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9 Dogs That Hunt Lions – Which Dog Can Kill A Lion?

With a number of videos going viral on social media claiming that rhodesian ridgeback lion hunting dogs are able to go out and successfully hunt and kill lions recently, we have noticed more and more people reaching out to ask which dogs can kill lions.

As with most things on social media, the ability of the rhodesian ridgeback as well as a number of other dog breeds has been blown out of proportion and these dogs are used to help humans hunt lions rather than actually kill a lion.

Still, we have seen more and more people reaching out to ask about the abilities of various dog breeds that are used by hunters to actually hunt lions as well as tribes people in Africa to help protect their livestock from lions and other large predators.

Due to this, we have decided to publish our own dedicated article going over the topic to try and shed some light on what the dogs are actually used for as it is usually far from what most people initially think.

You have to realise that if the viral videos on social media and the newspaper articles that write about them simply has a title of “dog helps human hunt lion” then it wouldn’t go viral or get as many clicks as if it would with a sensational headline.

This is why so many people who want to own a dog breed that can fight a lion are usually disappointed when they find out that the dogs don’t actually fight a lion and are often just used as an extra set of eyes as well as for their excellent sense of smell.

9 Dogs That Hunt Lions

Over the years, a wide range of dog breeds have been used to hunt lions with the rhodesian ridgeback being the most well known by far.

In addition to dog breeds actually hunting lions with humans, there are also a number of dog breeds that are used to protect livestock in Africa from lion attacks with various mastiff breeds usually being the best option.

We will go over the nine most common dog breeds that we see people asking about and go into what they have been used for when either hunting lions or protecting livestock from potential lion attacks.

The majority of people in the west are unable to imagine the reality of a farmer having to actively protect their livestock from lion attacks as well as other larger predators but it is commonplace.

Due to the farmers livestock being at risk by a number of large predators that often hunt in packs, it is common that they use large dog breeds that are used more for intimidation to deter a lion.

Some dogs are also used as more of an early warning system and will bark to alert the farmer that a large predator is close and then you have breeds like the fearless mastiff that will actively fight the large predators to protect their herd.

Rhodesian Ridgeback Vs Lion

Although the rhodesian ridgeback is often billed as the dog that is able to hunt and kill lions, this is not actually the case in reality.

The people who use rhodesian ridgebacks to hunt lions will usually have a back of the dogs with them with the dogs often being used to smell the lions and bark to keep the lion in a state of shock rather than actually fish the lion.

The rhodesian ridgeback is the most well known African lion hunting dog all over the world due to the breed getting so much attention from the media while also being referred to as a dog breed that can hunt and kill lions.

As we mentioned above though, this is just the media sensationalizing everything and in reality, the dog doesn’t get close to the lion.

Still, the spike in keeping rhodesian ridgebacks as pets a few years back was due to people thinking that they were the lion killing dog breed.

We are sure that breeders of rhodesian ridgebacks weren’t going to counter this narrative either as the prices for healthy ridgeback puppies almost doubled within a couple of months.

Pittbull Vs Lion

Although a large number of people do initially think that the pitbull would be the perfect lion hunting dog, they really aren’t popular with the other featured dog breeds on our list being considerably more popular.

Pitbulls are not popular for protecting livestock from potential lion attacks either due to the protective nature of the various mastiff breeds making them a much better option.

There is no chance that a pitbull would stand a chance against a lion never mind be able to kill a lion in a one on one fight either.

There have been some hunting parties who have used pitbulls as lion hunting dogs in South Africa but the rhodesian ridgeback tends to outperform them in every day for that particular task.

Tibetan Mastiff Vs Lion

The tibetan mastiff is one of the most popular dog breeds for protecting livestock from large predators all over the globe.

The breed has proven to be able to help deter potential lion attacks on livestock in Africa but it usually used to protect herds from smaller potential predators rather than a pack of lions.

The temperament of the tibetan mastiff make it a better suit for saying with a herd of livestock to deter predators from attacking them rather than to actively hunt and kill lions.

This is why the majority of farmers who do use the tibetan mastiff of a similar breed of mastiff usually have them in the fields with their livestock.

Rottweiler Vs Lion

Although the rottweiler is an excellent dog breed for protection and security jobs, we are unable to find a single instance where a rottweiler has been used to hunt lions or protect livestock from lions.

Although some people may use the breed for these jobs in Africa, it would seem that it is rare and other breeds are preferred over the rottweiler.

We doubt that a rottweiler would stand a chance against a healthy adult lion anyway simply due to the size and strength advantage that the lion has over the rottweiler too.

Although you may be able to use the rottweiler as a hunting dog for lions if you do have to go out and hunt a lion to protect your livestock, we still feel that the ridgeback will be a better option in most situations.

Kangal Vs Lion

The kangal is an excellent breed for protecting livestock and although we were unable to find any confirmed uses of the kangal as a herd protector against large African predators, we are confident that it would be suitable as a deterrent and early warning system for protecting your animals.

The kangal would fit a similar role to the various types of mastiff dog breeds that are used to try and protect herds of animals from lions rather than actually going out to hunt lions with a pack of kangals though.

Boerboel Vs Lion

Although the rhodesian ridgeback tends to get all of the press for being the lion fighting dog, the Boerboel was actually bred in South Africa specifically to protect livestock from large African predators including lions.

The Boerboel is one of the more popular dog breeds uses in Africa with it being the most popular type of mastiff breed actively used even though the tibetan mastiff is usually thought to be the main dog for this type of work.

We doubt that a Boerboel would be able to kill a lion in a fight but their fearless temperament would ensure that it would do its best to protect your livestock.

There are a number of documented cases of a Boerboel being able to fight off various other large predators in Africa though to protect various types of animals that farmers keep.

Dogo Argentino Vs Lion

With the dogo argentino getting a large amount of interest right now for its protection and security work, its easy to see why so many people ask how a dogo argentino would perform against a lion.

In our opinion, it wouldn’t stand a chance and the lion would win hands down every time without taking much injury.

We are unable to find a single reported use of the dogo argentino being used by African farmers to protect their live stock or by people actively hunting lions.

The dogo argentino is a very rare breed outside of Argentina and there are multiple breeds that have been specifically bred in Africa for use in protecting live stock from or actively hunting lions.

Due to this, we doubt that there is any need to take the added cost of importing a dogo argentino for a breed that has not proven itself.

Cane Corso Vs Lion

The cane corso is another breed that has seen a huge spike in its popularity for protection and security work recently.

Due to the breed coming from Italy, it is relatively popular in some of the North African counties due to being easy to import and offering excellent performance as a protection dog.

Due to being a high output mastiff breed the cane corso has a huge range of uses and we have seen some people who currently use the Boerboel or tibetan mastiff asking for input on switching over to using the cane corso to protect their livestock from lions.

At the time of writing, we have been unable to find anyone who has actually used the cane corso to deter lion attacks on their livestock but there are documented case of cane corsos chasing off wolves in Europe, Asia, and North America.

That said though, we doubt that a cane corso will stand much of a chance against an healthy adult lion due to the size and weight differences.

Although a cane corso may work well as a hunting dog for lions, their mastiff instincts really do excel at protecting livestock and this is the main area they should be used.

Caucasian Shepherd Vs Lion

There are documented cases of caucasian shepherd killing mountain lions when protecting livestock in North America but the size and power difference between a mountain lion and an African lion is immense.

We doubt that the causation shepherd would be able to kill an African lion but its protective instincts would urge it to give it a go if a lion was approaching the herd that it is protecting.


That brings our article going over which dog can kill a lion to a close. As we have mentioned for each of the dog breeds that we commonly see people asking about, in a fight, we doubt the dog would stand a chance against a lion. That said though, dogs can be used to assist humans in hunting lions as well as for protecting live stock and serving as a deterrent or early warning system for lions trying to get your cattle.