Our loyal, lovable, playful dogs have been great companions to humans for centuries. They provide comfort and friendship, guard people and property, rescue people who are lost or injured and can even sniff out disease.
No matter how much we love to treat our dogs as a furry family member, we also need to remember that they are highly intelligent animals that have a genetic disposition to loyalty, protection, and pack behavior.
And depending on the circumstances, their upbringing and temperament, every dog has the potential to harm other animals or people.
But there are certain dog breeds that are considered more dangerous than others. We have compiled a list of them here. Take a look, because some of the breeds on the list may surprise you.
Some breeds can cause greater harm not because they are aggressive, but simply because of their large size, muscular build, or incredibly powerful jaws. Some of the friendliest and sweetest dog breeds in the world fall into this category (like the St Bernard and Great Dane).
Other breeds (like the Chihuahua, Sheepdog, and Chow Chow) are more likely to cause harm in certain circumstances. The circumstances vary between breeds, but can include:
- lack of proper socialization
- lack of structure, boredom; lack of exercise and attention
- poor training (or in many cases, no training)
- fearfulness, anxiety, stress, pain, or frustration
- medical issues
- a history of abuse.
And some breeds (such as the Pit Bull, Japanese Tosa and American Staffordshire) are more dangerous because of their history and genetics. These tend to be the breeds that have a strong prey drive that were originally bred to be champion fighters, hunters, guard dogs or to participate in blood sports. A surprise entry in this category is the Dachshund because of its strong hunting instinct and ‘small dog syndrome’ (it makes up for its small size with a big attitude).
World renowned dog behaviourist Cesar Milan believes that “the most dangerous dog in the world is the one that has been made that way by a human.”
If you are passionate about owning one of the breeds on our list of ‘dangerous dogs’ you should be aware of the situations that could trigger their aggression and try to avoid circumstances that set them up to fail.
If you do this, and can provide a warm, loving environment and the level of structure, training, stimulation, and attention that your dog needs, your can have a wonderful, gentle, and loving pet for life.