Posted ByErica Loop
The strongest dog is fierce and feisty, right? Maybe not! These playful pups are loving, loyal and famously friendly.
You're not sure what breed of dog is right for you, but you know you're not a Chihuahua or poodle person. Are you looking for a pup who puts those smaller pooches to shame?
If you want a gentle giant who can keep up with your on-the-go lifestyle, check out the top 10 strongest dog breeds that are cute, cuddly and pull their own weight -- literally.
This behemoth breed often outweighs a grown man, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). Not only are these colossal canines super strong, but their heritage dates back thousands of years. Ancient Egyptian drawings from 3000 B.C. show pics of these pooches, and Caesar made note of the mastiff in his writings on the British invasion in 55 B.C.
- Saint Bernard
These life-saving dogs tracked lost Swiss travelers, providing warmth and even reviving missing wanderers as far back as the 17th century. Known for their ultra-enormous size, these furry friends are surprisingly careful companions that are well-matched to family life.
These loyal dogs are as powerfully protective as they are physically strong, according to the American Rottweiler Club. If you're considering this bold breed you're in good company -- celeb Will Smith owns two!
- Irish Wolfhound
The AKC notes that this classic canine is the tallest of all their accepted breeds. Standing between 32 and 34 inches (and that's only at the shoulders), this muscular pooch was once well-known for hunting the gigantic Irish elk. How gigantic were these elk? Most were six feet at the shoulders. Now that's a mighty dog!
- Pit Bull
The American pit bull terrier is the ancestor of bulldog-terrier crosses, according to the United Canine Association. These tenacious, powerful and athletic dogs often get a bad rap as fighters. That said, with a responsible owner who knows how to train and socialize the dog, the pit bull can be a loyal and totally loving companion. Famous faces who adore these dogs (and own them) are Rachael Ray, Jessica Biel, Alicia Silverstone and Jessica Alba.
- Siberian Husky
These sled dogs were bred to be strong and go all-in for the long haul. Not only are they muscular, athletic and energetic, these pooches served the U.S. as search and rescue dogs during WWII. Two of the most notable huskies are Balto and Togo. These Siberians led teams of dogs in the 1925 race to get the diphtheria serum to Nome, Alaska!
Like the husky, the boxer is also a working dog. Cousin to almost every modern-day bulldog breed, the boxer is protective, patient and -- of course -- powerful! What well-known celebs think boxers are the best? The list includes Chelsea Handler, Gisele Bundchen and Cameron Diaz.
This large breed is a competitor in contemporary carting, tracking, ability and water tests, according to the AKC. Newfoundlands combine strength with a high level of endurance, saving drowning victims by swimming long distances.
- Great Dane
These oversize pups are obedient and agile. Along with their strength, their height is their most notable feature. When standing on his back legs, your Dane will likely be just as big as you are!
- German Shepard
Often seen as a guardian, this muscular pooch is well known as a police dog. Along with your local police K-9 unit, you may recognize this playful pup as Hollywood's Rin Tin Tin.
Choosing one the world's strongest dog breeds means working with a breeder. If you're not sure what to look for or who to trust, read on to 10 Things to Know About Dog Breeders for some easy answers!
Erica Loop is the mom to one teenage son, two Olde Boston Bulldogs and a very shy cat. She's also a freelance writer, educator and the creator of the blog Mini Monets and Mommies.