Dogs are some of the most adorable pets one can have. While each breed has their own distinct personality, it is important to remember that there are no bad dogs, only bad owners. Each dog carries some aggressive tendencies in them, some more than others.
The aggressiveness generally manifests in front of strangers or other animals, usually in the form of barking, snapping, growling, showing teeth or doing a ‘muzzle punch’ to the person. Such behaviour can be eliminated or controlled, depending upon how it is treated.
If you’re looking to educate yourself on dog breeds with this distinct personality trait, here is a list of some of the most aggressive dog breeds out there.
Originally bred as a guard dog, the temperament of the Doberman has significantly improved over the years. However, they are still likely to show aggression towards other dogs and people on occasions. Interestingly, Doberman also ranks pretty high in intelligence and can also be easily trained. Watchful and fearless, and at the same time, loyal and obedient – these traits of the Doberman is what makes them excellent guard dogs. If properly socialized from an early age, they can be more accepting of strangers and other animals.
Doberman females can weigh between 30-35 kg with a height of 25-27 cm and the males between 40-45 kg reaching a height of 27-28 cm. Since the Doberman was bred to get its current temperament which means that there will be differences between different lines of them. So, check with your breeder about what you can expect from your dog before you bring it home.
The level of aggression exhibited by the smallest dog in the world is rather surprising. It is kind of like ‘A big dog trapped in a small body’. What we mean is, they don’t really view their size as a disadvantage and are typically without fear, despite being only about 15 to 25 cm in height. So understandably, they don’t weigh much either. Just about 1.5 to 3 kg to be precise. Overall, the temperament of Chihuahuas could vary depending upon their parents and grandparents.
The size of Chihuahuas can sometimes make them vulnerable to cuts and injuries. Bear in mind that Chihuahuas need to be trained and socialized to get along well with animals and people other than their owners. They are extremely intelligent, but exhibit some overprotective tendencies. Often, they exclusively prefer the company of other Chihuahuas and their mixes over other dogs. If you plan on bringing a Chihuahua into a house with small children, then you would need to verify their temperament with the breeder and train them accordingly.
Rottweilers are powerful dogs that were originally bred for labour intensive tasks such as pulling carts, as guard dogs and for search and rescue missions. The females can weigh between 35-48 kg with a height of 56-63 cm and the males between 50-60 kg reaching a height of 61-70 cm.
Rottweilers are very protective towards their owners and can be surprisingly clownish. But this is not a dog for everyone, especially first-time dog owners. They are extremely territorial and do not welcome strangers often. Fortunately, it can be managed with proper training and socialization.
Rottweilers are intelligent and make great use of their ability to intimidate. They have a desire for obedience and control, and can often be dominating, a quality that is put to use when guarding livestock. But if you want to make them more accepting of other people and animals, consistent and thorough socialization and training is essential. You will require a firm and balanced hand that the Rottweiler can respect in this regard. But once properly trained, Rottweilers can end up giving you a really pleasant surprise with their mature and balanced temperament.
4. Chow Chow
This dog literally looks like a cloud of fluff, but you would be surprised to find that it is not as cuddly as it looks. Chow Chows, over the course of history have had many jobs, including being hunting and guard dogs. This has resulted in the highly intelligent and stubborn breed of today. Bringing a Chow Chow home means being prepared to be more stubborn than them. A female Chow Chow is generally 20-27 kgs heavy and stands tall at 46-51 cm. The male counterpart on the other hand can weigh between 25-32 kgs with a height of 48-56 cm.
Chow Chows are especially aggressive towards dogs of the same sex and can seek to hunt if presented with another animal smaller than them. They are territorial, so in a household with children, you would need to teach both the dog and the child to be wary of each other’s space. Don’t be surprised if they seem extremely standoff-ish with strangers. Chow Chows are typically one or two person dogs and are not ideal for families. It is better to respect your dog’s temperament and manage it with the right training and proper socialization instead of being harsh with them and trying to make them something they are not.
You will soon realize that Chow Chows are just highly introverted, but extremely intelligent dogs, that love their owners and keep their love limited to one or two people. They are pretty amazing dogs to have once you accept this challenge, and you are more likely to end up enjoying their company than just simply ‘dealing’ with it.
5. Pit Bull
Pit Bulls are famous for their aggressive tendencies and have quite a few legislations regarding keeping them as pets. If anything, there’s a perception that having a Pit Bull means inviting liabilities incurred by their owner for any harm caused by the dog. Interestingly though, Pit Bull enthusiasts widely believe that the dog is only aggressive towards other dogs, and not humans. However, they will not hesitate to attack if they sense any danger from people. The lifespan of a Pit Bull, height and weight are subjective to the specific breed within the ‘Pit Bull’ umbrella.
The nature vs nurture debate is particularly strong with regards to Pit Bulls. While they do carry aggressive tendencies, it’s not something that cannot be managed, given proper training and socialization. Pit Bulls are active canines that are rather protective of their owners. They are used as war dogs, for search and rescue missions and as guide dogs. What’s fascinating is that there have even been a few notable Pit Bulls that have been television personalities. Of course, that wouldn’t be possible if the Pit Bull was only ever an aggressive dog.
If you plan to bring a pit bull home as a pet, discuss with your breeder their temperament, and prepare your training and socialization plan accordingly. It won’t take long to see the love and affection that this dog is capable of, when given a chance.
Regarding the canine world, when one says that appearances are deceptive, they are most definitely thinking of the Dachshund. This cute, playful dog is considered to be the most aggressive dog out there, even more so than the pit bull. And all of this is despite their weight being between 7-15 kg with a height of 20-22 cm, meaning they’re not the biggest or the strongest mutt out there. What’s very typical of Dachshunds is that they don’t give up on a chase, so be wary of having animals in the house smaller than them.
Given that they’re the most aggressive breed, Dachshunds are naturally quite stubborn as well, which means that training them is no easy task. They are not really shy, but they also don’t take well to strangers. Don’t leave a Dachshund alone for too long, as that can cause separation anxiety. Patience and consistency are key to training them and getting them properly socialized to other people and animals. Dachshunds take as much entertainment as it gives. So having a loving and caring owner is key to unlocking the boundless potential for the love and affection they carry.
At the end of the day, how you treat these aggressive dog breeds dictates the way in which their natural aggression will manifest. Neglect and abuse is a very typical cause for aggression, as is the environment the dogs grow up in. It is advisable to understand the general temperament of the breed and also the specific dog that you seek to bring home. Assess objectively if you are up for the challenge and the efforts that it would take to train and socialize them. It’s the only way to do right by your dog.
In conclusion, all of the dogs listed above in general are loyal, affectionate and loving. Sure, nature will always be there, but it is the nurture that will determine the direction nature will take.