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most dangerous dog breeds

10 Most Aggressive Dog Breeds (with Pictures)

When it comes to bringing a dog into the family home, you are often making a very wise choice. Having a dog around the place can be an exceptional experience for children of all ages. However, one problem that you might run into if you choose to bring a dog into the house is their level of aggression. Choose the wrong kind of dog, and you could find yourself dealing with a rather aggressive home life. To help you avoid that, this list of the most aggressive dog breeds should help you to make sure you bring home a canine that you can control.

Dogs are special creatures, but the sheer variety in dog breeds means you have many potential ways that a dog can act. One dog might seem calm and relaxing, another might seem chaotic and aggressive. And while the breed alone only acts as an indicator, understanding what the most aggressive dog breeds are might be useful in choosing the canine that you bring home.

In this guide, we will try to give you an insight into the breeds that you might wish to avoid bringing home if you want a more harmonious home experience.

What makes the most aggressive dog breeds act the way they do?

The main question that many people who choose to bring a dog into their household will have is ‘why are they so aggressive?’ – the answer is quite complex.

Some dogs are simply raised from aggressive breeds that were used for more violent tendencies. Sadly, some dog breeds have been used in war and in combat and this was the case for many generations of that breed. Just as other positive traits can become almost genetic to certain breeds, the same thing can happen here with certain aggressive breeds. That genetic history of being used for combat means that some breeds come with a natural aggression that has to be bred out of them from a very young age.

It is important that we understand what aggression means in a dog, though. For example, a dog can be aggressive because it is territorial and it does not like being disturbed. Other dogs might be deemed aggressive because they snatch, they play with force, and they are prone to biting. Typically, though, the aggression levels of a particular breed will be looked at in a certain light.

Basically, how aggressive a breed is will be defined by how they handle different scenarios that might take place in their day-to-day lives. It can give you an insight, then, into how a dog is likely to act should it be put in a situation that makes it feel uncomfortable, threatened, or otherwise out of its normal comfort zone.

Hunting and aggression in dogs

However, it is important to note one thing in particular – dogs are regarded as having a ‘prey drive’ and dogs with a high natural prey drive can be seen as aggressive. This is because their natural hunting instincts kick in and they could become dangerous to other animals – or even in extreme cases younger children. It is not really intentional, but dogs with a long history of natural hunting in their genes simply cannot help but revert to a hunting animal from time to time.

Put an aggressive dog breed in with a small animal and you could have some problems. This is because they either play too hard or they manage to hunt the animal as they see it as prey. A dog does not really understand that your pet rabbit is also part of the family; not to the same extent that a human could, anyway. So, if left to their own devices, a dog with a high prey drive could start hunting the smaller animals your house. This is simply part of their nature.

Aggression from dogs with humans

Another factor to take into account is that a dogs level of aggression with a prey and its level of aggression with humans are very different factors. Aggression from a dog will often be a different approach; with humans, it is driven by fear. Think how you feel if someone much larger than you comes into your personal space; you feel threatened, but you also feel scared. Well, a dog is unlikely to start getting aggressive with a human because it thinks it can beat you.

Instead, the aggression comes from a need to try and protect its home and its space. Try to keep that in mind, as many see aggressive dogs as something to fear. In truth, the opposite is the case; they are scared of you. Therefore, it is important that you look at how the most aggressive dog breeds act with a human and compartmentalise it from how they act with other animals.

Dealing with the most aggressive dog breeds

The first thing to note is that this kind of dog needs you to give it authority. You need to make sure that it is made very clear that hunting the neighbourhood cat, or the family gerbil, is not acceptable. At the same time, you need to understand and empathise with their fear from a human. Your dog barking and growling at a stranger coming into your home is a behaviour that is normal and can be worked on.

If you allow your dog to normalise an act of brutality like attacking a small animal, though, it becomes very hard to get that out of their system. You need to look at how your dog reacts in those circumstances. Ideally, you should work with a trainer who can give your dog the coaching required to stop those impulse reactions towards both humans and other pets.

The most aggressive dog breeds

1.      Pit Bull Terrier

The first of the most aggressive dog breeds in our list would be the most obvious – the American Pit Bull Terrier. These dogs look fearsome, and their reputation is one of a bruiser dog that can protect your house. They are powerful, stocky, and committed dogs that can be hard to manage due to their temperament. Sadly, many of thee dogs have histories in dog fighting.

They can be trained, though, to be nothing like the aggressive warriors that they are made out to be by some. This particular breed of dog needs you to understand that they can be very loving around family and friends if they are trained from a young age. However, you will need to work with a trainer to get rid of that aggressive approach towards other dogs. This simply takes some time and effort, as well as plenty of patience overall.

2.      Doberman


The Doberman is a famed breed of dog that actually has a bit of an unfair name as a fighting canine. They are strong and aggressive dogs in many ways, yes, but they are not a dog you need to worry about attacking humans unless it is put in a position of pure fear. They are aggressive towards people they do not know, yes, but it is often through personal fear or fear for you, the owner.

Regular training from a young age, though, can soon turn a Doberman into a much more mild mannered dog. There is a reason they are commonly used in military and law enforcement operations. They are intelligent dogs that take to training very well, and should have no problem getting the more aggressive approach to humans out of their system.

With proper training and early socialisation with other humans dogs, these problems fade away.

3.      Rottweiler


The Rottweiler is a famous dog for those who want something that is noted for being strong and aggressive. However, do not mistake that aggression for barbarity or stupidity; these are intelligent, great dogs to have around the place. Like all of the other most aggressive dog breeds, though, they need training. Given they can exceed 100lbs in size for a big male, you should be prepared for a dog that becomes very impressive in terms of power and stature.

They have a reputation for aggression, but it is mostly on a territorial level. They tend to be quite aggressive with other dogs as opposed to people. This makes them not really suited to homes with other small pets around the place. Like other breeds this can be trained out, but the training has to start early and it has to be extremely consistent from the first minute.

4.      German Shepherd

german rottweiler

Another dog to add to our list of the most aggressive dog breeds would be the German Shepherd. These are very powerful dogs, but they are also very calm dogs when they need to be. Given they can weigh over 85lbs in a male, though, you need to be aware that these are big, powerful, and enduring dogs.

The good news is that they are extremely smart dogs so you can trust that it will pick up on what you have to say in terms of behaviour. They have a long history of being used in law enforcement, so training a German Shepherd is definitely possible if you are willing to put in the work and the effort.

When trained properly, they make excellent family dogs and could be a wonderful guard dog. Training is needed, though, to curb those protective instincts.

5.      Akita


You might think of the humble Akita as a dog that would be too smart for fighting, but you would likely be wrong. These are aggressive dogs that can exceed 100lbs even for females. They are a natural hunting dog so they are used to playing with other prey, basically. You should therefore get used to the idea that your Akita could become a mild problem if you have lots of small pets in the neighbourhood.

Towards people, though, these are nothing like some of the other most aggressive dog breeds. They are a bit awkward with people they do not know, but this does not often last forever. Positive reinforcement is the secret to get some of the more aggressive habits out of a dog like this from a young age. They are smart enough to respond to positive training better than they would aggressive shows of discipline.

6.      Siberian Husky

siberian husky

Though elegant and intelligent, much like the Akita above, the Siberian Husky ranks as one of the most aggressive dog breeds. They are outstanding dogs but they can be quite stubborn and this can make training them to a high standard more complex than it really needs to be. They also require huge amounts of exercise and lots of social contact with both dogs and other humans.

This can make them demanding and if they do not get what they are looking for they can become quite frustrated. Not a good dog of choice for your first canine, put it that way. With enough time and training, though, most of those stubborn and passive aggressive habits can be curbed. If you want to bring in a dog that you know you can trust once it has plenty of training, though, this husky breed definitely makes lots of sense.

7.      Dalmatian


Sure, most of us associate the humble dalmatian with the famous movie but they can be quite aggressive. Though they might only reach a maximum weight of around 70lbs, they are athletic and can use their weight well in a fight. They tend to be natural guard dogs so they have that natural inclination to be aggressive or standoffish with a stranger.

This can be coaxed out of them, and hey should not be too bad around other dogs and other pets. They are naturally very protective of children, though, so you should be aware of that. if a stranger comes in and starts having fun withy our children, you might need to get your dalmatian ready not to spring into action.

They can perceive having fun with the family as someone causing aggression, so try and keep that in mind so your dog does not overreact too much.

8.      Dogo Argentino

dogo argentino

Famous for their patched eyes, these dogs are very much among the most aggressive dog breeds. They are powerful big dogs but they tend to be very strong because they once helped to hunt animals like boars – and even pumas. So, they are not afraid of a fight and they can be very aggressive in the wrong company. This is why they are banned in some countries as a pet.

However, they are loyal and intelligent dogs but they take a huge amount of time, patience, and training to get suitable for living at home. They are not a good choice if you have children, if you have lots of pets around you, or if they cannot get huge amounts of exercise. Definitely a dog for a more reclusive lifestyle, as their naturally aggressive personality makes them very much likely to react in a way that could be dangerous to pets and children – albeit it is rarely, if ever, intended.

9.      Boxers


Though not one of the most aggressive dog breeds in terms of overall behaviour, boxers are powerhouses. They have massive energy reserves so you need to work with them to get rid of some of that energy. If you do not, they can become moody, aggressive, and even destructive around the place.

Make sure that if you do get a boxer that you can commit the time and effort needed to get it lots of exercise. They also have incredibly powerful jaws, meaning their bite could be fatal for smaller animals or even small children. With enough training and enough time around children, though, there is absolutely no reason why a boxer dog cannot become a key part of your family unit for many years to come. Great dogs, but a high-intensity training regime, paired with exercise, is essential.

10.  Bullmastiff


Lastly, you should keep an eye out for Bullmastiff dogs. They are a natural guard dog that can live for less than a decade, but they tend to put a lot of effort into the years they are with us. They tend to need lots of training and lots of time around both people and pets from a young age. Otherwise their natural guarding instincts kick in and they can become a touch territorial and aggressive.

One thing to note about this particular breed of dog is that they tend to quite easy to socialise with and spend time with. They make a good choice for many dog owners who want to get a dog that needs lots of walks. Make sure you do so and that they are allowed to stop and spend time with other dogs, as they tend to become quite friendly dogs if they are used to seeing other animals on a regular basis.

Smart enough to take to training, too, the Bullmastiff should not be too hard to get over these bad habits quickly in life.

Choosing the right breed

As you can see, the most aggressive dog breeds out there tend to have their own personalities and styles. You should try to keep this in mind, and make your choice according to what you have learned from the above.