Most Muscular Dog Breeds: Top 5 Strong Pups, According To Canine Experts

Whether you’re researching to add a new pup to your already existing pack or a first-time owner looking for the right fit for your lifestyle, we are more than happy to give you the ultimate 411 on dog breeds. Today, specifically, we are going to be talking about those stocky, gentle giant breeds known for their muscular physiques and protective natures. When reading through the most muscular dog breeds list, one must also keep in mind not to let their big bad biceps scare you. Most of these pups would be more than happy to snooze on the couch with you as much as defend you in danger. In fact, breeds like the Rottweiler, for instance, although intimidating in appearance, are actually known for their calm and loving nature. They are incredibly loyal and make great family pets. So, if you’re looking for a muscular dog breed that can also be a big softie, don’t let their size fool you – these gentle giants are sure to steal your heart.

One must always be prepared when welcoming a new family member into their home. Being a new dog owner comes with its challenges. A survey finds the first year of dog ownership will see six pairs of chewed shoes, five emergency visits to the vet, and six mad dashes to freedom out the front door. The survey asked 2,000 American dog owners about the impact their four-legged friend has had on their lives, regardless of the growing pains. The survey reveals that within their first year at home, respondents’ dogs went through 27 toys, destroyed four pieces of furniture, and slipped out of their leash six times.

Of course, with the sour comes the sweet. From helping their owners through an average of three new jobs and three new homes, 64 percent of respondents don’t know where they’d be without their dog’s love and support. In fact, nearly seven in 10 respondents believe their dog knows them better than they know themselves. The average respondent also agrees their dog has also helped them heal three broken hearts! That’s just the magic of owning a pup, though. 

Puppy love aside, we have taken the time to research across multiple expert sources to bring you today’s ranking of the top five most muscular dog breeds. Don’t agree with our list? No worries, we would love to hear from you in the comments down below.

a large black and brown dog sitting next to a car
Rottweiler (Photo by Luzelle Cockburn on Unsplash)

The List: Most Muscular Dog Breeds, Per Experts

1. American Bully

The first pup up on our list is the American Bully. Looking for a stocky friend? This may be the dog for you. “The American Bully is a new breed founded in the 1980s to be a family-friendly dog. It has a highly muscular frame and is available in various varieties based on its size. The American Bully can weigh up to about 70 – 120 pounds and stand 13 to 21 inches tall,” says Pets Nurturing.

grayscale photography of short coated dog lying on floor
American Bully (Photo by David Taffet on Unsplash)

“Although the AKC has not recognized the American Bully as an individual breed, many owners object. In fact, the United Canine Association (UCA) started recognizing American Bullies as a separate breed from the American Pit Bull Terrier in 2009. This breed was recently created as a modern companion and show dog. Breeders sought to breed out undesired traits such as aggression and prey drive while maintaining muscular physique, dedication, and intelligence,” writes Top Dog Tips.

“The American Bully is a relatively new breed created to be a family companion dog. The standard American Bully can weigh up to 65 pounds and stand 20 inches tall. It’s an adaptable breed and a loving companion with all aggression bred out as per the breed standard,” states Hepper.

2. American Pit Bull Terrier

The second spot on our list is dedicated to the American Pit Bull Terrier. One of the most popular dog breeds in the world currently, “All you have to do is put your hand to one of these animals to feel the muscles and raw power under the skin. In fact, this breed is prevalent in canine strength competitions. In fact, Pit Bulls are a popular breed for canine bodybuilding, with many praising it as a healthy alternative to dogfighting,” describes Top Dog Tips.

adult white pit bull
American Pit Bull Terrier (Photo by Michael Anfang on Unsplash)

“The American Pit Bull Terrier can weigh up to 60 pounds and stand 21 inches tall. It has a well-defined muscle structure and a stable, compact frame. It has a deep love of children and is enthusiastic when interacting with family members. It’s friendly and kind, even with strangers, and it likes to work,” adds Hepper.

“The American Pitbull Terrier may not be recognized by the American Kennel Club as his own breed just yet, but this is certainly one of the most popular muscular dog breeds on our list. Bred and perfected for blood sports in the 16th and 17th centuries, the American Pitbull Terrier is now better known for his affectionate, people-oriented temperament. Like all Pit Bulls, American Pit Bull Terrier dogs are also famous for their large jaws and their unique smile when they are feeling happy or relaxed,” explains Your Dog Advisor.

3. Rottweiler 

Next up is the Rottweiler. A robust and powerful breed, “Originally bred in Germany, Rottweilers are renowned for their strength. But apart from their strength, Rottweilers are also highly intelligent, which makes them easy to train and work alongside police and guard dogs,” notes OodleLife.

a close up of a black and brown dog
Rottweiler (Photo by Michael Anfang on Unsplash)

“Rottweilers are an intelligent and confident breed with sizes ranging from medium to large. Historically, Rottweilers were used for more arduous tasks such as herding cattle. Nowadays, apart from being pets, they also serve as guard dogs. This furry ball of muscle can be an excellent companion, although constant and extensive training and socialization are required,” comments Pet Side.

“Rottweilers were originally bred to herd livestock and were used all the way back during the 2nd century by Roman legions in Rottweil, Germany. When the Romans left, Rottweilers were still used to accompany butchers as money carriers to markets from the Middle Ages until around 1900. But because of their strength and size, they were used to pull carts and eventually became popular as guard dogs,” reports Great Pet Care.

4. Doberman Pinscher

The fourth spot is dedicated to the mighty Doberman Pinscher, a medium to large-sized breed known for its sleek and muscular physique. “With an athletic and sturdy build, a dignified but alert posture, and obedient loyalty to their families, this breed is highly sought after as a family pet. Recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1908 and believed to have originated from Germany, this powerful yet loyal breed has been beloved by many since then. When handled correctly with respect for their strength, Dobermans will make loyal companions devoted to their family members with loving attention throughout the day,” states Taglec.

black and brown short coated dog
Doberman (Photo by Anna Kozakova on Unsplash)

“The Doberman Pinscher is an extremely muscular pup, and their shiny black and tan coat really shows off those pawsome muscles to perfection. Most of their muscle is concentrated in the powerful front half of their body, so they can be difficult to handle when leashed if not trained properly,” says Wag! 

“One of the best security dogs you can find, Doberman Pinschers have a very royal appearance and are very robust. They were raised as working canines and used to be trained to assist law enforcement. This breed was developed as a guard dog in Germany in the 1800s and has a powerful physique and intimidating characteristics. Although its exact genetic origins are unknown, it is thought that the breed we know today is a cross between the Rottweiler, German Pinscher, and Black and Tan Terrier, all of which can be seen in the Doberman’s powerful build,” writes A-Z Animals.

5. Boxer

Last but certainly not least on the ranking goes to the Boxer. A highly energetic dog that excels in a number of activities, “The name ‘Boxer’ does justice to Boxer’s athletic build. Originally bred as hunting dogs, the Boxer is a mixed breed with high energy levels as well as high intelligence. They are friendly, intelligent, loyal, and sweet but wary of strangers, which makes them excellent guard dogs. Boxers also love being accompanied by their humans and are fiercely protective,” notes OodleLife.

short-coated brown dog on green grass field
Boxer (Photo by Anita Peeples on Unsplash)

“This friendly breed has a body that doesn’t match its personality. A friendly dog, the Boxer is considered one of the most muscular dog breeds. You don’t have to take my word for it. Just look at them. This breed is immediately recognizable for its chiseled good looks. Given their friendly disposition, they do not do well as guard dogs or attack dogs, but they do make great dogs for the fairly new Canine Body Building and Canine Strength Competition sports,” adds Top Dog Picks.

“With its immense physical strength and famously fearless demeanor – it’s easy to see why this fiery breed is included in the top 5 most muscular dogs. Associated with their signature robust jaw muscle structure that gives them an extremely formidable-looking face – giving it strong grips and the unique ability to assault prey from many angles rather than just one– Boxers are skillful and multi-tasking hunters on land or water,” concludes Taglec.

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

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About the Author

Jilly Hite

New York raised and Florida-based Jilly Hite studied screenwriting and theatre at The Lee Strasberg Institute before becoming a full time content creator and podcaster. She loves old movies, musical theatre, and her pup Ted.

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