Dogs are said to be man’s best friend because of their loving nature, gentleness, and incomparable loyalty. However, depending on several factors, some could still be extremely volatile. Large, muscular dogs can be especially intimidating and hard to control. In fact, even smaller dogs still surprise us at times with their capability and strength.
These are the top 30 dog breeds that might have the potential to hurt if one doesn’t learn how to help them.
This dog can weigh anywhere from 130 all the way up to 200 pounds. It can also grow up to 32 inches tall. All in all, the Tosa Inu is a bit intimidating in terms of its size. If provoked, it can easily overpower a person or another dog. This dog was once bred for fighting and since then people have considered it to be dangerous. It’s even forbidden to own this breed in some countries.
The American Bandogge is a crossbreed of the Pit Bull Terrier and the Neapolitan Mastiff. It is a large, muscular dog, whose incredible strength makes it very dangerous. Unfortunately, some people used to breed this dog for fighting, meaning that trespassers or even innocent passersby might be at risk. This breed is not recommended for anyone with children, as their temperament includes loud barking.
This dog breed is considered to be one of the last of the coursing Mastiffs and is a descendant of the Canis Pugnax. It is very muscular and weighs between 99 and 150 pounds. The Cane Corso’s dangerous reputation came from the time it was used in wars. Specifically, the dog was kept around to protect the soldiers and save them from enemy attacks.
Bull Terriers can be easily identified by their huge heads and plenty of lean body muscle. They are prey-driven, so they are prone to attack animals that are smaller than them. This gives them a bad reputation for being a potentially dangerous breed.
This dog was believed to have originated from South Africa and has been known to keep lions away from people. That said, this breed is not one you’d want to mess with! They are only semi-domesticated and are not fond of strangers. Rhodesian Ridgebacks also need a lot of positive reinforcement, as they can be oversensitive in certain situations.
Dogs of this breed are white and muscular, and can be intimidating at first glance. They were bred for large game hunting and can attack huge animals, such as wild boars and pumas. Dogo Argentinos are athletic and strong, but are known to be non-aggressive towards humans. However, according to the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991, it is illegal to own this breed in the United Kingdom.
The Boerboel, also known as the South African Mastiff, is one of the larger breeds of Mastiffs bred for home protection. However, their size, strength, and temperament can pose a serious problem. In North Carolina, a 59-year-old woman was killed by her Boerboel. When the police responded to a 911 call they received about the incident, they were met by the dog at the door who wouldn’t let them enter the home.
Also known as the Pakistani Bull Dog, the Gull Dong is a mixture of the Gull Terrier and the Bully Kutta. This dog is very strong and powerful, and was historically bred for the purposes of fighting. Despite being an affectionate breed, it can also be aggressive, especially towards strangers. A Gull Dong is unlikely to warm up to your guests right away, so it is wise to train them to socialize early.
The Basenji is originally from Central Africa (Congo) and is considered to be a sighthound. Dogs of this breed are very alert, curious by nature, and can even be affectionate. However, they are considered to be the second least-trainable of all dog breeds because of their strong minds and naturally strong-willed demeanors. They adapt to situations quickly, although a bad experience can completely unwind years of training for a well-behaved Basenji. Their intelligence, along with their strong jaws, make them a dangerous breed to own.
This very large dog breed originally came from the Swiss and Italian Alps and often served as a rescue dog. Just like any other large dogs, Saint Bernards need to be trained to be social around strangers and other canines. Moreover, a Saint Bernard may have some territorial behavioral tendencies.
These dogs are muscularly built, making them very massive. They are known to be very confident and stubborn at times. American Bulldogs were once used for farm work since they are fast enough to catch and hold down cattle. If a stranger looks onto the property of their owner, they can become rather aggressive.
The Great Dane is one of the biggest dog breeds and can grow up to 44 inches tall. Originally hailing from Germany, they are known to hunt down wild boars. Due to their massive build, Great Danes require a large living area. It is recommended that they socialize early as a young pup, so that they grow friendly later on.
The English Mastiff is the proper name for the common Mastiff. These dogs range from 120 to 170 pounds and can grow up to 3 feet tall. They typically do not bark a lot, unless they are alarmed by something they see. Furthermore, English Mastiffs are rarely aggressive and are often shy instead. It might take a while for them to warm up to new people, which may be why some people think they aren’t the friendliest dog breed around. Hint: they’re very friendly, for the most part.
Bullmastiffs are large, domestic dogs. They are known for their strong, muscular build and their black faces and black-brown ears. Though their faces are not the typical, innocent-looking puppy face, they are a fairly friendly breed. However, don’t forget to respect their strength, as they can weigh up to 130 pounds.
German Shepherds are beautiful dogs, but some people may be scared of their size. These dogs originally came from Germany, though they are very popular house dogs around the world, including America.
In some cases, this breed might become aggressive when barking, particularly if someone agitates them or if they feel threatened. For the most part, though, German Shepherds make friendly companions.
Also known as the Brazilian Mastiff, the Fila Brasileiro is one of the largest dogs originating from Brazil. They were raised on large plantations and taught to chase down cattle and jaguars. Their great tracking abilities make them aggressive, which is still evident today. You may notice that while they play, they like to latch their jaw onto the neck of their opponent.
Perro De Presa Canario
This dog breed’s name translates as “Canarian catch dog,” and has its roots in Spain. The Perro De Presa Canario was originally bred for working with livestock. Just like others on this list, they need to be socialized early in their life and trained intensively to be obedient. As this dog can be aggressive, one should be cautious of bringing new faces around them.
The Akita Inu is a large dog breed native to the mountains of Japan. It comes in two different types: the Japanese Akita and the American Akita. Dogs of this breed are dominant, so it is important for their owners to show leadership so that the dogs will follow instructions. While they can be affectionate with their owners, Akitas do not get along well with strangers. These dogs are also territorial; that’s why they make excellent guard dogs.
Boxers are not usually aggressive by nature, but there have been several incidents of their attacks. From 1982 to 2012, this breed was recorded to have been involved in 48 different incidents. Originating from Germany, these dogs range in weight between 50 and 70 pounds, and are known to possess a headstrong personality.
Also known as a Wolf Dog, this breed is a cross between a dog and a wolf. In most cases, it occurs when a dog and a grey wolf have mated. The behavioral patterns of a Wolf Hybrid are hard to predict. This type of dog can be friendly one minute and then aggressive shortly after. The natural predatory instincts of the wolf are also present, making this breed potentially very dangerous.
An extremely popular domesticated animal, a Poodle’s physical features include unique haircuts and a cuddly face. This type of dog is highly intelligent, resulting in plenty of playfulness and high energy. However, when that energy turns into anxiety, fear-biting can be a consequence. Fortunately, anxious Poodle behavior can be tempered by training and adequate exercise.
Chow Chows come off as distant from their owners because they are very independent. That said, dogs of this breed do not like strangers and can be very protective of their loved ones. This means that they need a lot of training, or they can become aggressive.
Cocker Spaniels are small, fluffy, and don’t seem like your typical aggressive dog breed. Make no mistake, though: they can develop “Rage Syndrome,” also known as sudden onset aggression (SOA). This syndrome comes on suddenly and causes the dog to become very violent, attacking everyone around it.
This breed is originally from Germany and is known for its qualities of alertness and intelligence. As a result, they have been routinely used as guard dogs and police dogs. Doberman Pinschers are great guard dogs that will attack when they sense their owner or home is in danger. The size of these dogs, as well as their strength, make them quite dangerous. In fact, their bite force is said to amount to as much as 600 pounds of pressure per square inch!
Huskies have a strong predatory instinct and will cause trouble if they get bored. Consequently, they can be dangerous to animals that are smaller than they are. Huskies are also a very vocal breed.
The Alaskan Malamute is related to the Siberian Husky. Both types of dogs have to get proper amounts of exercise; otherwise, they become bored and easily get into trouble. An Alaskan Malamute can weigh anywhere from 70 to 100 pounds, with variation between males and females.
They are very independent and playful, which makes them hard to train. They do not like smaller animals and they are not good watchdogs either, due to their need to be entertained.
Also known in German as “Rottweiler Metzgerhund,” dogs of this breed have a natural instinct to protect their owners. If they do not receive proper training or haven’t been exposed to socialization from the time they are born, Rottweilers can be very dangerous. These dogs have genetic herding and guarding instincts, which make them wonderful dogs to own for certain purposes. However, should one be an intruder or unwelcome party, the risks are high.
German Shepherds weigh typically between 70 and 100 pounds. They are intelligent, confident, and have little fear, which is why they make great police dogs. However, these dogs have the potential to become overprotective and territorial. If they are not trained well, German Shepherds may attack and can easily become a safety hazard.
Pitbulls come from the same family as the American Pit Bull Terrier and other “bully” dog breeds, who were often bred for baiting bulls and bears. These dogs are muscular and very strong, and thus, have been used for dogfighting in many parts of the world.
Pitbulls are considered very dangerous. Some communities even ban owning and housing a pit. While these dogs have been historically feared, owners claim that they can be gentle and loving too.
These dogs were once bred to protect livestock on farms. Caucasian Ovcharkas are assertive, aggressive, and strong-willed. If they are not trained properly, they can become ferocious. That’s why if they don’t like someone, they make it immediately clear, and this makes them extremely dangerous.
Top Banned Dog Breeds
While various dogs may seem plain scary to some people, certain dog breeds are completely banned from human ownership. Such banning has mostly been a result of both perceived and actual dog violence. In some cases, these dog breeds are not legitimately a danger to humans. Rather, they just need the proper care and attention to thrive as a household pet.
So, what are the top banned dog breeds? Read more to find out!
American Pitbull Terrier
Though the American Pitbull Terrier looks happy and cute to the eye, it is still banned in some areas of the world, including the UK, from household ownership. This is government-regulated. The banning dates back to the early 1990s, when the dog breed attacked humans in various cases.
The UK also prohibits human ownership of the Dogo Argentino, a breed originally developed in Argentina for big-game hunting. The banning is based on the belief that this dog could pose serious danger to humans, even though it’s quite a cute-looking breed.
Originally bred in northern China, the Chow Chow is a fluffy, small dog with a lot of personality. The Chow Chow is capable of harming humans, so many cities across the US and other countries prohibit it as a pet. If they sense danger, Chow Chows can become extremely protective of their space and lash out at any perceived threats around them.
The Japanese Tosa is one of several dog breeds specifically banned in the United Kingdom. While there are some small exceptions and exemptions to this ban, the UK government insists that people who own such banned breeds have to be aware that at any time, the police or the local council dog warden can take their dogs away.
The Fila Brasileiro, which was first bred in Brazil, is another dog commonly banned across the world. These dogs are big, sometimes weighing up to 180 pounds, which may be part of the reason why not many people are legally allowed to own them!
Today, multiple countries have totally banned ownership or limited ownership of the Staffordshire Bull Terrier. These countries include but are not limited to: Switzerland, Germany, France, Portugal, Spain, and Ireland. Such banning is due to the “aggressive” potential the breed holds.
Who would ever think that the Dalmatian would end up on a banned-dog list? As it turns out, China does not permit humans to own this dog. Since 2003, Beijing has ruled that any dogs taller than 35 centimeters (13.78 inches) were not allowed in city areas.
Maybe it’s in the name alone, but the Czechoslovakian Wolfdog is another dog breed that doesn’t bode well with pet ownership laws, especially in the United States. Most states in the US prohibit both ownership and breeding of any wolf dog. The same also rings true in parts of the UK.
Ca de Bou
As sad as it sounds, the Ca de Bou has a history of sport fighting. In countries like Spain, the Ca de Bou was often used to bait other dogs to get them to fight each other, which may be part of the reason why some countries do not favor ownership of this breed.
Having said that, many rescue organizations have been formed across the world in order to create a safe space for the breed and ultimately find them loving owners.
Though adorable, the Shar Pei can be a very territorial, defensive dog breed. It is one of several dog breeds you’re not allowed to bring on an airplane with you, as many US airlines have banned it completely from entering the aircraft. However, some airlines will allow the dog aboard as long as they fit in a small carrier.
The Laziest Dogs Known to Mankind
Being a fur-parent to a dog requires a lot of hard work and patience, which is why it is highly recommended that you evaluate your own personality before picking a breed to adopt. Some owners have more active lifestyles, which make them compatible with lively dogs with energy to spare.
For those would-be owners that are less actively inclined (or just don’t have the time to exercise an active dog), we’ve researched the following low-energy dog breeds and compiled them into this list. That way, you will know which pups are best for plenty of couch cuddles and movie nights.
Cardigan Welsh Corgi
Just to be clear, there are two types of Corgis: the Pembroke Welsh and the Cardigan Welsh. The tell-tale signs to distinguish one from the other are the ears and tail. Cardigan Welsh Corgis tend to have more rounded ears and longer tails, while Pembroke Welsh Corgis’ tails are often bobbed or docked.
If you are after the Corgi with lower energy levels, we recommend the Cardigan Welsh, as their daily routine usually just calls for playing fetch and running around with kids or other pets. However, do watch their food intake because Corgis can become overweight easily.
Anatolian Shepherds may always look like they’re up for a hike, but that’s not the case most of the time. This breed is known to be independent and doesn’t really like being affectionate. The upside is that they’re pretty loyal and will definitely make you feel safe.
These gentle giants weigh up to 150 pounds. Although they may seem like intimidating guard dogs, Tibetan Mastiffs are pretty mellow and affectionate to the people they know. If you’re worried about spending a lot of time playing with them, note that these pups prefer roaming in the yard, especially if the weather is cool.
The breed is independent and known for doing well in training class, yet forgetting what they have learned once they step back into the house.
They say that living in a house with a Pekingese is basically living with Chinese Royalty. On sharing a home with these fluffy kings, Animal Planet says “it’s [the] dog’s house, you’re just living in it.”
Pekingese are incredibly independent, have little energy, and would prefer sitting in your lap to running around.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs (also known affectionally as Berners) are one of the most beautiful dog breeds, a fact that is amplified by how calm and gentle they are! Berners love getting cozy with their family indoors, and are also eager hiking buddies should the moment arise.
As far as grooming goes, a good brushing session every week will do!
Now, we have the Whippets. Yes, they are whip-smart and can go as fast as 30 miles per hour, HOWEVER, they do not have much energy or endurance. These friendly and affectionate pups will absolutely prefer hanging out with you at home instead of jogging around.
To make things better, Whippets don’t need much grooming, hardly bark, and don’t require much to keep them healthy!
Who needs a partner when you can get so much undivided attention and affection from an Irish Wolfhound? This breed can accompany you while you walk on the beach or in the park.
Irish Wolfhounds don’t need much exercise, but putting on pounds can hurt their joints.
Did you know that Shih Tzus share more DNA with wolves compared to most dog breeds? They may not look tough, but they can be!
Shih Tzus are gentle and friendly dogs, which make them the perfect choice for those who have kids. They were made for companionship and their ideal workout is a jog around the house.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a regal breed, very much like the English Bulldog, and they make very versatile pets, getting along well with both active owners and homebodies. You’ll never hear them complaining about being couch potatoes!
A bit of precaution, however: due to their strong hunting instincts, these dogs are drawn to interesting smells which can lead to mischief.
The English Bulldog is the ultimate indoor, family dog! They need no exercise, minimal playtime, and love pretty much everything. However, they have a higher chance of encountering health issues and can get pretty stubborn, which makes training difficult.
Before you even assume, the Bergamasco Sheepdog does not need much grooming, and should only be bathed 2-3 times per year (though you can spot clean their paws and other dirt-prone areas as needed). These big and fluffy pups are patient and will go out of their way to make their owners happy. They also don’t need much exercise and are known to be extremely affectionate.
Looking for a dog that stands out? The Scottish Deerhound could be perfect for you! This pup may need a sprint or two in the backyard, but all in all, they are low-energy dogs.
A Maltese is perfect for owners who are looking for a life-long friend. These pups can live for nearly 20 years and are known to be highly intelligent. Usually weighing up to 8 pounds, their size is perfect for people who live in apartments.
However, Maltese do require regular grooming, and are very vocal, barking a bit more than your average canine.
Dogue de Bordeaux
Out of all the French dogs, the Dogue de Bordeaux is the most ancient one. They are also popularly known as the French Mastiff. These pups are brave and affectionate!
They can be quite stubborn so asserting dominance over them may be helpful during training sessions.
Need a fluffy giant to cuddle with? The 150-pound Neapolitan Mastiff might be the perfect breed to look into.
Neopolitan Mastiffs have low energy and require hardly any exercise. Above treats and toys, their favorite thing in the world is the people they love.
Presenting the “Apollo of Dogs!” These pups may look intimidating, yet Great Danes are truly gentle giants. Just be sure to watch your balance if one gives you a hug, as they can stretch over 7 feet long! Overall, the breed is fairly easygoing, and living with one is a breeze.
Looking at the Basset Hounds, you already know that they are a sweet and laidback breed. They are also easy to train and are extremely patient with kids — or anyone who tries to bug them during a nap.
The Newfoundland is a big and cuddly dog that can weigh up to 150 pounds. They are so patient and sweet that they are often referred to as “nanny dogs.”
The only downside to these gentle giants is how much they drool, but that’s a quick fix so long as you keep a towel handy!
Just like the city they were named after, Brussels Griffons do well in an urban apartment or downtown condo. These tiny pups are pretty clingy and want to be around you ALL. THE. TIME.
According to research, these dogs need about half an hour of exercise a day, which may or may not be spent inside the home.
Ah, the famous “shampoo commercial dog.” The Afghan Hound is a show-stopper guaranteed to attract attention when you bring one to the park.
Out of all the breeds on this list, they are among the more energetic dogs, needing just a little more exercise, and yet they’re still fairly low-energy dogs. They are also independent and aloof in most cases. Grooming may be needed from time to time to keep their coat silky and smooth.