There’s no denying the fact that dogs are man’s best and most loyal animal friend. However, when it comes to getting a pet, everyone has their own set of preferences.
Some choose dogs based on their personalities, while others consider their size. Some like small dogs that they can easily cuddle and carry around while others prefer large, strong dogs, they can feel protected with.
However, as opposed to common perception, not all strong dog breeds are fierce. Many are gentle and even have a goofy side to their personalities, only putting their muscles to use when needed.
If you want to get a big powerful dog as a pet, do take into account the personality and needs of the various strongest dog breeds to pick the one that can easily fit into your lifestyle.
Important: Many powerful dogs require plenty of exercise every day to be happy and healthy. Do consider this factor to make sure you can fulfill the exercise requirements of the dog you are getting.
Want to get a strong dog as a pet but don’t know what your options are?
To help you make the right choice, here we are listing some of the strongest dog breeds in the world.
The 15 Strongest Dog Breeds
|Ranking||Name||Height||Weight||Life span||Breed size||Temperament||Origin|
|1||German Shepherd||24 to 26 inches||70 to 88 pounds||9 – 13 years||large||intelligent, obedient, courageous, stubborn, curious, confident||Argentina|
|2||Pitbull||18 to 21 inches||55 to 70 pounds||8 – 15 years||medium||friendly, affectionate, gentle, courageous, obedient, strong willed||United States|
|3||Siberian Husky||20 to 23 inches||35 to 60 pounds||12 – 15 years||medium||outgoing, intelligent, gentle, alert, friendly||Siberia|
|4||English Bulldog||17 to 20 inches||40 to 44 pounds||9–14 years||medium||friendly, confident, courageous, alert, loving, strong||United States|
|5||Rottweiler||30 to 34 inches||80 to 120+ pounds||8 – 10 years||large||loving, affectionate, driven, protective, confident||Germany|
|6||Kangal||30 to 34 inches||120 to 150+ pounds||10 – 13 years||extra large||sensitive, alert, protective, self-controlled, calm||Sivas|
|7||Alaskan Malamute||23 to 25 inches||75 to 85 pounds||10 – 12 years||large||playful, devoted, dignified, friendly, loyal||Alaska|
|8||Great Dane||28 to 32 inches||110 to 190 pounds||8 – 10 years||extra large||friendly, reserved, loving, devoted, confident||Germany|
|9||Saint Bernard||25.5 to 27.5 inches||130 to 180 pounds||8 – 10 years||large||lively, gentle, watchful, friendly||Switzerland|
|10||Cane Corso||25 to 27.5 inches||100-110 pounds||10 – 12 years||large||stable, loyal, alert, reserved||Italy|
|11||Dogo Argentino||24–26.5 inches||88–100 pounds||9–15 years||large||tolerant, affectionate, loyal, cheerful, protective||Argentina|
|12||Belgian Malinois||22 to 26 inches||61 to 100 pounds||14-16 years||large||watchful, hard-working, alert, stubborn, confident, active, friendly||Belgium|
|13||Irish Wolfhound||34 to 35 inches||140 to 180 pounds||6 – 10 years||extra large||sweet-tempered, thoughtful, generous, patient||Ireland|
|14||Rhodesian Ridgeback||25 to 27 inches||70–85 pounds||10 – 12 years||large||sensitive, mischievous, strong willed, intelligent||Rhodesia|
|15||Newfoundland||26 to 28 inches||130 to 150 pounds||8 – 10 years||large||sweet-tempered, gentle, watchful, friendly||Newfoundland and Labrador|
1. German Shepherd
German Shepherds are one of the most popular dog breeds not only because of their strong and athletic bodies but also because of their intelligence, which makes them ideal for training.
Originally bred to herd sheep, German Shepherds are now widely used by law enforcement and security agencies due to their intelligence, quick learning abilities, and strength. However, this is not their only role in the modern-day world.
These powerful, intelligent, courageous, and beautiful dogs of German origin are the second most popular purebred dog breed in the United States and are widely kept as pets.
Although they have a reputation for being aggressive, German Shepherds can be trained to be calm and obedient. When raised with children from the beginning, they tend to be friendly and patient with them.
For this, however, these dogs need to be socialized from an early age. So, if you want to keep a German Shepherd as a family dog, make sure you get a puppy and give it proper socialization training from the start.
Due to their large and muscular bodies, German Shepherds can weigh up to 90 pounds. However, don’t make their heavy bodies make you think that they have a dormant lifestyle.
These dogs are highly active and need plenty of exercise regularly. Make sure you can fulfill its activity requirements before bringing a German Shepherd home.
Originally bred as fighting dogs, Pitbulls are strong, brawny, and fast. However, contrary to common belief, they are not inherently violent.
Pitbulls respond well to training and can either be trained to be violent or remain cool and calm. Since they were essentially raised for fighting, they were trained to be aggressive and vicious for a long time in history, giving them a notorious reputation.
If you want to keep a Pitbull as a pet, rest assured that it can be trained to be a gentle and loving companion as well as a family dog.
Don’t fall for their small frames – Pitbulls are very strong and powerful and hence, also ideal for keeping as protection dogs.
3. Siberian Husky
Commonly known as sled-dogs, Siberian Huskies are medium-sized dogs that have served humans throughout their existence.
Their muscular bodies, broad shoulders, and strong legs enable them to travel huge distances, even during harsh weather and in tough terrains, while pulling a large amount of weight.
When kept as pets, Siberian Huskies make lovely companions. They are gentle, friendly, obedient, and, of course, loyal. They are also intelligent, which means they can be trained quite easily.
Since the Chukchi people of Siberia kept huskies as family dogs, they are also great with kids. Raised in harsh living conditions, huskies have also adapted to survive with small quantities of food.
Apart from all the love that a Siberian Husky brings into your life, one of the greatest advantages of keeping this dog as a pet is that it doesn’t have the typical dog odor; they are naturally clean.
However, huskies are highly energetic and need regular exercise or playtime to be healthy and happy. Also, since they are essential cold weather dogs and have a thick layer of fur on their bodies, they are not a very good choice for people living in hot climatic regions.
4. English Bulldog
Short, but muscular and strong, English bulldogs were originally bred to fight with bulls, in a sport called baiting. So, don’t mistake their small size for their lack of strength.
While English bulldogs have maintained their vigor and strength, they have gradually learned to control their aggression.
Modern-day bulldogs can be trained to remain calm. This, when coupled with the fact that bulldogs often develop a strong bond with kids, makes them a great choice to keep as family dogs.
Used as working dogs for centuries, especially to herd and guard livestock, Rottweilers make great watchdogs. Although they still play their traditional role of herding in some parts of the world, Rottweilers are more commonly used as guard dogs by police and military or kept as pets.
However, when kept as pets, Rottweilers need to be properly trained. Since they have powerful and dominant personalities, they need to be trained to follow orders from an early age. Otherwise, they will assume the role of the leader and start bossing you around, which you surely wouldn’t want.
Rottweilers tend to be highly protective of their owners and can get aggressive with strangers if not trained for socialization. While they are intelligent and can be trained to be playful and friendly, they are not ideal for inexperienced dog owners.
Also, Rottweilers have high exercise requirements. They need vigorous workouts every day. This makes them inappropriate for people with very busy lifestyles.
This is another dog breed with a very long history of guarding humans as well as helping them in herding and protecting their livestock. With its origins in Turkey, Kangal is considered one of the oldest dog breeds used for these purposes.
Their traditional role not only made them alert, active, territorial, and protective, but also enabled them to fight with bigger and dangerous animals. It also made them develop a high endurance for pain.
So, you shouldn’t have any doubt that they are one of the strongest dog breeds in the world. But, on the flip side, Kangals are full of love and make great pets if you take out some time to train and socialize them.
When kept as family dogs, Kangals tend to be calm, gentle, and protective towards children. Although they are not as big as Great Danes, they are quite tall.
7. Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamutes look quite similar to Siberian Huskies, but they are bigger and stronger than them. These dogs are known to have one of the strongest backs of all the dogs out there.
Like Siberian Huskies, they were also historically used mainly for pulling and carrying weights in the difficult terrains of Western Alaska.
Alaskan Malamutes not just have strong bodies, they have strong personalities too. Therefore, they are a better choice for experienced dog owners who can keep them in control.
If you can manage to deal with their strong personality, which sometimes leads to stubbornness as well, Alaskan Malamutes make lovely pets. One of the most prized qualities of Alaskan Malamutes that make them a good choice for pets is their patience.
Having served the most difficult of tasks in the most challenging conditions, these dogs are extremely patient, which makes them amazing to have as family dogs, especially when you have kids.
8. Great Dane
If there is any dog breed that’s worthy of the title Gentle Giant, it is Great Dane. While they were originally used for hunting, these big dogs with athletic bodies now make affectionate pets.
They are gentle, patient, kind, sweet, and playful. They are good with children and also get along with other pets, particularly when raised with them.
They love physical affection, so they won’t mind cuddling with you on the couch while you watch TV.
Weighing up to 175 pounds, at maximum, Great Danes are strong and powerful. They are also one of the tallest of all dog breeds. Great Danes’ physical strength also makes them ideal as guard dogs.
9. Saint Bernard
A giant dog breed from the Swiss Alps, Saint Bernard has long been used to rescue tourists lost in the mountains.
These dogs not only have exceptional abilities to track tourists but can also dig into massive amounts of snow to recover people trapped in avalanches. Furthermore, acting like true Saints, St. Bernards also drag and/or guide the lost tourists to safe locations.
These powerful, kind, affectionate, and selfless dogs are truly amazing to have as household pets. They also love and look forward to cuddling time with their owners.
10. Cane Corso
Known for their alertness and their loyalty towards their owners, Cane Corsos make great guardian dogs. However, they are not the ideal choice for inexperienced dog owners because it takes a lot of consistent and hardcore training to make these dogs adapt to your lifestyle.
For experienced dog owners, Cane Corsos can serve as excellent guard dogs. Their huge size and brawny bodies are enough to intimidate potential intruders. But, they are affectionate towards their owners.
The Cane Corso can also be trained to be docile pets.
Unlike many strong dog breeds, Cane Corsos do not have high requirements for physical activity.
11. Dogo Argentino
This big, white, muscular dog hails from Argentina (as evident from the name) where it was used to hunt big animals, like wild boars. This is enough to tell how strong these dogs are.
As opposed to their big size and intimidating appearance, Dogos have hearts filled with love and loyalty towards their owners.
However, these dogs essentially have fighting spirits, due to working as hunters for a very long time, and are also known to have a bit stubborn personalities. Therefore, they may not be a good choice for first-time dog owners.
For experienced dog owners, Dogos can turn out to be really good pets. They naturally have a protective instinct and are also extremely loyal to their owners.
12. Belgian Malinois
Belgian Malinois, also referred to as Belgian Shepherd, is a powerful dog essentially bred for herding. It is smart, intelligent, and active and has a graceful personality.
Belgian Malinoises make excellent detection and protection dogs and are often used as police dogs. They can also make great guard pet dogs, but they need an ample amount of physical activity.
So, only get a Belgian Malinois if you can manage to take it out for a walk daily and provide plenty of playing opportunities.
13. Irish Wolfhound
One of the tallest dog breeds originating from Ireland (as the name tells), Irish Wolfhounds were originally bred to hound and guard and are one of the oldest dogs living with humans.
Their large height and athletic bodies make them look intimidating, but when trained, they can turn out to be great pets with undying loyalty towards their owners.
With proper training, Irish Wolfhounds can also be made to get along and be gentle with children. Since they are intelligent dogs, wolfhounds respond well to training. They are essentially calm, but when provoked, can get quite fierce.
14. Rhodesian Ridgeback
Featuring powerful athletic bodies and the natural skill for tracking Rhodesian Ridgebacks were traditionally used in lion tracking. However, they are essentially all-purpose dogs that can be trained to serve any purpose. But, they also have strong, independent personalities, so they need to be trained from an early age.
Coming from Rhodesia, these dogs tend to get quite protective of their owners. However, overall, trained Rhodesian Ridgebacks are even-tempered and affectionate.
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are also known for their high stamina and fearless nature. In addition to their strong and muscular body and tall height, the distinctive physical characteristic of these dogs is the ridge of backward growing hair on their spine.
If you are looking for a dog that is large, strong, and good-looking, Rhodesian Ridgeback is a great choice.
Newfoundland dogs, also referred to as Newfs, are all-purpose dogs known for their gentle and sweet temperament, endurance, and, particularly, for their friendly behavior with children. They also make the most devoted pets.
Newfoundlands are also known for their ability to swim long distances and save lives in the water.
Despite their big size and their strong bodies, Newfoundlands have moderate activity requirements.
Summing Up the Strongest Dogs in the World
Tall, brawny, and powerful, there’s nothing quite like having a big powerful dog walking beside you.
While all the strong dog breeds discussed above can be kept as pets, some of them need to have strong personalities and hence, need more vigorous training than others.
So, make sure to take that into consideration, along with the exercise requirements of each breed to pick the right fit for yourself.
Forrest is a lover of dogs, the wild outdoors, deep mysterious conversations… and coffee. He is the owner of several websites, including Canine Weekly. He resides in Austin, Texas.