Many insurers will often not provide homeowner’s insurance coverage for several of the dog breeds listed below.
The following fifteen dogs are among the most dangerous breeds evidenced by statistics that include attacks on the owners.
1. American Pit Bull Terrier
These dogs repeatedly make headlines for attacking people. Their aggressive temperament matched with their strength historically saw them bred as fighting dogs. While dog fights are illegal, many of the dogs still exhibit the traits of fighters. These dogs were also used for baiting both bulls and bears so their genetic makeup is rather fierce.
Pit bulls have been known to attack children, the elderly, their owners – anyone that happens to be in their path. If the dog feels provoked or startled, it has been known to bite. Many owners swear that their pet would never attack them; however, this breed has led to more human fatalities than any other.
The sheer volume of Pit Bull attacks have prompted many insurers to deny coverage associated with homeowners insurance. Many owners have to seek a special policy for coverage liability protection where their pet is concerned. Of course, some don’t bother to tell their insurer about their new pet and this could lead to problems, especially if the dog does bite or injure someone.
It’s essential for pet owners to understand the nature of the breed they choose to bring into their home. While it may be true, indeed, that many of these canines have become revered members of the family, it also cannot be denied that this particular breed is responsible for more fatalities than any other type of dog.
2. German Shepherd
While they are popular pets, there are many cases where the dogs have turned on their owners or someone in the household.
They are aggressive and self-assured dogs that often exhibit protective behaviors for their human family. Even so, some poorly socialized German Shepherds have been known to attack and even kill.
Just this year a thirty-five-year-old woman was attacked and killed by the family German Shepherd. Statistics show that these dogs are among the top five most likely to bite.
While these dogs are extraordinarily smart and alert, they were originally bred for work. As working dogs, they have been used and trained by the military and police for various occupations in their line of duty. While they may be suited to their jobs in the line of duty, they may not always be suitable for the role of family pet.
Though they can be fun-loving and loyal, people should not ignore the fact that they have the capability to do harm as some have discovered. In fact, their energetic and fun loving nature can easily make the leap to excitable and aggressive depending on the situation they are faced with.
Their aggression and strength makes them dangerous, however, even for households where they are called pets.
While they can be obedient and lovable canines, they have been responsible for fatalities as recently as this year.
Many experts advise Rottweiler owners to seek professional training for their dogs as their strength is an inherent risk, particularly for children. If you choose to have one of these dogs, be sure it is properly socialized and always remain vigilant regarding its temperament.
Would-be Rottweiler owners should keep in mind that Dogbite.org stated that from 2005-2013, 74% of all dog bites could be attributed to Pit Bulls and Rottweilers. Frequently employed as guard dogs or police dogs, Rottweilers’ fierce reputation is not built upon thin air. They have proven numerous times that they can be dangerous and even deadly.
Even when purchasing a Rottweiler from a reputable kennel, owners must certainly weigh the pros and cons of bringing this dog breed into their home. Also, it’s a good idea to check with your homeowner’s insurer to see if they’ll even cover it as many will not.
4. Doberman Pinscher
The Doberman Pinscher was bred in Germany and remains one of the most distinctive looking breeds-particularly when its ears are cropped.
These working dogs have been called ‘ferocious’ to the lament of their owners who revere them for their many fine traits.
Though these dogs make great guard dogs, their bite and strength makes them a hazard, nonetheless, as evidenced by the attacks they have been involved in. Studies show that these dogs are more likely to bite another dog than a human, but they have been responsible for human fatalities as the result of attacks.
Dobermans have been called fearless and exhibit strong traits of loyalty toward their owners which is why so many deem that lifelong friends. Yet what if the dog is mistaken and believes someone with no ill-intent has designs on its owner? While these are noted to be intelligent dogs, is it smart enough to know the difference from friend or foe 100% of the time?
These dogs may be revered by many dog owners, but they were initially bred to be intimidating to would-be trespassers. Owners should also check with their homeowner’s insurance provider before bringing one home.
5. Wolf-Dog Hybrid
The wolf’s notorious reputation has, not surprisingly, also attended the wolf-dog hybrid. These dogs are regarded as having considerable potential to do harm.
While many hybrids that involve dangerous breeds are also responsible for attacks, this is not an indictment against mixed breeds.
The wolf mix, however, is one to avoid and such pets are typically never going to win the insurer’s favor. Wolf-dogs exhibit many wild traits and are not likely to be tame. By the end of the last century, there were roughly 300,000 known wolf-dogs in the United States.
With behavior traits that are difficult to predict, the wolf-dog has proven a danger to owners as well as other humans that come in contact with the breed.
The fact is that one generation removed from the wild wolf isn’t enough to breed out the aggression and dangerous elements of the animal. The wolf, while majestic, is a survivor and uses all of its power to survive and dominate its foes. Moreover, if the wolf is bred with another especially aggressive breed, the outcome could be a highly volatile and dangerous mix.
These dogs can be trained and many people find that they make excellent pets, yet it only takes one poorly trained or poorly socialized dog to make an unfortunate headline.
These dogs have been involved in attacks on owners as well as their families. A bullmastiff with an aggressive personality can very well be a significant risk in the home or on one’s property.
The Bullmastiff’s solid build is particularly formidable. It is a powerfully built animal to say the least. Because the Bullmastiff is a born guard dog, it can aggressively if it believes its human family is in danger.
It can also be confused or agitated if kids or teens are rough-housing or wrestling. The dog could act out and someone could easily be hurt if it does.
Also, such a big dog lumbering about can get in the way or accidently knock a child or elderly adult down without intending to. While this true of any big dog, the Bullmastiff’s power makes it a worthy of concern. All family members should take care around so powerful a pet.
7. Cane Corso
A muscular dog that typically bonds with its owner, this dog can occasionally become unruly as can any dog if poorly socialized or ill-treated.
The Cane Corso has been involved in attacks so it frequently makes lists of dangerous dog breeds.
The breed has been favored as a ‘catch dog’ for hunters of boars and cougars. It is quite athletic and strong so if it does attack, injuries are likely to occur.
Experts suggest that novices or those unfamiliar with this breed avoid it as it is a dog that needs intense socializing–ideally with someone who is familiar with the breed. Puppies require considerable leadership and regular training to be molded into well-socialized pets.
Cane Corso dogs that react even when unprovoked or in situations that do not call for aggression may pose a considerable risk. Though the dog can pose a loyal bond with its owner, it should be watched with care when visitors come over–especially children as their play or rough-housing could distract and agitate the dog.
Anyone contemplating this dog as a pet should do more substantial research to be sure it’s the right pet for them.
8. Great Dane
While they are often known for their friendliness, they can also be dangerous.
Though known as ‘gentle giants,’ the Great Dane that isn’t properly socialized could pose a hazard especially if it exhibits fearful or skittish traits.
Calling this particular breed dangerous, however, will cause many Great Dane owners to argue as overall these dogs do tend to be gentle and loving; the idea is to remember that the capability is there in the rare instances these animals aren’t properly socialized.
Also, like other big dogs, the Great Dane may not know its own strength. If young children get caught under foot, the dog could easily trample them or simply knock them over. People should take extra care if they live in homes with stairs if they share their home with a Great Dane.
The dogs also prefer familiar environments. If faced with a new and unfamiliar situation, the dog could become uncomfortable or even disturbed. A disturbed dog can be momentarily unstable which can always pose a risk.
9. Tosa Inu
This dog can weigh as much as 135 pounds and exhibits many aggressive qualities that were traditionally prized in the fighting ring but not so much in the living room.
In some places it is illegal to own this breed of dog; Australians cannot import the dog and UK residents are required to obtain special court permission before they can import this breed.
In fact, it has been banned in major international cities like Hong Kong and Dublin. Don’t let its calm face in photos fool you; this dog is regarded as quite dangerous around the world.
In fact, the dog is still employed as a fighting dog in various parts of the world even where dog fights are illegal. The Tosa Inu has exceptionally powerful jaws and a powerful build which bolster its performance in the ring. In the home, however, powerful jaws can be a detriment for the people who live there.
Though many attacks have been attributed to a dog’s poor training or lack of socialization, some attacks have involved long-time pets. Many owners will even state that “the dog never did anything like that before” after a bite or attack.
10. American Bandogge
This dog is bred from Neapolitan Mastiffs and American Pit Bull Terriers. Its formidable appearance is dangerously complemented by an aggressive temperament.
Intensely muscular, this dog is nothing to trifle with if it happens to have an attitude problem. Like many other dogs on the list, if it is poorly socialized or suffered abuse, it may pose a danger to new owners who adopt it.
Experts warn that these dogs can become unruly for owners who do not enjoy dominance over the dog. Like many breeds, some dogs like the American Bandogge can become extremely unruly for some owners. Often a problem occurs when the dominant owner leaves the home and the dog is then under the care of a spouse or older children.
The dog must be trained to obey all family members or it can pose a risk. Dogs that are overly aggressive and remain hard to control may simply not make acceptable pets particularly where children or the elderly live.
11. Dogo Argentino
While it can make a great companion, it has not been bred to play with the family out in the backyard. It is an extremely powerful animal with a fierce bite.
Should it get overly excited or momentarily decide to turn on its owner or someone in the home, the results could be serious, indeed.
Sometimes known as the Argentinean Mastiff, this dog requires an owner that knows how to take command. Yet many families must address this question, “how will the dog behave when the owner with the proven command is absent?”
Too often one member of the family seems to have the knack for controlling the dog while the rest of the family does not. This can be a genuine problem if the dog is presented with an unfamiliar situation and becomes agitated or unruly. The rest of the family may not be able to control the animal and, too often, this leads to problems.
Because of its fearless temperament and intense stamina, this dog can be a danger if it becomes unruly.
12. Perro de Presa Canario
Noted for its muscular body and strength, this dog from the Canary Islands has a massively broad head and sharp teeth.
Obedience training during its puppy years is a must; otherwise, this breed could be risky to own especially around kids.
Essentially a pack dog, these dogs can be led astray by poor-leadership. For this reason, training is especially important so that dogs will learn early on to respect their human leader.
Of course, many families have members that may not be respected by the dog as a “human leader.” Often an attack occurs when the respected human leader is away. Without its guiding human, the dog may become unstable and unruly for the people left behind to supervise it.
Attacks can begin simply. For instance, a dog may grab a child’s toy and when the human comes along to retrieve it, the dog reacts. Poorly socialized dogs or dogs that are often aggressive may be dangerous to have around the home. In fact, families that have young children may want to opt for a different breed altogether, one that is known to enjoy children and is not known for aggressive behavior.
13. Chow Chow
These dogs may not be as dangerous as a Pit Bull. They do turn on their owners or anyone else that happens to rub them the wrong way.
Moreover, they have been involved in human fatalities so while they don’t appear as muscular or fierce looking as Dobermans or Rottweilers, they pose a threat that often has them ranked on lists of most dangerous dogs.
The key with this breed is to socialize them early and think twice before introducing it to a home with young children.
The Chow Chow’s teeth meet with a scissors-like bite that many have had the misfortune to endure. A rather ornery dog, it isn’t known for its sweetness. The Chow Chow does not always tolerate strangers well. The dog has a natural dominance and it tends to flaunt this around people it doesn’t know.
While typically well-mannered, the provoked or disturbed Chow Chow can nip or bite with authority. This isn’t an ideal dog for a passive owner. The ideal Chow Chow owner takes authority and is respected by the dog that may then follow direction well.
14. Gull Dong
Bred in Pakistan, this breed is definitely a fighter and is often adopted because owners believe it will protect them from thieves or criminals.
However, this dog can turn on its owner. The key to training this dog is to start when it is a puppy.
Adopting a Gull Dong as an older specimen could be risky without knowing its background. These dogs need to be intensely trained and socialized; they can be great pets that are loyal and loving, but there simply is no denying their dangerous abilities as fighting animals.
The Gull Dong resembles an American Pit Bull which may be enough to make some people back off when they encounter it. Backing off from an unknown dog is always a good idea, but is especially so when it comes to this particular breed which can be extremely excitable and aggressive.
Intense training usually occurs as soon as possible with puppies if the dog is to be housed as a pet. Trainers must work to minimize the dog’s natural tendency toward aggressive behaviors. This takes continuous training and, of course, constant vigilance.
15. Siberian Husky
Again, these dogs make some of the best pets, but some examples have been involved in human fatalities.
It’s important to remember that of all the dog breeds, the Siberian Husky is the closest dog relative of the wolf.
In fact, the Husky is often chosen to breed with wolves among people who desire to own the dangerous wolf-dog. Huskies are admirable work dogs that pull sleds like nobody’s business; yet they can be dangerous for some owners and under certain circumstances.
Every potential dog owner should take time to research a breed before choosing to own it. Huskies require plenty of exercise. Without access to exercise, it might become unruly in its quest for freedom to run. Huskies, particularly mature dogs, can also be loners. This means they like their independence.
Children who pester the dog may not always be welcome or endure with much grace. These majestic dogs also require a firm hand that can inspire obedience. When it comes to puppies, early training is always a good idea as aggressive behaviors can be tampered down in favor of more family-friendly behaviors.
16. Rhodesian Ridgeback
These dogs have also been referred to as African Lion Hounds, which tells people something about their use. This breed has historically been relied upon to keep lions at bay until their hunters can kill them.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback has a reputation as an excellent guard dog. It can behave quite ferociously, which is one reason why many people behave with caution around these dogs.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback takes its name from the ridge of hair that grows down its back. Males typically weigh at maturity around 80 pounds. In order to hold back lions, the dogs must demonstrate their fierce aggression and know-how. These dogs tend to be highly cautious around strangers, which is why they are adept guard dogs.
Many owners find that they make good companions, however, and enjoy this breed. Even so, obedience must be instilled as this breed is intelligent and apt to develop its own brand of dominance if left to its own devices.
Many examples of this dog also demonstrate a fun-loving side when they are housed in friendly situations that complement their good nature.
Agile and strong, these dogs have not simply been employed to guard against human trespassers; they are also posted to guard against big cats such as lions and hyenas.
Early farmers relied upon this breed’s strength and bravery to fend off wild animal attacks.
Known for their incredible loyalty and family-friendly demeanor, it’s a shame to include these dogs on this type of list; however, the capability exists for danger.
It only takes one maltreated example to lead to tragedy. These dogs are capable of inflicting serious damage on anyone or anything they care to attack.
Because of this capability and their great strength, the Boerboel must be raised with care so that its loyal traits are encouraged. It can be quite obedient and friendly in family situations. For this reason, the Boerboel is greatly loved in its homeland and revered for its companionship.
Owners, however, must encourage socialization from a young age as with other large dogs. Undue aggression must not be tolerated. Dogs must be trained for obedience to avoid any negative tendencies. When content, these dogs will happily lounge around the house and nap.
18. Pharaoh Hound
Legend has it that these dogs are descended from ancient Egyptian breeds; however, DNA has not supported the claim.
Even so, these Maltese hunting dogs appear similar to dogs painted on Egyptian tomb walls. It’s possible that the dogs could have traveled from Egypt to Malta with Phoenicians who were well-known ancient mariners.
Renowned for their sleek athleticism, these dogs are incredibly intelligent; however they are also known for their stubbornness. They are also muscular and must be reigned in to instill obedience or they could become overly aggressive.
While most of these dogs do make fine pets and are popularly owned as hunting companions, they require a good deal of exercise so they do not grow bored and adopt negative behaviors. Early Maltese hunters bred dogs for independence and many examples still exhibit the ability to think for themselves.
This quality owes to their natural intelligence, but they can also become unruly if they are not adequately socialized while young. The Pharaoh Hound blushes when it is excited; strangers may want to keep this in mind when they approach these dogs.
Akitas are well known for their dominant temperament. Because they have a mind of their own, they can exhibit unruly behaviors which may make them risky in some situations.
For this reason, the Akita requires a skilled owner who takes time to instill this dog with obedience.
Akitas were originally bred to hunt deer and bears in their native Japan. They are bred for strength, endurance, and courage. As one of the world’s oldest native hunting breeds, the Akita still enjoys this pursuit and requires a good deal of exercise and mental stimulation to avoid boredom. A bored Akita is likely to find a negative pastime to occupy itself.
Akitas boast thick double coats and don’t mind cold weather like other Spitz types of dogs such as the Siberian Husky. The breed is extremely territorial when it comes to its property. This is one reason why many people prefer the breed as it helps deter trespassers.
Akitas can make excellent companions. Although they can be aggressive, with the right owner and family, they can make great pets. The idea is to provide an environment that allows them to thrive.
20. Caucasian Ovcharka
These dogs are known to be problematic around people they don’t know. For this reason, they pose a risk to others; however, they can also turn on their owners if not properly socialized.
Even when well-trained, however, these dogs are known to be incorrigible when it comes to discipline. They often exhibit traits of dominance and aggression simply because they happen to be “in the mood.”
Most Caucasian Ovcharkas are kept as solitary pets because they do not get along with other animals. They are mainly revered as guard dogs. Because of their ferocious temperament, they are feared by would-be trespassers. People rely on them to protect their homes and even large-scale properties like farms.
When the dog is not on duty, it has a tendency toward laziness and is happy to lie around its home. On patrol, however, it can certainly be relied upon to perform its job well. It’s important to note that some types are more vicious than others. Many people find this dog to be an important member of the household. However, dogs that exhibit ferocity must be supervised at all times around other animals, children, and even the elderly.
Revered for bravery and stamina, the boxer can make a great family pet; however, owners must be diligent when raising their boxer to be obedient and must also curb aggressive tendencies.
The Boxer tends to be loyal and loving to its family; yet, again, proper socialization must be provided.
Intelligent and generally tractable, the Boxer can make a great family pet, especially when positive reinforcement is employed during training.
By nature, Boxers are not known to be vicious or overly aggressive as some breeds are. However, these negative tendencies may occur in neglected or mistreated dogs. For this reason, it’s important to get to know an adult Boxer well before introducing it to a family situation.
Boxers are quite strong and may inflict serious injury if they choose to attack. Many trainers have insisted that Boxers boast above-average intelligence. They are very trainable and will reward their owners with loyal and even temperaments when induced. When obtaining a Boxer puppy, it’s important to provide adequate socialization.
Though the breed was developed in Germany as a hunting dog, it is today typically employed as a companion or family dog. Some Boxers are used as guard dogs.
22. Staffordshire Bull Terrier
These stocky dogs are muscular and intelligent. However, they are also fearless and not likely to back down in a fight.
Even though this breed appears to be intimidating, they are also rather enamored of people. It’s not entirely in their nature, therefore, to be aggressive toward humans.
Even so, members of this breed can differ substantially in temperament. Without consistency, it is difficult for people to know which ones are most people friendly. For this reason, care should be used around this breed.
Examples that make best pets and companions tend to be cared for with diligence. Obedience training is important for this breed as is early socialization. These dogs are quite active and enthusiastic about their need for human interaction. Even when trained, they may jump and lick without reservation. Many people confuse this breed with Pit Bulls.
In fact, experts worry that some attacks dubbed as “Pit Bull attacks” may actually have been committed by Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Families with elderly household members or children should take care when introducing this active breed into their home.
23. Saint Bernard
Sometimes referred to as the Alpine Mastiff, this breed is remarkable for its great size and friendly disposition. Though the dogs are no longer employed in Alpine rescues, they are popular family pets.
Due to their size and fearless temperament, owners must properly socialize these dogs to prevent them from becoming unruly.
They can inflict injury without even trying because of their size. Obedience is important for keeping this big dog in line once it reaches maturity.
Saint Bernards can be aggressive as well as territorial. This is what makes them somewhat of a risky pet to own. On the other hand, when properly socialized, this dog can make a wonderful family pet that brings a tremendous amount of joy to its households. Loyal and affectionate, this dog is not typically prone to attack–especially its owners.
However, because it has happened and because these are such enormous dogs, it’s important for owners to be vigilant about discouraging untoward behaviors. Many people love to own these dogs because they are so intimidating. Intruders would have to definitely think twice about crossing a full-grown Saint Bernard.
24. Alaskan Malamute
Sometimes referred to as Alaskan sled dogs, these energetic dogs have long been used to haul freight as well as sleds.
Similar to various Arctic breeds like the Samoyed, the Alaskan Malamute may weigh upwards of a hundred pounds.
Although some of these dogs are still used for mushing or sledding, most are employed as family pets where they tend to be beloved by their households.
Of course, these dogs, like other Arctic dogs, have a high prey drive. They must be watched with other small pets in the home. Due to their size, they should also be supervised around young children.
As high-energy dogs, these animals are most likely to thrive and exhibit best traits when they have been properly socialized and have access to the exercise they need. It’s never good for Alaskan Malamutes to be caged or kept from mental stimulation.
Although strong and intimidating, Alaskan Malamutes do not make very good guard dogs since they tend to like people. These dogs seldom bark so they aren’t likely to alert family members if an intruder slips through. Although attacks are not common, they have occurred making this dog one to keep your eye on in family situations.
25. Czechoslovakian Vlcak
Of course, any breed so closely related to wolves is apt to exhibit aggressive and independent tendencies in some cases.
Breeders hoped to create a breed with the muscular physique of the wolf and the trainability of the German Shepherd.
The result is a breed with a wolf-like appearance and turns heads wherever it goes. Many examples of this dog are actually quite revered in spite of its wolfish background. However, it only takes a few bad apples to spoil the bunch. These dogs should be properly socialized or they could become a significant danger.
Noted for their speed and strength, Czechoslovakian Vlcaks also boast great endurance. They often exhibit loyalty to their owners, but require strong leadership in their owner. A strong leader is apt to inspire obedience in this unique breed. Because these dogs are relatively new on the dog scene, they are still rare. Given the right situation, these dogs can make good family pets.
However, care must be taken with small children. Moreover, these dogs may never become completely safe to have around smaller household pets that could become lunch or dinner for this canine.