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Last Modified: March 1, 2023

National Dog Day: Know Your Breeds

Published on August 26, 2015 • Last updated March 1, 2023 by Ken Christensen
Topics: Being Safe in Utah (General Safety), Dog Bites & Attacks

dog barking at child

black and white puppySweet, playful, loving, loyal. Many of us have had a dog as a pet at some point in our lives, or have known friends or family with a sweet canine that has stolen our heart.

National Dog Day is a time to celebrate man’s best friend, but it’s also a good time to recognize that dogs can be very dangerous, too. While they are usually very gentle by nature, we need to be mindful of how we treat them and what we may do to accidentally provoke them. Some dogs exhibit outwardly aggressive behavior and can be provoked to bite, especially by small children. Here, we give you a list of the most dangerous dog breeds and what to do in the event of a bite.

National Dog Day

Started by Colleen Paige in 2004, National Dog Day seeks to praise the dogs that positively impact our lives in many different ways, and to help raise awareness for the vast number of dogs that still need to be rescued. To celebrate, consider adopting from your local shelter or making a donation.

When Dogs Turn Dangerous

While there are many mild-tempered dogs, some dogs can be aggressive and present a very real threat to people. Danger can still follow with dogs who have been raised well. This can be even more dangerous, as people don’t realize that their neighbor’s friendly dog could viciously bite them. In fact, one of the most dangerous scenarios involves dogs and small children. The child may unknowingly provoke the dog to attack. Small children should never be left alone with a strange dog.

Most Dangerous Breeds

There are exceptions to every rule, but here is a list of the dogs that can do the most damage if they attack. (We understand that there are many instances where dogs of these breeds can be docile, loving companions. We don’t want to further any stigma given to particular breeds, only promote awareness.)

dog barking at child

1. Rottweilers


Rottweilers were bred in Germany. They can be very fierce and aggressive, and they have a prey-driven instinct. Their heavy size and protective tendencies make them good guard dogs.

2. German Shepherds

The sheer strength and powerful bite of the German Shepherd makes them the perfect police dog. They are also extremely intelligent. That, coupled with their ability to be very aggressive can cause trouble if they are not respected.

3. Pit Bulls

Pit Bulls have a history of being trained as street fighting dogs, making them very powerful and aggressive. According to a study by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, which was conducted over twenty years, Pit Bulls caused 66 fatalities.

4. Wolf Hybrids

These dogs are bred from dogs and wolves, so they retain some of the natural instincts of the wolf. This means they are prey-driven, which makes them unpredictable.

5. Doberman Pinschers

Dobermans are known to be very aggressive. With their size and strength, Dobermans can sometimes be used as guard dogs. They are incredibly loyal to their owners, but they may attack strangers if they perceive a threat.

6. Boxers

Boxers can be used as hunting dogs, but they can be very aggressive and overpower even large adults. They are great with children, but they will do anything to protect their family.

7. Huskies

Huskies are bred primarily as sled dogs. They are incredibly intelligent, but they require constant movement. Otherwise, their aggression will find another outlet. They are primarily bred to be working dogs, but they have a strong instinct to hunt.

8. Alaskan Malamutes

Malamutes are generally more docile in nature than Huskies are, even though they are both bred to be working sled dogs. Malamutes do tend to be bigger in size than Huskies, however, so they are more dangerous around small children.

9. Bull-mastiffs

Bull-mastiffs are easily trained, but if they are not, they can be one of the most unpredictable and dangerous breeds. With proper instruction, they normally pose no harm.

10. Chow Chow

These Chinese-bred dogs are deceptively cute. They were originally bred to protect livestock. They may be small, but they can be very aggressive. They need a lot of movement and play, and if they don’t get it, Chow Chows can “play” or “herd” people in a very aggressive manner.

Learn More

Stay informed and be cautious by reading our previous blog posts on what to do if you are bitten by a dog here, and the different types of dog attacks here.


Photo copyright to Jack Pease

Photo copyright to Diccon Lowe

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