10 Most Illegal Dog Breeds in the World

10 Most Illegal Dog Breeds in the World

Dogs are undoubtedly the most loved pets on the planet. And why not? They are loyal, friendly, enthusiastic, and fun to be with. But not all dogs are the same. Some breeds of dogs can be very aggressive and ruthless. 

Due to their higher tendency towards aggression and frequent attacks on humans, some dog breeds have been banned in certain countries and are considered illegal to own. 

In this article, we will be discussing the top 10 illegal dog breeds in the world, and explore why they are banned, as well as the controversy surrounding these breeds. 

Before we start however, remember every dog has a potential for aggressiveness and it is the responsibility of the owner to train them properly and provide them with a safe and loving environment.  

And now let’s get started. 


10 – Tosa Inu

Starting off at number 10, we’ve got the Tosa Inu. Also known as the Tosa Ken or Japanese Mastiff, the Tosa Inu is a large and powerful dog breed that has a history of being used for dog fighting in Japan.  

Due to their aggressive nature and tendency to attack, Tosa Inus have been banned in many countries, including the UK, Australia, and several countries in Europe.  

They were originally bred for dog fighting in Japan, and as a result, they have a strong prey drive and a high threshold for pain.  

This, combined with their large size and strength, makes them a dangerous breed if not properly trained and socialized.  

The breed has been banned in many countries due to their history of aggression and attacks on humans. In the UK, for example, it is illegal to breed, sell, or exchange Tosa Inus under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991. Similar laws exist in other countries where the breed is banned. 

A few other countries that have banned the ownership of these dogs include Australia, Denmark, UAE, and Iceland. 


9 – Dogo Argentino

At number 9, we’ve got the Dogo Argentino. A large, muscular dog originally bred for hunting and fighting in Argentina, the Dogo is a powerful and fearless canine. 

Despite their loving, loyal, and fearless personality, the breed has been banned in several countries due to their aggressiveness and tendency to attack if not trained or socialized properly. 

The Dogo, much like any other hunting dog has a strong prey drive and a high threshold for pain, making them ideal for fighting and hunting large game. They were originally bred for hunting wild boar and puma and then later on, for dog fighting. 

Due to their history and reputation, several countries have banned the Dogo Argentino. Similar to the case with the Tosa Inu, the UK has banned the breeding, selling and owning of Dogo Argentinos under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991.  

A few other countries to ban the ownership of the Dogo include New Zealand, Ukraine, and Denmark. In the US, they are only banned in particular states such as Colorado, New York, and Michigan. 


8 – American Pitbull Terrier

Number 8 on the list is the American Pitbull Terrier. Considerably more intelligent than other pit bull breeds, the American Pit Bull is a dog with a good physique and an enthusiastic and endearing personality. 

Like any other dog however, they can be dangerous and fearsome if not trained and socialized properly. And so, not all American Pit Bulls are considered safe, which is why they are banned in many countries. 

In many cases, Pit Bulls that have been mistreated and abused are responsible for aggressive behavior and attacks. 

Their intimidating physique coupled with their rough history of bull-baiting and dog-fighting is responsible for their negative reputation.  

The ownership and breeding of the American Pitbull have been banned in the UK under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991. Additionally, these terriers are banned in countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Ecuador, France, Germany, and Spain. They are also banned in the province of Ontario and some US states. 


7 – Presa Canario

At number 7, we’ve got the Presa Canario. A loyal and protective breed, the Presa makes great family dogs, but when they flip their switch, they will attack with little hesitation. 

Bred for guarding and protecting and sometimes for dog fighting, the Presa is a muscular and strong dog and their attacks can be fatal and dangerous.  

They are banned in some countries because of their unexpected attacks. Very loyal and loving towards their families but suspicious and reserved towards strangers, the Presa is a robust and self-confident dog with a well-balanced temperament, but only when trained and socialized properly. 

There have been cases of these dogs killing humans. One such incident happened in 2017 in Ireland when three of these dogs killed a woman.  

Due to their unexpected attacks, and the risk they may pose to the public, these dogs have been banned in countries such as the UK, New Zealand, Australia, Ukraine, and Singapore. 


6 – Neapolitan Mastiff

In 6th place, we’ve got the Neapolitan Mastiff. Also known as the Mastino Napoletano, the Neapolitan is an Italian breed considered very friendly and loving in temperament. They can still prove dangerous around small kids because of their massive size. 

Neapolitans can be aggressive towards people and animals outside their families if not trained properly.  

Originally bred for guarding and dogfighting purposes, the Neapolitan dates back to 700 BCE, in the Roman Empire when they were also used as war dogs and gladiators. 

As a result, these dogs have a strong protective instinct and they’re known to be highly territorial. They are known for their courage and loyalty to their owners, but their strength and power should not be underestimated. 

The breed is officially banned in Singapore and in a few states in the US. In some countries, a psychological evaluation has to be passed by the dog if you want to adopt or buy one. 


5 – Fila Brasileiro

At number 5, we’ve got the Fila Brasileiro. Also known as the Brazilian Mastiff, the Fila is a large and powerful dog breed that has a reputation for being protective and loyal. 

However, due to their strong guarding instincts and potential for aggression, the breed has been banned in several countries and municipalities around the world. They can be particularly aggressive with unfamiliar people and dogs. 

They are the last of the 4 dog breeds banned in the UK under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991, alongside the Tosa, the Pit Bull Terrier, and the Dogo Argentino. 

Originally bred and used on farms in Brazil, the Filas were utilized as guard dogs, and cattle herders, but most importantly they would be used to track and fight large animals like jaguars until the hunters arrived. 

As with most breeds on this list, Filo Brasileiros are also highly independent, so they won’t always respond to your command. The breed is popular for their tracking ability, intelligence, aggressiveness, and unforgiving temperament.  

Because of these reasons, they are banned in countries like Norway, some parts of Australia, and in New Zealand. 


4 – Wolfdog

Number 4 on the list is the Wolfdog. A wolfdog, also known as a wolf-dog hybrid or wolf hybrid, is a canid hybrid resulting from the mating of a domestic dog with a wolf.  

Wolfdogs are not a recognized breed by any major kennel club, and both their breeding and ownership are heavily regulated or outright banned in many places due to the potential danger they pose to humans and other animals. 

These unusual dogs have a unique set of characteristics, inheriting traits from both their wolf and dog ancestors.  

They are typically larger and stronger than domestic dogs, and their wild instincts, such as a strong prey drive and a tendency to roam, can make them difficult to control and pose a risk to both humans and other animals.  

They also have a strong pack mentality and can be unpredictable in their behavior. 

Wolfdogs have an extremely powerful bite force, and you might not believe this but an adult wolfdog can even kill a bison. This makes them illegal to be privately owned in many American states such as Alaska, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, and New York. They are also banned in Finland. 


3 – Boerboel

In 3rd place, we’ve got the Boerboel. The Boerboel, also known as the South African Mastiff, is a large and powerful dog breed that was originally developed in South Africa as a farm and homestead guardian.  

Boerboels are known for their courage, loyalty, and protective instincts, but their size and strength make them potentially dangerous if not properly trained and socialized. 

These dogs have a strong protective instinct and they are very territorial, making them highly effective as guard dogs. They are known for their courage, loyalty, and obedience to their owners, but their size and strength should not be underestimated. 

Moreover, the Boerboel has an extremely fatal bite force. These dogs are capable of tearing a human’s muscles, and tendons and in some cases even crushing bones when biting. 

Due to their protective nature, fatal bite force, and potential for aggression, the Boerboel breed is banned in Romania, Denmark, Russia, and Ukraine. In some countries, owners may be required to have specific permits or insurance to own a Boerboel. Some may even require that the dog’s mouth be covered with a muzzle. 


2 – American Bulldog

At number 2, we’ve got the American Bulldog. American Bulldogs are family dogs and therefore they are extremely protective towards people who are familiar with them, especially children.  

Just like other illegal and banned dogs, they have a strong bite force and if they are not socialized properly, they may attack any humans and animals, and that’s the reason why they are banned in many states in America and in other countries as well. 

Often mistaken for American Pit Bull Terriers, the American Bulldogs are stocky, muscular, and large-headed dogs. They have a strong protective instinct and are highly territorial, making them highly effective as both watchdogs and guard dogs. 

These dogs are very friendly around their master and people they know but may show excessive aggression towards new people since they have a history of serving as watchdogs on farms for decades. 

Because they can be unwelcoming to new people and animals and since they have a powerful bite, they are illegal to have as a pet in countries such as Denmark, Italy, Singapore, Ukraine, and also in some states of the US. 


1 – Bandog

And finally, the number 1 spot for the most illegal dog breed in the world goes to the Bandog. The Bandog is a type of dog that is typically a cross between a Mastiff-type breed and an American Pit Bull Terrier or an American Bulldog. 

Therefore, they have the size of mastiffs and a drive of an American pit bull terriers or an American Bulldog. And unsurprisingly, they are illegal at places where there is a ban on their parent breeds. 

These are not purebreds, and bandog is generally the term used to refer to a dog of huge size that is used for protecting property.  

In medieval times, they were chained the entire day and were released at night to roam and protect the property. 

If they are socialized from a young age, they’ll be great family dogs and they’ll get along well with adults, children, and other animals as well. 

But since they share the same capacity for aggression as their parent breeds, they are banned at all the places where the two breeds are banned, namely bulldog and mastiff. 


Do you own any of the breeds mentioned in this article? How do you ensure the safety of your pet and those around you?

What are your thoughts on breed-specific legislation? Let us know in the comments below.

Share your thoughts in the comments and and continue exploring our dog-related articles for further information on these breeds and responsible ownership.

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