How do we define the toughest dog? Although a dog’s physical size goes hand in hand with its strength, it’s not the only measurement we use. For example, some of the toughest dogs have incredible weight-pulling abilities, while others have powerful bites.

It’s also important to note that just because these ten breeds are among the toughest around, it doesn’t mean that they are inherently dangerous or don’t need the same amount of love as any other dog breed.

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Now, let’s look at the ten toughest dog breeds and their unique characteristics.

  1. German Shepherds
Adult German Shepherd Lying on Ground

This breed is commonly seen working with law enforcement and security agents where power and strength are necessary. German Shepherds more than meet those requirements.

They are one of the most popular dog breeds in the US, and German Shepherds are known for their beauty, courage, brains, and extreme strength.

German Shepherds can weigh up to 90 lb and make excellent companions for those who are active and can provide them with all the exercise they need.

  1. Siberian Huskies
Black and White Siberian Husky on Snow Covered Ground

Siberian huskies have been around for a long time, but they became prevalent in 1925 when Leonhard Seppala let a pack of these dogs to deliver a life-saving serum in Alaska. Balto, the lead husky in that pack, is one of the most honored dogs in history.

Their ability to cover such enormous distances and extremely harsh conditions is ingrained in the Siberian husky DNA. But that’s not all: they’re also known for their undying love of their family and friendliness.

Siberian Huskies are naturally clean dogs and don’t have the odor that most breeds do. These dogs are known for their weight-pulling ability, like in sled dog competitions.

  1. Rottweilers
Black and Tan Rottweiler Puppy on Brown Wooden Fence

People have bred Rottweilers as working dogs for centuries. They’ve had a hand in helping guard and her livestock ever since the ancient Roman empire. And while many still heard, Rottweilers are also commonly used as guards and police dogs. Most people don’t want to mess with this stuff and powerful canine.

It might be hard to picture them as playful, but you’ll see just how playful they are if you’re in their inner circle. However, with Rottweilers, it’s crucial to begin their training early.

  1. Alaskan Malamutes
Alaskan Malamute walking on snow field

Similar in size to huskies, Alaskan malamutes are slightly bigger with an even stronger, more muscular body. It makes sense, considering that we once used this breed to carry freight and hunt in the deep snow of Western Alaska.

When they aren’t plowing through the snow and other rugged terrain, malamutes need a lot of exercise. They also require an experienced owner due to their independent and mischievous nature. While they are stubborn, they are amiable and loving dogs who do great with positive reinforcement.

  1. Great Danes
close up of a black great dane

While Great Danes tend to tower over other breeds, they genuinely are the gentle giants of the dog world. They were originally used for hunting large animals like bears, deers, and boars, but these days you’re more likely to find them lounging on the sofa and hanging out with their family.

Their calm and lovable nature doesn’t mean that they aren’t extremely tough. On the contrary, great Danes are all muscle and can weigh up to 175 lbs.

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  1. Dobermans
Close-Up Shot of a Doberman Pinscher

Dobermans originally came from Germany and have long been considered one of the best breeds for guard dogs. These super-fast and powerful dogs are often used in law enforcement, but they also have an Elegance about them, earning them respect in the circle of dog lovers.

However, don’t underestimate their strength because of their beauty. Dobermans’ tough nature makes them one of the strongest dog breeds. So for people looking for a loyal breed that can also help them feel secure, a Doberman might be the right choice.

  1. Newfoundlands
black white and brown newfoundland dog

Newfoundlands are big-boned and muscular; you might find it a surprise that they are masterful long-distance swimmers. Their partially webbed feet do come in handy. This breed is friendly, good-natured, and highly devoted to its family.

Weighing in between 120 and 150 lbs, Newfoundlands are the perfect giant edition to any family. However, they do need plenty of attention, affection, and exercise. And they deserve it.

  1. Saint Bernards
selective focus of Saint Bernard dog photo

Saint Bernards are Swiss dogs often trained to rescue and save people lost in avalanches. They can guide or drag people to safety and dig them out from under massive amounts of snow. We believe this fact perfectly sums up the unique and powerful breed. However, Saint Bernards are also incredibly strong and undeniably loyal.

This breed has an insane amount of brute strength, and according to the AKC, they are responsible for saving many lives. They are tough as nails, and even the harshest conditions but also extremely affectionate and love cuddle time with their family.

  1. Mastiffs
a brown mastiff laying down indoors

For thousands of years, mastiffs have been our giant friends, dating back to Caesar in 55 BC. And they still haven’t lost their charm. They are bred as war dogs, hunters, and guardians, and Mastiffs have thick muscles and more weight than most full-grown men.

Aside from their strength, Mastiffs are lovable, kind, and patient. So if you decide to welcome one into your family, know that you’re committing to a gentle giant who needs frequent love and soft, positive training.

  1. American Pit Bull Terriers
american pitbull terrier walking outside with its owner

Referred to by some as bully breeds, pit bulls are not technically a breed but describe related dogs like American bulldogs and the American pit bull terrier.

They often get a bad reputation and are indeed tough, muscular dogs. However, they are also highly trainable, known to make for sweet family companions, and are adaptable to family life with proper training and socialization.

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Toughest Dog Breeds FAQs

What is the toughest dog?

All ten dog breeds on this list are tough in their own way. However, the English Mastiff holds the record for most weight pulled on a natural surface.

What’s the smartest dog?

You might be surprised, but two of the dogs on this list, German Shepherds and Dobermans, are also some of the most intelligent dog breeds!

What breed is hardest to train?

Some of the toughest dog breeds are also the hardest to train, including Rottweilers, Siberian huskies, and American pit bull terriers.

What’s the most aggressive dog breed?

Some of the most aggressive breeds include German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Dobermans, and American pit bull terriers. However, most highly aggressive dogs are likely that way due to their training and lifestyle.

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