The Most Courageous Dog Breeds

The Most Courageous Dog Breeds
The Most Courageous Dog Breeds
Most Courageous Dog Breeds
Most Courageous Dog Breeds

(Photo credit: Brighton Dog Photography / Getty Images)

When determining a breed of dog that is right for you, you may want to consider a variety of traits. You may think about temperament, energy level, or climate acclimation, for example. For some, finding a dog that is brave, fearless, and protective of you or your family may be at the top of your list. Read on to learn more about some of the most courageous dog breeds.

What makes a dog courageous?

The traits that stand out in courageous dog breeds might feel pretty clear. A courageous dog is confident, strong, and able to stay cool under pressure. They will choose to confront an aggressor in the event they feel that your safety is being threatened. They will stand by your side, displaying the utmost loyalty. These dogs are protective and make excellent guardians. While an imposing aesthetic can be additionally appealing, courage lies in the heart.

The most courageous dog breeds

courageous dog breeds
courageous dog breeds

(Photo credit: UH Photography / Getty Images)

Bouvier des Flandres

Originally bred to be versatile farm dogs, these Belgian pups are also known for working with the military in their native country. The Bouvier des Flandres is strong-willed, agile, and athletic. They are also incredibly loyal to their human companions. These traits make them excellent protectors.


With an imposing physique and a booming bark, Rottweilers exude an air of strength. They are also extremely loving to their families. Their fearlessness puts them at the top of the list of courageous dogs. They are incredibly strong, which can be a great factor when looking for the most courageous dog breeds. This does, however, come with a great deal of responsibility in training.

Presa Canario

Presa Canarios are recognized by their wide jaw and powerful, square head. Although first appearances may look daunting, they are very docile with their family. This courageous dog breed is distrustful of strangers but should accept strangers if their owner accepts them. The breed commands attention, and would likely be a deterrent for any intruder. Still, their loving nature makes them a great addition to your home. Like many other strong-willed dog breeds, the Presa Canario requires a great deal of training. Early socialization is a must.

German Shepherd

Often used as service animals, in the military, or as working dogs, German Shepherds are the perfect mix of loving, courageous, and strong. They are incredibly intelligent, easy to train, and known for loyalty to their owners. Reserved in nature, German Shepherds are easy-going and approachable with their family. If threatened, German Shepherds can be courageous and protective, making them excellent watchdogs.

Doberman Pinscher

Doberman Pinschers originated in Germany in the late 19th century. Originally bred as watchdogs, these fearless pups are strong and intelligent. Doberman Pinschers require a good deal of socialization as they aren’t known to be trusting of other dogs or strangers. Still, this breed is incredibly affectionate with their family. With the proper training, this courageous breed can make an excellent addition to your home.


The Akita is a large, powerful dog breed with an elegant and regal appearance. Originally bred for guarding royalty and nobility in feudal Japan, Akitas are known for their loyal and protective nature. They do not frighten easily, which makes them excellent family guardians. With proper training and socialization, this noble dog breed will be a faithful companion.


The Boerboel is a large, muscular, and imposing dog breed. Sometimes called the South African Mastiff, this gigantic protector originally helped guard farmsteads. Although they are intimidating in appearance, they are very loving with their families. They are also gentle and affectionate with children.


Mild-mannered and easygoing, Bullmastiffs are loyal to their families and are great in homes with children. They can be wary of strangers and are fearless guardians. Powerfully built, the Bullmastiff is formidable in appearance. Certainly, this would be a great deterrent to would-be intruders or attackers.

Adopting a courageous dog

While these courageous dog breeds make excellent guardians and companions, it is always important to remember to adopt rather than shop. If you’re looking for a particular breed, check out breed-specific rescue organizations. Loyalty, strength, and fearlessness are traits found in many dogs, including mixed breeds. Developing a bond with your pup is one of the best ways to ensure that they will come to your aid in a time of need.

Looking for more dog breeds? You can learn more about some of the most loyal dog breeds here.

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