19 Scariest Dog Breeds You Won’t Want to Meet

Written By Jill Taylor

Just like we have adorable dogs like chihuahuas and poodles, we also have dogs that are so vicious that they’ve been banned in the U.S. Here is a list of 19 of the most dangerous dogs around and what makes them so threatening.


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Rottweilers are intimidating, to say the least! They’re large dogs with a muscular build and the strength to match their appearance. These dogs are natural protectors of their owners and family, and without the right socialization and exercise, their protective instinct may be taken too far.

Pit Bull Terrier

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Pit bulls have the most negative reputations of any dog in the U.S., and it’s pretty clear why. Not only is it responsible for most dog attacks, but Forbes tells us that it’s the breed involved in the most fatal cases, too. They’re extremely loyal dogs that pose a threat to strangers due to their powerful bites.

German Shepherd

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The use of German shepherds in police and military roles has given them a fierce reputation as attack dogs. German shepherds can be trained to be extremely aggressive in the wrong hands, and attack and bite incidents aren’t far off when they aren’t socialized properly from an early age.

Doberman Pinscher

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Doberman pinschers are athletic, sleek-bodied dogs that come with watchful and brave personalities. Although they’re usually trained to use these amazing qualities to be protective, they still have the potential to be violent. They’re typically aggressive in unfamiliar environments or when they feel their owners are in danger.


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Despite their imposing size, Bullmastifs generally have a calm demeanor. However, they also have so much strength that there’s a possibility that one can lash out at strangers and other unfamiliar dogs. This is why they’re often used as guard dogs. You shouldn’t leave them around children because they aren’t the most tolerant of dogs.

Fila Brasileiro

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Also known as the Brazilian mastiff, the Fila Brasileiro is a brave, rare breed strong enough to hold down big game animals. These thick-skinned dogs can cause serious injuries when their loyal and protective nature gets out of hand. They’re so dangerous that they’ve been banned in the entire U.S.

Alaskan Malamute

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The malamute was originally bred to pull heavy sleds, and now, its unexplored strength makes it one of the most dangerous dogs around. You shouldn’t have one in a place where strangers are common, like a multi-home rental space, for instance, as it poses a high risk of fatal attacks only behind German shepherds, rottweilers, and pit bulls.

Dogo Argentino

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Bred to hunt pumas and wild boars, the dogo Argentino is a dog that Britannica says is only suitable for an experienced owner who can be firm, consistent, and careful with them. These dogs can be violent towards even dogs that they know, and they are some of the worst to have around children and the elderly.

Presa Canario

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The Presa Canario is so dangerous that it’s restricted in the UK, prohibited in some parts of the U.S., and entirely banned in some countries. These dogs are large, muscular, and territorial, and they come with an unpredictable temperament, especially when they aren’t trained or socialized properly.


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Despite how calm and cute they look, Akitas are a danger to public safety, and they face restrictions in some parts of the U.S. These are powerful, agile, dominant, and loyal dogs that react unpredictably in unfamiliar scenarios—a trait that’s heightened when neglected or abused.

Chow Chow

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The chow chow’s large size and lion-like mane are enough of a warning for you to stay away if you aren’t familiar with one. These dogs are aggressive toward other dogs because they always seek to be dominant in any environment. Their desire to protect their owners also makes them mistrustful of strangers.

Cane Corso

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The cane corso is a Roman dog with a history of being used to hunt big game, making it a formidable danger when threatened. Yahoo explains that these dogs aren’t inherently aggressive but can be triggered to act in a violent manner when trained through punishment or exploring their instinct to protect.

Wolf Hybrid

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Coming with a powerful build and possessing some of the wild instincts of their wolf parents, it’s no surprise why wolfdog hybrids are banned in twelve U.S. states. The nature of these dogs can be difficult to predict, and other dogs, no matter how familiar they are, could be in real danger around them.


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Yes, Boerboels can be cuddly sometimes, but this is only when they’re with familiar faces. These large dogs were originally bred to be defenders, and one can easily tear through your muscles and bones in an unfortunate attack. It’s never advisable to leave one unsupervised around children in the home.

American Bulldog

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Although the American bulldog is more known to be aggressive towards other canines, it’s still responsible for a considerable number of human fatalities in the U.S. It’s a stoutly built breed that needs a lot of socialization, attention, and exercise to manage its violent tendencies.

Great Dane

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Great Danes are some of the most docile breeds you’ll come across, with some saying they’re great around children. But in the latter years of the 1990s, Great Danes were responsible for seven deaths in the U.S. and a significantly higher number of attack cases. Their enormous size makes them hard to control when violent towards strangers.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

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Rhodesian ridgebacks are dangerous dogs when left in the care of an inexperienced person due to their nature. As a pointer to how strong and terrifying they are, these dogs were named ‘African lion hounds’ because of their original role of hunting down lions.

Saint Bernard

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“St Bernard dogs have a reputation for being docile, but there have been isolated reports of violence.” This is an excerpt taken from an Independent story where two Saint Bernard puppies attacked their owners so violently that they had to be put down. Without proper training, the strength of these large dogs is one of the most difficult to manage.


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Finally, we end our list with kangals, the dogs with the strongest bites in the world, at 743 PSI—over three times higher than that of the pit bull. Thankfully, they aren’t the most aggressive dogs. However, they’re loyal and territorial, making them a concern for strangers.

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