Strongest Dog Breeds: Top 5 Most Powerful Pups, According To Experts

Dogs are some of the most highly diverse animals on earth. Managed and bred for generations by humanity, many dog breeds have developed special adaptations to aid them in their intended tasks. Some dogs are bred solely for companionship, while others are bred to work and protect. The strongest dog breeds exhibit an impressive combination of physical power, muscular build, and enduring stamina, making them well-suited for various tasks, from pulling heavy loads and guarding property to excelling in canine sports and competitions.

Despite their formidable strength and imposing physical presence, the strongest dog breeds often possess gentle and affectionate temperaments that make them wonderfully cuddly companions. These dogs are known for their loyalty and deep bonds with their owners, and they can be incredibly loving and affectionate. Their imposing size may be intimidating to some, but those who get to know these breeds often discover their gentle and cuddly nature, seeking affection and relishing in the warmth of close human contact.

These breeds thrive in environments that provide ample space for exercise and mental stimulation. They do best in homes with large, securely fenced yards where they can run and play freely. An environment with opportunities for physical activities such as agility training, hiking, and play sessions helps them stay healthy and happy. Additionally, strong dog breeds benefit from consistent training and socialization to ensure they are well-behaved and can interact safely with other animals and people. A home with a loving and responsible owner who understands their specific needs and provides them with the attention and care they require is crucial for these powerful breeds.

These burly beasts have a legacy of working hard for their handlers and families. Our trusted sources helped us rank these furry powerhouses for our list of the top five strongest dog breeds. Let us know your favorites in the comments below!

The List: Strongest Dog Breeds, Per Canine Experts

1. Saint Bernard

For some, the Saint Bernard evokes the vision of a massive hound with a cask of brandy on its collar bounding across to the snow to save wayward skiers. For others, they are the star of the 1992 family comedy “Beethoven.” Either way, Saint Bernard dogs have a reputation for their size and strength as Oodlelife raves: “Saint Bernards are massive; that’s why they were bred as guard dogs, guarding the great Saint Bernard Hospice in Switzerland… The animal is strong, protective, powerful, and muscular, making it one of the strongest dogs. And despite all this, the animal is an amazing family friend, affectionate towards humans and drooling all over the ones they love.”

selective focus of Saint Bernard dog photo by JJ Shev on Unsplash
Saint Bernard (Photo by JJ Shev on Unsplash)

Good Housekeeping praises the Saint Bernard as the number one strongest breed, “A male Saint Bernard can get up to 180 pounds and is known for being extremely protective, according to the American Kennel Club. It’s massive size and muscular physique is why it makes the list of strongest breeds. The Saint Bernard also makes for an excellent family dog.”

Top Dog Tips exclaims “An affectionate breed, the Saint Bernard is great for homes with kids and other pets… They cannot tolerate the heat well, so they are best suited for colder climates. While friendly and intelligent, these fur-babies are still hard to train. They like doing things their own way. Another drooler and shedder, be prepared to clean up after this pet.”

2. Mastiff

Mastiffs are descendants of war hounds and are powerfully built. Although they no longer go to battle, they remain a physically strong and imposing breed. Top Dog Tips says, “The Mastiff is a great dog for families with kids and other pets. These are territorial dogs that make great guard dogs. While affectionate to family and friends, they do not like strange people and animals coming around. Dogs in this breed have short hair and shed an average amount. They have lower energy which makes them need less exercise.”

A Mastiff sitting in the snow
A Mastiff sitting in the snow (Photo by Jerry Vrabel on Pexels)

AZ Animals describes, “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.”

Care elaborates, “Described as ‘massive’ and ‘heavy-boned,’ this giant breed, which can weigh up to 200 pounds, are known to be loyal and protective of their families. While the AKC says they can happily live in an apartment, they do require a moderate amount of exercise, like a walk of about a mile or so a day.”

3. German Shepherd

German Shepherd dogs are possibly the most popular breed for security and law enforcement. These bright canines are capable of highly consistent behavior when trained properly. Hepper Blog comments, “German Shepherds might be the pound-for-pound strength kings. They tend to top out at around 100 pounds, which is fairly reasonable compared to some of the giants on this list. Still, they’re incredibly muscular and athletic, and they can be fearless when the situation depends on it.”

brown and black dog
German shepherd (Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash)

The Dog People adds, “It’s really no wonder that this breed is often preferred by law enforcement, security agents, and other organizations where strength and power are key—the German Shepherd has that in spades. Considered the second most popular purebred dog breed in the United States, these canines… are celebrated for their brains, beauty, and courage.”

Wag! details, “German Shepherds are not only strong in body, but in mind as well, which puts them at the top of the list in strength. Intelligence is neverending, and they are used by the military and security as excellent police dogs. Many have been employed as seeing eye dogs because they have the strength to pull a person, leading them whenever they want to go.”

4. Rottweiler

Rottweilers can definitely seem intimidating to those who have never gotten to know one. With their powerful builds and deep booking bark, they can inspire fear in some. The Scotsman explains, “The Rottweiler’s immense strength and power has given it a somewhat unjustified reputation for being aggressive. A well-trained Rottweiler can make a gentle and loyal family pet.”

Rottweiler puppy holding a dog food bowl in his mouth
Rottweiler puppy dog holding a food bowl in his mouth (Photo by Rita Kochmarjova on Unsplash)

The Spruce Pets offers, “Like many dog breeds, Rottweilers were initially bred to herd large animals, pull carts, and serve as security dogs. To do their jobs, they had to be extremely big and strong. Today’s Rottweilers still tend to nudge objects, other animals, and people. They can be great family dogs, but Rottweilers don’t pair well with the elderly or families with small kids; their prodding can topple people who are prone to falling.”

“Their strong physique is the physical proof of their strength. However, when trained properly and in the right setting, Rottweilers are amazing family pets that are loving, gentle, and affectionate towards their owners. The dog is naturally protective and aloof with strangers,” states Oodlelife.

5. Siberian Husky

The beloved Husky dogs of the north are famous for their ability to pull a sled as a team across the frozen landscape. Although not as large as some of the other dogs on this list, they are strong and exhibit impressive endurance. “If your job is to pull sleds loaded with supplies over miles of frozen arctic wilderness you’ll need to be strong. Luckily for the Siberian Husky they have abundant power and stamina. In 1925 Siberian Huskies saved numerous lives by racing a life-saving diphtheria serum to Alaska where there was an outbreak,” claims The Scotsman.

black and white siberian husky
Siberian Husky (Photo by Megan Byers on Unsplash)

The Spruce Pets relates, “About 3,000 years ago, the nomadic Chukchi tribe in Siberia first bred the Chukchi dog to pull their heavy hunting sleds across long distances. In addition to brute strength, the Chukchi dog possessed an extremely warm winter coat and astounding metabolism. These dogs could constantly exercise with minimal food. The Siberian husky is a direct descendant of the Chukchi dog and still has incredible strength, speed, and endurance.”

Wag! reviews, “If you love the snow and cold, this is the pup for you. They are often used to pull sleds as they are super strong, and their thick, dense coats keep them well-insulated for harsh weather. This medium-sized dog also makes a great pet and they love children. They will keep the kiddos safe, warm and well-entertained when the snow starts flying!”

You might also be interested in:


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.


  1. I’m surprised the American Pit Bull Terrier is not on this list. They are a muscular powerhouse.

    1. Agree. I adopted a pittie this past January after my husband died. She’s really strong, smart and loyal.

  2. There are many other dogs even more powerful than those listed here that even the Pitbull can’t compete with strength wise. For instance how about the well known fact that the Alaskan Malamute is much more powerful than the Siberian Husky. Albeit the Husky has greater speed and stamina, but the Malamute is just hands down stronger. Not even mentioning the Alabai, Kengal, Anatolian Shepherd or the Caucasian Shepherd, to mane only a few. This list is an opinion not a fact sheet

    1. Agree! As an owner of 2 Anatolian, I can definitely say they are much stronger than a husky or a german shepherd.

    2. Yet not one of those breeds ever competes in pulling competition’s where Pits completely dominate not even sled dogs. Been there done that,seen it and recorded at pulling events.

  3. Malamute Huskies are the strong ones, bred to haul heavy loads across Alaska and Western Canada.
    Siberian Huskies are the fast ones, bred to haul people and relatively light loads at relatively high speeds.

    1. Yea, and how are most of them used now? As nothing. They don’t work or expend their high energy. So they end up attacking people and other animals. They are now house accessories and for social media clout. These dogs should not be inside. Dogs should have never been brought inside but humans have this insecure need to have total control over something. Something to be 100 subservient to them.

    1. I agree, but any dog breed trained properly in no danger to anyone. It’s up to the owner, not the dog of any breed of any kind. Many dogs are trained for specific purposes.

  4. An impressive list for sure, but you missed the #1 entirely. My Irish Wolfhound is an extremely strong dog & he was the “runt” of the litter. Today he’s about 6’ 6” & 180 lbs.

  5. Pound for pound, the English Bulldog is mighty and strong. If they are carefully managed, and not allowed to become obese, you can see every muscle on this dog. The pull strength alone is to be commended. Small but mighty, there is a reason these dogs were used to bait bulls!

  6. Anatolian Shepherds are stronger than all of those listed. What about the Kangal? Akbash? Caucasian Shepherd? Great Pyrenees? Anatolian Shepherds have a bite force of 740 lbs psi, pitbulls are 350 lbs psi. A quick Google search would have made this a better list.

  7. Ridiculous list. Pound for pound the Pitbull is the strongest breed. Also a Rhodesian Ridgeback is also incredibly strong. Oh why don’t the top 5 on this bogus list ever do strength competition like Pitbull’s do? Pits dominate pulling competition’s.

  8. Strength is actually done by weight class of the dog I have two GSD’s that are competitive in nosework,spot,weight pull, & obedience I wouldn’t say the strongest but they’ll make you feel safe & proud

  9. Does it really matter about what breed is the strongest. As long as any dog, large or small is correctly trained who cares. I love dogs. Give dog owners a break. If you or anyone can’t train their dogs correctly get professional help.

  10. Definitely an opinion piece due to the lack of serious research. The Kangal / Anatolian Shepard breed is an ancient line of livestock guardian dogs with the strongest recorded bite force of dogs at 743 psi! Intelligent, calm, adaptable to heat / cold, independent; they were bred for killing wolves and bears in Turkey, with males reaching 150 lbs, some even bigger. They are rapidly gaining popularity here in the US for their specific traits and role. Will bond deeply with their human family, and yet are capable of being very independent when used on range land and absolutely devastating to predators who threaten their charges. Double coat / thick skin acts as a bit of armor, with wolves teeth having some difficulty penetrating, and less strong dog breeds with lower bite forces unable to penetrate the skin. That’s just one breed, and for the sake of brevity I’ll leave it there.

    I do agree with a couple of those breeds mentioned, but the Kangal must be on that list.

  11. You left off the majestic Alaskan Malamute an unbelievably strong force of a dog, way stronger & larger than the Husky.. We were proud owners of a Mal, a grand experience.. Not sure how this fact was missed..

  12. This isn’t accurate. The Kangal should be on there , Caucasian ovcharka (Shepard) Cane Corso etc.

Comments are closed.