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Most Aggressive Dog Breeds

At A Glance

Nearly all dogs react aggressively when triggered, but some breeds are well known for their seemingly innate viciousness.

German shepherds, pitbulls, rottweilers, wolf hybrids, Akitas, Chihuahuas, and Siberian huskies are breeds that tend toward aggression and must be socialized and trained properly to become suitable pets.

Last Updated on: Mar 01, 2022

Some dog breeds have long been intimidating to humans, such as German shepherds, rottweilers, and Akitas. They have developed reputations for being most aggressive dog breeds that bite and attack people when provoked.

These canines can certainly make for excellent guard dogs and K9 partners for law enforcement, but their aggressive tendencies may not be a good fit for households with small children.

You must consider many different elements if you’re thinking about bringing a new dog into your household. Its size, age, exercise needs, shedding level, and of course, overall temperament and personality are important concerns that new owners must think through.

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German Shepherd

German Shepherd

It is one of most aggressive dog breeds. German Shepherds are very protective and agile dogs, considered perfect partners for police and military forces. Males weigh up to 90 pounds and stand fairly tall at shoulder heights between 24 and 26 inches.

This breed has developed a fairly negative reputation due to many stories circulating about attacks on smaller dogs, farm animals, children, and even their own trainers. They have powerful bites that can sever human tissue and break bones.

Despite their reputation, German shepherds remain popular choices for pets. This is because they have extraordinary redeeming qualities that overshadow their perceived aggression. They are very intelligent, with very strong instincts, so they are excellent rescue dogs as well.

The most famous German shepherd, Rin Tin Tin, became a movie star after being saved by an American soldier serving in Germany during World War I. He went on to star in over two dozen Hollywood films.

American Pit Bull Terrier

Pit bulls weigh up to 60 lbs and grow up to 21 inches. Their short coats show off their well-defined musculature, and they are very athletic and powerful dogs. This breed has developed a reputation for being a vicious attacker.

It is a common myth that pit bulls have locking jaws that will not let go of what they bite. The truth is that their powerful jaws combined with their determined personalities can make it seem that they will hold on for extended periods.

Despite their infamy, they can become faithful and passionate protectors when socialized and trained in a loving environment.



They stand at 27 inches and weigh up to 135 lbs. When deprived of enough exercise, training, and attention, rottweilers revert to aggressive behavior that can threaten humans and other dogs.

Their physical power, intelligence, intimidating bark, and strong protective instincts make them fantastic guard dogs that need little training. They can become great partners for law enforcement and rescue operations.

Early socialization and training can curb a rottweiler’s innate territorialism to your household’s advantage, and you can enjoy a big lapdog that will easily scare away any potential intruders!

Wolf Hybrid

Wolf Hybrid

They’re also known as wolfdogs, are crosses between a domestic dog and a wolf canine. Simply put, these dogs are not safe to domesticate. Hybrids are physical clashes between nature and nurture, and they are nearly impossible to tame because of their wolf genetics.

Unlike purebred, domestic dogs, wolf hybrids are much more wild and aggressive. They have been banned as pets in several parts of the United States and have been strictly advised to keep away from children.



The Akita is a Japanese breed that originated in the northern city of Akita. They are yet another dog breed that has been banned in several cities in the US due to their aggressive nature.

The primary threat of this breed is its sharp jaw and large stature—they can weigh up to 130 pounds and reach a height of 28 inches. They require experienced trainers and strict structures to curb their strong, dominant personalities. In the right environment, they can become devoted companions, even to young children.



This aggressive dog breed is a perfect example of how viciousness has nothing to do with size. Where Chihuahuas lack formidable statures, they make up for in ferocity. This breed tops the list in terms of aggressive temperament and bites per second.

Chihuahuas only weigh up to 6 pounds and stand at 8 inches tall, and their small stature is likely why they resort to aggression when provoked. Many owners overlook this breed’s need for socialization and training, so its strong protective instincts are encouraged.

While a Chihuahua’s bite may not be nearly as damaging as a rottweiler or pitbull, its behavior must still be monitored and controlled.

Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky

They are as strikingly beautiful as they are aggressive. While their dazzling eyes and shiny coats are attractive, they have strong predatory tendencies. Huskies in the US have caused over a dozen fatalities in the last 30 years.

Obedience training and proper socialization early in life can easily curb these aggressive tendencies and create a loving companion that will add beauty to your life for years to come.

Aggression In Dogs

When it comes to aggression in dogs, one important element to question is whether their behavior is natural. Humans have been breeding many different types of dogs for hundreds of years and for different purposes. How is aggression developed in certain breeds while others remain staid lap dogs for generations?

The truth is that any type of dog can resort to aggressive behavior for various reasons. Growling, barking, and biting are common reactions for dogs when:

  • They feel threatened by another species, including humans.
  • These dogs seek to assert dominance.
  • They are raised in hostile environments.
  • Always want to protect or defend their territory or a loved one.


Rottweiler sitting

Are you trying to decide if you should buy or adopt one of these aggressive dog breeds? Despite their reputations and stories circulating in the media, no breed can be painted with the same brush and dismissed wholesale as potential pets.

Dog behavior experts agree that if socialized and trained properly, any dog can curb its protective, territorial instincts and follow its owner’s commands.


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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.