16 Fighting Dog Breeds You Should Know

Fighting dogs are gladiators of a fight who do not admit defeat and are ready to fight until absolute victory. Many animal lovers want to have a slender, strong handsome dog at home.

But these specific breeds require serious preparation from the owner. Otherwise, the pet will become uncontrollable and will be a danger to the household. So, here in this article let’s know about 16 fighting dog breeds. So, see these fighting dog breeds below…

Here’s a detailed look at fighting dog breeds, covering their history, personality, and the responsibility required of owners.

Fighting Dogs: A Complex Legacy

Many popular dog breeds today have descended from fighting stock. These dogs were originally bred for strength, aggression, and a high pain tolerance. While dogfighting is now illegal, the strong, protective instincts of these breeds remain. Here’s what you need to know:

16 Popular Fighting Dog Breeds

  1. Kangal: Large guard dog, protective but balanced.
  2. American Pit Bull Terrier: Unstable temperament, banned in some countries.
  3. Caucasian Shepherd Dog: Kind and gentle today, but with a fighting legacy.
  4. American Staffordshire Terrier: Strong and protective, needs experienced owners.
  5. Dogo Argentino: Loyal companion, but requires attention.
  6. Neapolitan Mastiff: Strong and intimidating, but can be trained.
  7. Gull Terrier: Rare and aggressive, needs specialist handling.
  8. Japanese Tosa: Calm, muscular, and historically used for dog fighting.
  9. Perro de Presa Canario: Powerful and intimidating, but can be sociable.
  10. Korean Jindo Dog: Loyal guard dogs, but can be stubborn.
  11. Staffordshire Bull Terrier: Playful and affectionate, but with terrier instincts.
  12. New Guinea Singing Dog: Ancient lineage, independent, and not suited for most homes.
  13. Fila Brasileiro: Aloof with strangers, lazy, but protective.
  14. Dogue de Bordeaux: Heavy, strong, and devoted.
  15. Akita Inu: Loyal, protective, but independent and hard to train.
  16. Shar Pei: Distinctive looks, but wary of strangers and requires early training.

Key Takeaways

  • History Matters: Understanding a breed’s past informs responsible ownership.
  • Strong Personalities: Fighting breeds are often dominant, protective, and may have aggression triggers.
  • Training is Essential: These dogs require consistent training, socialization, and firm leadership.
  • Not for Everyone: These breeds are not suitable for first-time owners or those who cannot provide the right environment.
  • Responsible Ownership: Owning a fighting breed requires understanding, commitment, and awareness of specific needs.

Important Considerations

  • Research the breed thoroughly before considering adoption.
  • Be honest about your experience level and the time you can commit.
  • Seek out reputable breeders prioritizing temperament.
  • Prioritize early socialization and obedience training from puppyhood.
  • Provide ample exercise and mental stimulation
  • Be aware of potential legal restrictions or stigma associated with certain breeds.

These breeds can be wonderful companions with responsible ownership, but it’s crucial to understand and address their unique needs and history to ensure a safe and happy life for the dog and the people around them.

16 Popular Fighting Dog Breeds:

There are still many species of animals in the world that were once created as aggressors. Initially, fighting dogs were bred to participate in fights. The breeds were reprofiled into sappers, guards, and hunters. Here let’s know about 16 popular fighting dog breeds.

1. Kangal

Kangal is a guard dog of a shepherd, protecting herds of sheep from wolves. It belongs to the most ancient rocks of Asia Minor. His ancestors were used as fighting dogs in times of war, and for hunting in times of peace.

Big, agile, and bold, they attacked lions and caught wild horses. The Kangal Dog has been formed for many years by selective selection and crossing of the largest and most formidable dogs.

Karabash in Turkish means “blackhead”.  A beautiful, strong, proud, hardy dog with a balanced and calm character. This big man is devoted to the owner and will protect the property and the territory entrusted to him tirelessly.

Wary of strangers, but without showing unreasonable aggression. With proper upbringing and timely socialization, the Kangal is an excellent watchman and an excellent guard.

2. American Pit Bull Terriers

fighting dog breeds

Daughter breed of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. It was bred in America after the prohibition of animal fighting clubs in England. Bull Terriers were taken to the continent to improve their skills. During the selection, the Pit Bull Terrier appeared, abbreviated as the Pit Bull.

The breed is distinguished by extreme instability of external growth. At the withers, individuals reach from 43 to 53 cm, they resemble either bulldogs or terriers. A characteristic feature is a taut body and long muscular paws. The muzzle can be both short, wide, and elongated.

Pit Bulls are the most aggressive and uncontrollable of the Fighting Terrier group, all because character development is difficult to follow. Not every kennel has family books, so it is difficult to analyze the shortcomings of the ancestors of a particular puppy.

Dogs are banned in many EU countries and America. In other states, strict rules for keeping and walking for the breed have been introduced, because it is listed among a number of potentially dangerous ones.

3. Caucasian Shepherd Dog

The most beloved pets of children once also took part in fierce battles that people arranged for fun. Today, all over the world, one cannot find such a kind and the same furry dog, a favorite of adults and children.

It is hard to imagine that once the descendants of the “Caucasians” dragged their rivals by the neck and ears in the fighting ring. Videos of the fights that are being held today are easy to find on the Internet.

4. American Staffordshire Terrier

Dog breeders have not decided where exactly this dog came from: from England or America. The animal is 43-48 cm tall and weighs 25-30 kg. The basic instinct is to protect the owner, his family, his home, and his property.

We are invincible in battle. A very strong and patient animal. Requires serious training of the breeder and regular training. It is not always possible to correctly assess the situation.

From childhood, the dog must be socialized in the company of children and other animals. Otherwise, the pet will not be able to live in the family.

Physical activity is the key to the longevity and mental health of the terrier. With him, you need to walk a lot and actively. Running across the field is the animal’s favorite pastime.

5. Dogo Argentino

The Argentine, despite its impressive appearance, is quite tolerant of strangers. Although it does not matter, because strangers without any warning try to bypass this big dog.

But for the owner, the Dogo Argentino is a faithful and reliable companion with the character of a true aristocrat.

There is one feature of the Argentine – he is quite demanding of attention in his direction. The dog will climb on your lap and ask for affection in every possible way. And this is with its dimensions!

Is it necessary to say that the owner should not drive the dog away? But it is better not to acquaint such a dog with other pets.

However, with all these qualities, Great Danes are quite independent and often strive to show a dominant character. You will not have time for hobbies, much less for TV – the dog constantly needs long walks and good physical activity.

6. Neapolitan Mastiff

In the top fighting breeds, these giants are also worth mentioning. Like other dogs, they used to be used for baiting, hunting, and so on. Fighting between Neapolitan Mastiffs is sometimes heard today.

This strong dog can knock down and disable the enemy in a few seconds. But breeders still appreciate such qualities of the breed as the protection of the territory and people, as well as the ability to train.

7. Gull Terrier

Gull Terrier is one of the rarest breeds in the world.  It is famous for its difficult character and propensity for aggression. However, such a pet can be obedient and balanced if properly raised.

In the hands of an experienced dog breeder, he will become well-managed and even useful.  Without a doubt, the representative of this breed is one of the strongest and most dangerous.

It has sudden mood swings. May fall into uncontrollable anger. Strongly needs competent educational work. According to the features of maneuverability – dexterous, nimble, and fast. Often performs in the arena as a fighter with other dogs.

It is impossible not to note the tendency of the Gull Terrier to aggression. This is a very serious watchdog breed, which must be started from early childhood.

Otherwise, it will pose a deadly threat to every person who is not included in her pack.

8. Japanese Tosa

The Japanese Tosa is a large, muscular dog that was bred for Japanese dog fighting, but in addition to its traditional use, these animals are renowned as excellent bodyguards and companions.

Today, Japanese Tosa is quite rare even in their homeland, most of them are concentrated in South Korea, Taiwan, and the Hawaiian Islands, but according to Japanese breeders, dogs outside their homeland are noticeably inferior in quality to local native Japanese Tosa.

The Japanese Tosa is an energetic companion with an outstanding fighting past and a distinctly Japanese equanimity of character.

9. Perro de Presa Canari

The Dogo Canario, or “Perro de Presso Canario” is a massive, well-fed dog, resembling a pile of muscles with a proud, intelligent look. The breed is bred artificially. In history, dogs are listed as shepherds and fighters.

Outwardly ferocious animals cause fear in people, but the owners call them complaisant, kind four-legged friends. They even get along with cats.

Despite positive reviews, in some countries, the Spanish dog is banned. Before you get a puppy of a frightening breed, you need to familiarize yourself with all the nuances.

The Canarian dog originated in Spain, its homeland is the island of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, located in the Canary Archipelago.

Dogo Canario was originally bred for guarding purposes, the dogs protected livestock from predators. They are large, fearless, and capable of outrunning even bulls. In modern times, they are bred to protect the house.

10. Korean Jindo Dog

Korean jin-dos are designed for guarding and hunting. Dogs are often trusted to guard military bases. Dogs of this breed are loyal to their owner and try to please them in everything. The owner must achieve respect and trust from the pet.

This is an ancient hunting breed of a medium-sized dog, which is famous for its devotion, courage, and working qualities.

Recognized as a national treasure of the country, they participated in the opening of the Olympic Games in Seoul in 1988. The breed is not very rare, but it is practically never found outside of South Korea.

It is difficult to educate Korean jindos, during training the animal may begin to show its character or pretend that it does not understand the commands. But in fact, these dogs are very smart, although stubborn.

11. Staffordshire Bull Terrier

This breed is from England. It turned out by crossing a terrier and a bulldog. Despite the formidable appearance, the staff is very attached to the owner and is constantly looking for his attention and indulgence. If you can’t devote much time to your dog, consider another breed.

Having terriers in their ancestors, the staff bull is not averse to sometimes biting other dogs or driving the cat up a tree.

But if you took a dog into the house as a small puppy and you already have animals, the staff will make friends with them.

The manifestation of aggression toward other living creatures is not typical for modern Staffordshire Bull Terriers, but if you come across such an exception, you cannot retrain the dog with either prohibitions or affection.

12. New Guinea Singing Dog

The New Guinea singing dog is a very ancient dog, their ancestors separated from the common dog tree 30,000 years ago, and for 6 thousand years they have been building their little paradise in New Guinea.

During this time, they became so different from other representatives of the canine people that scientists identified the song dogs as a separate subspecies of the wolf.

New Guinea singing dogs are well adapted for living and hunting in highlands with dense vegetation. Thanks to a special anatomical structure, they can jump high, deftly move over stones, and crevices, and even climb trees.

They have a fairly wide wedge-shaped head with erect ears, a narrow body, strong limbs of medium length, and a double, thick coat of red color.

13. Fila Brasileiro

Bred in Brazil, the breed has a physique similar to the English Mastiff, but smaller (height 65-75 cm). On the neck, there are pronounced folds of skin forming a collar. The skull is large and round, the muzzle is of medium length.

The breed standard officially recognizes aggressiveness towards strangers. Even at shows, a dog may react negatively to the judges and will not be disqualified. Although in the family and among friends, Filya is an absolutely calm and obedient dog. Does not like training, very lazy.

14. Dogue de Bordeaux

French breed of guard and draft dogs. They were often called butcher’s helpers because the animals often had to carry carts of meat, guarding them against thieves. Bordeaux is very heavy: with a height of 65-66 cm, their weight can reach 100 kg.

The external feature of the breed is a uniform color (shades of red) and a black or red mask on the muzzle. Restrained, lazy, stubborn by nature, but infinitely loving and devoted. They are ready to protect the entrusted territory and protect children and people.

15. Akita Inu

Purebred Japanese – No. 2 in the list of popular fighting dogs. The growth of males is 58-70 cm at the withers. The female reaches 55 cm. The dogs weigh from 40 to 45 kg. Despite the historical role, today these pets are absolutely socialized and can live in a house with children.

Breeders have invested in the genetics of these dogs an increased propensity to protect the owner. You won’t find a better bodyguard. In addition, the Akita Inu is also a devoted friend and faithful companion.

The dog is hard to train. Dogs need to be trained in severity from childhood. The owner must be the absolute leader. The breeder has no right to oversight. Otherwise, the animal will be lost.

If the Akitu Inu is expected to live together with a child in the future, the dog must be taught to control outbreaks of aggression.

The dog is athletic and active. It requires long walks and high physical exertion. In winter, the dog gladly agrees to take the children for a sled ride. If the pet lives in an apartment, daily jogging across the field is a prerequisite for keeping an Akita Inu.

16. Shar Pei

Now Shar Pei, for the most part, is perceived as decorative domestic dogs, attracting attention with their unusual appearance.

But their past is really connected with fighting, guarding, and even hunting. So far, dogs have done an excellent job of protecting humans.

Even a child recognizes Shar Pei by his appearance. Its entire body is covered with thick skin folds. In addition, the dog has a blue-black tongue.

The color of animals can be solid or pigmented. The most common colors are beige, apricot, brown, gray, and red.

Despite the fact that such pets look like affectionate bears, they are wary of strangers. Dog training should start at an early age.


No matter how attractive life looks with a muscular, strong dog, the owner must evaluate his strengths and capabilities. If you do not devote enough time to training, a fighting dog will turn into a dangerous animal for others.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at ItsAboutDog.com.

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