Not every dog owner wants or needs a cute, cuddly, gentle giant of a dog. Some people need dogs that are strong to help with hunting, farming, herding, and protecting. Others need strong dogs to work alongside professionals as military and police dogs, search and rescue dogs, or guard dogs.
If you need one of the strong dog breeds in the world, which dog matches the description of being strong and is up to the task?
The top 15 of the strongest dog breeds that can help you get the job done are the:
- Belgian Malinois
- German shepherd
- Saint Bernard
- Irish wolfhound
- Siberian husky
- Rhodesian ridgeback
- Dogo Argentino
- Bernese mountain dog
- English bulldog
- Alaskan malamute
- Great Dane
Let’s look at each of these powerful dog breeds and what exactly makes them strong.
Top 15 Strongest Dog Breeds
Here are the strongest dog breeds you need to know about:
First up is the Belgian Malinois, which is also called the Belgian shepherd. Originally bred as a herding dog, Belgian Malinois are physically active and intelligent dogs.
Many of these dogs are trained to be police dogs because they have great scent detection skills. Belgian Malinois are also excellent protection dogs. If you have a Belgian Malinois as a pet, then be sure to go on daily walks and have lots of playtimes.
These dogs weigh 40-60 pounds and can be 24-26 inches tall.
Primarily bred for fighting, guarding property, and hunting, the bandog is a pure working dog with no unified breed standard. It’s believed that the ancestors of the bandog include the American Staffordshire terrier, the pit bull terrier, the English mastiff, and the Neapolitan mastiff.
With a stocky and powerful build, a bandog can weigh between 100-130 pounds and stand tall at 26 inches (on average).
These dogs are fairly easy to train since they are highly intelligent. While they are good with children, they also make excellent watch and guard dogs.
Due to their endurance capabilities and strength, German shepherds were bred to be herding and hunting dogs. They also make excellent service and guide dogs, police dogs, and search dogs since they are very smart, easily trainable, and highly athletic.
German shepherds can grow to be 22-26 inches tall. Their muscular bodies can weigh between 60-100 pounds.
These dogs need a lot of daily exercises. While they have a reputation for being aggressive, you can socialize and train your German shepherd to be obedient and calm.
Called Newfs or Newfies for short, Newfoundland dogs are well known for their sweet and friendly temperament and endurance.
They can swim long distances. This is due to their partially webbed feet. With their high level of endurance and strength, Newfoundlands have been used to save drowning victims.
Interestingly, even though Newfoundlands are large dogs (weighing 130-150 pounds at 28 inches tall), they don’t need a lot of exercises. They do, however, love playtime.
Native to the Swiss Alps, Saint Bernard dogs are used to rescue tourists when they get lost in the Alps. That is when they aren’t out rescuing, they are kind, selfless, and affectionate household pets.
But back to the Alps. With their keen sense of smell and remarkable abilities to track lost travelers, these dogs can also dig into the snow to find people trapped under an avalanche. These dogs are truly amazing as they can also guide or pull people to safety.
These large dogs weigh between 130-180 pounds and are 25.5-27.5 inches tall.
Originally from Ireland, the Irish wolfhound is one of the tallest dog breeds at 32 inches at the shoulder. These large dogs can weigh a minimum of 120 pounds.
Bred to guard and hound, these dogs can be intimidating due to their size. However, they make great family dogs. They are intelligent, so they respond well to training. Thus, they can be trained to be gentle and calm.
As a descendant of the Chukchi dog that was bred by a nomadic Siberian tribe to pull heavy hunting sleds for long distances, the Siberian husky is known for its speed, endurance, and strength.
These sled dogs can grow to be 20-23.5 inches tall and weigh 35-60 pounds.
A highly energetic dog, a Siberian husky needs a lot of exercises. And with their double coat, they are best suited for living in cold climates. Siberian huskies are highly intelligent so they are easily trained.
Like the English bulldog, Pitbulls were also originally bred to be fighting dogs. Thus, they are brawny, strong, and fast. You may wonder if such a ferocious fighting dog can be trained to be gentle and kept as a pet?
The answer is yes. Pitbulls are trainable and you can train this family dog to be loving and gentle.
Ideal as a protection dog, Pitbulls are powerful. On average, they weigh between 50-70 pounds. They are 15-21 inches tall.
More than 500 years ago, European immigrants to South Africa bred domesticated dogs with the native ridgeback dog to create the Rhodesian ridgeback. The crossbreed’s purpose was to hunt game like boar and lions.
The Rhodesian ridgeback dogs of today still have their ancestor’s endurance and strength; however, today, they are either guard dogs or companions for active families.
Once known as the African Lion Hound, these dogs are 24-27 inches tall and weigh 70-85 pounds.
Dogo Argentino is a big, white dog that originally comes from Argentina (no surprise, right?) This dog was bred to hunt large animals, like wild boars.
At 24-27 inches tall at the shoulder, these dogs can weigh between 80-100 pounds.
The Dogo Argentino makes for a loyal and protective dog. However, due to their stubborn nature and fighting spirits, they make great pets for experienced dog owners.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Also called Berners, Bernese mountain dogs are friendly and affectionate. Hailing from Bern, Switzerland, the Bernese mountain dog is a working dog that originally served as a herder, flock guard, draft dog, and general farm dog.
Another large dog, the Berner weighs 70-120 pounds, and when measured at the shoulder, stands 23-27.5 inches tall.
A highly intelligent breed, Bernese mountain dogs love learning tricks.
Originally bred to pull carts, serve as security dogs, and herd livestock, Rottweilers are big and strong dogs. These days, if a Rottweiler isn’t someone’s pet, it is trained to be a guard dog for the military or police.
They are usually 22-27 inches tall and weigh between 80-130 pounds. Rottweilers need a minimum of 2 hours of daily exercise since they are very active dogs.
These dogs are highly intelligent and very protective of their owners. While they can be trained to be friendly (or should that be friendlier?), they are not ideal dogs for inexperienced owners.
An English bulldog is quite short at only 14-15 inches; however, don’t let this small stature make you think this isn’t a powerful dog. Weighing 40-50 pounds, bulldogs were originally bred to be fighting dogs.
Bulldogs were used in a sport called bull-baiting in 13th century England where these dogs would fight much larger bulls. So these dogs had to be fierce and aggressive.
Fast forward to today, and you’ll find that bulldogs are loving and gentle companion dogs. Through the centuries since bull-baiting was banned, breeders bred out the aggressive nature of English bulldogs.
At first glance, an Alaskan malamute may look similar to a Siberian husky; however, this dog is much stronger and bigger than its husky cousins.
Also similar to the husky, the Alaskan malamute was also originally used to pull sleds across the difficult Western Alaskan terrain. Because of their sheer strength, they were also used to hunt powerful prey like seals and polar bears.
A very patient dog with a strong personality, an Alaskan malamute needs an experienced dog owner to keep them in control.
Weighing 75-100 (or more!) pounds, these dogs can grow to be between 24-27 inches tall at the shoulder.
Called a gentle giant, a Great Dane is a big dog but it has a calm and sweet personality. Back in the day, these dogs were bred as boar hunting dogs. Their job was to hold down the prey until the hunter got there.
One of the tallest dog breeds at 28-34 inches tall, these dogs can weigh between 100-200 pounds.
Breeders have selectively bred out the hunting part of a Great Dane’s personality. These days, Great Danes make great family pets due to their patient, gentle, and kind nature. They also make great guard dogs.
Tips to Help Your Dog’s Physical Strength
To ensure your dog’s physical strength stays in peak condition:
- Ensure your dog gets regular exercise
- Feed it a healthy and balanced diet that is fit for your dog’s breed and age
- Supplement its diet with premium ingredients to ensure your dog gets a boost in nutrients
- Train your dog by doing cardio and endurance-specific exercises to build muscle and strength
Strong dog breeds are great working dogs as they can help herd livestock, hunt, stand guard, help in search and rescue missions, and detect drugs and bombs.
These powerful dogs also make great family pets, especially with the right training and socialization.
Which of these strong dogs would you consider as a pet?