All too often I get the question about finishes and durability by people who have big dogs. There is no magic formula, except concrete floors maybe, but here are some ways to enjoy the beauty of your hardwood floors and still have a big loveable dog.
Grooming is everything– I know it can be a slight expense, but regular visits to the groomer will do a lot for keeping dog nails short and scratches minimized.
Tug of war and fetch are best left for outside your house or on the carpet.
Dark stains show scratches more readily. I have a 55lb, 2 year old Louisiana Catahoula Leopard dog and he is wild. Even my floor has scratches, but because my red oak floor is very light and a very flat sheen (ultra matte) the scratches are way less apparent. A lot of it has to do with the whole picture, not the floor finish.
Swedish finishes are “durable” because they wear well and scratch clear, but they WILL scratch. Optically speaking, scratches are hidden better and not because the finish is harder. By the way, there is a lot of misunderstanding that “Swedish” means no wax. Even Swedish finishes (conversion varnishes made by Glitsa and Synteko that smell more) have slight amounts of wax in them, and that is per a chemist at Glitsa (I’ve toured the Seattle factory and had this conversation).
All floor finishes will scratch and the best defense is a good offense. This means regular grooming and more frequent maintenance of your floor by screening and recoating your floor. In the end all hardwood floors get scratches no matter what finish you use.