Certain dog breeds have picked up a reputation for being inherently violent and dangerous. While some breeds are more likely to show aggression than others, dog breeds aren’t monoliths. Here are some of the breeds most likely to be aggressive — and what to do if you’ve got one.

Pitt bulls have a reputation for being one of the most aggressive dog breeds.
Pitt bulls have a reputation for being one of the most aggressive dog breeds
Image free from Pixabay

The Most Aggressive Dog Breeds — Or Are They?

It’s true that breed determines a lot more than size or color. That doesn’t mean that every dog in a breed is exactly the same. Each dog is an individual, and not everything is determined by their breed. If dogs are properly socialized, well cared for, and trained to avoid aggression, they will probably not show aggression as an adult, even if they’re from a typically “dangerous” breed.

Aggressive Dog Breed? Pit Bull

The Pit Bull is one of the most infamous dog breeds in America. Pit bulls are banned in several states, due to several incidents where a pit bull attacked or even killed people. The breed’s reputation for being aggressive comes mostly from its history. Pit bulls originated from English bull-baiting dogs, and for several years pit bulls were bred for fighting ability. As a result, pit bulls may be more likely than other breeds to attack other dogs or people.

However, the rate of pit bulls who have attacked people is extremely exaggerated. Many dog owners find that pit bulls make loyal and friendly pets. Since pit bulls are no longer bred to fight, the genetic influence on aggression may be decreasing. They should be socialized and exposed to people early to curb aggressive tendencies.

Aggressive Dog Breed? German Shepherds

Originally bred as herding dogs, German Shepherds are often used as guard dogs or police dogs these days. As a result, the breed is considered one of the more aggressive breeds. In fact, German Shepherds are valued as guard dogs and family pets. That’s one of the reasons why the breed can be dangerously aggressive. The breed has a tendency to become overprotective.

If your family has a German Shepherd, you might want to avoid putting them in situations that the dog might perceive as dangerous. For example, if your children have a tendency to play roughly with each other, your dog may think one child is attacking the other and try to intervene. In addition, you’ll want to make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise. German Shepherds can get restless if they’re cooped up for too long.

Aggressive Dog Breed? Rottweiler

Like German Shepherds, Rottweilers were originally a herding breed, but these days they’re more likely to be guard dogs and family pets. They’re one of the more intimidating breeds, with their ferocious barks and territorial tendencies, and they have a reputation for being aggressive.

However, Rottweilers also make loyal and loving family pets. They also make excellent guard dogs. However, like German Shepherds, they might not be the best dog to get if you have small children. Both breeds can be overprotective and have a tendency to snap if bothered.

If you have a small child, don’t leave them unattended with your Rottweiler. Rottweilers may also have trouble sharing a home with other animals. Introduce your dog to other animals while they’re still young so they know how to behave around other animals.

Aggressive Dog Breed? Chihuahua

Believe it or not, one of the most aggressive dog breeds is also the smallest. Although they might not be as dangerous as larger breeds with aggressive tendencies, Chihuahuas can still snap, bite, or hurt smaller children without proper training.

Many Chihuahua owners will neglect to curb their dog’s aggressive tendencies. After all, who cares if a little dog is annoying or snaps at strangers? If you want to prevent aggressive tendencies in your Chihuahua, make sure you pay attention to their behavior. Reward calm behavior and push them away from barking at strangers or snapping at people’s heels.


Some dog breeds are more aggressive than others. However, with patience, caution, and proper training, any dog can learn to curb their aggressive tendencies. Do you have an “aggressive” dog breed? Let us know in the comments section below!