The Ten Most Dangerous Dog Breeds

Every year, more than 4.5 million Americans get bitten by dogs. Injuries from these attacks can be serious and may include broken bones, infection, nerve damage, and more. Knowing which dog breeds are most dangerous can help you use the appropriate level of caution when you meet them.

The question of which dog breeds are most dangerous is somewhat complex to answer. Read on to learn what makes dogs dangerous and which breeds you should be careful around.

What Makes Dogs Bite?

The first thing to note when discussing dangerous dog breeds is that, in general, most dogs do not want to bite you. Dogs are companion animals who are, as a rule, invested in making the people around them happy. Just because a dog belongs to one of the breeds listed here doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to bite you.

That being said, dogs can end up in circumstances where they feel they have to bite to protect themselves or their loved ones. Some dogs are raised in aggressive environments, such as fighting rings, where they are taught that biting is their best response to unfamiliar or frightening situations. And almost any dog will bite if it feels threatened enough or if its space is being invaded by someone it doesn’t know or trust.

It’s always important to use caution around dogs you don’t know and to read the dog’s body language. Never pet a strange dog without permission from its owner, and don’t get in a dog’s face unless you know it, it trusts you, and you know that it will be comfortable with that interaction.

Aggressive vs. Dangerous Dogs

It’s also important to note that there’s a difference between aggressive dogs and dangerous dogs. Aggressive dogs are more prone to bite, while dangerous dogs are more likely to cause serious injuries when they do bite. 

For obvious reasons, large breeds tend to make lists of dangerous dogs much more often than smaller breeds. A chihuahua may be more likely to bite you than a labrador retriever, but its bite won’t do as much damage. Nevertheless, you should use every bit as much caution around small dogs as you would around a larger breed, and you shouldn’t assume that just because a dog is large, it’s more likely to bite you.

Pit Bull

It may come as no surprise that pit bulls are considered one of the most dangerous dog breeds. These dogs are often bred for use in dog fighting rings and may be extremely aggressive. In addition, their large size and powerful jaws mean bites from them tend to be quite severe.


Like pit bulls, rottweilers are large dogs with a powerful bite. These dogs are often raised as guard animals, and their owners may intentionally socialize them to be aggressive. You should never approach a strange rottweiler without permission from its owner.

German Shepherd

German shepherds are smart, loyal, and protective of their people. These traits have made them popular police and guard dogs for decades, and like rottweilers, they may be socialized to be aggressive toward strangers. 

American Bulldog

American bulldogs tend to make the list of most dangerous breeds for the same reasons as the pit bull. They are a popular breed in fighting rings and, true to their reputation, getting them to let go once they’ve bitten can be a challenge. An American bulldog that’s been abused or used in a fighting ring may be very aggressive toward people or other animals.

Bull Mastiff

Bull mastiffs are known for being large, stubborn, and extremely protective of their owners. Bull mastiffs that haven’t been properly socialized or that have been trained as guard dogs may bite a stranger who enters their territory. And their large size means bite wounds tend to be more serious.

Siberian Husky

Unlike the other dogs we’ve discussed so far, Siberian huskies aren’t usually raised for use in fighting rings or as guard dogs. However, huskies’ high energy levels and strong instincts can make them a handful to train. Huskies that haven’t been properly trained or socialized may become aggressive around strangers.

Labrador Retriever

You might be surprised to see labs on this list – after all, they were America’s favorite dog breed for decades, and they are known for being calm and affectionate. And while labs are both of those things, they are also large enough that their bite is extremely dangerous. A lab that has suffered abuse or hasn’t been properly socialized can become aggressive, especially if it feels that its food or space is being threatened.


Boxers have a breed reputation of being sweet, fun-loving goofballs, but they, too, are big enough to cause serious damage when they bite. They are a strong breed, and they are often devoted to and protective of their families. If they feel they or their family are being threatened, they can become aggressive.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman pinschers are perhaps the quintessential guard dog, partly because of how large and intimidating they look. These dogs may be trained to guard a house or even to attack on command. And given their territorial nature, you should never approach an unfamiliar Doberman without permission.

Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan malamutes are relatives of Siberian huskies and come with some of the same challenges. Although they look like giant fluffballs, they require care, training, and socialization. A dog that has experienced neglect or abuse may become aggressive, and their bite can do a lot of damage.

Get Compensation for Your Dog Bite Injury

In almost all cases, dogs are more interested in making the humans around them happy than in biting them. Nonetheless, a dog that has been abused or that hasn’t been socialized properly may get aggressive, especially if provoked. Larger breeds tend to cause more serious bite injuries, so they often make the top of lists of most dangerous dog breeds.

If you’ve been bitten by a dog, you could be entitled to compensation. Schedule a free consultation with our personal injury lawyers to start getting the representation you deserve.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm – Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys

Contact a St. Petersburg personal injury lawyer at Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys and schedule a free case review today.

Lopez Accident Injury Attorneys

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