Top 10 most dangerous dogs in the world

There are some remarkable dogs, and there are some remarkably dangerous dogs. When adopting, it's important to choose a dog that's unlikely to cause problems in the future - here are some dangerous dog breeds to avoid!

There are many dangerous dog breeds out there, it's best to be aware of them.
There are many dangerous dog breeds out there, it's best to be aware of them.  © Collage: Unsplash/Philipp Pilz/Kamal Singh Rawat/Artistic Frames

For every doggo that's sweet, cuddly, and friendly, there's a dog that's aggressive and worrisome. Don't be too concerned, though! If you choose the right breed and make sure that your perfect pooch has been perfectly trained, then you'll be alright. Speaking of, here are some breeds to avoid.

In this dog guide, TAG24 will take a look at our picks for the top 10 most dangerous dog breeds in the world. What dogs should you avoid if you have small kids? We've got you covered!

What makes a dog breed dangerous?

A dangerous dog breed is generally characterized by one that is highly emotional and untrained. They are the very definition of why dogs need to be thoroughly trained from a young age and why they should be provided with ways to expend excess energy (such as agility exercises).

Dogs can be dangerous when they become aggressive, loud, and boisterous. Some especially dangerous dogs, such as those trained to be guard dogs, can get violent and can cause serious harm if triggered. If you encounter a dog that's dangerous, you'll know it!

The simple reality is that there are plenty of doggos out there that, while sweethearts deep-down, should not be kept in the presence of kids or strangers. Particular breeds are particularly troublesome, so let's take a peek.

Top 10 most dangerous dog breeds

Out of the following 10 dog breeds, a great deal of them do make fantastic pets. What's important, as we noted in the previous section, is that any dog you get is properly trained. Even the smallest doggo can be dangerous if left uncontrolled and without discipline, so don't take it as gospel that these doggos will present a danger to kiddos and strangers.

Let's dive into the top 10 most dangerous dog breeds in the world. These dogs are big, beefy, and full of brawn. They could do a lot of damage if provoked, so make sure to get them trained!

Bullmastiffs look scary, and that's because they are.
Bullmastiffs look scary, and that's because they are.  © IMAGO/USA TODAY Network

10. Bullmastiff

A fascinating and rather strange dog breed, the bullmastiff is the result of cross-breeding between the English mastiff and the now-extinct old English bulldog. Having existed since the 19th century, these dogs have generally been used as guard dogs to protect the crown's land against poachers, and private property from the intrusion of trespassers.

As they were designed, bred, and have been trained primarily as guard dogs, bullmastiffs are quite dangerous. They are big, brawny, and beefy, have an incredibly strong bite, and are ridiculously fast on their feet. We would certainly never suggest that they should be kept as pets.

9. American Bulldog

American bulldogs are big, beefy, and muscular creatures.
American bulldogs are big, beefy, and muscular creatures.  © IMAGO/Action Pictures

While American Bulldogs are generally very friendly, gentle, and loyal, they can also turn those traits into a protective instinct that can become dangerous if situations get difficult. As large dogs that are extremely muscular and sturdy, American Bulldogs have a history of herding livestock and looking after large areas of land as guard dogs.

They are some of the safer dog breeds on this list, but American Bulldogs must be extremely well-trained if you adopt them. Being so strong, if they get the wrong idea and attack somebody, they can do a lot of damage. As a result, American Bulldogs are considered dangerous and should only be owned by dog lovers who know what they're doing.

8. Great Dane

Great danes are extraordinary dogs, but can be quite dangerous as they are very strong.
Great danes are extraordinary dogs, but can be quite dangerous as they are very strong.  © Unsplash/Nathalie Spehner

These giant dogs are some of the largest canines in the world, and are the descendants of hunting dogs that were used to kill wild boar and deer over the millennia. As a result, while they are kind and gentle creatures most of the time, they are also highly demanding and need a lot of attention if you want to keep them firmly under your control.

Great Danes are some of the more dangerous dogs out there, as they are extremely strong and extremely heavy. If a Great Dane attacks someone or something, it is going to be very hard to stop it, so it needs to be trained incredibly well. Families with small children should certainly avoid this breed as their size can also present the risk of accidental harm.

7. German Shepherd

German shepherds are remarkable dogs, but can be dangerous if untrained.
German shepherds are remarkable dogs, but can be dangerous if untrained.  © Unsplash/Anna Dudkova

Coming to us courtesy of the folks behind sauerkraut and bratwurst, the German Shepherd is a truly extraordinary doggo. With its fluffy locks of gorgeous hair, its giant and all-hearing ears, and its incredibly discerning and disarming gaze, you would never expect that these incredible creatures can actually be quite worrisome.

German Shepherds were originally bred to be working dogs, and they have the desired characteristics. They are fast, incredibly strong, and can get quite aggressive when need be. Out of all the doggos on this list, though, this one is probably the best suited to family life - while dangerous, German Shepherds can remain sweethearts if they are properly trained and loved.

6. Pit Bull

Pit bulls are smaller, but have extremely strong jaws that can cause a lot of damage.
Pit bulls are smaller, but have extremely strong jaws that can cause a lot of damage.  © Unsplash/Justin Veenema

There's a reason why Armando Christian Pérez decided to go by "Pitbull" when he became a rapper. These dogs are incredibly strong, muscular, and have some of the most powerful bites in the world. They are medium-sized woofers that originally originated in the British Isles. As a result, they have commonly been compared to the English Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

With incredibly short hair, these dogs like to show off the reason behind their "dangerous" classification. Capable of jumping long distances, running very fast, and overwhelming victims quickly, they were used originally bred to be used in blood sports (before such sports were eliminated in the 1800s). Pit Bulls were originally developed as a cross between old English Terriers and old English Bulldogs, both breeds which are now extinct.

5. Bull Terrier

Bull terriers look odd, and a little bit threatening.
Bull terriers look odd, and a little bit threatening.  © Unsplash/Katie Bernotsky

Bull Terriers are some of the most odd looking, and scary looking dogs out there. That's not to say that they ain't cute - they're still dogs, after all - but these little dudes can be incredibly intimidating to people who are not used to having dogs around. With a uniquely egg-shaped head, these doggos are similar to all other "bull" breeds in that they are incredibly muscular.

What's interesting about the Bull Terrier, though, is that they are muscular and stocky at the same time. They sit very low to the ground and can't move very fast, but can be very dangerous once on the attack. Similarly to the pit bull, Bull Terriers were originally bred in the 19th century for the purpose of vermin control (hunting rats, moles, etc.), and blood sports.

4. Rottweiler

Rottweilers are big and scary-looking dogs.
Rottweilers are big and scary-looking dogs.  © Unsplash/Krishna Chalasani

Rottweilers are an odd breed, because they are very much a "You love 'em or you hate 'em" type. Some people find these big boys unbelievably adorable (myself included) and some find them insanely intimidating and intensely frightening. Both views are, of course, equally valid, but the latter view makes the most sense in terms of their history.

You see, Rottweilers are fascinating because they actually date back to the Roman empire, making them one of the longest surviving domesticated dogs in the world. They were used as herders, but also as protectors of the Roman legions as they marched across Europe. As a result, Rottweilers still retain a lot of the fighting instincts they utilized at the time, have been labeled the "butcher's dog", and can be very dangerous if untrained.

Important: Up until this point in the list, we have focused entirely on domesticated dogs. From now on, though, we will talk entirely about those deemed too dangerous for the home.

3. Coyote

Coyotes are wild, and incredibly dangerous, dogs.
Coyotes are wild, and incredibly dangerous, dogs.  © Unsplash/Mana5280

Most Americans have some kind of coyote story or anecdote. They are dangerous wild canines that are native to the North American continent, mostly the United States and southern Canada. Sometimes referred to as "Jackals," these creatures have been known to prey on domestic pets, and often compete with other predators in their territory.

While it is quite rare for coyotes to attack humans, it is not unheard of, making them quite dangerous animals to have around. If you live in areas prone to coyote attacks, though, it's worth learning as much about them as you can and making sure that you are fully prepared if one enters your yard.

2. Dingo

Dingoes aren't as dangerous as coyotes, but they're much cooler!
Dingoes aren't as dangerous as coyotes, but they're much cooler!  © Unsplash/David Clode

While coyotes are more likely to attack, and far more common, there's something innately cool and wondrous about Australia's Dingo. These incredible and iconic sand-colored dogs are closely related to the fascinating New Guinea singing dog and are native to mainland Australia but not Tasmania.

It's extremely rare that Dingoes will ever attack humans, but they are predatory and will scavenge around human settlements especially at dusk or dawn. They present a threat to pets and small children, and should be treated just like any dangerous wild dog should be treated: With an abundance of caution.

1. Wolves

Wolves are remarkable animals, but can be very dangerous.
Wolves are remarkable animals, but can be very dangerous.  © Unsplash/Michael LaRosa

They might be reintroducing wolves to Colorado National Park, but that doesn't necessarily mean that they are safe creatures to have around. Apex predators, wolves are some of the smartest non-human animals on Earth, hunt in packs, and can be extremely dangerous if encountered out in the wild.

While it is true that wolves will generally avoid humans, this is not always the case and should be viewed with mindfulness. Wolves are violent and brutal animals that are incredibly efficient and effective hunters, and they will stop at nothing to get their next feed. That means that they are not only a danger to humans, but to livestock, to pets, and to any other nearby animals.

Are foxes dangerous?

Foxes are very rarely a danger to us humans. While they have sharp teeth and long claws and are certainly capable of violence, foxes are far more likely to run away than they are to attack. It is worth noting, however, that they are wild animals and do not - as a general rule - make good pets.

What's extremely important to understand, however, is that there are circumstances in which a fox will attack you. Foxes that have developed rabies can get especially aggressive and especially dangerous, and their bite can be lethal if left untreated, for example.

The most common cause of fox aggression, however, is a feeling of being captured, trapped, or manhandled. They do not like to be touched, so don't touch them. Equally, if they feel like they are in danger, they will attack as well. As a result, it's incredibly important to always keep your distance.

While foxes will never attack unprovoked, and will not prey on humans, they should be left alone as they will fight back if they feel threatened. If you see a fox, look, but don't touch it.

The most dangerous dogs to humans should be avoided

Wild dogs will always be the most worrisome and the most dangerous. If you are out and about and encounter wild dogs like wolves, coyotes, or (if you're in God's country, Australia) dingoes, then you need to be extra careful. Take care to not walk with desirable food on you when out in the wild, and make sure to follow official guidelines on wolf and wild dog safety.

Remember that most of the dogs on this list are actually pretty safe if you have them properly trained. If you love rottweilers, they can be safe for the family, but get them as a puppy and have them professionally trained from a young age. You should also make sure that bigger dogs in particular are very obedient and have been taught plenty of commands.

Apart from coyotes, wolves, dingoes, and foxes, most of the dangerous dogs in this list aren't anything to worry about in most situations. Stay calm when you encounter them, and adopt wisely.

Cover photo: Collage: Unsplash/Philipp Pilz/Kamal Singh Rawat/Artistic Frames

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