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10 dog breeds that can be dangerous without proper training

People like to throw words like “dangerous” and “aggressive” around when it comes to certain dog breeds, often unfairly. Aggressive dogs are usually the fault of the handler, not the dog itself, but some breeds face more criticism for aggression than others. Humans bred these dogs for very specific purposes, and the trouble happens when we confuse the capabilities of these large, protective breeds with those of a Dachshund.

More: 12 dog breeds first-time owners should think twice about

These 10 dog breeds consistently make breed restriction lists around the world. Their size, temperaments and sometimes-bloody histories have helped them earn their place as some of the world’s most effective livestock guardians, hunting dogs and protectors, as well as some of the most dangerous dogs in the world. With proper training and in the hands of experienced dog owners, these dog breeds make well-adjusted canine citizens. In the wrong hands, these dogs are perfectly capable of living up to the stereotypes surrounding them.

More: 11 amazing dog breeds for first-time owners

1. Japanese Tosa

Japanese Tosa Dog
Image: DieselDemon/Flickr

The Japanese Tosa is nicknamed the Sumo wrestler of the dog world for its size, drive and refusal to back down. They were used both as guard dogs and as fighting dogs, thanks to their naturally protective instincts, and at 100 to 200 pounds, they pack a lot of heat. Tosas are definitely not a good dog breed for inexperienced dog owners and require consistent training and socialization from an early age. They are banned in many countries, and while they live mostly as companion animals in the U.S., they are still found in fighting rings in Japan.

More: Top 10 breeds to use as guard dogs

Next: Shar-pei

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