The Pit Bull has a formidable reputation. However, it is important to note that the term can refer to more than one kind of dog. In the United States, Pit Bulls refer to all dogs that are descended from bulldogs and terriers. Meanwhile, in other countries, Pit Bulls often refer to American Pit Bull Terriers. Regardless, these dogs have a formidable reputation because of their refusal to release their bite, their association with dog fighting, and their sometimes sensationalistic treatment by the media. Still, it should be mentioned that they are not the strongest dogs that can be found out there. Something that should come as no surprise considering some of the opponents that dogs have been expected to take on at various times as well as various places.
Generally speaking, when people think of mastiffs, they think of their short coats, their large, bulky heads, and their often formidable nature. Something that can be explained by the fact that mastiffs have been tasked with guarding, fighting, and other physically-challenging tasks for multiple millennia. Unsurprisingly, Bullmastiffs live up to the expectations set by their name. In short, they were created by crossbreeding English Mastiffs with Old English Bulldogs, both of which were pretty much exactly what interested individuals would expect based on those names. Over time, Bullmastiffs were refined by making them bigger, stronger, and faster, which were useful characteristics for their intended function of fending off poachers from large estates in an era in which firearms were commonplace. Specifically, these dogs were trained to tackle their target before pinning said individual for their human partners to arrive. Something that explains much about why modern examples of the dog breed have been known jump onto unfamiliar people before they are told to stop.
Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Caucasian Shepherd Dogs are big, powerful animals that hail from the Caucasus. Their ancestors have existed for centuries and centuries. However, Caucasian Shepherd Dogs were created by a Soviet dog breeding program that took existing dogs for the purpose of crossbreeding them to create dog breeds that were even better-suited for their intended roles. Thanks to this, Caucasian Shepherd Dogs are related to a number of other dog breeds in the region that are also meant for protecting people and livestock from potential threats, all of which tend to be big, powerful animals because of the tasks that they are expected to carry out.
German Shepherds were created for the purpose of herding livestock. However, the strength, the intelligence, and the other characteristics that made them useful for herding livestock also made them useful for performing a wide range of other tasks as well. Thanks to that, German Shepherds went on to become a very popular working dog, so much so that they have even managed to make a successful transition to being household companions. In any case, these dogs can get along well with their owners. However, they are like other dogs in that they can show issues when they haven’t been socialized well, with a potential example being an overprotectiveness of their owners as well as their perceived territory. This is unfortunate because German Shepherds also have one of the most powerful bites in the dog world, not enough for them to claim the number one position but more than enough to beat out Pit Bulls in this regard.
Anyone who has ever seen a Great Dane will understand why these dogs are called that in an instant. After all, Great Danes reach approximately 76 to 90 cm in height for males and 71 to 84 cm in height for females. Similarly, they weigh approximately 50 to 82 kg, meaning that they are some of the biggest dogs that can be found in the entire world. This kind of size makes perfect sense when one learns that Great Dane were expected to be capable of taking on bears, boars, and deer. Bears are famous for their size and strength. Similarly, boars have a notorious reputation for tenacity, so much so that spears for boar-hunting have a pair of wings situated behind the blade for a couple of reasons. One, these wings are supposed to prevent the spear from going too far into the target, which can complicate their use. Two, these wings are supposed to prevent the boar from working its way up the spear to get at the spear user. Something that says much about these animals. As for deer, well, they don’t have the same kind of reputation as the other two. However, they are still big ungulates, meaning that they are more than capable of dealing serious injuries when they are worked-up. Great Danes were expected to hunt animals such as these, which explains much about their physical appearance. Amusingly, these dogs are the exact opposite to what a lot of people would expect based on their intended role. Great Danes are famous for being gentle and good-natured because they tend not to have a lot of either aggression or prey drive.
The English Mastiff is sometimes called just the Mastiff, which can be a source of considerable confusion for those who are unaware of this. Based on the name, it should come as no surprise to learn that the English Mastiff comes from Great Britain. However, the exact way that they came into existence is unclear. Apparently, British dogs were already notable under the Roman Empire, so much so that they were sometimes exported into other provinces. Besides that, there is speculation of the English Mastiff having been descended from the now-extinct Alaunt as well as other dog breeds. In any case, these dogs are on the bigger side of things, not so much as, say, Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds, but still more than capable of holding their own in a comparison with other dog breeds. What sets English Mastiffs apart is their robust nature, being the biggest dog breed when measured on the basis of mass. Males reach an average of 73 to 104 kg while females reach an average of 54 to 77 kg, thus enabling them to beat out both Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds even though they tend to be shorter. Indeed, it is worth mentioning that these figures make English Mastiffs the biggest living canine, though to be fair, they would lose out if the competition included certain extinct species.
Some people sometimes think that domesticated animals are less capable than their wild counterparts. In practice, well, this is by no means guaranteed to be the case. For proof, look no further than the fact that there are dog breeds meant to take on wolves, which are so closely related to our canine companions that the two are sometimes seen as members of the same species rather than members of separate species. One excellent example would be the Irish Wolfhound, which is exactly what it sounds like, an anti-wolf specialist that originated on the Emerald Isle. The original Irish Wolfhounds gradually went away after the last wolves of Ireland were hunted down in 1786. However, a man named Captain George Augustus Graham recreated the Irish Wolfhound by crossbreeding Scottish Deerhounds, Great Danes, and a number of other dog breeds. The result is one of the biggest dog breeds out there, which happens to be fast-moving as well. Personality-wise, Irish Wolfhounds are interesting in that they are very individualistic. These animals tend to be intelligent, introverted, and reserved, but there are members of the dog breed that have been known to defy these expectations.
The Japanese Tosa is a potent contender. However, things are complicated by the fact that these animals can see significant variation, not least because Japanese breeders have focused on keeping them at approximately 36 and 61 kg while some non-Japanese breeders have bred them to be much bigger at approximately 60 to 90 kg. Having said that, both varieties are formidable animals. This is because the Japanese Tosa were created by crossbreeding the native Shikoku-Inu with European dog breeds specifically for the purpose of creating an animal suitable for dog fighting. Even now, they remain the one dog breed that is permitted to compete in legal dog fighting in Japan. Something that is connected to why Japanese Tosa are either banned or otherwise restricted in a number of countries that include but are not limited to Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
Kangal Shepherd Dog
Livestock guardians are often very physically-impressive. This is because they aren’t meant to herd livestock. Instead, they are meant to protect their charges from a wide range of predators that come in a wide range of sizes. Kangal Shepherd Dogs are an excellent example of this. In short, these animals are named for a town that can be found in Turkey’s Central Anatolia region, so it should come as no surprise to learn that they have been doing their jobs for a very long time. There, they were expected to take on everything from bears to wolves and jackals. However, it is interesting to note that Kangal Shepherd Dogs have also managed to make their way to certain African countries such as Kenya and Namibia, with the result that they have since managed to prove themselves against lions, cheetahs, and other local big cats. Supposedly, this use has actually proven to be beneficial for the local big cats because the effectiveness of the Kangal Shepherd Dogs means that local farmers have less incentive to cull threats to their livelihoods.
Strength is a rather nebulous concept. This can sound rather strange. However, strength encompasses a wide range of factors, which in turn, make it rather difficult to determine exactly what it is supposed to be. Still, it is amusing to note that there is at least one factor by which Rottweilers can be said to be the strongest dogs in the entire world. In short, they are capable of exerting 150 kilograms of force per square centimeter when they bite down, which is more than Pit Bulls as well as more than any other dog breed. This is particularly impressive because Rottweilers aren’t the relentlessly aggressive animals that they have sometimes been presented to be by the media. After all, relentlessly aggressive animals wouldn’t be able to herd livestock, watch over properties, and otherwise work, which is relevant because Rottweilers were always meant to be working dogs.
Technically, Tibetan Mastiffs aren’t true mastiffs. This is because true mastiffs are descended from the Molossus, a dog from a region now shared by Albania and Greece that went on to become the stereotypical guard dog of the Greco-Roman world. Still, Tibetan Mastiffs winded up being called Tibetan Mastiffs anyways because the earliest European visitors to Tibet started calling the local dogs by names that were already familiar to them. As such, the Tibetan Mastiff isn’t a true mastiff, just as how the Tibetan Terrier isn’t a true terrier and the Tibetan Spaniel isn’t a true spaniel. Regardless, considering the name chosen for them, it should come as no surprise to learn that Tibetan Mastiffs are huge animals that average around 66 cm in height for males and 61 cm in height for females. Moreover, these dogs are extremely tough because they are adapted for survival in some very mountainous regions, which aren’t what most people would consider to be the most hospitable of places. On top of this, Tibetan Mastiffs were intended to be protectors of their owners as well as protectors of their owners’ property, meaning that they would have been expected to take on some serious opposition if that proved to be necessary. Combined, these factors make Tibetan Mastiffs some of the strongest dogs that can be found on the planet.