The Most Aggressive Dog Breeds In The World

Here are the most powerful and dangerous breeds of dog in the world!


From brutal beasts taller than men to mighty hounds that have gone toe to toe with actual bears, grab a lead or chain because we’re about to go walkies with the most aggressive, dangerous and powerful breeds of dog in the world.

Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Back in the 1900s, Soviet shepherds in Georgia’s Caucasus Mountains were hard at work creating something so strong, so fearless, so downright formidable that no predator would ever dare bother their livestock again. And they got the next best thing, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog!

Selectively bred to be absolutely mahoosive, these big boys are confident, powerful, and fiercely defensive if they sense a threat. They had to be that way, because the shepherds that first bred them were under constant risk of attack from all kinds of beastly predators, including bears!

Caucasian Shepherd Dog

Caucasian Shepherd Dogs were used to defend flocks against actual bears. Weighing in at up to 220lbs and fiercely protective, the dogs probably wouldn’t actually win against a bear in a proper fight, but they don’t need to, they’re intimidating and aggressive enough to scare one straight off!

Seeing the success of the dogs, the Soviet Union began using them as prison guards throughout the twentieth century, and they were even enlisted to patrol the infamous Berlin Wall in the 1960s. When the wall subsequently came down in 1989, some 7,000 of them were dismissed and given to local families to live out the rest of their days.

Caucasian Shepherd Dog berlin wall
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Wolfdog Hybrid

Wolfdogs are the result of a domestic dog mating with a feral wolf. Averaging up to 100lbs, they’re as heavy as young hippos, and bigger than some humans! Despite being strong, fast, and cunning though, their odd mix of genetic traits makes their behavior very difficult to predict.

One individual could be docile, whereas another could be extremely aggressive. Even so, the colossal canines were occasionally bought by 18th century British nobles as a scientific curiosity. They’re banned in Britain today, and 40 US states have also outlawed ownership of the breed, due to it being viewed as a wild animal.

Shy Wolf Sanctuary Yuki wolfdog hybrid

In Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Russia though, they’ve seen work in police, military, border patrol and search and rescue organizations! So, if you’re on their good side, they can be incredibly useful. If you’re not though, well, you’d better watch out for that bite.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Though highly controversial, breeding dogs as hunting animals has been practiced around the world for thousands of years. But did you know that over in South Africa, one absolute warrior of a dog used to be bred to hunt lions?

Back in the late 1800s, lions were hunted for their hides or captured to sell to zoos. Attempting to do this alone, however, would be incredibly dangerous. You needed an ally; fast, strong, and agile to distract the lion and allow you to strike the finishing blow. Enter the Rhodesian Ridgeback.

Rhodesian Ridgeback

These fearless hounds can reach stunning speeds of 30mph, and have the endurance of a perfect hunter. While lions can hit around 50mph, they get tired and slow down fast. On the other hand, Ridgebacks just keep on going.

A lion would surely be able to beat a Ridgeback in a fight but the Ridgebacks never actually fought. They’d chase a lion down, then taunt and dance around it, disorienting it but never actually allowing it to strike them with its claws. And while they did this, their owner would line up their weapon for the fatal shot.

Rhodesian Ridgeback hunting lions

It’s undeniably cruel, but you can’t deny how impressive it is on the dog’s part. If you fancy owning a Ridgeback for yourself though, just be careful. Hunting is hard-wired into their DNA, so without rigorous training they’ll chase after every creature they see.

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is one of the most iconic dogs in the world, but you might’ve thought of it as more cute than powerful. Well, you’d have been wrong. They’re descendants of Chukotka Sled Dogs, which have been bred by the indigenous Chukchi people of Siberia since prehistoric times.

The Chukchi needed dogs that could pull heavy sleds for long distances of 150 miles a day in the biting cold, without needing much food. That’s like running from Washington, D.C. all the way to Atlantic City, New Jersey!

Siberian Husky with Blue Eyes

Word spread of the hardy hounds, and through the 1890s to the 1930s they were imported over to Alaska to help people get around in the similarly bitter conditions. They quickly proved extremely popular and became known as Siberian Huskies.

It turns out, owning animals that can bomb through the snow at 30mph while tugging full-grown men behind them is pretty useful. That’s 7mph faster than Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt!

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Ancient Rome was the land of democracy, gladiators, and rottweilers. Believe it or not, the Romans were incredibly fond of a powerful, hardy breed of dog that was the ancestor of the modern rottweiler! They trained and enlisted the hounds to deliver messages, pull carts, guard livestock, and actually march with the armies!

Not to fight, but for a much more important reason. Before refrigeration was invented, if you wanted to keep meat fresh, you had to keep it alive. So, journeying Roman legions would travel with livestock, and to stop their food running away, they needed dogs to herd it!

rottweilers guarding livestock of roman army

Jump forward a few hundred years and modern rottweilers have proved themselves just as incredible. As well as remaining excellent herders, they’re also so strong that when properly trained, they can pull an absolutely insane 15,000lbs of weight, that’s like dragging three fully grown rhinos behind you!

But they’re not all brawn and no brains. These dogs saw service through both world wars as messengers, fierce guard dogs, and even medics! But how does a dog become a medic? Russian medical dogs were trained to drag wounded soldiers to safety, while German rottweilers would locate fallen men and lead their handlers to them.

rottweiler as medic

If you’re considering getting one of these bad boys though, you’ll need to ensure you give them the attention and training they demand, if not, their helpfulness can quickly turn into unruliness. And do you really want an unruly pet that can bench 80 times more than you?


Pit Bull

Everyone loves a bad boy and when it comes to dogs, there’s one that’s badder than any other: the American Pit Bull Terrier. These boys are bad, or at least, their reputation is. There’s so much muscle packed into their stocky bodies that the biggest can heave almost 3,000lbs of weight behind them!

Understandably then, they have become very popular among trainers looking to compete in canine weight pulling competitions. I’m not convinced how ethical that is, but sadly, they used to be the unwilling competitors in a much less ethical sport: pit fighting.

Back in the 19th century, cruel blood sports like “bull baiting” had just been outlawed in Britain, which was the sadistic act of tying a bull to an iron stake and setting dogs on it for entertainment. In response to this, dog fighting became popular because it was easier to hide from the police.

Dogs were made to brutally fight against one another in pits, in fact, pit bulls were originally bred for this very purpose, hence the name. So, pit bulls garnered a somewhat unfair reputation as aggressive, bloodthirsty animals.

pit bull fighting in spain

In reality, a well-trained pit bull can make for an incredibly friendly pet. That’s because, despite being bred as fighters, they were also bred to be gentle towards humans. Any animal that bit their trainers were put down, while those that didn’t were kept alive to pass on their genes and temperament.

If all this sounds cruel and archaic, it’s because it is. Thankfully, dog fighting is outlawed in most parts of the world now, though unfortunately, illegal fights remain a problem in some countries, including the US. So, next time someone mentions pit bulls, forget that falsified version of them as they can be adorable when well trained.

Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound can be an intimidating seven feet tall when standing on their hind legs, which is taller than most humans. As such, these absolute units have been used throughout history to hunt everything from wolves to wild boar.

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Also, they’re not just hulking, they can hit top speeds of 40mph! So you ain’t getting away from them. According to legend, Cormac mac Airt, one of the High Kings of Ireland sometime between the 2nd and 4th centuries, had a huge army of 300 Wolfhounds he hunted with.

Cormac Mac Airt army of Irish wolfhounds

Dogo Argentino

If a dog and a mountain lion got into a barfight, the dog might actually win, at least if it was a Dogo Argentino! This Argentinian breed was bred from fighting dogs and is so darned beasty that, apparently, people have successfully trained it to hunt ferocious big cats!

Despite being half the weight, considerably smaller in size, and slower, Dogos Argentinos can still put up a mean fight against a mountain lion. Size doesn’t account for sense of smell, and a trained Argentino can sense its prey far before their prey senses them.

Dogo Argentino

After locking onto the scent, the dangerous doggos can then sneak up and dispose of them with a quick, incredibly powerful bite. The muscles in a Dogo Argentino’s jaw are better developed than a mountain lion’s, so they have a stronger bite, and in the wrong place, that can be deadly.

Argentinos actually have a really friendly nature when they’re trained properly, but they’re naturally protective and have a high drive to hunt. Because of this, without strict training they can become very violent and destructive. In fact, the breed is banned or has ownership restrictions in countries from Turkey to the Cayman Islands.

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Cane Corso

If you were literally named after the Latin word for “protector” then there could be a little bit of pressure to live up to that title. Fortunately for the Cane Corso, whose name comes from the Latin ‘cohors’, they absolutely own it. An Italian breed of mastiff, this powerful dog was used for hunting large game and herding cattle across the Italian peninsula.

Cane Corsos

With over 100lbs of tanking muscle, they are phenomenal guard dogs. But if you think the modern Cane Corsos are big, their ancestors were even bigger! In fact, Corsos are descended from Ancient Roman war dogs!

When Rome invaded Greece in 146BC, they took some of the powerful Greek dogs back to Italy and bred them with Italian hounds, creating the first Cane Corsos. These huge doggos were then trained for war!

Equipped with metal spiked collars, mail armor, and chest plates for protection, the Corsos would charge in formation towards enemy soldiers with flaming buckets of oil strapped to their backs! As well as being a terrifying sight for the other side, by running beneath horses, the flaming dogs would make them buck and throw off their riders.

cane corso in war

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German Shepherd

As well as being one of the smartest breeds in the world, German Shepherds are also tough as hell. So, they’ve been consistently used by military, police, and search and rescue units around the world for decades.

german shepherd in military

Over the years, German Shepherds have been trained to do everything from destroy tanks to parachute out of planes; much more than sniffing things. Back in the 1930s and ‘40s, Soviet and Russian military forces intensively trained German Shepherds to carry explosives to tanks, a skill which was actually utilized against Germany in the Second World War.

Meanwhile, the British had been training the perceptive puppers to be paratroopers! During the D-Day landings of 1944, it wasn’t just humans that landed in Normandy, German Shepherds did too! After leaping from the planes and parachuting down, the dogs sniffed out hidden enemies, stood watch over sleeping allies, and hunted down mines and other threats.

german shepherd in d day

English Mastiff

230lbs is as heavy as 40 bricks or 45 chihuahuas but it's only as heavy as one English Mastiff. The absolutely colossal, 3-foot-tall English Mastiff is easily the world’s biggest dog!

English Mastiff

These hulking hairballs don’t just look tough though. Throughout history, they’ve proven themselves to be utterly formidable. In fact, people reckon they might be descended from dogs that fought in Ancient Roman gladiatorial arenas!

It wasn’t just humans that fought in the Colosseum. Back in Ancient Rome, mastiffs were trained to fight in the arena too, where they were forced to battle everything from lions to full-grown bears.

mastiff fighting lion and bear

While undeniably cruel, it’s no coincidence that the mastiff was chosen for the job; they’re absolute tanks. But there’s one English mastiff that towered over them all: Aicama Zorba of La-Susa.

As well as sounding like some ancient warrior god, Zorba stood over 3 feet tall, was 8 feet long, and weighed a crushing 330lbs! The massive mutt, born in 1981 in London, still holds the world record for heaviest dog in known history.

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Kangal Shepherds

Ever been eating a pork chop and accidentally bit into the bone? They’re pretty hard and definitely not chewable, unless you were a Kangal Shepherd dog. That’s because Kangal Shepherds aren’t just ginormous, they also have the strongest bite of any dog in existence!

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We actually have a scale to measure it, based on the amount of pressure that a bite exerts on a square inch of surface. Our bite force is 160 pounds per square inch, or “PSI”, which means we have no trouble biting through flesh. A young lion’s PSI is around 650 to 700, about four times stronger than ours. A Kangal however has a terrifyingly powerful bite force of 743 PSI.

The breed is native to the Kangal province in Turkey, where farmers use them to guard their livestock. That means fending off wolves, jackals and even bears! And if a Kangal does get bitten, their coat is legitimately dense enough to repel wolf bites.

Kangal shepherds in History

And it gets even crazier. Historically, African farmers have felt forced into shooting cheetahs to stop them eating their livestock, something that has pushed the big cats closer to extinction. But recently, Namibian charity the Cheetah Conservation Fund came up with an ingenious solution: stationing Kangals on the country’s farms instead!

Over 400 brave doggos defend Namibian farms from cheetahs, without farmers having to shoot them! It’s a win-win, the cheetahs live, and so do the livestock. Therefore, this super dog can bite harder than a lion, have wolf-proof fur, and are helping to save cheetahs from extinction!

Kangal Shepherd guarding livestock

Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff isn’t some horrifying lion-bear hybrid. The 150lb floofer is one of the hardiest hounds in the world, and thrives in the harsh, mountainous climate of Tibet.

Angry tibetan mastiff

Most would struggle to even breathe at the peak of a mountain because there’s so much less oxygen in the air. But Tibetan Mastiffs excel at these altitudes and can run, hunt, and fight even when they’re a whole three miles above sea level!

Their incredible high-altitude abilities can be traced back thousands of years to when they interbred with Tibetan mountain wolves and gained some of their genes. So these bad boys are more closely related to wolves than most dog breeds, and they can go from cute to chaos like that.

Indeed, their fearsome reputation has long meant they’ve been used to protect Buddhist monasteries in Tibet from bears, snow leopards, and even tigers! They’ll fearlessly attack any of these predators without hesitation if they see them as a threat.

Tibetan Mastiff attacking

And that means if they see you as a threat, they’re sure as hell gonna turn on you too. Any animal that’s happy to tango with a tiger is one you really don’t wanna mess with! Meanwhile, not all powerful dogs are aggressive and while the next two dog breeds aren't known for being dangerous they are noteworthy and deserve to be featured in this article.

Saint Bernard

Many of us have a soft spot for the first Beethoven movie. They really didn’t need to make another five of them though. Regardless, the movies’ namesake is a Saint Bernard, and these big furballs are absolutely ginormous!

They stand nearly 3 feet tall and weigh up to 180lbs, the same as the average American adult! The huge, muscular animals were originally bred at a monastery in the Swiss Alps during the 17th century.

Saint bernard

Due to their immense size and strength, they were used as rescue dogs, easily able to carry lost adventurers through the cold, treacherous conditions of the Alps and back to safety. Indeed, over the following three centuries they were credited with saving well over 2,000 lives!

The most famous of these heroic hounds, Barry, was born in 1800. In the space of just 12 years, Barry saved over 40 people from certain icy doom! And one was just a small child. Apparently, Barry had found the boy trapped and helplessly unconscious in a cavern of ice. It would be impossible for any man to reach him, but Barry was no man.

Like something out of a cheesy feel-good pet-based action movie, the Saint Bernard bravely leapt into the cave and started licking the child’s face to warm him up. Then, he slung him on his back and carried him all the way to safety. Sadly, he passed away way back in 1814. But not without becoming the goodest of all good boys.

barry saving a boy


Greyhounds have incredible speed and they can run at 45mph! That’s twice as fast as our man Usain Bolt, and easily makes greyhounds the fastest dog in the world! But how can they hit such blistering speeds?

It’s a combo of lots of things. Long legs, a flexible spine, and big muscles all contribute, but it’s their outrageously powerful, humongous heart that really sets them apart from other dogs.

greyhound racing

Most other breeds have hearts that weigh about 0.77% of their total body weight. Human hearts are about 0.5%. Greyhounds on the other hand? Theirs can reach a whopping 1.73%! This means they can beat at an astounding five times a second when they’re sprinting, pumping oxygen to their muscles so fast that they leave other dogs in the dust.

Seriously, they can even whizz past a racehorse! The horse would’ve probably won in the long haul, greyhounds aren’t known for their stamina, but when it comes to sprinting, they’re a formidable force. As such, they’ve been used as racing dogs for over a hundred years, with the first race taking place in California in 1919.

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California has since banned the sport due to animal welfare concerns, along with most other US states, but it remains legal in some countries around the world. Despite their unrivaled speed though, they’re renowned for being super lazy and have been nicknamed the 40mph Couch Potato!

If you were amazed at these scary dogs, you might want to read our article about how dog breeds evolved over the years and our article about hero dogs that saved human lives. Thanks for reading!

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