17 Most Aggressive Dog Breed

Dogs aren’t only loyal, friendly, and playful but they’re also aggressive sometimes. Depending on their temperament and upbringing, dog breeds can become a dangerous threat to human beings. These aggressive dogs were mainly descended from wolves by human beings, and as a result, became very loyal yet dangerous creatures.

We have discussed everything related to aggressive breeds in our article below. Let’s have a look at the aggressive dog breeds list along with the reasons behind their aggression.

Absolutely! Here’s a breakdown of your information on aggressive dog breeds, with key takeaways to make it easier for potential dog owners.

Understanding Dog Aggression: Causes and Breeds to be Aware Of

While dogs are beloved companions, some breeds have a greater tendency towards aggression than others. This can be due to various factors, including:

  • Breeding History: Some breeds were originally developed for guarding, fighting, or hunting. These instincts can still be present in their genetic makeup.
  • Socialization and Training: Inadequate or improper socialization and training can lead to aggression in any dog. Dogs need positive exposure to people, other animals, and environments to develop healthy behaviors.
  • Upbringing: Neglect, abuse, and stressful environments can make dogs fearful or defensive, leading to aggression.
  • Protective Instincts: Dogs may act aggressively to protect themselves, their owners, or their perceived territory from a real or imagined threat.

15+ Breeds with Possible Aggressive Tendencies

It’s crucial to remember that every dog is an individual. Any given dog from the breeds below may not be aggressive, but awareness is key:

  • Pit Bull: Powerful and potentially dangerous if not properly trained and socialized.
  • Boxer: Can be dominant and aggressive towards other animals.
  • Dachshund: Surprisingly aggressive to strangers, with potential to bite.
  • Cane Corso: Bred for guarding, requires strong leadership.
  • Chow Chow: Can be irritable and distrustful, potentially food aggressive.
  • German Shepherd: Protective and powerful, needs confident owners.
  • Akita: May be standoffish and assertive, with high prey drive
  • Shar Pei: History as a fighting dog, can be stubborn and potentially aggressive.
  • Rottweiler: Powerful and protective, requires experienced owners.
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback: Strong prey drive, needs early socialization.
  • Siberian Husky: Stubborn, requires a lot of training and exercise.
  • Doberman Pinscher: Traditional guard dog, needs firm handling.
  • Chihuahua: Tiny but surprisingly feisty, prone to biting.
  • Jack Russell Terrier: Fearless and tenacious, needs outlet for energy.
  • Dalmatian: Historically guard dogs, can be wary of strangers.
  • Dogo Argentino: Bred for hunting large game, with dangerous potential.
  • Giant Schnauzer: Large, powerful, requires specialized training.

Key Takeaways

  • All Dogs Can Be Aggressive: Even breeds not listed above can display aggression under certain circumstances. Proper training and care are essential for any dog.
  • Responsible Ownership Is Key: With appropriate training, socialization and a loving environment, even breeds with aggressive tendencies can make wonderful companions.
  • Do Your Research: Before getting a dog, learn about the breed’s history, temperament, needs, and potential challenges.
  • Don’t Underestimate Small Breeds: Aggression isn’t limited to large dogs.
  • Be a Responsible Pet Owner: If your dog shows signs of aggression, seek professional help from a qualified dog trainer or behaviorist.

Remember: With the right care and attention, many dogs with a potential for aggression can be safe and loving family pets!

What Is Aggression in Dogs?

Aggression in a dog breed is a display of destructive behavior, typically toward a person or another dog. While many people correlate aggression with dog biting, it involves a full range of behaviors of the dog. Some examples of dog aggression can contain barking, lunging, and growling.

There is a significant difference between the behavioral traits and the aggression of a dog. Don’t mistake the two. Mixed-breed dogs often grow aggressive. But behavioral traits devolve due to improper training or other matters in a dog.

These dog breeds were produced to be hunters, baiters, and workers. Aggression was intentionally stimulated to get these dog breeds to do their specific job better. Centuries later, these traits got coded into these dogs’ DNA. However, there are some other reasons for their aggression as well.

Let’s find out below that what makes dog breeds aggressive:

What Makes Dog Breeds Aggressive?

Any dog breed becomes aggressive. Mostly dog breeds that were produced for guarding or working purposes, seem to be very aggressive. Other than that, some other reasons affect a dog’s temperament and make the dog aggressive toward a person or another dog. Here are the reasons:

  • Neglect, abuse, and also poor training play a vital role in how a dog breed reacts to its surroundings. Any dog breed can be aggressive under a poor upbringing.
  • Without proper training, any dog breed can become aggressive and show dangerous behavioral traits
  • If you fail to guide your dog with proper socialization, then there is a high chance that the dog become aggressive
  • Dogs become food aggressive if they are often starved
  • When your dog gets hit by your kids or others, they tend to become aggressive when they grow up
  • Lastly, people sometimes push their dogs into aggressive behavior without even realizing it.

17 Most Aggressive Dog Breeds

Pet owners have the responsibility and the ability to teach their dogs proper behavior as well as response beginning in puppyhood. Otherwise, there is a high chance that your dog may become aggressive. This is because any dog breed can become aggressive without proper care and training.

While any dog breed can become aggressive, here are the top 15+ dog breeds that consistently rank high among the most aggressive dog breeds out there. Let’s have a look at the most aggressive dog breeds listed in this article below.

These aggressive dog breeds are hard to train. So, before you decide to buy one, make sure you are ready to handle the aggression. Or simply, avoid buying these particular dog breeds for your family.

  1. Pit Bull
Pit Bull
  • Originated From: United States, British Isles, United Kingdom
  • Height: 17″-19″
  • Weight: 30-80 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

No one can dispute the fact that pit bulls have inclinations for aggression, even though admirers of the breed frequently praise the temperament, kindness, and friendliness breed.

Additionally, even though Pit Bulls make good family pets, they can be extremely violent toward other people and dogs.

Although experts claim that this canine can differentiate between friends and enemies, you should keep in mind that tiny animals like cats are prey for them. You will be pleasantly delighted if you’re an experienced dog breeder as well as are committed to getting this puppy.

  1. Boxer
  • Originated From: Germany
  • Height: 22″-25″
  • Weight: 50-80 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

Many Boxer dogs are aggressive or dominant toward others. Some have a strong instinct to chase as well as kill cats. In case anything seems to go wrong in their breeding, care, training or socializing, it may injure or kill other animals.

Since Boxers are particularly high-energy dog breeds, they need a lot of exercise. In case you fail to offer enough exercise, you can become frustrated or bored, which often leads to aggression. This is mainly dangerous because Boxer dogs have a strong bite that may cause serious injury.

  1. Dachshunds
  • Originated From: Germany
  • Height: 8″-9″
  • Weight: 16-32 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

Surprise! According to a recent study, this small burrowing dog has been ranked as one of the most aggressive breeds in the world. And although the dachshund can’t harm a person seriously, no matter how badly it bites, this tiny monster is famous for its disgust with strangers.

It turned out, one out of 5 dachshunds bit a stranger at least once in their life, and one out of 12 attacked their owner. So, be careful around a dachshund!

  1. Cane Corso
cane corso
  • Originated From: Italy
  • Height: 24″-28″
  • Weight: 90-120 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 9 to 12 years

The Cane Corso dogs were mainly bred to be powerful and brave as well as were used as war dogs initially.

With a gene like that, it is no wonder that Cane Corso can show problems with aggression. Careless breeding often causes further dangerous temperaments in such dogs.

On the other hand, if you train Cane Corsos well, they will learn to respond nicely. Thus, only if you are a confident and firm dog owner, go for a Cane Corso dog. Otherwise, maintain a distance from them.

  1. Chow Chows
  • Originated From: China
  • Height: 17″-20″
  • Weight: 45-70 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 8 to 12 years

Chow Chows look attractive and cute. But it is not what it looks like. An adult Chow Chow is not a dog that can be trusted, especially when it comes to children and strangers.

They are very irritable and prove their right to food by aggressiveness. In addition, they’re naturally good protectors and won’t allow anyone to come near their owners or the territory.

  1. German Shepherd
German Shepherd
  • Originated From: German
  • Height: 22″26″
  • Weight: 48-88 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

There is a reason why this breed is often seen in police and works as a police dog. They are highly trainable, athletic, and extremely intelligent dogs. They’re large to medium size and have more than average strength which makes German Shepherds formidable opponents to intruders.

German Shepherds also have strong jaws; thus, their bite can break bones. So, be very careful around a German Shepherd.

However, German Shepherds are even very famous family dogs, because, with the proper training, they make a great addition to their master’s home. For this, you need to properly socialize your dog from a young age.

  1. Akita
  • Originated From: Japan
  • Height: 70-130 pounds
  • Weight: 24″-28″
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 13 years

The Akita dog breed came from rural Japan. In Rural Japan, Akita was hunting dogs. This dog breed was bred for harsh circumstances and they have webbed toes to help them walk on snow and ice.

These dogs generally form very assertive bonds with its owner, but they also may act standoffish with a stranger.

This trait fused with a high prey drive may make them a challenging breed for novice dog owners. But you need to train them well.

  1. Shar Pei
  • Originated From: China
  • Height: 18″-20″
  • Weight: 45-60 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 8 to 12 years

The Shar Pei has a long record as a guard dog, hunter, and pit fighter. Despite their past, Shar Pei dogs are typically great companions.

Nevertheless, they can be often stubborn, and also their record as fighter dogs can be aggressive toward humans and other dogs. Remember that these dog breeds aren’t generally a great fit for homes with young kids unless they’re raised with kids in the home.

  1. Rottweiler
  • Originated From: Germany
  • Height: 22″-27″
  • Weight: 80-135 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 9 to 10 years

The Rottweiler is one of the most popular breeds in the world. These quadrupeds are truly amazing dogs.

However, it’s worth remembering that the Rottweiler dog can behave very aggressively towards other animals, and with its strength, often this can cause unpleasant consequences.

What is more, a Rottweiler is protective of the owner, and it can display aggression toward outsiders in case the dog senses that the owner is in trouble. However, in case you train them properly, then they may not display aggression toward outsiders.

  1. Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Originated From: Southern Africa region
  • Height: 24″-27″
  • Weight: 70-85 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: Nearly 10 years

The Rhodesian Ridgeback dog breed originated in the Southern Africa region. These dog breeds have been utilized to protect livestock from lions, thus, it is no surprise that Rhodesian Ridgebacks are a strong breed.

Moreover, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are somewhat reserved around outsiders but can be extremely affectionate toward the owner and their family as well as often get familiar with other family dogs.

Nevertheless, these breeds have a firm prey drive as well as their hunting instincts can kick in as soon as they encounter unfamiliar dogs and small animals.

  1. Siberian Husky
Siberian Husky
  • Originated From: Siberia
  • Height: 20″-23″
  • Weight: 35-60 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

Siberian Huskies display aggression because of poor training. The Siberian Huskies dogs are generally stubborn and often pose challenges also for professional dog owners.

These dogs need persistent training, plenty of exercise, as well as a lot of social time with other dogs and humans.

In case you’re a novice dog owner or an experienced who doesn’t have the time and energy to dedicate to the training and care of a Siberian Husky, you should avoid adopting this breed.

  1. Doberman Pinscher
  • Originated From: Apolda, Germany
  • Height: 24″-28″
  • Weight: 60-100 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 13 years

Due to the Doberman’s widespread adoption as a pet, his unjustly poor reputation is slowly fading. As a result, his traditional function as a guard dog is being replaced by other roles.

However, it was no coincidence that Dobermans were used as guard dogs. Dobermans are good protectors of their owners and instinctively understand when the owner is really in danger. But Dobermans can be aggressive towards other dogs or strangers, so keep a close eye on them.

  1. Chihuahua
  • Originated From: Mexico
  • Height: 5″-8″
  • Weight: Around 6 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 14 to 16 years

Chihuahuas are yet another breed that barely anyone can take seriously. Few dogs can match the Chihuahua in terms of aggression. A Chihuahua is more likely to bite you than a Doberman!

on this list of dog breeds, one of the smallest dogs is Chihuahua. In the end, they are smaller than most cats and have little destructive power. So, be careful and think twice before adopting one.

  • Originated From: England
  • Height: 12″-15″
  • Weight: 13-17 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 13 to 15 years

Small breeds compensate for their small size with aggressiveness. The Jack Russell Terrier is typically a terrier. Terriers do not accept rough behavior towards them at all and they will fiercely fight back. Thus, watch out for kids who may play quite brutally with your dog.

Jack Russell Terrier dogs are fearless, working terriers, tenacious, born to go to work as well as love to dig. These dogs are alert, confident, and ready for work at all times.

The Jack Russell Terrier dogs are also well-balanced with notable boning, indicating the endurance as well as the strength required as a hunting dog.

  1. Dalmatian
  • Originated From: Dalmatia, Croatia
  • Height: 19″-24″
  • Weight: 45-70 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 11 to 13 years

Popular for their Disney film 101 Dalmatians role, the Dalmatian dogs have a good reputation for being good family dogs. Nevertheless, like other canines we have discussed above, Dalmatian dogs have a record as guard dogs, which makes these dogs mainly aggressive toward outsiders.

  1. Dogo Argentino
  • Originated From: Argentina
  • Height: 24″-27″
  • Weight: 88-100 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 9 to 15 years

Dogo Argentino dogs were originally born in Argentina. They used to hunt large animals like boar and puma. These dogs are well-known for their extremely aggressive tendencies and, are, banned in the United Kingdom for this reason.

Dogo Argentinos can be friendly and loyal, but you have to take the time to socialize these dogs to avoid their aggressive behavior. In case you have kids or other pets, or if you live in an urban area, these dogs may not be the most suitable dogs for you.

  1. Giant Schnauzer
  • Originated From: Bavarian Alps
  • Height: up to 27.5″
  • Weight: up to 95 pounds
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

Giant Schnauzers are twice as harmful as any of the other breeds mentioned above since they are not just aggressive (particularly towards other animals, but also against strangers), but they’re also quite huge dogs.

Additionally, because this service breed needs specialized training, it also requires specialized management. Giant Schnauzers are regarded as effective security dogs due to their enormous size and scary bark.


Aggression in dogs is a serious and unwanted issue, negatively affecting dog welfare, public, and management acceptance.

Dogs behaving aggressively can lead to public problems by biting other pets and people. For this reason, in some countries, a few particular dogs are banned to minimize the possible risk of dogs. So, before you adopt a dog, make sure your country allows that breed and you can handle the particular breed.

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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