What are the strongest dog breeds in the world? The idea of owning one of the strongest dogs is appealing to many people, not because they want a fierce creature but because these animals tend to be gentle giants. Strong dogs can keep up with active owners and do well in busy households, on farms, and as family protectors. But when they do not have to show their strong side, any one of these muscle-bound hounds can be your best friend and cuddle buddy.
If you are searching for one of the strongest dogs, be prepared to fall for a dog breed that offers more than just pound-for-pound strength against other animals, tough jobs, and humans. Among the most powerful are breeds that bring a lot of history and loving companionship. Some were bred hundreds or even thousands of years ago for bite force or fighting. Others were bred as bodyguards or agricultural working animals. A glimpse into their history and background can help you understand their strength and why training and socialization are very important for these powerful animals, from the start.
To aid you in your hunt for a new companion with strength, companionship, and loyalty to offer, check out these 10 strongest dogs in the world.
#10: Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is a dog breed often described not just as strong, but majestic. This powerful canine was first bred for its loyalty and protective instincts in ancient Roman times. The breed is heavily muscled at often more than 100 pounds and 28 inches at the shoulder. It has an intimidating stance and clear intelligence behind its eyes. Because they are so imposing and able to so effectively scare away intruders, the Romans’ chosen name of Cane Corso for the breed translates from Latin as “bodyguard-dog.” But as the American Kennel Club points out, it is important to train and socialize this powerful breed well or they can end up “owning the owner.”
#9: German Shepherd
Like the Cane Corso, the German Shepherd is large, muscular, intelligent, noble, and strong. This breed, one that originated in Germany as its name implies, is so loyal and courageous that police forces around the world rely on them. The dog’s bravery is matched only by their gentle character when off-duty. They are used by military, police, and emergency forces in searches, pursuits, and rescue operations of all kinds.
German Shepherds stand up to 26 inches tall at the shoulder. They can run at high speeds in pursuit, just as well as they can focus on tasks at close range. Their ability to learn many skills and commands makes them easy to work with and, when combined with their physical strength and protective nature, these characteristics place them among the most powerful, trusted, and strong of dog breeds.
#8: Great Dane
Whether close-up or from a distance, it is easy to see why the Great Dane is among the most powerful dogs in the world! This breed is known for its intimidating size, standing up to 32 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing as much as 175 pounds. But unless you have owned one, you may not know just how friendly, playful, patient, and dependable these gentle giants are, at the same time. Great Danes are among the working class of dogs, always ready to use their imposing size and physical strength to protect their home and family.
Hailing from Germany, not Denmark, Great Danes are called the Apollo of Dogs. They were originally bred to hunt dangerous wild boar as part of noble sporting. Today, many owners enjoy the breed’s sweet spirit and their ability to scare away intruders at just one glance. When it comes to physical size, strength, character, dependability, protective nature, and playfulness, the Great Dane is certainly one of the most powerful dogs in the world!
At 28 inches tall at the shoulder and up to 150 pounds, the Newfoundland is certainly a large dog. But what makes them one of the strongest dogs is not just brute force or big bones. In addition to being sizable, these dogs can use their strength with intelligence, physical endurance, and even the ability to swim long distances. These characteristics are why Newfoundlands are often working dogs used to rescue humans, such as drowning victims. But like other breeds among the most powerful, strength is not this dog’s best characteristic. The Canadian breed is sweet enough around kids to have earned the nickname “nanny dog.”
#6: Siberian Husky
Surprisingly, even medium-sized breeds rank among the world’s strongest dogs. Such is the case with the Siberian Husky, a beautiful creature standing at only up to 23.5 inches at the shoulder and weighing about 60 pounds. Strength is not always measured through bite force, fighting prowess, intimidation, height, or weight. Siberian huskies earn their place by being highly energetic with outstanding physical endurance, able to pull heavily weighted sleds through deep snow for hours. Some of these dogs prove their endurance and strength each year when taking part in the famed Iditarod race. They are pack animals, loyal to the group, and sweet to family, children, and each other.
#5: Pit Bull
The pit bull terrier was originally bred from a cross of Bulldogs with Terriers. The resulting newer breed is pound for pound the most powerful biter on this list. Their bite force is 235 pounds per square inch (PSI). For this reason, many people have inhumanely bred and trained these dogs for illegal fighting. That is sad because pit bulls likely also have the strongest heart for their owners. They are loving, loyal, and playful pups eager to cuddle whenever they can. Despite their ability to bite, these dogs are also easily trained to refrain from using their jaws. This training and socialization should start at a very young age.
#4: Irish Wolfhound
The tallest of all dogs registered by the AKC is the 36 inch, 180 pound Irish Wolfhound. At first glance, these pups do not look like they rank among the strongest dogs in the world. They look more like they might be rated as “most loyal” or “friendliest.” But their calm, dignified and loving demeanor only masks the courage, stamina, and strength they also possess in their massive bodies. Irish Wolfhounds were first bred as big-game hunters. Amazingly, these intriguing creatures can take down adult elk or even a wolf, as their name implies. When it comes to courage, tenacity, and hunting strength, pound for pound the Irish Wolfhound stands head and shoulders above all of the rest!
First recognized as a unique breed by the AKC in 1936, the Rottweiler stands up to 27 inches at as much as 135 pounds. This is certainly not the biggest dog on this list. But, like the Pit Bull terrier, the Rottweiler brings other skills to the ranks of the strongest dogs in the world. Descended from the Mastiffs, this breed is heavily muscled, particularly in their hindquarters. This makes them skilled runners and bounders, able to chase down a threat and hold it at bay. They possess a fiercely protective nature, keeping watch over their owners like a guardian angel. That angel seems to think it is a Toy Poodle when there is no threat, however. Rotties are always ready to jump on the sofa and take a nap cuddled up against a family member.
#2: Saint Bernard
If you ever find yourself stranded on a snowy mountain in the Swiss Alps, there is only one dog you want coming to your rescue — the Saint Bernard — a true lifesaver able to endure extremely cold temperatures to find lost explorers and even warm rescued victims with their body heat. Known as playful, charming, and curious, these dogs bred since the 17th century are called “extraordinarily muscled” and massive. They stand at up to 30 inches at the shoulder and weigh as much as 180 pounds. That is 180 pounds of love and warmth able to find and rescue someone lost under an avalanche, making the Saint Bernard one of the strongest dogs in the world!
With a name sounding close to “massive” and a body size matching that term, the Mastiff is top of the list among the world’s strongest dogs. Most of this breed outweigh a fully grown adult male. They stand up to 30 inches at the shoulder and weigh an incredible 230 pounds. The strength is in those numbers, just as their heritage as bodyguards since 3000 B.C. proves the quality of their courage and loyalty.
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