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The 15 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds in 2023
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The 15 Most Dangerous Dog Breeds in 2023

Critter Culture Staff

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While any breed of dog can become your beloved family pet, some breeds are inherently dangerous compared to others. When selecting the right breed, it's important to do your research and understand the breed's history. It's also important to remember that dogs are unpredictable animals, and those bred for strength and protection have a greater tendency to cause harm when frightened or mistreated.

Though these breeds are not "bad" by any means, if you have young children or other similar concerns, it's useful to know which ones statistically bite most often and have the most unpredictable personalities.

1

Akita

Portrait of akita dog outdoors Photographer and Illustrator/ Getty Images

Akitas are loyal dogs that take comfort in the members of their families. That said, they have dominant personalities and usually require extensive training to ensure obedience. If you own one, it's important to be wary of guests and unfamiliar dogs, as Akitas may get nervous and have a tendency to bite.

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2

Pitbull

Beautiful young woman walk an American pitbull terrier dog on leash in nature. Irina Belova/ Getty Images

Pitbulls have the potential to be safe, loving family pets, and a lot of people are working hard to change their negative public perception. Unfortunately, they have a reputation for being dangerous, violent dogs. This is primarily because the breed is naturally muscular and intimidating, which has led to decades of pitbulls being bred and sold for protection, dog fighting, and other inhumane purposes.

However, with proper socialization, training, and care, a pit bull can live a long, happy life free from aggression.

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3

Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is an Italian breed of mastiff. Falombini/Getty Images

The Cane Corso is a strong breed descended from Canis Pugnax, a breed that was frequently utilized as a worker in ancient Roman times. The Cane Corso's strong body and size make them intimidating-looking, and, unfortunately, without obedience training, they do have the potential to be aggressive and dangerous.

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4

Rhodesian ridgeback

Beautiful dog rhodesian ridgeback puppy tkatsai/ Getty Images

The Rhodesian ridgeback is an African breed that's long been used as a guard dog, particularly on farms that face the threat of African wildlife like lions. The breed is alert and known to always be in flight-or-fight mode, making them dangerous be around when not fully domesticated and trained.

Once well-trained, Rhodesian ridgebacks can be deeply loyal, but many owners find they remain aloof and uncertain around strangers and other animals.

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5

Saint bernard

Saint Bernard, Rescue Dog slowmotiongli/ Getty Images

Saint bernards are large dogs that are frequently seen in film and on television, caring for and cuddling the family children. However, the breed does have a tendency to be aggressive, and it's important to keep that in mind before bringing one home.

Saint bernards were originally bred as rescue dogs, often being put to work to save those stuck in avalanches or other dangerous situations. If you're considering a saint bernard, it's best to purchase the dog as a puppy and begin obedience training right away to avoid future episodes of aggression.

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6

Chow chow

Chow-chow Portrait Thais Almeida/ Getty Images

The chow chow is a beautiful dog known for its fluffy tail and soft fur. While the breed can be sweet and caring in the right environment, these dogs are incredibly social and require regular opportunities to interact with both humans and other animals.

When socializing a chow chow, it's crucial to watch closely and maintain a short leash, as these dogs are highly independent and have the tendency to become aggressive in scary or unfamiliar situations.

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7

Doberman pinscher

Beautiful tan-and-black German Pinscher sitting on a river bank background eAlisa/ Getty Images

One of the most loyal breeds, the Doberman pinscher is widely used as a guard dog. The breed is strong and often intimidating, with a lean, muscular body and a threatening bark. While their loyalty is second-to-none, Doberman pinschers can show extreme aggression when provoked or approached by strangers.

People who don't have much pet ownership experience should not consider adopting this breed.

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8

Rottweiler

Portrait of a Rottweiler dog dageldog/ Getty Images

Rottweilers can be wonderful pets when placed in a loving home with a patient owner. However, without proper training and regular attention, the dog's nature can turn quickly. Rottweilers were bred for herding and guarding, which means that aggression and alertness are ingrained in their DNA. This breed requires regular socialization, exercise, and affection to remain calm and friendly.

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9

German shepherd

german shepherd dog lying on the grass VictorRicoFoto/ Getty Images

German shepherds are among the smartest breeds. This dog can be trained to do various types of work, including military and police work. While they're typically friendly when trained properly, they tend to be loyal to a fault. When protecting their families and owners, they can quickly turn aggressive to strangers and unfamiliar animals.

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10

Great Dane

A gorgeous black Great Dane looking at the viewer in a snow covered field with snowy trees in the distance mharvey/ Getty Images

Great Danes are known as great dogs, especially for families and individuals who live in small spaces, thanks to their low energy. That said, they're also enormous and require obedience training to get along well with their owners and other people. When Danes are frightened, they can quickly become aggressive; due to their size, their bite can be extremely dangerous.

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11

Siberian husky

Siberian Husky dog black and white colour with blue eyes in winter format35/ Getty Images

The Siberian husky is a beautiful dog that's known for its gorgeous coloring and gentle face. While the dog is generally calm, it has a temperament similar to its wolf ancestors, which can result in a lot of unpredictability. They're also known to be stubborn and dominant, which can make them difficult to adequately train.

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12

Dachshund

Miniature Dachshund Dog Panting in the sun dapec/ Getty Images

The Dachshund is fondly known as a wiener dog or a sausage dog, thanks to its long body and short legs. While they are cute to look at and far from intimidating in appearance, they can be jumpy and difficult to train.

Dachshunds were frequently used in World War II to sniff out bombs and landmines, so it makes sense that they like to be kept busy; they can quickly become aggressive when understimulated.

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13

Bullmastiff

Close English Mastiff dog in green summer grass Byrdyak/ Getty Images

Another large dog, the bullmastiff is strong and can quickly overcome a person in an attack. These dogs require experienced trainers and handlers to ensure their obedience, as well as regular socialization to avoid aggression.

However, when properly trained and stimulated, the bullmastiff can quickly become a friendly animal that's safe to be around.

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14

Boxer

A purebred Boxer dog standing outdoors and listening with a head tilt Mary Swift/ Getty Images

Boxers are energetic dogs with muscular bodies. Their energy and inability to sit still are what often lead to them being thought of as aggressive; however, with the right amount of exercise and stimulation, this dog has the potential to make a good family pet.

It's important to understand that boxers are fiercely loyal to their owners and require supervision when being introduced to strangers or other animals.

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15

Basenji

Cute Basenji dog with big ears laying on a wicker rug. Evrymmnt/ Getty Images

The Basenji is a small dog from central Africa that's been bred to hunt. The dog is known for its stubbornness, which makes it difficult to train, as well as its aloofness, which makes it difficult to introduce to strangers and other animals.

While the basenji is small and cute, it's crucial to work with an experienced dog trainer who understands this breed when adopting one.

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