8 Of The World's Largest Dog Breeds
Deciding whether or not to choose a big dog can be tough, as although they’re protective and great family pets, they’re expensive to maintain and can be challenging to exercise and train.
Many big dogs were bred to work, either in hunting or in manual labor, and whilst the majority of these dogs no longer work, they still possess the qualities that made them so popular back in the day - and some of those qualities can be difficult in our modern world.
For example, if you’re considering a big dog breed but you spend all day at work, then you might struggle to take good care of them and give them the regular exercise and stimulation they need.
If you’re not an experienced dog owner, then a big dog can be virtually impossible to train, and families with young children may even feel intimidated when raising a new dog.
With many big dog breeds to consider, finding the right breed for your needs (and the needs of your family) can be hard, so we’ve put together the most popular breeds for you to peruse.
We’ve rounded up some of the very best large dogs and share with you the benefits (and the potential drawbacks) of each large dog breed to help you make the right decision…
One popular large dog breed is the Irish Wolfhound, also known as a Wolfhound. These loyal and affectionate dogs are the perfect companions if you’re looking for a friendly family dog, and because they’re trustworthy and good around children, you won’t have to worry about them mixing.
Wolfhounds are social and love other dogs, and are not known to be big barkers, so you don’t have to worry about getting a headache every time there’s a knock at the door! From war hounds into a dog that’s used for hunting and guarding, these dogs were thought to have been seen as far back as 7000 B.C.
As their name suggests, Wolfhounds were used to chase down wolves many centuries ago, but today are low-maintenance dogs that are easy to train and look after - all they need is some attention and tender loving care.
With a lifespan of just six to eight years, these dogs can measure up to 90cm in height and up to 70kg in weight, and are generally healthy dogs with very few genetic health conditions.
These big dogs do not like being left alone, so buying two of them will ensure they’re in good company. They do not shed too much hair, but because of their large size, need a lot of space to express themselves and let off some of their energy after a day’s feed. Be warned!
For more than 6,000 years, Anatolian shepherds have been roaming the region of Anatolia in Turkey, originally being bred as guard dogs to protect flocks.
Big dog breeds don’t come much bigger than this - these dogs can reach more than 75cm in height and weigh more than 70 kilos in their prime, and their thick coats make them look even bigger than they are.
Unlike some other large dog breeds, Anatolian shepherds’ life expectancy is around 11 to 15 years, meaning they’re a great companion to consider if you’re looking for a large dog.
Commonly known as a Turkish Mountain Dog or a Blackhead, these dogs are known for being loyal and protective over their owners, and they’re great around children and other pets in your home.
The good news is that they don’t have a high prey drive, meaning they won’t always be looking for animals to eat, and they’re low maintenance when it comes to grooming, meaning they’re a great choice for a family pet if you’re considering big dogs.
There are some negatives to such dogs, however. They’re dominant by nature, and they’re not a good choice if you’ve never had a dog before, as they require obedience training to get to a safe point.
They’re also very independent, and because of their size, like to explore the areas where they live, which means you’ll need a garden with high fencing - keeping this dog indoors is simply not an option; he’ll require regular walks and the ability to roam free within reason.
Increasingly popular in the United States, finding a pedigree dog can be challenging, so put your name down and be prepared to wait for months to find an Anatolian breeder.
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Saint Bernard dogs are amongst the biggest dog breeds on the planet and are best known for being Switzerland's famous mountain rescue breed.
They’re ‘gentle giants’, so to speak, as they’re fluffy, easy-going, and affectionate when around children or other dogs.
Suitable for families, couples, and individuals looking for a big dog breed, Saint Bernard dogs are very large, although they don’t need as much outside space as some other large breeds as, whilst they require regular walks and exercise, they tend not to be as active as other dogs.
If you’re house proud, then the Saint Bernard dog may not be for you - they’re known to shed hair throughout the year, meaning they’re messy and require a good vacuum cleaner.
If you don’t tidy up after your dog’s fur every day, then you’ll likely be left with his fur all over your clothes, so you may want to consider a low shedding breed instead.
Other drawbacks of the Saint Bernard dog include suffering from separation anxiety, being able to pick up bad habits, and being overly protective of owners or property, meaning they may come across as aggressive to visitors or new members of the family. Socializing from an early age will help.
With a lifespan of eight to ten years, an average height of 70-90cm (males) and 60-80m (females), and an average weight of 64-120 kilograms, Saint Bernard dogs are certainly a big dog breed, although should not be overlooked - they’re loving, affectionate, and so cute!
English Mastiffs are gentle giants and highly intelligent creatures that love to spend time with their owners and other furry friends.
Forming tight bonds with their owners in short periods of time, these dogs are perfect for families where there’s always someone at home.
Because of their size, they need lots of indoor and outdoor space - don’t buy an English Mastiff if you live in a tight one-bed condo, as there simply won’t be enough room for the pair of you to get by!
Popular in the United Kingdom and the United States, these dogs live for 10 to 12 years, and are on record the heaviest dog in the world.
Indeed, the biggest dog ever recorded weighed in at more than 343 - although the average English Mastiff comes in at between 68 and 115 kilograms.
They’re active dogs, are easy to train, and have low grooming needs, although are moderate shedders, so consider that before buying a new luxury sofa for the living room.
Although Mastiffs are great watchdogs, they rarely show aggression, making them great if you regularly have guests over for dinner. Perfect for first-time dog owners and experienced owners alike, the Mastiff is a big dog breed that you will love from the minute you see him.
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Considered the largest dog breed in the world, the Great Dane has German origin - its name comes from Deutsche Dogge, which means German Mastiff.
Whilst still incredibly popular in its native country of Germany, the Great Dane is today one of the most iconic big dog breeds in the world and is also known to be the tallest dog. Indeed, the world record for dog height was given to Zeus, who was an incredible 44 inches tall - that’s as tall as a child of 3 and a half feet!
Because of their huge size, their average lifespan is just eight to ten years, so this may not be the best breed to consider if you’re looking for a dog to grow up with your kids.
The average Great Dane weighs around 60 kilos and measures around 75cm tall, and despite their size, they’re incredibly intelligent and easy to train. Another benefit of the Great Dane is that they’re easy on the grooming front, and because they have low shedding coats you won’t have to spend all day vacuuming up their mess.
Danes are known to be goofy and fun, although they can drool and cause damage when they’re overexcited. One drawback to consider is that Great Danes can suffer from separation anxiety if they’re left alone for too long, so only consider this big dog if there’s going to be someone in the house every day.
The Scottish Deerhound, also known as a Deerhound, is a leggy bred dog and another big dog breed to add to our list. As the name suggests, this dog breed originates in Scotland and was originally used to hunt deer.
Bigger and heavier than greyhounds, these dogs have a similar structure and legs to offer speed for chasing and hunting, which means they can run fast and require a lot of exercise. Averaging 8 to 11 years, these dogs weigh between 35 and 45 kilos and can measure up to 75cm.
One of the best things about the Deerhound is that they are incredibly easy to train - whether you want to do dog tricks or teach them how to behave around your children, they’ll quickly pick things up. They’re also very obedient.
Deerhounds are known to be loyal and loving, and they do not shed which makes them clean and easy to house train.
The dogs can be quiet and placid as they enter into old age, so are not always the best option for young families, and they are not barkers, so won’t make too much noise. There are some drawbacks to this large dog breed, however; they can often be stubborn, and they’re sensitive to changes and loud noises.
They’re also boisterous and can be rough when playing, and because they need to be handled and trained carefully, are not the recommended large dog breed for new dog owners, or those with limited experience.
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One Eastern-European breed that has grown in popularity in recent years is the Caucasian Shepherd, big dog breed known to be sociable and obedient. Once used to herd livestock, Caucasian Shepherd dogs are known to be powerful and highly prized in some countries.
In the past twenty years, Caucasian Shepherd dogs have developed a reputation for being a good watchdog, particularly in countries and communities where property and land must be guarded.
They’re quick-thinking, intelligent and offputting to passersby, making them great for experienced dog handlers. First-time dog owners, however, should look elsewhere…
Measuring up to 90cm tall and weighing up to 100 kilos, these dogs demand regular exercise and shed a lot of hair year-round.
They are barkers and can be expensive to maintain and feed because of their sheer size, but they’re great pets to grow up with, can tolerate being on their own, and are great around children. Whilst not necessarily the biggest dog in the world, these dogs pack their punch and are the perfect companion for those who are looking for a new furry friend - intelligent, loyal, and easy to train.
Newfoundland dogs are known for their size and strength, and whilst they can weigh up to 150 pounds in extreme cases, it’s their fur that makes them look bigger. These working dogs originate from Newfoundland, and whilst they weren’t bred to guard, they were bred to help fishermen by hauling lines and fetching anything that went overboard. Today, they’re a firm favorite amongst big dog breed lovers, and the cost of a purebred Newfie continues to climb.
These dogs are known for being calm and gentle, are good with children, and they’re known to build strong relationships with their families. They don’t bark too much, although they can be incredibly protective.
They require a lot of regular exercise and stimulation because of their size and breed, and they can be expensive to feed and maintain, although the benefits of owning a stunning large dog such as a Newfoundland truly outweigh the negatives. If you have a large back garden and spend lots of time at home, then the Newfoundland should be at the top of your list - they’re stunning to look at, protective, and chock-full of personality…
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There you have it - some of the biggest dog breeds on the planet, and the benefits and challenges of each.
Whichever you choose, don’t forget to visit our store for accessories, toys, food and more, all designed with your dog in mind, and available at competitive prices. What’s more, we offer free delivery in the United States on all orders over $49.