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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

15 Most Aggressive Dog Breeds

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For many people looking to get a new puppy, one crucial factor they consider is the temperament of the dog they are getting.

This is especially true for families who have to consider if the pet is safe around children. Dogs have been known to display aggressive behavior and attack humans, and some of these attacks have been fatal.

To know the most aggressive dog breed, you need to understand what aggression in dogs means. Dog breeds are different – there are dog breeds that are gentle and lazy, and others that are hyperactive and aggressive.

Aggression in dogs can continue or stop depending on how it is approached. Here are some of the behaviors that a dog can exhibit that show aggression: 

  • Snapping
  • Snarling
  • Biting 
  • Showing teeth
  • Growling 
  • Charging forward at a person 

Dogs typically give some type of warning before they bite. Future dog parents and puppy adopters should be careful when choosing a dog, especially if it’s for the first time. 

Possible Reasons behind Aggression in Dogs

Research has shown that some dog breeds are more aggressive and have caused more fatalities than others.

Some of these dogs were originally bred as hunting and guard dogs. They have a high instinct for prey and would not hesitate to go on in attack mode. 

Aggression in dogs may also be due to external factors, some of which are highlighted below: 


A dog in pain will become aggressive to protect itself from going through more pain. This response to pain occurs regardless of breed, sex, or age. It is advisable to be careful when handling an injured dog, even if it is a friendly dog and has never attacked you before.


Protecting one’s territory is expected behavior for animals. A dog will become aggressive to protect its territory. This aggressive behavior may occur when it feels another dog or human is invading its space.

The dog may even bite or attack the intruder, even if it’s a friend. 


Many dog breeds were initially bred to protect lives and property. This instinct for protecting their owners has become a prominent behavior of dogs.

The dogs may become aggressive when they receive visitors. Female dogs also show aggression toward anyone that tries to approach their puppies.

This quality can only be observed in adult dogs as puppies are yet to develop that instinct.  


Dogs instinctively protect themselves when they are not feeling well. Sudden displays of aggression from dogs may be a sign that the dog may be sick.

This sickness can affect the dog’s brain, which may trigger aggression. The sick dog should be taken immediately to the vet if the owner notices sudden changes in behavior. 

Social Aggression

Dogs, like humans, can be very vain and spoilt. Dogs that are treated lavishly believe that they are the masters of the house.

They will often become aggressive towards family members and other people when they don’t get their way. If this behavior is not curbed, it will keep getting worse. 


Dogs may display aggression when they are not allowed to do something they love or something that gets them excited.

This is similar to a child throwing a tantrum when they are forbidden from watching cartoons. 


Aggression is a behavior commonly exhibited in dogs when they cannot escape from the source of their fear.

This is a common defense mechanism for many animals. Dogs that are being punished may snarl, growl or bite the person.

You should not turn your back on a dog that is afraid because they may come up from behind and bite you. 

Most Aggressive Dogs in the World

1. Rottweiler

Rottweilers are muscular dogs, and they require ample space for exercise. This dog breed is known to cause many fatalities in the US, but contrary to popular opinion, they aren’t as bad as they are made out to be. Rotts are naturally aggressive, but they are usually not dangerous to humans.

This breed of intelligent and loyal dogs usually study their environment before responding to situations, making them excellent guard dogs.

Rottweilers are typically territorial animals – they can be aggressive even with other dogs. They also like being dominant creatures in any space and will test for dominance in their homes.

Fortunately, this dog breed is also good at obeying their masters and, therefore, with early and proper obedience training, their territorial instinct can be controlled. 

Rottweilers make excellent and loyal companions with good treatment, reputable breeding, and proper socialization. They can be very playful and silly like any other dog.

Some Rottweilers are even service dogs and are very friendly to people. 

2. Wolf Hybrid

The wolf hybrid is a cross between a dog and, most times, a grey wolf – although other wolf breeds can be bred. It is the most common wolf-type dog breed. This breed has a high prey drive which can make the dog very unpredictable. 

A wolf hybrid will likely hunt any small pets in the home and may even try to eat them due to its high prey drive. This dog breed requires a skilled handler, someone who won’t allow the dog to dominate. 

3. Pitbull

Pitbulls are fearsome-looking dogs with aggressive temperaments. They were originally bred to chase and catch animals and hold them down until their mast arrived.

A pit bull would develop its aggressive temperament by the age of 3. This dog breed is an excellent fight and is a common feature in dog fighting competitions.

Pit bulls can be deadly in a confrontation, they can be so aggressive that you may not be able to have other pets in the house. 

Pit bulls are bred to be alphas. You should ensure that your pit bull knows its place to prevent it from switching into alpha mode as it can become dangerous when it does.

Pit bulls should, therefore, be handled by an experienced person so as not to confirm the fears that they are dangerous pets.

Despite all of this, the strength and bravery of a pit bull can drive it to do acts of heroism. They have been known to guard children with their lives.

They have also rescued humans and animals from dangerous situations, and they have even put their lives on the line to protect their owners.

Despite its reputation, a pit bull is a good pet to have as long as they are kept in the right conditions. 

4. Chihuahua

Despite their small size, Chihuahuas are proud, stubborn dogs that would fight back at the slightest provocation.

It is an aggressive small dog breed, and this could sometimes be due to a lack of training from their owners, who believe a small dog does not require as much training as a large dog. 

Aggressive behavior in Chihuahuas may be because they think they are in charge. They can also become aggressive when afraid. They might growl and snap at strangers and behave aggressively towards other dogs without proper socialization.

Chihuahuas that are spoiled and treated like babies will be more aggressive because they feel self-important and dominant. Therefore, people who own Chihuahuas should treat them as they would any other dog so that they know their position in the family.

5. Saint Bernard

Saint Bernards have a reputation from Hollywood as large, lovable dogs known for their goofy attitude and rescuing people. What many people don’t know is that Saint Bernards have a very aggressive streak. 

This large working dog was originally bred in the Swiss and Italian Alps and was used to rescue people caught in avalanches. They are known as one of the best rescue dogs and are often part of rescue teams.

A Saint Bernard must be socialized for puppyhood to prevent this dog from becoming aggressive. 

6. Bull Terrier

Although the Bull Terrier has been a loyal family companion for generations, they are among the most aggressive dog breeds in the world.

Bull Terriers are not great for first-time owners but make wonderful companions for handlers with more experience. 

These dogs often tend to believe they are lap dogs, perhaps owing to their small size, but they are dogs with lean muscle. It may be challenging to handle a bull terrier without proper training as they tend to become aggressive and difficult to handle. 

7. Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman pinscher is an energetic, obedient intelligent, and alert; dog bred for protection. It is a large, fearsome dog with an impressive stance.

The breed was created for personal protection, and so they are instinctively aggressive towards strangers and those they may perceive as threats. This dog breed will also be aggressive towards other dogs.

This dog breed requires enough exercise to release energy. They also love being around people, and therefore, they should not be left alone in the house as they will develop separation anxiety, making them more aggressive.

Dobermans that are social have most likely gone through proper training at a young age.

8. Basenji

Basenjis may look small and cute, but they are one of the most aggressive dog breeds. Basenjis are bred initially in Central Africa. This dog breed is a sighthound, meaning that any movement from a small animal gets its attention and puts its prey instinct in overdrive. 

Basenjis are difficult to train and can remain reserved and aloof towards strangers. They tend to stick with only one master. 

9. Chow Chow

Chow chows are beautiful, fluffy dogs, that are quite popular among dog owners. But behind their fluffy selves, they are aggressive and stubborn dogs whose temperament can be a challenge to manage. 

Chow Chows are natural hunters, and they shouldn’t be left alone with small pets. They can be very dominating and are aggressive towards their male counterparts as they fight for dominance in any setting.

Chow chows, therefore, should either be raised alone or alongside another dog of the opposite sex.

This dog breed is also known to be impatient and will lash out when teased or frustrated. That is why chow chows should not be left alone with children.

Properly trained chow chows are, however, sweet to be around and are great family dogs. 

10. Alaskan Malamute

Another wolf-type dog, the Alaskan Malamute is the cousin of the famous Siberian Husky dog breed but is much larger in size and personality.

Alaskan Malamutes are also more aggressive than Huskies, and most dog owners will have trouble with this breed.

These dogs can become bored without daily exercise and, therefore, destructive. Alaskan Malamutes are extremely difficult to train and are very unreliable watchdogs.

They have a high prey drive and do not do well around small pets. 

11. Cane Corso

Cane Corsos are a giant breed of dogs initially bred to guard lives and property and hunt big animals. They take their guard duty very seriously, and no matter how social, it will always put its humans first.

This breed of dog has a high prey instinct and can chase and kill small pets if left untrained. Due to their active nature, Cane Corsos require exercise for a certain amount of time each day.

They are also highly territorial and will act aggressively towards other male dogs. Cane Corsos possess massive, powerful jaws that could cause severe damage to their victim.

A dog owner cannot manage the Cane Corso without experience, but their aggression can be controlled with proper training.

12. Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies are related to the Alaskan Malamutes and are among the most popular dog breeds globally. They are generally perceived as gentle pets, but experts say that they’re one of the most aggressive dogs.

Although they closely resemble the Alaskan Malamute, they are a little bit smaller in stature and calmer. They require lots of exercise and stimulation.

A husky’s is similar to that of the wolf, which can make them unpredictable. This dog breed, known for its stubbornness and dominance, can be a tough dog to control and keep from getting bored.

13. Bulldog

Although bulldogs appear fierce, they are actually very gentle dogs. They were pretty aggressive when they were first bred because they were developed to bait bulls, but they have carefully been bred over time to remove this aggression leaving us with sweet, cuddly dogs.

Bulldogs have a tendency to be aggressive around their food. They will guard their food fiercely, and children should be kept away from them at this time. They should also not be made to share food with other pets.

Bulldogs will also become aggressive towards other male dogs if they haven’t been socialized well. Otherwise, they are sweet, obedient, and lazy dogs that would love to lie at your feet the whole day.

14. Great Dane

The Great Dane is a giant breed of dogs that make fantastic family pets. They are quite gentle for their size and good with children.

Great Danes do not require a lot of exercise like other giant dog breeds, but they need a lot of space.

Great Dane puppies are very energetic and can be very destructive, and need supervision at all times. This dog breed varies in character.

They never fail to announce when visitors come, but some are highly territorial while others are friendly with all people. Great Danes will live peacefully with other dogs if correctly socialized.

15. Bullmastiff

Bull Mastiff is a huge, muscular, and strong breed that’s extremely loyal to his family. It is also an aggressive dog breed that needs an experienced handler who knows what they’re doing.

Without proper training, your house will be run by a giant breed of dog which can cause havoc by just running through your living room.

It is imperative to socialize and train a Bull Mastiff to prevent this dog from becoming one of the most aggressive dogs. 


Along with the aggressive dog breeds highlighted above, some other breeds that can be included in this list include:

  • Kangal
  • Dalmatian
  • Canary Mastiff (Perro de Presa Canario)
  • Collie
  • Australian Shepherd
  • Tosa Inu
  • Labrador Retriever

Most dogs are not as aggressive as people make them out to be, provided that they come from quality breeders and receive proper training.

It is also worthy of note that it is not advisable to leave dogs with children no matter how much you trust the dog as it may sometimes act out and hurt the children. 

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