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The 18 Strongest Dog Breeds In The World

These dogs could knock you over in the blink of an eye!


Dogs are man’s best friend. They have been our companion for ages and it is hard to imagine a more loyal and affectionate pet. However, there is another side to our adorable canine. Before they were the comfort pets for humans, dogs were often used to hunt or carry heavy loads. Many dog species that do not look super strong, could actually knock you over in an instant. This list looks at some of the strongest dog breeds in the world.

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These dogs were used to guard, hunt, herd, fight or pull heavy weights before they became house pets. Some of them were bred exclusively for this task. Almost all the dogs on this list can be a bit difficult to manage as with their strength they also possess a fair bit of aggression. If their behavior is left unchecked, a lot of these dogs can turn into the most dangerous canines in the world.

The 18 Strongest Dog Breeds In The World

1. German Shepherd

german shephard strongest dog breeds

German Shepherds are strong and loyal companions that are also extremely intelligent. They’re a medium-sized working dog breed that originated in Germany to shepherd sheep. However, they have since gone on to be recruited into various other professions. German Shepherds are the choice dogs for police squads and military due to their strength and intelligence.

These dogs are easy to train as they are intelligent and learn things very fast. In addition, they are quick to respond to commands and obey 95% of all commands given to them. However, while well-trained Shepherds are calm and obedient, an untrained German Shepherd can get territorial and aggressive.

2. Siberian Husky

siberian husky strongest dog breeds

Siberian Huskies have strong muscular bodies. Not only are Huskies one of the strongest dog breeds in the world, but they are also one of the toughest. They are used to pulling heavy loads through the extreme weather conditions in Siberia where they are normally found. Siberian Huskies are sled dogs used to pull sleds and carry people. This in itself should be a testament of their strength.

However, they also live in extremely cold conditions where it isn’t easy to survive. In addition, Siberian Huskies are intelligent and gentle by nature. They do need a lot of exercise as they are highly energetic. Best of all, Huskies are very gentle with kids, truly making them the gentle giants of the strongest dog breeds.

3. English Bulldog

english bulldog strongest dog breeds

The English Bulldog might look short and stocky but is actually packed with muscles. Initially, these dogs were bred to chase and fight bulls. This breed is actually used to breed all the other aggressive dog breeds. However, despite their reputation, the English Bulldog is calm and gentle with children.

They make for good watchdogs due to their courageous and protective nature.

4. Pit Bull

pit bull strongest dog breeds

Pit Bull is another breed that was bred exclusively for fighting purposes. The Pit Bulls are strong, fast and have an athletic body. They can knock you over without much effort if they put their strength into it. Pitbulls are notoriously known for their aggressive nature and ill-temper. However, with proper training Pit Bulls can be very gentle and loyal companions. Since the breed was bred exclusively to fight, they were trained to be aggressive and ruthless. This has contributed a great deal to their infamous reputation but the breed is not naturally aggressive. Owners can train their Pit Bulls to be loving and gentle companions.

5. Dogo Argentinos

dogo argentino strongest dog breeds

Dogo Argentinos were originally bred as hunters and they are used to hunt wild boars even today. This breed is not only one of the strongest dog breeds but an athletic specimen. These dogs are tall, muscular and extremely powerful. In addition, they also have a high tolerance for pain. This makes them excellent fighter dogs.

However, these dogs are only suitable for people who are willing to indulge in their need for physical exercise. Dogo Argentinos need a high level of physical activity to maintain their muscle structure. Aggression can be an issue with this breed due to their hunter instincts but they are extremely loyal to their owners. These dogs could respond negatively to dogs of the same sex.

It is illegal to own a Dogo in the United Kingdom under the Dangerous Dogs Act of 1991.

6. Rottweiler


Rottweilers were primarily used to herd large groups of cattle. These dogs are so strong they can maneuver the entire herd of cattle on their own. In addition, they were also used to pull wagons and transport supplies. The Rottweiler may not look like one of the strongest dog breeds around at first glance but they really are quite powerful.

However, like quite a few entries on this list, Rottweilers have a problematic temperament. Owners will need to train them early and present an authoritative figure so as to establish early who the leader is.

7. Alaskan Malamute

alaskan malamute

Alaskan Malamutes grow bigger in size and have more strength than their contemporary Siberian Huskies. They have a very strong and muscular body and were used for carrying and pulling large weights in difficult terrains. These dogs are built for stamina and strength.

Alaskan Malamutes need a lot of quality time as well as exercise. They are not suited for small houses as they need open spaces to roam around. They are also high-shedding dogs that shed year-round and do well in cold conditions.

8. Carpathian Shepherd

carpathian shepherd strongest dog breeds

Carpathian Sheepdogs were used to keep the sheep safe around tough mountains where an encounter with bears, wolves, and lions could occur at any time. They are known for their strong personalities and do not back down in the face of danger. These dogs are tall and have strong, muscular legs with an extremely powerful jaw.

9. St. Bernard

Saint-Bernard strongest dog breeds

Originally the Saint Bernard dogs were used to guard the grounds of Switzerland’s Hospice Saint Bernard. They were also used to help find and save lost or injured tourists. They are extremely powerful and were used to dig through massive amounts of snow and drag the tourists to guide them back to safety.

In addition to strength, they also possess an extreme sense of loyalty. They are friendly with humans unless provoked and excel in obedience training.

10. Kangal


The Kangal is one of the oldest dog breeds around. These dogs have helped guard livestock as well as their owners against much bigger animals than themselves. They have a high tolerance for pain and can work effectively in teams to take down large predators like Foxes, Wolves, and Bears. They have a predictable and reliable temperament which is being gentle around livestock and children but aggressive in the face of danger.

The Kangal was originally bred by Turkish Shepherds and only became a popular breed in the US during the 20th century. In addition to being one of the strongest dog breeds in the world, Kangals are also the healthiest. They have an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years.

11. Mastiff

Mastiff strongest dog breeds

The Mastiff is an ancient dog breed whose roots go back as far as 5,000 years. While they were ferocious war dogs back then, now they serve as behemoth companions for owners who can accommodate their great size and don’t mind a lot of drool. This breed can go on to weigh up to 200 pounds and is often described as ‘heavy-boned’. Other breeds might come close to his height, but the Mastiff outweighs them all. They are loyal and protective companions that require a moderate amount of exercise to keep healthy.

Mastiffs, sometimes referred to as Old English Mastiffs, take their name from the Latin word mansuetus, meaning “tame” or “domesticated.” Though their massive size may suggest otherwise, Mastiffs prefer the comforts of home and family to the great outdoors. They can go on to live for 10-14 years.

12. Irish Wolfhound

Irish-Wolfhound strongest dog breeds

The Irish Wolfhound stands between 32-34 inches and is the tallest of all AKC accepted breeds. It is also one of the strongest dog breeds that were originally used in war to drag men off horses and chariots. In addition, this dog breed also hunted large animals such as deer, boar, and wolves.

While the Irish Wolfhound does require a good amount of exercise, it is predisposed to being a couch potato. The one exception is running which this breed enjoys immensely. This dog breed is a family companion that does well in obedience, tracking, and lure coursing.

13. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian-Ridgeback strongest dog breeds

The Rhodesian Ridgeback dog breed originated in the Southern Africa region. The characteristic ridge that runs down his spine is part of his mixed heritage of European hunting dogs and African dogs who had a distinctive ridge. This handsome dog breed is a versatile hunter and home guardian. While smart, this dog can also be very stubborn. They possess a moderate level of energy and have a short coat that is easily manageable.

These dogs have acquired names like Van Rooyen’s lion dog or the African Lion Hound or African Lion Dog due to their ability to even fight lions while defending their owners. Ridgeback was developed in Africa to corner and hold big game prey, such as lions, bears, and boars. This strongest dog breed possesses strong athleticism and noble carriage.

14. Great Dane

Great-Dane strongest dog breeds

For all their size and despite being one of the strongest dog breeds, Great Danes are actually gentle giants. This large and noble dog breed has been around for a while now and was originally developed from Mastiff-type dogs. However, their gentle temperament withstanding, their size can still be a problem for a dog owner. Their tail can knock over a lot of things including small pets.

The Great Danes will make fantastic companions for people who don’t mind its size. These dogs are sweet-natured and affectionate. They also get along well with children and other pets, not being highly territorial. They aren’t highly energetic but love to play with their owners.

15. Newfoundland

Newfoundland strongest dog breeds

The Newfoundland, as the name suggests, originates from Newfoundland. A large, strong dog breed, the Newfoundland was originally used as a working dog to pull nets for fishermen and haul wood from the forest. He is a capable and hardworking dog, well suited to work on land or water.

The Newfoundland has a sweet disposition and loves children. The Newfoundland is a natural-born babysitter with their desire to please, intelligence, a strong work ethic, friendliness, adaptability, and versatility. These dogs grow up to be nearly 100 pounds and need daily exercise to keep healthy.

Their long coats need regular grooming and they tend to drool a lot. The Newfoundland is best suited for cool climates, though they can adapt to living in warmer climates.

16. Bernese Mountain Dog

bernese mountain dog

The Bernese Mountain Dog is an extremely versatile working dog from the farmlands of Switzerland. One of the strongest dog breeds, the Bernese Mountain Dog was developed to herd cattle, pull carts, and be watchdogs and loyal companions. Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the four types of Swiss Mountain dogs.

They are huge in size and very high energy to boot. they do not like being left alone and do not adapt well to indoor living. They have a tendency to drool and shed. Dogs of this breed make for great watchdogs.

17. Xoloitzcuintli

Xolo strongest dog breed

Xoloitzcuintli might well be the descendants of the first dogs in North American continent. They are sometimes referred as the Mexican Hairless or Xolo since their name can be a handful. Back in the day, these dogs were considered natural doctors as the heat given off by their bodies could provide comfort to people with arthritis.

The Xoloitzcuintli have an unusual appearance. Their straight perky ears, ratlike tail and wrinkled brow give them a unique look that can take some getting used to. The Xolo comes in three different sizes, so the breed is adaptable to any type of home. Their lack of fur coat is what makes them feel warm to the touch, even though their body temperature is not any higher than that of other dogs.

18. Leonberger

Leonberger strongest dog breeds _TLM

This Large dog breed is a mix of Newfie, long haired Saint Bernard, and Great Pyrenees. They need a good amount of exercise, attention, and open space to keep them happy and healthy. Their lion like looks and deep bark makes them an intimidating watch dog.

Despite their size, the Leonberger aren’t unusually aggressive. They love to be around people and won’t appreciate being left alone for long hours. Their huge size makes them a wrong choice for small houses and cramped places. These dogs thrive with in farmhouses rather than apartments.

ALSO READ: Top 10 Most Expensive Dog Breeds In The World

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