiff or Danish Hound, The Great Dane dog breed is a domestic dog that is famous for its massive size. This breed holds the record for the world’s tallest dog at 44 inches and was originally bred to hunt wild boar and deer in Germany.


Fila Brasileiro

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The Fila Brasileiro also is known as the Brazilian Mastiff is a large dog developed and bred in Brazil. It has great tracking abilities but is an aggressive and impetuous dog.

Owing to its size, temperament, and potential for aggression, the Brazilian Mastiff has been banned in many countries.


Perro de Presa Canario

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The Perro de Presa Canario is a large dog that was originally bred for working livestock. The name of the breed is Spanish and it means “Canarian catch dog”.

Presas require early socialization and obedience training. In some situations, the Presa can be aggressive toward other dogs and suspicious of strangers.


Akita Inu

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Akita Inu is a large spitz dog breed that originated from the mountainous regions of Japan. It is known for its two breed types: the Akita Inu (Japanese Akita) and the Akita (American Akita).

A dominating breed that is strong and independent, they are affectionate with family members but are aloof with strangers due to their territorial attitude. Should they be on the list of the 25 most dangerous dog breeds? Probably not.

However, as with any dog breed, proper training is essential for the Akita Inu to prevent behavioral issues.




Though not typically aggressive by nature, The Boxer dog breed is listed in our 25 most dangerous dogs breed list due to 48 negative incidents involving the breed from 1982 to 2012.

Originally from Germany where they can grow from 50 to 70 lbs, their bright, playful, and energetic personalities are countered by their ‘headstrong’ characteristic.

As mentioned with other dogs who are known to be “aggressive,” Boxers need to be properly trained when they are puppies.


Wolf Hybrid

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As the name implies, the Wolf Hybrid also known as the Wolf dog is a crossbreed between a dog and a wolf (typically a grey wolf).

Consequently, Wolf hybrids are a mixture of genetic traits resulting in less predictable behavior patterns compared to either the wolf or dog. Pet parents with a wolf hybrid need to be extra careful because of their unpredictable behavior.

While they may seem friendly and attentive most of the time, don’t let your guard down; simply because they are a hybrid. Training is highly recommended as well as introducing them to other dogs and humans when they are puppies.


Chow Chow

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Though Chow Chows seem to be distant and independent, this dog breed requires staunch attention from their owners if they do not want them to grow aggressive and ill-bred.

Originally from China, the 50 to 70 lbs Chow Chow can also be referred to as Songshi Quan or ‘puffy-lion dog.’ This dog has discernment skills against strangers and can be fiercely protective of their owners.

Consider as high-risk dogs, they ‘unacceptable’ and may require insurance due to 238 fatalities from dog bites from 1979 to 1998. Though they can be housed in apartments, they need daily physical activities and exercises so as not to become dangerous as pets.


Doberman Pinschers

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Famed for their alertness, loyalty, and intelligence, Doberman Pinchers are considered to be one of the best guard dogs known to humans. They only attack if they are provoked or sense that their family and their property are in danger.

Doberman Pinschers are a breed of domestic dogs that originated from Germany in 1890. They were developed by Karl Friedrich Louis Doberman (hence the name). They can weigh as much as 65 to 90 lbs.

Although once used as guard dogs or police dogs, they also exhibit aggressive behavior directed to strangers and other dogs, though owner-directed aggression is low. Their aggression due to their size and strength can also make them potentially dangerous.




Huskies are used to pull sleds in the northern regions. Because of their fast pulling style, they are also utilized for sled dog racing and for adventure trekking. H

However, they can be dangerous to smaller animals due to their strong predator instinct and are known for being destructive if they are bored. Huskies like all big dogs require lots of exercise and attention.


Alaskan Malamutes

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Alaskan Malamutes are a breed of dogs related to the Siberian Husky. This breed requires a highly active life. Alaskan Malamutes need daily exercises to be happy, or else they will become bored, disobedient and destructive.

This large breed of domestic dog weighs between 70 to 100 lbs and are the perfect companion for pursuits like carting, mushings, bikejoring, and skijoring.

Since they are known for their strong independence, they can be difficult to train, cope poorly with smaller animals, and could be unreliable as watchdogs.




Rottweilers are a powerful breed with well-developed genetic herding and guarding instincts. Movies and popular culture have depicted these four-legged best friends as vicious guard dogs willing to sink their teeth into anyone or anything that enters their territory.

As with any breed, potentially dangerous behavior in Rottweilers usually results from irresponsible ownership, abuse, neglect, or lack of socialization and training. Nevertheless, Rottweiler’s strength is something that should not be overlooked.

If you see an unleashed rottweiler, do not attempt to get close to it as it may feel you are threatening its space and it will display aggressive behavior.


German Shepherd

German ShepherdShutterstock

German Shepherds are a breed of dogs that originated from Germany, the German Shepherd can weigh as much as 70 to 100 lbs. Known for being intelligent, confident, alert, vigilant, and fearless; these dogs are used in many law enforcement agencies.

From sniffing out drugs to dead bodies to guarding facilities and families, German Shepherds are one of the most hardworking dogs around. Not only that, but they are one of the most popular dogs around.

However, caution must be exercised with Shepherds as they can become overprotective of their family and territory, and if not socialized correctly, they may exhibit aggressive behavior.


Pit Bull


The term ‘Pit Bull’ encompasses certain breeds of dog from the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Staffordshire bull terrier, the American Staffordshire terrier, and the American Bulldog.

Originally bred for baiting bulls and bears the majority of their breeds were also used for dog fighting in numerous parts of the world and are considered as the most dangerous dog breeds. These misconceptions are wrong as Pit Bulls are loving pets who get along with everyone.

Usually, when a Pit Bull is having behavior issues, it’s the fault of the owner and not the dog.


Caucasian Ovcharka

25 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds: A Pet Parent GuideShutterstock

The Caucasian Ovcharka also is known as the Caucasian Shepherd. This particular dog breed was bred to protect livestock. The typical Caucasian Ovcharka is assertive, strong-willed and courageous.

According to the AKC, this dog is not to be taken lightly. They are serious guarding dogs means they will do whatever it takes to defend their territory, their master, and what they perceive as theirs.

Do they belong on the list of most dangerous dog breeds? Unless properly socialized and trained, the Caucasian Shepherd may exhibit aggressive dog behavior. Its instincts are to protect itself and those around it.

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