2.4k voters

The Scariest-Looking Dogs in the World

Updated December 30, 2019 13.4k votes 2.4k voters 77.0k views10 items

List RulesVote 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.

  • Photo: Maja Dumat / Flickr

    Size: 71 to 88 lbs.

    Origin: Dobermann pinschers were developed in 1890 by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a German tax collector.

    Distinguishing Features: Most examples are black with light brown fur around the feet, but some are a lighter brown in color. They are highly intelligent dogs capable of being trained for a variety of uses.

    Why You Should Be Scared: Under normal circumstances, Dobermann pinschers are gentle dogs with a lovely disposition. They can be easily trained to work as guard dogs and thanks to their incredible loyalty, they can become dangerously aggressive should the need arise. Their attacks can be fatal due to their overall strength, making them a particularly frightening dog.

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    • Size: 30 to 60 lbs.

      Origin: Pit bulls originated in the British Isles.

      Distinguishing Features: Pit bulls have a wide mouth, which make them look like they are smiling. They are often brown in color with white markings, but this can range wildly due to selective breeding.

      Why You Should Be Scared: Generally, pit bulls are sweet dogs who make for great pets, but they can have a violent tendency, which may manifest out of nowhere with little to no warning. When they bite, they tend to latch on, which can lead to severe injury and death. Due to their aggressive nature, they have been used in dog-fighting rings all over the world and have a nasty reputation. Several airlines and numerous countries forbid them from traveling on planes or moving to their nations. They are considered to be at the top of the list when it comes to dog attacks.

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      • Photo: nathan_kull / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

        Size: 49 to 88 lbs.

        Origin: German shepherds are a relatively new breed of dog having been first recognized in 1899. They originated out of... Germany if you can believe it.

        Distinguishing Features: German shepherds can range in color from brown to black. Many are light brown with a darker top coat.

        Why You Should Be Scared: Typically, German shepherds are gentle dogs with a pleasing temperament. They become dangerous when they are protecting someone or something from a perceived threat. German shepherds are highly protective and intelligent dogs who will stop at nothing to protect their pack/family. They are often used by police and military as K-9 units due to their ability to not only smell a wide variety of narcotics and explosives, but also their ability to subdue a suspect or threat. They are also high on the list of dogs who bite people, but their bites are rarely fatal due to their nature of biting and letting go.

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        • Photo: Jacekjarz - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 / WikiMedia Commons

          Size: 88 to 110 lbs.

          Origin: The Fila Brasileiro, more commonly known as the Brazilian Mastiff, was first bred in Brazil as a working dog.

          Distinguishing Features: They typically have light brown fur, but can have dark bands of color spread throughout their bodies. They also have long floppy ears and a darkened muzzle.

          Why You Should Be Scared: Though generally friendly to people and animals they know, the Brazilian Mastiff can be highly protective of the people and places it calls family and home. Their size and loyalty means a perceived threat can result in a harmful bite or attack. These are definitely dogs you need to "get to know" before you should reach out and try to pet them.

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