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The 11 most aggressive
dog breeds

Discover the 11 most aggressive dog breeds - an open topic!

Why would you want to know about the most aggressive dogs? Perhaps you are looking for a dog for personal protection? Or maybe you need a guard dog for your premises? Or it could be that you just want to know about the dog breeds to be wary of. All of these are valid reasons to find out more about the most aggressive dog breeds.

Of course, there is the line of thought that dogs are not naturally aggressive - they are made aggressive in the way they are brought up and trained. While this may be true for some breeds, for example the pit bull terrier, there is no doubt that certain breeds are innately aggressive. The aggression usually comes from their breeding. Even as puppies, some start to show aggressive tendencies from as young as 8 weeks!

There are other reasons for a dog to become aggressive;

  • Illness
  • Fear
  • protective instinct

Dog aggression due to illness;

When a dog feels unwell or sick, it may feel that it cannot defend itself, and wants to be left alone. In this case the dog may growl, bare its teeth and snap at your hand if you try to approach it.

Dog aggression due to fear;

If a dog has been mistreated or beaten, it may become either scared and timid, or else become aggressive as a way of defending itself.

Dog aggression due to a protective instinct;

Many breeds that were used for protecting livestock may fall into this category. They were bred to be suspicious of strangers and other animals, and will display aggressive behavior to deter unknown guests.

Surprisingly, the most aggressive dog breeds in most lists include small breeds such as the Chihuahua, the Dachshund, and the Jack Russell Terrier. These small breeds seem to be innately defensive, and will bark at the slightest provocation, and even try to nip your ankle!

But their sheer small size makes them unlikely to cause a serious injury. In this page about aggressive dog breeds, I have concentrated on the breeds that are potentially aggressive AND potentially dangerous.

So, which are the 11 most aggressive dog breeds? There are quite a few breeds that could fit into this category, and of course there will be some disagreement between breed owners and "experts" about the top 11. But here is our own personal list of the 11 most aggressive dog breeds.

11 Most Aggressive Dog Breeds

1. Caucasian Shepherd Dog

This breed must count in anyone's top 11 list. It has a magnificent and imposing appearance, with a long furry coat, perhaps looking like a big cuddly bear to those who don't know their dogs.

But the Caucasian Shepherd starts to display aggressive traits from as young as 8 weeks old. The breed was developed to protect sheep and sheep farmer's families from other dogs, human bandits, wolves, and even bears.

This breed does not seem to have any fear of anything. They will develop an idea of who their close family members are, become very protective of the "family", and then attack anything else, including your children's friends.

You can also read an interview with a Caucasian Shepherd dog owner at our interview page.

2. Gull Terr

A Pakistani breed, large and very powerful, often weighing up to 90 lbs. This breed will protect all it's "family" members, even the family cat. It will usually not bother about intimidation, like barking, it will just attack. It is a confrontational breed, ready to challenge any other animal or human that is not in it's "family"

The Gull Terr was originally bred in Pakistan and India during the British Raj period. The British brought with them their English Bull Terriers, which interbred with the local dog-fighting breeds. The result is an almost pure white dog with permanently erect ears.

This breed is very intelligent, and can be trained, but the instinct is to fight.

3. Doberman Pinscher

Widely regarded as one of the best guard dogs in the world, the Doberman was originally bred specifically to protect it's owner, a German tax collector. This is a very athletic and agile breed, with an imposing appearance and intimidating bark.

However, the Doberman WILL bark at first, to warn the intruder, unlike the Caucasian Shepherd or the Gull Terr, who simply attack and go for the kill.

But if the Doberman decides to take action, it will generally get the better of any opponent.

4. Chow Chow

This comes as a surprise to may people, as the Chow Chow looks very cuddly and friendly. Also known as the "Lion Dog" because of it's shaggy mane, this breed has a unique blue tongue.

The Chow Chow is a medium-size dog, without the bulk and muscle of the Caucasian Shepherd Dog nor the intimidating stance of the Dobermann. But don't be fooled. This breed is very territorial, and will quickly become aggressive if it feels the "home" or "family members" may be threatened.

5. Japanese Tosa

Bred to fight, this breed is ready to fight at a moment's notice. It originated in Japan hundreds of years ago, but was smaller at that time than today's dogs. It was bred with Mastiffs, Bull dogs and Dobermans (to name but a few breeds) to increase it's strength, size, intelligence and aggression.

Dog fighting in Japan can be very profitable for the dog's owners. Usually the dog fights are closely controlled, with a the dogs being separated quickly if an injury occurs, and a vet on hand to treat the dogs if required.

Due to it's dog fighting history, the Japanese Tosa is banned in 9 countries, and many insurance companies will not insure the breed against attacking humans.

11 Most Aggressive Dog Breeds

6. Dogo Argentino

The Dogo has become the breed of choice for some dog fighters and has been given an aggressive reputation. He is still banned in 10 countries including the UK, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Singapore, Ukraine and Israel.

Dogos need plenty of physical activity and mental stimulation because he is such a powerful, high-energy dog. This Argentinian dog breed has been trained for search and rescue, military service and police work. The Dogo is NOT recommended for first-time dog owners. He can be strong and determined, and he needs solid, confident leadership and training.

7. African Boerboel

Considered by many to be protective without being overly aggressive, Boerboels make an excellent choice for a family pet because they do exceptionally well with children. They are totally devoted and happy to be with their owners, but wary and suspicious of strangers, making them a good choice for a guard dog.

Fearless and loyal, they would fight to the death to protect their own family. Visitors and friends that enter the house should be introduced to the dog.

8. Rottweiler

A black and tan Rottweiler standing in a straw field with green trees in the background

Rotties are often portrayed in a bad light, as aggressive, angry dogs. This is not true, yet it can be the case depending on the dog’s upbringing. They are really just very perceptive of the emotions directed at them. Should they be abused, neglected, or otherwise ignored by their owner, they can become aggressive and dangerous on the whole.

Rottweilers are known to pack a punch. They are famous for their exceptional strength. The extra muscle power they wield is particularly helpful while working as it makes them capable of herding animals of various sizes, even cows! The intimidation factor they bring to the table can frighten people, though, so it’s important to make sure they know the dog is not a threat.

9. Akita Inu

Akita Inu dogs are strong, independent and dominant. They can be aloof with strangers but affectionate and loving with family members. They are not for the novice dog owner and require strong handling.

The Akita dog breed can be  aggressive towards other dogs  yet gentle, compassionate and trusting with their owners. Akitas have a complex personality which can make them difficult to train although they are very intelligent so perseverance and patience should pay off.

10. Presa Canario

Presa Canario - bred for fighting, and originating on the Islas Canarias off the coast of west Africa. The islands name means "Islands of Dogs" in Spanish, but they are called the Canary Islands in English - a mistranslation!  The Presa Canario is banned in;

  • Australia
  • Bermuda
  • New Zealand
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • Singapore
  • USA - some states only


11. Gull Dong

 The Gull Dong is a cross between the pure Gull Terr and the Bully Kutta (Pakistani Mastiff). These dogs are very strong willed and can be VERY aggressive, so a very experienced owner is required. Due to their huge size they must be socialized and trained from a very early age to stop them being out of control when older.

The breed was created by crossing a Pure Gull Terr with a Bully Kutta (Pakistani Mastiff) in order to produce a dog which had the best of both the two other breeds; qualities such as the speed and agility of the Gull Terr but with the size and strength of the Bully Kutta. The Pakistani Bull Dog as he is also known, is very popular in Pakistan but very rare throughout the rest of the world.

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