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A Brief History
Dogs are more than just cute pets. Some are strong powerhouses, used in the past to guard livestock, pull sleds and assist police. There are many different breeds and, if you've ever seen a Great Dane stood next to a Poodle, it's hard to believe they're the same species but, because of the reasons they are bred, dogs take on very different characteristics. While there are sporting breeds like the Poodle and hunting dogs like the Great Dane, the reason they were bred has influenced what they look like so they can excel at certain tasks. However, some dog breeds tip the scales when it comes to strength and, on this list we will look at 10 of the strongest dogs alive today. If you're thinking of getting one of these dog breeds, be ready to properly train it. To avoid it becoming too boisterous all of the following breeds require lots of exercise due to their original breeding.
10) English Mastiff
A Mastiff can outweigh a grown man. Originally bred for their size and strength, even Napoleon used Mastiffs as a war dog in his attack on the British in the 1800's. The Egyptians depicted Mastiffs to helping with all sorts of work, guarding and hurting livestock, as well as helping to hunt. The modern mastiff was developed in England in the 15th century to guard estates and scare off thieves. The heaviest dog ever recorded was an English Mastiff called Zorba. He was in the Book of Guinness World Records in 1989 due to his astounding weight of 343 pounds, and it wasn't because he was fat. He stood up 37 inches at the shoulder and 99 inches in length- about the size of a small donkey.
9) German Shepherd
Synonymous with police forces around the world, it would be a crime if the German Shepherd wasn't in a list of the world's strongest dogs. Although the German Shepherd is lean, it is incredibly muscular and has one of the canine world's strongest bites. Bite strength is measured in pounds per square inch psi. While a human has a bite force of around 86 psi. This breed has a strength of 238 psi. That's enough to break a bone in a human arm with one bite. Not only are German Shepherds strong, they're also fearless, something that aids their strength. This breed is one of the best protection dogs out there and, along with their intelligence, it's the reason they are used by police forces in the military all over the world. In 1964, three year old German Shepherd Lux escaped from East Germany to West Germany with his 17-year old owner. Not only did he attack communist guards, stopping them from shooting his owner. He also got them both across the border without being injured.
The Pitbull was bred as a fighting dog, originally bred from an English Bulldog to be more active and aggressive than its ancestors. Pitbulls are incredibly muscular. You can notice their bulging muscles as soon as you see them. For their size they are super strong. They could easily snap someone's arm with a single bite. Due to their huge muscles they can easily propel themselves up walls, trees and garden fences, so be careful if you train one as a guard dog because they could escape to chase the neighbors. Although bred to fight a responsible owner will find the Pitbull to be gentle and well tempered, but that doesn't mean they aren't still strong dogs. Hulk, the largest Pitbull alive today weighs a hefty 175 pounds and looks like a wrestler.
7) Siberian Husky.
The Siberian Husky was originally bred as a sled dog, so it needed high levels of energy, along with strength to pull a sled across the cold and harsh landscapes of Siberia among other places. In some parts of the world they are still used as sled dogs. However, even in countries where they aren't used as working dogs, people still know them as one of the strongest dogs in the world. Because of their heritage, they are notoriously difficult to train and require more exercise than most other breeds. Because of their super strong bite they need to be watched and trained closely as they have a habit of thinking the cat next door looks delicious. Charlie the Siberian Husky went down in history in 1963 as the strongest dog alive. During 1963 he pulled a 3142 pound sledge. That's over 50 times an average Huskies top weight of 60 pounds.
6) Alaskan Malamute
A distant relative of the Siberian Husky. The Alaskan Malamute was bred with the same work ethic in mind. The Inuit tribes of Western Alaska originally bred this dog to help them hunt, but primarily to carry heavy goods through the deep snow. For this reason, the Malamute was bred with strength in mind. With the ability to pull freight out weighing themselves across miles of land. Kano and Keyin, the Alaskan Malamutes, became youtube famous in 2009, after pulling 2,000 pounds together in a competition for the Alaskan malamute club of Wisconsin LDC.
You just need to take a look at this impressive breed to know it's a strong dog. Heavily set and standing taller than most other dogs, the Rottweiler was originally bred as a herding and protection dog there by force is an incredible 328 psi and they usually weigh up to 130 pounds, making them one of the heaviest dogs in this list. They make excellent police dogs and are known across the world as brilliant guard dogs, because no one in their right mind would mess with one of these. Haase, the Rottweiler is an excellent example of this breed; He can bring down a grown man by latching onto his trousers with his teeth and flicking his head. He has so much brute force that any man would be swept off his feet.
4) Saint Bernard
Saint Bernards are well known across the world as a very large dog breed from the Swiss Alps. They were originally bred as a search-and-rescue dog to find lost hikers and travelers in the harsh weather conditions. As such, they need to be strong, agile and have high energy levels to pull people from the snow and guide them home if able to. The average st. Bernard weighs up to 200 pounds, and so is larger than many full-grown men. The most famous St. Bernard in history was undoubtedly Barry, who lived at a hospice on the Great St. Bernard pass, where the name of the breed came from. He saved the lives of over 40 people during his lifetime and retired to Barron, where he lived to the grand old age of 14. He was put on display in the Natural History Museum after his death and his body is still there today.
3) Rhodesian Ridgeback
Although a fairly thin elegant-looking greed, don't let this fool you! The Rhodesian Ridgeback is territorial, aggressive and strong in equal measures. The breed hails from South Africa, where it was bred to protect land and livestock. The dog has an unusual strip of fur that runs down the wrong way to the rest of the fur, which is where the ridgeback name comes from. They are also known as lion dog, as in their native homeland, they've been known to fight off a lion and keep it at bay until their master arrives to make the kill. If a dog can hold off a lion, it must be pretty strong!
This huge breed comes from Newfoundland, Canada, where it was bred as a working dog. It was originally bred to help fishermen pull heavy nets out of the sea and also help with hauling wood from the forest. Because of their demanding work life, the breed quickly developed into a strong muscular dog. They are strong in all aspects of their work. They are strong swimmers, strong pack, horses and strong herders if you train them properly. Due to this breeds build an energetic demand, they require regular exercise and stimulation so they aren't the best pet if you have a somewhat cozy apartment number.
1) Great Dane.
The Great Dane is known as one of the tallest dog breeds, and is somewhat of a gentle giant. The first Great Dane is thought to have originated in ancient Greece, where the breed was used to help hunt bear and boar. They needed to be big, strong and with a strong bite to take down animals that could defend themselves. Although the Great Dane isn't used for hunting anymore and is now taller and more elegant than its ancestors, it still has its hunter instinct and power. They have been used in wars as guard and protection dogs. A Great Dane called Just Nuisance became famous in World War two while protecting his Navy crew. At first he was there as a morale booster, but he also kept the crew safe, as he stood two meters tall on his hind legs so he was a force to be reckoned with. While some dogs are bred for hunting or sport.
These 10 dogs have been bred for size and strength, whether to help rescue people in the snow or even to help take down a lion. These dogs are some of the strongest in the world. Do you know someone with a strong dog was their breed on this list? If you enjoyed this video, please leave a comment and let us know which breed impressed you the most. If you want to learn more about incredible dogs read our most famous dogs in history article.