We all know a dog is a man’s best friend, but determining exactly which type of dog fits the “manly” mold can be a bit trickier. Here are our picks for guy-friendly breeds, all of which have varying degrees of courageousness, intelligence, friendliness and skills in the field to make the perfect companion for you or the man in your life.
Originally used for bull bating in 19th century England, the English Bulldog has transitioned into a popular companion and family pet. A short yet powerful breed with a heavy build and lots of wrinkles, English Bulldogs are also easily recognized by their short muzzle and distinctive under bite. Perfect for less active homes, Bulldogs love to eat and sleep and are recognized for their gentle, easygoing dispositions.
The English Bulldog’s good looks is a surefire way to win over the ladies on the next trip to the dog park.
A medium-sized dog bred approximately 3,000 years ago for the purpose of sledding, the Siberian Husky is known for its incredible endurance and willingness to work. An agreeable, outgoing breed, Huskies are suitable for anything from sledding to therapy work, according to the AKC, and are relatively easy keepers. They do require plenty of exercise, however, and may become destructive if left alone in the home for too long. The Siberian Husky is the ideal choice for the active male.
An ancient Tibetan breed known for its bravery, the Kuvasz served as a guard and hunting dog of Hungarian and European rulers in the 15th century before being integrated into the lives of shepherds as working dogs. A large dog with a deep chest and white double coat, the Kuvasz is a bold and fearless breed that serves as an excellent family guard dog. Intelligent and independent, the Kuvasz may be reserved when meeting strangers and requires consistent obedience training from an early age on.
An intelligent, versatile breed, the German Shepherd was originally used to guard and herd flocks of sheep but is used today as companion, police, guide and guard dog. What could be ‘manlier’ than that? With a long, muscular body, German Shepherds are strong, fearless and agile. Because of their size and energy level, German Shepherds require regular exercise and frequent training. This breed is best for an owner that can devote adequate time to keeping their minds and bodies active.
Originated in the 19th century for bull baiting. Boxers are used today as family pets, police and military dogs (very manly if you ask us). A medium sized, powerful breed, Boxers are natural guardians who love to be with their owners. Suitable for both city and country living, the breed requires regular daily exercise and lots of attention from its family.
A muscular, majestic breed, the Cane Corso’s name derives from the Latin word “cohors” meaning “guardian” or “protector,” according to the AKC. Developed to hunt wild boar and serve as a watchdog, Cane Corsos were considered a very rare breed and were not known outside of Southern Italy prior to 1988, according to the AKC. Athletic and intelligent, the Cane Corso requires plenty of exercise and is easy to train. The Cane Corso has what it takes to be a ‘manly’ dog breed.
Known as a hunting and guard dog in Japan, the Akita is a large dog with a powerful build. A loving, gentle breed, Akitas make loyal companions and excellent watchdogs. With a bushy tail and thick double coat, the Akita can come in any color including white, brindle or pinto. Because of their guarding instincts, Akitas can be aggressive and territorial, particularly towards strangers, and require a strong hand in training. They require plenty of daily exercise and regular grooming.
A breed admired for its bravery and used for centuries as guard, hunting and war dogs, Mastiffs are one of the largest and most powerful breeds of dog. The perfect companion for the strong man. Mastiffs are extremely affectionate to their owners, including children, and make a devoted family pet. They have a strong instinct to protect their domain and must be properly trained and socialized at an early age to prevent aggression towards strangers.
Recognizable by their large, wrinkly heads and jowls that hang down over the chin, the breed can also have dark ears and a black mask of its face and requires minimal grooming. Because of their size, the breed does best in the country or areas with lots of room to roam.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Strong, agile and intelligent, the Bernese Mountain Dog originated as an Alpine working dog and is used today as farm dog and family companion. With a large and powerful build and long, silky coat, the breed can live in the country or city but requires space to stretch and run. Known for its easygoing and affectionate nature.
Staffordshire Bull Terrier
An extremely courageous and intelligent breed, the Staffordshire Bull Terrier is a trustworthy and obedient all-purpose dog, according to the American Kennel Club (AKC). With a great deal of strength for its medium-sized body, Staffies are active and agile, requiring plenty of exercise and extra-tough chew toys. Noted for their sweet natures and affection for children, Staffordshire Bull Terriers make great family pets. Because of the breed’s strength and determination, however, a strong but gentle hand in training is important.)
Jessica is a managing editor and spends her days trying not to helicopter parent her beloved shelter pup, Darwin.