For at least 15,000 years, dogs have been man's best friend. We love them for their loyalty, companionship, and cuteness. But despite being utterly loveable, every dog has a potential to attack. Even the most trained of dogs will attack under certain circumstances.
Find out the most dangerous dog breeds here.
Originating in China more than 4000 years ago, Chow Chows have become a popular household pet. But don't let this fluffy face fool you... a Chow Chow's temperament is one of the most difficult to manage. They are known to be rather stubborn and dominant and when not trained with proper attention, easily turn aggressive.
The Great Dane holds the record for the largest breed of dog and is typically a gentle giant, easygoing and mild-mannered. But because of its huge size, it becomes very easy for a Great Dane to become bossy and dominant if undisciplined. However, it's important to note that Great Danes are also very sensitive and should be trained with care as harshness only confuses them and makes them distrustful.
The Presa Canario is more often than not a docile, affectionate dog. However, it is also a very alert and a very defensive dog that can easily attack when provoked. This breed has thick skin, dense bones, powerful muscles and a massive head with a large jaw. It's certainly one of the most intimidating looking breeds around and if in the wrong circumstances, can be extremely dangerous.
The Fila Brasileiro, also known as the Brazilian Mastiff, is a large working breed of dog developed in Brazil. The breed is known for its short temper and aggressive nature, and even the best attempts to socialize and train this breed is often only partially successful. It's for this reason that the Fila Brasileiro is banned in England, Wales, Australia, Israel, Denmark, Malta and Cyprus.
The Tosa is a breed of dog of Japanese origin and is considered rare. It was originally bred in Tosa as a fighting dog and, sadly, still is today. This natural guard dog is protective, courageous and fearless but due to its dangerous reputation, is banned in numerous countries including Australia, Cyprus, Hong Kong, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Turkey and the UK.
The Argentine Dogo was developed by Dr. Antonio Nores Martinez in the 1920s who wanted an ideal companion dog that was also a good hunter. The breeds that were used were the Great Pyrenees, Irish Wolfhound, Pointer, Great Dane, Dogue de Bordeaux, Boxer, Spanish Mastiff, Bulldog, Bull Terrier and the now extinct breed called the Dog of Cordoba. The result was a large, muscular white dog which was soon used for dog fighting. This, once again, gave the dog a bad reputation and it has since been banned in numerous countries such as Ukraine, Iceland, Australia and the UK.
German Shepherds are used by the police force for good reason - they are strong, intelligent, confident and incredibly loyal. However, caution must be exercised with German Shepherds as they can become overprotective of their family and territory, and if not socialized correctly, can easily attack. German Shepherd attacks on both people and other animals are worryingly common, which places them in 4th place for the most dangerous dog.
The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized working dog breed that originated in Siberia, Russia. Generally speaking, a Husky is very friendly and loyal to people. However, they possess a strong natural predatory instinct and can be very dangerous to other animals. This breed is incredibly intelligent, but factors like improper training, poor socialization and bad social experiences can turn them aggressive to both animals and people. In 2012, a newborn baby was mauled to death by a Siberian Husky in Canada.
Rottweilers are eager to please and easy to train, but despite their good nature, they are powerful dogs that require early socialization and lifelong obedience training. Rottweilers often find themselves in the news for maulings and killings, which makes them number 2 for the most dangerous dog. However, Annie Colbourne from the Rottweiler Welfare Association says Rottweilers are "beautiful, faithful and intelligent", and make good pets as well as guard dogs - in the right circumstances. She says, "People get a Rottie and think 'OK I've got my big dog, here it is', well that big dog has a big brain, and that brain needs to be kept active".
Ranking number 1 for the most dangerous dog in the world is the Pitbull. Pitbulls are the most notorious for maulings and killings. They have been bred to be aggressive, and are the main dog of choice in dogfighting. Through selective breeding, Pitbulls have developed enormous jaw strength, as well as a "hold and shake" bite style, designed to inflict the maximum damage possible. No countries except Canada and the US allow the importation of pit bull type dogs.