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Top 10 Most Aggressive Dog Breeds of 2023

November 4, 2023

Part of being human is experiencing a broad range of emotions; from love to hate, and sadness to anger. While this broad range of emotions is expected from humans, we aren't the only living things that can experience them. Countless species, including dogs display and experience a broad range of emotions throughout their lives.

While they are known for being man's best friend, dogs can also be loving, affectionate, caring, and protective; just as they can be scared, angry, and aggressive. Regardless of how much they have evolved, dogs owe their origin to wolves, known for their aggression and skill in hunting. Dogs display aggression by barking, biting, lunging, and snarling at what they believe to be a threat.

Overtime this behavior has led to several areas that prohibit dogs, countless injuries and surgeries, as well as deaths amongst children. Let's have a look at the top 10 most aggressive dog breeds.

1. Chihuahua

  • Average Weight: 2 to 7 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  6 to 9 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

As the smallest breed in the world, these tiny dogs may not look aggressive at a glance, but this breed has been known to display multiple traits of aggression. Chihuahuas are known to be very loyal and devoted to their pet parents. On its own this can be a beautiful trait, but can often lead to jealousy and result in actions such as barking and biting. Caution: This breed is not child-friendly.

2. Dachshund 

  • Average Weight: 15 to 30 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  15 to 19 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

Known by many names, the Weiner dog, Badger dog, Sausage dog, or Dachshund, is a short-leg, long-bodied breed known for its unique appearance. Primarily used for hunting in the past, it is not surprising that aggression can be a prominent trait. Another reason for the aggression displayed by this breed is its small size, which it tries to make up for with extra attitude. Here's an overview of the costs associated with the Dachshund.

3. Chow Chow

Chow Chow
  • Average Weight: 40 to 90 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  17 to 22 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 11 to 13 years

A China-originated dog, the Chow Chow is a sturdy dog with a dense double coat. These dogs are known for their skills in hunting and herding, and their dominant personalities. This is not surprising, a dominant personality often comes along with an aggressive nature. Here's a fun fact for you: one Chow Chow even became the beloved pet of ex-US President Calvin Coolidge. Check out the typical expenses you might encounter when owning a Chow Chow.

4. Akita

  • Average Weight: 60 to 100 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  23 to 28 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 8 to 10 years

A Japanese dog, the Historic, Akita has its origins in the northern mountains of Japan. Commonly trained for activities like policing and guarding, these dogs have developed a protective nature. Akita are naturally wary of strangers and other dogs and may even attack. Get a sense of the financial implications of owning an Akita here.

5. American Pitbull Terrier

American Pitbull Terrier
  • Average Weight: 35 to 60 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  18 to 21 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 8 to 14 years

American Pitbull Terriers are known for being tenacious and determined canines. These characteristics can often lead to aggressive behavior and the courage to engage in fights. However, with proper training, these dogs can be very loving and affectionate pets. You may also be interested in Japanese Terrier.

6. Cane Corso

Cane Corso
  • Average Weight: 100 to 110 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  24 to 28 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

An Italian Mastiff, this breed can often be found in the role of companion dog or guard dog. The Cane Corso is another breed that has in the past been used for hunting because of their aggressive nature. Cane Corsos are highly unlikely to be friendly with strangers, especially during a first impression. Learn more about the costs tied to the Cane Corso dog breed.

7. Doberman Pinschers 

Doberman Pinschers 
  • Average Weight: 60 to 100 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  24 to 28 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

This large breed developed by Louis Dobermann in Germany is among the most intelligent, tenacious, and energetic guard dogs. Often used by the Police, Doberman Pinschers can be very aggressive, especially with strangers, if not trained properly. We've detailed the expenses linked to owning a Doberman Pinscher breed dog. If you decide this dog is not for you, you may also be interested in a Miniature Pinscher.

8. German Shepherds

German Shepherds
  • Average Weight: 66 to 88 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  24 to 28 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 9 to 13 years

Also known as Alsatians, German Shepherds are the working dogs of Germany. Primarily used for herding, disability assistance, search-and-rescue, police work, and warfare, these dogs can seem intimidating based on their appearance alone. Naturally protective of their families, these dogs can be aggressive by nature and need proper training and socialization. Understand the financial investment for a German Shepherd dog breed with this information.

9. Rottweilers

  • Average Weight: 110 to 130 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  24 to 27 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 8 to 10 years

Mainly used for herding livestock and pulling carts filled with butchered meat, Rottweilers are also known as Rottweiler Metzgerhund, meaning Rottweil butchers’ dogs in Germany, where they originated. From loving and affectionate to aggressive protectors, these dogs are shaped by their upbringing. If you are interested in bringing a Rottweiler into your home, here is a detailed breakdown of the costs related to the Rottweiler dog breed.

10. Siberian Husky

Siberian Husky
  • Average Weight: 45 to 60 pounds (male and female)

  • Average Height:  21 to 24 inches (male and female)

  • Life Expectancy: 12 to 14 years

These ferocious but beautiful dogs are a working breed known for pulling sleds. With athletic stamina and high intelligence, these dogs need adequate physical and mental stimulation, without which they can turn into restless pets who display aggressive behaviors. Siberian Huskies often tend to display their more aggressive side when in the company of small children, smaller animals, or strangers. Know more about how much does a Siberian Husky cost.

This is not an exhaustive list of all the aggressive dogs but a tailored list of breeds with comparatively higher aggression levels. There are additional breeds known for aggressive behavior which include; Dalmatians, Jack Russel Terriers, Perro de Presa Canario, etc. The wolf genes do tend to play a part in many of these breeds. The key is for their pet parents to train them properly starting at a very young age. There is no doubt that despite high aggressive levels, all of these dogs make excellent human companions with their loving, affectionate, and protective natures. There are just a few extra precautions to take when adopting dog breeds that can be prone to aggression as they may display this side of their nature in front of visitors or even mischievous children at times. 


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