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Strongest Dog Breeds in the World

By Mawoo Pets · 25 Feb · 7 mins read
Strongest Dog Breeds in the World

When it comes to strength, dogs are not all created equal. Some breeds are naturally stronger than others, capable of pulling heavy loads, guarding homes, or performing search and rescue missions. In this blog post, we'll explore some of the strongest dog breeds in the world, their unique characteristics, and the roles they play in our lives.

Whether you're a dog lover, a potential pet owner, or simply curious, this comprehensive guide will take you through the world of the strongest dog breeds, their characteristics, and what makes them stand out.

Our Definition of Strength

Before we dive into our list of the strongest dog breeds, it's important to clarify what we mean by "strength". In the context of this post, we're talking about a variety of physical and mental strengths, including pulling ability, bite force, endurance, agility, and mental resilience.

Strength in dogs can be measured in various ways, including their ability to pull a certain amount of weight, run over long distances, or reach a certain running speed. Additionally, a dog's strength can also be reflected in their protective instincts and their ability to guard their family and home.

In our opinion a strong dog is not only physically powerful but also mentally tough, capable of enduring challenging situations, overcoming obstacles, and remaining focused under pressure.

Strength in dogs is a product of both genetics and training. Certain breeds have been selectively bred over generations for specific tasks that require strength, such as pulling sleds, guarding property, or herding livestock. But even within these breeds, each individual dog's strength can vary widely based on factors like their diet, genetics, exercise, and training.

The 16 Strongest Dog Breeds

Now that we've defined what we mean by strength, let's take a look at some of the strongest dog breeds in the world. 

1 | Mastiff

Mastiffs are commonly considered one of the strongest dog breeds in the world. This is not just because of their impressive size and muscular mass (weighing up to 230 pounds!), but also a combination of their stamina, endurance, and bit force, which can exceed 500 PSI.

Mastiffs were bred to perform a range of tasks including guarding, pulling heavy weights for long periods of time, or even as war dogs, which is why they're such impressively strong dogs. They also possess a strong and courageous (yet stable) temperament, which complements their physical strength to produce a well-rounded powerful dog.

2 | Saint Bernard

Saint Bernards are known for their incredible strength and endurance. Originally bred in the Swiss Alps for rescue missions, these dogs are capable of pulling heavy loads through deep snow and harsh weather conditions. Despite their size (of up to 180lb) and strength, St. Bernards are gentle giants known for their friendly and patient nature.

One example of a Saint Bernard's strength is the legendary dog Barry, a rescue dog who reportedly saved over 40 people during his lifetime in the Swiss Alps in the early 19th century. Barry's endurance, strength, and determination, combined with a keen sense of direction, made him a hero, and his legacy lives on in the Saint Bernard breed.

3 | Rottweiler

Rottweilers are muscular and robust dogs, originally bred for herding livestock and pulling carts. They are known for their physical strength, protective instincts, and high level of intelligence. Rottweilers make excellent guard dogs and are often used in search and rescue missions.

One notable example of a Rottweiler's strength is the story of Jake, a search and rescue dog who worked at the World Trade Center site after the 9/11 attacks. Jake's strength, endurance, and determination made him a valuable asset in the rescue efforts.

In 2017, a Rottweiler pulled 6.8 tons (that’s 15,168 pounds!) in a weight pulling competition. The same pup, who was only 2 years old at the time of the competition, has also pulled a Jeep! And other Rotties have pulled small planes, too. These feats are a testament to the breed's incredible strength and determination.

4 | Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Anatolian Shepherds hail from Turkey and are large, muscular dogs that were used by shepherds to protect their livestock. These dogs have an intimidating size and stature, weighing up to 150lb and typically towering over most other dogs. Today, they are commonly used as family guardians.

Anatolian Shepherds can also run very fast, and have a bite strength that registers above 700 PSI, one of the strongest in the world.

5 | Great Danes

Great Danes are powerful giants but are not typically thought of as one of the strongest dog breeds. Why? Because of their calm and laid back personalities.

But just in sheer size and muscularity, Great Danes should be given a nod as a top-ranking powerful breed. They have a galloping figure that can reach 32 inches in height and 180 pounds in weight. Zeus, a Great Dane from Michigan held the Guinness world record for the tallest dog. This is not surprising given that Great Danes were bred large enough to take down a wild board or other large animals. Their bite force is 238 PSI, which is not the highest on our list, but can cause serious harm.

6 | Alaskan Malamute

Alaskan Malamutes are powerful and sturdy dogs, bred for pulling heavy sleds in harsh Arctic conditions. They have incredible endurance and can carry large loads over long distances. Despite their strength, Alaskan Malamutes are friendly and playful dogs, known for their affectionate nature.

Historically, Alaskan Malamutes were one of a few breeds who played a crucial role in the 1925 serum run to Nome, also known as the Great Race of Mercy. Teams of these strong dogs transported diphtheria antitoxin across nearly 700 miles of icy terrain, showcasing their incredible stamina and endurance over long distances.

7 | Cane Corso

Cane Corsos are intimidating guardian dogs. They’re not as large as Mastiffs or Anatolian Shepherds, but are versatile working dogs that were bred to serve as protectors, war dogs, or for heavy-duty working tasks like pulling of weights.

The Cane Corso bite strength is around 700 PSI, one of the highest of any breed. This physical strength, mixed with their protective nature, makes the Cane Corso an intimidating and indomitable breed. 

8 | Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies are renowned for their strength and endurance. Bred to pull sleds over long distances in harsh Arctic conditions, Huskies have a unique combination of strength, speed, and endurance. Despite their strength, Huskies are also known for their friendly and gentle nature.

One example of a Husky's strength is the story of Togo, the sled dog who led his team on a 700-mile journey to deliver lifesaving serum during a diphtheria outbreak in Nome, Alaska in 1925. Togo's journey is a testament to the breed's incredible endurance and mental toughness.

9 | Boxer

Boxers are muscular and athletic dogs, known for their strength and agility. They also have a protective nature and make excellent guard dogs. Though originally bred for hunting, Boxers are in fact quite playful, making them great family companions, too.

Boxers have been used in various roles that require strength and endurance, including police work, search and rescue, and even as service dogs. Their strength, combined with their intelligence and trainability, makes them valuable and versatile working dogs.

10 | Newfoundland

Newfoundlands are large and powerful dogs, bred for water rescue. They have a strong swimming ability and can pull heavy loads, making them excellent rescue dogs. Despite their size and strength, Newfoundlands are gentle and affectionate, known for their sweet-natured temperament.

One famous Newfoundland is a dog named Seaman, who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition across the United States. Seaman's strength and swimming ability proved invaluable during the journey, helping the explorers retrievers geese and antelope across the Mississippi river. Another example of a Newfoundland's strength is the story of Whizz, a Newfoundland who saved nine people and another dog from drowning over the course of his life as a member of the UK Royal Navy Rescue. 

11 | Doberman Pinschers

Dobermans are a versatile working dog breed that’s commonly used by police and in search & rescue mission. They are an all-around dog breed that is strong, fast, and courageous.

The Doberman’s bite force is around 300 PSI.

12 | Dogo Argentino

The Dogo Argentino is an extremely powerful breed with high energy levels. They are courageous and fearless with plenty of tenacity, as they were bred to hunt game as large as or bigger than themselves, like wild boar. 

Dogo Argentinos have a muscular, athletic build with a strong, well-rounded head. They have a high pain tolerance and a bite force that's around 500 PSI, a very strong level for their size. 

13 | American Pit Bull Terrier

The Pit Bull stands out as one of the strongest dog breeds not because of its absolute physical strength, but because of the strength it packs for its size. Pit Bulls have a bit force of 240-330 PSI and combine strength with agility and athleticism in a unique form.

Their stubborn, courageous, and sometimes aggressive personality has added to the reputation of this breed as one of the strongest dog breeds.  

14 | German Shepherd Dog

German Shepherds are an iconic breed when it comes to law enforcement, military, and search and rescue operations. They are well-rounded working dogs with a standout physical ability to sprint at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour.

German Shepherds have a bite strength of 238-291 PSI. Their all-around physical ability, mixed with their obedient and trainable nature, is the reason they are regularly used as working dogs and family protectors

A German Shepherd named Irma helped with the rescue of 191 people from under rubbles. She would not only identify people through scent, but would use her energy to move rubbles and stay close to the persons to provide warmth and comfort until a broader rescue mission arrived. 

15 | Belgian Malinois

Similar to the German Shepherd, the Belgian Malinois is a versatile and intelligent working breed commonly used by law enforcement. A standout ability of the Malinois is its incredible running and jumping abilities. They’re also very muscular and agile dogs, and have a strong bite force of 195 PSI.  

16 | Irish Wolfhound

This list would not be complete without mention of the Irish Wolfound. As their name implies, this breed was developed to hunt wolves. So naturally, they pack a lot of energy and strength, and also have deep-seated hunting intuition.

Irish Wolfhounds weigh up to 180 lb and have a bite force of over 400 PSI.

Conclusion

Strength in dogs can be understood in terms of muscularity, ability to pull weights, mental toughness, resilience, bite force, and even other ways. The breeds we've discussed here are just a few examples of the strongest dog breeds in the world.

These dogs are capable of performing challenging tasks and enduring tough situations. Whether they're pulling heavy loads, guarding homes, or performing search and rescue missions, these breeds showcase the incredible strength and versatility of our canine companions.

As you marvel at the strength and resilience of the world's strongest dog breeds, remember that each of these magnificent animals deserves the right kind of loving home where they can thrive. If you’re considering bringing one of these breeds home, we’re here to help. At Mawoo Pets, we are committed to helping you find the perfect pup to join your family. Whether you're looking for a steadfast guardian, a tireless working partner, or a gentle giant to complete your home, you can try our Dog Breed Quiz to find the right dog for you that’s as much a fit in spirit as in stature.

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