Born Fighters: the 25 Most Aggressive Dog Breeds

While “man’s best friend” has been living as a domesticated animal for some time, over time certain breeds have emerged as more aggressive than others. Some dogs have been bred for fighting because of their personality, anatomy, or size and over time these dogs have evolved into fighting machines. From dogs bred to kill lions, to dogs with wolf-blood in their veins, here are the 25 most aggressive breeds in the world.

25. Tosa Inu

25. Tosa Inu

This dog is one of the larger breeds on our list; a full-grown male can weigh up to 200 pounds and be as tall as 32 inches. The Tosa Inu was bred as a fighting dog, and continues to be used as a guard dog because of its aggressive nature and size. In fact, owning one is actually restricted by law in some countries because of its aggressive nature.

24. American Bandogge

24. American Bandogge

Known for its brute strength, this dog came about when a breeder decided to cross a Neapolitan Mastiff and an American Pitbull terrier. This dog’s muscled body and strong jaw have made it a favorite fighting dog.

23. Cane Corso

23. Cane Corso

This dog is the modern descendant of dogs bred by the ancient Romans as a fighting dog. To disorient and confuse their enemies, they would unleash packs of these dogs that had been trained especially for war. It’s no wonder that this dog, which can reach 150 lbs, found its way onto our list.

22. Bull Terrier

22. Bull Terrier

This dog’s signature head makes it immediately recognizable. This terrier, though one of the smaller dogs on our list, has one of the greatest muscle-to-bodyweight ratio, making it a dangerous breed for anyone that it decides to attack.

21. Rhodesian Ridgeback

21. Rhodesian Ridgeback

This dog was bred as a lion-hunting dog. It was trained to distract a menacing lion while its owner would prepare the fatal shot for the giant cat. While these dogs are very intelligent, they can also have an overdeveloped sense of protectiveness which can make them dangerous to strangers

20. Dogo Argentino

20. Dogo Argentino

Another dog bred for hunting dangerous game, the Dogo Argentino specializes in boar and cougar hunting. The dog was bred for its aggressiveness, but has been trained not to attack people. Even so, some countries still refuse to allow the Dogo Argentino into its borders because of its reputation.

19. Boer Boel

19. Boer Boel

This dog is a through and through guard dog. It is large, being a member of the mastiff breed, and is extremely protective of its owners. These dogs were used to protect South African homes from dangerous wild animals and intruders.

18. Gull Dong

18. Gull Dong

Bred and used in Pakistan as a fighting dog, the Gull Dong is a cross between a Gull Terrier and a Bully Kutta. This dog not only is extremely muscular, it has a reputation for being aggressive and not listening to its owners.

17. Basenji

17. Basenji

Another dog from Africa, the Basenji was originally bred as a sight hound. They are very independent dogs, and have often been quoted as being the second least-trainable dogs in the world.

16. Saint Bernard

16. Saint Bernard

These dogs, while famously trained as cold-climate rescue dogs, can actually be aggressive if not trained at an early age. They can grow to be 260 lbs, making them one of the largest dogs in the world, and making them extremely dangerous to whatever they decide to attack.

15. American Bulldog

15. American Bulldog

This is a small, muscular dog that seems to think it can do anything, possibly a result of the fact that they were trained to protect their owner, hunt wild boar, and help round up cattle. This dog has been used as a mascot by many military units who see it as a symbol for persistence and courage.

14. Great Dane

14. Great Dane

A truly noble-looking dog, the Great Dane is a large mastiff that grows taller than any other dog. The tallest Great Dane measured at 44 inches high, making it the tallest dog ever recorded. Seeing how muscular and tough these dogs look, it is no wonder that they were used by medieval nobility on boar and deer hunts.

13. Fila Brasiliero

13. Fila Brasiliero

Another mastiff breed, this dog hails from (you guessed it) Brazil. This dog has not only been bred for its aggressive personality, but also for its size and nose. This dog is a great tracker and though it has been banned in many countries because of its reputation for aggression, it has made a name for itself as a guard dog.

12. Perro de Presa Canario

12. Perro de Presa Canario

This dog was bred as a livestock dog, and continues to be used in that role. It does, however, exhibit levels of aggression that make it dangerous if not properly trained at an early age.

11. Akita Inu

11. Akita Inu

This Japanese dog is fiercely territorial and will defend against what it deems a threat to itself or its family. These dogs are not known to be aggressive toward its owners but can have trouble around strangers.

10. Boxer

10. Boxer

While having a reputation for aggression, especially because of how many people have reported being attacked by them, this dog was not bred for its aggression. These dogs can grow to be 70 lbs and are brimming with energy, which may account for some of the incidents they’ve been involved in.

9. Wolf Hybrid

9. Wolf Hybrid

One of the more powerful dogs on our list, this dog has direct genetic links to wolves. These dogs were bred by crossing wolf and dog genes, and the wolf hybrid inherited the strength, aggression, and unpredictability of its wild ancestors.

8. Chow Chow

8. Chow Chow

These dogs, native to China, have a natural tendency for aggression. In fact, without proper training and attention, these dogs will grow aggressive to anyone they are around. When they do connect to an owner, they become fiercely territorial, and have been known to bite and even kill strangers. There have been so many fatalities connected to this breed that some countries require owners to have special insurance in the case of an attack.

7. Doberman Pinscher

7. Doberman Pinscher

This dog has a reputation for fierceness unparalleled by any other dog. But, while they have a reputation for being dangerous, they are also extremely intelligent which is why they have been used by so many dog lovers as guard dogs. While not aggressive toward their owners, if a Doberman senses that its family is in danger, it will attack until it neutralizes the threat.

6. Husky

6. Husky

Also descended from wolves, huskies have been immortalized by their role in Alaskan dog races. As such, they are extremely athletic and easily bored. If they don’t have something to keep them busy, they will often destroy couches, shoes, or other pieces of property.

5. Alaskan Malamute

5. Alaskan Malamute

Another arctic dog, the malamute is much like the husky. It requires exercise and attention or it will turn to destroying things to keep itself occupied. It can grow as large as 100 lbs and can be used for a variety of outdoor cold-weather activities.

4. Rottweiler

4. Rottweiler

Another dog that is almost all muscle, the Rottweiler was bred as a herding/guard dog. These dogs have massive, strong jaws and muscular bodies that make them extremely dangerous to anyone the dog doesn’t recognize.

3. German Shepherd

3. German Shepherd

Not surprisingly, the German Shepherd holds one of the top spots on our list. It is one of the most intelligent breeds, which is why it is used by police and military units throughout the world as an attack dog. While not overly aggressive if trained properly, these dogs can be dangerous if they feel threatened or sense their family is in danger.

2. Pitbull

2. Pitbull

While many breeds of pitbull exist, all of them have one thing in common: they are fighting dogs. These small, but muscular dogs have a locking jaw that make them the perfect fighting animal. They are also aggressive and because of how many attacks have occurred, they are considered one of the most dangerous breeds in the world.

1. Caucasian Ovcharka

1. Caucasian Ovcharka

Whether or not you’ve heard of it, this dog has a reputation for aggressive behavior that tops the charts. The breed was originally created to protect livestock from predators, meaning that on top of its aggressive personality, it also has strong protective tendencies. Both of these traits combined make this dog extremely hard to introduce to strangers, and many attacks have resulted from its overprotective nature.

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Born Fighters the 25 Most Aggressive Dog Breeds