The 20 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds

20 most dangerous dog breeds

It is hard to say that there are specific breeds of dogs that are dangerous. The way that a dog turns out depends on how the dog is raised, how he is treated, and his living conditions. That being said, there are some breeds of dog who are more prone to aggressive behavior than others. This doesn’t mean in any way that these breeds are going to turn into aggressive dogs with a mean streak.

It just means that if they are treated poorly, they will be more likely to become aggressive than other breeds of dog. Under the right conditions, the dogs on this list can be loving, happy, family pets.  That said, The Journal of the American Veterinary Association (JAVMA) conducted a study that took place over 20 years to determine which breeds were the most dangerous based on bite fatalities.

Most of the dogs on this list were also found in the final results of the study.

Labrador Retriever

20. Labrador

The Labrador is generally a friendly, easy going, and lovable dog. If these dogs are not properly trained and treated well, however, they can be very dangerous. According to the Merritt Clifton Dog Bite Statistics, between 1982 and 2014, there were 56 attacks that resulted in serious injury. Of that number 17 were children.

Also, this breed is responsible for causing one death during this time period. In 2011, a three year old boy was mauled by a Labrador, which resulted in very serious facial injuries. As with any dog, it is the owner’s responsibility to make sure that their dog is loved, properly trained, and properly cared for. Proper care can prevent a deadly attack.


19. Cocker Spaniel

It is very surprising, but this dog actually belongs on this list. At first glance, and if he is trained and treated well, he makes a great and lovable family pet. These dogs are, however, very emotional. Because of this, poorly trained dogs tend to attack. According to JAVMA’s study, the Cocker Spaniel has been responsible for over 59 fatal attacks over the last 25 years.

In 2016, an elderly man in Jacksonville, Florida was attacked by a pack of stray dogs, and at least one of them was identified as a Cocker Spaniel. The man didn’t make it.

Tosa Inu

18. Tosa Inu

This is a very dangerous breed of dog as it is known to be a fighting dog. It is also a very rare breed. Because this dog is so dangerous, it has been banned in several countries including the UK, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Hong Kong, Australia, and many others.

The reason for the ban was due to the increasing number of attacks on humans, especially children. Twenty years ago, the number of attacks was in the thousands. Since the ban has been placed on owning one of these dogs and because there are almost no breeders left, according to the ASPCA, there has only been one attack by this breed in the last three years.


17. The Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff is a very large, very muscular dog. He can weigh up to 130 pounds and he can grow as tall as 27 inches. Unless these dogs are well trained and well behaved, they can become violent. Poorly trained dogs can become very unpredictable. In 2014, a 13 year old boy from New Jersey was attacked by a Bullmastiff and he was fatally injured. Another boy was also attacked and he was severely injured.

According to the Merritt Cliffton Dog Bite Statistics, there were 111 attacks in a 15 year period. Of that number, 46 were children and 63 of the attacks were fatal. With proper care and training, however, these dogs can make excellent family pets.


16. Malamute

The Malamute is often mistaken for the Husky. These dogs are very large, and they can weigh up to 85 pounds. These dogs tend to be passive and they make excellent work dogs. Like the Husky, the Malamute is known for pulling sleds in the blistering cold. Because of their size, they are not the best pet to have around young children. According to the JAVMA study, this breed was responsible for 12 fatal attacks during a 20 years period.

In February 2014 in the UK, a woman’s six month old daughter was killed by the family’s Malamute. On the other hand, in Cornwall, UK, a man was walking his Malamute when a “pit bull-like” dog started to attack him and his dog saved his life.

st. bernard

15. The Saint Bernard

If you have ever seen the Beethoven movies, you think of a Saint Bernard as an intelligent, protective, and loving family pet. This is actually true. This breed of dog comes from the Italian and Swiss Alps and has become famous for his ability to rescue hikers who became stranded on the snowy mountains.

While these dogs can be friendly and protective, they can also be very territorial. If you want to keep a Saint Bernard from growing up and displaying territorial and aggressive behavior, you need to start socializing him with strangers and other animals at a young age.

As long as this breed is trained properly, he can be a great dog. If he isn’t, he can be potentially dangerous due to his size and aggression. The average weight of this breed is between 140 and 260 pounds. The largest can reach over 310 pounds. If this dog is trained to be aggressive, he can do a great deal of damage considering he weighs so much. According to JAVMA’s study, there were only 7 fatalities from a St. Bernard attack during the 20 year period.

Attack Number

The number of attacks is likely much higher, and many go unreported. In July 2016, a Canadian woman was walking by a bus stop when a Saint Bernard at the end of a leash began attacking her.

According to the victim, the attack was unprovoked and she ended up losing a lot of blood. She needed 40 stitches and her kneecap was broken. It is not known what type of home life the Saint Bernard had, however, it was the size and the strength of the dog that made it difficult for the owner to pull the dog off of the victim.

American Bulldog

14. The American Bull Dog

The American Bull dog is incredibly muscular and he has a stocky build. This dog can weigh between 60 to 120 pounds, which packs a great deal of power behind his muscular body. The American Bull Dog was originally bred to work on a farm where he would help his master catch and hold cattle and wild boar. He would also kill the vermin that tried to take over the farm and he would guard his master’s property. Today, he is more of a family dog.

Like any dog, with proper training, he will be friendly. He is a very confident dog, which can cause him to be stubborn at times. He also has a very emotional personality at times. As long as you can break him out of this behavior at an early age, he can be a loving and friendly pet.


In 2016, a 3 year old boy from Halstead, Essex was mauled by an American Bull Dog. The boy didn’t make it and the owner was arrested for allowing the dog to get dangerously out of control.

On the other side of the spectrum, in May 2012, and American Bull Dog save a woman and a sleeping baby when an intruder entered the home. In 2015, a heroic American Bull Dog saved an entire family by keeping a murderer at bay until the police arrived.

great dane

13. The Great Dane

The Great Dane is an incredibly large dog. He actually holds the record for being the tallest dog in the world, standing at 44 inches. Originally, he was bred to hunt deer and wild boar. Over the years, being a hunter has become a genetic trait for this dog. If he is trained properly, the Great Dane can be an amazing family dog. These dogs typically love children, and many will allow small children to ride on their back like a horse.

If these dogs are not trained properly however, their massive size can make them very dangerous. Great Dane become aggressive and with his height and his weight of up to 120 pounds behind him, you could find yourself in a very scary situation. As long as these dogs get the love, attention, and training that they need, they will make a wonderful family pet. According to JAVMA’s study, between the years of 1978 and 1998, the Great Dane had a total of 7 fatalities.


Over those years, there were thousands of attacks and bites that did not result in death. In February 2016, a woman took her four children with her to check on her boss’ four Great Danes. The El Paso woman entered the home with her family, and the children were attacked by all three dogs.

All three of the children required live saving surgery. The Great Dane has also been called a hero when a woman was being beaten by her ex-boyfriend with a hammer and the dog jumped in front of the man and saved the woman’s life. The man was arrested and the dog was hailed a hero.

Akita Inu

12. Akita

The Akita originally came from the mountains of Japan. He is a very strong, dominant, and independent breed. When properly trained, these dogs can be very affectionate and well behaved. They can, however, be very territorial and awkward around strangers. He is a very muscular dog and he can weigh up to 100 pounds. Considering his size and his territorial behavior, he can be very dangerous if he is not properly trained and cared for.

According to the Clifton Study, a study revolving around dog bite incidents, between 1978 and 2008, there were 70 Akita that caused bodily harm, and 44 of them were children. During this period, there were 8 Akita fatalities and 52 people were maimed for life. In 2015, a woman was attacked by an Akita. She went to check on the Akita’s puppies, when she was mauled. She needed 8 surgeries to repair the damage.

In June 2014, an Akita who was properly trained saved his 5 year old owner from a bear attack. These stories just go to show that these dogs can be dangerous and they can also be heroes.


11. Boxer

The Boxer is not typically aggressive. He is typically a very playful, intelligent, and energetic dog. He is also very headstrong. The reason that these dogs are considered dangerous is that there have been 48 attacks involving his breed from 1982 through 2012. According to the Clifton Study, 19 of the people who were attacked wre children and 7 of them died. He is very muscular and can weigh up to 70 pounds.

This includes a toddler who was attacked by the family’s 50 pound boxer, and he was seriously injured. Some people believed that the dog in question was not trained properly. When trained and treated properly, these dogs can be heroic.

In Goshen Township, a home caught fire. It was the family’s boxer who saved the owner from the fire, risking his own life. While he did recover from his injuries, he had to fight for his life. These dogs can be friendly, loyal, and heroic under the right conditions.

Wolf Hybrid

10. Wolf Hybrid

The Wolf Hybrid is actually a cross between a dog and a wolf. Because of the genetic nature of a wolf, these dogs can be very unpredictable. Some of these dogs get more traits of a dog, while other get more traits from the wolf. Some of these dogs can be very non-aggressive and docile. Unfortunately, a higher percentage of these dogs are likely to be dangerous and to attack humans and small animals.

The JAVMA study listed 14 fatalities and 364 attacks. The actual number of attacks may not be accurate, as some dog bite incidents are not reported. In May 2013, a neighborhood Wolf Hybrid turned on a 5 year old boy, causing serious injury. In 2009, a Wold Hybrid took a sleeping baby from his crib and the baby died. Many people blamed the dog, considering that he is part wolf. Others blamed the owners for not properly training their dog.

This is the only dog on this list who can become aggressive and dangerous, even under the best conditions, only because he has the genetic makeup of a wild animal. While they have a bad reputation, there are some Wolf Hybrids who have been heroes.


In January 2014, a couple who owned a Wolf Hybrid sanctuary were stuck outdoors in a storm and their Wolf Hybrid came to their rescue. It took her two hours, but she dug a tunnel that was 20 feet long so the couple could get back to their home. With these dogs, you just never know.


9. Chow Chow

The Chow Chow is known to be a very distant and independent breed. He originally came from China, and he can weigh up to 70 pounds. This dog has a very poor reputation and is considered to be a high risk pet. This is because between 1979 and 1998, there have been over 238 Chow Chow attacks. Of those attacks, 37 of the victims were children and 40 of them were fatal. They are often very protective of their owners, but if they don’t have the right training and if they don’t live in the right environment, they can be dangerous.

Many states consider this breed, “unacceptable”, and they require that the owners carry a special insurance to cover any damage that these dogs can cause. If they are not able to get the exercise that they need and they cannot be physically active due to lack of space, they can become very aggressive and dangerous. There are Chow Chows who have risked their lives and proven that these dogs aren’t all bad. Chow Chow, Jared, proves this point.

He was hiking with his family when a Black Bear attacked. He saved his sister and his human parents from the bear. As the bear went to swipe Jared’s owner, he jumped on the bear’s back until the bear started to run. The dog chased the bear away, saving his entire family.


8. Doberman Pinschers

If you have seen any movies about the mob or really rich, really mean people, you have seen a Doberman Pinscher. These dogs are often the guard dogs in the movie, who are willing to attack intruders on command. In the real world, these dogs are famous for being highly intelligent, extremely loyal, and very alert. This is what makes him such a good guard dog. He can weight up to 70 pounds, and he is known to become aggressive with strangers and other dogs.

They are very rarely aggressive to their owners. While their intelligence, size, and strength make these dogs unique, it is also what makes them dangerous. According to the JAVMA study, these dogs were responsible for 9 fatalities, however, they were all in defense of their owners. In March 2014, an Oregon man was walking in his yard when he was attacked by his neighbor’s Doberman Pinscher. He shot and killed the dog.

On the other end of the spectrum, in October 2013, a Doberman Pinscher saved the life of a toddler after a venomous snake was ready to approached her in the garden. The dog picked up the toddler and got her out of harm’s way just in time. Proper training can make the Doberman a friendly, happy, loyal dog.


7. The Husky

The Husky can dangerous to humans, however, they can be especially dangerous to smaller animals. They are very strong dogs, and are bred for pulling sleds through the snow. They have a very strong predator instinct, which can make them dangerous at times. According to the National Association of Dog Bite Statistics, over the past 15 years, the Husky was responsible for 15 fatal deaths. With proper training however, you could safely bring a smaller animal into the home.

These dogs aren’t only dangerous to living things, they can be very destructive in your home. If the husky gets bored while you are away, you could come home to chewed up furniture and a huge mess.


6. The Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is a very massive dog. They can weigh up to 130 pounds and most are pure muscle. This dog is considered to be very dangerous, because he has a genetic predisposition to guard and herd. Not all of these dogs are savage beasts.

As with many breeds, these dogs have a bad reputation due to abuse, neglect, lack of socialization, lack of training, and being cared for by irresponsible owners. According to the Merritt Clifton Dog Bite Statistics, the Rottweiler was responsible for 535 dog attacks between 1982 and 2014.


Of those attacks, 297 of the victims were children, an 85 of the attacks were fatal. In 2015, a man in Jackson Madison County, Tennessee adopted a Rottweiler and three hours later, the dog attacked and killed him. Some people believe that it was the way that he was treated before he was adopted that caused the attack. In 2001, a woman in Rhode Island was fighting with her ex-boyfriend when her neighbor opened her door to see what was going on.

When the dog heard the screaming, the dog latched onto the woman’s rear end and the two tumbled down the stairs. The dog’s owner had to pry its teeth off of the woman to help her escape. In 2015, a woman named Kasha Weston was five months pregnant when a group of men with knives barged into her home.

Her Rottweiler came to her rescue and attacked them men. Three of the men made it out of the home, and the fourth was held down by the dog until the police arrived. This goes to show you that even though these dogs can be dangerous, some can be very heroic.

German Shepherd

5. German Shepherd

Most of these dogs are friendly. They are smart, vigilant, alert, and fearless. Because of these excellent qualities, these dogs are often used in police K-9 units. While these dogs make great family pets, they need to be properly socialized and trained from an early age.

They can become very protective of their owners, their family, and their home. Because of this, they can be dangerous. If a friendly stranger comes into the home, a German Shepherd who has not been properly trained can attack.

This can make them dangerous. If a stranger comes into the home who is planning to do harm, these dogs are also attack. Overall, these dogs can be dangerous is they are not properly trained. According to the JAVWA study, the German Shepherd was responsible fatalities.

Most of these deaths occurred when the dog was trying to protect a member of his family. They can weigh up to 100 pounds, which gives them a great deal of power behind the attack.


4. Caucasian Ovcharka

This dog, also known as the Caucasian Shepherd, was bred to protect livestock. They are very strong-willed, assertive, and courageous. These can be excellent qualities in a dog that has been trained properly. If not, these dogs can be extremely ferocious and impossible to manage. They have an uncontrollable urge to defend their home and the people in it. If someone who the dog does not know comes into the home, he can be threatened.

He is such a large, powerful dog, it can be difficult for an owner to stop the dog once he has begun his attack. The Caucasian Shepherd’s protective instincts have been known to save lives as well. He can weigh up to 110 pounds and he will uses this weight to save the lives of the ones that he loves.

According to data released by Animals 24-7, this dog is was responsible for 24 fatalities between 2004 and 2014. None of the people killed in the fatal attacks were children. As long as this dog is properly cared for and trained, he can be a protective, loyal, family dog.

Bull Terrier

3. The Bull Terrier

The most distinctive feature of the Bull Terrier is his large, egg shaped head. He is also known for his incredibly muscular body. These dogs have gotten a bad rap in the past, due to being mistreated, abused, and trained to attack. These dogs are not technically dangerous towards humans, however, they can be dangerous to smaller dogs and animals. This is because they have a strong urge to hunt their prey.

If they cannot overcome this urge, they can become aggressive to these smaller animals and can cause serious injury when they attack. This breed can weight up to 65 pounds and he is quick and tough. If he is properly trained, loved, and cared for, he can be a great family pet, even in homes with small animals.

Gull Dong

2. Gull Dong

The Gull Dong is a cross between a Bully Kutta and a Gull Tarrier. These dogs are known to be incredibly strong and very powerful. They were originally bred as fighting dogs, and they are known to be very difficult to control and very aggressive. If you want to own one of these dogs, you would need to get him professional training from a very young age. He can weigh up to 140 pounds and this is a lot of weight to put behind and attack.

According to the National Dog Bite Statistics, there have been 68 reported dog attacks between 2005 and 2011. Of these attacks, 8 were fatal. If these dogs are trained and socialized early on, he can be a very loving, loyal, and fiercely protective dog. While these dogs are know for their aggression and their desire to attack, they are also known as being protective, and saving the lives of the people that they love.


1. Pit Bull

The Pit Bull is considered to be the most dangerous dog in America. According to, between 2005 and 2014, 203 Americans were killed by a Pit Bull ad 305 people were seriously injured after a mauling. These dogs were originally bred to baiting bulls and protecting hunters from bear. These dogs are incredibly muscular. Most Pit Bulls don’t have an ounce of fat on them. They are pure muscle.

These dogs are actually very cute, however, many Pit Bull owners make alterations to the dog to give him a mean and fierce look. This is part of the reason that people are so afraid of these dogs. The other reason is the way that the dogs are treated. There are many unethical criminals out there who train these dogs to fight each other for profit. To train them, they starve them, beat them, and torture them.


It is one of the cruelest crimes imaginable. According to the ASPCA, between 2003 and 2008, there were over 1,000 dogfighting arrests in the United States. NFL player, Michael Vick was arrested and sent to prison for his role in a dog fighting ring. Drug dealers abuse these dogs to train them to protect their drugs, guns, and money with their lives. For all of these reasons, Pit Bulls have a bad reputation that they don’t always deserve.

These dogs have been known to attack, however, they have also been known to save lives. In August 2016, a Georgia woman was attacked by a man with a knife. A stray Pit Bull was nearby, and he lunged at the man, scaring him away, but he was stabbed five times first. This dog saved the life of a woman that he didn’t even know. The dog fully recovered, and the woman ended up adopting him.


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