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The dogs listed below are commonly thought of as the most dangerous dog breeds in the world. Although small dogs can be more aggressive and some seem to enjoy biting ankles, these larger breeds can do a lot more damage if they attack.
Most of the dogs listed here were originally bred to guard and protect and a few of them were (and, sickeningly, still are) used for dog fighting.
Personally, I believe that any breed of dog can show aggression and act unpredictable if raised incorrectly by irresponsible owners and unfortunately, the following dogs seem to have had a lot of media coverage regarding their temperament and disposition.
Most dogs will only attack if they, their family or their property is threatened in any way. They should be socialised from a very early age and trained using positive techniques such as rewarding good behaviour.
Never hit your dog. Please!!!
Responsible breeders have tried to breed the aggression out of certain breeds but irresponsible owners have been known to incorrectly raise their dog and then breed from it to sell the puppies for money, with little regard to monitoring their temperament.
If you plan on getting one of these breeds then please make sure you check out the dog's parent's temperament if possible. And check with your household insurance as some companies will not insure certain breeds.
Even though many of these dogs can become wonderful family pets, I do not recommend any of these breeds for first time or inexperienced dog owners.
If the dog's name is in a different colour then you can click on it to learn more about that breed.
These dogs are known to be potentially dangerous if in the wrong hands.
Please, only experienced dog owners should keep these dogs.
They need training and socialization, both of which take time. Be aware of their needs before you choose one of these dogs.
Boerboel: A large South African mastiff breed used for guarding properties and farms.
He is very protective of it's family and will fight to the death to defend them.
The mastiff breed is most likely to attack an intruder rather than intimidate them.
Rottweiler: The normal temperament of a rottweiler is calm, good natured and eager to please.
Unfortunately, aggressive behaviour in Rottweilers tend to come from irresponsible ownership, neglect and lack of training.
Still considered by some as one of the dangerous dog breeds due to their size and strength.
Akita Inu: This Japanese breed is used for guarding and protection and has a strong, independent nature.
He is usually intolerant of other dogs and requires strong handling.
He is very protective and devoted to his family.
This breed is on the banned list of many insurance companies.
Pit Bull Terrier Breeds: This is an umbrella term which covers many breeds of dogs including the American Pit Bull Terrier, the American Staffordshire Terrier, crosses between the two breeds and the American Bully.
American Pit Bulls are banned in many countries throughout the world and many municipalities in the U.S.
In my opinion, these dogs have received too much bad publicity. It all boils down to training and socialization.
Sadly, in the U.S., these dogs often face a certain death sentence if caught by Animal Control officials in many municipalities because they are considered to be a dangerous dog breed.
Doberman: Dobermans were considered one of the most dangerous dog breeds a few decades ago.
Thanks to careful breeding the temperament of the Doberman has improved and he is much less likely to be aggressive nowadays.
Still a fantastic, loyal guard dog, the Doberman is still likely to be suspicious of strangers and should be trained properly to avoid overly aggressive behavior.
Chow Chow: I was a little surprised when the Chow Chow popped up several times during my research as I had worked at a Chow Chow breeder's kennels and never encountered any aggressiveness from any of the 30ish chow chows there.
[That just goes to show that even the most dangerous dogs, if bred correctly and socialized at a young age can make good companions.]
But apparently they can be very aloof and independent and fiercely protective of their owners and property.
They could raise the cost of your household insurance as they are classed as "high-risk" dogs i.e. more likely to bite someone than other breeds.
Presa Canario: A huge dominant dog bred for dog fighting.
These dogs have a very strong character and need to be trained daily until the age of two to help establish a bond with their family.
They are suspicious of strangers and there is a woman currently serving 15 years in jail due to her two Presa Canario's randomly attacking another lady in a San Francisco apartment. This poor woman was torn to death.
They are banned in Australia and New Zealand.
flickr courtesy of Patrizia Facco
Fila Brasileiro: A large breed which was used to hunt down boar, jaguar and even runaway slaves.
Despite being devoted to its owners, it despises strangers and makes no attempt to hide that!
It will instinctively attack anyone who it feels is a threat. In the show ring judges are advised not to touch it.
This breed is banned in UK as one of the four dangerous dog breeds.
Japanese Tosa: A Japanese fighting dog which is expected to fight whilst staying completely silent - no whimpering or growling allowed.
This breed is illegal to own in many countries including Malta, Norway and UK
photo courtesy of wordpress.tokyotimes.org
Kangal Dog: These dogs are bred to ensure the safety of sheep in Turkey.
When an intruder nears, the Kangal lets out a high pitched noise which signals to the sheep to draw near to it for protection.
It then places itself between the sheep and the intruder and will happily take on a wolf if needs be.
Unfortunately this breed is becoming more popular with illegal dog fighters due to its size and ease of training.
photo courtesty of www.k2bullykutta.com
Sage Koochee or Kuchi Dog: This Afghan herding dog was used by travelers to guard their sheep, caravans and possessions safe from thieves and wolves.
They are loyal and devoted to their "pack members" but very aggressive to any strangers.
This makes it difficult for them to adjust to Western life as they view anyone who is not one of their pack members as an intruder - such as the postman!
photo courtesy of www.k2bullykutta.com
Gull Terr: An aggressive breed from Pakistan who has excellent fighting and protection abilities.
Will fiercely protect all of his pack members - even the family cat if they have been raised together!
One of the lesser known dangerous dog breeds.
photo courtesy of wikipedia
Gull Dong: Also known as the Pakistani Bull Dog, this breed has been used in the past for dog fighting, for protection and as a guard dog.
They are extremely aggressive and will fight to the death to protect what they believe is their territory.
Loyal to their family but very aggressive to other dogs and to strangers.
They require firm, strong handling.
photo courtesy of www.rtbot.net/bulleydog
Bully Kutta: Also known as the Pakistani Mastiff this is a very aggressive breed who has been described by some breeders as "virtually un-trainable" and very hard to tame.
They are fiercely loyal and will take on anyone or anything in order to protect it's family.
This is another one of the lesser known dangerous dog breeds.
Caucasian Shepherd Dog: A natural protector who is used to round up and protect sheep.
Devoted to his family but distrustful of strangers who have to be introduced gradually, one at a time by a trusted family member before the dog will accept them.
More recently they are being used by the Military and in prisons to deter inmates. Popular in Russia where they are shown in the Show Ring.
Read our Interiew With A Caucasian Shepherd Owner to a more detailed look into life with this breed.
Dogo Argentino: Considered by some as the most aggressive out of all the dangerous dog breeds.
The Dogo Argentino was bred to hunt down large game such as wild boar and puma. Will fight to the death if required.
It is banned in at least 10 countries including Australia, the UK, New Zealand and Portugal.