The United States Animal People News investigated breeds of dogs responsible for bites leading to bodily harm or death. The information obtained from this investigation was used to publish a list of the most dangerous dog breeds.
The Pit Bull was developed in England and is a cross between the English “bulldog” and the extinct Old English ‘White’ or ‘Old Family Dog.’ Historically it has been bred to love people. It was bred for, and used in, blood sports such as bull-baiting and bear-bating. This history of being bred for fighting has given the breed an undeserved reputation for viciousness towards humans.
The Rottweiler was developed in Germany around the century by a local dog known as “the butcher’s dog.” The breed is a cross between the now-extinct Old German ‘Black and Tan’ herding dog and a mastiff-like breed. It has been used extensively in police work, tracking criminals, and controlling crowds. Due to its intense aggressiveness towards other dogs when bred for this purpose, it was sent back to Germany, where it became a showpiece.
The German shepherd was developed in Germany in 1899 by Captain Max von Stephanitz, who selected his first line of dogs from shepherds around Berchtoldsgaden. As well as being initially used for herding, this breed has been widely used as a police dog. Being used to control crowds and track criminals have given it an undeserved reputation of being vicious.
The Dobermann was developed in Germany around 1890 by Herr Louis Dobermann, who derived his first line of dogs from a local shepherd, Pinscher, and Grey-Hound crosses. The original intent was to create a breed of dog capable of being used on all fours while also packing the gameness necessary for the role of police/armed services work.
Several accounts involve these breeds used in World War II during Hitler’s reign over Germany. It is said that these dogs were specifically trained to attack anyone wearing the uniform of Hitler’s army. It is well known that the Russian military used the Pinscher breed in World War II for sentry duty and attack work due to its size, intelligence, and loyalty to its owners.
The Boxer was developed in western Germany around 1895 from local dog breeds such as the Bullenbeisser, a Mastiff type which it closely resembles, mastiffs brought from England during the occupation by Caesar’s armies in 55 BC, and Greyhounds which were imported from France at about this time. The Boxer has been used extensively throughout history as a police/military dog and is still widely used today. Being bred to fight other dogs while having an outstanding reputation for its love of humans has often given the breed an undeserved reputation for being vicious.
The Dalmation was developed in Croatia primarily from native dogs crossed with Mastiffs brought to the area by the Turks. It was bred mainly as a sentry dog, guard dog, and hunting dog used against vermin. Being primarily bred for these purposes has given the breed an undeserved bad reputation for attacking humans without provocation. Its love of water has also resulted in its intense fear of thunderstorms, making it prone to biting people when not supervised.
The Chow Chow was developed in China around 200 BC and is considered the ancestor of most northern breeds such as the Pekingese. It is a strong dog known for its beautiful thick coat, but unfortunately, some people have this breed confused with a Spitz-type breed which resulted in the Chinese breeding what we know today as a Chow Chow. It has been primarily used for hunting and guarding. Being bred mainly to guard against other dogs while still loving people has given this breed an undeserved reputation for being vicious when it attacks without provocation.
Saint Bernard was developed on Great St Bernard Pass, Switzerland, from local Swiss mountain dogs crossed with Mastiffs brought back from Rome by returning Crusaders around 1100 AD. The breed was used as a rescue dog for people and livestock in the mountains, to protect the monastery from marauders, and as a general watchdog. It is known for its large size, but unfortunately, it has been described as “savage” by those who have not had experience with this breed. Unfortunately, because of its immense size and strength, it has an undeserved reputation for being vicious when defending itself against strangers.
Dogs are very misunderstood as a result of years and years of breeders trying to develop the perfect companion for humans, which means many breeds have been bred for specific tasks that can mislead those unfamiliar with them. This information should help educate people on what was required to develop each canine species and how much love and affection they often reserve for their human family members.
Remember that any breed can be vicious when not handled correctly because it’s our responsibility to ensure we provide all dogs with the appropriate training. Hence, they understand who is alpha in the pack structure. No matter its size or strength, any dog can be dangerous if treated incorrectly, so please consider this before you decide to bring one home.