21 Dog Breeds That Have A Bad Reputation


Have you ever seen a dog unleashed in the park and became nervous that you may be attacked? What about if you were on your daily morning walk and a dog came running towards you? Would you be afraid? I’m sure a lot of you would say that it depends on the breed whether you get scared or not.

If a Chihuahua or Pekingese came running towards you, you most likely wouldn’t be afraid. There are some breeds that unjustly have bad reputations, but are actually some of the best dogs if they’re trained right.

1. Pit Bulls

Pit bulls are probably the most feared dogs in the US because of their bad reputation that’s not true at all. If pit bulls are brought up the right way, they’re incredibly loyal and loving dogs.In fact, pit bulls are known for their lovingly protective and gentle ways even with young babies and toddlers.
The problem with these dogs is that they are very strong and they can be good fighters, if they are brought up that way. Some people abuse this feature of pit bulls and train them to attack other dogs, even other people.

The sad thing is that they do it by hurting and torturing the dogs so they become defensive and aggressive in order to protect themselves.
The important thing is to raise awareness about the abuse of pit bulls so this breed can get the appreciation, care and love it deserves.


2. Doberman Pinchers

Doberman pinchers are known for being huge, muscular and tough. However, even though their appearance may scare you, they’re some of the best dogs out there that are very loyal and intelligent.

Dobermans probably owe their bad rep to the movie industry, which often casts these dogs as guard dogs with razor-sharp teeth, guarding some drug cartel boss’ mansion.

The truth about these dogs is that they love the attention, they enjoy being petted and they aim to please, which makes them great for families with kids to play with.

These dogs are very muscular and fast, which is another reason people fear them. They probably think a dog this strong and fast can get you in no time. The thing is, though, that Dobermans are going to be aggressive and dangerous if you bring them up that way on purpose. Otherwise they are just like any other dogs – hungry for love and attention.


3. Rottweilers

Rottweilers are just as large as Dobermans, but have a lot more meat on their bones. Even though their stocky appearances can be intimidating, they’re some of the sweetest, most lovable dogs today.

A Rottweiler can be your child’s best friend, if you let him. These dogs are very intelligent, gentle and caring, even though their barking is loud and their presence is intimidating.

But as long as you don’t abuse him, a Rottweiler can be the best friend your family ever had. Just make sure to give him enough love, care and attention and let him know you care about him. You’ll be surprised when he tries to jump onto your lap like a kitten and give you a bunch of slobbery kisses, unaware of his own size but full of love and joy.

Rottweilers are also very loyal, so if you’re looking for a sweet, loving yet protective dog, this is the perfect choice.


4. German Shepherds

What comes to mind when you think of German shepherds? Is it the fact that they’re police dogs that are trained to be firm and intimidating? They certainly are quite smart creatures! I have met plenty of German shepherds in my lifetime and you could not ask for a better furry companion.

These dogs were originally bred to take care of sheep, as their name suggests. This means that they are focused, smart, fast and strong, yet gentle all at the same time. Once used as guard dogs and police dogs almost exclusively, German shepherds are today becoming more popular among families and young adults alike.

This is because few creatures are as loyal as a German shepherd. These dogs are great companions, they are easily trained to help you with your needs, they learn incredibly fast, they are protective, but they are also playful and caring.


5. Dalmatians

Yes, you read that right. Dalmatians do have a bad reputation because they’re known to be aggressive. However, if they’re trained right and are raised with love, they’re very sweet, athletic dogs who will never let you down.

Kids love Dalmatians because of the movie 101 Dalmatians, of course. When you were a kid you probably asked your parents to get you one, and they probably said no, because they are aggressive and untrustworthy. This couldn’t be less true.

While it is true that Dalmatians are very energetic and strong, it’s not true that they are necessarily aggressive. You just need to take proper care of them, give them enough playtime and allow them to vent all that energy. And, of course, to train them right. Once you do that, a Dalmatian can be your little one’s best buddy.

This makes Dalmatians perfect dogs for families who have a backyard or live in a place where the dog can run and play.


6. Boxer

Boxers have the sturdy body like a pit bull and are oftentimes feared because of their “mean face”. But in reality, boxers are actually one of the sweetest types of dogs that you will often find curled up in your lap.

Boxers are probably the dogs who deserve their bad reputation the least. It is really unfair that people judge these dogs based on their appearance, which, we admit, can seem a little intimidating. Boxers are great companions and are perfect for children and teens, since they are full of energy they need to spend playing and running. These dogs are also very cuddly and love being close to their owners.

Boxers are known for being very loyal and devoted dogs so rest assured that with a boxer you’ve found a friend for life. Also, with a boxer, you can always count on someone being there to cheer you up with their goofiness.


7. Caucasian Ovcharka

Also called Caucasian Shepherd, these dogs were bred for protecting livestock. By nature, they are forceful, iron-willed and courageous so if they are not trained properly, Caucasian Shepherds might become dangerous due to their strong urge to defend.

This feature of their temperament may come in useful for people who live in remote areas or who need some kind of protection.

However, these dogs need to be carefully trained and once they are, they will be the best guard you’ll ever have. They are suspicious to those they don’t know and absolutely devoted to those in their “pack.”

A well-trained Caucasian Shepherd, who understands that the leader of the pack is not him but his owner, can be a very good companion who will protect and defend you but also play with you, cuddle and follow you everywhere you go.

Caucasian Ovcharkas are amazing, strong, loyal dogs that do, however, require proper socialization and training.


8. Alaskan Malamutes

No, it’s not the Siberian Husky, even though they are related. Alaskan Malamutes are known for their strong need for independence so they are quite difficult to train, and tend to be unreliable as watchdogs. They require daily exercise in order to release their high energy otherwise they can become rebellious and destructive.

These dignified dogs are quite a sight to see when they walk around, run or play. They have magnificent manes and their whole demeanor is almost regal. Yet, if you want to own a Malamute, you need to make sure he gets enough exercise and playtime.

Malamutes can be stubborn when they want or don’t want something, so you need to impose yourself as their “boss” right from the beginning.

Another thing about Malamutes is that, much like Huskies, being northern dogs, they don’t enjoy heat. So if you live in a very warm climate, Malamutes may not be the best breed for you.


9. Wolf Hybrid

Well, what other explanation do you need? It’s a half-wolf! They are a mixture of dog and a gray wolf that resulted in a dog with pretty unpredictable behavior. Often the right training and plenty of exercise can reduce some of its innate, wild qualities but in general they are impulsive. This, however, does not make them wild or dangerous.

These dogs are not the same as wolves, even though they do share many common features. As long as you approach them as dogs and keep in mind their origins, wolf hybrids can be a very good choice for you.

Still, even though they can be trained, wolf hybrids are probably not for everyone. They probably won’t do very well in small spaces, such as tiny apartments or crowded urban areas. They require a lot of room and open spaces where they can roam, run and play. In addition, wolf hybrids should be watched and controlled.


10. Huskies

These dogs are known for their strong predatory instinct, and are quite often dangerous for other animals, especially smaller ones. Just like Alaskan Malamutes, they easily get bored and become destructive, but if trained properly, their great strength becomes their advantage.

Huskies are perfect form people who live in the countryside, preferably in moderate or colder climates. They can be trained very well so that they are not dangerous to anyone, but because of their natural instincts, it is probably better to keep them away from small animals, such as chickens, rabbits and such. Unless, of course, you are a hunter.

Huskies need a lot of attention since they are very energetic and often need to vent. So do not get a Husky unless you are prepared to devote some time to him each day. Also make sure to train him properly by establishing your domination. Once this relationship is formed, your Husky will be your best friend.


11. Boerboel

Boerboels are large dogs originating from South Africa where they were bred for the purpose of protecting homes and farms, so they possess territorial instincts. However, they’re loyal to their families and have been said to be consistent and calm, meaning they can be wonderful pets as well.

These dogs are very confident, brave and strong. Because of these features, they are great as guardian dogs or watchdogs. Still, many people today get these dogs because of some of the milder features of their character. If they are brought up properly and trained with attention, they can be amazing with kids, even with small babies. They will defend and protect your children to death, if necessary.

All this doesn’t mean that Boerboels are not sweet or cuddly. Don’t be surprised if your Boerbel tries to climb in your lap while you’re, say, reading or watching television or if he covers you in “kisses” head to toe when you get home from work.

12.  Neopolitan Mastiff

Their sheer size is something to be cautious about,but weight also since they can have up to 200 pounds. Very loyal and protective, sometimes they overstep their boundaries, but when treated and trained right can be great pets.

Neapolitan Mastiffs are said to be highly trainable. They can be quite a handful and it may seem hard to do because of their imposing size, but with proper care and attention they can be trained into perfect dogs.

These dogs are very dominant when it comes to their territory so make sure your Mastiff knows you’re the alpha, not him. He will protect your home and your family and be cautious and suspicious to outsiders. This doesn’t mean he’ll attack those he doesn’t know – you just need to teach him to obey your commands and you’ll have no trouble with him at all.

These gentle giants are among kid’s favorites because they make devoted playmates and protectors.

13. Chow chow

While they are quite cute, they are also fiercely protective of their owners and property. They choose one or two family members who they consider valuable and they will do anything to protect them. They are especially cautious towards strangers who are they seeing for the first time.

The reputation that surrounds these dogs is that they can be aggressive and untrustworthy. This is because they are very attached to their owner and suspicious towards the others. However, the owner needs to make sure the dog obeys his or her commands and once this point is reached, a Chow Chow becomes a great family dog.

Chow Chows are also quite independent, so much that some people even compare them to cats. They need their own time so don’t try to involve them in every possible activity.

These impressive dogs, with their teddy bear appearance and weird dark tongue, are generally quiet, not big barkers nor diggers and do not tend to destroy things around the house.

14. Akita

Originally from Japan, Akita’s are very strong and big, making them a force to be reckoned with. Targeted by many organizations who are trying to label them as dangerous, they are very loyal to their masters and very intolerant of other male dogs, especially if they are of the same species.

Akita has become increasingly popular recently thanks to an Internet meme, which you couldn’t have missed if you own a computer with the access to the Internet. They look almost as if they are smiling and they are indeed quite cheerful. They are usually calm and quiet and very easy to housebreak.

However, Akitas require a lot of patience and attention when it comes to training. They have quite a temperament and like to be dominant, especially with dogs of the same sex, which is something you need to be careful about. Another thing to watch out for is their possessiveness, especially when it comes to food.

15. Presa Canario

Originally bred for working with livestock, Presa Canario is a breed that with proper training makes excellent farm dogs. However they are extremely cautious with strangers and training is extremely important to them.

Without proper training at a very young age they are known to be very aggressive and with their large frame you do not want to find yourself in a vicinity of an angry Presa Canario.

Still, these dogs can be trained and brought up to be amazing and devoted dogs. They are great as guard dogs since they possess a natural guardian instinct. However, because of this instinct, you need to be careful and direct their impulses towards the right aim, such as intruders, and to make sure in the training to teach them to obey you and your family no matter what, otherwise you’ll end up with an unreliable and a potentially dangerous dog.



The Bullmastiff belongs to the group of breeds whose physical appearance people usually associate with unstable, aggressive, blood-thirsty dogs. There is something menacing about this strong, powerful and serious dog, we’ll admit that. But we’ll also stress that, once you actually meet a Bullmastiff, you’ll realize that these dogs are simply delightful.

Bullmastiffs can be a bit stubborn, easily aroused and overly exuberant. However, they are rarely aggressive and dangerous. They can be hostile to other dogs of the same sex, but when it comes to humans, of they are properly socialized, Bullmastiffs are absolutely safe and reliable. They respond very well to training but this doesn’t mean you can train a Bullmastiff in a few weeks. Training should be prolonged, almost continuous, because these dogs can be a bit headstrong. These dogs don’t deserve the bad rep they have, and instead deserve a competent, authoritative and loving owner who is able to recognize this breed’s true potential.






Another example of how irresponsible, reckless and uninformed breeding and training can ruin a perfectly good dog. Cane Corso is very athletic, perhaps the most athletic and active of all the mastiffs, very fast, strong and adventurous. Like most breeds that share these characteristics, he can be a bit stubborn and independent, or, in the worst of worst cases, even unpredictable and dangerous. However, this only happens when a Cane Corso is not properly raised and trained.

Socialization is the most important thing when it comes to Cane Corso, and it needs to be done from the get-go. A Cane Corso has to be properly socialized with other pets and particularly with humans. The owner needs to impose him or herself as an absolute alpha and the training must be strict and consistent. If these conditions are met, a Cane Corso will make a perfect pet, a loving companion and great protector.



The true giant among dogs, the Great Dane is actually the tallest of all dog breeds. In addition to its height, the Great Dane is also very muscular and fast. Originally bred for hunting and as a watch dog, the Great Dane literally has killer instincts and, as such, requires great patience and attention during training.

People are often afraid of Great Danes and try to avoid them not only because of their impressive size, but also because of this bad rep of being dangerous. The truth about these dogs is that they don’t call them gentle giants for nothing – they are extremely affectionate, warm, caring, loyal and friendly. However, they are not born this way, it’s something they need to learn starting from early on. That way, they’ll turn into such sweet pets you’ll forget they actually have one of the strongest bites of all dog breeds.



This elegant, strong, dignified dog is often perceived as unreliable, wild and hard to control because of its nature and temperament. Rhodesian Ridgebacks have an impressive physique that simply does not tolerate sitting quietly in the house or in the yard. These dogs need exercise, and lots of it. Otherwise, they become bored and frustrated with all the energy that remains trapped. If this happens, it may cause some trouble and even result in a dog that is aggressive not only to strangers but even to the owners.

Rhodesian Ridgebacks are also very territorial, which can be a good thing and a bad thing. It’s a good thing because the dog will protect you and your home, but it may be a bad thing if he is unable to discriminate between intruders and guests who are actually welcome.

However, solid, firm training can solve all these issues. It is best to start while the dog is still very young and to make sure he understands who’s the boss around the house.



Gull Dong or Pakistani Bull Dog is not a very common breed outside of Pakistan, where he’s used for protection, hunting and, unfortunately, dog-fighting. Those who are familiar with the breed often see it as very dangerous, unreliable and unsafe to have around people, especially children. Like with many other “intimidating” breeds, this is an unfair stereotype, for Gill Dongs can actually make incredibly loving, royal pets, if given enough care and training.

A properly trained Gull Dong makes a terrific family pet, especially if you live in a house with a backyard and wouldn’t mind some extra protection. However, bear in mind that these dogs absolutely require an owner that imposes himself as an alpha right from the start. If left to believe they are leaders of the pack (i.e. your family), they will get out of control and maybe even become dangerous. This is not a dog for beginner dog-owners, but it’s also definitely not a dog that should be avoided.



Dogo Argentino is definitely an impressive, imposing dog. His almost regal posture and incredibly strong muscle structure, combined with this breed’s history of illegal dog-fighting, often inspire fear and suspect in people. While it is true that the Dogo Argentino can be quite dangerous in certain situations, it definitely does not mean this breed is not suitable to have around your home or your family.

This is a dog that requires a lot of attention. The Dogo Argentino simply needs a firm hand and a clear, strict authority from his master. This is best learned since the earliest age. A properly trained Dogo Argentino is not only safe and obedient, but also makes a terrific watchdog and guard. Plus, these dogs are actually incredibly affectionate. They love physical contact and will often cuddle next to you while you’re reading a book or watching television. As long as he is given enough physical exercise, care, love and a firm set of rules, the Dogo Argentino makes a terrific pet.

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