Top 18 Scariest Dog Breeds

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 06/23/22 •  15 min read
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Have you ever wondered what the scariest dog breeds are? Were you ever scared by a mean dog? Do you know what the meanest dog in the world is?

If you’ve ever wondered about scary dogs, then you’ve come to the right place! We’ll take a look at some the scariest and meanest dogs around! Well, some of them may only look scary or mean—they may actually just be the friendliest pups around! Let’s get started!

What Makes a Dog Seem Scary?

There are many reasons a dog can appear scary to people. Their appearance, for one thing. If you’re confronted by a large dog that’s showing all his teeth and growling, then you know to be scared, or at least wary!

Sometimes the dog is not only large but also has a muscular build, strong jaws and a big head. You think about those huge jaws coming down on a hand or leg, and that’s enough to scare you out of your wits!

Generally speaking, scary dogs are usually on the larger side. Having said that, personally we’ve come across some little dogs that were pretty scary. Even if these little guys only come to your ankles, they can still be pretty scary when they’re showing all those teeth!

Another characteristic that’s associated with scary dogs is their disposition. Think of a scary dog, and we’re sure you’ll think of one that’s snapping, growling and chasing you.

Let’s not forget a dog’s bark! Some dogs have a bark that’s worse than their bite. Big dogs usually have a big bark, along with a deep growl. No one wants to mess with them!

Dogs and Their Aggressive Nature

A dangerous dog is one that can be a threat to other animals and people. They are the kind of dog that will attack without any warning. This is why they are so dangerous. While some dogs are considered as a man’s best friend, there are others that can be very dangerous.

Dog owners should be careful about the kind of dog they are keeping. These dogs should not be given to young children or even adults that are not familiar with them. The best way to keep your dog safe is to get one that is good-natured and calm.

Some dogs are known for their aggressive nature. These dogs are usually used as guard dogs or protection dogs. These aggressive breeds are often considered as a threat to the owners and other animals.

However, some intimidating dogs are actually gentle. They will never attack you unless they are provoked. These dogs can be easily trained and this is why it is important to know the dog’s temperament before getting one. A proper training is also necessary to keep your dog safe. The kind of dog you are getting should be in accordance with the family’s lifestyle.

Dogfighting is a big problem in the world today. Dogfighting is the use of dogs for fighting other dogs. This kind of fighting is a very dangerous thing because it involves animals that are trained to fight each other for fun or money. It is also illegal in most countries.

Some working dogs are used in many dangerous tasks. They are trained to perform tasks that involve the dog’s intelligence and obedience. These dogs are considered as loyal and very helpful. They are usually found in farms, offices, factories, mines, and other places where dangerous activities take place.

Scary Dog Breeds

If you’re curious about some of the scariest dogs around, then you’ll enjoy this list!

1). Bullmastiff

These dogs are very intimidating to look at. They stand anywhere from 24-27 inches at the shoulder, and weigh in between 100 to 130 lbs. These are big dogs! They have stocky, muscled bodies, and look to take life very seriously.

These dogs can be aggressive but are also known for being extremely obedient and loyal to their pet parents and families. They make an excellent choice if you need a guard dog. Your home will be quite safe and secure, and so will your family, if you choose a Bullmastiff.

2). Rottweiler

Also called a Rottie, these dogs have a bad reputation. They do not like confrontations and will not back down whether it’s a person or dog doing the confronting. Rotties are large dogs that can weigh between 110 and 132 lbs and stand about 24-27 inches. That’s a lot of dog! These dogs are known for being temperamental and just the sight of them can scare most people. However, these dogs can also make the best and most loyal companions. Rottweilers make excellent guard dogs, but they’re not the best choice for families that have small kids.

3). PitBull

These dogs appear scary to many people. They’re extremely muscular and large, which puts many people off. They can be standoffish with people they don’t know; however, they can also be the most affectionate of companions. Pit Bulls also make great guard dogs. One of the problems with this breed isn’t with the dogs, but their pet parents. Some people who want to appear impressive get Pit Bulls and then don’t know how to handle them properly. Without proper guidance from a strong pet parent, the dog will then take over as the “alpha.” Then behavioral problems can develop, which can make the dog more dangerous.

4). Perro de Presa Canario

This is a huge dog that comes from the Canary Islands. These pups are also known as Canary Mastiffs. They’re huge. Did we mention that? They are very strong dogs that can be quite dangerous when threatened or when their family is in danger. However, they can also be very friendly and loving. These dogs are best for experienced pet parents, and for families that don’t have small children. The Perro de Presa Canrio needs proper socialization, training and handling to be a well-mannered, loving companion.

5). Chow Chow

These dogs look like large puffs of fur, or maybe a bear. They look so placid on the surface. However, you don’t want to cross a Chow Chow. Originating from Northern China, these beautiful dogs with dark tongues can be quite friendly and pleasant. However, they have also been known to attack people without provocation.

Mean Looking Dogs

While some dogs may look mean, they may actually have a heart of gold! That’s the story with the dogs in this list! These may be scary looking dogs, but they can also be the most loving.

6). German Shepherds

While they have a reputation for being great watchdogs, German Shepherds are also some of the most loving and loyal dogs around. They may be suspicious of strangers and protective of their home and family, but these dogs truly have a heart of gold. Just don’t enter his yard or home if he doesn’t know you!

7). Great Dane

These are some of the largest dogs around. In fact, they are the tallest dogs in the world! Great Danes can be as tall as 32 inches at the shoulder, and weigh as much as 175 lbs. These dogs may look scary or mean due to their size, but they really are the most loving and gentle giants around! That’s why they make such great family dogs. They are social dogs who love to be around people and other animals.

8). Doberman Pinschers

These dogs look mean to many people. Did you know these dogs were originally bred by a tax collector? His name was Herr Karl Louis Dobermann. The story goes that he was a little leery of traveling around with large bags of money, so he decided to breed a guard dog. The result was the Doberman. These athletic dogs are known for their intelligence, and have been used in police work, scent tracking, diving, search & rescue, therapy and as guides for the blind. This breed is the 5th smartest dog breed, and they’re easily trained. One problem—they’re so smart that they sometimes outthink their trainers and pet parents. These days, Dobermans are still used as guard dogs, but more and more they are becoming companions who love their pet parents and families. Breeders are trying to work out these dogs’ more aggressive qualities, so their softer side comes through.

Meanest Dog Breeds

Looks can be deceiving, as is the case with one of the dogs in this list. Remember, a dog doesn’t have to be the largest dog to be one of the meanest!

9). Chihuahua

These tiny dogs have been known to attack strangers and other dogs. Remember the term “ankle biter”? That would apply to some of these diminutive hounds. Chihuahuas are the smallest dogs in the world! They usually stand about 5-8 inches tall, and can weigh up to 6 lbs. And these tiny dogs have a long lifespan—from 14-16 years. You’ll be surprised by this next fact. In relation to their body size, they have the largest brain of all dog breeds. Really? Yes, it’s true! Chihuahuas can be overly possessive of their pet parents, and some Chihuahuas believe they are a lot bigger than they really are! Whatever they perceive as a threat, they’ll go after—teeth and all!

10). Giant Schnauzer

These are not naturally aggressive dogs, but they were bred originally to herd cattle and act as guard dogs. Giant Schnauzers are highly intelligent and have a lot of energy. They’re very territorial and suspicious of strangers. When these characteristics are combined with their strong territorial possessiveness, they can be aggressive as well as destructive. You don’t want to wander into the yard or home of one of these beautiful dogs without them knowing you first!

Other Dogs Breeds that Are Aggressive or Look Like It

Some important mentions are:

11). Cane Corso

Cane Corso (pronounced kane ko-ro) is a large, sturdy dog breed that was bred to be a hunter. The breed was created in Italy during the early 1800s. They have a stocky build and a short, wide head. They also have short hair and big, black eyes. They are very athletic and agile dogs.

12). American Pit Bull Terrier

The American Pit Bull Terrier is one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the United States. They are muscular and athletic dogs. They have short hair and big, dark eyes. They can weigh up to 75 lbs and stand 24 inches tall.

13). Bulldog

The Bulldog is a large, short-haired dog breed. The breed has a stocky build and short legs. They have broad heads and large, dark eyes. They have a large, deep chest and a square muzzle. They have small wrinkles on their forehead and above their eyes.

14). Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is a large, athletic dog breed. They have a stocky build and short legs. They have broad heads and large, dark eyes. They have a deep chest and square muzzles. Their coat is short, smooth and dense.

15). Akita Inu

The Akita Inu is a powerful dog that was bred in Japan. It’s one of the oldest breeds of dog in the world. The breed was originally bred to hunt bears and wild boar. They have a square head and black eyes. They are very strong and agile dogs that are built for hunting. While they are cute, they are also very powerful.

16). Tosa Inu

The Tosa Inu have a muscular body and they have an almost square head. Their coat is rough and dense. They have strong, muscular bodies that are built for hunting and protection. They have strong jaws and powerful teeth.

17). Belgian Malinois

The Belgian Malinois is a very intelligent dog breed that was originally bred to hunt rats. The dogs are used by police and military as well as in search and rescue operations. They have a short, dense coat and they have a strong, muscular body.

18). Boerboel

The Boerboel is a large, short-haired dog breed. They have a deep chest and square muzzles. Their coat is also short, smooth and dense.

Meanest Dog in the World

It’s important to remember that any dog can be mean and aggressive. There’s not one breed that really outdoes the others when it comes to being mean. However, there is one type of canine that can be scary, and this is the Dogo Argentino.

The Dogo Argentino, also known as the Argentine Mastiff, is a beautiful South American breed that has been banned in several countries. This is a big dog, hence the name “Mastiff.” They can weigh up to 120 lbs and a male can stand about 29 inches. They have lean, athletic bodies.

These dogs are tough and were bred to be hunters. In fact, dog lovers might be surprised to hear that they were bred to go after wild boar, pumas and other animals on the grasslands of Argentina.

What makes this dog the meanest? For the most part it’s his reputation. They have been known to fight and single mindedly pursue their prey, making them somewhat scary for many people. Plus, these dogs are sometimes mistaken for Pit Bulls, which also has a reputation for being a fighter and dangerous.

These pack hunters are also used as guard dogs and will do everything necessary to protect their homes and families. Dogo Argentinos do not take well to strangers; they may view these people as intruders and go after them. This is one of the reasons the dog has been banned in many countries for being dangerous.

So, what do you think of our list of mean and scary dogs? Some turned out to be sweethearts, while others were somewhat misleading, such as the Chihuahua. The takeaway is that any dog can be vicious, scary and mean; even a tiny dog can scare you and take a bite! The main thing is that each dog is an individual. How we treat a dog, train him, and raise him can determine how he turns out.

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Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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