The Top 9 Scariest Dog Breeds (Scary!) With Photos

Some dogs that look like they will rip your face off in a heartbeat are actually big softies. Of course, just their looks alone are enough to deter any intruder. 

There are a lot of dog breeds out there, and everyone’s got their favorite. But what about the dog breeds that you should be afraid of? Some dogs are just naturally more aggressive than others, and if you’re not careful you could find yourself on the wrong end of a snapping jaw.

scariest dog breeds
The Top 9 Scariest Dog Breeds (Scary!) With Photos

So today we’re going to take a look at some of the scariest dog breeds out there. Be careful when approaching these guys – not everyone raises their dogs right, and these breeds have to be extensively socialized! 

1. Rottweiler 

When you raise these guys right, they are actually big teddy bears that want nothing more than to cuddle on the couch with you and their favorite toy.

These medium-large dogs are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the world, and it’s easy to see why. These loyal and loving companions make great family pets, and they are also highly intelligent and trainable. 

Rottweiler sits on sand
Rottweiler sits by the beach.

Rottweilers are an ancient breed, dating back to Roman times when they were used as working dogs. Today, they are still used as working dogs in many different fields, including law enforcement, personal protection, and search and rescue. 

But their calm and gentle nature also makes them excellent therapy dogs if people can get past their intimidating appearance! No matter what their individual personalities are like, all Rottweilers share some common traits. 

They are devoted to their families and make loyal, loving companions. They are also naturally protective, which can make them excellent guard dogs. Contrary to popular belief, they are not giant dogs, but rather, medium-large, stocky dogs that weigh about 130 lbs for males and 110 lbs for females. 

Their distinctive black and tan markings are similar to those of a Doberman, and their soulful eyes and floppy ears somewhat soften their intimidating appearance! A well-raised Rottweiler is an even-tempered, calm dog, and because of their protective instinct, they are one of the best babysitters in the world!  

2. Cane Corso

The Cane Corso is a large, muscular dog that originated in Italy and is known for its loyalty, intelligence, and protective instincts. The Cane Corso is an excellent guard dog and makes a wonderful companion for active families. 

Cane Corso dog
A Cane Corso dog. Loved by owners, but banned in some countries.

The Cane Corso is a large and powerful dog, with a noble and regal bearing. The head is substantial, with a distinctively square muzzle. The ears are cropped close to the head, giving the dog an alert and attentive appearance.

The eyes are dark and expressive, set wide apart. The body is compact and muscular, with strong legs and a deep chest. 

The coat is short and coarse, typically black or blue-gray. Some dogs may have brindle markings on the coat. The Cane Corso is an intelligent and loyal breed, which makes it an excellent choice for families with children.

With proper training and socialization, the Cane Corso can be a wonderful companion.

3. Tosa Brasileiro

The Tosa Brasileiro, also known as the Brazilian Mastiff, is a large and powerfully built dog. Originally bred for the sport of dog fighting, today the Tosa Brasileiro is a loyal and loving companion. Although they can be aggressive toward other dogs, they are typically gentle and protective of their human family. 

a Brazilian Mastiff sits
A Brazilian Mastiff sits on the grass looking on the side.

With their long, thick coat and muscular build, Tosa Brasileiros make excellent guard dogs. They are also intelligent and trainable, although they can be stubborn. They have high prey drives and need extensive socialization and exposure to other animals or they might chase or worse.

A well-socialized, well-trained Tosa is a joy to be around and can be a stable, even-tempered dog. 

4. Pit Bull Terrier

This poor breed takes the top spot in the number of dog attacks. The popularity of Pit Bull Terriers has led to a multitude of irresponsible breeding practices resulting in dogs with unstable temperaments. The Pit Bull Terrier is often unfairly stereotyped as a dangerous breed of dog.

American Pit Bull Terrier playing
American Pit Bull Terrier playing with a ball.

In reality, Pit Bulls are gentle, loving, and loyal companions that are also highly intelligent and easily trained. 

With proper care and socialization, Pit Bulls make wonderful pets for families with children. Unfortunately, many Pit Bulls end up in shelters because of the negative misconceptions about their breed. They are medium-sized dogs with a compact, incredibly muscular build, and their frequent appearances in dog fighting rings add to the unfortunate image that they have. 

5. Doberman Pinscher 

Tall, lean, and imposing, Dobermans were first bred in Germany by Karl Dobermann, a tax collector, to guard him on his job. Doberman Pinschers are often unfairly characterized as aggressive dogs. In reality, they are among the most loyal and loving breeds.

Black Doberman Pinscher
Black Doberman Pinscher on leash.

Dobermans are highly intelligent and trainable, and they form strong bonds with their owners. 

They are also active dogs who enjoy exercise and play. With proper socialization and training, Dobermans can be great family pets. They may not be the right breed for everyone, but for those who are willing to put in the time and effort, a Doberman can make a loyal and loving companion.

6. Great Dane 

The largest dog breed, anyone that has ever known a Great Dane will attest that they are soft, gentle giants. Despite their size, Great Danes are gentle, loving, and great with children. They’re also very loyal and protective, making them excellent watchdogs.

do Great Danes bark a lot
Do Great Danes bark a lot? [Help]

And with their short coats, they’re relatively low-maintenance when it comes to grooming. 

The origins of the Great Dane are a bit of a mystery. Some believe that the breed is a descendant of ancient Egyptian Mastiffs, while others claim that they are the product of crossing large German hunting dogs with English Mastiffs. Whatever their history, there is no doubt that Great Danes are one of the most impressive breeds of dogs. 

Standing at an average height of 30 inches at the shoulder, they are the tallest breed of dog in the world. But size isn’t the only thing that makes Great Danes so special. They are also known for their gentle and loving nature, which makes them excellent family pets.

Contrary to their size, they have modest exercise needs and will happily be couch potatoes with you. 

7. Kangal

The Kangal is a large, Mastiff-type dog breed originating from Sivas Province in central Turkey. The Kangal is historically a livestock guardian dog breed and is still used for this purpose in many parts of its native Turkey. It is also used as a rescue dog in many countries.

Kangal Dog
Kangal Dog guarding his territory!

The Kangal is a large, powerful dog, with a strongly built body and sturdy limbs. 

The head is large and wedge-shaped, with a strong muzzle and well-developed jaws. The Kangal is an intelligent and independent dog breed, which makes it an excellent guardian dog. It is loyal and protective of its family, but can be aggressive towards strangers if not properly socialized. 

8. Bullmastiff

A Bullmastiff’s sheer size alone is enough to intimidate anyone. A male can stand up to 27 inches and weigh 130 lbs, while a female can stand up to 26 inches and weigh 120 lbs. But don’t let their size fool you.

large Bullmastiff
A large Bullmastiff sits on the grass.

Well-raised Bullmastiffs are gentle giants, known for being loving and affectionate with their families.

They are also fearless when it comes to defending those they care about, which makes them excellent guard dogs. And thanks to their short coats, they don’t require a lot of grooming. 

9. Dogue de Bordeaux

Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as the French Mastiff, is an impressive breed of dog. Standing 24 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing up to 160 pounds, the Dogue de Bordeaux is a massive animal.

They can be gentle and loving in the right household, but also have aggressive tendencies which lead them to be exploited.

giant Dogue de Bordeaux
What a face! The super large dog breed known as Dogue de Bordeaux

This large breed of dog originates from the Bordeaux region of France. The breed is thought to date back to the 13th century, and it was originally used for hunting and guarding. The Dogue de Bordeaux is a muscular and powerful dog that stands up to 24 inches and weighs up to 150 lbs. 

Final Thoughts 

Any dog can be aggressive. Did you know that the Chihuahua ranks #3 in the list of dogs most likely to bite? Also in the top 10 is the floppy-eared, soulful-eyed Cocker Spaniel

The dogs on this list are often misunderstood with a bad rep, however, the popularity and intimidating appearance leave them open to exploitation by some that should never own dogs, much less dogs of this physical prowess and characteristics. 

These dogs need extensive socialization and a firm hand to help them become outstanding canine citizens. Socialization helps dogs to learn how to interact appropriately with other dogs and people, setting them up for success in both doggie playgroups and encounters with strangers. 

Not everyone takes the time to train and socialize their dogs, so if you see one of these dogs, approach with caution!