A German Sheperd outside with its tongue hanging out.

The World’s 10 Strongest Dog Breeds (Pound For Pound)

Ever wondered what the strongest dogs in the world are? You’ve come to the right place.

There are around 4000 different dog breeds in the world, however, there are only 193 dog breeds registered with the American Kennel Club. That’s a lot of dogs!

Understanding how strong a dog is important. Maybe you are thinking about getting a dog but you don’t want one that’s stronger than you are. Maybe you just had a child and don’t want a massive dog roaming around the house with a newborn.

Or maybe you are just curious, like wondering if dogs can eat ham bones.

Deciding to get a dog is a big decision no matter how much you want one. You don’t want to end up with a breed of dog that could own you. You have to think about the possible dangers of getting one that looks, and seems like it could pull a truck. 

It is no easy task to narrow down the strongest dog breeds in the world with that many out there. Measuring the strength of a dog can be an even harder task. To date, the most accurate way to measure the strength of a dog is a little something called bite force.

Bite force is the regression of the quotient of an animal’s bite force in newtons divided by its body mass in kilograms. The average bite force of a human being is 126 psi.

They may sound like a lot, but it is no match for the dogs in this list. From the German Shepherd to the Kangal, to the Cane Corso, the canines in this list blow us out of the water. A dog bite from one of these guys is something you just don’t want.

Below are the 10 strongest dogs in the world.

Here, in no particular order, at the 10 strongest dogs in the world:

  1. German Shepherd
  2. Siberian Husky
  3. Great Dane
  4. Kangal
  5. Rottweiler
  6. Cane Corso
  7. Dogo Argentino
  8. English Bulldog
  9. American Pit Bull Terrier
  10. Alaskan Malamute
A German Sheperd runnning in a field during the daytime.

German Sheperds have long been considered some of the strongest breed of dogs.

 

1. German Sheperd

Naturally, you can’t have a conversation about the world’s strongest dog breeds without mentioning the German Shepherd.

As you could’ve probably guessed, this breed originated in Germany in the late 1800s. At the time, German Shepherds were not considered to be pets, rather, they were working dogs. Due to their speed, intelligence, strength, and keen sense of smell, they were the perfect fit for herding sheep. 

Today, you’ve probably seen a German Shepherd wearing a police vest, as they play a role in search and rescue missions. They are also no stranger to military roles. In this setting, German Shepherds are involved in anti-terrorist operations. They specifically sniff out bombs.

This doesn’t mean they can’t become a family member. German Shepherds are the second most popular dog breed in the United States.

German Shepherds can make great family pets. These loyal dogs are loving, caring, and will get along well with your children. However, the German Shepherd is a natural guard dog. Proper socialization training is required to prevent the German Shepherd from becoming too protective of his territory.

So just how strong is the German Shepherd? 

Well, it is a challenge to measure how strong a dog is. However, you can measure how strong their bite is. This becomes known as bite force. Bite force is the level of pressure that is exerted by a dog’s bite. It is calculated according to pound-force per square inch (psi).

And, yes, the German Shepherd’s jaw is stronger than yours. 

The bite force for a German Shepherd is 238 pounds per inch. That’s enough to break human bones!

Maybe this is the reason they are such a good fit as a police dog.

2. Siberian Husky

The next dog on the list you’ve probably seen in a sled race in the snow. It’s the Siberian Husky. 

The roots of the Siberian Husky are traced to the Chukchi people of eastern Siberia. The Chukchi people kept these intelligent dogs as companions, and, because of the Siberian Husky’s endurance, they were used as sled dogs.

Due to this canine’s innate athleticism, they served as search and rescue dogs during World War II. They also played a vital role in the 1925 Serum Run to Nome. There, they were used as sled dogs to transport an antitoxin in the United States territory of Alaska.

The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized dog, no more than 60 pounds, that is noticeably smaller than its cousin, the Alaskan Malamute. This dog breed makes a great family member, however, due to their friendliness, not a great guard dog. 

Their friendliness doesn’t mean the Siberian Husky isn’t still one of the strongest dogs in the world. The biteforce for these gentle companions is 320 psi! It normally only takes 130 psi to break a human bone!

3. Great Dane

Despite popular belief, this gentle giant is actually a German breed, not Denmark. The Great Dane is a descendant of dogs, much like a mastiff, that was originally used to protect German nobility.

When they weren’t busy protecting German royalty, they were used a big game hunting dogs, specifically hunting wild boar. 

Although the Great Dane can grow to be as tall as 32 inches at the shoulder, the “Apollo of Dogs” is friendly and patient. Due to the Great Dane’s temperament, it is a great pet who is excellent with children.

However, you shouldn’t confuse the Dane’s softness for weakness. This dog is on this list for a reason. As with the German Shepherd, the bite force for a Great Dane is 238 psi!i

A Kangal outside in a field.

Kangals are known for being peaceful towards humans and children but territorial otherwise.

 

4. Kangal 

The Kangal is certainly no stranger to a list like this. Having originated in Turkey, the Kangal is an ancient dog breed. It originated as a flock-guarding breed. 

This dog breed is a guardian dog first and he possesses qualities as such. The Kangal is high-alert and territorial. He is also very defensive of the human family he belongs to and makes a great guard dog. 

The Kangal is a dog that you definitely don’t want to make an enemy. Due to its big head and jaws, the Kangal has a bite force of 743 psi!

5. Rottweiler

The Rottweiler is considered to be one of the oldest dog breeds, as its origins date back to Roman times. This loyal and loving canine comes from the working group. The Rottweiler was originally used for weight pulling.

The Rottweiler’s presence was significant on the battlefield. The Roman army needed strong, durable dogs to guard the herb, and the Rottweiler stepped up.

Later down the line, these dogs found work in the cattle town of Rottweil, earning them the name Butcher’s Dog of Rottweil. It was here that they protected herbs of cattle on their way from the field to the market. 

With the invention of railroad cattle cars, the Rottweiler was no longer needed as a protector of cattle. This sent them to do other things that required a strong, long-lasting dog for the job. 

Rottweiler’s were some of the first guide dogs for the blind. They were one of the first dog breeds to be formally adopted by the police. They can even be found as search and rescue workers at disaster sites such as the World Trade Center. 

It should come as no surprise that the Rottweiler is far from a weak dog. The Rottweiler is a muscular dog with a muscular body. This is why it’s not at all shocking that the Rottweiler has a bite force of 328 psi

6. Cane Corso

The history of the Cane Corso is similar to that of the Rottweiler. The Cane Corso originated in Italy and is in the working group. They belong to a subcategory of working breeds called mollosus dogs.

The earliest records of these powerful dogs show that the Cane Corso was a war dog. They would charge enemy lines with buckets of flaming oil strapped to their backs. 

After the fall of the Western Empire, they moved on to wild boar hunting, farming, and guarding farmsteads.

Aside from having originated as a war dog, the Cane Corso is actually affectionate and highly intelligent. They can make great companions and are sweet and gentle. 

Make no mistake, however, the Cane Corso is strong. The most prominent feature of the Cane Corso is his massive head, meaning, he has a strong bite. The bite force for the Cane Corso is a whopping 700 psi!

7. Dogo Argentino

Number seven on the list goes to the Dogo Argentino. The breed came to be in the mid-1920s by a teenager. A defining characteristic of this guy is that he is the face of bravery.

The Dogo Argentino was originally developed for two purposes: To be a hunting dog and protect its owner at all costs. This dog breed is an expert in the art of hunting big game such as wild boar and even pumas. 

This popular dog breed of Argentina with a white coat is nicknamed the old fighting dog of Cordoba. He was a master fighter with one drawback: He’s intensely aggressive. This is why it comes as no surprise that the Dogo Argentino has a high ranking when it comes to bite force: 500 psi!

While the bite force of the old fighting dog of Cordoba doesn’t quite reach the same level as the Kangal or Cane Corso, he is still one of the strongest dogs in the world.

Three English Bulldogs on a leash.

English Bulldogs were originally bred to fight bulls for sport.

 

8. English Bulldog

The English Bulldog is a dog breed that you just can’t mistake for anything else. These calm and friendly companions are known for their loose skin, drooping jaws, pudge nose, and their short bodies. 

The history of the English Bulldog dates back to 13th-century England during the reign of King John. They were created for the sport of bullbaiting, a sport in which a pack of dogs fights a bull while gamblers bet on the outcome.

A turning point for the English Bulldog came when England banned the sport and the Bulldog faced extinction. Thus began the grueling process of transforming the Bulldog from a fighter to a friend.

The English Bulldog has since made an extraordinary comeback. He is the first animal mascot in all of sports, including Yale University and the University of Georgia. Though he may look cute dressed up on game day, the English Bulldog is still a fierce animal. 

He comes in with a bite force of 210 psi. Though he doesn’t compare to the others in this list, I’d still say that’s rather impressive considering he is smaller in size.

9. American Pit Bull Terrier

The origins of the pit bull are also very similar to that of the English Bulldog, dating back to the early 1800s. Pit Bulls were initially bred from Old English Bulldogs. As with the English Bulldog, Pit Bulls were also added to the mix in the cruel sport of bullbaiting.

That all changed when, in 1835, the Parliament passed the Cruelty to Animals Act. When it became much more difficult to have dogs fight bulls for entertainment, the general public turned to putting Pit Bulls against rats. The term Pit Bulls gets its name because spectators would put rats in a pit so they couldn’t escape. The objective was to see how many rats the dog could kill in the least amount of time– this became known as “ratting.”

Ratting and dogfighting required a much more swift competitor that the Old Bulldog simply wasn’t. Thus, breeders began mixing Bulldogs and Terriers. 

Around the time of the American Civil War, immigrants from England came to America and brought their Pit Bulls with them. Americans quickly took to the Pit Bull. This is the point at which they began to migrate from a fighting dog to a friend.

Pit Bulls took on a new role. They began herding cattle and defending livestock against dangerous animals. The United States saw in the Pit Bull what they saw in themselves: Bravery and hard work.

Pit Bulls soon became the “All American Dog” and were the nation’s mascot during the World Wars. 

Although this canine is confident, good-natured, and can be your best friend, he is also mightily strong. The American Pit Bull Terrier comes in with a bite force of 235 psi!

10. Alaskan Malamute

As with the Siberian Husky, the Alaskan Malamute epitomizes a sled dog. They rank as one of the oldest sled dog breeds of the Arctic region. They are believed to have migrated to North America with the Paleolithic hunters. 

Created to be a sled dog, the Alaskan Malamute was depended on to carry heavy loads excruciating distances. The Malamute was chosen for endurance, the Husky for speed. 

Those days are largely gone, however. Today, the Alaskan Malamute can make an excellent companion. He is playful and gentle. They belong in a pack, so they would love being the newest edition to a family. 

Let’s not forget, though, the Malamute is still a big dog. Although he is gentle, he may not be the best choice if you have small children. His sheer size alone could cause an accident. 

The Malamute is also a strong dog. This powerful canine has a whooping bite force of 556 psi!

Those That Barely Missed The Cut

It’s impossible to narrow the strongest dog breeds in the world down to a measly 10. When comparing the strength of a dog, you simply can’t just look at the bite force. Here are a few other dogs that are incredibly strong. 

  • Wolfdog
  • Leonberger
  • Tosa Inu
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Chow Chow
  • Doberman
  • English Mastiff

Let’s Wrap This Up

Ultimately, the Kangal has the strongest bite at 743 psi. That is a force to be reckoned with. The Cane Corso isn’t far behind with a psi of 700.

The Dogo Argentino and Alaskan Malamute aren’t far behind them. 

Although the others in the list don’t quite rank up to the Kangal and Cane Corso, they are still very strong dogs. It’s important to keep in mind the strength of your new pup– especially if you have small children.

 

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Sarah Brady

Sarah Brady is an animal lover and the proud dog-mom of a Golden Retriever named Brody and an Italian Greyhound named Jessup. Unfortunately, Jessup developed serious allergies to many different types of dog foods and ingredients when she was just a puppy. Meanwhile, Brody could eat seemingly anything and carry on as healthy as could be. Sarah spent hours of time researching and testing different foods and brands before finding something that worked for little Jessup. She wants Dog Food Care to simplify this experience for future dog-parents who face food allergy or tolerance issues of their own.