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10 Most Aggressive Dogs in the World in 2023

Some factors are more important than others when your family decides to buy a new puppy. One of the most important factors is which breeds are unsuitable for homes with children.

It is better to avoid these more aggressive dogs in such situations. Numerous reports have blamed larger breeds, but what about the smaller ones? Are they also aggressive? Smaller dogs, too, can be aggressive. One of the most important questions you may have is what breed of dog is ideal for you and your family.

This article will explore dog aggression and break down 10 of the world’s most aggressive dogs.

Aside from knowing which breeds are more aggressive, it’s also crucial to understand why dogs become aggressive. Dogs may become aggressive owing to territorial defensiveness, protectiveness, fear, or social anxiety.

Stay with us!

How I Determined Which Dog Breeds Are the Most Aggressive

The ten breeds listed below have some of the lowest overall passing percentages in the American Temperament Exam Society’s temperament test and are ranked in order of lowest to the greatest percentage of individual dogs that passed.

During the exam, the breeds with the lowest passing percentages commonly displayed signs of hostility, fright, or acute shyness.

While there are breeds with even lower passing rates than those in this article. I’ve decided to limit this list to the ten dogs that are most frequently ranked as highly aggressive (i.e., breeds that are most commonly considered “aggressive” or “dangerous” and/or are included in breed-specific legislation).

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10 Most Aggressive Dogs In The World

  1. Chihuahua
  2. Dachshund
  3. Chow Chow Chow
  4. Doberman Pinscher
  5. Dalmatian
  6. Rottweiler
  7. Terrier, Jack Russell
  8. German Sheepdog
  9. Pit Bull Terrier/American Staffordshire Terrier
  10. The Siberian Husky

So, each breed on the list is explored in further depth in the sections below, and overall passing rates for each are mentioned.

#1. Chihuahua

The Chihuahua is the smallest dog breed registered with the American Kennel Club (AKC) and is regarded to be the world’s smallest.

They are classified as “toy” dogs and typically weigh between four and six pounds. They can have short or long hair of almost any color, and their coloration can be solid, splotched, or streaked.

Chihuahuas are normally highly loyal to their owners, although they are one or two-person dogs.

They can be dedicated to the point of jealousy and can bite or act aggressive at anyone who gets too close to their owner.

They are highly temperamental and are not particularly child-friendly. Because they dislike outsiders, they bark frequently and can effectively function as alert-style “watchdogs.”

They are the first most aggressive dogs in the world.

Temperament Test Results

TestedPassedFailedPassing Percentage

Statistics from the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS)

#2. Dachshund (Standard Smooth)

The AKC classifies the Dachshund as a part of the “hound” group. They can have long or short hair of almost any natural color and weigh between 8 and 32 pounds.

They first appeared in Germany in the 17th century and were mostly employed to kill badgers. Dachshund breed was on the point of extinction by the end of World War I, but populations have since recovered, and they are today one of America’s most beloved dogs.

The Dachshund is prone to “little dog syndrome,” which implies that it frequently tries to compensate for its small stature with a big attitude. This can result in a range of behavioral problems.

They can interact well with children if socialized at a young age, but they do not love rough play. Dachshunds have a strong hunting impulse toward these small animals hence, small pets, such as mice, rats, and hamsters should be handled with caution.

Therefore, they are among the most aggressive dogs in the world.

Temperament Test Results

TestedPassedFailedPassing Percentage

Statistics from the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS)

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#3. Chow Chow

The Chow Chow is a medium-size dog in the “non-sporting” group by the AKC. They typically weigh between 45 and 70 pounds and have long, thick coats that can come in red, black, blue, cream, or cinnamon colors.

The exact origin of the Chow Chow is unknown, but it is believed that they originated thousands of years ago in either China or Mongolia where they were most often used as hunting and herding dogs. They became popular in the U.S. during the 20th century when President Calvin Coolidge kept one as a pet.

Chow Chows tend to have dominant personalities and can become assertive at times. Because of their assertiveness, they are not good for first-time dog owners.

You’ll need firm training to raise a well-mannered Chow Chow. It has also been noted that they do not have good peripheral vision, so they can be startled easily.

However, they’re among our list of most aggressive dogs.

Temperament Test Results

TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed

Statistics from the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS)

#4. Doberman Pinscher

The AKC classifies the Doberman Pinscher as a medium-sized dog in the “working” category.

They weigh between 70 and 90 pounds and have thick, glossy, short-haired coats in red, black, blue, or fawn colors.

Karl Louis Doberman is credited with the development of this German breed. He worked as a tax collector and desired a dog to accompany him on his excursions to the more perilous places to which he visited.

Doberman pinschers are very clever canines that have been regularly utilized as guard dogs and in police work. They have a strong protective instinct toward their masters. However, they can get along with children and other dogs if they are raised with strong leadership and excellent owners.

Temperament Test Results

TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed

Statistics from the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS)

#5. Dalmatian

The AKC classifies the Dalmatian as a medium-sized dog in the “working” category. They weigh between 45 and 60 pounds and have short, dense, lustrous coats that are white with black or brown markings.

Dalmatians must be socialized from a young age. They are nice to youngsters, but if their owner does not give them enough care, they can develop behavioral issues.

So they are exceptionally active dogs who require frequent opportunities to expend some of their energy through exercise and play.

Therefore, they can be classified as the most aggressive dogs.

Temperament Test Results

TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed

Statistics from the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS)

#6. Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is classified as a large dog in the “working” category.

They can weigh between 85 and 130 pounds and have short-haired coats with straight, dense coats that are usually black with rust or mahogany patterns.

Rottweiler takes its name from the German town of Rottweil.

It was originally called the “Rottweil butcher’s dog,” but later, the term was shortened to Rottweiler. They were once employed for cattle herding and bear hunting, among other things.

Later, they were famous as security dogs in the United States, and many worked with the army and police forces.

Rottweilers can be distant and do not normally get along well with strangers. They are extremely protective of their owners and would defend their home grounds at all costs.

They are usually kind to children, but they are not good for families with newborns or toddlers because of their size and high energy level.

Temperament Test Results

TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed

Statistics from the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS)

#7. Jack Russell Terrier

The AKC does not recognize the Jack Russell Terrier breed due to opposition from the breed’s parent society, the Jack Russell Terrier Club of America (JRTCA).

As a result, the Parson Russell Terrier has been recognized instead. There are some minor differences between the Jack Russell terrier and the Parson Terrier.

Jack Russells are small dogs that weigh between 14 and 18 pounds and are predominantly white with black or tan markings.

Jack Russells were developed in England for fox hunting but have also been used for groundhog and badger hunting.

Russell Terriers are energetic and aggressive dogs. They have little patience and are not child-friendly. Most experts advise families with young children to choose another breed, particularly if they are first-time dog owners.

Temperament Test Results

TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed

Statistics from the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS)

#8. German Shepherd

The AKC classifies the German Shepherd as a medium-sized breed in the “herding” category.

They weigh between 70 and 85 pounds and have fur that is a combination of brown, gray, black, and tan.

During World War I, both the German and French armed services utilized them as war dogs. They are an extremely clever breed that was the first to be employed as guide dogs for the blind. They are also widely utilized in search-and-rescue teams and as police and narcotics dogs.

The German Shepherd has become one of America’s most popular canines. Because they dislike outsiders, they make excellent guard dogs.

Despite being listed on numerous “violent dog” lists, everything I’ve read and experienced tells me that they’re great with kids. I do not consider German Shepherds to be an “aggressive” breed as long as they are not trained as guard dogs.

Temperament Test Results

TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed

Statistics from the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS)

#9. American Staffordshire Terrier/Pit Bull Terrier

The American Staffordshire Terrier, also known as the American Pit Bull Terrier, is a medium-sized dog that belongs to the “terrier” breed and typically weighs between 55 and 65 pounds.

They originated in the English county of Staffordshire, hence the name.

The earliest strain of this breed was bred to have stronger, stockier frames to be used as guard dogs and in dogfighting.

When the breed was introduced to America and dogfighting was outlawed, the second strain of this breed emerged. This new variant was gentler and smaller in stature. This younger pitbull breed, the American Pit Bull, is particularly loyal and protective of its owner and family.

They are also excellent and tolerant with children, but if you are unsure about a pit bull’s pedigree, do a background check before deciding on it as a family pet.

Temperament Test Results

TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed
American Pit Bull Terrier91379811587.4%
American Staffordshire Terrier71661010685.2%

Statistics from the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS)

#10. The Siberian Husky

The AKC classifies the Siberian husky as a medium-sized dog in the “working” category.

They weigh between 35 and 70 pounds and have medium-length hair with a double coat. Their colors are red and white, black and white, gray and white, or silver.

They were developed in Siberia to pull sleds over long distances in harsh climes. They’ve also been utilized as search and rescue dogs.

I cannot find definitive studies that confirm huskies have aggressive personalities based on my study and experience owning four Siberian huskies. Still, they have been on numerous lists of aggressive dogs, which is why they are on this one.

Huskies, in my experience, are territorial and do not always get along with other dogs, but they are usually nice with children.

They’re among the most aggressive dogs in the world.

Temperament Test Results

TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed

Statistics from the American Temperament Test Society (ATTS)

Understanding the Temperament Test Results

The test result by the American Temperament Test Society should be taken with a grain of salt because the number of dogs examined in each breed varies.

For example, when the Rottweiler breed was examined for aggression, almost 5,000 Rottweilers were tested, but just 46 Chihuahuas were tested.

Because the sample size range so greatly, the calculated percentages may not accurately represent the aggression levels of each breed.

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How Is the Examination Conducted?

The ATTS “focuses on and measures different characteristics of temperament such as stability, shyness, aggressiveness, and friendliness, as well as the dog’s instinct for protectiveness towards its handler and/or self-preservation in the event of a threat”.

The test mimics a walk across the neighborhood where the dog meets neutral, friendly, and frightening scenarios. Strangers approach the handler, and unexpected noises emanate from hidden areas. The test aims to see how the dog reacts to people, noises, and surroundings.

Below, we will still talk about the most aggressive dogs.

How Is the Passing Rate Calculated?

The percentage under each breed is the number of dogs who passed the temperament test divided by the total number of dogs tested for that breed.

The passing percentage for Chihuahuas is the number of dogs that passed (32) divided by the total number tested (46), or 69.9 percent.

Failure is determined when a dog exhibits any of the following symptoms:

  • Aggression without provocation
  • Panic without a cure
  • Strong aversion
  • Consider Potential Shortcomings

The ATTS test may not accurately isolate the trait of aggression alone because “strong avoidance” is considered a failure.

Because the number of dogs tested varies substantially by breed, the sample size is not uniform across the study. Passing rates for breeds with higher sample sizes examined may be more accurate than passing rates for breeds with relatively small sample numbers tested.

Which Breed of Dog is the Most Protective?

Doberman pinscher is the most protective do

The Doberman is a sleek, powerful, swift, and fearless dog, one of the best guard dog breeds. It is regarded as the fifth-smartest dog breed worldwide and is attentive and faithful when guarding its owners. It will also bark incessantly.

What is the Most Vicious Breed of Dog?

Many dog trainers will not name a specific breed when asked which dog is the most vicious. Cesar Milan, a celebrity canine behaviorist, is an opponent of breed labeling. Milan is adamant that “the most dangerous dog in the world is the one made that way by a human.”

His point of view highlights the significance of pursuing the truth beyond figures and statistics. Anyone who has owned a pit bull, a breed infamous for its viciousness, can speak to the pit bull’s mild, if not too cuddly, demeanor when raised with love and care by its owners.

Dogs mirror their family’s environment and training. So, suppose a particular breed is often seen to have an “aggressive” attitude. In that case, this could indicate the type of person that tends to own that particular breed (e.g., German Shepherds are often owned by people who train them to protect property, hence their hostile behavior towards strangers).

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Why Do Dogs Become Aggressive All of a Sudden?

It is unusual for a joyful, loving dog to demonstrate violent behavior for no apparent reason suddenly. You may be able to determine the source of your dog’s behavior change if you take a closer look, always with the assistance of your vet.

Fear can cause abrupt behavioral and temperament changes, including violence. If the aggression is only temporary, your dog may be reacting to a perceived threat.

However, it is still crucial to determine why your dog reacted as it did if it has never done so. You don’t want to be caught off guard or put your dog in a scenario that could escalate to more hostility.

So many common health issues can impact your dog’s behavior, some of which can be significant. This is especially prevalent when your dog gets older and develops age-related ailments.

In rare circumstances, sudden hostility in an elderly dog may result from cognitive dysfunction or dementia in dogs.

Also, if your dog’s aggression is accompanied by other symptoms such as hair loss, weight gain, or lethargy, it may indicate hypothyroidism. Convulsions or fast mood changes may follow seizures. Aggression difficulties can result from brain damage to certain parts of the brain caused by tumors, thyroid abnormalities, and trauma.

Take note of any other symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or lethargy, and write them down so you can share them with your veterinarian.

Can Aggressive Dogs be Cured?

Pet parents with aggressive dogs frequently wonder if they can ever be certain that their dog has been “fixed.”

Taking into account the behavior modification approaches that affect aggression, we now believe that the occurrence and frequency of some types of aggression can be lowered and, in some cases, abolished.

There is no certainty, however, that an aggressive dog may be entirely cured. In many circumstances, the only remedy is to control the problem by minimizing a dog’s exposure to situations, people, or things that make her aggressive.

When dealing with an aggressive dog, there is always a risk.

Pet owners are accountable for their pets’ behavior and must take care to ensure no one is harmed. Even if a dog has been well-behaved for years, it is impossible to foresee when all of the required variables will come together to create “the perfect storm” that would cause her to become aggressive.

Dogs with a history of resorting to aggression as a coping strategy in stressful situations may do so again. Pet parents with the most aggressive dogs should be cautious and always think that their dog is not cured, so that they do not relax their guard.

The Bottom Line:

No Breed of dogs Is Inherently Dangerous.

I gathered the material in this post from a range of sources as well as my own experience. Just because a breed is on our list does not imply that it would not be a nice family pet with the correct owners and training.

Because training (or lack thereof) and how a dog was previously handled can significantly impact its personality, conducting a background check on an animal before adopting it is always a smart idea.




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