13 Badass Dog Breeds (with Photos) Scary Tough

Man’s best friend comes in hundreds of different breeds, all of which possess unique shapes, colors and temperaments. If you are interested in bringing a tough dog with a touch of badassery into your family, you should consider several specific breeds. 

Read on to discover 13 of the best and most badass dog breeds. Some are perfect guard dogs, some can run, jump and hunt, while others are fun to wrestle with. All would make an excellent addition to your family. 

badass dog breeds
13 Badass Dog Breeds (with Photos) Scary Tough


doberman guard dog
A Doberman guard dog.

Dobermans, also known as Doberman Pinschers, were created in Germany for the sole purpose of being loyal guard dogs. Breeders started the Doberman line from dogs like Rottweilers, Weimaraners, Terriers, and German Pinschers. 

These are beautiful dogs that have sleek, strong, muscular bodies and angular-shaped heads. They are typically black and brown and have smooth, short coats. The Doberman breed grows to between 24 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder and can weigh between 70 to 100 pounds.

They live to be about 12 years old. 

Do not let their large size or sharp mind fool you into thinking Dobermans make bad family pets. On the contrary, this badass dog breed is a fantastic companion. They are affectionate creatures and gentle with children.

They also play well with other dogs, and owners can easily train them.  

A Doberman requires lots of exercise and a safe place to run. Free play is a crucial aspect of this breed’s mental and physical well-being. 


One of the most popular badass dog breeds is the Rottweiler. Rottweilers are an old breed that the Romans used as herd dogs. They have innate protective traits and are loyal and loving animals. 

strong rottweiler
Strong Rottweiler

Rottweilers live to be about 10 years old and can reach a weight of 135 pounds. They are great family dogs that provide their humans with endless love and affection, but due to their size and enthusiasm, owners must supervise Rottweilers around small children. They can also be a little aggressive to strange dogs, so you should socialize them as much as possible in their younger years. 

You must also keep Rotties entertained with plenty of walks and toys. Rottweilers do not require much of a routine and are pretty playful. However, they are vigilant when acting as a guard dog for your home. 

Cane Corso 

Cane Corsos are tough-looking dogs that make excellent protectors for their family and home. Their name roughly translates to “bodyguard dog” in Latin. The breed has ties to ancient Greece and Rome where they were working dogs bred from Mastiff-type canines. 

cane corso dog
A Cane Corso dog. Loved by owners, but banned in some countries.

This badass breed can come in several colors, including black, gray, red and brindle. They are thick, muscular dogs with jowly faces and pointed upright ears. Despite their intimidating appearance, Cane Corsos are smart, loyal and easy to train.

They also tend to be stubborn and assertive, which can make them a bit of a handful to an unsuspecting owner. 

Because of their dominant and protective personalities, people should train and socialize Cane Corsos during puppyhood so they can interact well with strangers and other dogs. 

Owners should exercise their Cane Corso daily, preferably on long walks or runs twice a day. They are also agile dogs that can handle rocky terrain.


Bullmastiffs were working dogs bred in England during the 1880s. They are a cross between a Bulldog and a Mastiff and have large bodies, square-shaped heads, sloppy ears, and jowls. These dogs grow up to 27 inches tall at the shoulder and can reach weights of 130 pounds. 

large Bullmastiff
A large Bullmastiff sits on the grass.

Although the Bullmastiff makes an excellent protector and guard dog, they make for wonderful family dogs. They are gentle and playful with children of all ages too, although their large size may cause the occasional knockdown. They are also great for families that do not have much time for walks, as they only need moderate amounts of exercise. 

You should note that Bullmastiffs are not great dogs for multi-pet households. They do not like male dogs or small cats due to their high prey nature. 

Great Dane 

Due to their gigantic size, solid face and dependable nature, Great Danes are a badass dog breed. They are moderate barkers with willful and alert temperaments that require a lot of physical activity and a nutritious diet to maintain their energy levels. 

great dane standing in snowfall
A brown Great Dane standing in a snowfall.

What makes these dogs so great to live with is that they are sweet, friendly and loyal creatures that will protect their family members. Their large size and serious strength make them imposing dogs to handle, so owners should train them.


Although Bulldogs are the smaller size, they are strong and tough dogs that make ideal protectors and loving pets. Originally, breeders created them to fight, but over time they have become common family breeds that shower their owners with affection. 

English Bulldog in a gray background
An English Bulldog in a gray background.

This breed has a thick-set body and broad shoulders. They are also surprisingly agile. The temperament of a Bulldog is generally patient and obedient, although they do have a stubborn streak that you can combat with training. 


The Greyhound is a powerfully built, graceful, and noble dog that makes them a badass breed. Their size is considerable, but their temperament is gentle. They are wary of strangers and have moderately protective natures. 

greyhound dog
A greyhound standing proud (and tall and skinny)

One of the most badass parts of the Greyhound is how fast they can run. Thanks to their aerodynamic builds and strong muscles, this breed can reach speeds of up to 45 mph


Beagles are a type of hound that make perfect hunting dogs and family companions. They are loyal canines with happy-go-lucky natures and lovable personalities that enjoy exploring their surroundings. Beagles can get destructive if left alone for too long, and they require plenty of activity. 

beagle dog smiling outdoors
A Beagle smiling in the park

When it comes to hunting, Beagles are one of the best. They are scent hounds that have excellent instincts for hunting small game like gophers and rabbits. 

Siberian Husky 

Huskies are high-energy dogs built for endurance. People know them best for their ability to run in packs, particularly in races like the Iditarod, and they can pull cargo loads at moderate speeds for long periods. 

three Siberian Huskies colors
The three Siberian Huskies with different colors are sitting together.

The Siberian Husky is quick, friendly and energetic. They are not ideal watchdogs due to their high-energy, playful personalities and the fact that they are eager to meet and play with strangers. They are also frequent barkers. 

German Shepherd 

One of the world’s most popular and badass dog breeds is the German Shepherd. These intelligent and courageous dogs are valuable workers that people frequently use as guide and police canines. They are willing to risk their lives for the humans they love. 

German Shepherds make excellent family dogs and are great with children. Owners can also easily train them. Because of their loyalty and protective nature, they also make great watchdogs

German shepherd at the beach
A big boy German Shepherd enjoys a beach visit

Belgian Malinois

Belgian Malinois are herding dogs that prefer to work and run all day. They are remarkably smart, obedient and confident creatures that resemble German Shepherds, although breeders made them for herding cattle in Belgium. 

This badass dog breed is large and muscular and requires outlets to burn its energy. They prefer running and hiking alongside their owners and large, safe spaces to practice their hunting and tracking skills. 

Belgian Malinois with a ball
Belgian Malinois lying in the field with a ball.

Pit Bull Terrier 

One of the most badass and misunderstood dogs breeds is the Pit Bull Terrier. These dogs have gotten a bad reputation for being aggressive fight dogs; however, humans who mistreated them taught them the behaviors in the first place. Pit Bull Terriers are affectionate and friendly dogs that are great with both kids and families. 

American Pit Bull Terrier playing
American Pit Bull Terrier playing with a ball.

Pit Bull Terriers are sturdy, muscular dogs that require plenty of exercise. They can be wary of other dogs, and owners should keep them on a leash when in public to avoid negative interactions with other canines. Proper training and socializing as puppies can keep bad encounters from happening. 

Saint Bernard 

Saint Bernards are one of the biggest breeds available, reaching up to 180 pounds at maturity. Despite their affectionate, playful, and loyal nature they are vigilant watchdogs with a booming bark they use only as a method of alerting their humans to danger. 

Saint Bernards are semi-difficult to train, but they do not require much activity or mental stimulation. Instead, they prefer to sleep. 

The Takeaway

If you want to add a badass dog breed to your family, there are over a dozen loyal, affectionate and playful dogs to choose from. Badass dogs are not just vigilant guard dogs, they can also be beautiful creatures who add plenty of love and companionship to your home.