Understanding the types of large dog breeds of the canine world is very important to potential pet parents who are considering getting a supersized bundle of pupper.
There is room in the park for everyone, but a large dog breed pet parents need to have a good understanding of big dogs and how to handle them. It doesn’t take much to nurture the largest dog breeds into being their most confident and gentle giant selves.
Large Dog Breeds: Understanding the Types of Large Dogs
It’s important to do your homework and research. Although giant dog breeds are generally clumsy, goofy, gentle giants, these breeds may not be for a first-time pet parent.
Because of their size, big dogs are often treated in a more harsh and physical manner. This sort of treatment is common in inexperienced dog owners, and it can really stress big dogs out, physically as well as emotionally.
Big dogs need to be made to feel safe and they respond well to positive reinforcement and gentle handling. They need to be nurtured. A scared or emotionally vulnerable dog of any size is one that becomes untrustworthy. That is the last thing you need.
A Pomsky yapping and growling at someone can be picked up and removed from a tense confrontation if need be. Good luck trying that with a 250 lbs English Mastiff!
Giant Dog Breeds Vs Large Dog Breeds! Here’s What You Gotta Know!
We speak of Teacup and micro dogs, but none of these terms are actual standardized, official breed size classifications. With large breed dogs, there is no L, XL, XXL, and XXXL categories.
According to the American Kennel Club, Large breeds are dogs that generally weight between 55lbs and 85 lbs, and Giant breeds weigh from 75lbs to over 120lbs. The problem here is that weight alone does not determine whether or not your dog is a Giant, or whether they are simply Large.
Distinguishing between large and giant dogs depends on 2 factors: Weight and Height. Males are usually larger than females, so breeds in which the males commonly weigh above 95 lbs, and measure above 24″ at the shoulder in height, are considered Giant Breeds.
Weight and height both need to be considered, because many dogs may be tall, but weigh less because of their lighter bone structures. Others may be shorter but have solid and sturdy bone structures combined with sheer muscle mass. When you compare the weight and height of a cheetah and a leopard, for example, one is built purely for speed, the other, purely for power.
Puptastic Large Dog Breeds Based on Their Characteristics
Each breed of dog is unique. Whether small, large, or giant dog breeds, each comes with its own set of characteristics. We love dogs because they are jam-packed with personalities, and oh boy do big dogs have personalities!
In the world of kind and responsible breeders and pet owners, no big dog is bred to be aggressive. There is always a reason for aggression and behavioral issues, and it almost always comes down to the way they are treated by humans. That, or they are trained to be aggressive.
Think police K9 units and dog fighting rings. For the most part, a loved and nurtured dog who is trained and socialized by someone who knows what they are doing, can be the most gentle and loving addition to a family.
Who Are the Most Powerful Big Dogs?
There are large and giant dogs out there who are pure bulk. Stocky and stout, and a solid mass of lean muscle.
If you think about large breed dogs such as the Goldendoodle or the Collie, you don’t necessarily picture them hauling wagons or taking down a thug during a police chase.
But there are some respect inspiring breeds out there with pure power. These dogs are all muscle and stamina. These dogs were bred to perform some pretty hardcore tasks.
Not all large dog breeds are equally powerful. The Golden Retriever, for example, is considered a large breed and was bred to retrieve animals such as fowl from the water. Newfoundlands, however, were bred to haul fishing nets full of fish, or men who fell overboard, out of the water.
A fowl versus a fully grown man? There is “big” and then there is “strong”.
Here are some of the world’s most powerful big dog breeds (in no particular order, because they are all very, very strong):
- Alaskan Malamute – Height: Up to 25″. Weight: Up to 85 lbs. These dogs were bred to pull heavy loads over long distances, as well as for hunting animals such as polar bears.
- Rottweiler – Height: Up to 27″. Weight: Up to 135 lbs. Bred to pull wagons as well as a herd and protect cattle.
- Cane Corso – Height: Up to 27.5″. Weight: Up to 120 lbs. Cani Corsi was bred to guard and hunt. They have incredible protective instincts.
- Newfoundland – Height: Up to 28″. Weight: Up to 150 lbs. Newfoundlands were working dogs bred to pull carts and haul things out of the water. They look a lot bigger than they are because of their thick and fluffy coats!
- St. Bernard – Height: Up to 30″. Weight: Up to 180 lbs. St. Bernards were originally bred to be guard dogs, but they made a name for themselves as search and rescue dogs.
- Rhodesian Ridgeback – Height: Up to 27″. Weight: Up to 85 lbs. They were bred as a guard and hunting dogs in Africa. They, you know, hunted lions and such. No big deal.
- Bouvier des Flandres – Height: Up to 27.5″. Weight: Up to 110 lbs. These were working dogs who mostly helped to herd and guard livestock.
- Boerboel (a.k.a South African Mastiff) – Height: Up to 27″. Weight: Up to 200 lbs. This is a sturdy dog. They were bred in South Africa and protected livestock.
- Tibetan Mastiff – Height: The height of the average male STARTS at 26″. Weight: Up to 160 lbs. These gentle giants originated in Tibet and their job was to protect the livestock of the nomads who kept them.
- French Mastiff (a.k.a Dogue de Bourdeaux) – Height: Up to 27″. Weight: Up to 150 lbs. These Dougues are an ancient French dog breed, and they have big heads. No, really, they have the biggest heads of all breeds in proportion to the size of their bodies.
- Neapolitan Mastiff (a.k.a Mastino) – Height: Up to 31″. Weight: Up to 155 lbs. Like the Cane Corso, the Neapolitan Mastiff is an ancient Roman breed. They make amazing guard dogs because they are all about “Stranger Danger”!
- Anatolian Shepherd – Height: Up to 29″. Weight: Up to 150 lbs. Anatolian Shepherds are Hard. Core. They were bred in Turkey thousands of years ago to protect livestock from bears and wolves. They are still popular working dogs today. Anatolian Shepherds are being placed on farms in African countries to ease the conflict between Farmers and endangered predators such as the Cheetah. Once an Anatolian Shepherd has bonded with the flock, it will protect it to the death.
- Argentinian Mastiff (a.k.a Dogo Argentino) – Height: Up to 27″. Weight: Up to 100 lbs. These Dogos were hunting dogs that would take down big game such as wild boar.
- Belgian Malinois – Height: Up to 26″. Weight” Up to 80 lbs. These herders are known for forming an unbreakable bond with their human and are loyalty personified.
- Caucasian Shepherd – Height: Up to 30″. Weight: Up to 170 lbs. For a dog this size, the Caucasian Shepherd has a relatively long lifespan of 10 to 12 years. It is an exceptionally impressive breed that emanates nothing but sheer presence and power. If you are on the lookout for an intimidating guard dog, the Caucasian Shepherd should be on your list.
- English Mastiff – Height: An AVERAGE of 30″. Weight: Up to 250 lbs. These dogs are massive. They have been around for thousands of years and it seems they are as popular among humans today as they have been for thousands of years. They make great family dogs IF they are trained and socialized, and if all their big dog needs are met.
Teddy-Bear Big Dog Breeds! Big Dogs That Are Super Gentle Giants
For many of the larger dog breeds, their size and impressive barks are just about the only scary thing about them. Sometimes all it takes is size and volume to scare away an intruder trying to break into your house.
Your Great Dane would bark at them and would be heartbroken when their “new friend” didn’t stay for a play and some ear scratches.
Some big dogs are nothing more than big teddy bears who are gentle, loving souls who want nothing more than to love and be loved (a lot) in return.
People who know their way around dog breeds will all rather opt for approaching a Golden Retriever or Bernese Mountain Dog instead of say, a Chihuahua! Big dogs generally have lower energy levels than small dogs, so these guys really do love to just hang around and cuddle with their humans.
Here are some big dogs that are known to be the biggest softies:
The Bernese Mountain Dog
Height: Up to 27.5″
Weight: Up to 115 lbs.
Bernese Mountain dogs have everything going for them. They make great, obedient working dogs. They are gentle and loyal. They are probably the biggest goofballs out there. They love nothing more than to be part of the pack. If you’re playing, they’ll want to be playing. If you’re being a couch potato, they will want to be couch-potato-ing right next to you.
The Great Dane
Height: Up to 35″
Weight: Up to 175 lbs.
Great Danes are one of the largest dog breeds, but also one of the sweetest. They are goofy and clumsy, and to put it politely: When it comes to brain vs brawn, they are particularly blessed in the brawn department. They are incredibly playful and gentle at the same time. It is not unheard of for a Great Dane and a Chihuahua to be the best of playmates.
Height: Up to 31.5 ”
Weight: Up to 170 lbs.
Are they Mixed breed dogs? They were at one point. They were bred from St. Bernard and Newfoundland parents, followed by adding Great Pyrenees to the mix. They seem to have adopted the best personality traits and characteristics of all these breeds. They are loving, loyal, playful and patient.
Largest Dog Breeds That Don’t Shed and Are Super Cute!
What do we say to allergies? Not today! Some of the largest dog breeds barely shed, and are amazing hypoallergenic dog options for people with allergies!
The Intelligent Standard Poodle
Height: Over 15″
Weight: Up to 70 lbs.
Although they don’t shed, you will need to brush your poodle’s coat every day. That or you should trim their coats. The coats if left to their own devices quickly start matting, and this is not fun for anyone.
The Fearless Komondor
Height: Up to 27.5″
Weight: Over 100 lbs.
The Komondor, a.k.a: The Mop Dog. “Low shedding” should never be confused with “low maintenance”, because keeping a Komondor’s coat under control takes a lot of time and energy.
The Giant Schnauzer
Height: Up to 27.5″
Weight: Up to 85 lbs.
Giant Schnauzers are lower down on the grooming demands list. Their coats need to be clipped, or, if you prefer a longer coat, you’ll need to brush it at least once a week.
The Mighty Mastiff Breeds! These Big Dogs Come in Different Shapes and Sizes
Mastiffs are impressive dogs. They are intelligent, they are strong, and they really do come in all shapes and sizes!
The Protector: Dogo Argentino
Height: Up to 27″
Weight: Up to 100 lbs.
The South African King: Boerboel
Height: Up to 27″
Weight: Up to 200 lbs
The Celebrity from Harry Potter: Neapolitan Mastiff
Remember Fang? Hagrid’s giant dog that was of no help whatsoever when Harry and Malfoy ran into He Who Must Not Be Named in the Forbidden Forest? What a softy!
Height: Up to 31″
Weight: Up to 155 lbs
Caucasian Shepherd Vs the Boerboel: Which Large Dog Breed Is Right for You?
Both of these dog breeds are incredible protectors and loyal companions. Regardless of which one you choose, socializing and training these dogs from an early age is of paramount importance.
These dogs are naturally wary of strangers, and this is something you’ll need to help them get over if you want to be able to trust them to other people. Even family and friends.
The Newfoundland Dog Breed Vs the Bernese Mountain Dog: Which Grizzly Large Dog Is Perfect for You?
These two breeds have a lot in common. They are big, intelligent and have loving and warm hearts. It depends entirely on the individual, but if you’re looking more for a playmate and goofy couch companion: The Bernese Mountain Dog might be a good choice.
Extra Large Dog Breeds: Here’s Our List of Some Really Big Dogs
Are you looking for some extra large dog breeds, that are simply the giants of the doggie world? Well, look no further!
The Irish Wolfhounds
Height: 32″ and over
Weight: Up to 120 lbs.
The Great Danes
Height: Up to 35″
Weight: Up to 175 lbs.
The Great Pyrenees
Height: Up to 32″
Weight: Over 100 lbs.
The Tibetan Mastiffs
Height: Over 26″
Weight: Up to 150 lbs.
The Caucasian Shepherds
Height: Up to 30″
Weight: Up to 170 lbs.
Best Large Dog Breeds That Make Amazing Guard Dogs!
Looking for amazing guard dog breeds? Look no further!
The Dashing Doberman Pinscher
The Swift Belgian Malinois
The Smart German Shepherd
The Cane Corso Italiano
Who’s the Largest Dog in The World?
Tallest Dog Breed
The world’s tallest dog was a Great Dane called Giant George who measured 43″ at the shoulder.
Heaviest Dog Breed
The heaviest dog in the (recorded) world, was an English Mastiff called Zorba. Zorba weighed an astounding 343 lbs.
The Largest Dog Breed! Be Careful They Can Have Lots of Health Problems
Sadly large breed dogs often suffer from a list of conditions.
Some of the most common illnesses and medical conditions (mostly from inbreeding) are:
Bigger dogs mean bigger bills. If you are considering getting a large or giant dog: you should consider getting Pet Insurance!
Choose Food Designed for Big Dogs! Best Large Breed Dog Food
Large breed puppies need a bunch of added nutrients to their diet. They have insane amounts of growing to do, over a very short period of time.
There are many kinds of breed specific dog foods on the market that are designed to give large breed puppies the best start in life. The food you have them on for the first 1-2 years can go a long way in preventing joint problems later on!
Big or small, you can’t help but love them all!
Wheather you’ve got a large Doberman or tiny Chihuahua, one thing is certain—big or small you gotta love them all!