Top 10 Meanest Dogs

Written by AZ Animals Staff
Published: December 10, 2021
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Dogs are known for tending to get very attached to their owners. Some breeds are very outgoing, friendly, and loving to family, strangers, and other dogs. Other breeds, however, are those you don’t want to mess with, especially if they haven’t had proper socialization and training. Here are the top 10 meanest dogs around, whether they’re the most dangerous dogs, most aggressive dog breeds, or both.

#10: Cocker Spaniel

Some Cocker Spaniels have a genetic disorder called rage syndrome.

This affectionate, loyal, and somewhat needy breed is a wonderful family pet and was originally bred to be a hunting dog. However, there is a downside when the Cocker Spaniel has what’s called rage syndrome, a genetic disorder in which the dog turns into a biting frenzy with no recognizable trigger or stimulus and attacks strangers and even owners. It is especially common in solid-colored, red, or gold-colored Cocker Spaniels, putting them among the most aggressive dog breeds. Motley-colored spaniels, however, do not have this issue.

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A socialized and trained dog is a wonderful companion and not only loves its owner but is friendly towards other people, and even other dogs and animals. Certain breeds are wary towards strangers and even act mean to anyone other than their owners, or may lash out even towards their owners. Some have a natural tendency to be mean based on inbreeding or genetic deviation that is closer to their wild ancestry, while others are mean due to insecurity over small size or abuse and neglect. It is important to remember that such dogs are not always hostile but only when provoked. Regardless, these breeds have developed a reputation for being the meanest dogs as the most dangerous dogs or the most aggressive dog breeds.

#9: Beagle

Beagles are a very stubborn dog breed.


The Beagle was developed to be a hunting dog that used its excellent sense of smell. It’s also a security dog. However, it’s also very stubborn and tends to not listen to its owner if it doesn’t get what it wants. It can even become violent. A child staring into a Beagle’s eyes is a bad idea and will provoke it into biting them. This makes it one of the meanest dogs.

#8: Dachshund

Dachshunds are difficult to train and tend to bite children.

Most everyone has heard of the so-called “wiener dog” which was originally bred to hunt down small animals. The Dachshund is long and cute, with short legs, long ears, and big eyes. Even so, it’s stubborn and impatient, turning aggressive to other dogs, strangers, and even its owner, making it one of the meanest dogs. It’s difficult to train and may bite strange children. Hence, it’s a bad idea to let children play around it.

#7: Wolf Hybrids

Because wolf dogs have wolf genes, they automatically have a reputation to be mean.

Marek Rybar/

Some of the most dangerous dogs or most aggressive dog breeds are the various wolf hybrids, or wolf dogs, that exist. The higher amount of wolf genes, the wilder, more dangerous, and prone to wanderlust the hybrid is. Hence, they need early training and socialization by very knowledgeable and experienced handlers. They tend to take well to family but are wary of strangers and some are not recommended around small children. The wolf hybrids among the existing 15 which have the highest tendency towards restless, destructive behavior without early training and socialization and regular exercise are:

#6: Chow Chow

Chow chows tend to have an awful temperament when they do not get what they want.

Firefighter Montreal/

An old dog breed, the Chow Chow is a large dog with a thick, soft double coat and a cuddly appearance. Seemingly aloof, it is attention-seeking, stubborn and independent. It can have an awful temperament when it doesn’t get what it wants. Even with training since puppyhood, it can remain overprotective of its owner and doesn’t like other dogs or pets. It is not a good choice for a first-time dog owner because it is one of the meanest dogs and most aggressive dog breeds.

#5: Toy Poodle

Toy Poodles have “Small Dog Syndrome.”

The Toy Poodle is simply the miniature version of the Standard Poodle, but the tiny size isn’t the only thing it has going for it. It’s also one of the meanest dogs, although this same issue isn’t that common with the Standard Poodle, which is usually intelligent and well-behaved. But the Toy Poodle can not only become restless and aggressive when left alone for long periods, but it also has “Small Dog Syndrome” — the dog version of the human Napoleon complex. This behavior from anxiety and insecurity is particularly learned and encouraged in small dogs.

#4: Terriers

Terrier dog breeds are known to act hostile towards people and other dogs.


Terriers are some of the meanest dogs. That’s because they were bred to hunt rodents and other vermin, especially the small and medium-sized ones. Such an instinct does not go away, and without proper training and socialization to constructively channel that instinct, a terrier is known to act hostile towards people and other dogs. Some examples are the Manchester Terrier, Jack Russell Terrier, Boston Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier, and Skye Terrier. On the other hand, “terrier” is a dog group of several breeds with common features and includes larger breeds that were developed to be all-around farm working dogs or guard dogs. The Pit Bull Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and Bull Terrier are examples of “bully” breeds, that were also bred to bait and pull down bears and bulls.

#3: Lhasa Apso

Lhasa Apsos have a tendency to bite people it doesn’t recognize.

Looks can be deceptive, and the Lhasa Apso is no exception. The fluffy, small dog is difficult to train and handle, being stubborn and independent. It can also get aggressive with strangers approaching it. Even if your friends approach you in public, that doesn’t mean your dog will recognize that you know them and is likely to bite them, making it one of the meanest dogs around.

#2: Chihuahua

While Chihuahuas are considered one of the meanest dog breeds, they are also considered one of the most popular.

Piotr Wawrzyniuk/

Although it’s one of the most popular dog breeds and one of the smallest, the Chihuahua is famous for being one of the meanest dogs. Owners tend to coddle them and neglect training or disciplining them because of their small size making them believe they can handle them, which exacerbates their bad behavior and leads them to boss around their owners as the alpha leader. Hence, they tend to be very possessive of their owners and have no problem barking, snapping at, or even biting other people and dogs several times their size. While not able to do serious damage, a dog bite, even from a Chihuahua, can turn into a potentially severe infection and require hospitalization.

#1: Basenji

Because the Basenji is one of the most difficult dogs to train it is also one of the most aggressive.

Grisha Bruev/

The Basenji Dog is one of the most difficult dogs to train, making it one of the most possible aggressive dog breeds around. This Central African dog is a sighthound, and with a high prey drive, it will give chase to any small animal moving nearby. Aloof and reserved towards strangers, too, it has only one master. A dog trainer who is experienced with this specific breed is the best qualified to deal with it. On the other hand, it is quiet and known to attack home intruders quickly and without warning.

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