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Muscular Dog Breeds

All dog breeds are unique in their own ways. But the first thing we notice about dogs is how big or small they are. You may have seen a dog with a stocky or muscular build, and dog breeds with such great physiques make the perfect guardians or watchdogs at home. Their size and shape usually come along with strength and athleticism. With these features, these dog breeds make great companions, guard dogs, and playmates too!

In this post, we’ve highlighted the main qualities of some of our favorite muscular dog breeds. These dogs are looking jacked! Take a look and see if you can find a canine companion of your own in this list.

List of Muscular Dog Breeds

Cane Corso

Temperament: Alert, Loyal, Reserved, Easily Trainable, Fearless, Calm, Even-tempered, Intelligent, Quiet

Shedding Level: Low to Moderate

Grooming Frequency: Monthly

Drooling Level: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 9 to 12 years

Height: 23 to 28+ inches tall

Weight: 88 to 110+ pounds

About The Cane Corso: With the Cane Corso often exceeding 100 pounds and growing from 23 to over 28 inches tall, they can be a handful. Especially when playing around, you’ve got to be strong enough to handle them. This breed dates back to the Roman Empire. They were intentionally bred to be guard dogs, and even up until now they’re still bred for the same purpose. As a matter of fact, they make perfect partners in law enforcement operations due to their physical fitness and obedient demeanor. But however obedient they are, these dogs can be stubborn if they are focused on something. Despite being assertive, this breed is also known for being loyal and affectionate towards their loved ones.

French Bulldog

Temperament: Patient, Keen, Alert, Easygoing, Sociable, Athletic, Lively, Affectionate, Playful

Shedding Level: Moderate

Grooming Frequency: Monthly

Drooling Level: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 10 to 12+ years

Height: 11 to 13+ inches

Weight: Usually under 30 pounds

French Bulldogs are known for their stocky, compact physical features. But even so, their muscles will prove that they’re not one that gets bullied that easily. Tough looks and muscles aside, French Bulldogs are indeed lap dogs. Despite their looks, the French Bulldog loves to hang out on your lap. They make great companions in apartment living due to their small size. They’re an affectionate, energetic and playful kind of breed, as well as being excellent rat-catching dogs out in rural areas. 

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Temperament: Strong-willed, Loyal, Mischievous, Dignified, Sensitive, Intelligent, Affectionate

Shedding Level: Moderate

Grooming Frequency: Every other week or monthly

Drooling Level: Low to Moderate

Life Expectancy: 10 to 12+ years

Height: 24 to 27+ inches tall

Weight: 70 to 85 pounds on average

Rhodesian Ridgebacks were first bred in Africa and they’re a loyal and intelligent breed. Despite being muscular, they tend to be shy around strangers. They can be a bit skittish when approached by folks who they don’t know. They’re very sensitive dogs and do not react well to being mistreated. These dogs require patience, but they reward your patience with loyalty and love. With their size, intelligence and attitude, they’re not recommended for first time dog owners. Early socialization and consistent training are a must for this breed to be accepting of new people and other dog breeds.

American Pit Bull Terrier aka Pitbull

Temperament: Affectionate, Gentle, Intelligent, Strong-willed, Obedient, Loyal, Courageous, Stubborn, Friendly

Shedding Level: Moderate to High depending on the parents

Grooming Frequency: Every other week or once per month

Drooling Level: Low

Life Expectancy: 12 to 14+ years usually

Height: 18 to 21 inches on average, sometimes taller

Weight: 30 to 60 pounds usually, but often heavier

American Pit Bull Terriers, often referred to as Pitbulls, were banned to breed in the entire country of France and even in some state cities of the United States. Their massive strength is the reason why Pitbulls get a bad reputation, they aren’t an aggressive breed by nature. They do, however, need to be disciplined early and often to prevent misbehaving. They also need to be socialized around other dogs early in life. Pitbulls simply don’t know their own strength! And owners need to remember that too. American Pit Bull Terriers have the kind of muscular build that can easily intimidate passersby even when they’re on a leash. Personality-wise this dog breed is the opposite of how it appears: Pitbulls are very affectionate, loyal and friendly. They are also known to be a goofy dog, and some have some silly antics which can entertain their owners.

Ca de Bou

Temperament: Self-assured, Brave, Quiet, Intensely Loyal

Shedding Level: Low

Grooming Frequency: Bi-weekly or monthly

Drooling Level: Moderate to High

Life Expectancy: 10 to 12 years

Height: 20 to 22+ inches tall

Weight: 66 to 85+ pounds on average

Ca de Bous, also known as Presa Mallorquin, originated in Spain and are packed with bulky muscles. It’s easy to notice their broad shoulders and large chests, and their short legs have a strong physique which lets them support their weight to run around. Ca de Bous have a sad history of being involved in dogfighting, like the Pitbull we mentioned earlier. But they’re truly bred to be family dogs, protecting their loved ones and being loyal companions.

American Staffordshire Terrier

Temperament: Devoted, Tenacious, Attentive, Loyal, Friendly, Confident, Smart, Good-natured

Shedding Level: Low to Moderate

Grooming Frequency: Monthly

Drooling Level: Low

Life Expectancy: 12 to 16 years

Height: 17 to 19+ inches tall

Weight: 40 to over 70 pounds

American Staffordshire Terriers, also known as “AmStaff,” originated in the United States and is grouped in the category of medium-sized dog breeds. They have a chockfull of muscles on their body with a squared-shaped head. They’re widely recognized as the ideal breed for canine companions of some military forces. Despite the tough image they have, they make excellent therapy dogs and companions as well. American Staffordshire Terriers are an affectionate, loyal and intelligent breed and are very capable of being great guard dogs and family dogs.

Kangal Shepherd

Temperament: Alert, Protective, Independent, Self-controlled, Sensitive

Shedding Level: Moderate to High

Grooming Frequency: Monthly

Drooling Level: Moderate to High

Life Expectancy: 13 to over 15 years

Height: 24 to over 31 inches

Weight: 88 to 130+ pounds

Kangal Shepherds are another breed that possesses incredible strength. With their heavy, bulky physique, they make excellent guard dogs to protect their family or livestock. Even though they appear formidable and maybe intimidating, Kangal Shepherds are known for being gentle and devoted to their family and their other animal friends (not just canine!). They enjoy watching over their loved ones from a distance, ensuring their safety. However when an emergency arises, the Kangal Shepherd will bound to their loved ones’ rescue. Their protective instinct will come out without hesitation if they sense danger. But if they do not sense danger, the Kangal Shepherd is an exceptionally calm dog breed. So, if you’re one who indulges in a peaceful and secure kind of life, then Kangal Shepherds could be a good dog for you.

Dogo Argentino

Temperament: Tolerant, Loyal, Cheerful, Protective, Affectionate, Friendly, Courageous, Athletic

Shedding Level: Moderate to High

Grooming Frequency: Monthly

Drooling Level: Moderate

Life Expectancy: 9 to 15 years

Height: 24 to 27 inches

Weight: 80 to 100 pounds

When it comes to having a reputation of hunting, Dogo Argentinos are the dog breed for it. They’re originally bred for this purpose, as well as for protecting their family. That being said, they make perfect companions for police, fire, and disaster rescue missions—not to mention their outstanding guiding instinct. Dogo Argentinos’ bravery is second to none as well. They are known to go toe to toe against wild boards or even mountain lions when encountering them on hunts. Their appearance bears a resemblance to the Mastiff. The Dogo Argentino has absolutely “ripped” muscles that can be easily noticed since the breed has such short white hair. These dogs are impressive athletes but they also love to socialize and get involved in most family activities.

Bull Terrier

Temperament: Active, Protective, Trainable, Sweet-tempered, Playful, Charming, Mischievous

Shedding Level: Moderate

Grooming Frequency: Bi-weekly or monthly

Drooling Level: Low

Life Expectancy: 12 to 13+ years

Height: 21 to 22+ inches

Weight: 50 to 70+ pounds

Not to be confused with Pitbull Terriers, Bull Terriers are a beefy, big-boned breed with a stout, uniquely shaped head which were first bred in England. This breed can be hard-headed towards their owners sometimes. They can be pretty stubborn, especially when their independent nature takes over. Nonetheless, they’re very affectionate and have a lively attitude with an even-keeled temperament. The Bull Terrier makes an entertaining playmate for small children. Their overall temperament is almost the same as a Golden Retriever. That means that these dogs can be a well-rounded partner in all aspects of life.

American Bulldog

Temperament: Gentle, Confident, Loyal, Energetic, Assertive, Friendly

Shedding Level: Low to Moderate

Grooming Frequency: Monthly

Drooling Level: High – Get the drool rag ready!

Life Expectancy: 10 to over 12 years

Height: 20 to 25 inches tall on average

Weight: 60 to 100 pounds, rarely over 100 while still being healthy

The American Bulldogs are a super popular dog breed and were bred into being in the United States. They’re largely bred for their effectiveness in helping out with farm tasks or chores. They have a stocky, muscular stature with a smooth, short-length coat. Personality-wise, they’re very loyal, confident, and they love to bond with their loved ones as much as they can. They don’t get scared, but they tend to be aloof around strangers and not show much attention. They could even sometimes see strangers as a threat to their families, so be careful. To help an American Bulldog to be more friendly and outgoing with strangers early socialization is recommended.

Closing Words on Muscular Dog Breeds

Like humans, some dogs are simply more muscular than others due to their genetics. People and dogs can both lose fat from aerobic exercise as well. But dogs can’t hit the gym and do some bench press and squats. Every dog has a pre-determined musculature due to their genes. As you can see above, these muscular dogs are genetically programmed to maintain more muscle mass than other dogs. It’s not because they are hitting the gym every day, it’s just hereditary. But those muscles still serve a function, so these muscular dog breeds will make great working dogs or playmates. Hopefully this post helped you discover some muscular dogs or choose a breed for your next pup!

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Kevin F.

Hey guys! I'm Kevin and I'm the Founder of My Dog Reviews. I made this site to share my very own dog's reviews of food, treats, toys, and more. I also have become fascinated with dog breeds and I'm sharing my knowledge with the world. Have a breed, treat, or something you want me to write about? Just let me know!