10 Most Aggressive Dog Breeds

3.Chow Chow
4.Doberman Pinscher
7.Jack Russell Terrier
8.German Shepherd
9.American Staffordshire/Pit Bull Terrier
10.Siberian Husky

In doing my research, I have found that different organisations and different “experts” have their own opinions as to which dog breeds are the “most aggressive.” The ratings also vary.

The dogs on this list are sorted in order of lowest to highest percent of dogs that passed the temperament test conducted by the American Temperament Test Society. Breeds with the lowest percentages are ones that frequently showed signs of aggression, panic, or extreme shyness during the test.

Definition of Dog Aggression

Dog aggression is defined as dangerous behaviour directed at another individual, including other animals. This behaviour includes barking, biting, lunging, snarling, etc. The cause can range from territorial defensiveness and protectiveness to fear or social anxiety.

1. Chihuahua

  • The chihuahua is the smallest breed of dog registered with the American Kennel Club. They are also known as being the smallest dogs in the world.
  • They are included in the toy group of dogs and range from 4 to 6 pounds.
  • They can have either short or long hair.
  • The chihuahua can come in just about any colour, and their colouring can be either solid, marked, or splashed.
  • The chihuahua is considered to be the oldest dog breed in America.
  • The breed originated in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, thus its name. It was introduced in Europe by the famous explorer Christopher Columbus.
  • Chihuahuas are very loyal and devoted to their owners, but they are generally one- or two-person dogs. They can be devoted to the point of jealousy and may bite or snip at someone coming too close to their owner. They are very temperamental and are not known to be child-friendly dogs.
  • Because they do not like strangers, they bark often and can be good as an alert-style watch dog.
TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed

2. Dachshund (Standard Smooth)

  • The dachshund is categorise in the hound group by the IKC.
  • They can range in size from 8 to 32 pounds.
  • The dachshund comes in both long and short hair and can be any colour.
  • This small dog breed originated in Germany in the 17th century, and they were used primarily to hunt badgers. They were on the verge of extinction after World War I but are now one of the most popular dogs in America.
  • The dachshund is susceptible to “small dog syndrome,” which basically means that it tries to make up for its small size with a large attitude. This can lead to behaviour issues.
  • If socialised at an early age, they do well with children, but do not do well with too much rough play.
  • Take caution with small pets, such as mice, rats, hamsters, as dachshunds have a strong hunting instinct towards this type of animal.

Dachshund Temperament Test

TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed

3. Chow Chow

  • The chow chow is listed as a medium-sized dog in the non-sporting group with the IKC.
  • They can weigh between 45 and 70 pounds.
  • They have long, thick coats that can come in red, black, blue, cream, or cinnamon colours.
  • The exact origin of the chow chow is unknown, but it is believed that they originated thousands of years ago in either China or Mongolia. It is known that they were most often used as hunting and herding dogs.
  • They became popular in the U.S. during the 20th century when President Calvin Coolidge owned one as a pet.
  • The chow chow has a dominant personality and can become assertive at times. Because of their assertiveness, they are not recommended for first-time dog owners.
  • Strong guidance and firm training are required to have a well-mannered chow chow.
  • It has also been noted that they do not have good peripheral vision, so they can be easily startled.

Chow Chow Temperament Test

TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed

4. Doberman Pinscher

  • The Doberman Pinscher is listed by the IKC as a medium-sized dog in the working group.
  • They range in size from 70 to 90 pounds.
  • They have a thick, glossy, short-haired coat and come in red, black, blue, or fawn Coors.
  • The origin of the Doberman goes back to Germany, where a man by the name of Karl Louis Doberman is credited with developing this breed. He worked as a tax collector and wanted a dog that he could take with him for protection on his visits to the more dangerous areas where he travelled.
  • The Doberman is a very intelligent breed and has been used mainly as guard dogs and for police work.
  • They have a very strong, protective instinct towards their masters, but if raised with strong leadership and good owners, they can get along with children as well as other dogs.

Doberman Temperament Test

TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed

5. Dalmatian

  • The Dalmatian is listed by the IKC as a medium-sized dog in the working group.
  • They range in size from 45 to 60 pounds.
  • They have a short, dense, glossy coat that is white with either black or brown spots.
  • The exact origin of the Dalmatian has not been confirmed. Similar dogs have been found in paintings on walls of Egyptian tombs where they are running behind chariots. They have been used as carriage dogs, guarding passengers as well as cargo, since the late 18th century.
  • The Dalmatian can be reserved with other dogs and needs to be socialised at an early age.
  • They are good with children, but if not given enough attention by their master, they can develop some behaviour issues.
  • They are very energetic dogs and need a good place to release some of this energy.

Dalmatian Temperament Test

TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed

6. Rottweiler

  • Rottweilers are listed as large-sized dogs in the working group.
  • They can range in size from 85 to 130 pounds.
  • They are short-haired dogs with a straight, dense coat that is black with rust or mahogany markings.
  • The Rottweiler gets its name from the small town of Rottweiler in Germany. They were first known as the “Rottweiler butcher’s dog,” but the name was later shortened to Rottweiler.
  • In the earlier days, they were used for cattle herding and bear hunting, among other things.
  • They became popular in the U.S. as guard dogs and worked with the Army and police forces.
  • Rottweilers can be rather aloof and do not accept strangers easily.
  • They are very loyal and protective of their owners and will defend their home “area.”
  • They are normally good-Natured with children, but because of their size and energy level, they are not recommended for families with very small children.

Rottweiler Temperament Test

TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed

7. Jack Russell Terrier

  • The Jack Russell terrier breed is not recognised by the IKC due to opposition of the breed’s parent societies. This has resulted in the recognition of the Parson Russell terrier instead. The Jack Russell terrier and the Parson terrier are basically the same breed but with minor differences.
  • Jack Russells are small-sized dogs and range in size from 14 to 18 pounds.
  • They are predominantly white in color with black or tan markings.
  • Their coat can be short-haired, long-haired, or broken. The term “broken” refers to a coat of both long and short hair.
  • The Jack Russell’s origin began in England where they were primarily used for fox hunting. They have also been used in groundhog and badger hunting.
  • The “Russell” terriers are all very energetic and stubborn dogs.
  • They have little patience and are not very tolerant with children.

Jack Russell Terrier

TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed

. German Shepherd

  • The German Shepherd is a medium-sized dog included in the herding group of the IKC.
  • They range in size between 70 and 85 pounds.
  • The breed’s origins can be traced back to Karlsruhe, Germany in the 1800s.
  • During WWI, they were used as military dogs by both the German and French military.
  • They do not like strangers, and therefore make good guard dogs.
  • They are a very intelligent breed and were the first to be used as guide dogs for the blind.
  • They are often used in search-and-rescue teams and also serve as police and narcotic dogs.
  • The German Shepherd has become one of the most popular dogs in America.

Despite appearing on many “aggressive dogs” lists, everything I have researched tells me that they are good with children. As long as they are not trained as guard dogs, I, personally, do not view the German Shepherd as an “aggressive” breed.

German Shepherd Temperament Test

TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed

9. American Staffordshire/Pit Bull Terrier

  • The American Stafford-shire terrier is also know as the American pit bull terrier.
  • They are medium-sized dogs included in the terrier group and can weigh between 55 to 65 pounds.
  • The American Stafford-shire terrier originated in England, in the Stafford-shire region, thus its name.
  • The first strain of this breed was designed for use as guard dogs and dog fighting, and they were bred for stronger, stockier frames. When the breed was brought to America and dog fighting was banned, a second strain of this breed developed. This new variation was more mild-mannered and smaller-framed.
  • Known as the American pit bull, this newer strain of pit bull is very loyal and protective of its owner and family. They are also known for being very good and patient with children.
  • If you are uncertain about a pit bull’s pedigree, do a background check before you choose it as a family pet.

American Staffordshire/Pit Bull Terrier Temperament Test

 TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed
American Pit Bull Terrier91379811587.4%
American Staffordshire Terrier71661010685.2%

10. Siberian Husky

  • The Siberian husky is a medium-sized dog, listed in the “working” group by the INDIAN KENNEL CLUB (IKC).
  • They range in size from 35 to 70 pounds.
  • The have medium-length hair and a double coat.
  • Their colours are red and white, black and white, Gray and white, or silver.
  • The Siberian Husky originated in Siberia, where they were used to pull sleds over long distances in cold climates. They have also been used as rescue dogs.

Through my research and my experience owning four Siberian huskies, I cannot find definitive studies that prove huskies have aggressive personalities, but they have appeared on many lists of aggressive dogs, which is why they are on this one. From my experience, huskies do tend to be territorial and do not always get along well with other dogs, but they are usually good with children.

Siberian Husky

TestedPassedFailedPercent That Passed

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