Do you prefer big dog breeds over smaller dogs? Then you’ve come to the right spot! If you’re interested in a giant dog breed or are looking for a new large canine companion, we’ll help you find the right big dog breed for you and your family! We’ve put together a list of dog breeds sure to make even a giant happy!
First, let’s take a look at a record-breaking big dog!
The Biggest Dog In The World Ever
Back in the 2012, The Guinness World Records Book gave the title of tallest dog to Zeus, a great Dane from Ostego, Michigan. Zeus was 44 inches tall on all four feet, but stood a whopping seven feet four inches on his hind legs! Can you imagine such a dog jumping on you and greeting you at the door? Zeus’ pet parents said he was very gentle and laid back—he loved anyone and the other pets in his home. He got along with everyone. In fact, Zeus was a therapy dog who visited hospitals and schools.
To get a drink, Zeus preferred to head to the kitchen sink for his water. When it came to sleeping, he enjoyed sharing his bed with his pet parents (actually, it was their bed!). He ate a large quantity of food—30 lbs of dog food over the course of two weeks. Who could imagine! Zeus died of old age when he was five. That’s not old for many dogs, but is a good long life when it comes to such large dogs as Great Danes. His family has missed him very much, but are happy to have had him in their lives. Another famous biggest dog in the world was a blue Great Dane named Giant George who is also a record holder in the Guinness World Book.
Large Breed List
We’ve put together a list of the biggest dog breeds you can find. You’re sure to find some lovely, large canine companion in this list. Some of these huge dog breeds make great family pets and can even live in smaller homes with a small dog. However, others prefer to have space to roam and may prefer living outdoors on a farm or ranch. England is known to be the country where a lot of the breeds below originated.
1. Great Pyrenees
These dogs are just lovely and beautiful with their soulful eyes and long, white fur. For this breed, the typical height is between 30-39 inches, and their weight ranges from 114-130 lbs. These are some beautiful giants! As their name suggests, this breed originated in the Pyrenees Mountain, where they were used by shepherds to guard sheep from wolves, starting as far back as 3,000 B.C. Great Pyrenees are generally protective, though they’re also known for being gentle and loyal, as well as obedient. They’re known for their white (or gray), dense coats—these dogs have double-coats, which provide insulation from all types of weather. They’re also known as heavy shedders and need regular brushing to keep their fur free of tangles and mats. This breed is not to be confused with the Bernese Mountain Dog, another breed of dog that was specifically created by breeders for herd work.
Great Pyrenees are often used on farms and ranches to guard and protect livestock. It’s necessary to start training these dogs when they’re puppies, in order to keep them from becoming aggressive. These dogs need a lot of space—they don’t make a good choice for city dwellers or those in small homes, such as apartments.
2. Anatolian Shepherd
This large working breed originally comes from Tukey, where they were bred to protect livestock. Anatonlian Shepherds generally reach a height of 26-31 inches, and weigh anywhere between 90-150 lbs. That’s big by anyone’s standards! Anatolians are known to be smart, very protective, loyal, yet affectionate companions. They make great family pets and enjoy playing with kids. They’ll effectively guard your home, as they’re not trusting of strangers and are known for their powerful barks to warn you of danger.
These dogs are also known for their strength (they can be very powerful), agility and endurance. Their colors somewhat blend in with livestock, making it difficult to spot them amongst a herd. The breed is generally better for people who live on large properties, where these large, powerful dogs have room to roam. Anatolians need to be trained and socialized at a young age, but care should be used when training, as they deal better with positive rather than negative reinforcement training.
This mischievous breed is named for the city of Leonberger in Germany, where they originally come from. Some believe these dogs resemble lions! They were originally bred from a combination of three other breeds: the St. Bernard, the Newfoundland and the Great Pyrenees. The typical size of a Leonberger is from 26-32 inches high, weighing in between 99-170 lbs. Not only are they known for their size, but Leonbergers are also famous for their black mask, which gives the dogs a distinctive face. The breed features a long muzzle and medium-sized ears. They have long, thick coats that are resistant to water and come in colors of cream, brown, red and yellow. These dogs need to be brushed frequently in order to cope with the shedding of their dense fur and to keep their hair free of tangles.
Leonbergers are considered to be both intelligent and loyal; even so, they need to be properly trained and socialized at an early age. They’re very patient with kids, and are even used as therapy dogs and rescue work. They get along well with other pets in your home, too.
4. Irish Wolfhounds
This breed is known to be one of the largest dog breeds in the world. Their height typically falls between 28 to 32 inches, while their weight can reach as high as 150 lbs. They originally come from Ireland, where they were bred to hunt and serve in wartime. In fact, the ancient Romans wrote about Irish Wolfhounds being used in wars. The breed was once also used to hunt wolves, hence their name. Irish Wolfhounds have long, strong legs—these dogs were born to run and are known for their speed when chasing down prey. They’re also intelligent and very devoted to their pet parents and families. Interestingly, despite their size and use in hunting, these dogs make very good watchdogs.
The dogs’ distinctive coats are rough and shaggy, with colors varying from brindle, black, red, white, beige and grey. Irish Wolfhounds are known to be sweet, loyal, dignified and good-natured. They love their pet parents and are happiest when with them. Irish Wolfhounds are not good for families that live in apartments. They have low activity levels, but still need room to roam.
You’ll need to exercise your Irish Wolfhound about an hour a day. If you live in a house, a fenced yard would be a great bonus for your wolfie.
5. Neapolitan Mastiff and Tibetan Mastiff
These dogs originally come from Italy, where Romans bred and used them for war. Their height can range from 26-30 inches, and weigh from 1204-198 lbs. You’ll know it when you see one of these dogs—they’re famous for their wrinkled faces, loose skin, large noses and flat heads. Neapolitan Mastiffs have short, dense fur with colors ranging from gray, black, brown and fawn. They’re known for being intelligent and protective; in fact, they make great family dogs. This breed is sometimes guilty of wanting to be a lap dog, in spite of their huge size. While these dogs are wonderful family dogs, they are not for anyone who wants to have a neat house. They’re knowing for drooling, shedding, etc. They’re not recommended for those living in apartments or small homes, where they tend to be like a bull in a china shop.
This breed is not good for first-time dog parents. They need to be trained starting from puppyhood and pet parents should definitely demonstrate their dominance with this large dog breed. These dogs do best in homes that have a fenced yard to roam around in.
Originally from Canada, this dog breed is considered to be strong—even stronger than English Mastiffs. These beautiful dogs are known for their long, thick water-resistant coats and beautiful black color. It’s interesting to note these dogs were first bred to help fishermen haul their nets! The breed typically reaches a height of 27-30 inches, and can weigh between 132-154 lbs.
Newfoundlands need to be groomed on a regular basis, to deal with shedding and keep their coat shiny and healthy. The breed is known for their intelligence and love of being social. They’re also great swimmers and are often used as rescue dogs. These big dogs are protective and loyal to their pet parents and families. They’re calm and friendly dogs that make excellent pets for families with children. You’ll need to have a larger home and a fenced yard if you plan on adopting a Newfoundland. They need plenty of room to exercise and run, as they’re high-energy working dogs. These dogs also need a cooler climate—they don’t deal well with heat.
7. French Mastiff and Bullmastiff
This breed, also known as Dogue de Bordeaux, is known for its large head, short muzzle and strong, muscular body. These dogs generally range in height from 20-23 inches and can weigh between 120-136 lbs. They were bred to work, such as hauling and pulling heavy loads. They’ve also been used for guarding sheep and cattle and were once even used to guard castles in Europe. In fact, this is one of the oldest dogs breeds in Europe. Note that the French Mastiff is bigger and heavier than the Bullmastiff.
These dogs feature thick skin, large heads and wrinkled faces. Despite their large size, these dogs are very social and calm—but they want to be dominant. So, pet parents will need to take a firm hand when it comes to training and letting one of these dogs know who is the top dog in the family. The breed thrives on positive reinforcement methods when it comes to training.While the breed is friendly with their humans, French Mastiffs must be properly trained and socialized at a young age in order to get along well with other dogs, pets and strangers. These dogs make great house pets—even in smaller homes, but they do tend to suffer from separation anxiety if left along for long periods.
8. Saint Bernard
These famous dogs originated in the Alps in Italy and Switzerland, where they were bred to be rescue dogs, rescuing travelers in deep snow. This giant dog breed typically stands between 27-35 inches, and weighs anywhere from 141-200 lbs. They’re known for their strength and endurance, along with their distinctive markings and color. These dogs are very commonly found in the Swiss Alps.
The Saint Bernards make great family pets, and are known to be patient with kids. Even so, they need proper training and socializing, otherwise they can be quite a handful and destructive. They’re not the best choice if you live in an apartment. They need space to be comfortable. The breed also doesn’t do well in the heat—they need to live in a cooler climate.
Being a working breed, these dogs need regular exercise, such as a daily walk, to help use up their energy and keep them healthy.
9. Great Dane and Cane Corso
This breed is famous for giant dogs. They have a great reputation and are known for their friendly nature. These dogs typically range from 30-36 inches tall, and can weigh between 110-198 lbs. Zeus, the Great Dane, was one of the tallest dogs on record, as noted earlier in this article. He stood 44 inches tall on his four feet! The current title of tallest dog now stands with Freddy who comes in at a whopping 7 feet 6 inches. He loves chicken and peanut butter—though we’re not sure if he prefers these together or separately.
Great Danes are an ancient breed that dates back to 3,000 B.C. and dogs resembling this breed have been found depicted on Egyptian artifacts. The breed was originally bred for hunting. Even so, they’re very gentle giants and need lots of attention for their pet parents and family. They make great indoor pets, though they need a home that’s large and offers enough space to be comfortable. Just like Zeus, the tallest dog, many Great Danes are now used as therapy dogs. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), Great Danes are the 15th most popular dog breed in the world. The breed was first recognized by the AKC back in 1887.
10. English Mastiff
These dogs are the largest dog breed in the world when it comes to weight. They typically weigh anywhere from 150-242 lbs. (or more!), with a height between 27-32 inches. One dog recognized by the Guinness World Book of Records was an English Mastiff named Zorba. He was given the award for the longest and heaviest dog in the world—he was 27 inches tall, and weighed 313 lbs. Are they sure this was a dog?
These intelligent, giant dogs are excellent watchdogs. In fact, English Mastiffs have been known to corner intruders or lay on top of them. They’re very protective and make excellent sheep and cattle guard dogs. English Mastiffs are great for families with kids; however, it will be necessary to show your pup that you’re the dominant one in the house. These dogs should be trained and socialized at a young age.
Longest Living Large Dog Breeds
As a general rule, larger dogs have a shorter life span than other dogs. Even so, some large dog breeds do have longer lives than others. Here’s a list of large dog breeds that tend to live longer on average:
- Standard Poodle: live about 14-15 years
- Giant Schnauzer: live 10-12 years
- Belgian Malinois: can live to be between 12-14 years
If you’re looking for a pet with a longer life, be sure to also remember this is a long-term commitment with your dog. Your fur baby will look to you for all of his care and want to lavish all his doggie love on you—he definitely looks at this as a long-term, life-long commitment to his pet parent(s).
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article on the top 10 large dog breeds! We also hope you’ve found a dog here who could become your precious fur baby!
KyokoKyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!
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