Most Dangerous Dog Breeds: Should They Be on Your Homestead?

most dangerous dog breeds

There is no questioning a dog’s loyalty, but, like any animal, a dog can be dangerous. As a dog lover or an owner, it is crucial to note that dogs can be good or bad depending on socialization. How you treat your dog will have an impact on whether it remains well-mannered or turns aggressive. This, in turn, can affect whether you keep these so-called ‘most dangerous dog breeds’ on your homestead.

Remember that there is no such thing as a harmless dog. Any dog can pose a threat. It all depends on the circumstance. Dogs very rarely attack humans without provocation, which is why having strict structure and regular training can ensure your dog maintains control. A well behaved dog reflects more on the owner than the dog itself. 

With all this in mind, some breeds still pose a larger threat than others, based on size and temperament. Some dogs will drop you to the ground using sheer strength, while others, like the Rottweiler, can easily crush bone with a bite force of up to 328 pounds of pressure. The following is a list of some of the most dangerous dog breeds and the reasons why they attack.

What are the most dangerous dog breeds?

Opinions differ, but in general, the American Pit Bull Terrier, the Siberian Husky, the Rottweiler, and the Great Dane are understood to be the most dangerous dog breeds.

American Pit Bull Terrier

The main problem with this breed is that they are hard to train. American pit bulls instinctively chase things, which makes them dangerous if you have other pets in your home. It is an aggressive breed, known to attack when it feels threatened. This aggression can also lead to destructiveness when bored. This breed is hard-headed, so you’ll need to be assertive in training to ensure you get the best results. Note that for every dog, proper training is the best way to counter any negative traits. 

Why do pit bulls attack?

The pit bull is an inherently aggressive dog. This breed has been directly responsible for more than half of the vicious dog attacks in the US. Previously bred as hunting dogs, American pit bull terriers are ferocious and attack people more frequently than most other breeds. As one of the most vicious on this list, the pit bull attacks without reservation.  

Unlike other dog breeds that mainly attack children, pit bulls don’t discriminate. They attack adults just as frequently as children. The most alarming characteristic of this breed is that it lacks the inhibition to attack animals larger than itself. A pit bull will attack anything that provokes it, for instance, a much larger dog or even a human. This lack of inhibition makes this dog a ticking time bomb, especially around children, who are less likely to understand dog behavior.

Pit bulls are also known to attack without warning. This trait makes it difficult for people to run to safety or to defend themselves. The American pit bull terrier is a notoriously aggressive and territorial breed, and it is also known to have a strong pack mentality. There have been several cases where pit bulls have attacked people in packs, to the point where the police intervention became necessary. 

Pit bulls are also considered bullies. They start random fights with other dogs and chase after other animals without provocation. They can randomly attack people on street corners and go on a biting spree. It is these characteristics that led to their banning in England in the 1990s. 

While there is no such thing as an inherently dangerous dog, it is worth noting that most American pit bull terriers descend from a line of aggressive, vicious dogs bred for fighting. Essentially, these dogs inherit this natural aggressiveness, making them more likely to attack humans and other animals, and thus one of the most dangerous dog breeds out there. The only way to counter these negative traits is to train and socialize them from an early age.

Siberian Husky

Huskies are a beautiful breed, with their well-furred coats and compact bodies. The risk with this breed is restlessness and a high propensity for unpredictability. As a wild breed, the husky is known to have strong predatory instincts that make it a threat, especially to small children. It all boils down to training and socialization. Huskies are an active breed, so ensure you maintain a training regimen that involves plenty of activity. 

Why do huskies attack?

Huskies have strong predatory instincts, which means that it is probably not a good idea to try and socialize them with other small pets like cats, rabbits, or even birds. It is possible to integrate them with other dogs, but if you have smaller pets and free-ranging animals on the homestead, try and supervise the interaction when your husky is very young. Huskies are known to attack smaller pets. 

Huskies are a stubborn breed, and it is common to misread their intentions. What makes this breed dangerous is that they rarely bark, which means that you may not immediately identify hostile behavior. Huskies are also fussy eaters. They eat when they want to, and they often turn their noses away from food for several days. The key to dealing with huskies is to understand what triggers their unwanted behavior. Although this breed is quite friendly, it is not a good idea to let strangers smother them with hugs. These dogs are territorial, and attention from a stranger may cause fear. Huskies will attack when they feel cornered. 

Like with most breeds, pain accounts for a large number of attacks by huskies. This pain may be a result of injury, illness, or mistreatment. A husky will snarl at you because it is in pain, not because it is inherently hostile. It is critical to be familiar with these responses. 

Huskies are also very prone to mood swings, which makes them dangerous and unpredictable. This breed can snap suddenly, without warning, and attack. This unpredictability makes huskies a dangerous breed, and without proper socialization, these sudden attacks can be lethal. 

According to a report on Dog Attacks, Maimings, and Deaths in the US (1982-2014), huskies rank as the fifth most dangerous dog breed. This breed caused 26 deaths within this period and an additional 27 serious injuries. It is important to note that of the 83 attacks by huskies, 51 were on children and only eight on adults. The remaining 24 incidences mainly involved cats and other smaller pets. The takeaway here is that huskies should never be left unsupervised around small children or smaller animals and birds. 


Rottweilers are a big, muscular breed that is considered gentle giants by many dog owners. The danger with this breed lies mostly in their territorial nature, a feature that makes them dangerous to strangers. The size of this breed alone makes it a threat to children, the elderly, or anyone who doesn’t know how to handle them. Rottweilers are also generally aggressive, and they have a massive bite force. 

Why do rottweilers attack?

Rottweilers are known for the most vicious dog attacks on humans, with a whopping 11% fatality rate. This breed is intimidating, with a bite strong enough to break bones and rip off limbs. The reasons behind these vicious attacks stem from the Rottweiler being an inherently aggressive breed. Some dog owners breed them specifically for fighting purposes. Another reason for this aggressive temperament is that these dogs are highly territorial and will attack anything that threatens their turf, including humans. 

Rottweilers are muscular dogs, quite dangerous to young children and the elderly, even when playing. There have been several cases where a dog knocks over or crushes a child accidentally and causes serious injuries. It is also not advisable to leave these dogs alone with kids because they are highly irritable. A dog may be confused and feel threatened by a child crying. Some attacks are mainly because the dog doesn’t know any better. 

Poor socialization is also a common reason why Rottweilers become uncontrollable. These dogs require strict supervision and constant training from an early age. This training allows them to adapt to strangers when they get older. It also prevents them from being on the offensive when they meet unfamiliar people. A well-trained dog is easier to control. 

Rottweilers also tend to have an acute pack mentality, and they may attack other animals or smaller breeds as a show of dominance. Again, this all boils down to how well you train your dog and how well you socialize them with other animals. This pack mentality can be very dangerous, especially if you have other pets in your home. Note that Rottweiler attacks are vicious. 

Great Dane

Believe it or not, Great Danes are also on the list of most dangerous dog breeds. Great Danes thrive in familiar environments. They are mostly friendly with the right training, but they can become very dangerous if not properly socialized. The reason this breed makes this list is that it is very tall! An adult Great Dane can grow to the height of a fully grown man. The tallest Dane on record is 44 inches (1.118 meters) when sitting. A dog this size, even when playing, can be a threat to children, so imagine the kind of damage it can do when scared or angry. Great Danes are also not very adaptable to new environments. 

Why do Great Danes attack?

Similar to many other breeds, Great Danes are not too fond of strangers. This territorial nature means that they may attack anything they see as foreign. Their size can make an attack dangerous, which is why proper training and socialization are crucial. While these dogs are naturally friendly, they will still attack if they feel threatened. It is also important to note that although dogs are social, they instinctively respond to different circumstances, so always ensure you avoid anything that may trigger an attack. 

Great Danes are also likely to attack upon mistreatment. Dogs tend to reciprocate when it comes to abuse. Pain is one of the main reasons why dogs lash out, so ensure no one around is abusing your dog. An attack from a Great Dane can be lethal, hence why proper training is critical.

Remember that these dogs are massive, so they require a lot more food. Compared to other breeds, they also need lots of love and attention. It is common for underfed dogs to turn aggressive, so ensure your dog is well taken care of. Essentially, you need to ensure that you are ready and able to fulfill this commitment.

This breed also has several health issues that may contribute to aggressive behavior. Note that these dogs only have a life expectancy of 7-10 years. This short life span makes them prone to heart conditions, blindness, deafness, and other genetic illnesses. 

A study by researchers at the University of Barcelona revealed that most aggression by these dogs was pain-related, the most common condition being hip-dysplasia (Journal of Veterinary Behavior).

Great Danes can be dangerous, especially to strangers. These dogs have also attacked people in neutral locations, with many of their victims being other pets and children. An attack from a Great Dane can result in death or critical injury, such as the level of power these dogs have. Never try to engage a dog when it is barking aggressively, growling, or showing any sign of hostility. Always keep your distance from dogs you don’t know. 

Their imposing size makes Great Danes a dangerous breed. A survey of dog bite statistics in the US (1982-2014) revealed that of the 37 Great Dane attacks, three resulted in death, and another 19 resulted in grave injuries. Great Danes can make good pets, but, again, only if you train them well. 

The bottom line on the so-called most dangerous dog breeds

Behavior depends mostly on temperament and training. Any dog can be good or bad. It all depends on how well you train it and how assertive you are in this process. Dogs require plenty of love, care, attention, exercise, and activity. These are responsibilities you have to take on to ensure your dog does not become a liability, especially when life on your homestead can be threatened by it.


Alice is a writer who grew up on a beautiful homestead in rural Old England. She now lives in New England with her fur babies and is on a mission to return to the land for a simpler, greener, and all-round kinder existence.

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