Animals

The Scariest-Looking Dogs in the World 

Ranker Science
Updated December 30, 2019 8.5k votes 1.9k voters 58.1k views 10 items

List Rules Vote up the most terrifying breeds of dogs you hope to never encounter in the wild.

Dogs are man's best friend, but even a cute and cuddly little puppy can grow up to be a deadly killing machine! While many people own dogs, there are a large number of people afraid of dogs. This fear goes back thousands of years and likely extends to human interactions with the wolf. We know instinctively that dogs can be dangerous, but we love the little furballs anyway. 

That doesn't mean there aren't breeds of dogs that aren't dangerous to humans. There are quite a few kinds of dogs many people consider to be scary and dangerous due to their aggressive nature. We aren't suggesting all dogs of the breeds listed here are dangerous, but due to documented cases, some individuals within a breed have proven to be dangerous to humans. 

These scariest types of dogs are why many people are afraid of them and in some cases, they should be. Approaching an unfamiliar dog of any breed can be dangerous, as plenty of dogs can attack humans. While most do so only when threatened, some will attack completely unprovoked and, when a powerful dog bites into your neck, it's likely you won't be getting up anytime soon.

Perro de Presa Canario ... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Scariest-Looking Dogs in the World
Photo: localpups/flickr/CC-BY 2.0
1
Perro de Presa Canario

Size: 70 to 160 lbs.

Origin: The Perro de Presa Canario, often called a Canary Mastiff, was first introduced by anthropologist Dr. Carl Semencic. They were first bred in Spain's Canary Islands.

Distinguishing Features: While they have large floppy ears, many owners crop the ears so they stick up. This gives them a distinctive look, which may not be natural, but is common for the species.

Why You Should Be Scared: Males have been known to grow to very large proportions and while they are normally friendly, they can be quite dangerous if they become violent. This typically only occurs when the dog feels threatened, or more importantly, if they perceive other dogs or strangers to be threatening to their pack/family. Their large size makes them dangerous given their tremendous strength making a bite a dangerous prospect.

Type Of: Dog

Would you run from this dog?
Wolf Hybrid is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Scariest-Looking Dogs in the World
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)
2
Wolf Hybrid

Size: Typically, they are medium to large dogs

Origin: A Wolf hybrid is any hybridization of a domestic dog and any of five species of wolf. There are a wide variety of types originating from the many combinations of wolves and dogs and they can occur naturally or through a breeding program.

Distinguishing Features: This depends entirely on what dogs and wolves go into the coupling, but they tend to have long fur with white, grey, and black colors.

Why You Should Be Scared: While all modern dogs originated from wolves, the wolf is not a domesticated animal. Its nature makes them dangerous to humans and this has been shown to remain true even when only half of a dog comes from the DNA of a wolf. They can become aggressive and highly territorial, which makes them relatively dangerous when compared to dogs without any wolf blood in their systems.

Would you run from this dog?
Chow Chow is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Scariest-Looking Dogs in the World
Photo: CAPow!/flickr/CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

Size: 45 to 70 lbs.

Origin: Chow Chows are some of the oldest breed of dog having originated in Northern China during the Tang Empire.

Distinguishing Features: Their most distinctive features are their curved tails, which extend above and back onto their backs and the black spots and coloring of their tongues.

Why You Should Be Scared: Chow Chows are typically friendly dogs, but they can sometimes snap at people for little to no reason. When they do, their bites are not often too damaging and are done in a more defensive manner, but their propensity to bite ranks them as some of the most common dogs to attack humans.

Type Of: Dog

Would you run from this dog?
Rottweiler is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Scariest-Looking Dogs in the World
Photo:  Wikimedia Commons (CC-BY)

Size: 77 to 132 lbs.

Origin: Rottweilers were bred by the Roman Empire.

Distinguishing Features: They have black bodies with light brown highlights, usually found on the belly and around the muzzle. Many have light brown eyebrows.

Why You Should Be Scared: Rottweilers are often found near the top of the list of deadly dogs. While most are calm with a nice temperament, these dogs have been trained to be highly aggressive watch dogs. Their herding nature makes them incredibly defensive of their territory and the territory of their pack/family. For a trained individual who is protecting someone or something, they can be quite deadly given their overall strength and bite. They make great pets, but you probably need to lock them up when you have unfamiliar people over for afternoon tea.

Type Of: Dog

Examples: Sampson

Would you run from this dog?

More Rottweiler 

#14 of 132 The Very Best Dog Breeds, Ranked #7 of 76 The Best Dog Breeds for Families #39 of 43 The Best Apartment Dogs