Man’s best friend comes in an amazing array of sizes, shapes, colors, and temperaments that range from tiny teacup version that fits in the palm of the hand to a hulking breed that is like the size of a small horse. Predominantly canines have been bred to suit for certain specific purposes of mankind that hunting, herding livestock, show champions or merely as companions.
This article enlightens about the 20 largest dog breeds in the world based on the combination of height and weight that some pet lovers can adopt from.
1. St. Bernard
Predominantly bred and popular in the Swiss and Italian Alps for mountain rescue operations the St. Bernard was used for clearing paths in the deep snow and for rescuing humans in the dangerous snowy passes that connected Switzerland and Italy.
Dogs from this breed are seen to reach up to 36 inches in height and 120 lbs. weight that are highly resistant to cold and are strong dogs with a great direction sense. Today these huge fidos are a popular family pet because with adequate training these doggies are seen to be gentle, friendly and loving with kids as well as other pets.
Unlike other large dog breeds, the Newfoundland was bred to assist fishermen on boats, haul lines and nets and as well as save people or restore items that fell off the boat. This impressive, strong water pooch can reach up to 200 lbs. and are one of the best canine swimmer breeds. In fact, they are still used in certain search and rescue water operations. These highly intelligent and gentle-natured fidos are available in black,grey or brown color variants. They tend to look bigger than their actual size because of their thick double coat that safes and warm them from freezing waters.
Newfoundland’s are incredibly affectionate to their families and are gentle as well as protective with kids. These four legged require daily walks, exercise, and training and experts recommend providing them an occasional spot where they can swim to keep it active and happy.
3. Great Dane
The Great Dane is considered as the largest dog breed in terms of its height, while it is not the heaviest of the dogs (100-120 lbs.). The height of an average Great Dane is 28 to 30 inches. Unfortunately, the average lifespan of these tall pooches is only about 6 to 8 years, but some are seen to even live more.
This canine was is a cross between Irish wolfhounds and English Mastiffs that was initially bred in Germany for hunting purposes, although over time they have become exceptional companion dogs.
The Great Danes are friendly with familiar people and other pets and are seen to be very especially gentle with kids. These guardian dogs come in various colors, with the most popular and impressive ones being the black and white harlequin types.
These giant canines are elegant and noble-like creatures, that seeks a lot of attention, training, and love. But are human pleasers and that give back all the affection and loyalty in return.
4. English Mastiff
The English Mastiff is the heaviest dog breed of the world. An average mastiff can reach a height of 27–30 inches and a weight of 130-220 lbs. This canine was initially bred for blood sports such as baiting bulls, bears, and even lions due to its size and the mass. But today, this huge canine is mostly preferred as a loving and gentle family companion because of its loyal and even-tempered nature. Dogs from this breed are also found to be of use as therapy dogs, search and rescue, weight pulling, and tracking. This dog breed should never be left in isolation for long periods, as this is seen to lead to destructive behavior and anxieties. Mastiffs require daily walks and a lot of training and attention.
The Komondor was originally bred in Hungary for guarding property and livestock which can never be confused with other dog breeds due to its distinctive long and mop-like corded coat. This fascinating large canine is seen to reach up to 31.5 inches and weighs up to 130 lbs. Komondors are not very suitable for apartment life, even though they are quiet and calm indoors as their genesis to guard and roam outdoors, especially at night. Experts caution about their excessive barking habit if not socialized and trained properly. Otherwise, this breed is very loyal and are not only strongly devoted to all family members but are also patient with children and other family pets.
6. Scottish Deerhound
One of the most ancient hunting breeds in the world is the Scottish deerhound. The long, big boned legs and hound like structure, makes this strong and large canine easily reach its prey along with its amazing speed. This dog breed is quite tall, with a height of up to 32 inches and a weight of up to 110 lbs.
The Scottish deerhounds are like the Greyhounds but with coats. Their long tails are seen to hang on to the ground and they are seen to either have a black or blue nose. Their coat color is vibrant and is harsher and wiry on the legs and body, and softer at the head, belly and the chest.
Dogs of this tall breed are very loyal, gentle, loving and affectionate, and are very close to their families, kids and are very friendly even with humans they do not know.
Experts recommend refraining these canines from other animals, due to their strong hunting drives.
One of the best traits of the Scottish deerhound is that it barks very minimally, this makes it a nice quiet large dog suitable for a family pet. These canines do require long walks, but not many extensive workouts.
7. Russian Black Terrier
The Russian black terrier was created in Russia for working in the military. This working canine breed is a cross of 17 different dog breeds and is very intelligent and highly can be easily trained. The height of this terrier can reach 30 inches at the shoulder and can weigh up to 130 lbs. Their thick, coarse, waterproof double coats protect are seen to protect them from freezing temperatures, which makes this breed popular in the colder climates.
Overall, the Russian black terrier is a very courageous, calm and self-assured canine with a strong guarding instinct, that makes it a great watchdog. It is very protective of the kids at home and also gets along well with other smaller pets if raised together. But these are large, strong, and muscular dogs that require a strong trainer and leader. These canines need to be well socialized from the puppy stage due to the natural suspicion of all strangers.
This dog breed requires intensive exercising, as they have huge energy and stamina levels. But are quite sedentary when indoors, hence can also be raised in an apartment. Experts recommend from refraining them to be left free outside or crated alone for a longer time period.
A crossbreed of the St. Bernard’s, Newfoundland’s, and Pyrenean Mountain Dogs hence size of these canines are quite impressive. Even though were predominantly bred as companion dogs, this breed is a great rescue, herding, and swimming canine.The average height of the male breed is about 29.5 inches, while females are usually about 27.5 inches and weigh between 140-150 lbs.
The Leonberger has a furry water-resistant coat and is quite a robust pooch. It is very intelligent, loyal, kind, and playful, suiting the traits of a perfect family pet. This breed is seen to shed quite a bit so one needs to be prepared for regular grooming and cleaning sessions.
Unfortunately, this canine breed possesses a low life expectancy of just 7 years. This canine is an attention seeker outdoors, hence one needs to be prepared to be stopped by strangers who will want to pet and take photos with it.
9. Tosa Inu
This rare pooch breed is a gigantic Japanese fighting dog, that is a cross-breed of Japanese and European canine breeds, such as Mastiffs, Bull terriers, St.Bernards and Great Danes. Tosa Inus are also commonly known as the “Japanese mastiffs and Canine sumo wrestlers”. The height of this fido can reach 32 inches at the withers and its weight range between 130 to 200 lbs. In Japan, the dogs from this breed are smaller and weigh less.
Tosa Inus have cute faces and brown sad eyes, but one needs to bear in mind that this breed is explicitly bred for fighting. These canines are incredibly robust and muscular and are not people-aggressive. This large breed is very affectionate and gentle with kids but tends to protect them at all costs. They require extensive training and socializing with loads of affection. As being too hard on them makes them unstable.
Tosa Inus are easy to groom and have a long-life expectancy of 10 to 12 years in comparison with other large breeds.
10. Anatolian Shepherd
Anatolian shepherds history dates back to 6000 years in the Anatolia region of Turkey. Predominantly this large canine was bred and used for guarding flocks without presence or assistance of the owners. This training was provided to them right from the puppy age.
The height of an Anatolian Shepherd is seen to reach over 31 inches and their weight over 150 lbs. for males and slightly lesser for females. Their appearance is quite larger due to their impressive thicker coats.
The life expectancy of this canine breed is higher than other large dogs and is seen to range between 11 to 15 years.
The ears of the Anatolian shepherds are cropped in Turkey but in countries where ear cropping and tail docking is outlawed, these are seen to have their natural V-shaped hanging ears. Short and rough coat variants of this breed are available, and they have high set tails that can be curled and are seen to remain curled irrespective of the mood of the dog.
The classic coloring of the breed’s coat is fawn, with a specific black mask on the face, but the Anatolian shepherds are available in all kinds of colors and different color markings.
This giant breed is intelligent, independent, calm, and loyal but are very reserved to strangers and have a strong protective instinct when it comes to its families. Hence serious socialization is required to prevent this type of extreme guarding behavior not only against humans but also other dog breeds.
11. Caucasian Shepherd Dog
The Caucasian shepherd dog was initially bred as a guardian dog. This breed reaches up to 30 inches of height and weighs up to 130 lbs. and is possessed all qualities but is not a lap dog.
It has a strong boned and muscular dog hence whenever there is a threat this breed is fierce, fearless and self-confident. Otherwise, it is a devoted, soft, and kind mannered pet that is seen to get along very well not only with the entire family but with other pets too.
For centuries Caucasian Shepherds are been used to protect as well as safeguard properties and livestock from predators. Today, these dogs are mostly used as watchdogs or companions. This breed is available in many variants. Two of the most popular breeds are the Mountain type with a long coat and the Steppe type which have a smaller body mass and a short coat.
This dog is not recommended for first/time owners because of its instinctive nature to protect its family. It needs serious training and socializing, to prevent incidents of the attacking other people due to the family protective instinct. Once this giant breed understands or is trained to identify its pack, they are seen to become an immensely devoted, loyal, and loving member of the family.
One needs to bear in mind that this dog breed is incredibly strong, hence refrain elderly folk or children to walk it.
12. Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog’s most distinctive feature is its beautiful tri-colored markings on the coat and the face. This large breed can reach a height of 27.5 inches and can weigh up to 125 lbs.
These beautiful canines are very kind and docile dogs that are friendly with other pets and children too. Their affectionate behavior is a stark contrast to their large and powerful body structure. This giant breed lives to please their owners and is happy to accompany the pet parent to any place they go.
Indoors, Bernese’s are calm and prefer napping, but their genetics are built for working hard hence they do require long walks, exercise, and play time. This large dog breed is protective of its family but is not found to be threatening to strangers.
13. Dogo Argentino
This large, athletic and strong white pooch breed is a pack hunting dog that originated from Argentina. It was specifically bred to hunt boars and pumas.
Dogo Argentino is seen to reach a height of 30 inches and can weigh up to 120 lbs. These are loyal dogs that are very gentle to its families but have a strong prey instinct, this protective trait is seen to make it distrustful of other animals and humans. That is why many experts recommended this breed only for skilled and trained pet parents.
These large pooches have white and very short coats and at times tend to have a black spot somewhere near one of the eyes or on their heads.
Dogo Argentino does require a lot of exercises as well as mental stimulations because if these get bored, they are seen to become destructive. This breed has been prohibited in several countries, like the UK, Australia, Denmark, Singapore, Iceland, and others because some this large dog is used for fighting too.
Today, Dogo Argentinos are still used for search, rescue, police, and military work. This breed can be excellent family pets, watchdogs, and loyal companions if socialized and trained from puppy stage.
14. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
Like the St. Bernard, the Greater Swiss mountain dog also has originated from the Swiss Alps. This is a heavy boned, strong dog that is fast enough to be an effective working farm dog that can not only guard and herd animals but can also be used to pull heavy carts. The adult males are seen to reach up to 30 inches and 150 lbs. in height and weight, respectively. As a pet, this pooch is an intelligent, happy-natured and sociable dog that not only get along but also shows a strong affinity for children and adults.
Swissies are winners of various dog sports like weight pulling and agility because they always love to be occupied. These large beautiful dogs have a loud bark and hence are not suitable for small apartments. They only need moderate exercise so one can easily have them as pets if one has sufficient space free space for them to live.
As with the other giant dogs, Swissies need to be socialized and trained with these breeds from the puppy stage. This breed is seen to have a long puppyhood and they have a puppy-like mentality up to 3 years. Even though these dogs are gentle and good with children, a large dog breed can accidentally knock over toddlers, hence it is always recommended to supervise this breed when around very small children.
15. Bully Kutta
Often referred to as the Pakistani Mastiff the Bully Kutta was bred for hunting and fighting and has a strong resemblance to the ancient Mesopotamian and Central Asian warfighting dogs. The Bully Kutta is available in vibrant colors that include white, black, brown brindle, fawn, and bi-colored. These very large dogs are about 35 inches tall and can weigh up to 210 lbs.
Bully Kuttas are friendly, docile and trainable, hence are excellent companions and watchdogs for folks who not only can be a pack leader but also needs to have experience with large dogs. Some negative aspects of this breed are that it drools a lot, occupies a lot of space, and is not the right dog for families with young children.
This rare large pooch has very thick and strong bones and is among one of the strongest dog breeds of the world. It possesses a strong jaw that provides a very strong grip, hence it was predominantly used for flock guarding and hunting of big games like cheetahs, lions, bears, tigers, and buffalos in the past.
Its lifespan is about 8 to 10 years and is seen to require minimal exercise, as it prefers to sleep all day long.
16. Dogue de Bordeaux
French or Bordeaux Mastiff is recognized as one of the oldest French canine breeds. The pooch is very muscular and powerful. On average this breed reaches up to 27 inches and weighs over 150 lbs. It possesses a massive head, and this is probably the biggest head in the canine world in comparison to the body size. Traditionally this fido was used for guarding, hauling, and pulling heavy objects.
Unfortunately, these dogs have one of the shortest life spans of all dog breeds and are expected to live for only 5 to 6 years.
The French Mastiffs are calm indoors but are energetic and active outdoors, so one should provide adequate exercise as well as play time to exhaust them.
This is another gigantic Turkish livestock guardian dog breed that is not very heavy as some of the Mastiff-type breeds hence are much agiler and faster than the other large canine breeds. The male Kangal has an average height of 30 to 32 inches and weighs up to 145 lbs. On the other hand, female Kangal’s are a bit shorter and lighter. Regular grooming of the coat is recommended. The Kangal is very friendly with adults and children if socialized and trained right from the puppy age. It is an independent and powerful dog, that is not only calm and controlled but is seen to be very defensive of its family.This large breed is not suitable for apartment living and is a human-oriented dog that may become aggressive to intruders at night.
The Akbash is another livestock guardian dog that originated from Turkey. It can reach up to 34 inches in height and 140 lbs. in weight. It is leaner and taller than the other large Turkish livestock guard canine breeds. Its double coat is white but at times are seen to have some markings on the ears. The lifespan of this fido is about 10 to 11 years. This large Turkish breed is calm but is always focused and aware when protecting its family or property.
Like all other large breeds, the Akbash requires serious training and socializing early on in life. These dogs work along with people as partners rather than as a subordinate, hence this point needs to be pondered while training them. Experts do not recommend this breed for first-time pet owners.
19. The Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees originated in Europe sometime between 1800 and 1000 BC and was used as a shepherd dog. The average height and weight are between 32 inches and 100 to 120 pounds, respectively for an adult dog. This dog breed has keen eyesight and scent. This breed tends to be dominating hence early training aids in discouraging the use of teeth on humans. They are steadfast and calm canines that are seen to respond quickly when a threat is detected. The Pyrenees are strong-willed, affectionate, calm, patient and intelligent canines that possess a majestic muscular stature. They are available in vibrant weatherproof coat colors.
The Boerboel is a large dog breed whose origin is noted from South Africa. They have a height of about 27 inches and can weigh up to 220 lbs. This dog breed is a perfect companion and playmate for children and is kind and loyal to their family members. Although these dogs are quite intelligent and obedient, they do possess a strong territorial instinct, hence are great watchdogs.
Of course, like all other large dog breeds, one needs to pay special attention to socializing and obedience training them. Experts recommend refraining these dogs from aggressive dogs, in order to avoid the Boerboel puppy from becoming defensive and fearful in the future. Also, one needs to introduce strangers or guests to this dog before letting them in. These are intelligent and loving fidos but are highly not recommended for first-time dog owners.
Overall, larger dogs are calmer and less energetic than the smaller ones but unfortunately, they have a much shorter lifespan than the smaller dog breeds. Make sure that folks gain ample knowledge about the large breed that they are interested in before considering bringing one home.