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Scary Dogs: 12 Most Intimidating Breeds In The World

Key Takeaways

  • The dog breeds that are commonly being referred to as scary dogs include Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, Pit Bull types, and more.
  • Because of their size, powerful build, and tendency to be aggressive, these dogs are most often used to intimidate intruders in family homes and properties.
  • Most scary-looking canines were originally bred as fighting dogs, but today they are domesticated pets that when properly trained and cared for, can be the sweetest and most loyal companions.

If you are searching for scary-looking dog breeds to keep your family and home safe, you have several to choose from. The breeds Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher, and Pit Bull types are the most common dog breeds that will come up when you say “scary dogs”. However, as I always remind pet parents, many of these scary dogs are actually sweet and gentle that they make great family pets.

People tend to react to what they immediately see, which is an intimidating-looking dog, which can be helpful if you want to scare away intruders. To help you in your search for the best dog breed, read my list of what is considered as scary dog breeds that make great protectors of your family and home.  


Rottweiler. | The Pampered Pup

The sight of a Rottweiler is usually enough to keep any intruder out of your home. One of the scariest dog breeds out there, this stout and strong dog breed came from Germany. Rottweilers were trained and bred initially to pull carts since they have a long labor-based history. What I love about these super intelligent pups is that they are fierce and won’t cower in a dangerous situation—perfect protection dogs!

A Rottweiler does need to be properly bred and trained, although they won’t instantly attack a stranger. However, they can be aggressive and rowdy when provoked, especially if they are not taught and led with firmness. All a Rottweiler needs are the correct amount of socialization and love so that they learn to be gentle with family and friends, but still fierce when needed.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinscher. | The Pampered Pup

This working dog is well known for its scary looks. The Doberman Pinscher was bred specifically to protect workers which resulted in a muscular and sleek body along with an alert disposition that makes them a great choice for professional work. If a Doberman has the right socialization from puppyhood he will become well-mannered as an adult, so I highly recommend proper puppy training.

Doberman Pinschers feature a specific squint, and they also will not bark or dig a lot. Fast learning, a Doberman that is well-trained can stay calm when in danger and can also defend his family and himself when he needs to. Do not forget that he will need a lot of exercises too.

American Bully

American Bully. | The Pampered Pup

Featuring muscular and short frames, the American Bull Terrier can be super intimidating for many. Note that this breed is different than the Staffordshire English Terrier and bull terriers. Even though they have a reputation for being violent fighting dogs like the other types of pit bulls, they are very content to be at home. When they aren’t raised to pit fight, and American Bull Terrier is a lovable and gentle lap dog that loves to cuddle and hug.

Even though they are gentle, the American Bull Terrier will still fiercely protect his family. Using their powerful build and stocky body, this breed is a great choice for protecting your family and home.

Caucasian Ovcharka

Caucasian Ovcharka. | The Pampered Pup

Also called a Russian Bear Dog or Caucasian Shepherd Dog, the Caucasian Ovcharka is a large breed that features a thick, waterproof fur coat making it an absolutely scary looking dog breed. Bred in the Caucasus, this breed protected sheep from intruders and wolves while working in the cold weather of the steppe.

This physically imposing breed is also incredibly protective of their home and family. The Caucasian Ovcharka is a great guard dog and can easily knock over an intruder when they need to. In Russia, they are used as prison dogs where they undergo specialized trainings. It likely helps that they are also one of the largest dogs in the world.

If you wish to own one, you will need to check with a dietician or registered breeder to learn how to feed your Caucasian Ovcharka properly as they require a special diet. Furthermore, because of their independence and natural disdain for strangers, obedience training may be a little challenging.

Great Dane

Great Dane. | The Pampered Pup

Thanks to it being considered the tallest and largest dog breed, the Great Dane is a stately canine standing at around 30 to 32 inches high making it considered as one of the scariest dogs around. The Great Dane was bred for hunting boar, but the hunting personality has been bred out of its line making this breed a great choice for a domestic setting. Gentle with kids, this breed is a great family pet, but his size and bark are capable of deterring criminals or letting his owner know of an intruder.

Like other large dog breeds, the Great Dane needs a lot of space and exercise. He will need a lot of play and social interaction, and they do not do well in an apartment. If you plan to own a Great Dane, remember that their tail-wagging can knock over objects, plus they do better with some obedience training since their playfulness can be difficult for some owners. If you want a dog with the desirable personalities of the Great Dane and without the bad, crossbreeds are the answer and The Great Dane Mastiff mix is a great choice.

German Shepherd

German Shepherd. | The Pampered Pup

Well-known as protection dogs, German Shepherds are often used as military and police dogs. Rivaling the Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherds are often used as “working dogs on TV”. Loyal, intelligent, and strong, this dog breed is typically used as guards, so hardened criminals will know that a well-trained German Shepherd shouldn’t be messed with.

Originally, German Shepherds were bred to protect their flocks. With their strength and sheer energy, this breed is capable of turning away an intruder. This breed requires proper training, socialization, and exercise to be a loyal and effective guard dog. Obedience classes as a puppy are beneficial, plus they need lots of entertainment and exercise to prevent high-strung behavior. This dog breed perfect for an active household that has a big, fenced-in yard or a wireless dog fence that he can explore and play in.

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois. | The Pampered Pup

A well-known working breed, the Belgian Malinois has also been used for military and police work. A common work and guard dog, this breed is a powerful runner that is inquisitive and loves activity. Not created specifically to be a single breed, they were first shown at dog shows in 1891.

Like a German Shepherd, the Belgian Malinois is commonly used as a guard dog and considered one of the dangerous dogs around since he can turn away burglars easily just based on his appearance. Sporting powerful muscles, this fast runner can quickly keep up with a fleeing intruder. In order to maintain his physique, a Belgian Malinois requires lots of exercises as well as proper dog nutrition, but he won’t do well in an enclosed space and can end up frustrated while running in circles.


Newfoundland. | The Pampered Pup

Very intimidating due to their large size, the Newfoundland Dog is a gigantic dog breed. First used as a working dog breed, the Newfoundland was used to pull nets of fish through cold Newfoundland seas. With their thick, black, or brown shaggy coat, it doubles their size. Well-known as a great swimmer, this breed runs and moves well on land as well.

Individuals that are not familiar with Newfoundland may find him to be pretty intimidating. Not only will they protect their owners, but they will quickly get between a threat and their owner without hesitating. While they look threatening, Newfoundland is pretty gentle, docile, and water-loving, so remember that they need lots of yard space and can easily put on weight if you aren’t careful with their diet.

Cane Corso

Cane Corso. | The Pampered Pup

Known for its protective nature and imposing size, the Cane Corso originated in Italy and can weigh up to 120 pounds. The Cane Corso is a fierce and headstrong breed that can make it difficult to handle. You need to be very wary of this breed around other people and properly socialize him so he can get used to your family.

This breed is definitely the pack leader, which is both bad and good for its owners. The Cane Corso needs an obedience class, specialized training, and puppy kindergarten. When they are fully grown, this breed is a very loyal companion and a fierce defender of your home, plus they are very territorial and will drive away intruders.  

The Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees. | The Pampered Pup

Well known for their protective nature and being large dogs, the Great Pyrenees look similar to a Golden Retriever. Originally bred to herd dogs and workers, the However, a Great Pyrenees dog can grow up to 115 pounds and stand up to 32 inches. This guard dog has a powerful bark that can scare off intruders.

This independent breed is capable of scaring off intruders, even when he feels threatened. Otherwise, the Great Pyrenees is a great family pet that is caring and gentle with other pets and children. They do need a space that is fenced in since they like to explore the edges of their yard.

Dogue de Bordeaux

Dogue de Bordeaux. | The Pampered Pup

Also known as the French Mastiff, the Dogue de Bordeaux is a very imposing breed. One of the oldest dog breeds, the Dogue de Bordeaux originated in France and was first bred as a hunting and fighting dog. After the French Revolution, this breed was used as a livestock guard dog.

Affectionate and lively, this breed does well in an active household. The Dogue de Bordeaux will give an intruder a serious pause. And this powerful breed will not back down from a threat or challenge. Otherwise, they are a very happy dog that loves to hang out with their family and drool a lot.

Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff. | The Pampered Pup

Furry and large, the Tibetan Mastiff can be pretty scary looking. Weighing over 100 pounds, this dog breed has a fluffy coat and an expressive face that helps to make them appear even larger. This ancient breed originated before the Common Era and was originally used to protect monasteries, campsites, and villages.

This strong-willed and independent breed was often used as solitary guard dogs. These large dogs are very devoted family pets that aren’t very accepting of strangers. This mastiff breed can jump up to six feet high and can actually scale a high fence when it needs to.


What’s the scariest dog breed ever?

One of the most intimidating dog breeds on earth, the Bullmastiff is super loyal and obedient, but they are also pretty aggressive dogs if not trained properly. This breed can grow up to 27 inches tall and weigh up to 130 pounds. This breed is a great choice if you want a dog that will keep its family and home safe.

What is the #1 most dangerous dog?

Well-known for the past ten years, the American Pit Bull Terrier is known as one of the most dangerous dogs on earth. This breed has bite statistics that rank it as the second-highest just after the Rottweiler and has been used in dog fighting rings for many years. Muscular and strong, this breed has a very strong jaw bite power that is capable of cracking bones.

Understandably, the Pit Bull Terrier is thought to be one of the most dangerous and aggressive breeds, which is why so many people are fearful of the Pitbull. However, when they are trained and raised well, they do make a great family pet. This breed requires a professional trainer and an experienced handler when you own one of these dogs.

What dog has the scariest bark?

The American Staffordshire Terrier and the Pitbull are popularly considered as the breeds with the scariest bark.

What is the most aggressive dog?

The most aggressive dog is the Pitbull. Around three years old, the Pitbull has a naturally aggressive temperament. Bred to catch and chase animals, the Pitbull will hold an animal down until its owner arrives. Deadly in a confrontation, the Pitbull is a great fighting machine.

A Pitbull may be so aggressive that you will not be able to have other animals in the house. Since they were bred to be alphas, it’s possible that your Pitbull may know its place, but it can become pretty dangerous when it switches into that alpha mode. A Pitbull shouldn’t be handled by an inexperienced owner, so it won’t confirm the popular fears that they are a dangerous dog.

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