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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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:
- Best Dogs for Protection
- Best Dog Breeds for Kids
- Best Dog Breeds for Apartments
- Best Dogs for City Living
- Good Housekeeping
- Top Dog Tips
- AZ Animals
- Hepper Blog
- The Dog People
- The Scotsman
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.