Noticing outbursts and questionable tendencies can be helpful for a dog parent. And, given proper training, nearly any breed can turn a troubling habit around. Regardless, here's what you need to know about the most dangerous dog breeds.
The Caucasian Shepherd, also known as the Caucasian Ovcharka, can grow up to 200 pounds. That weight alone can be dangerous for anyone inexperienced with such large animals. But, with training, this canine can be an excellent companion.
Typically bred for herding and livestock guarding purposes, the Caucasian Shepherd is a dog known to be powerful and confident. Thanks to their size, these jobs come easy to the breed. But, without proper training and socialization, it can also play a factor in them becoming aggressive and dangerous.
Some experts believe that numerous Pit Bull attacks are due to the rising popularity of the breed. They have been bred for fighting throughout history and are often improperly trained, treated, or handled. But with proper care, this intelligent breed can be very affectionate and playful.
PETA, or People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, released a statement about cases of dangerous Pit Bulls. The organization explained, "Pit Bulls face systemic, relentless abuse and neglect." This could be a considerable part of why that breed, in particular, is more often responsible for injuries and fatalities.
German Shepherds are one of the most popular dogs worldwide and have been around for nearly a century. They were first used as service dogs and are often trained to work alongside military service and law enforcement officers. According to the CDC, German Shepherds thrive on protecting the humans they love.
This, however, might play a role in why there have been numerous injuries to people from this breed. The CDC analyzed U.S. Humane Society data and found that there had been a total of 19 fatalities over 17 years related to German Shepherds. Nevertheless, with proper training, these loyal dogs can be gentle giants.
Rottweilers are muscular canines that were once bred to be draft dogs, hauling carts and guarding homes. The breed is known by many to be intelligent, active and requires a lot of attention and exercise. If Rottweilers grow to lack these things, the species can become aggressive.
Aggression could easily lead to dangerous behavior such as clawing, charging, or biting. Per the Association of Professional Dog Trainers (APDT), a Rottweiler can bite with a 328 psi (pound per square inch). This is almost 2.5 times the psi of a human, which ranges from 120-140 on average.
The fluffy Alaskan Malamute was originally bred to be sled dogs. They are mighty pack-oriented animals that require strong leadership and disciplined training. Without this management, many believe the breed can get discombobulated, charge at humans, or even become dangerous.
This breed is task-oriented, meaning that they will run in the requested way until told otherwise when attached to a sled or given a command. Thus, danger is possible. But, with the proper discipline, injury from even a large Alaskan Malamute is avoidable.
Large and strong enough to fend off predators such as wolves and bears, the Kangal dog comes from the Mastiff family. It is a large sheepdog with Turkestan roots. Depending on its environment and treatment, this breed can either be a family's watchful eye or their worst fear.
The Kangal is protective, but in most cases, that's typically met with warmth and gentleness. That is, when the dog is comfortable and feels safe. If they sense danger, they are sure to ward off the threat with a powerful bite of 743 psi, according to Inside Dogs World.
A Siberian Husky might look like a plush stuffed animal toy as a puppy, but once fully grown, the breed transforms into a massive and protective ball of energy that's nearly always ready to play. These four-legged friends are outgoing mammals that are eager to please until you rub them the wrong way.
Throughout time, these dogs have adopted a reputation of being stubborn. They require a lot of attention and ongoing training. If and when there may be a lack of structure in a Siberian Husky's life, they can grow to become wild, dangerous, and unpredictable.
This lean and adaptable breed of dog is referred to as a Belgian Malinois or Belgian Shepherd. Based on their ability to become accustomed to every climate, the breed makes for reliable hunting dogs. Playing a part in the hunting game, it may not come as a surprise that this brilliant and energetic hound can turn dangerous.
Without proper training, these dogs can be overly aggressive with small children and other animals. The Belgian Malinois' personality and skill are often used for guard and police dogs. With an Inside Dogs World psi report of 195, it becomes a bit more clear why this breed is a top choice for these jobs.
Fiercely loyal to their humans, Doberman Pinschers are widely known as compassionate, affectionate, and protective of children they were raised alongside. Powerful and energetic, a family could count on this pet as an excellent guard dog. But, there are times when their excessive energy and protectiveness could cause issues.
If agitated while in protective mode, the Doberman Pinscher can become irritable, aggressive, and dangerous. While they may require a great deal of exercise, training, and socialization, these large animals can be taught to save the aggression for the dog park.
With a name as cute as the Chow Chow, one might not believe that they could pose a threat. But, beneath their incredibly fluffy exterior, these dogs have a powerful jaw like a lion. With a lineage of East Asian ancestry, this breed is known as "Songshi Quan" in China, meaning "Puffy lion dog," according to The Chow Chow Club.
According to Inside Dogs World, the Chow Chow's unique black tongue sits within a set of teeth capable of a 220 pound per square inch bite. If these furry pooches lack socialization, it has been reported that they can become aggressive or adopt a pattern of overprotectiveness.
Intelligent, calm, and relatively easy to train, Boxers have a stature that does not match their personality. These playful and loyal mammals are friendly with children and other dogs. But, if left untrained, they will often not waste time viciously attacking small furry animals.
While allboxerinfo.com describes this breed as a successful hunter whose strength comes from its jaw, it's believed that features of a wide nose and open nostrils were introduced via breeding to allow them to breathe with more ease while their mouth was locked into its prey.
The Akita Inu may appear quiet and reserved at first glance, but under the large coat and curled tail is a big-boned and heavy dog. Affectionate and calm with their favorite humans, the Akita Inu is typically not fond of strangers or other animals.
In fact, without proper training or socialization to being around humans outside of their typical social setting, the Akita Inu can become dangerous. Like many of the breeds on this list, some of the threats can be minimized with prolonged instruction.
Perro de Presa Canario
The "Canary Island Catch Dog" or Perro de Presa Canario was used to direct livestock or chase off and eliminate predators way back when. Today, training and socialization are absolutely mandatory for this powerful beast. With their large paws and muscular body, these dogs can surely pack and punch if they feel they're in danger.
The Perro de Presa Canario is historically known as a battle dog with spiked aggression when feeling threatened. They typically weigh 100 pounds or more and have a psi of 540, according to Inside Dogs World. All things considered, an experienced trainer is undoubtedly necessary when bringing this dog into a home.
For an experienced dog owner and or someone who is physically capable of handling a large animal, the Fila Brasileiro can make a fantastic pet. Typically known as aggressive animals with a dominant and loud personality, they can become hostile with strangers or anyone who makes them feel threatened.
The Fila Brasileiro is very headstrong, both literally and figuratively, and has a lot of muscle. They can weigh between 90-100 pounds and, according to petplace.com, can either be a loving giant or aggressive beast. It all depends on the nature of how the dog is raised.
No, this isn't a small horse; This large dog is a Great Dane. The giant breed is often gentle and patient, especially with children. They can grow to be a whopping 32 inches tall from shoulder to the ground. According to the American Kennel Club, when on their hind legs, Great Danes can be taller than most people.
Their calm demeanor can change in the blink of an eye, as Great Danes are high alert animals and home guardians that need to be socialized to a household environment. With the swipe of a single paw, this large pooch could knock a human of any size onto their backsides.
Initially bred for guarding, tedious farm work, and fighting, the American Bulldog has an interesting reputation. When raised in a proper and warm environment, they can be gentle, affectionate, and incredibly loyal. But, when raised without direction or care, they can become temperamental.
With this breed, a happy home life often comes from training and care. The American Bulldog is very strong and muscular. So much so that they can inadvertently hurt children or other small animals due to not understanding their large size. Training the dog to understand their stature is crucial.
Per the American Kennel Club, Saint Bernards are among the world's most beloved breeds. These giant dogs hail from the Swiss Alps and are well known for carrying out snow rescues in colder climates. While this breed is typically intelligent and friendly, they can become aggressive if they are not properly socialized.
Given their ranging size of 120-140 pounds for females and 140-180 pounds for males, these powerful and muscular pooches can act without understanding their own strength. What they may believe is playing could quickly lead to an injury. That's why, like many of these breeds, training is necessary.
The Basenji has been around for nearly 5,000 years. And since then, they've required constant stimulation. Known as the "barkless dog" due to their inability to bark, these mammals often yodel to speak instead. This often makes it hard to understand what the animal is trying to communicate: An issue that could turn ugly.
Although this breed only grows to between 22-24 pounds, Basenji's have an abundance of energy and a deep desire to run. If an owner is not able to create time or space for their pup's exercise needs or cannot decipher yodels, this sweet-faced pooch might turn frustrated and lash out.
The Gull Dong breed has a long history of aggression. According to Inside Dogs World, it's not recommended for this breed to live in homes with other dogs, small animals, or young children. Considered challenging to train, and weighing anywhere from 90 to 140 pounds, this pooch requires a lot of dedicated time and effort.
The Gull Dong is known by many as a highly protective animal. Their natural sense of fighting, coupled with their muscular bodies and large heads, make for an excellent guard dog. But, this can also lead to over-aggression and a need for dominance in their home environment.
Weighing between 120 and 200 pounds, the Boerboel can act with more strength than they realize. Originally trained to be a family protector and game hunter for survival, the Boerboel is courageous and warm towards their humans. They'll protect their family at any cost, which, when they sense danger, can be fierce.
With a name translating to "Farmer's dog," this breed is loyal to a fault. When their humans appear to be in danger, the Boerboel can revert into survival mode with vicious power. The American Kennel Club suggests caution for first-time dog owners and socialization and early training for the dog.
An excellent protector of its family, the Dogo Argentino should be handled with caution around strangers. Aside from their ability to grow up to 100 pounds, the breed can reach 26-27 inches tall from shoulder to the ground. This is one of the reasons the Dogo Argentino requires immense training.
Native to Argentina, these mammals are large, extremely muscular, and intelligent. When agitated, or if they feel themselves or their family are in danger, the Dogo Argentino's instinct is to present their strength. This can appear in the form of a lunge, bite, or another form of aggression.
According to petplace.com, back in the 19th century, the Rhodesian Ridgeback breed was used by hunters to track lions in present-day Zimbabwe. With a history of being very powerful and strong-willed animals, they became widely known as "The dog with the snake down its back" due to their fur pattern.
The representation of the snake on their fur resonates with this animal's personality. Growing to be 24-27 inches in height and between 70-85 pounds, this hound can be exceptionally loyal to its friends and wary of foes. That's why it's crucial to give this loyal pooch enough attention, freedom, training, and socialization.
You might recognize this face as the Target dog, but these small canines have another reputation that precedes the store. Bull Terriers are very muscular and can pack and punch when necessary. Their strength and significant prey drive require a watchful eye when playing with other animals or young children.
Initially bred to be champion dogfighters, the Bull Terrier has an ancestry of aggression. Nevertheless, given proper training, these hounds can be affectionate pets that enjoy being playful. As well-mannered as these dogs may be inside their homes, owners must remain cautious and watchful around others.
According to the American Kennel Club, the Labrador is the most popular pet in America. They're typically well-mannered, relaxed, and loving. Still, owners should always remain on the lookout for signs of reactivity, such as fearfulness, frustration, and or medical issues that may cause the dog to lash out or bite.
As explained by the American Kennel Club, "A Lab who doesn't get enough exercise is likely to engage in hyperactive and/or destructive behavior to release pent-up energy." This emphasizes the importance of training, socialization, and as an owner, understanding your dog's reactivity signs.
The Cane Corso is a Mastiff breed that hails from Italy. It's existed for thousands of years, and its name translates to "Guardian dog," according to the American Kennel Club. Bred to battle, hunt, and participate in dangerous blood sports while guarding their humans and property, the Cane Corso can show aggressive tendencies.
While this breed may have a harsh past, the future is theirs for the rewriting. With proper care, this dog will fiercely protect their family. But, irresponsible training and breeding practices could very well lead to aggressive and dangerous behavior from a Cane Corso.
The Bullmastiff is, you guessed it, a cross between a Bulldog and Mastiff. This hound can weigh upwards of 100 pounds and can grow to be as tall as 27 inches from shoulder to the ground. Back in the 19th century, these dogs had the job of stopping poachers. To do that, they formed and presented aggressive and dominant exteriors.
While these dogs have learned the behavior of being a protector, they can form deep connections and bonds with their humans. Though, when not properly socialized or trained, the breed can revert back to old times and become dangerous even to their own families.
The American Bandogge, also known as the Bandog, is a mix between an American Bulldog and a Mastiff. Thanks to these genetics, the breed is very muscular and agile. According to the American Kennel Club, they're brilliant and confident hounds who are not recommended as pets for first-time dog owners.
Athletic and energetic American Bandogges thrive on leadership, love, and attention. But, if and when they feel threatened, they can dangerously show leadership. With an Inside Dog World reported psi of 730, this breed can clamp down on just about anything and leave some considerable damage.
Bred to be fighters in Japan, the Tosa Inu, also known as the Japanese Mastiff, can weigh up to 200 pounds and can pull a weight several times its size. According to the American Kennel Club, their muscular bodies and jaws can tug up to 3,000 pounds.
With proper training, these hounds can be gentle and calm, but their presence can evoke fear. BBC News reported that some countries, including the U.K., banned the dog due to its potential for aggression. However, The Kennel Club's Bill Lambert explained that even if a species was bred for fighting, it doesn't make them inherently unsafe.
English Mastiffs are large dogs who need a lot of daily activity and exercise. They are strong and have poignant protective instincts. Their colossal body size coupled with their huge paws and Inside Dogs World reported psi of 552, these hounds can occasionally pose a threat.
When treated well, these dogs are typically low maintenance and act as reliable guard dogs for their family. Generally, they're gentle and kind but have been reported to be better suited in homes without small children. This is in partly due to their large size and powerful and potentially dangerous paws.
This giant pooch is the Tibetan Mastiff. Ranging from 90-150 pounds, this dog is watchful, intimidating, and a fierce protector of its family. The American Kennel Club calls this animal the "Guardian dog supreme," as it's mellow around the home but very territorial with strangers.
Once the guardians of the Himalayas, Tibetan Mastiffs are strong-willed with great strength. When faced with someone the dog views as a threat, their 24-26 inch stature is confidently used to their advantage. With a baritone bark, muscular build, and surprising agility, this hound is sure to keep the strangers away.
Last but not least is the Wolf Dog. This breed is a hybrid of a domestic hound and one of four types of wolves. Not only is this a controversial pet, but in many states, including New York, people are strictly prohibited from owning the unique and potentially dangerous breed.
With wolf genes, these dogs have a fear-induced tenor that can be hard to understand or control. Per the International Wolf Center, a Wolf Dog's behavior can be erratic and difficult to predict. While this may pose a threat, the Wolf Dog, like all others on this list, can be a person's best friend, given the proper training.
Pit Bull Terrier
This dog has high energy levels and a dire need for playfulness in its environment. The Pit Bull Terrier has been widely reported as an easily trainable dog, as long as they are in a space where they can get their energy out. Otherwise, you can expect a slobbery wake-up call!
Like many of the pooches on this list, the Pit Bull Terrier requires training and socialization to properly communicate with strangers and their human families. Given this time and effort, the 30-85 pound dogs can become very kid and small dog-friendly.
While Dalmatians have been known to ride in the passenger seat of a firetruck, ready for any emergency, the training they require is crucial. They can be very positive and happy animals, but if their strength goes untrained, they can easily become a hound that overpowers its human.
With their known humans, they're protective and loving. But, with strangers, these dogs have gained a reputation of being more intimidating at the first meeting. However, given the right kind of treatment, this dog can protect, love, snuggle, and hustle all in one spotted body.
Russian Black Terrier
These powerful dogs are built of muscle and fur. But don't let their thick fluffy coat distract you! The Russian Black Terrier is a mighty animal known for its confidence and intelligence. In fact, throughout history, they've been taught to guard and protect at all costs.
This is one example of why the Russian Black Terrier could be a good house pet. But, if there are small children in the home, this becomes a different story. Their weight can reach upwards of 140 pounds and could injure without realizing it due to their size. If one thing is for sure, they're definitely not to be messed with.
The next pooch ranks at number 64 of 197 on the American Kennel Club's list of favored breeds. This could be due to its squishable face, its muscular body, or its demeanor around strangers. In the latter example, the Shar-Pei can act very standoffish and suspicious...
It's in moments of danger and/or confusion that these dogs can snap back into their historical roots. When faced with a perceived threat, the Shar-Pei species will defend with strength and determination until the potential menacing situation ends or disappears.
The Korean Jindo dog is widely used for hunting and guarding. Its strong senses of hearing and alertness allow this pooch to always remain attentive and agile. A dog very faithful to its master, the Jindo makes a great protector and only becomes dangerous when there is reason to do so.
The Korean Jindo has been said to act out in aggression when they or their master has been threatened. They also have a high prey drive, making several reasons to ensure they are well-socialized before bringing a small dog or child into the same home.
These sassy and sometimes loud dogs are known as the Chihuahua. And, according to the AKC, they are known to display a loyal, charming, and big-dog attitude. This means that while they might be small enough to fit into a purse, they pack a punch when it comes to noise.
With a bit of a "Terrier temperament," Chihuahuas require a firm yet gentle hand when it comes to training. While they're knowledgeable, they can oftentimes confuse special leisures that they get as puppies with acceptable behavior as adults. So, it's important to be strict with these little ones for the best results.
The Bedlington Terrier is included on this list due to being termed a "Versatile dog being good with children and fit to kill any other dog of his weight." Ranging from 17-23 pounds, these dogs are agile and graceful. However, it's their guard mentality that can sometimes get them into trouble.
They will protect their loved ones at all costs, especially to receive loads of cuddles after. And, when running comes into play, whether it be for a game of fetch or chasing away any kind of predator, the Bedlington Terrier moves like the wind. Don't blink, or you might miss them!
The Lapponian Herder loves to keep busy. Whether they can fill their time with watching over their loved ones or digging for the best biggest tree root, these dogs are packed with energy and brains. Weighing up to 70 pounds, they are gentle giants when they're properly trained.
If they aren't given the socialization necessary for an animal of this breed and size, the Lapponian Herder may have difficulty adjusting to life at home. They're eager to please; it just needs to be coming from the right person. While they might listen to their master, they may also take orders from an intruder.
Some dogs on this list might be more widely known as having dangerous tendencies than others. However, according to the Journal of the American Veterinary Association, or JAVMA, the Cocker Spaniel has been responsible for over 59 fatal attacks over the last 25 years.
This might sound like a high statistic, especially for a dog with a reputation of being gentle and happy, but their history as hunting dogs with a sole mission can sometimes take over. However, given the proper training and environment, these loving animals can make the sweetest of companions.
Spanish Water Dog
This fluffy four-legged friend is known as the Spanish Water Dog. Its been deemed a playful, work-oriented, active and upbeat animal by some. But, while their trusted human might be able to direct them to do nearly anything, these dogs are very wary of strangers.
So much so that they might growl, snarl, and possibly lunge at a human they don't recognize. These are a few reasons the American Kennel Club cited the grave importance of early socialization among Water Dogs. However, it is crucial to note that the training must be done lovingly and patiently if a good result is expected.
Collies are among the most widely recognized dog breeds, thanks to their graceful prance and beautiful coats. They have a reputation for being great with children and other small dogs, and with calm and gentle training, they can learn an abundance of tricks from their humans. However...
Without the proper amount of companionship and regular exercise, a Collie will become frustrated with pent-up energy. And, there's really no way of knowing how the reaction could pan out, as to the extent to which dogs have learned to understand humankind, we have a bit more to go to be able to read our furry friend's thoughts.
The Deutscher Boxer is a dog created by crossing the look and personality traits of several breeds: the bulldog, bullenbeyser, and mastiff. Given that, the idea was to create a non-aggressive animal with a keen sixth sense about it. But, somewhere along the way, things might have gotten a bit jumbled.
While these pooches might make for a good pet due to their chilled temper, the Deutscher Boxer is considered one of the most difficult breeds to train. This makes it a dangerous game for first-time dog owners to play. In addition, their training requires the absence of aggression altogether, which could become confusing for all.
These stocky and muscular dogs are known as Staffordshire Terriers. According to the AKC, they can grow to stand between 17-19 inches at the shoulder, leveled out with their large square-like heads. These dogs are agile, packed with power, and, if not trained properly, can be dangerous to humans.
While these dogs might have a reputation of being "Confident, smart, and good-natured," without proper socialization, the strength of these animals can overpower even a full-grown adult. Weighing anywhere between 55-70 pounds, the Staffordshire Terrier is not a dog to be messed with.
Polish Lowland Sheepdog
Another herding dog, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog, can reach as much as 30-50 pounds and depends on their owners to keep them clipped for the summer heat. But, don't let their shaggy complexion fool you! This breed is full of muscle and amazing eyesight (even though their eyes are often covered).
Whether they're standing alert at the front door or suspicious about a stranger passing by, the Polish Lowland Sheepdog might not listen to its owner the first, second, or third time they receive a command. Unfortunately, this strong animal isn't the most obedient, which can lead to the potential of unwelcome situations.
Dachshunds come in two sizes and an assortment of three colors, coats, and patterns. Seen here is the Standard Smooth Daschund, a dog that isn't necessarily built for long runs or swimming in the ocean. But, with a history of being a hunter, these little ones can be intense and brave when necessary.
But, they might ignore the training they are given, which is one reason Dachshunds can be so difficult to teach. And, if one is to get distracted while in the middle of something, there's a high chance the initial task has gone out the window. If left untrained, their hunting senses can take over at the worst of times.
Jack Russell Terrier
There are many sub-breeds within the Russell Terrier family. Whichever one happens to have stolen your heart, they're likely clever, athletic, and alert, as most of the breed is. But, taking a look into the dog's history might give us more information about their sometimes unnerving temperament.
As a "Fox-working" dog, the Russel Terrier breed is historically known to be speedy fast, with a strong bite and loud bark. While they are small and often fluffy, these dogs can get easily frustrated without an upbringing of the proper training and socialization.
The Japanese Tosa can grow to be 200 pounds, and that's dangerous enough alone! While they're known to be patient, bold, and courageous, the American Kennel Club states that these animals can react with immense aggression to dogs that impede on their territory.
Thus, it is required for owners of this breed to properly train their pooch to be able to differentiate between an intruder and another friendly animal. The Japanese Tosa is also known as the Japanese Mastiff, Tosa Token, or the Japanese Fighting Dog.
The Canaan is a kind of Indian Pariah Dog that is constantly alert and a self-appointed guardian of their home and family. Any danger potential danger that could harm this animal's loved ones would be met with loud vocal snarls and passionate facial expressions. These dogs are sweet until their territory is invaded.
Once that happens, the Canaan Dog will bark and howl to stand their ground and possibly take physical action if not calmed by their human. In terms of training and socialization of this breed: it is a must, non-negotiable until they learn that territory can be shared.
The Blue Healer is a widely known cattle dog that thrives when given the task of wrangling a crowd. Also referred to as the Australian Cattle Dog or Queensland Heeler, this animal is intelligent enough to outsmart its owners, which can become dangerous quickly.
Quick, nimble, and smart, the Blue Heeler is a dog whose speed and intelligence are not to be messed with but to be formed and molded into a pooch who is both protective and obedient. Without proper instruction from a young age, these dogs can grow to rule the house, street, and neighborhood.
The Kunming Wolfdog is also known as the Czechoslovakian Vlcak and was initially bred to help keep the border of Czechoslovakia safe and secure. In today's age, they're used for rescue and obedience training. Playing on the breed's agility and herding abilities, they are trusted in some of the most dangerous situations.
However, after a lifetime of seeing and experiencing some of the rather less glorious of history at the country's border, there is a chance that the Kunming Wolfdog has adapted too much to the danger in their line of work. Without proper training from puppy age, these dogs could lean into a habit of lashing out in times of stress.