18 Aggressive Dog Breeds You Should Be Cautious Of

Written By Jill Taylor

Don’t let your love for dogs overshadow the fact that they are among the animals that cause the most deaths in the U.S. And based on reports across the country, here are the 18 most dangerous breeds you could have as pets.


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Rottweilers were originally bred as guard dogs, and this makes them naturally standoffish and protective of anything they’re put in charge of. Without proper training from an early age, coupled with their strength, these dogs are capable of causing serious harm in unfamiliar situations.

German Shepherd

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German Shepherds are some of the most lovely and loyal dogs you can have in your home. However, you’ll need proper socialization to keep their aggressive tendencies down. They’re a breed that’s highly protective of its family and territory, which can manifest into violent behavior against strangers.

Great Dane

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The Great Dane may be the last dog you’d expect to appear on our list. But don’t be fooled by its docile personality. It’s another dog that was originally bred as a guardian, and its mere size alone makes it dangerous during attacks. There’s a New York Post story where two took the life of a 6-year-old in 2023.


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The Akita is an extremely loyal and protective dog with strong hunting instincts. And these are qualities that could manifest into violent reactions towards strangers or in unfamiliar situations. They are also consistently ranked as some of the most likely dogs to bite someone unprovoked.

Doberman Pinscher

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The Doberman Pinscher is another breed of naturally protective guard dog that’s always suspicious of strangers and could become aggressive when a situation isn’t managed properly. Their high energy, intelligence, and aggression have made them a choice breed for law enforcement around the world.


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Despite being originally bred as estate guardians, Bullmastiffs are dogs with generally calm personalities—commonly termed gentle giants. However, like many other dogs, there’s always a possibility of attack, and the size and strength of the Bullmastiff make it particularly dangerous. You need constant training to keep these dogs in check.

Siberian Husky

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The Siberian Husky has a naturally high predatory instinct that’s more often channeled toward its playful side. But regardless of its mild temperament, it’s a difficult dog to train, and it’s also one of the most powerful working dogs around. These qualities have led to terrible cases of mauling babies, children, and even owners.

Alaskan Malamute

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Similar to Siberian Huskies, the Alaskan Malamute is another dog with a strong will to prey on others, and its large size and strength make it dangerous in cases of attack. These dogs are known to get involved in fights, and the Guardian shares a sad story where one killed its family’s six-day-old baby.


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The Boxer was originally bred as a hunting and fighting dog, and this explains its brutal strength and determination during attacks. It’s known to have aggressive reactions to strange humans and animals. And these qualities have made it a favorite for closely managed law enforcement.

Chow Chow

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Chow Chows have a notorious reputation for being extremely protective of their owners and suspicious of strangers, and this has manifested in terrible cases of attack. You’ll need early training and constant socialization to curb their aggressive tendencies, especially when you have other dogs around you.

Shar Pei

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The Shar Pei is a fiercely loyal and affectionate dog. But it was originally bred as a fighter, making it a strong, stubborn dog that’s hard to train. Like many other dogs on our list, you need to start training and socializing Shar Peis from an early age to keep their aggressive tendencies in check.


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Dalmatians are a fun-loving breed that is a favorite of many Americans to keep in their homes. However, it’s a high-energy dog, too, and it’s popularly aggressive towards other dogs around. Due to these qualities, experts warn against getting Dalmatians as pets for small children.

Cane Corso

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Cane Corsos are some of the most dangerous dogs you’ll come across, as they’re powerful and need firm leadership to manage their aggressive tendencies. They’re perpetrators of multiple attacks in the U.S. per year, and data from between 1979 and 1998 linked them to 21 fatal cases.

Pit Bull

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The Pit Bull has a strong prey drive that could lead to violent episodes, and its strength and determination make it arguably the most dangerous dog breed you could come across. In fact, as Forbes shares, the Pit Bull is the breed that commits the most dog attacks in the U.S.

American Bulldog

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With American Bulldogs, you have a breed that is protective but very dominant over its family and territory. And due to this, it often shows violent tendencies towards strangers. The breed’s powerful build makes it even more dangerous during attacks, and there are multiple reports of these happening every year.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

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The Rhodesian Ridgeback is so much of a natural, fearless hunter that it was used to hunt lions by ancient African civilizations. So, it’s no surprise that the “African lion dog” can be extremely deadly around other pets and children. They’re, however, loyal, and you need early, constant socialization to keep their unruly behaviors in check.

Wolf Hybrid

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It’s not hard to see why the wolf-dog hybrid is a dangerous pet to have at home. This dog has an unpredictable nature, owing to its wild genetics, and it comes with more predatory instincts than most domesticated dogs. Only recently, in 2023, USA Today reported on a case where one sadly killed a three-month-old in Chelsea, Alabama.

Presa Canario

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A Presa Canario can weigh well over 100 pounds and, when untrained, could be a killing machine that’s one of the hardest to stop. These dogs are territorial and dominant, and they’re also responsible for multiple fatal incidents with full-grown human adults over the years.

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