Strength probably isn’t one of the most popular traits for dogs, but even the strongest dog breeds can make great companions. Larger breeds that are brave and protective are often considered strong, but it also causes some people to fear them too. These strong dog breeds aren’t scary in any way though. In fact, they are often very sweet dogs that are just dedicated to protecting their loved ones. They often need a lot of attention and exercise to be content, but if you’re willing to give them extra time and effort, they will make you feel safe and loved.
Strongest Dog Breeds
The following 12 dog breeds are some of the strongest, most protective dogs you will ever meet. However, don’t let their appearance fool you because they’re also very loyal and loving.
#1 – German Shepherd
It’s no surprise that German Shepherds are one of the strongest dog breeds. After all, they are commonly used as police dogs, so they have to be strong, smart, and brave. Even if they are kept as a family companion, they can still be extremely smart and protective. That’s because they’re incredibly loving, and they will guard their loved ones at all costs. Some people think that these dogs are aggressive, but they’re actually very affectionate around the people they trust.
German Shepherds typically weigh anywhere from 50 to 70 pounds, and they have thick, fluffy coats. Despite being such a strong, popular breed, they are actually fairly high maintenance. They need lots of exercise and mental stimulation daily. Also, their thick double coat sheds often, so if possible, they should be brushed daily.
#2 – Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky is a beautiful, majestic dog breed. They are commonly recognized as sled dogs, so strength is a key part of their jobs. It’s hard to tell with their thick coats, but they are actually very strong and muscular, able to pull even the heaviest sleds. They are extremely brave dogs that are never afraid of a little adventure.
Despite being so strong and powerful, this breed can also be a great companion dog. They often weigh between 35 and 60 pounds, but that doesn’t stop them from trying to cuddle up next to you. They are friendly with almost everyone they meet, and they’re loyal around the people they trust. However, because of their natural instincts, they will need plenty of exercise no matter where they live.
#3 – Rottweiler
By simply looking at a Rottweiler, you can tell that they’re strong. They’re big, muscular dogs, weighing 75 to 130 pounds. They were bred to be working dogs, and they’re capable of a wide variety of roles, including guarding livestock and police work. Therefore, they often have protective instincts even with a family. They are loyal to the ones they love, so they will always be on the lookout for danger.
However, if you keep a Rottweiler as a pet, you need to be prepared for lots of training. They will often try to act like the leader, so you need to work on training often to get them to listen to you. Once they’re content and comfortable around you, their playful side will come out and they’ll want nothing more than to love you and please you.
#4 – Great Dane
Great Danes are one of the biggest dogs out there, which also means they’re one of the strongest dog breeds too. These gentle giants can weigh anywhere from 100 to 175 pounds, so they need a family that has the strength and dedication to handle them. They need plenty of training to learn how to behave because if they don’t, they can easily drag you during a walk.
Despite being so large, they are also very sweet and playful. They get along well with most people and other dogs, and they especially love children. As much as they love going for walks and running around the yard, they are also perfectly content just cuddling with you on the couch.
#5 – Alaskan Malamute
Like the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Malamute is also a sled dog that can pull large sleds. Their coats are much thicker and softer than a Husky, and Malamutes are also larger at 70 to 95 pounds. They love going on adventures, and their furry coats are especially built for cold temperatures. Along with their physical strength, Alaskan Malamutes are also very intelligent, so they need an experienced dog owner to care for them.
These dogs can often be stubborn and very independent, so early training and socialization is important. Anyone who wants an Alaskan Malamute in their life needs to be willing to be patient and dedicated when it comes to their care requirements. Not only do they need lots of exercise and training, but they’ll also need plenty of brushing to keep their coat nice and fluffy.
#6 – Bulldog
You wouldn’t expect a short Bulldog to have much strength, but they’re actually more powerful than they look. They usually weigh 40 to 50 pounds, but they look much smaller than that because of their short legs and round bodies. However, because of their structure, they’re incredibly solid. So, if they don’t want to do something, then they can easily stand their ground. They might not be muscular, but that doesn’t mean they’re not strong.
Unlike the other dogs on this list, Bulldogs are usually calm with low exercise requirements. They love lounging around with their family members. They’re great companions, and they are especially great around kids. They are likely the easiest strong dog breed to care for.
#7 – Doberman Pinscher
Dobermans might look a little skinnier at first, but they’re actually very strong and muscular. Oftentimes, their ears and tail are cropped to make them look even more intimidating. They are brave, which is why they are often used as guard dogs and as police dogs. They are also very athletic, so they prefer a family with an active lifestyle. They typically weight anywhere from 70 to 95 pounds.
Despite looking so tough, Doberman Pinschers can also make good companions. They don’t have to be used as a working dog all the time. They are very loyal and loving toward their family members, and they’re actually a very sensitive breed. They’re very smart and obedient, so training is no problem for them. While they love playing and cuddling, they will also protect you at all costs.
#8 – Rhodesian Ridgeback
Rhodesian Ridgebacks are smart, athletic dogs that are often used for guarding and tracking. They can often be muscular and brave, like many of the other dogs on this list. They generally grow to be 65 to 90 pounds. Like most large breeds, they can be excellent companions if trained right, but they’re also a lot of work.
From an early age, the Rhodesian Ridgeback needs plenty of training, socialization, and love. They enjoy running around and playing as much as possible, so they require a family with an active lifestyle. In fact, these dogs are so loving that there have been many stories of them befriending unusual animals, including cheetahs.
#9 – Kangal
The Kangal is a lesser known breed, but it’s clear that these massive dogs are extremely strong. They generally weigh 90 to 140 pounds, with long legs like a Great Dane. Oftentimes, these dogs have guarding and herding roles to keep them busy, and they’re never afraid of a challenge. They are one of the strongest dog breeds in the world without a doubt, but like any dog, they can have a soft side too.
In a home setting, the Kangal needs lots of attention, exercise, and love. They will quickly bond with you, making them loyal and protective. Like with any large dog, they need a family that is willing to spend extra time and effort training them. They may be smart, but their large size makes them hard to handle. However, once they get comfortable around you, they’ll likely become extremely calm and gentle.
#10 – Chow Chow
Don’t be fooled by the Chow Chow’s fluffy appearance. They are incredibly strong and independent. Their soft, bear-like coats look perfect for cuddling, but they’re just not an affectionate breed. If you want to be close to a Chow Chow, it will take a lot of hard work and dedication. After all, under all that fluff, they have a large and muscular structure.
Chow Chows usually weigh about 45 to 70 pounds. Plus, their thick coats often make them look even larger than that. They were first bred to be guard dogs, so they have protective instincts that could come off as aggressive. However, if you’re patient with training and socialization, you can help your Chow Chow become friendlier and hopefully more affectionate. Even so, it’s important to know that they’re not the fluffy teddy bears that they’re expected to be.
#11 – Cane Corso
You don’t need to know much about a Cane Corso to know that they’re incredibly strong. They often mislabeled as aggressive simply because they’re very large and muscular. Humans also crop their ears often to make them look scarier, but that’s not really who they are. They are great guard dogs that weigh 90 to 110 pounds, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be sweethearts too.
The Cane Corso is not a good breed for inexperienced dog parents. Not only are they one of the strongest dog breeds, but they also need plenty of time to adjust to a laidback lifestyle. With lots of patience and consistency during training, they can easily become docile companions though. They will always be loyal and protective toward their humans, but it’s only because they love them so much.
#12 – Saint Bernard
Even though the Saint Bernard often weighs at least 140 to 200 pounds, they are often lazy. However, they were bred for an extremely brave role. These dogs were trained to save lost travelers, which often consisted of them digging people out of the snow and guiding them home. It’s really only a job that strong dog is capable of.
While Saint Bernards are still capable of these heroic tasks, they also make great companions. They enjoy exploring outside, but they’re also just fine lounging around in your home. They are extremely loving toward humans, which causes them to want to cuddle all the time. Even so, their weight and shedding alone makes them best for only experienced dog owners.
Even the biggest, strongest dogs can make great companions. However, if you want one of these breeds in your home, you need to be ready for some extra challenges. Most of these dogs need extensive training and exercise on a regular basis, so they’re not suitable for someone with a busy lifestyle. Sure, these dogs look extremely cool, but you have to make sure you’re dedicated to caring for them before you bring them home.