10 most aggressive dog breeds

Updated February 21, 2017

All dogs will bite humans if sufficiently provoked, according to Larger dogs may be considered more dangerous because of the potential for their bites to cause greater harm than the bite of smaller breeds, but many small breeds can be quite aggressive as well. Out of the 4.7 million dog bite incidents reported each year, three out of four involve children. Understanding characteristics of each breed and providing appropriate training during the early stages of the dog's life will make managing aggressive tendencies easier to manage as the dog ages.

Aggressive Breeds

According to the size of the breed is not necessarily an indicator of a predisposition to aggression. The top 10 aggressive breeds include large breeds such as chows, Old English sheepdogs, giant schnauzers and Rottweilers; small breeds such as Chihuahuas, papillons, toy poodles and miniature pinschers; and medium breeds such as Llasa Apsos and Jack Russell terriers.

Dangerous breeds

While small breed dogs such as dachshunds and Peking duck can be aggressive, particularly around children, these dogs are usually small enough that adults can fight off an attack rather quickly. According to, breeds that have an aggressive nature and are larger and stronger than average humans can be much more dangerous than smaller breeds. The top 10 most dangerous breeds include Dalmatians, boxers, Presa Canarios, chows, Doberman pinschers, Alaskan malamutes, Siberian huskies, German shepherds, Rottweilers and pit bulls. According to, Rottweilers and pit bulls account for two-thirds of human fatalities resulting from dog attacks.

Breeds with a Bad Rap

Some breeds have a reputation for aggression that may be offset by the gentle nature of individual dogs within the breed. According to, boxers, bulldogs, Rottweilers, Great Danes, German shepherds and mastiffs are typically gentle and loving with family members whom they trust. However, any dog will bite if sufficiently provoked.

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About the Author

Mike Parker is a full-time writer, publisher and independent businessman. His background includes a career as an investments broker with such NYSE member firms as Edward Jones & Company, AG Edwards & Sons and Dean Witter. He helped launch DiscoverCard as one of the company's first merchant sales reps.