Last Updated on May 11, 2024 by themubbi63

While we think of dogs as being loyal companions capable of unquestioning love, there are some dog breeds that need more training and socialization. Without these, they are more likely to turn aggressive than other breeds and they may turn against an owner (particularly if the owner is abusive). It’s hard to quantify something like aggression and most lists go by statistics. (Remember that big breeds are more likely to cause damage although small dogs can also be more aggressive.)


A lot of Rottweiler owners would tell you that the dangerous reputation of a Rottweiler isn’t well-earned. In fact, many Rottweilers that are properly trained and socialized can be absolute sweethearts. However, they’re banned in many countries for a reason. Protective and loyal to their families, Rottweilers nevertheless have been known to turn aggressive when threatened. 

They’re probably the dog breed that has caused most fatalities, right after the American Pitbull Terrier. Bad owners, neglect and abuse go a long way to turning a dog aggressive and dangerous. Thus, it’s important to know what we can handle when we’re opting to get a dog.

German Shepherd

German Shepherds are the most versatile workers of the dog world, right? They serve as police dogs, military dogs, therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, service dogs and can be used for a variety of other services. However, German Shepherds are guard dogs, first and foremost, and their protective instincts can lead to deadly encounters with those it considers strangers and outsiders.

German Shepherds are big dogs with the strength to match. They have an alarming bite strength and they have been responsible for several fatalities over the years. Neglect by owners and lack of proper socializing can turn a German Shepherd dangerous. 

American Pitbull Terrier

Known as the most dangerous dog to own, the Pitbull has been responsible for the death of many. The debates that rage over this breed are many. Some consider them the best first-time family dogs and love their loyala and devoted nature. Some say they don’t make good dogs for inexperienced owners. 

Since Pitbulls are immensely strong and powerful, they aren’t the breed meant for everyone. If you can’t invest time and effort into training these dogs, they make for dangerous pets. Once bred for illegal dog fights, these dogs aren’t afraid to fight back if they’re being treated badly, which might account for part of their fearsome reputation.

Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman is an extremely intelligent guard dog and highly protective by nature. But this is exactly what makes it one of the most aggressive breeds. They were bred for security and they’ve been used by law enforcement ever since. This means that they’re extremely loyal by nature. But that very loyalty is a point against them. 

Dobermans have, in the past, been responsible for at least nine deaths. Most of these occured in defence of their owners but that doesn’t really matter when the statistics are concerned. Early socialization is a must for this particular breed.

Wolf-Dog Hybrids

Technically not considered a dog breed at all, people nevertheless do own wolf-dog hybrids. While the wolf in their ancestry isn’t generally very recent, it is still there. And that means that these dogs have way more prey drive than any other breed. Bred by human manipulations for the most part, since wolves in the wild don’t tend to mix with domestic dogs, this breed isn’t for the faint of heart.

These animals are wilder than most dog breeds and aren’t ideal as guard dogs or pets. They can get quite violent at times and are more likely to challenge the owner than the typical dog would. There’s also the fact that they can be quite big. Don’t buy an animal you aren’t prepared for and do adequate research into the nature of wolf-dogs.

Chow Chow

If you were under the impression that only big dogs are aggressive, you’d be wrong. The small, compact, stocky Chow Chow, which looks much like a teddy bear, doesn’t have the temperament of a teddy bear at all. Chow Chows are extremely bad-tempered and stubborn and are almost impossible to train. 

Most of all, the Chow Chow doesn’t do well with children at all. If you’ve got young children, this is the last breed that you should be bringing home. They tend to get annoyed by high-pitched noises and have been known to bite children. This can be a concern even if you don’t have a child in the family, since children are everywhere in their neighborhood. 


Originally of Japanese origin, the Akita has become quite popular in the United States at present. However, these dogs have long gained a reputation for being dangerous, mostly because of their extreme protective instincts. They’re big animals that look almost like small bears so they can do considerable damage if they want to. 

Thus, it’s very important to properly train and socialize your Akita. While it will never be fond of strangers coming into its house, it should at least accept them in a non-threatening manner. They don’t make for good pets for first time owners.


One of the best examples of the fact that size doesn’t have anything to do with aggression, the tiny Chihuahua can be a nightmare dog to come upon suddenly. Bitey and snappy, Chihuahuas tend to be extremely wary of strangers. It makes them excellent guard dogs but it means that they need lots of socialization to accept people coming to their homes.

Chihuahuas, like a lot of small dogs, don’t do well with kids. They’ve been known to bite whenever they feel threatened. Chihuahuas generally feel threatened a lot but the danger is aggravated around children who don’t always know how to play gently. This breed is best kept away from a young family.


Lovers of the sausage dog might be surprised to learn that they are considered an aggressive and dangerous dog breed. But because of their long history of hunting small prey, they can be quite aggressive towards people. Self-confident and assured, the Dachshund often does exactly what it wants, which is bad news for a family dog.

They are stubborn and independent and not likely to take well to training. In fact, they might try to establish themselves as the dominant member of the pack. This means that they need to be trained by an animal behaviorist to curb these habits.

Alaskan Malamute

The Alaskan Malamute and the Siberian Husky share a lot of similar traits, such as an independent nature and stubbornness, but the former makes it into this list for its sheer size. There have been fatalities caused by the Malamute in the past but they aren’t generally considered aggressive dogs.

However, their tendency to do exactly what they want can veer into negative territories. If the Alaskan Malamute feels threatened or frightened, it will fight back with zero qualms. And a face-off between a Malamute and a human isn’t likely to end in victory for the latter.


Understanding dog breeds and their inherent tendencies is crucial for responsible pet ownership. While some breeds have a reputation for aggression, it’s often a result of improper training, lack of socialization, or a mismatch between breed needs and owner lifestyle. Remember, with dedication and care, any dog can be a loving companion. Choose wisely, train diligently, and build a strong bond with your furry friend!


Can small dogs be aggressive?

Absolutely. Chihuahuas, for example, can be wary of strangers and require early socialization to prevent snapping or biting. Consider the breed’s temperament and your lifestyle before choosing a dog.

What about wolf-dog hybrids?

Due to their wild ancestry, wolf-dog hybrids have strong prey drives and require experienced owners. They’re not recommended for first-time dog owners or households with children.

Are big dogs inherently more aggressive?

Not necessarily! Size can play a role in potential damage, but training and socialization are key factors in preventing aggression. Breeds like German Shepherds, while powerful, can be excellent companions with proper training.

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