Most Aggressive Dog Breeds

When you’re buying a new puppy, it’s easy for them to win you over with their cuteness. But is that puppy one of the most aggressive dog breeds? Is there a risk that the Jack Russell terrier you’re considering could be a danger to your family?

In this post, we’ll look at the most aggressive breeds so that you have a heads up. We do want to preface this by saying that no dog is born inherently bad. If you train them correctly, all of the dogs on this list can be wonderful family pets. It’s just up to you to put in the time and effort.

If you’re not able to do so, you should consider one of the least aggressive dog breeds.

Breeds that Can Be Very Aggressive

  1. Chihuahua
  2. Dachshund
  3. Chow Chow
  4. Doberman Pinscher
  5. German Shepherd
  6. Rottweilers
  7. Dalmatians
  8. Jack Russell terrier
  9. Pit bull

Some Dangerous Breeds

We’ve compiled a list of the top five most aggressive breeds. Some of the entrants on the list will surprise you. We’re conditioned to think of big dogs as more dangerous. In reality, though, size is always trumped by temperament. Let’s see which breeds made the list.


Considering how small a Chihuahua is, they don’t seem dangerous. As anyone who owns a Chihuahua will tell you, though, they’re real little fire-crackers. These little dogs prove that dynamite comes in small packages.

People love this breed because they’re alert and fiercely loyal. On the downside, they can be neurotic, temperamental, and very jealous. They’ll snap at anyone that they feel is too close to you, which is problematic if you have kids. They’re more suited to single owners than families.

What Can Make a Chihuahua Agitated?

One of the most common causes of aggression in chihuahuas is fear. Just like people, chihuahuas can feel intimidated by things they are not familiar with or things that seem unfamiliar to them such as an infant seat, a toddler in a wheelchair, or simply another dog or dog breed. This could become a vicious cycle if left unaddressed as then, this will cause more fear and force certain situations to occur more frequently.

These are precisely situations that can have chihuahuas act aggressively towards these aspects. So the best step you can take care of it now is to just educate yourself and your family on how to deal with your little fur-ball in these instances before it gets out of hand.

Controlling Your Chihuahua

When your Chihuahua is behaving aggressively, simply distract him with a noise maker or offer him a treat or pet from his favorite person so that he will be focused on something else. If your Chihuahua is not being aggressive, then make sure to properly reward and praise him for being calm and friendly — ideally by offering him a delicious treat.

By properly rewarding good behavior and ignoring bad behavior, you are well on your way to controlling your Chihuahua’s aggression. An important point to emphasize here may seem hypocritical at first but trust us when we say that the best thing to do when dealing with an aggressive dog is to remove yourself from the situation until it passes and it’s safe to go back – just as human beings shouldn’t sit down in a room full of angry people arguing because we’re certain that you’d feel much more comfortable sitting outside of the conversation rather than retuning again once everything has calmed down!


The Dachshund is a hunting dog. They’re great ratters and love hunting. Because they are a small dog breed, you might not think they’re dangerous. You’re wrong. In some parts of the world, they’re called “carpet crocodiles.”

They make excellent family pets if appropriately socialized at an early age. If they’re not, expect your ankles to come under attack. As hunters, they’re likely to chase down small pets, like hamsters.

Doxie Hormones

Some Dachshunds may behave aggressively due to the release of their doxie hormones. If your Dachshund is exhibiting top dog behavior, take them to the nearest vet and get them spayed or neutered.

Training Your Dachshund

Rather than attempting to discipline your pet dog by shouting or even hitting them if they get anxious and start barking, try calmly telling your dog ‘no’ when they make inappropriate noises. If they stop to listen to you, reward them with a kind word or gesture before redirecting their attention to something more fun for both of you like playing fetch or having a walk together!

Chow Chow

These dogs look like big fluffballs. Don’t be fooled, though; they’re an assertive dog breed that will try to dominate their owners. You have to establish that you’re the pack leader from the first day that you get them.

Causes of Aggressive Behaviour in Chow Chows

Their peripheral vision is not great, and so it’s easy to startle them. Chows might snap as a result of this.

Chow Chows were originally bred to hunt and as guard dogs. As a result of such a background, Chow Chows are often very territorial around their home and family. While your pup may be friendly with you, other pets in the household and even new visitors can make her more aggressive and protective of them.

Training Your Chow Chow

Put a leash on your Chow Chow and stand next to him. Give him a treat when you first get him leashed up. After that, start walking with the leash without ever going for a walk. Take a few steps away from your dog and then stop.

Make sure to reward your dog if he gets it right! Don’t forget to praise your pet every time he does something well so that he starts associating positive things with the training commands in no time.

Doberman Pinscher

Now we’re dealing with a dog breed that many people consider dangerous. And, if you’ve ever seen a Doberman attacking someone, you’ll understand why. When they’re in attack mode, they’re relentless. It can be challenging to break up a fight.

They’re highly intelligent and can be very protective of their owners. They require a firm pack leader and proper training from day one.

Why Do Dobermans Get Aggressive?

The Doberman Pinscher was originally bred in Germany for personal, home-based security. This highly intelligent breed instinctively does its best to guard their owners from perceived threats and most likely acts from a deep-seated need to defend the owner and the family home. Other causes may include fear of abandonment or resource guarding.

German Shepherd

The German shepherd is known for its tendency to turn on its owners. They’re highly intelligent and require a lot of exercise. If they don’t get enough exercise, they might snap at you out of frustration.

Another issue is that these dogs fiercely protect their loved ones, and they’re not good with strangers. That doesn’t sound like much of a problem. But a friend of ours can attest that it is. She fell and hurt herself but managed to get a call to 911. She passed out before the ambulance got there. The problem was that her dogs wouldn’t allow the paramedics near her. They had to call in animal control to sedate the dogs first.

Tips for Calming Your Agitated German Shepherd

It’s important to know about your dog. How he reacts and behaves (both good and bad) is like a mirror to what you are like as an owner. Gently stroke him, while giving him some treats here and there, so that he will start to associate positive behavior with you.

Of course German Shepherds dogs are strong, and fully capable of hurting someone if they want to, so it’s important not to anger them when they threaten anyone because it will only make things worse in the long run.


If they’re well-trained, they can be the sweetest dogs in the world. The problem is that they have a lot of energy and are territorial.

When it comes to guarding instincts, Rottweilers are the dogs with the biggest bark. If they feel their home or family is threatened, they may be more likely than other breeds to react aggressively. And this power and strength that they possess makes them attractive to irresponsible owners who encourage aggression, which in turn makes them become dangerous.


Forget the Disney movie. These dogs are highly intelligent and very energetic. They do require a lot of attention, though, and can become jealous if they don’t get it.

Creating the Right Environment for Dalmatians

Dalmatians are very intelligent and cunning. They tend to be playful, active, protective, gentle and socialised. These dogs are patient as well and are very good with children.

When married to the wrong family they may exhibit destructive behaviour so it is important for them to be left alone for too long or not at all in some cases which can lead to destructive practises like digging or scratching at furniture or misbehaving around other animals.

Jack Russell terrier

These dogs can be single-minded. They’re not afraid of anything – not even a huge Rottweiler. Lack of fear gets them into trouble. They’re energetic and require a lot of exercise. They can be impatient and tend to be bad with kids.

Jack Russel Terriers are territorial in particular because of their hunting instinct. When left alone for long periods of time, they may become bored or lonely and have anxiety about it.

This type of dog may develop aggressive tendencies towards strangers or other animals as a way of keeping them at bay. If this happens, we recommend socializing the dog with friends and family more often, even if that means keeping the animal as an inside pet. We would also like to suggest that you keep your JRT on a healthy diet with regular exercise to avoid boredom and physical health issues such as back problems.

Pit bull

Let’s face it – you thought that this dog would be at the top of the list. Pit bulls have a terrible reputation. And, if they’re not well-trained and properly socialized, they can be very dangerous. If you raise them properly, they make fantastic family dogs.

Pit bulls, it is said, are not necessarily more aggressive than other breeds of dogs toward strangers but considering their past, coupled with the fact they were bred historically for dogfighting, it’s understandable why many people look at them that way even if it is for the wrong reasons.

Some say that pit bulls are far more dangerous to humans than any other breed because of how they were bred over the years especially when you consider their history in organized dog-fighting events. One study noted that pit bulls outclassed all other breeds in terms of their aggression towards humans and therefore should better be trained accordingly.

What breed of dog has the most attacks?

According to Statista, pit bulls made the largest number of fatal attacks between 2005 and 2017, during which time they killed 284 people. Rottweilers came in second with just 45 fatalities.

Now, it’s crucial here to temper the research with some common sense. If you train pit bulls as guard dogs, they can be extremely vicious. Once they latch onto their quarry, they won’t let go until it’s dead.

In many cases, people look for these dogs because of this viciousness. It’s a trait that might be encouraged. That, in turn, can explain the extremely high number of attacks.

According to the stats in the following infographic, Pit Bulls account for a whopping 66% of all dog bite fatalities in the U.S. between 2000 and 2012, despite representing just 6.5% of the total dog population during that time frame.

Most Aggressive Dog Breeds FAQs

You may think that you have the sweetest dog in the world, but others can view your dog as aggressive, depending on its breed. Insurance companies classify certain dog breeds that fall under a breed restriction policy.

Should I Keep an Aggressive Dog Away From Others?

It’s important that you don’t negatively respond to your pet getting anxious or stressed. Focus on redirecting the dog to a more calming activity in the meantime such as getting some exercise, eating something soothing like peanut butter and drinking plenty of water to halt dehydration (which is commonly found in dogs!), using soothing pheromones or snorting treats and making sure there are fewer distractions in the room. These changes can help the dog realize they have no reason to fear the collar.

Can My Dog Be Cured?

Although there is no guarantee that an aggressive dog can be completely cured, in many cases, the only solution is to manage the problem by limiting a dog’s exposure to people, things or places that trigger her aggression.

Naturally, this should be done with caution as you could inadvertently worsen a dog’s condition if you do not proceed with caution and proper timing. In any case, there is always risk when dealing with a potentially aggressive dog.

What is Dominance Aggression?

It’s important as dogs and their owners to create an environment that is based on trust and mutual respect. In order to do that, it’s important for dog owners to not appear overly dominant towards their pets, which can result in a decreased level of willingness for the dog to work with its owner further.

If you are curious about how you could adjust your behavior, certain medical conditions such as rabies or certain types of brain changes/damage may be linked to your pet’s aggression issues and should be ruled out first by a competent veterinarian before considering any behavioral treatments or home remedies.

What are Breed Restrictions?

Breed restrictions ban certain dog breeds and their mixes in houses, apartments & buildings. The pet restriction can cover dangerous breeds or the weight and age of pets. 

How to Respond to an Aggressive Dog?

If your dog feels a bit anxious and begins to back up away from you or another individual, leave him be and give him the space he needs. He may not want to be approach by others at this point in time. Avoid showing aggressive behavior towards an aggressive dog.

Follow these instructions ! Do Not: Approach the dog Slowly walk backwards away from the animal Avoid direct eye contact with the dog Stay calm- do not scream or make sudden movements as this can agitate it

Why Do Dogs Display Aggression?

While genetics can be a part of determining aggression, it is still a “nature vs nurture” issue. Some dog breeds were historically bred to become protectors or hunters. However, other dogs that are known to be gentle can display dangerous behavior because of neglect or abuse. 

Why Do Apartments Have Breed Restrictions?

Certain dogs are banned because:

  1. It can be your landlord’s personal preference as they are wary of your pet’s damage potential;
  2. County or city regulations; or
  3. Your landlord’s insurance company.

Insurance companies have a dangerous dogs list that includes: Rottweilers, Pitbulls, Dobermans, etc. and their mixes. It is their way of ensuring that the most aggressive dog breeds do not cause damage to property or people.

If the reason is your landlord’s personal preference, you can persuade them with the following steps:

  • Have your dog undergo a pet interview and show a record of keeping formal properties clean despite having a dog. Offer to pay for a pet deposit.
  • Give pet references like your vet or your groomer.
  • Offer to pay for a special renter’s insurance that covers your pets and adds your landlord as an additional insured member.


Aggression is a trait that any breed can develop. Inadequate training, poor control, and frustration can result in behavior that reads as aggression. The dogs mentioned above are especially at risk of developing bad behavior.

As a responsible owner, it’s essential to take aggression into account when choosing a dog. Part of the problem with these breeds is that they’re highly energetic. They need a lot of exercise and an owner that takes control.

If you’re a first-time dog owner, extremely busy, or have small kids, it’s best to choose a different breed.

Related Article: White Dog Breeds

Helpful Resources:

“Common Dog Behavior Issues: Aggression,” ASPCA

Human Directed Dog Aggression by J Newman

Behavioural Testing for Aggression in the Domestic Dog by WJ Netto

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