22 Strongest Dog Breeds In The World Pound For Pound

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If you’ve ever played tug of war with a dog, no matter how big or small they are, you’ll notice that they’re pretty strong animals for their size. In this article we’re taking a look at the 25 strongest dog breeds in the world – including the dog with the strongest bite!


Dogs have been at our side throughout our history as humans – helping us hunt, herd, farm, and protect our families. They’re cute, smart, loyal, playful, fun – and can be super strong! This has led to some dogs like German Shepherds being especially suited to helping with search and rescue, police and military work, and trained as service dogs and watch dogs.

All of the breeds in this list are powerful, intelligent breeds. Some of them are popular household pets, and some are less well known – but they all have incredible strength in common.


How is dog strength measured?

Dog strength can be measured in various ways. It typically increases along with a dog’s size, but this isn’t always the case.

Weight pulling ability

Dogs are known for their amazing ability to pull weights, often competing for the title of strongest dogs in this activity. Sled dogs such as Alaskan Malamutes and Huskies are especially well known for their weight pulling abilities.

A 150 pound Alaskan Malamute is the current world champion at weight pulling – with a record 5,400 pounds pulled across the finish line of his course.

Bite force

Bite force is another dog strength measurement. It’s calculated as “pressure per pound” (PSI). So the higher the PSI rating, the stronger the dog’s bite force.


THE STRONGEST DOG BREEDS

Let’s dive in and take a look at some of the strongest dogs in the world!


Rottweiler

strongest dog breeds

Rottweilers have been used as herding dogs and livestock protectors since ancient Roman times. Some are still used for this purpose, but you’re more likely to see them being used as guard and police dogs these days.

They can be ferocious guard dogs that you don’t want to mess with. But their muscly, impressive build makes them one of the dog world’s most misunderstood breeds – as they can also be big, cuddly, gentle family pets that will never attack unless provoked.

If you’re thinking of getting a Rottweiler, it’s important that you train them early, and train them properly to avoid them injuring anyone (even if it’s accidental). This dog breed packs some serious weight and bite power, and they often don’t know their own strength.

Rottweiler bite force: 328 PSI

Height: 22 – 27 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 80 – 130 pounds

Life expectancy: 8 – 10 years


Siberian Husky

strongest dog breeds

The Siberian Husky is best known for their speed and weight pulling power. One of the world’s most most famous Siberian Huskies led a sled team 658 miles in five and a half days to deliver diphtheria treatment to a community in Alaska in 1925.

Their courage and ability to perform feats of strength, endurance, and speed in the harshest, coldest conditions on the planet makes them a fantastic choice for those who love active dogs, plus they’re super friendly which makes them a very popular pet for families. And if you’re looking for a dog that doesn’t come with a stinky “doggy smell” – the Siberian Husky has you covered!

In addition to being one of the most powerful dogs, they’re one of the most energetic – so Husky owners need to be in a position to give them plenty of daily exercise to prevent them getting bored and tearing up furniture, carpets, and other things inside the home.

Husky bite force: 224 PSI

Height: 20– 24 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 35 – 60 pounds

Life expectancy: 12 – 15 years


Alaskan Malamute

strongest dog breeds

Malamutes are often mistaken for the smaller Husky mentioned above. But the Alaskan Malamute is bigger and more muscular.

With its thick double coats and professional work ethic, this strong dog was traditionally used by the Western Alaskan Inuits to carry produce and freight and assist with hunting.

Malamutes are strong dogs used to travelling long distances, and have a ton of energy. This means they need a lot of exercise, and experienced dog owners that can train them properly so they don’t develop bad habits.

Malamutes are one of the most powerful dogs in the world, and quite capable of helping to take down polar bears and seals, but they also make sweet and loyal pets.

Malamute bite force: 222 PSI

Height: 24 – 27 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 75 – 100+ pounds

Life expectancy: 10 – 12 years


Doberman Pinscher

strongest dog breeds

Fast and fearless, but also very friendly (in the right company!) – the Doberman’s impressive build makes it a no-brainer to go on the strongest dog breeds list.

Dobermans are a popular choice as a guard dog, but they also make great family pets due to their sensitive nature and intelligence.

Originating in Germany, the Doberman is slim, elegant, and stylish – with exceptional power and speed lurking underneath their sleek exterior!

If you’re looking for a dog to help you feel safe and secure, and can give your Doberman proper training, socialization, and plenty of exercise – this breed could be the gentle companion you’re looking for.

Doberman bite force: 228 PSI

Height: 24 – 28 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 65 – 100 pounds

Life expectancy: 10 – 12 years


German Shepherds

strongest dog breeds

The German Shepherd is one of the most popular purebred dogs in the USA. It’s also one of the strongest dog breeds. The German Shepherd’s strength, courage, and intelligence makes it the perfect companion for security teams, law enforcement, and other organizations that need dogs who are strong and capable to work alongside them.

If you’re looking to get a German Shepherd as your family pet, it’s best if you can give them the training, discipline, and exercise they need to thrive. They have a lot of willpower, so you need to understand how to control them in situations where they may get over excited or anxious.

German Shepherd bite force: 238 PSI

Height: 22 – 26 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 60 – 100 pounds

Life expectancy: 9 – 13 years


Saint Bernard

strongest dog breeds

Remember the movie Beethoven? This catapulted the lovable Saint Bernard to fame, alongside its long history of being one of the strongest dog breeds, and one that has carried out countless search and rescue missions in tough terrain that humans can’t get to.

The Saint Bernard breed is a gentle giant, with a loving personality. It’s highly intelligent and capable of finding and rescuing humans trapped in avalanches. While we seldom think of Saint Bernards as one of the toughest dog breeds, it’s been attributed to saving thousands of human lives, and it’s the national dog of Switzerland.

It’s a powerful and unique dog with incredible strength. But as it’s an alpine dog, the Saint Bernard has a huge coat that may not be suitable if you live in a warm climate, as they become unhappy and uncomfortable.

Saint Bernard bite force: 235 PSI

Height: 26 – 28 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 130 – 180 pounds

Life expectancy: 8 – 10 years


Newfoundland

strongest dog breeds

Once accompanying sailors on treacherous ocean voyages, the Newfoundland (or Newfie) is designed for the water. They even have webbed feet like a duck, which helps them power through the water with ease!

Newfoundlands are gentle giants, and are a popular family pet due to their sweet demeanours and obedient behavior. They’re friendly, good natured, and great with kids.

Like all of the other strongest dog breeds, Newfoundlands need lots of attention, proper training, and adequate daily exercise to ensure they’re healthy and happy.

Newfoundland bite force: 240 PSI

Height: 22 – 30 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 100 – 150 pounds

Life expectancy: 8 – 10 years


Great Dane

strongest dog breeds

Great Danes were originally kept for hunting purposes – being fast enough to run down deer, and strong enough to tackle boars and bears. They’re also one of the tallest dog breeds.

As a breed that’s now well adjusted to modern family life, they’re quite content to lay around your home with kids and other pets.

If you’re thinking about getting a Great Dane, keep in mind that they are one of the strongest dog breeds, which, together with their imposing height, can make them a handful to control if they’re not trained well and exercised every day!

Great Dane bite force: 238 PSI

Height: 28 – 34 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 100 – 200 pounds

Life expectancy: 8 – 10 years


Belgian Malinois

strongest dog breeds

Also known as a Belgian Shepherd, the Malinois is a powerful dog that was bred for outdoor farm work and mountain herding.

In modern society, they’re often used for personal protection, as well as drug and bomb detection. Because of the nature of their breed, they’re not that great for inner city apartment living, and need a ton of playtime and exercise every day to keep their energy levels in check. Otherwise, you risk your treasured belongings becoming chew toys!

As one of the strongest dog breeds, the Malinois is also highly intelligent, and a loving companion.

Belgian Malinois bite force: 195 PSI

Height: 22 – 26 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 40 – 80 pounds

Life expectancy: 14 – 16 years


Chow Chow

strongest dog breeds

Known for their regal stance, shaggy coats, and blue tongues, Chow Chows are a very impressive dog. A favourite at dog shows, they’re also one of the strongest dog breeds. The breed’s lineage goes all the way back to 206 BC, where they were used as temple guard dogs in China due to their highly protective personalities.

While they look like cute, snuggly bears, Chow Chows need lots of training and socialization to prevent them from developing aggressive tendencies towards other dogs, children, and adult strangers. They can be feisty and strong-willed, and they just want to protect you – but they may not know their own strength!

Chow Chow bite force: 220 PSI

Height: 17 – 20 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 40 – 70 pounds

Life expectancy: 9 – 13 years


American Bulldog

strongest dog breeds

The American Bulldog, as its name suggests, is a chunky, powerful breed, and one of the strongest dog breeds – as you’d imagine with a build like this! They were originally bred to tackle bulls, but have now adapted to modern life in the home.

Aside from their solid exterior, they’re a popular family dog because, well, they’re adorable! They’re sweet, sensitive, and great for families with kids. The downside? They drool. A lot.

As with all bulldogs, you should train them well at an early age to ensure they know their boundaries in the home, and around other people and animals. These Bulldogs also love the outdoors, and need lots of regular exercise to stop them getting bored and destructive. With their powerful bite, it’s best to keep them out of mischief.

American Bulldog bite force: 305 PSI

Height: 20 – 28 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 60 – 100 pounds

Life expectancy: 10 – 15 years


Great Pyrenees

strongest dog breeds

A gorgeous, shaggy dog, the Great Pyrenees is easily identified by its beautiful white coat. Originally kept to protect livestock in difficult terrain, and also used to pull sleds and carts, these dogs have superior endurance, strength, and intelligence – and can pull impressive weights for long distances, even in harsh conditions.

If you’re an experienced and confident dog lover, the Great Pyrenees is a good choice of pet. They’re not recommended for inexperienced dog owners. Just remember they need to be exercised, well trained, and understand how to behave around the home, and around strangers.

Great Pyrenees bite force: 240 PSI

Height: 25 – 32 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 85 – 160 pounds

Life expectancy: 10 – 12 years


American Pit Bull Terrier

strongest dog breeds

Having developed a bad reputation for being the meanest dog in the world, and having an aggressive, unpredictable nature, the American Pit Bull Terrier can strike fear into the hearts of many other dog owners and passers by.

With unregulated breeding, and the popularity of these dogs to get stolen and used in underground rigns for fighting dogs, this popular purebred dog breed has been unfairly labelled as one of the most dangerous dogs.

In reality, when trained and socialized properly, Pit Bulls are great family companions and one of the toughest dog breeds. They’re loyal, smart, and gentle with an intense affection for owners that treat them well and give them plenty of love.

If you’re thinking about adding a Pit Bull to your family, it’s important to do your research, meet the breeders, and reassure yourself that your Pit pup comes from a good home background.

If you’re adopting an older dog or rescue, make sure you’re confident about training or retraining your Pitbull so that it’s not a threat to you or anyone you love. The bite force of a pit bull is not something to mess with!

Pit Bull bite force: 235 PSI

Height: 22 – 27 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 80 – 130 pounds

Life expectancy: 8 – 10 years


Dogo Argentino

strongest dog breeds

The jaw of the Dogo Argentino alone suggests that it’s a most powerful dog. These dogs are natural hunters, so love vigorous exercise and playing games with the family.

Originally from Argentina, this ancient breed was a working dog used to hunt wild boar. With its muscular body and huge bite force made it the perfect dog for taking down wild game.

Today, the Dogo is brought in to help with search and rescues, and police operations. While it’s extremely intelligent, it can also be stubborn and strong-willed, so it’s a dog that needs a confident and experienced owner that’s capable of training it properly.

Dogo Argentino bite force: 500 PSI

Height: 24 – 27 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 80 – 100 pounds

Life expectancy: 10 – 15 years


Rhodesian Ridgeback

strongest dog breeds

Ridgebacks are a giant dog breed, with a giant personality to match. They’re easy to spot because of the ridge of fur that runs down their back.

As one of the strong dog breeds, the Rhodesian Ridgeback was used as a guardian dog to protect homes and livestock in Africa.

With high energy levels, a strong will, and a natural protective instinct, these dogs need good training and lots of exercise so they don’t become too much of a handful for you and your family! They’re not recommended for apartment living.

These strong, muscular dogs were were originally bred as a working dog to guard livestock and homes—something that perfectly complements their ultra-protective instincts.

Originally from Rhodesia in Africa (now Zimbabwe and Zambia), this breed can be a handful for an inexperienced owner but will make a nice pet with plenty of training, socialization, and love.

Rhodesian Ridgeback bite force: 224 PSI

Height: 24 – 27 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 70 – 85 pounds

Life expectancy: 10 – 12 years


Irish Wolfhound

strongest dog breeds

It’s hard to believe that this gentle shaggy giant breed ranks among the strongest large breed dogs. It’s also one of the most popular dog breeds in the large family dog category.

Irish Wolfhounds can reach weights of up to 200 pounds and heights up to 3 feet. Because of this, they’re also known as “The Great Hound of Ireland”.

Due to their tendency to be a friendly dog that’s overly trusting, they don’t make good guard dogs like other breeds, but this also makes them perfect as a family pet, due to their non-aggressive nature.

As with all the other dog breeds above, regular exercise and proper training is essential for raising balanced and well socialized Irish Wolfhounds.

Irish Wolfhound bite force: 224 PSI

Height: 32 – 35 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 115 – 180 pounds

Life expectancy: 6 – 10 years


Leonberger

strongest dog breeds

Like the Newfoundland, the Leonberger is an expert swimmer, and has webbed paws. They’re also excellent guard dogs, rescue dogs, and farm dogs.

As one of the strongest dog breeds, the Leonberger is also known for being incredibly gentle, playful, and friendly making them perfect for families with kids.

If you’re thinking of getting one of these dogs, make sure they’re properly trained so they don’t accidentally harm anyone due to their strength and size. Leonbergers have a reputation for being easy to train compared to other strong dog breeds.

Leonberger bite force: 440 PSI

Height: 25 – 31 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 120 – 170 pounds

Life expectancy: 10 – 12 years


Tosa Inu

strongest dog breeds

Not to be confused with the equally cute Shiba Inu, the Tosa Inu is another well known Japanese dog breed, and it’s also one of the strong breeds. Tosa Inus are strong, chunky, and have a muscular body. They’re generally easy to care for if they’re trained and socialized well with other animals, and given plenty of exercise and attention.

Even though they were one of the best fighting dog breeds, they were brought to the brink of extinction after World War Two. Thankfully, they’re still with us, and are a much loved companion for many Japanese families and other people around the world.

Tosa Inus are medium sized dogs who can be strong willed and stubborn, but they’re also loyal and perfect as protection dogs for their owners.

Tosa Inu bite force: 500 PSI

Height: 24 – 32 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 80 – 135 pounds

Life expectancy: 10 – 12 years


English Mastiff

strongest dog breeds

The Mastiff is quite well known as one of the most powerful dog breeds in the canine world. It’s also the largest in terms of sheer size, and it’s not easy to miss them if you see them!

These working dogs are an intelligent breed originally kept to hunt animals, act as guard dogs, and protect against dangerous animals bears, the Mastiff lineage dates back to Roman times. They’re literally made of muscle and can easily weigh more than a full grown man.

Despite their imposing strength and size, the Mastiff is a loving, and loyal dog that responds to positive reinforcement training. If your family decides to bring home a Mastiff, you need to ensure that you give them obedience training, and give them plenty of affection and exercise to avoid it harming strangers, family members, or other pets.

Due to their sheer mass and high energy levels, it’s not advised to keep a Mastiff in an apartment. And they also have the tendency to drool everywhere!

English Mastiff bite force: 552 PSI

Height: 27 – 36 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 120 – 220 pounds

Life expectancy: 7 – 11 years


Cane Corso

strongest dog breeds

Once a fierce battle dog, the Cane Corso breed dates back to the Roman Empire.

Intelligent, loyal, and alert, with a fearsome stance and a ton of muscles, they were the perfect canine for protecting their owners in ancient times. And they still are today.

Cane Corsos need heaps of exercise and a lot of proper training from an early age so they socialize well and learn their boundaries when out in public.

They can become aggressive towards other people and animals due to their protective natures. For this reason, they’re not recommended for first-time dog owners.

Cane Corso bite force: 700 PSI

Height: 24 – 28 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 85 – 110 pounds

Life expectancy: 10 – 12 years


Bandog (aka Bandogge)

strongest dog breeds

Stocky and full of muscles, it’s no surprise the Bandog is one of the most powerful dog breeds. Like Pit Bulls, this breed has a reputation for being aggressive, but this behavior is typically due to how they are raised and treated by their owners.

Bandogs are strong willed and highly protective of their family, so they’re best owned by people who are confident, experienced dog owners who can train, handle, and socialize them properly.

While they make loving, loyal companions, a dog with a bite force this strong can be incredibly dangerous.

Bandog bite force: 730 PSI

Height: 25 – 29 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 85 – 140 pounds

Life expectancy: 10 – 11 years


Kangal – the strongest dog in the world?

strongest dog breeds

The Kangal is regarded as not only one of the strongest dog breeds overall, but has the strongest dog bite force in the world.

Hailing from Turkey, the Kangal is regarded as one of the oldest breeds of livestock dogs.

They’re loyal, affectionate, and loving in the hands of the right owner – but due to their long history as guards and protectors of livestock and families, they can harbor aggressive tendencies.

Because of their incredible bite force, it’s very important that Kangals are trained properly. They’re large, active dogs, and as one of the most powerful dog breeds, you need to be an experienced dog owner to keep them properly under control in any circumstances. These dogs aren’t for the faint of heart!

Kangal bite force: 743 PSI

Height: 28 – 32 inches at the shoulder

Weight: 90 – 145 pounds

Life expectancy: 12 – 15 years


In summary – the world’s 25 strongest dog breeds


What dog has the strongest bite force? Its the Kangal – widely regarded as the strongest dog in the world, and it can be one of the hardest dogs to train.

Now you’ve read our list of strongest dog breeds, you might be wondering if any of them are the perfect dog for you. It’s important to choose a dog that fits with your lifestyle and experience levels of dog ownership.

All of these breeds have different needs and temperaments, so it’s super important that you do a lot of research before buying or adopting one of these dogs.

Strong dog breeds need lots of exercise, patience, and training to bring out the best in them. So if you’re busy, away from home a lot, or not very active, these may not be the dogs for you. However – if you love running, hiking, fishing, and hunting – one of these beautiful furry friends might just be your perfect companion.


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rachael barkzine

About the author

Rachael is the co-founder and head writer at Barkzine. Owner of one elderly pug, she’s dedicated to helping other dog owners create healthy, happy, lives with their furry best friends.

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BarkZine is a small team of devoted dog owners – so we understand what it’s like to be obsessed with your pup! We consult with veterinarians and dog behavior experts to bring you the best advice for your furry companions.

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BarkZine is a small team of devoted dog owners – so we understand what it’s like to be obsessed with your pup! We consult with veterinarians and dog behavior experts to bring you the best advice for your furry companions.