Top 20 Most Manly Dog Breeds

You don’t see a lot of men walking around with Poodles. Although you don’t have to trim your Poodle's fur into funny shapes, they are still not considered to be very manly.

The manly dog breeds on this list are suitable for any pet owner, but will certainly stand out when walking through the dog park.

It's not just men who are interested in these manly dog breeds. Some women enjoy having a manly dog that makes them feel safe.

And, all types of pet owners want a dog that will act as a tough guard dog for their home.

Whether you are a woman who wants a masculine companion or a man that needs a dog to match his own personality, there are many manly dog breeds for you to choose from.

Always remember that training and socialization are everything. Get these right, and you have the dog of your dreams.

ALSO SEE: 20 Most Feminine Dog Breeds for Women and Men

20 Manly Dog Breeds

Manly Dog Breeds for Guys

1. American Bulldog

Descendant from the Old English Bulldog, it's not surprising to see the American Bulldog listed with manly dog breeds.

They are hearty and healthy.

Loving and loyal, these dogs do great in families with children.

In fact, they will watch over and protect you and your family until their dying breath – much like the strong family man.


Fearless and energetic, these canines do well on a farm or with an active family. The short coat on American Bulldogs makes grooming quick and easy. Intelligent and eager to please, a pup from this breed is easy to train.


Due to the sport of fighting dogs, many “Bully” breeds were bred to increase aggression. Make sure you get your pup from a reputable breeder. Start socializing and pack leader training early to avoid aggression.

2. Australian Shepherd

Australian Shepherd Manly Dog BreedsAgile and energetic, Aussie’s are fun to own.

This is the perfect breed if you imagine yourself at the beach throwing the Frisbee for the dog that gets everyone’s attention.

If this breed were a man, it would be the one that says, “Hey, everybody, watch this”.


These intelligent dogs are easy to train. Australian Shepherds are great for the active family. Loyal, energetic, and playful, these canines are great for the active family with kids of all ages.


The double coat on the Aussie does need regular brushing to prevent matting and decrease shedding. These pups can be destructive if they are bored and left alone.

3. Beagle

Beagle Manly Dog BreedsWith the loveable face of a hound dog, you may not have expected the Beagle to be one of the most manly dog breeds.

These friendly dogs are much like the hardworking farmer – dependable and quick witted.

Entertaining and expressive, this breed is a fan favorite.


Affectionate and friendly, this pup is great for apartment living. If you are often entertaining or sharing campgrounds, this is a great dog to have. They never meet a stranger and are up for anything.


The Beagle is a hunting dog and will follow its nose anywhere. Make sure you have a strong fence that prevents escape. Also, make sure you always have your fur-baby on a leash.

4. Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese Mountain Dog Manly Dog BreedsThe “Berner” is not a little lap dog.

Like other working breeds, they need new things to stay happy.

Enjoying sports and learning new tricks, this breed is basically just a guy’s guy.

Friendly with everyone they meet, they can’t wait for those trips to the park.


Affectionate and friendly, this dog is great with children and other pets.

Intelligent and wanting to please, these giants are easy to train.

A tough breed, these pooches can still out-work most men.


While extremely beautiful, their long coats do need brushing and cleaning. They also shed quite a bit.

Playful, large, and strong, canines in this breed will need obedience training starting from a young age.

5. Bloodhound

BloodhoundDogs in this breed smell like a hound, slobber and shed, but like a burly man, there are many people that can’t live without them.

A common scent hound, you will see these pups working for search and rescue, police departments, airport security, and other organizations.

Certainly one of the most manly dog breeds, the Bloodhound is a very intelligent dog.


Sweet and mild mannered, Bloodhounds are great around all types of people and kids. While not fast, these fur-babies have endurance to spare. They are great for long-distance walkers.


While intelligent, these pooches are independent and stubborn. They need a firm trainer that won’t give in to the hound dog face. While healthy, they are prone to weight gain which will cause health problems.

Manly Dog Breeds6. Boxer

Much like many guys at the gym, this breed has an imposing stature that doesn’t match its personality.

This affectionate dog is very friendly with family, including kids and other dogs.

While strangers may feel timid looking at this dog’s muscular body, they don’t really make good watchdogs because of their friendliness.


Boxers are intelligent and easy to train. They are average in their desire to bark and roam. This energetic dog will adapt to apartment living as long as they get plenty of exercise.


Boxers like mild climates, so care must be taken when going outside in cold or hot weather.

These pups really do not do well when left alone for long periods of time.

7. Caucasian Ovcharka

Caucasian OvcharkaThis Russian dog is a shepherd, and it is tough. It can (and will) kill wolves and bears to keep its charges safe.

The soldier of the canine world, this breed was made to survive barren, wet lands and bitter cold; so, it is one tough cookie.


Independent and self-assured, these canines usually do well with alone time.

Brave and loyal, this breed is a common police, rescue, and work dog in the areas of the old Soviet Union.


Serious and professional, this is not a great dog if you have kids and other pets.

This breed is not suited for warmer climates.

If you want to own this pooch as a companion dog, or a guard dog, it will need to undergo serious pack leader training, socialization training, and obedience classes.

8. Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Chesapeake Bay RetrieverA champion swimmer, you can’t keep a “Chessie” out of the water. These fur-babies are sensitive to their owners need and are active and playful, but calm and reserved when the situation calls for it – like many great men.


Friendly, outgoing, and playful, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is great with children.

Loyal and protective, these dogs are great watch dogs, but are usually not aggressive.

A tough and adaptable dog, they can tolerate most weather extremes.


While these dogs are highly intelligent and trainable, they are independent and stubborn, often think their way of doing things is the best.

For this reason, they need a strong, stubborn trainer.

9. English Bulldog

English BulldogNot to be confused with the “Old English Bulldog”, this breed has changed since its ancestors’ time.

Like the modern man, this canine’s traits have evolved to conform to its new job – being a lap dog.

A real lay-about, the English Bulldog is one of the most manly dog breeds, but they don't match well with active owners.


Also known as the British Bulldog, this is a breed that is great for novice owners. Lazy, friendly, and healthy, they are a great breed for the couch potato family. It doesn’t take a lot to keep this lounger clean and maintained.


These pups are known to wheeze, snort, and drool.

Although they have the disposition of a lapdog, they grow to be about 50 pounds.

This dog just likes to chill and doesn’t like being around other dogs.

10. Estrela Mountain Dog

Estrela Mountain DogA new breed, this dog made it into the AKC registry in 2004.

A hardy and healthy breed, the Estrela averages about 16 years of life.

That is a long life considering its size. Like some men, this beautiful creature can never truly be owned.


These loyal and intense dogs make excellent guard dogs. This pooch’s long, beautiful coat doesn’t mat easily, so it is still easy to maintain. These pups love kids.


Like many strong working dogs, this fur-baby is independent and self-willed.

They will need an owner that uses pack leader and socialization training.

While they may love kids, they do not like other animals.

Manly Dog Breeds11. German Shepherd

Not surprising, the German Shepherd is certainly one of the most manly dog breeds. Intelligent “work” dogs, German Shepherds are used as police dogs, guide dogs, and farm hand dogs. Nimble and sure-footed, these canines are the quarterbacks of the dog world.


This breed makes a great watch dog.

These dogs are energetic and love play time, but they know when to be calm and restrained as well.

Fur-babies in this breed are smart and sensitive to their owners wishes, so they are very easy to train.


These pups shed a lot, it may be best if you don’t have carpet in your home. Dogs in this breed usually do not like other dogs.

German Shepherds are suspicious of strangers.

They also love to chew on stuff.

12. Irish Setter

Irish SetterThis beautiful, elegant dog is much like the male dancer in a Waltz.

One of the most manly dog breeds, the Irish Setter came from the need to hunt without getting caught in briars and brambles.

The luxurious coat also lends to the air of graceful movements. While great for taking out, the Irish Setter is not a good watch dog.


Affectionate and easy to train, this breed is great for anyone with kids, other pets, and numerous get-to-gathers. These fur-babies are intelligent and do great in an active family where it is always on the go.


Sensitive and a little needy, these pups do not like being left alone.

They are still hunters at heart and need a sturdy fence to keep from roaming.

Large and active, Irish Setters do not do well in apartments.

13. Kuvasz

KuvaszThese beautiful white dogs are a diamond in the rough. Large and lacking in social graces, it takes a strong and patient person to uncover the gem inside its working dog exterior.

I have known several men like this. These traditional livestock guards are extremely intelligent – capable of decision making and independent thought.


Active and intense, these canines love the outdoors.

The Kuvasz is not a hunting breed so they have relatively no prey drive.

Tough, healthy, and brave, these dogs are ready for whatever you can cook up. They make excellent guard dogs.


While highly intelligent, they are hard to train, wanting to go their own way instead. These serious pups do not get along well with kids, strangers, or other animals.

14. French Bulldog

French BulldogWho says a dog has to be large to be one of the most manly dog breeds?

Like the class clown, “Frenchies” are mischievous and bright.

You can’t help but love their little bat-eared faces. While not very active, they are playful and will give many hours of entertainment.


A compact size, the French Bulldog is great for apartments and first-time dog owners.

Friendly with everyone they meet, it is a great breed for families with kids.

Intelligent and easy to train, this is a great animal for the man who wants a lap-dog.


These dogs are not made for the outdoors.

They only do well in mild temperatures.

Due to their facial structure, care must be taken to avoid them getting tired and winded.

Also, they don’t do well alone.

15. Leonberger

LeonbergerA breed created from several other breeds – the Saint Bernard, the Newfoundland, and the Great Pyrenees is in its lineage.

A massive dog, this breed is not very well-known.

These fur-babies do not do well in apartments or hot weather.

Make sure you have the right place for one of these animals to be happy.


Affectionate and playful, this dog is great for kids.

These active fur-babies enjoy being part of the family and want to do what you do.

Leonbergers are active and curious. Suspicious of strangers, the “Leo” makes a great watchdog.


These pups love to chew and bark and will need training to curb those desires.

While they love kids, they are massive and can easily hurt a child.

They need training in manners starting at puppyhood.

Manly Dog Breeds

16. Bullmastiff

This drooling, snoring giant is calm and affectionate around family.

Suspicious with strangers, this family dog has trust that has to be earned.

You may have been expecting to see this breed on my list of manly dog breeds, as they were made to be a guard dog.

The Bullmastiff prefers to be not only top dog, but the only dog in the family.


Even with their great size, they are easy to groom and shed very little.

They do great as working dogs due to their size and strength, but are happy working for you catching balls and Frisbees or pulling children around in a cart.


Due to their size, they need obedience training and socialization starting from a young age.

Make sure you are cautious with food; this breed has a tendency to pack on the pounds.

17. Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian RidgebackThis breed is muscular and manly.

They have a distinctive line (ridge) of hair on their spine.

This breed was made from Mastiffs, Hounds, Danes, and Terriers that were brought to the wilds of Africa.


These powerful dogs are great if you are looking for a dog that lives primarily outdoors. Also known as the “African Lion Dog”, these canines make excellent guard dogs.

This easy to maintain breed is playful and energetic.


The Ridgeback is a large, powerful, and independent breed; so, they need effective, experienced training.

Dogs in this breed that are not trained and socialized properly can become aggressive.

They retain the prey drive and love to wander and roam.

18. Rottweiler

RottweilerThese dogs are calm, brave and heavy; they can get up to 130 pounds.

You would be hard pressed to find any traditionally feminine characteristics in this breed.

These muscular dogs are strong and true, loyal and brave – not that women can’t be.


Dogs of this breed are not hyper and needy. Smart and attentive, Rottweilers make great work dogs.

Despite their reputation, they are gentle and family friendly unless trained to be otherwise.


Training needs to start as soon as possible while they are still small enough to be easily handled.

They usually don’t like other animals.

These pups do not like alone time and become destructive and aggressive if bored and lonely.

19. Saint Bernard

Saint BernardBrains, looks, strength, endurance, and loyalty are all included in this package.

Named after a treacherous mountain pass, the Saint Bernard Pass, this dog is often found on lists of the most manly dog breeds.

They are independent, loving and rugged.

Everything it needed to be to perform its job as a rescuer.


An affectionate breed, the Saint Bernard is great for homes with kids and other pets.

These pups don’t need a lot of exercise as long as they are able to stretch out a few times in the day.


They cannot tolerate the heat well, so they are best suited for colder climates.

While friendly and intelligent, these fur-babies are still hard to train.

They like doing things their own way.

20. Vizsla

VizslaOriginally from Hungary, the Vizsla is a pointer.

The last of the manly dog breeds on our list, showing the way to the game that is up the trail is this dog's favorite thing to do.

It also doubles as a retriever, and it is great at it, just like the man that must wear different hats.


These friendly dogs are great with kids, strangers, and other dogs.

The short coat on these fur-babies are short and easy to care for.

As another bonus, they shed very little.


A true game animal, this canine doesn’t do well in apartments. It needs room to roam and lots of exercise. They love to chew, bark, and act like a dog, so make sure you have toys and chews to keep it satisfied.

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The 20 Most Manly Dog Breeds

Dom Naish is a Phoenix-based writer, vegan, cupcake addict and dog lover. Years in the animal rescue trenches have taught him every aspect of dog ownership from behavioral problems, personality and breed specific trait differences of all dogs.