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The Most Dangerous and Aggressive Dog Breeds

Audrey has owned and trained Malamutes for over 15 years from puppyhood into adulthood. She has also rescued many other dog breeds.

Statistically, some dog breeds have more reported instances of aggression than others.

Statistically, some dog breeds have more reported instances of aggression than others.

I consider myself to be a seasoned malamute dog owner, having had the pleasure of their company for more than 10 years. However, realizing that my favorite dog breed is on the "most dangerous" list came as quite a shock to me.

You can find many different lists of aggressive or dangerous dogs. Some of them might not surprise you, but then again, some of them might be very revealing.

Let's take a look at some breeds that made the list and some others that could be considered "honorable mentions." Then let's examine why these lists exist and learn some ways we as a society we can eradicate the need for them.

In This Article

  1. The most dangerous breeds
  2. More on the dangerous dog list and what's missing
  3. What makes a dog dangerous
  4. Bad owners make a dog dangerous
  5. Trigger behavior for dogs
  6. Why improper training can lead to aggression

The Most Dangerous Dogs

  • Pit bull (weighing in at 30–55 pounds)
  • Rottweiler (weighing in at 85–110 pounds)
  • German Shepherd (weighing in at 70–85 pounds)
  • Huskies (weighing in at 35–55 pounds)
  • Alaskan Malamute (weighing in at 80–110 pounds)
  • Doberman (weighing in at 65–90 pounds)
  • Chow Chow (weighing in at 40–65 pounds)
  • Presa Canario (weighing in at 100–125 pounds)
  • Boxer (weighing in at 50–64 pounds)
  • Dalmatian (weighing in at 40–70 pounds)

(Dis)honorable Mentions

  • Saint Bernard (weighing in at 110–180 pounds)
  • Great Dane (weighing in at 90–120 pounds)
  • Wolf Hybrid (weighing in at 70–100 pounds)
  • Mastiff (weighing at 100–70 pounds, though some claim up to 200 pounds)
  • Akita
  • English Sheepdog
  • Border Collie

More on the Dangerous Dog List and What It's Missing

When you look at the list, of course what stands out most is that most of the dogs are large. However, it should be noted that one of the main reasons that dogs are on the list in the first place is because by and large, the dog bite reports or incidents reported almost always involve large breed dogs.

The reason for this is that smaller dogs generally do not do as much damage as larger dogs, and consequently, many dog bite incidents go unreported simply because they are small and people assume they are not dangerous.

As an owner of one of the dogs on the aggressive dog breeds list, I believe there is information lacking. In terms of bite reports, many dogs are arbitrarily "assigned" to a breed because there is no category for the dog.

For example, a Wolf-Hybrid dog attack may be classified under the bite statistics for Alaskan Malamutes (which happens quite frequently) which thus skews the reporting results for my particular breed of dog.

Or a brown and black dog of unknown breed will be classified as a Rottweiler when in fact it could be a shepherd or another mixed breed.

Also lacking in the reporting of bite statistics and most dangerous dogs is the fact that in many cases, the bites or attacks happened because of dog owners or situations out of the control of the animal itself. I always believe that there are no bad dogs . . . just bad dog owners.

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If we stopped to consider the situations that some of these dogs are in when the attack or the bite has occurred, in my opinion, you would find in almost every case that it was an unnecessary risk that was taken by the pet owner and a no-win situation for the dog involved.

What Makes a Dog Dangerous?

There are many factors to consider when examining aggression in dogs. Yes, certain dogs, if allowed to pursue their own road without training, can develop certain traits that are not desirable in today's society. However, this is where the pet owner's responsibility is crucial.

Would we allow our children to grow up undisciplined? Would we allow our kids to roam without supervision? Lastly, would we place our children in dangerous situations unsupervised and expect them to behave? Of course not.

The question then becomes why do people get dogs that they know relatively little about in terms of exercise, behavior, personality, etc., and then expect that there is no training or work involved in growing the pet into a good citizen?

Or even more saddening is the staggering number of dogs remanded to shelters for euthanasia each and every year because someone thought they wanted an Alaskan Malamute or a Siberian Husky but they didn't get the facts. They discover that they simply can't "cope" with their decision and drive off into the sunset to let their dog be destroyed.

Bad Owners Make Dangerous Dogs

I believe that every dog has an inherent need to please its owner. I also believe that every dog is trainable and no dog is disposable. That said, there are some mitigating circumstances that can perhaps shape a dog and turn them into a dangerous dog.

Sadly, there are some that cannot be rehabilitated because the window of opportunity has passed and they cannot be turned into a good citizen in some situations.

These types of dogs can still be a companion but they necessarily require vigilance on the part of dog owners to make sure that they do not have access to situations they become dangerous in.

Triggers for Dangerous Dog Behavior

The most important factor in reducing dog aggression is the human one. That means not putting your dog into situations where he or she cannot succeed.

Here are some triggers of dog aggression to consider:

  • Reproductive status - Most dog attacks and bites occur from males who are not neutered or females with puppies
  • Dogs acquired for fighting purposes and trained to fight
  • Protection dogs that are trained to react and protect at all costs
  • Lack of socialization, especially at an early age
  • Individual temperament of the dog - was he or she a bully in the litter?
  • Genetic conditions such as cocker spaniel rage syndrome
  • Victim's age and physical condition
  • Loose, roaming, or unsupervised dogs
  • Chained dogs
  • Animal neglect and abuse
  • Lack of confidence - a frightened dog will react more than a confident dog
  • Being in the wrong place at the wrong time

All of the above situations have the potential to end in tragedy. My question then is do these dogs truly qualify to be listed as dangerous? If trained properly and not put into situations where they cannot succeed, most experts would agree that the incidents would not have occurred.

There are no breeds of dogs that simply attack for no reason. There is something wrong or going on that the dog doesn't understand when it attacks. Or it is the result of an unfavorable owner-induced lack of structure and responsibility with the dog.

For instance, many of the attacks on children come from dogs who are left alone with them. Many more come from children left to wander around dogs when they are eating. These situations are in fact no brainers in my opinion. Dogs are not human, nor are they babysitters.

Dogs are animals with natural instincts to protect themselves and their food. Training, of course can teach a dog to curb those instincts and again, be a good citizen.

However, would anyone want to test a dog by putting a child in the middle of a dangerous situation?

Improper Training Can Lead to Aggression

The most dangerous dogs in the world are the ones who have improper training or none at all and the most aggressive dog breeds are the ones who have the potential to do bad things if left to their own devices and not trained properly.

Understanding the breed of dog is essential to a positive outcome for any dog we choose. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses is also essential in providing them a safe environment and a life where they feel successful.

There are many misconceptions about dog breeds today and many movements to ban certain dog breeds altogether. I think that would be a mistake on so many levels as each breed has its own unique qualities that make it special. Extinction should not be an answer as many of these dogs have been bred down through the decades successfully.

There are no easy answers when it comes to aggression in dogs. Our dogs are only as good as we allow them to be. Much as when we have children, we need to train up our pets to live their lives happily coexisting with us by learning the rules of the road.

Discipline is the name of the game when it comes to any dog breed but especially so when it comes to breeds with a tendency towards aggression or dog breeds that are large and strong.

There should be a zero tolerance policy for pet owners who do not understand the proper care for dogs in their possession. I believe that if we started at the core of the problem and people were smarter about man's best friend, there would be fewer and fewer bite reports and perhaps less need for the most dangerous dog lists.

As the scripture says "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it." This most definitely applies to our canine companions as well.

Questions & Answers

Question: Why isn't the Akita listed as an aggressive dog breed?

Answer: I'm not certain. I have heard that they are not good with children but then in all truth, ANY dog can be a dangerous dog breed. It depends upon their individual characteristics and most importantly, their training and socialization.

Question: My dog will be fine, playing, and suddenly snap and lunge for me growling as if he is about to attack me. What are your thoughts?

Answer: What kind of dog? Are you sure that it is not 'growl playing?' My malamute talks incessantly and some people misinterpret that as growling. He is just playing around. My breeder did tell me that it is a good idea to make sure that you do not wrestle or pin dogs and that you simply play with them but always remain in control - especially big dogs - but all dogs. They can mistake our play behavior as wanting to engage with them as in aggression. I don't think my dogs would do that, but just to be safe, that is what I've always done. I will run and play with them, throw balls for them or do silly things with them but I am careful never to put them into any position where they feel like we are not playing. If I see them getting a little too "jazzed up" or they are playing a little too rough, I always end the play right away - pat them and say good girl or good boy and change to a different mode. If you have any questions though about your dog's behavior, I'd always advise asking a trainer just to have a look. See if you can replicate/duplicate the behavior and see if he or she thinks it is play behavior or aggressive behavior. There are many techniques to get them to stop the latter, including even a short trial of a shock collar.

Question: My brother’s dog jumped on my leg leaving a scratch. Is this an aggressive dog? I don’t know why this dog did this.

Answer: Dogs do all kinds of goofy behaviors but I do not think that a dog jumping on you is necessarily a sign of aggression. It is most often a sign of bad behavior. You can effectively train a dog not to jump on people quite easily - the dog owner and anyone who is in contact with the dog actually should know how to handle a jumping dog....especially if they are a good sized dog. It is not intended as a sign of aggression when they jump at you, on you - just a sign of excitement and because of their long nails, they can easily scratch us if we aren't careful. Hope that helps - I would look online or ask a trainer how to stop your brother's dog from jumping on anyone!


Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on June 09, 2018:

It can be, yes, Kathy. They just haven't had the opportunity to work out that particular issue and that is usually why they freak so to speak around certain people - or they have had bad experiences. I would recommend you definitely just work with a trainer on it and see what you can come up with. That has made all the difference with my malamutes as they are great dogs but they can be 'reactionary' especially if the other dog acts aggressively toward THEM. That seems to be the key. We do transfer our anxiety right down the leash and into them even if we are near them so I do recommend trying to work on it in a controlled environment. Your pup is way teachable at 1-1/2 years so I'd recommend doing it! You will be amazed at the ramp up of his level of 'awesome.' I love my dogs and I think they are awesome. However, I want other people to think that they are trustworthy most of all - and that they are awesome, too. The way to that goal is through training and consistency. Good luck!

Kathy on June 09, 2018:

We have a 1 1/2 year old St. Bernard. He’s an amazing dog but is aggressive to other dogs and sometimes will nip st people. We’ve had him since a pup and can’t think of any reason for this behavior. Now whenever around people I stress out and I’m sure he senses that. I’m not sure what to do? He is 150 pounds and we have three kids and two cats. He does get along with a few of the neighborhood dogs great! Is it a socialization thing??

Sarina on August 15, 2017:

7 year old staffi is aggressive when taken for a walk when he sees other dogs it's getting harder to take him for a walk as I've being now going late evening as no Daihatsu around

Aemos on June 22, 2017:

I have two German Boxers. One male, one female. I would be shocked beyond belief if one of them bit me with the intent to hurt or kill me, however i know enough about my male to know not to let him near any other dogs on a walk. The reason? I think he goes a little bit crazy. I've seen the look on his face when it happens. He goes wide-eyed, to the point where it looks like he's watching some great tragedy. He'll get a bit jumpy, trying to get closer. No barking, mind you, just a bit of whimpering. It's not that he can't get along with other dogs (He behaves well with my uncles Labradors and Pomeranian-Chiwawa (unless said mix starts his usual BS with my female, then i have to pull the male off him), it's just that he seems to hate other dogs on walks.

Rosa on April 22, 2017:


Mr. Gordon on November 29, 2016:

I've had My Dog Diezel for 6 months and he is 7 years old. My problem is he likes to be the Alpha in the house and likes to attack My In-Laws Black Lab who is 5 years old and isn't a fighter. My Dog was used for bate when he was a puppy, He was rescued by the ASPCA when he was a year old and the Owner before me has had him for 6 years and My Dog has no issues with dogs smaller than him but yet he like our Neighbors Horses. How do I get him to stop being aggressive towards bigger Dogs? I'm glad no blood has been shed I'd hate to pay surgery and My Father In-Law shot My Dog I'd rather move out and take My Dog with me than have someone or anyone shot My Dog.

3 on November 12, 2016:

GERMEN SHEPERDS? my german shepherd is the sweetest dog!!

Kathleen cummings on August 28, 2016:

We have had some issues with guardian dogs - either they were too protective of everyone (including us ) or they became killers of the animals they were meant to protect (a golden Pyr mix killed chickens and tried to kill a goat) I didn't want to let him go because if the golden characteristics ( I thought he would be trainable and he was living to us and children but we are a farm sanctuary and can't tolerate killing of our livestock ( and I wondered if there is any going back after they have killed - I really liked this dog even though he killed a chicken I thought he hadn't had a fair chance - I never tried training him and using slow exposure to chickens because he was marketed as a lad. What do you think is there rehabilitation for dogs that have killed. He is back at the sanctuary I purchased him from - he us not in danger but I would live to take him back and train him if that is pissibke. He was never leash trained and pulls dreadfully - the sellers told me they never leash train guardian dogs. Makes no sense to me. What do you think. I really liked your article .

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on September 16, 2012:

jsdjohndavid--I don't think you can classify any dog breed across the board as dangerous--that was the whole point of my article. However, there are certain dogs that obviously can do much more damage simply because of their size and the size of their teeth. I could not possibly venture an educated opinion regarding your situation not knowing all the circumstances--however, if action was brought against the dog owner, it certainly sounds like something was wrong from the beginning and the owner (not the dog) was at fault first and foremost. That is the way that works--especially an "intact" not neutered dog--and if he is confined to a leash---these are all setups for disaster no matter who the person is approaching the dog. It's pointless to try to argue that perhaps the dog could be/would be better if his owner(s) knew how to care for him--unfortunately this kind of event is all too common because people with dogs like this DO NOT RAISE THEM PROPERLY nor do they spend the time training them like they should. Also #1 rule---you don't put your dog into situations where they can fail. I'm sorry all that happened to you---but blame the owner--not the dog and certainly not the breed. A small dog could have done the same thing to you only it wouldn't be as severe because "size matters." Wishing you good healing--and incidentally--I have THREE mals and they have never bitten anyone--however, I take great care with mine simply because they are big and they have big teeth. In my humble opinion, that's a no-brainer~

jdsjohndavids on September 16, 2012:

So malamutes aren't dangerous? I sell dog licences door to door. A malamute was lying by the front of the house, looking lazy, unaggressive, bored. Knocked on side door. Heard someone in front of house. Went back to front of house. Malamute still looking the same, not even after banging on side door. Walk past him, then at door, CHOMP! My calf is being viciously attacked. I get away, him still biting me over and over. Fortunately on 15 foot leash. At curb, in disbelief, looking at dog still trying to get to me, the owner comes out. He says, "What the hell are you doing? You're supposed to use the SIDE door!" Suppose the owner knew the dog was dangerous? Now, with over a dozen staples and multiple stiches in my calf and shin, deep punctures and a three inch gash which tore apart my muscle, I read about the malamutes making the top 10 most dangerous dog lists. I've been off work for weeks and my leg is still not healed. This malamute did serious damage, has been designated a "dangerous dog" by the SPCA, and now has a muzzle order, a neuter operation required, owner must display dangerous dog sign on house, must carry a one million dollar insurance policy, get microchipped, and abide by all other "dangerous dog" laws and restrictions.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on March 27, 2012:

OMG - Hope you are okay!!! I've had a thing with my leg - totally unbelievable but I was walking Griff and fell down on a rock! That NEVER happens to me! I've been laid up for weeks now with a golfball knot in my leg (blood) and managed somehow to also give myself a severe burn with icing it. I'm not sure I should be giving medical advice~~~ I will do my best to check it out - but PLEASE take care - I'm thinking of you!!! Hugs and dog slurps~~ (Mine have been so sweet about NOT jumping on my damaged leg - go figure...they are more graceful than their owner by far!)

Laurel Rogers from Bishop, Ca on March 26, 2012:

I am sooooo confused, Aud! Not sure if I told you that I had my total hip replacement surgery on the 14th. They thought I'd had a heart attack during the procedure, flew me to Reno, found it was NOT a h.a., but a virulant/dangerous infection. I am good now-tons of antibiotics...if you've the time/inclination, check out the thread I wrote about it:


I do hope this isn't a repeat!!!

Laurel Rogers from Bishop, Ca on March 25, 2012:

Hey babe-thought you didn't respond to my comment-but duh, just noticed you prefer to place the most recent comments first! Ahh, I'm a tad slow...;) Anyhow, on another subject, I just had my hip replaced-FINALLY, had complications-the docs thought I'd had a heart attack during the procedure, flew me to Reno and stuck me on the Cardiac Unit for a week. I did NOT have a h.a. after all, but did have to endure the tasteless food for a week. YECH.

Anyhoo, love to you, my dear friend!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on March 12, 2012:

Hey there back, Laurel~ Good to see you - I figure the only "dangerous" aspect of some of these dogs are the people who decide to get some of the breeds. It's all about not putting your dog (any breed) into situations where they can do nothing but fail. I believe in testing your dogs to make sure they are trained appropriately but never taking them into situations where you know they might fail just because of their natural instincts.

That said, I'm grateful every day for the opportunity to share my life with my 3 goofballs. They are challenging (to me) simply because of their size but so far, so good (knocking on wood~).

Take care and thanks (as always) for your kind, kind comments!

Laurel Rogers from Bishop, Ca on March 07, 2012:

HEY there, akirchner!!! Long time no see, my friend...I'm so glad to see this writing career of yours is so incredibly successful-at least I'll bet it is. Though this hub was written quite a while ago, it is certainly timeless in its shock value, know what I mean? Ranger, dangerous? PALEEZE!

Don't know if I ever told you, but I 'acquired' a Queensland Heeler, rather, he 'acquired' me, and this breed is far more aggressive-dangerous-than my mal/wolf. Long, long story, but Clifford adopted me, and me alone, and after 1 1/2 years still growls at Anthony every time he comes to bed. He 'mouths' my hubby, growling in protectiveness, then after around a minute, allows Anthony to retire! Of course Clifford rules this home-nipping at the cats' heels-keeping them in line. Of course he patrols the house, constantly on alert. But he's never bitten anyone seriously...yet.

He's certainly 'out there' but has chosen me, and that's that.

So good to read your wonderful words-grand hub as usual!

Take great care and love to the pups.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on March 06, 2012:

Exactly, David - I think that is why it is so vital that people actually understand their breed but also are aware that on any given day in any given circumstances, things can go wrong. We as pet owners are supposed to try and minimize bad situations, and while we cannot control everything that happens, I've found it is worthwhile to try and NOT put them into situations where they can potentially fail. Thanks for stopping by!

David Resnick from New York, NY on March 06, 2012:

Thanks for sharing. It’s definitely true that while any dog can be trained to be a companion, not everyone is up to that job. Conversely, good-tempered dogs may also become vicious under the right circumstances.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on February 18, 2012:

Cute way of presenting the facts, Larry and I do agree. However, most often it seems that in my humble opinion the trouble lies in the owner and not realizing his or her own dog's 'limitations' or 'propensities' to get themselves into situations which might backfire - on both the owner and the dog.

I agree wholeheartedly - research your dog breed BEFORE getting the dog and putting the dog in harm's way. If you cannot do the 'time' with the dog, meaning training and situations appropriate to the breed, don't do it! It's as simple as that. Just because a dog "appeals" to you from the get-go doesn't mean you should have it!! Much like children, they need consistent 'parenting' as it were and most need a 'job' so if you don't have the time (or the personality) to be a responsible pet owner, babysit your friends' dogs when you need a 'fix' and don't get a dog you might doing more of an injustice than a service by 'neglecting' its needs as a breed.

Larry Fields from Northern California on February 17, 2012:

Good analysis, akirchner. Rated up and interesting.

I'd like to add that the relative dangerousness of a given breed is NOT the absolute number of dog bites, or dog bite deaths that's relevant, even when the breeds of the biters are correctly identified. The figure of merit (or demerit) is the raw statistic, DIVIDED by the sub-population of dogs in that breed.

Suppose that most people owned several hypothetical Tribble Dogs, which only bite people who look like Klingons, act like Klingons, or say, "Kaplah!". The TD could easily make The List. However the risk of an individual TD biting someone could actually be LOWER than average.

Prospective dog owners should be mindful of the relative risk for a typical dog of a certain breed, rather than the Scare-of-the-Month-Club headlines in newspapers. Hence the need for correcting for the sizes of the various sub-populations.

Unfortunately, most journalists are less intelligent than the average Border Collie. BCs never make the kind of statistical howlers to which journalists frequently succumb. *pun intended*

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on January 30, 2012:

That's an interesting point moonlake and I do agree that some dogs are just more prone to certain behaviors no matter what. In that case, all you can do is make sure you never set the dog up to 'fail.'

moonlake from America on January 29, 2012:

I think some dogs are just the way they are no matter what you do with them. You can be the leader of the pack but if that dog wants to attack it will. You can't be with your dog every minute. We have owned dogs for almost 50 years. We have had some that wouldn't hurt a fly and others that you could just not trust, not because we had done anything to make them that way. All of them had been raised around children. Some dogs are just one family dogs and they have no use for other people being around their family.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on January 29, 2012:

BDawna - you could be quite right about it - I tend to probably be a little on the "slow top" side when it comes to people posting lies. I just don't see the point to be honest but then would be a statement about life in general. I never can see the point in people not being real. Thanks for pointing it out though!

BDawna on January 26, 2012:

hmm... I'm a bit hesitant to regard this pitbull death post as genuine. Unless Sam & Holly are other dogs/animals, and not humans, there is absolutely nothing on any databases or on the internet as deaths occurring from pitbulls to a brother & sister named "Sam and Holly". You'd think there'd be something, especially since this sort of thing gets media frenzy. Also the person can't spell the country they're from? Plus name is randomized and not connected to anything. Smells a bit fishy imho. There are people on the net that try to provoke others/ issues on the web. Just wise to note.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on January 24, 2012:

Oh my - that is a hard comment to answer. I have had bad experiences myself with pit bulls but none obviously as severe as your experience. I am so sorry for your loss.

the wonderman on January 22, 2012:

in my opinion the pitball terrier is the most vicousous dangerous dog in the hole of great britian because it killed mY son and daughter sam and holly

BDawna on January 15, 2012:

Ah yes, I do understand a bit. One accidental bite & I'm in E.R. However we used to live next door to a deaf elderly couple with 2 chihuahuas & they would run out and bite us on our ankles, 2 dozen times or so. It was really annoying and earned an expletive or two, but the people were really sweet and apologetic when we got upset & no report was ever made.

Even though my dogs have never been aggressive towards people, neighborhood folk are afraid of them (due to their size). Once my dogs got out (gate wasn't latched fully) and they were running down the street. A local preschool called the police because they were terrified. I understand as there was no way for them to know that my dogs are actually friendly & gentle towards children. But if it'd been a chihuahua, it more likely would've gotten dressed in doll clothes and fed a cupcake! haha

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on January 14, 2012:

Thanks for visiting my malamute hubs, BDawna - I hear you and I also was very shocked to learn this. However, they are listed as dangerous because of a couple of things....they are considered "unpredictable" as in COULD bite someone were food involved, COULD kill a cat out of prey response, COULD, COULD, COULD. Yes, they have a great potential to disobey if as you say not properly trained. But they also have an uncanny ability to interact with their human counterparts like no other dog I've ever owned. However, that said, it is a constant thing, which you know too.

We exercise ours every day, we train them every day and we never, ever, ever put them in situations that they can fail in. However, not all pet owners are the same and that is why the bad "rep" I think. They let them run wild, they call it "natural" for them to kill small animals or they generally let them get into dog fights and do nothing to stop it. Bad behaviors in my book and bad owners in my "big" book.

I've heard from so many people out walking my dogs, etc. that say "OMG - I had a malamute and he/she was SO difficult I had to give her away or put him to sleep." That makes me sick to be honest. I always look them square in the eye though and ask "but what did YOU do about their behaviors? Did you try to FIX them or try to WORK with them?" The people are usually very innocent about their reply - "well, no - I thought they were just a bad breed."

Ah - I can only hope that some of the dog owners I've come into contact with come back in another life as that dog. Too sad sometimes but they definitely are a working breed and you need to make sure that they stay focused on what they have rather than what mischief they can find to make up for it!

Lastly, they are on the dangerous dog breed list much like many of the other large breeds simply because their teeth are HUGE. As you yourself found out, a bite is a bad thing - but imagine if that was a child. Their teeth can do a horrendous amount of damage in seconds just because they are large. Some of the WORST dogs I've ever met are small dogs - nippers, biters, etc. But they rarely have reports filed against them even when there is violence involved or bites why? Because they are so small they did relatively "little" damage.

It's a bad rap I say and I fight the malamute cause everywhere I go BUT I take them very seriously. I have no doubt that in any given circumstance, if they misbehaved seriously, I would have to lose them and that is something I just never could bear. Hence, the training, the attention, etc. I know you do the same and bravo to you~! Glad you got accepted~~~

BDawna on January 13, 2012:

I'm so shocked that malamutes and huskies make this list. I'm moving right now and signing a lease and the landlord stopped short and questioned if her insurance would cover the malamute and she thought it might be on the aggressive dog list. WHAT?! She's making an exception for me regardless as I come with references from my current landlord for my dogs, proof of full vet care & pro training, and a hefty deposit. I'm looking it up now though & am really surprised. They look like pretty girly dogs and I've found them to be polite & quiet. Yeah, my mal can be stubborn at times but that's what good training was for. I find it hard to believe that anyone would consider them dangerous!!

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on December 28, 2011:

The simplest and most effective means of establishing yourself as leader of the pack is to walk the dog on a leash. Never allow the dog to lead you. Always keep the dog by your side or slightly behind, to establish yourself as leader. Never allow the dog to go through a door or gate in front of you. You must go through first. That makes you leader of the pack.

If you let your dog walk in front, your dog becomes the leader of the pack!

Basil Alvin on December 28, 2011:

Amazing post.get nice information.

Chris from Illinois on October 31, 2011:

As the owner of rescue rottweilers, I'm always offended by these listings. Personally I think we ought to have a list of the most dangerous dog owner traits. People who encourage aggressiveness or are ignorant to what it really takes to make a dog a good canine citizens are really the problem. Certain breeds are prone to certain behaviors, but when someone keeps that in mind while training a dog, those problems can be minimized.

Great article.

homesteadpatch from Michigan on October 29, 2011:

I believe WillStarr is correct as well. If you do not establish yourself as the Alpha, you will always have trouble with the animal.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 07, 2011:

MP - Thanks so much for adding more oomph to my post. That is exactly it. There are so many 'little' dogs that are total pests and should be on the worst breed list but they are not. It is understandable that my dog breed has very large teeth - but I am totally responsible with my breed of dog. Unfortunately, I do not see the same care and attention in some other people's little dogs that needs to be addressed.

Banned breeds is like a dog holocaust in my opinion. There should be no such thing as a 'bad breed'. I think the goal should be to inform more OWNERS how to raise their bloody dogs and we would see a considerable decrease in the bite statistics!

Thanks again for stopping by!

mariahpoo from Northern California on April 07, 2011:

I loved this. I own a White German Shepard. It is so hard to find a place to rent with him. We have a place now, but it a rent from owner situation. And we are settling for sure. A lot of rental companies have a banded Dog list now and it has a lot to do with the most dangerous list. Is sad really since I have seen many dogs that are breads on the list that would never hurt anyone.

For a while I was in the door to door sales biz. I saw a lot of different people own dogs. The dogs that snapped or acted badly were many different breads. And I saw first hand that it was all about the owner. You could tell it was the owners fault the way their dogs behaved.

Great hub!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 06, 2011:

Shellie - I think they are all different - I'm not sure if Griffin and Denaya would defend me ever...they would probably go off with the bad guys hoping for a snack! Too funny with the Denaya is under the bed trembling with any noise whereas Griff doesn't even notice. We'll have to see how our little Gabby reacts...every mal's a different story as we both know!

theherbivorehippi from Holly, MI on April 06, 2011:

What?? My dogs are 4 and 5? Apparently they've never seen this 143 lb dog whine and get in the bathtub when it thunders. lol I have to say though...I'm sure they'd both tear someone to shreds to protect me...well, at least Shiloh long as they didn't have a snack to offer.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 06, 2011:

Winter - Thanks so much for stopping by - and isn't it just like with people? They get a rep and we usually only know HALF of the story! I think everything in life is all about perspective and doing the right thing the right way. Thanks for supporting my view!

Chris from Illinois on April 06, 2011:

I can't agree more. I own Rotts and we get same reputation for size, but it's all in the training, breeding and handling.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 06, 2011:

OM - Thanks so much for the read. I hear you on the space!! Wow - we are lucky we have an 'open' type of house where there is a lot of space for them to run around in while they dodge the furniture! Actually they are remarkably light on their feet (or my Griff is) for his size. We also have tile which is a godsend with all that hair!

The Chow Chow is really a funny dog and can be aggressive simply because it has a bit of an inferiority complex! Who knew? They can become insecure and want a lot of attention and are supposedly not good with kids. I've only known one in my lifetime and she was a little 'psycho'....sweet but psycho. Amazingly though, I think most folks with the proper training and encouragement can turn any 'dangerous dog' into a wonderful addition to the family. You just have to know your own limits and the dog's I think.

I expect a lot from my brood in terms of good behavior, however, I try and remember their strengths but also am aware of their weaknesses and try and avoid situations that do not accentuate the positive!

Om Paramapoonya on April 05, 2011:

Very interesting info. I don't like having large dogs as pets anyway, not because I'm afraid they might be dangerous, but because it's just more convenient for me to have small pets (less food to buy, smaller living space to provide, etc). By the way, I can't believe the chow chow also makes the list.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 05, 2011:

Crewman - now that gets even funnier and funnier! Sounds like my Griffin's personality in a turtle! That is hilarious....poor catfish!

Crewman6 on April 05, 2011:

Audrey, your question about male or female made me smile at the memory... Part of a male (yellow-eared slider) turtle's courtship ritual is to flutter his front feet (with very long nails) delicately over the back of the lady who's caught his affections. For lack of a female companion, mine developed a crush on a big catfish that shared his tank. The catfish found it hugely annoying to be followed all over the tank by this large amorous turtle! (I tried to keep my response family-rated)

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 05, 2011:

Crewman6 - I LOVE the turtle story - that is fantastic! What a great pet and how long he lived! By the way, how could you tell male or female...probably don't want to ask on this 'family' site...ha ha. Indeed the perfect pet.

Adopting dogs by 'proxy' though is just fine! I agree with you though wholeheartedly - taking on a dog is a promise to have and to hold from this day forward in sickness and in health....I think I remember that from somewhere else!! Thanks so much for the read.

Rex - Can't say as I blame your poor boxer. That's what's happened to Griffin only it was a couple of RAT dogs that bit him - in the nose no less - at the same time! Now when he greets other dogs, he doesn't know if he should growl and act tough (which he isn't at ALL) or if he should pee on himself!! Very frustrating to say the least. He is fine once he gets to know the dogs but people misinterpret his confusion for aggression and get worried about him right away. It may have something to do with those giant fangs.

As in anything in life though, it's in our case a work in progress as we try and help him 'get over' this - I hope he does! Maybe having his new little playmate the Gabster will help - we certainly hope so. Good for you that you continue to socialize your boxer though - that's the main thing. You just can't give up and hide them away if they've had an incident.

Griffin and Denaya both were attacked on the street by a loose Presa Canario I think - all I know is that it was HUGE. It came out of nowhere and attacked one and then the other. It could have been a horrendous scene but luckily some neighbors ran over and helped us get my dogs free. I've never done this before because I don't like to see any dog get a 'rep' but this dog was TRULY not friendly. He came flying at our dogs to attack while the owner just STOOD there looking stupidly at what was happening. We called the police and reported it. Again, didn't want to and felt badly about it - but this dog in this case was out of control. I blame the owner - as did the other neighbors who were ranting and raving at him!! Hopefully he will get a clue and learn to train his dog and SOCIALIZE his dog....we shall see.

Crewman6 on April 05, 2011:

Wow, excellent hub, and a great point of view. While I've 'inherited' my wife's dogs, and enjoy them immensely, I've always declined to adopt a dog of my own because I believe taking a dog into your heart is a responsibility and a promise. I'm not going to make a promise unless I'm committed to keeping the promise.

As an aside, for 24 years, I owned a turtle. He was the ultimate pet for my lifestyle. No barking, no messes on the floor, no destroyed furniture... and his vocabulary was perfect. He could tell me he wanted 'out' of his tank, back 'in' to his tank, and when he was hungry. We had a perfect understanding!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 05, 2011:

Gitrdun444 - gotta love your user name! Thanks so much for the read and I totally believe it after so many years with my canine pals and seeing the world around us.

gitrdun4444 from North Carolina on April 04, 2011:

Bottom line, you said: " I always believe that there are no bad dogs....just bad dog owners." There, inlays the problem! Awesome article, with very useful information, and very well written in my opinion! Voted up, thank you! Debbie

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 04, 2011:

Marie - Totally agree with you - it is all about how they are brought up and all that! Small dogs are some of the most vicious out there to be honest and they never make the 'dangerous dogs list'. It is tough when you happen to like big dogs and their breed is on the list through no fault of their own really - except that they have really big teeth and a lot of pounds! I am for equality in all things and you nailed it right on - the dog owner is the answer in all things canine!!

Maria Giunta from Sydney, Australia on April 04, 2011:

I agree with you Audrey, dogs are not dangerous it is just how they are trained and brought up. Our cross Cocker Spaniel/King Charles, Sassie, can be a right b*tch at times but because we have taught her otherwise, 99% of the time she is a delightful dog.

Sassie does have a nervous disposition and had she not been trained correctly or had owners who didn't care she may have developed those nervous tendencies and become an aggressive dog. It's all in the teaching, I say.

Great hub, thanks Audrey. Give the dogs a cuddle from me :)

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 04, 2011:

Thank you, Simone....more to come!

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on April 04, 2011:

This is a VERY helpful guide, akirchner. I'm glad you've written it!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 04, 2011:

chspublish - I think actually EVERY dog could be on the dangerous list because there are always personality traits that are 'dangerous' simply because we don't understand them I guess.

I had a rescued border collie and she saved our lives one night when there was an intruder and just my daughter and I were alone in the house. She sounded like a Doberman! She was wickedly protective though and unbeknownst to me, she did not like other when I added another dog to the mix and then 2 abandoned lab pups, she went a little nuts on me. She also had a penchant for chewing up poodles of all things!

Thanks so much for your insightful remarks about the border collie....a breed I dearly love but then I love them all. I do believe (it's a broken record I know) just like children - it's all in how they are raised, however, and ANY dog can be dangerous if treated in a manner that isn't appropriate or tests the limits of what they are capable of enduring. You can't expect them to reason!

chspublish from Ireland on April 04, 2011:

Had a border collie once and though her breed is on the dangerous list I would not have classified thus. She was highly trainable and extremely obedient with a great protective instinct needed sometimes to deter intruders from our farm property, but not vicioius. Unfortunately those kind of dogs may not go through the correct training at an early stage and therefore do end up creating trouble because of their very excitable nature. They generally are kept as 'working' dogs on farms to work sheep for the farmer. In that situation they are ideal dogs. The nature of the dog has to be taken into consideration when brought into a family situation as a pet. Thanks for the hub.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 03, 2011:

Dearabbysmom - I have had mostly rescue dogs over my lifetime and they really are a butt-load of work. Nothing like healing a damaged dog though and that proves that you are a caring dog owner. Thank you for saving one more!! I think if most people tried thinking about it logically they would understand that just like us humans, dogs need guidance and we are the ones who are supposed to be capable of caring for them. Like kids, they can't do it alone - and especially if they are damaged!

dearabbysmom from Indiana on April 03, 2011:

Great hub! I agree there is no such thing as a bad dog, but there is such a thing as a damaged dog. I've got a rescued border collie with fear aggression issues. He is much, much better but it has been a butt-load of work. And it will be on-going. Thank you so much for addressing the responsibility of dog owners. People need to research and committ to providing what the dog needs before diving in.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 03, 2011:

BJ - Thanks for your great comment (as always)....a puggle is a pug plus a beagle. I have no doubt about the poodles....I have another article I will be doing and hope you are not offended.

I had a border collie I tried in vain to train NOT to try and eat poodles. She never hurt them but people just really had a problem with her shaking the living daylights out of them! It was not my finest training moment. I simply could not abide by some of the training methods that my so-called experts were giving me so I did the next best thing....found her a home with a kindly old gentleman who had NO poodles for 50 miles around!

drbj and sherry from south Florida on April 03, 2011:

Important information, Audrey, for every current and wannabe dog owner. I, too, do not believe there is any such thing as a 'bad dog.' Only bad owners and bad situations.

Thanks for this easy to read hub. BTW, what is a puggle, A combination of a pug and a ??? Forgive my ignorance but the only dogs I have ever owned were very small poodles and they had hearts like lions. Big dogs were afraid of them. True!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 03, 2011:

I know, Dim - neither can I believe that malamutes are on the list! Go is after all though ALL ABOUT HOW YOU RAISE THEM. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. These 'statistics' are compiled according to bite reports unfortunately and as I pointed out, because we own big dogs with big teeth, I think that's what stands out...not all the little rat dogs that bite people and other animals every single day and go unscathed! Terribly unfair in my humble opinion. Here in the US, you cannot even get homeowners if you have certain dogs because they are considered 'high risk'. Is this fair? Especially when dog owners such as you and me are so dang good about raising GOOD dogs! I'm done with my rant now!! (maybe for a while)

Lela - GREAT points - I knew a chow growing up and she was a feisty thing for sure....not your run of the mill kinda dog but if you know what you're doing (as you obviously did to have such success), that's what it's all about.

My mals are great dogs - fantastic dogs - but I always worry about them 'reacting' to certain things - like biting small rat dogs (Griffin's been bitten twice now in the face!!) or sudden movements by small dogs triggering a prey response. I err on the side of being cautious - but thankfully NO problems! That's what it's all about. I have friends who scold me sometimes and say my dogs are harmless....I invite them to look once more at their teeth and say that! It could be an 'accidental' puncture but it could kill something unintentionally so I try to always monitor their behavior, correct the 'not so good' and reinforce their positive attitudes.

They are fantastic with children - however, again, due to the size of their incisors and my rescued malamute's food one is allowed to have food around her and I will not tempt her by leaving it out for 'random feeding'. It's just not fair. I also will not let kids of any size, shape or form approach my dog with anything in their hands simply because I worry about them getting a chomp - harmless on my friendly dogs' part but it could hurt someone. Same with jumping on people - I know...I'm very anal - but I figure if you have a dog that's on this dang list, you should be OVERLY cautious to a fault to protect the world rather than create more of a problem for the breed - or 'dangerous' dogs in general.

I still think the most dangerous element of this whole scenario though is the dimwit owners - more to come on later hubs on THAT stupid score! I honestly wish I could make citizen many areas but especially in this one area. I have not met such stupid goons as some of the pet owners I observe. Hopefully they can read and maybe they'll find their way to my pages!!

P.S. It gets up to about 105-110 here sometimes and the mals do fine - except HERE it cools off at night - we run them back and forth though inside when it's too hot and give the excuse that we are running the AC for them!

Lela from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on April 03, 2011:

Excellent hub and useful. I hope all the potential dog owners check this out.

I had Chow dogs once and they were the best guys in the world - to me. But if anyone tried to come on our property, they would certainly be dangerous dogs. We had to put up a warning sign. They are both gone now and our current dogs don't even bite their fleas. But I miss my Chows the most. They were special as I'm sure your Malamutes are! They certainly are beautiful!

Texas is NOT the state for Malamutes, so don't even go there fellow Texans.

De Greek from UK on April 03, 2011:

IP, my last dog of twelve years was a St Bernard and previous to him three Great Danes in sequence. They would not hurt a living thing. I cannot beliee that they are listed as aggressive dogs. No way!

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 03, 2011:

Suhail - that is a DELIGHTFUL story! I hear you on the panic first and relief 2 malamutes decided to prank us by getting in our downstairs door. My girlfriend was visiting with her toy chihuahua who is a PAIN in the butt - she is so aggressive. And they had a part chihuahua who was a cranky old buzzard - both dogs were lying in their beds in our dining room area.

My mals came charging up the stairs and went right to the dogs. I figured the same thing....bloody news at 11:00!!! Lo and behold they only sniffed the 2 miscreants and then went over and laid down....whew!

Actually my Griffin who is 2 years old almost has a best buddy (besides his new niece puppy) daughter's puggle - she weighs less than 20 pounds and they look ridiculous playing together! I just make sure we always err on the side of caution though and make sure someone is always present to say 'easy' - to either one of them! She is absolutely ferocious!

Suhail Zubaid aka Clark Kent from Mississauga, ON on April 02, 2011:

I believe that a dog is a reflection of his owner and therefore, I agree with the author that there is no dangerous breed, but only dangerous dogs from the way they are brought up. I once had a female GSD and a male Doberman and people thought they were ferocious from the way they looked at the strangers. But I always knew they were like me, bold and abrupt from the outside and meek from the inside. They showed their true character when one day a cat with her 4-5 kittens came out of our neighbours home on to the driveway through an open door as we chatted. My dogs were off leash and rushed towards the cat, treeing her. Each of them then grabbed a kitten, setting panic in the neighbourhood. Everyone thought that the kittens will be dead in seconds. But lo and behold, the dogs came over to the neighbour dropping the two kittens at his feet. No injuries, no harm, just a prank from the "ferocious dogs". I had the biggest sigh of relief.

And yes, voted up from my side too.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 02, 2011:

Thanks, Darski - appreciate the vote up!

Darlene Sabella from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ... on April 02, 2011:

Yes, your right you diffently know your dogs that's is a given. I love this hub, beautiful and done to perfection. You are truly a master of writing hubs, cooking, dog training, interview, LOL and so much more...rate up, love & peace darski

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 02, 2011:

Alekhouse, Until the past 10 or so years, I was a lab and other breed fan myself and they are wonderfully gentle companions, too. However, I've met a few that were super aggressive and even bordered on vicious - all in the training. I think that bears out the idea that I am trying to get across here....if the circumstances are the same for a dog of any breed across the board, they can and will most likely end up in the same place - as a dangerous dog.

It's in part due to their inherent nature and their weaknesses and strengths, but I believe personally that the greatest factor in a dog being stable or dangerous is the human element. We can make a dog or break a dog so easily.

Thanks so much for your great comment!

Nancy Hinchliff from Essex Junction, Vermont on April 02, 2011:

Really good hub, Audrey. You made a lot of good points. I have always had Golden Retrievers and they are pretty gentle even though they can be fairly large.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 02, 2011:

Pamela...Thanks so much for your kind comment. I think I know a lot but then every day I learn something new. Dogs are complex, just like people are but you are right on there...if you don't raise them the correct way, you can have a disaster waiting to happen no matter what the breed of dog.

I am very passionate, however, about certain breeds of dogs being labeled as dangerous. I think ANY dog in ANY situation that is bad can be dangerous. Hopefully folks will realize one of these days that if they take on a dog, it should be a forever kind of deal and they should think about their responsibility and do the 'right thing'.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 02, 2011:

I think this is an excellent article as I've always wondered why some dogs are so much more dangerous than others. I know that some small dogs will bite you more easily than some large ones but you never hear about them. I do think the way that the dogs are raised is essential to their training. You seem to be very knowledgeable about dogs and I learned a lot reading your hub. Voted/rated up.

Audrey Kirchner (author) from Washington on April 02, 2011:

Totally agree with ya Will - that's why I think we get along well with our pups. They are terrifically fun to work with because they are so highly intelligent but they do require an alpha!

WillStarr from Phoenix, Arizona on April 02, 2011:

In my opinion, it's the owner that's dangerous.

If you are not willing to become the leader of the pack, you should not have a dog, because you will not be able to control it.

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