There are about 190 dog breeds in the world. While some people prefer smaller dogs, others dream of having a big, muscular dog.
If you’re one of the latter, this article is for you! Fortunately, many of the 190 breeds are pretty muscular.
Muscular Dogs are generally more athletic than their smaller counterparts and can help you out in various sports. However, even if you’re not entirely sure which breed would best suit your needs, you’ll be able to find one that has some features common with many other types of dog breeds.
Plus, muscular dogs do not need as much space as smaller dogs and can often be kept in smaller environments.
We’ve compiled a list of the most popular muscular dog breeds in the hopes of helping you in your search for a new buddy!
1. The American Bully
The American Bully first appeared in the United States between 1980 and 1990.
Typically, it is a medium-sized dog with a thick and bulky muscular frame, hefty bone structure, and blocky skull. The American bulldog is 20 inches tall and weighs 66–88 pounds.
It is a relatively flexible and trainable breed that frequently serves as a caring companion. Despite its name, the American Bully is a super joyous and friendly dog breed that enjoys being around people and other animals.
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2. American Pitbull Terrier
The American Pitbull Terrier is the offspring of the bull and the terrier.
Dogs of this breed come in various sizes, where males are typically 18–21 inches tall and weigh 35–60 pounds (15–27 kg). On the other hand, females are typically 17–20 inches tall and weigh 30–50 pounds.
These dogs have a muscular bone structure, a short coat, almond-shaped eyes, as well as a thick and sturdy frame. In addition, the American Pitbull Terrier is an intelligent, energetic, cheeky dog who enjoys being the star of the show in any situation.
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3. American Bulldog
The American bulldog is descended from fighting mastiffs of the British Isles.
These are medium-sized dogs with short, robust limbs and a broad blocky torso. They are also distinguishable by their overhanging skin, nose rope, and wrinkled face.
The typical American Bulldog is around 16 inches tall and weighs approximately 50 pounds. Dogs belonging to this breed have a life expectancy of 10–15 years.
The bulldog is a great family companion since it is reliable and loves being around children. They do, however, maintain the fearlessness that was originally bred into them for bull baiting, so they make excellent watchdogs.
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4. Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is a kind of Italian Mastiff. It is a descendant of the Molossus dogs of Ancient Rome.
This breed has large-boned, powerful working dogs with a regal look. They have a huge head, an alert gaze, and muscles that ripple underneath their short and rigid coat.
These dogs stand at 24–27 inches at the withers and weigh approximately 45–50 pounds.
The Cane Corso is a multi-tasking dog that is energetic and attentive. They are also clever, loyal, eager to please, versatile, and fiercely loyal to their owners.
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5. Carpathian Shepherd
Carpathian Shepherds are a breed that originated in Romania.
The Carpathian Shepherd has a vibrant appearance. A rectangular body, a rough, profuse, and straight coat, a broad coup, a huge and high chest, and a long and slightly inclined shoulder are among their physical traits.
The breed usually has dogs that are 25–29 inches tall and weigh 35–50 pounds. Moreover, they have a lifespan of 12 to 14 years. The Carpathian Shepherd is an independent and energetic dog who may form deep bonds with family members if given enough time.
Besides, they are intuitive and vigilant guard dogs that are constantly ready to patrol their territory and notify their owners of intruders.
6. The German Shepherd
In 1899, army officer Max von Stephanitz mixed several strains from Germany’s northern and central provinces, resulting in the ancestors of today’s German Shepherds.
This breed has medium to large-sized dogs, standing at 23–25 inches in height and weighing 75–95 pounds. Their physical characteristics include a tight and dense double coat with a thick undercoat, a domed forehead, long neck, brown eyes, a long square-cut mouth with powerful jaws, and huge ears.
German shepherds are noble, hardworking, loyal, and highly clever canines. They are the ideal breed for various jobs, including handicap assistance, search-and-rescue, police and military tasks, and acting.
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7. Kangal Dog
Kangal dog is a breed of strong livestock guardian dogs native to Sivas, Turkey.
Overall, Kangals are muscular and energetic dogs. Their distinguishing characteristics include a homogeneous light tan coat, a black mask on the face, a curled tail, and floppy ears with a black tint.
In terms of height and weight, they stand at 30–32 inches tall and weigh 110–145 pounds.
Furthermore, Kangal shepherd dogs are calm, protective, and devoted. They may dislike strangers, but they can be taught to be polite to guests. They are also swift, fearless, and agile, making them ideal for defending animals and humans.
8. Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a cross between the indigenous ridged Khoikhoi dog and other canines. This breed has large-sized dogs, standing at 25–27 inches at the withers and weighing around 80 pounds.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is muscular and has a light to red wheaten coat. They can be recognized by the ridge of hair running up their back in the opposite direction as the rest of their coat.
This breed is clever, loyal, strong, and athletic. A powerful ridgeback can be dominant at times, but they also have a compassionate side. These dogs are usually wary of strangers, although they are generally calm and rarely bark.
9. St. Bernard
St. Bernard’s existence goes back to 1050 in Rome. This breed stands at 28–30 inches tall and weighs roughly 140–180 pounds.
These dogs have a big head, a long and hefty tail, brown eyes, and black coloring on their ears and forehead. St. Bernards are peaceful, calm, loyal, loving, and pleasant with both adults and children.
They are relatively active and best suited to households with small yards. However, St. Bernard dogs are pretty impressive and are likely to perform well in show rings and weight-pulling events.
10. The American Staffordshire
The American Staffordshire Terrier originated in America. They were created by crossing bulldogs with terriers from the period.
The American Staffordshire is a medium-sized dog with a short coat, large head, and big cheeks. They range in height from 17–19 inches and weigh 40–70 pounds.
These dogs are clever, self-assured, and pleasant company. This breed is quite well known for being faithful and trustworthy to the end. They thrive in sports, police enforcement, and obedience training.
11. The Argentine Dogo
The Argentine Dogo is a descendant of Argentina’s now-extinct Fighting Canine of Cordoba. It is a large, white, muscular dog breed.
Their standard height is 23–25 inches, while their weight ranges from 40–45 kg. Their short white coat distinguishes them with black spots, a powerful head, robust neck, muscular forelegs, and medium-angled hindquarters.
The Argentine Dogo is a large, agile, and athletic dog. They are also brave and clever, making them powerful hunters and defenders devoted to their owners.
12. The Australian Cattle Dog
The Australian Cattle Dog, also known as the Blue Heeler or Red Heeler, results from a cross between the Blue Merle and the Australian Dingo.
It is a medium-sized breed at 17–19 inches in height and roughly 39–55 pounds. Cattle Dogs are short-coated and have two colors: red and blue. Furthermore, these dogs may live for 12–14 years.
Australian Cattle Dogs are devoted, diligent, protective, and courageous animals. They are excellent at herding and defending agricultural animals, as well as humans.
Aside from herding, these dogs also excel at canine sports like agility, obedience, rally, flyball, and flying disc events.
13. Doberman Pinscher
The Doberman Pinscher originated in Germany in the 19th century. Dobermans are a medium-large muscular breed.
A typical dog of this breed is 26–28 inches tall and weighs 60–80 pounds. Their physical traits include a long head, cropped ears to stand erect, and a short, docked tail. They also have a shiny coat with rust-colored markings on the face, body, and tail.
The Doberman is a notably intelligent and active dog that is trustworthy, loyal, and fun-loving. In fact, Dobermans are among the sharpest and most capable dogs for heavy work.
This breed is mainly chosen for police and canine work, but it’s also well suited to become family guardians and companions.
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The Rottweiler is one of the domestic dog breeds that descended from the Molasses, a mastiff-type dog.
These are medium-large dogs that typically stand at 24–27 inches tall and weigh 95–130 pounds. The skin markings that appear over the eyes, on the cheeks, on each side of the muzzle, on the chest and legs, and beneath the tail are among their distinctive characteristics.
Rottweiler dogs are calm, confident, and courageous, and they never bark in front of people who try to intimidate them. They are lively, clever dogs that are self-assured, at times even stubborn, so they require guidance and training from the start.
15. The American Boxer
Boxers are descended from the Bullenbeisser, a now extinct German breed. The Boxer is a medium-large breed, standing at 22–25 inches tall and weighing around 70 pounds.
The life span of the Boxer is approximately 9–15 years. Their distinguishing traits include a broad short skull, a tight-fitting coat with white markings, strong jaws, dark brown eyes, and a wrinkled forehead.
Boxers are well-known for their ability to interact with children. They are one of the most devoted and protective animals and are excellent at performing guard jobs. In addition, well-trained Boxers get along nicely with other family pets.
The greyhound is thought to be one of the world’s oldest breeds. Their existence dates back to the 5000-year-old Egyptian era of the Pharos.
The Greyhound comes in two varieties, each with its size and function. The two types of greyhounds are: racing greyhounds and show greyhounds. Racing greyhounds are typically 25–29 inches tall, whereas show greyhounds are slightly larger, measuring 26–30 inches in both varieties with a weight of 65-85 pounds.
They are a calm and clever breed with long, muscular legs, a deep chest, a flexible spine, and a slender body that allows them to reach average race speeds of more than 40 mph. They are also one of the more intelligent breeds, with a strong sense of independence.
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17. Jack Russell Terrier
The Jack Russell terrier, also known as the Parson Russell Terrier, was bred in England 200 years ago to kill foxes.
The Jack Russell is one of the bigger breeds that stands at 10–15 inches and weighs around 13–17 pounds. They have a rectangular body with little black or brown spots, dark almond-shaped eyes, and V-shaped ears.
The Jack Russell Terrier is a lively, self-sufficient, and cute small dog. They are a brave and cunning terrier, quick enough to keep up with horses and daring enough to dig in and flush a fox from its den.
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18. Alaskan Malamutes
The Malamute Inupiaq tribe of Alaska bred the Alaskan Malamute for hunting, protection, and transportation. It stands 25 inches tall and weighs around 83 pounds.
Their physical traits include almond-shaped brown eyes, facial marks, a deep chest, muscular shoulders, and a furry tail. The Alaskan Malamute is an attractive companion and family dog, energetic and active, and a loyal and devoted friend.
They are still the most popular choice as sled dogs for personal transportation and assisting in light cargo movement.
19. Siberian Husky
The Siberian Husky’s origins can be traced back to when the Chukchi mountain tribes in Northern Asia started breeding the modern Husky’s progenitors to use as companion dogs and endurance sled dogs for their families.
The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized dog that grows 21–23 inches tall and weighs 45–60 pounds. They have a 12–14-year life expectancy. Physical characteristics include facial masks, triangular ears, blue or multi-colored eyes, unusual patterns, and a heavily furred coat.
Huskies are well-known for having gregarious, lively personalities. They are lovely, delicate, and sensitive, as well as friendly and eager to please. Huskies are always on the move, with an adventurous spirit. Despite that, they are great with children.
20. The Rat Terrier
The Rat Terrier is a dog breed that originated in America. The Rat Terrier is a small, strong exterminator dog with a smooth coat. The breed comes in two sizes: standard and miniature.
The standard is 10–18 inches tall and weighs 10–25 pounds, while the miniature is just 13 inches tall and weighs 10–25 pounds. Identifying characteristics include shorter, glossier coats in a range of colors, dark and brilliant eyes, and slanted ears.
Rat Terriers are an active, lively breed of dog. They are belligerent, witty, vermin-hunting, and intolerant of boredom. Furthermore, because of their powerful jaws, speed, prey drive, and intelligence, they make an excellent watchdog, and they are also the best farm dogs.
Muscular dogs are extremely powerful breeds. They have spent their entire lives engaging in labor-intensive tasks and rarely complain because of the incredible bond they have with their master.
They are protective of their owner and their belongings. However, before getting any muscular dog, whether it is an Alaskan Malamute for sledding or a German Shepherd for security, always consider training them well and ensure that they get plenty of regular physical activity to keep them healthy and happy so that they can be of benefit to you too.