The bravest dog breed in the world

It's almost inevitable that most kids grow up wanting a Dog, capital "D." Children idolize mutts, having been told by movies and picture books that they are the ultimate companions. They are loving, they are loyal, and most importantly, they are courageous. While the odds of being attacked by a bear or rushed by bandits in suburbia are slim, you can rest assured that, should the worst come to pass, you'll be much safer with a Dog by your side, fending off whatever is waiting in the shadows.

Also inevitably, those kids grow up and get a dog, not capitalized, which eats their new Doc Martins and pees in the closet during thunderstorms.

The unfortunate fact is that no matter what everyone tells themselves, most dogs skew a little less Call of the Wild and a little more Scooby Doo. If you want a truly fearless canine companion, your odds will improve if you find a breed that's built for the job. You'll also, generally speaking, need a lot more kibble than most people.

Bully for you

For centuries, humans have been breeding dogs with the express purpose of protecting us, and all things considered, people have gotten pretty good at it. Because of that, there are a couple of potential candidates for "world's bravest dog." 

The bullmastiff is certainly a contender. The American Kennel Club describes them as "Fearless at work, docile at home" and "big enough to scare the bejesus out of an intruder." They're some of the largest dogs in the world, tipping the scales at over 100 lbs, and they were bred as guard dogs in the 19th century, trained to pin poachers interloping on the lands of the aristocracy. You know when rich people in movies say "Release the hounds," right? Well, a bullmastiff is sort of the worst case scenario for robbers, since these dogs were literally created to hunt intruders through the forest at night. They're movie monsters that love Milk Bones. Their purported bravery probably comes in handy, too, since they only have a life expectancy of around eight years: You need a solid sense of confidence with such a short lifespan.