Hey, what you lookin’ at? Here are 7 Tough Looking Dog breeds that just might win your heart.
Though the English Bulldog tends to be a big softy, the breed has come to symbolize toughness and tenacity over the years, so much so that no less than 45 Universities in the US have chosen it as their mascots.
It is also one of the more popular mascots among hockey, soccer, and rugby teams. I won’t even get into the number of High Schools the Bulldog represents.
It is a muscular hefty dog that translates well to many art styles, even Warner Brothers has used it to represent the quintessential tough dog in their Looney Toons franchise.
Bulldogs have a longstanding association with British culture, as the BBC wrote: “to many, the Bulldog is a national icon, symbolizing pluck and determination. During World War II, Brits often likened Bulldogs to Prime Minister Winston Churchill and his defiance of Nazi Germany, which in no small part attributes to the popularity of the Bulldog even today.
This tough dog has claimed its place in history.
Personally, I don’t think American Pit Bull Terriers are tough-looking with their fat heads and soulful eyes. But, many people do and many people alter them to look tougher. PS, don’t do that.
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a solidly built, muscular dog, which is great with family and children.
So, why the tough reputation? History, irrational fear and media overreaction.
Twelve countries in Europe, as well as Australia, Canada, the United States, Ecuador, Malaysia, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Singapore, and Venezuela, have enacted some form of breed-specific legislation on pit bull–type dogs, including American Pit Bull Terriers, ranging from outright bans to restrictions and conditions on ownership. So apparently it intimidates a lot of people.
Despite its friendly nature, eager to please temperament and zest for life, the American Pit Bull Terrier is a big dog, can have dog aggression because of its history and needs a responsible owner that can carefully socialize and train it.
A well-trained, well-socialized Pibble is a big ol’ baby in a tough package.
Cane Corso – Tough Looking Dogs
The Cane Corso is a peerless protector. This IS a tough dog and it looks the part. The Cane Corso is large, often weighing more than 100 pounds and standing 28 inches at the withers.
They are at a glance intimidating creatures. Their imposing appearance is their first line of defense against intruders. As one writer put it, “An understated air of cool competence, the kind of demeanor you’d expect from a professional bodyguard, is the breed’s trademark.”
Although they are eager to please and faithful to their people, they are not dogs for novice owners. This dog’s assertive and willful nature will end up owning a novice trainer.
Bigness. That is what the Great Dane brings to the table. The Great Dane is a big dog, there is absolutely no debate about this.
To most people, having a dog able to flat-foot look you in the face is intimidating.
Often called gentle giants, Great Danes are loved for their joyful spirits and loving companionship. Great Danes bond closely with their owners and make wonderful family pets. A well-trained dog will thrive in most households. Households with ample space anyway.
Are they tough? They can become extremely territorial and this is a big dog with a life-altering bite. Therefore, this intimidating dog does need a firm, confident, and experienced owner and obedience and socialization are absolute musts.
German Shepherd – Tough Looking Dogs
Not much is more intimidating than having the K9 unit approach your car. Don’t ask how I know. Who’s the King of the K9 Police dogs? The German Shepherd. The German Shepherd is a large, agile, muscular dog with seldom matched courage and confidence.
Its wolf-like appearance also adds a lot to the tough outer shell. To the outsider, the German Shepherd is intimidating with an aloof suspicious nature toward strangers. It does not make friends indiscriminately.
However, in the home, you’d have a hard time finding a sweeter, more loyal pet.
Where the German Shepherd is a top-notch police and military dog, the Doberman Pinscher is the quintessential guard dog.
They are muscular, fast, powerful and at up to 28 inches at the shoulder, they are tall. Their sleek bodies and slick hair show off their well-muscled, and substantial physique. The Doberman was bred to be a guard dog and it shows. This can be a scary-looking dog, especially toward strangers. Dobermans are not quick to befriend strangers, adding to the intimidation.
Like other dogs on this list, a confident owner is a must. A Doberman is not a dog for a novice owner. But, in the right hands, they are great family pets and guardians.
When I speak of novice owners, I’m talking about people who have never been through obedience training with a dog. Those who have not taken the time to study dog body language. Just because you’ve had dogs doesn’t get you off the novice list, no more than the air miles on your credit card makes you a pilot.
If you’re going to get one of these large, powerful dogs, you’re both going to need training.
Rottweiler – Tough Looking Dogs
Last, but certainly not least, is the Rottweiler. The Rott has certainly earned its tough reputation. The Rottweiler was originally bred to drive cattle to market. Later they were used to pull carts for butchers. And, they were among the earliest police dogs and served with honor in the military. You don’t get much tougher.
Rotties have a natural instinct to protect their families and can be ferocious in their defense. It’s essential to channel their power by providing early socialization, firm, fair, consistent training and leadership, and a regular job to perform. When this doesn’t happen, Rottweilers can become dangerous bullies rather than the companionable guardians they’re meant to be.
Rottweilers are very physical and often play with other dogs like linebackers, with body slams and full-body blocks. They can learn to be gentle with older or smaller dogs and small children, but young Rottweilers are generally a little bit of a bull in a china shop.
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