Close this search box.

Top 10 Most Aggressive Dog Breeds

Table of Contents

Dogs are beloved companions, but it’s important to understand that they, like any animal, can display aggression under certain circumstances. While some breeds have a higher predisposition to aggression due to their historical purposes or genetic traits, it’s crucial to remember that any dog can become aggressive if not properly trained and socialized.

The Role of Nature vs. Nurture

A dog’s temperament is shaped by a complex combination of inherited traits and environmental factors. Some breeds have been selectively bred for traits like guarding, herding, or hunting – roles that might require a certain level of assertiveness or a tendency to react on instinct. However, the way a dog is raised, trained, and socialized has an immense impact on how they express those instincts. Responsible ownership, focused on providing proper training and socialization, is the key to preventing aggression for any dog.

10 Most Aggressive Dog Breeds

1. Chihuahua

  • Average Weight: 2 to 7 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height:  6 to 9 inches (male and female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 yearsAs the smallest breed in the world, these tiny dogs may not look aggressive at a glance, but this breed has been known to display multiple traits of aggression. Chihuahuas are known to be very loyal and devoted to their pet parents. On its own this can be a beautiful trait, but can often lead to jealousy and result in actions such as barking and biting. Caution: This breed is not child-friendly.

2. Dachshund

  • Average Weight: 15 to 30 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height:  15 to 19 inches (male and female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 yearsKnown by many names, the Weiner dog, Badger dog, Sausage dog, or Dachshund, is a short-leg, long-bodied breed known for its unique appearance. Primarily used for hunting in the past, it is not surprising that aggression can be a prominent trait. Another reason for the aggression displayed by this breed is its small size, which it tries to make up for with extra attitude. Here’s an overview of the costs associated with the Dachshund.

3. Chow Chow

  • Average Weight: 40 to 90 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height:  17 to 22 inches (male and female)
  • Life Expectancy: 11 to 13 yearsOf Chinese origin, the Chow Chow is a sturdy dog with a dense double coat. These dogs are known for their skills in hunting and herding, both which require assertive and dominant personalities. Here’s a fun fact for you: one Chow Chow even became the beloved pet of ex-US President Calvin Coolidge. Check out the typical expenses you might encounter when owning a Chow Chow.

4. Akita

  • Average Weight: 60 to 100 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height:  23 to 28 inches (male and female)
  • Life Expectancy: 8 to 10 yearsA Japanese dog, the Historic, Akita has its origins in the northern mountains of Japan. Commonly trained for activities like policing and guarding, these dogs have developed a protective nature. Akita are naturally wary of strangers and other dogs and may even attack. Get a sense of the financial implications of owning an Akita here.

5. American Pitbull Terrier

  • Average Weight: 35 to 60 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height:  18 to 21 inches (male and female)
  • Life Expectancy: 8 to 14 yearsAmerican Pitbull Terriers are known for being tenacious and determined canines. These characteristics can often lead to aggressive behavior and the courage to engage in fights. However, with proper training, these dogs can be very loving and affectionate pets. You may also be interested in Japanese Terrier.

6. Cane Corso

  • Average Weight: 100 to 110 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height:  24 to 28 inches (male and female)
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 yearsAn Italian Mastiff, this breed can often be found in the role of companion dog or guard dog. The Cane Corso is another breed that has in the past been used for hunting because of their aggressive nature. Cane Corsos are highly unlikely to be friendly with strangers, especially during a first impression. Learn more about the costs tied to the Cane Corso dog breed.

7. Doberman Pinschers

  • Average Weight: 60 to 100 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height:  24 to 28 inches (male and female)
  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 yearsThis large breed developed by Louis Dobermann in Germany is among the most intelligent, tenacious, and energetic guard dogs. Often used by the Police, Doberman Pinschers can be very aggressive, especially with strangers, if not trained properly. We’ve detailed the expenses linked to owning a Doberman Pinscher breed dog. If you decide this dog is not for you, you may also be interested in a Miniature Pinscher.

8. German Shepherds

  • Average Weight: 66 to 88 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height:  24 to 28 inches (male and female)
  • Life Expectancy: 9 to 13 yearsAlso known as Alsatians, German Shepherds are the working dogs of Germany. Primarily used for herding, disability assistance, search-and-rescue, police work, and warfare, these dogs can seem intimidating based on their appearance alone. Naturally protective of their families, these dogs can be aggressive by nature and need proper training and socialization. Understand the financial investment for a German Shepherd dog breed with this information.

9. Rottweilers

  • Average Weight: 110 to 130 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height:  24 to 27 inches (male and female)
  • Life Expectancy: 8 to 10 yearsMainly used for herding livestock and pulling carts filled with butchered meat, Rottweilers are also known as Rottweiler Metzgerhund, meaning Rottweil butchers’ dogs in Germany, where they originated. From loving and affectionate to aggressive protectors, these dogs are shaped by their upbringing. If you are interested in bringing a Rottweiler into your home, here is a detailed breakdown of the costs related to the Rottweiler dog breed.

10. Siberian Husky

  • Average Weight: 45 to 60 pounds (male and female)
  • Average Height:  21 to 24 inches (male and female)
  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

Expert Insights From Spot:

  • While some dog breeds are known for being gentle companions, others may require more experienced handling due to potential behavioral issues. According to Spot’s data, the average cost of a claim for treating behavioral problems in dogs is around $275. This highlights the importance of responsible pet ownership, including proper training and socialization, to help prevent behavioral issues in dogs. Early intervention and professional guidance can significantly improve a dog’s behavior and create a harmonious home for everyone.

Responsible Ownership: The Key to Preventing Aggression

  • It’s essential to highlight that this list doesn’t mean these breeds are inherently dangerous. With responsible ownership, proper training, and early socialization, dogs of any breed can be loving and well-adjusted companions.

Here’s what responsible ownership looks like:

  • Training: Start obedience training early, using positive reinforcement and focusing on socialization.
  • Socialization: Expose your dog to various people, animals, and environments from puppyhood in a controlled manner.
  • Exercise: Provide sufficient physical and mental stimulation. Bored dogs are more likely to become problematic.
  • Supervision: Don’t leave dogs unsupervised with children or other animals they don’t know well.

Remember: Every Dog is an Individual

Choosing a dog, regardless of breed, is a significant commitment. By understanding a dog’s potential for aggression, along with the transformative power of proper training and socialization, you set the foundation for a safe and rewarding relationship for both you and your beloved companion.


Pet Helpful 

Pet Helpful

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo

Kokou Adzo is a stalwart in the tech journalism community, has been chronicling the ever-evolving world of Apple products and innovations for over a decade. As a Senior Author at Apple Gazette, Kokou combines a deep passion for technology with an innate ability to translate complex tech jargon into relatable insights for everyday users.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts