Top 10 Meanest Dogs

While it is important to remember that a dog’s behavior and temperament can be influenced by a variety of factors, including their upbringing and training, some dangerous breeds have historically been associated with more aggressive tendencies.

Discover the compelling truth about dog bites in the United States, as over 4.5 million people suffer these, with over 800,000 seeking medical attention – a staggering number, of which approximately half are innocent children. [1]

We will explore the top 10 meanest dog breeds and discuss their temperaments.

1. Pit Bull

2. Rottweiler

3. German Shepard

4. Doberman Pinscher

5. Chow Chow

6. Akita

7. Alaskan Malamute

8. Bullmastiff

9. American Bulldog

10. Boxer

Top 10 Most Aggressive Dogs Infographic

Pit Bull

It is not surprising that there is a conversation about pit bulls being considered the most harmful dog breed. Pit bulls have been involved in the majority of fatal dog attacks in the U.S.

Between 2005-2019 these vicious pit bull bites tragically claimed three-hundred-forty-six lives out of 521 deaths due to dog bites in total. Pit bulls were responsible for 69% of these fatalities. The statistics are concerning when considering that pit bulls only represent 8% of all dogs in the country. [2]

Pit Bulls have gained a reputation for aggression due to past instances of dog fighting. The biting technique, sustained clutching, and fierce shaking of pit bulls during attacks often lead to serious damage and fatalities, making them formidable opponents for both humans and other animals due to their strength and brutality.

The term “pit bull” is commonly used to refer to various dog breeds. The breeds include American Pit Bull Terrier, Pitbull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, American Bully, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and dogs with a mix of these breeds.

Pit Bull


Rottweilers were originally bred as herding dogs and guard dogs. They are often protective of their family and can be aloof with strangers. Due to their protective instincts and guardian tendencies towards their owners, Rottweilers may perceive strangers as potential threats, increasing the risk of a dog bite incident.

Rottweilers can cause serious harm or even death to individuals. Rottweilers are responsible for 10% of all fatal attacks in the US. From 2005 to 2019, Rottweilers were responsible for 51 fatalities. Rottweilers can be dangerous when faced with intruders. [2]

The aggressive and territorial behavior of these dogs is a significant threat to both humans and other animals. Several countries, including Ireland, Portugal, and Poland, have implemented regulations that prohibit the adoption or ownership of these dogs.


German Shepherd

German Shepherds are known for their loyalty and intelligence and are often used in police and military work. They have the ability to launch powerful attacks. The contributions of individuals to the armed forces and police departments are widely acknowledged and appreciated. If not properly trained or with poor socialization, they can exhibit aggressive behaviors.

Due to their strong territorial instincts and aggressive nature, they are considered to be one of the most aggressive dog breeds. During the period 2005-2018, German Shepherds were responsible for almost 20 deaths, which accounted for approximately 5% of all dog bite deaths, as well as numerous non-fatal biting incidents. [3]

These dogs are typically strong, and energetic, and may display aggression if not properly socialized and trained. A German shepherd bite can cause serious injuries, including damage to blood vessels, bones, and potentially fatal hemorrhaging.

Due to the possessiveness and territorial nature of their breed, attacks can happen if their territory is invaded or if they encounter unfamiliar individuals.

German Shepherd

Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman Pinscher is recognized for its distinctive appearance, which includes cropped ears, a level back, and a perpetually watchful demeanor. Their name, “pinscher,” is derived from German, indicating their innate inclination to attack and bite.

Doberman Pinschers are known for their reputation as guard dogs and are often mentioned alongside German Shepherds for their security abilities.

Dobermans were associated with approximately 6 fatalities between 2005 and 2017, as well as several biting incidents. Even though this number may be relatively lower compared to certain other breeds, it is important to consider their potential to cause significant harm. [4]

Their bite is exceptionally strong and exerts a pressure of approximately three-hundred pounds, contributing to their renowned reputation.

Doberman Pinscher

Chow Chow

Chow Chows are a breed recognized for their thick double coat, large skull, and distinctive blue-black tongue, which bears a resemblance to lions. It is commonly believed that they originated in China many centuries ago and were initially bred for various tasks such as hunting, herding, and guarding.

Chow Chows stand out from other dog breeds with their unique and reserved demeanor. While forming strong bonds with their owners and displaying loyalty, they tend to be cautious and reserved around unfamiliar individuals.

Chow Chows need early socialization as puppies because of their inherent protective instinct. To promote the development of emotionally and mentally stable individuals, it is important to expose them to various experiences from an early age.

Chow Chow may exhibit abnormal behaviors if not adequately socialized, potentially displaying excessive aggression or timidity.

Chow Chows were responsible for 61 attacks and 8 deaths between 2014 and 2020. [8]



Akitas are dogs known for their strength and determination, originally bred for guarding. Some dogs may display aggression towards other dogs and may require experienced owners who can handle their assertive behavior.

Akita was also taken into consideration as one of the world’s most dangerous dog breeds. Akitas are renowned for their unwavering loyalty, protective instincts, and the deep bond they form with their families.

Responsible handling and adequate socialization are essential, as these dogs might display wariness or even hostility towards unfamiliar individuals, becoming a threat to humans and even animals.

Akitas are known for their natural inclination to protect their loved ones, making them excellent watchdogs. They have a strong instinct to defend their loved ones and their territory. Without proper and consistent training, this instinct to protect can turn into harmful hostility.

There were roughly 40 Akita dog bites per year over the last 50 years. [9]


Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamutes have a strong prey drive and can be aggressive towards smaller animals. They require firm and consistent training to ensure that their pack instincts are properly managed.

The fascinating Alaskan Malamute is a dog breed that bears a striking resemblance to the Siberian Husky, yet it surpasses its wolf-like relative in size. These canines boast impressive strength and power, with a minimum weight of 38 kg and a standing height of 25 inches.

These dogs need attentive training from an early age due to their high energy levels and mischievous tendencies, which may sometimes lead them to be less responsive to their owner’s commands.

Despite causing only 4 fatalities between 2005 to 2017, they are deadly canines because of their vicious bite. The Alaskan Malamutes are robust and assertive dogs originally bred to thrive in the challenging Arctic conditions, where they were used for hunting and labor tasks. Without proper socialization and training, these dogs could potentially become dangerous. [6]

It is not recommended to have Alaskan Malamutes as pets for families with young children or first-time dog owners. The increased aggressiveness in these dogs may be attributed to mistreatment or negative experiences in rescue facilities.

Alaskan Malamute


Bullmastiffs have great strength, endurance, and alertness; they are powerfully built but active. Bullmastiffs were originally bred as guardians. They are known for their protective nature and can be wary of strangers. Early socialization and obedience training are important.

A typical bullmastiff’s PSI bite measurement is approximately 556. According to data from 2005-2018, Bull Mastiffs were responsible for 14 fatalities and accounted for 3.4% of all fatal attacks in the US. [5]

The Bullmastiff is commonly referred to as the Gamekeeper’s Night Dog.


American Bulldog

The American Bulldog is a breed of dog that has been bred for its strength and courage. They are loyal protectors and can be aggressive if not trained properly.

American Bulldogs are known to be enthusiastic and energetic. They have an eagerness to please their owners, but they also require firm leadership, or else they may become unruly and demanding. As with any breed, early socialization and obedience training will help ensure that your American Bulldog grows into a well-rounded adult.

They have been known to attack smaller animals, including cats. On occasion, they display aggression towards humans, although this is rare with proper training.

American Bulldogs have been involved in serious attacks and 15 fatalities between 2005-2017, which is why they are considered one of the meanest dogs alive. [6]



The dogs’ aggressive behavior can be attributed to a combination of factors, including a lack of awareness about warning signs and insufficient training.

Boxers were responsible for 64 attacks and 7 kills between 2014 and 2020 in the United States. The breed is widely recognized and known for being affectionate with children, although 19 incidents involved children as victims. [7]


The dogs’ aggressive behavior can be attributed to a combination of factors, including a lack of awareness about warning signs and insufficient training.

Boxers were responsible for 64 attacks and 7 kills between 2014 and 2020 in the United States. The breed is widely recognized and known for being affectionate with children, although 19 incidents involved children as victims. [7]

If you have been bitten by one of the top 10 meanest dogs or any other dog, please contact our experienced dog bite attorneys at Goldberg & Loren  for a free legal consultation today.


[1] Dog bite prevention. (n.d.). American Veterinary Medical Association.

[2] 2019 U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities – (n.d.). – Some Dogs Don’t Let Go.

[3] U.S. Dog Bite . (n.d.). Retrieved April 28, 2019, from

[4] McCarthy, N. (2018, September 14). Infographic: America’s Most Dangerous Dog Breeds. Statista Daily Data.

[5] Martyn, M. (2023, June 3). Dog Bite Statistics – Overview Reveals Shocking Revelations. WAF.

[6] U.S. Dog Bite Fatalities: Breeds of Dogs Involved, Age Groups and Other Factors Over a 13-Year Period (2005 to 2017). (n.d.). – Some Dogs Don’t Let Go.

[7] Griffin, C. (2021, May 13). U.S. Statistics on Dog Bites 2021 (19 Breeds Compared). Top Dog Tips.

[8] U.S. Statistics on Dog Bites 2021 (19 Breeds Compared). (2021, March 17). Top Dog Tips.

[9] Akita Bite Statistics – The Akita Life. (2022, January 6). The Akita Life.

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