Top 10 Manly Dogs

10: Bulldog
Taking a turn toward a smaller breed, the Bulldog is a pint-sized tough guy, or at least they’re designed to look that way. This dog looks like a mix of a pug and a Mastiff. Bulldogs can look simultaneously peeved and happy, and they have lovable and quirky personalities that are a significant departure from the other manly dogs seen here.

Having a Bulldog as a pet is a surefire way to win friends and impress women; their bullish looks and saggy skin folds provide lots of laughs and their relatively poor conditioning, due to their heavyset, makes for some hilarious outings at the park when tossing a stick around. Still, they are just as dedicated to their territory as any other breed, and their dedicated companionship and ability to inspire are perfect reasons for their use as the official mascot of the U.S. Marine Corps.

9: Husky
The Alaskan Husky is not so much a breed or a type as much as it falls into its own category, that of traditionally being a sled dog. Majestic in their presence (deep chest and muscular all around) and durable by nature, the Husky is part and parcel of being out in the wild — and that truth becomes vividly clear when you consider that these manly dogs have a strain of genes from one of the most well-known carnivores — the wolf.

Huskies are extremely adaptable and love pushing their bodies to the limit. Huskies are natural competitors and they need lots of activity, which makes them less-than-desirable urban dogs. However, they are excellent in the country and they can also tussle with anyone who tries to mess with their owner. Reliability and durability are the Husky’s defining traits.

8: English Mastiff
The word “mastiff” evolved from the English word “masty,” which meant powerful. That should be enough indication that this dog means business. Centuries ago, these manly dogs were used in the sport of bear baiting in England; that’s because they were one of the strongest breeds, able to stand up to one of nature’s most vicious beasts.

The English Mastiff is a broad, thickly built canine that has come to represent most of the breeds within the Molosser type. Their powerful bodies are only eclipsed by their trademark patience, grace and displays of undying loyalty to their owners — no matter the stranger, the Mastiff will only approve if the owner approves first.

Be ready to keep in shape when you own one of these manly dogs; they need an ample amount of activity to avoid lazy behavior.

7: Cane Corso
This dog is another of the Molosser type, but different enough from the English Mastiff to warrant a separate recommendation. The Cane Corso has a physical presence unmatched by medium-sized dogs; this is an extremely muscular breed that is blessed with a brilliant coat. Their athleticism is their most defining feature, which is likely owed to their Italian roots as farming, hunting and gaming dogs that were also considered reliable and trustworthy.

The strong, silent type, these dogs are definitely only for a specific type of owner; one who is gentle, subtle and willing to put in the effort to earn the Corso’s trust. Not the best dog to bring around strangers and children (unless they’ve been brought up in a family environment), but when raised properly, Corsos are able to remain well-behaved around many types of people and generally pacifist around other canines. These dogs need the gentle approach because of their cautious instincts, but they easily personify what it takes to be on this list of manly dogs.

6: Doberman Pinscher
The Doberman pinscher is probably one of the most easily recognizable manly dogs around, partly because of the media coverage they receive. Like the German Shepherd, they were often used for police work, hunting and general laboring, but have since become more domesticated for the normal owner. The Doberman is also visually stunning as it’s one of the most muscular dogs and one of the most agile and versatile.

Surprisingly, Dobermans are much more docile, intelligent and friendlier than they’re perceived. They can easily be mistaken as nasty guard dogs with a sharp bite, but only if provoked in an aggressive manner by an unassuming stranger. When these dogs are properly socialized, they become loyal and offer a great mix of protection, personality and manliness.

5: Rottweiler
Rottweilers are much maligned by the media, but they’re often less aggressive and unstable as they’re made out to be. If brought up with the right training and with exposure to many different people, situations and environments, the Rotty can easily be man’s best friend.

Much of their manliness comes from the same attitude that defines the human male; their natural desire to assert a level of dominance. When given property or something to call their own, Rottweilers will fiercely defend it, and that includes their young, their owner and their favorite chew toy. Their stoic nature can instantly turn into a snapping bite, so strangers should approach cautiously.

Still, while Rottweilers are often misunderstood and considered too manly, they can be lovable and social.

4: German Shepherd
These manly dogs have unfortunately been cast as utilitarian animals; you can’t watch television without seeing them in action as a bomb-sniffing, drug-searching, criminal-chasing do-it-alls. However, that’s exactly what they are capable of and, as result, they are one of the manliest dogs because of their ability to perform the most masculine jobs that most other dogs just can’t do.

Gorgeous and confident, they are also both proud and modest. They have the size of a large dog that intimidates (usually 60 pounds to 90 pounds), but they also have a heartwarming affection and loyalty for their owners and the people they know.

They are fiercely territorial and make great guard dogs for people and property. Their confidence is only matched by their agility and durability, and so these dogs are great companions if you’re an active individual.

3: Bloodhound
Famous for having personable faces that kids and adults have loved for decades (Pluto, Huckleberry Hound and McGruff the Crime Dog come to mind), the special skills of these dogs is not their strength or speed, but their uncanny ability to follow a scent, which makes them an ideal companion for hunting. It is said that Bloodhounds can detect the scent of only a few skin cells, and will be persistent in capturing its prey for hours — even days.

Beyond their hunting abilities, these are big, graceful dogs with a physical presence that can also provide a few laughs with their excessive drooling and sometimes clumsy delivery. Interesting to note, it may sometimes feel like you have to make a pact with these dogs for them to behave; Bloodhounds can be stubborn unless they get what they want, so take the tongue-in-cheek approach with them and it’ll be gravy. Their ability to strategize as well as use their impeccable instincts makes them an easy manly choice.

2: Black Labrador
The black Labrador, and Labrador retrievers in general, are an instant favorite for owners of manly dogs. The Labrador is a broad-headed, thick-necked pooch with a water resistant coat who is always charming people with his intelligent facial expressions. More interesting, however, is the black Lab’s webbed feet, which these Canadian-originating dogs used to swim around in icy waters and drag nets to shore after leaping off fishermen’s boats.

Labs have since been domesticated further, but they still hold true to their retriever name; they’re naturally inclined to fetch most things on command. Dog personalities don’t come much more humanized than these pooches, and Labs are very receptive and responsive to family, kids, friends, and strangers.

1: Rhodesian Ridgeback
Never heard of this beast before? That might be because you’ve heard of their alternate name instead, the African Lion Dog. That’s right; the Ridgeback earned that name by standing up to lions on South African plains. istock_000005759180xsmall.jpg

These dogs were also built to last; they have tick-resistant coats, tight paw pads to overcome thorns and thistles, and they’re intelligent and muscular enough to challenge and avoid predators, including snakes and crocodiles.

Beyond that, these dogs are fair and rational in their temperament; they will not foolishly attack or become enraged without a severe and persistent threat present. Historically, they’ve also been great guard dogs, loyal defenders of their owners and his families, and even able to round up cattle.

Perhaps it doesn’t have the same physical threatening size as other breeds, but it doesn’t have to be — its sheer resilience, intelligence and tenacity make this dog the manliest of them all.

  • You already voted!
  • Read More

Get Unlimited Free Access

Join 5,000 other readers who get their news from us