Angry dog

Most Aggressive Dog Breeds in the World

Dogs are the most faithful animals in the world. A quote from Josh Billings about dog’s loyalty says – “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.”- True enough, they will do anything to make their masters happy, and because of their loyalty, they can be more protective to their owners.

Since dogs are the direct descendants of the wolves, they have inherited the wolves’ survival trait of protecting their own family. So, they naturally and instinctively treat their owners as part of their pack and thus feel that they need to protect them whenever they think that they are in danger.

But there are dog breeds that are more protective than the others, that their protection is turning into aggression. Every dog can show aggressiveness. So, let’s not judge these breeds as if they are dangerous animals. The point is, the potential of them being aggressive is there. Later in this article, we will understand what triggers them to show such behaviors. But first, below is our list of most aggressive dog breeds in the world.

1. Wolf-Dog Hybrid

Wolfdog

A wolfdog is a mixed breed of domestic dogs and various types of wolves (gray wolf, eastern wolf, red wolf, or Ethiopian wolf). But the most common wolfdog is the crossbreed between a domestic dog and a gray wolf. This canine is mostly being bred in captivity for various purposes. However, a large number of their population are in the wild and scattered throughout Europe and North America.

Since wolfdog is a mixture of genetic traits, their behavioral patterns are inconsistent and less predictable compared to wolf and dog. In recent years wolfdog breeders and advocates disagreed on the fact that their aggressive behaviors are part of their inherited temperament. On the other hand, some groups like the IUCN Species Survival Commission considered wolfdog as wild animals and should not be kept as a pet.


2. American Pit Bull Terrier

American Pitbull Terrier

Although they are called American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT), this breed, was originated in the British Isles. The APBT was arrived in the United States, not until the late 19th century, where they become the direct ancestors of the American Pit Bull Terrier.

Because of their high prey drive, they will be more than happy to fill the role of working dogs, companion dogs, athletic sport dogs, and even police dogs. This breed is also known for participating in illegal dog fighting in America. The APBT exhibit some level of dog aggression but with proper handling and training of the owner. They can be a great family pet.


3. Chihuahua

Chihuahua

Next on the list is Chihuahua, the smallest breed of dog. Originates in Mexico and was named after one of the states there. This dog breed has two varieties, the smooth coat (smooth-haired) and the long coat (long-haired). Chihuahuas can mature in different sizes, but breeders of this dog try to breed them as small as possible.

This breed tends to attach himself to a single person and can show aggressiveness to others, especially if they are not properly socialized. Chihuahuas are sensitive and can easily be frightened or provoked to attack. That is why this dog breed is not suitable for homes with children. Early exposure of this breed to different people and places is needed. It will help them become less aggressive and more friendly to strangers.


4. Rottweiler

Rottweiler

Considered to be one of the oldest dog breeds by FCI standard. Rottweilers originated in Germany and used there to herd stock, where they will drive cattle and pull carts to help the farmers and butchers. Over the years, Rottweiler’s roles to humans have evolved. These days this breed was being bred as rescue dogs, guard dogs, and police dogs.

Rottweiler is a large and powerful breed with inherited guarding and territorial instincts. They can act to surroundings with great alertness and are bound to protect their families and territories. Because they are natural guard dogs, this breed can show aggression to strangers and other dogs if not introduced properly.


5. Siberian Husky

Gray Siberian husky

A Siberian Husky is a medium-sized working dog breed that belongs to the family of Spitz genetics (A type of domestic dog characterized by long thick white fur and pointed ears and muzzles). Originates in Northeast Asia and was used there by the Chukchi tribe as sled dogs.

Huskies are stubborn and difficult to train, and this is the reason why they are not suitable for the first time and timid owner. Siberian Huskies are natural hunters who have a high prey drive, and they are known as escape artists because of their reputation of jumping over the fence or digging their way out to wander away from home.


6. German Shepherd

German Shepherd

You probably seen this breed used by militaries for various purposes. The German Shepherd is a highly intelligent dog breed that originates in Germany. They are known as the ‘Alsatian wolf dog’ and developed for herding sheep. This canine has self-assured characteristics, and they have a great curiosity that makes them suitable for search missions.

The German Shepherds are well-known for their protectiveness, and sometimes it can lead them to overprotect their families and territories. They didn’t trust strangers immediately, so they need to have early socialization. With proper guidance and exposing them early to different people and environments, shepherds can become excellent companions.


7. American Bulldog

American Bulldog

The American Bulldog is a large breed with a muscular physique and was a descendant of the English Bulldog, which is now extinct. In history, they believed to appeared in South American in the early 17th century and were used by small farmers and ranchers as a working dog. Nowadays, this breed is used variously as sport K9’s, hog dogs, or as cattle drovers.

Bulldogs were known to destroy things like furniture and even shoes if they didn’t have enough activities. Too much isolation is not ideal for this breed, as they can become fearful and aggressive to others. American Bulldog doesn’t trust strangers instantly, so they need early exposure to different people, places, and animals while they’re still a pup. If well-raised, Bulldogs can show a good temperament toward others and be a great family pet.


8. Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher is an intelligent alert guard dog that was developed by a tax collector from Germany named Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann. According to the experimental studies and expert evaluators, Dobermann has ranked amongst the most intelligent dog breeds.

Since Dobermanns are natural guard dogs, they have high defensive instincts and are bound to protect their families if needed. As for their temperament, evidence shows that North America has a calmer and even-tempered breed of Doberman Pinscher than their European counterparts because American breeders have different breeding strategies. Despite their intimidating appearance, this breed is loving and loyal companions.


9. Cane Corso

Cane Corso

A canine breed that is closely related to Neapolitan Mastiff. Cane Corso is a large dog breed that came from Italy. This dog breed is part of the Mastiff-type of dogs, but they are less bulky than the other Mastiffs. In history, Corsi was used by their Italian owners for farming and pasturing.

Cane Corso has an intimidating appearance, but they are a highly intelligent and trainable breed. They can be aggressive if not handled well. Just like the previous dogs in our list, early socialization is necessary for the Corsi.


10. Chow Chow

Chow Chow

Last on our list is the Chow Chow. Arguably the oldest breed in the world, Chow Chow is originated in Northern China. Famous for its very dense double coat with deep-set eyes and large head. But the most remarkable physical features of the Chows are their blue tongue.

Some owners of this breed ascribed a cat-like personality to the Chows. This breed can be suspicious of strangers and can show overprotection to their loved ones and properties. Aggression can be one distinctive behavioral characteristic of the Chow, so they need to be socialized early and consistently for them to act accordingly with strangers.


What is Dog aggression?

Aggressive dog

Aggression is among of the major behavioral problems in dogs. The word ‘aggression’ is defined as an act of attacking without provocation. As for dogs, it involves biting, growling, snarling, lunging, and aggressive barking. Any dogs can show aggressiveness, by determining the factors that triggered their aggression can help bring the behavior under control.

What are the types of dog aggression?

Understanding the contributing factors that cause a dog’s aggressiveness will help you determine the origin of their aggression. Usually, a dog’s sudden change of behavior is in response to someone’s action or presence. Below are the different types of dog’s aggression.

1. Dominance aggression

Dominance aggression is the most common type of dog aggression. According to studies, 60% of aggressive dogs exhibit dominant aggression. Although it can happen to other animals, this aggression usually occurs between the dog and the owner where the dog feels threatened or challenged by their owner’s action.

In short, this aggression triggers when the dog battles for its hierarchical position.
For instance, you want to sleep on a couch, but your dog is already there. You approach the dog in a displeasing manner, but the dog growl at you in response. Your action can influence dominance aggression to your dog, and sometimes a dog’s behavior is a reflection of their owners.

2. Defensive aggression

The defensive aggression is when a dog displays a protective and aggressive posture to someone because of fear. Usually, this behavior triggers when the dog avoids pain or in a situation like being cornered after a flee attempt.

While in the state of this aggression, dogs may exhibit a mixture of fearful and offensive acts like growling, snapping, and even biting. It is best not to force interaction when a dog is feeling threatened to avoid worsening of the situation.

3. Predatory aggression

Predatory aggression usually being viewed as part of the dog’s prey drive sequence. The desire to catch, chase, and kill small land preys or flying creatures for their satisfaction. All dogs have this drive, which they inherited from their ancestors.

The predatory behavior of dog’s triggers when they saw something that causes their prey drive to rise and act aggressively. Since this behavior involves chasing, running, and biting, it can bring damage to things, properties, and even people.

4. Maternal aggression

Maternal aggression is usually displayed by a female dog when they try to protect their newborn pups. Once a mother dog gives birth, it creates powerful hormones in her brain that caused her to aggressively protects her offspring naturally. These hormones are known as Oxytocin, responsible for creating great bonding between the mother dog and her pups.

Dogs with this type of aggressiveness are very protective of their offspring. Because of the defensive instinct caused by the hormones, it can lead them to attack or bite someone if their pups were touched or approached. However, maternal aggression doesn’t stick with dogs for a long time. Because this behavior tends to disappear as the days go by, and their pups are growing up.

What are the causes of a dog’s aggressiveness?

Mad dog

It can be worrying for us dog owners to see our dog becomes suddenly aggressive. Knowing and determining what causes them to trigger such behaviors will help us understand the situation and learn how to handle them accordingly. Below are the common causes of a dog’s aggression.

Health

Health problems resulting in pain can make the dog aggressive. The most common cause of health issues in dogs is the Gut microbiome. These microbes can cause different illnesses to the canine, such as diarrhea and bowel disease.

Fear

Fear is the most common reason why dogs behave aggressively. Negative experiences such as abuse from owners, a bad experience with other dogs, or lack of proper socialization can cause the dogs to become fearful, which then leads them to behave aggressively. Usually, dogs trigger fearfulness when they think they are in danger and need to defend themselves.

Anxiety

Sudden changes to the surroundings or environment can make a dog becomes anxious. Situations like being left alone or being around with strange people will make them less relax and fearful, which can lead them to act aggressively.

Territorial

Dogs can become aggressive when strangers enter their territories or properties. They can be overprotective when someone steps into their boundaries. Moreover, possession also falls into this category, where the dogs become possessive of their food or toys, which may result in a dog’s aggression.

Protectiveness

Protectiveness usually exhibits by mother dogs with newborn pups. They are more likely to show aggressiveness when someone approached their offspring. At the same time, dogs can also show protectiveness to their owners.

Unsocialized

Dogs can also show aggressiveness if they are not properly socialized. They may display aggressive behavior to people, animals, or things that they are not used to see.

Can I stop the dog’s aggression?

The short answer is yes, there are things you can do to stop or avoid a dog’s aggression, and owners will play a huge role in their treatment.

How to stop a dog’s aggression?

Woman sitting with her dog on the side

There are different treatments and approached for every type of aggression in dogs. That is why we consistently mentioned in this article the importance of knowing the cause of their aggressiveness. By determining the root cause of their aggression will help you find a solution and plan your next step. Here are the things you can do to avoid and stop a dog’s aggressiveness.

Consult your vets

If your dog suddenly develops aggressive behavior when he/she not like that before, then you should consider taking them to your vets. Your dog might be experiencing health problems that cause them to show aggressiveness. Below are the most common diseases for dogs.

• Diarrhea
• Heartworm
• Fleas and Ticks
• Pain injuries (broken bones, arthritis)
• Ear infections

Seek behaviorist

If your dog didn’t have medical issues and his aggressiveness more likely comes from his genetic predisposition, then maybe it’s time for you to call a professional dog trainer that is capable of handling the situation.

Do not spank your dog

Spanking will not help to ease your dog’s aggressiveness. Instead, it will make the situation worst. Your dog may trigger defensive aggression if you use violence or punishment.

Socialized them

Maybe your dog is aggressive to strangers and other dogs, then socializing and introducing them to others is the best option. If your dog is not properly socialized, it is better to expose them slowly as it may take time for your dog to trust strangers. Scheduling a daily walk with your dog or surrounding him with different people will help reduce your dog’s aggressiveness towards others.

Conclusion

Every dog can be aggressive, but it doesn’t mean they are dangerous animals. A beautiful quote from John Lindsey about dog aggression saying “The dogs are only dangerous when they’re trained that way, they have the potential to be a bad dog but doesn’t mean they are a bad dog.”

Here in Latestpaws, we believe that there is no such thing as most aggressive dog breeds if owners are responsible enough to take care of their buddies.

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Gilbert Geers
3 months ago

superb