Dogs are truly loving and amazing creatures, and their loyalty to their pack, humans included, is unparalleled by any other animal, and for these reasons, they are known as our best friends. Furthermore, being subject to selective breeding and adaptability, these fur buddies come in various shapes and sizes, from 8 inches to 30 inches. If you happen to be among people who prefer dogs on the larger side of the spectrum, these dog breeds are truly for you. Mind you, even though they are giants, this wouldn’t stop them from laying on your lap, but honestly, you wouldn’t even want to stop them.
Largest Dog Breeds in the World
So now we know that dog breeds come in various sizes. There are some truly large ones as well, but where do we draw the line and set apart average size dogs from the larger ones? According to the experts, once a dog weighs over 50 pounds and crosses the height of 24 inches, it is considered a large dog. These ten are the largest in the world. Purina
1. Saint Bernard
If you grew up in the 90s and used to watch cartoons, chances are you watched these giant dogs in at least one of the shows. Initially, they were bred as protecting dogs, but due to their nature, their true potential of search and rescue was discovered in the Swiss Alps, and ever since, they have been doing that job. Why it is called Saint Bernard is because of two reasons, firstly, they were bred by a Swiss monastery, secondly, due to their angel-like temperaments, their kind face, and soft eyes were welcoming for lost travelers. As for their size, they easily reach up to 28-30 inches, and their average weight is about 150 pounds.
2. English Mastiff
Among one of the largest dog breeds in the world, English Mastiff stands on average anywhere from 27-35 inches tall, and they can weigh up to 230 pounds. These fearless dogs were originally bred for protecting the lands, and they have descended from ancient war dogs. Fortunately, in present times, they get to sit on couches, that are almost always too small for them. Plus, these are very gentle dogs and make for a great family dog. Thankfully, these aren’t used in dangerous wars or battles anymore, instead, these are now employed for security purposes, but other than that they can be found snuggling up with their favorite human.
3. Irish Wolfhound
Another giant hound that traces back to war roots, similar to English Mastiff. If you have ever seen a wolf, then you know these creatures are significantly larger compared to regular dogs, and this specific breed was used to hunt them down, hence the name. In addition to that, as mentioned previously, these were used in wars to pull down enemies from their horses and chariots. However, just like Mastiffs, these are gentle dogs, they love snuggling up, and they provide good snuggles as they are 32 inches tall and weigh up to 120 pounds along with a soft coat. Due to their shaggy appearance and highly active nature, these get along great with children, just make sure you are giving them enough exercise.
Originated in the harsh climates of Newfoundland, Canada, Newfies are gigantic dogs that resemble black bears more than dogs. These, like most other dogs on this list, are loving, affectionate, and have a gentle temperament, which makes them great for families and children. In the past, these were bred to be rescue dogs of the waters and were on board many ships, they have saved countless lives in the seas and were also used in water sports. This breed grows up to 30 inches in height and reaches a weight of 150 pounds. Having the saving instinct in their DNA, these highly intelligent dogs make for great pets especially if you have a pool in your backyard as they will recognize if one is drowning, and if they are not swimming, they will love snuggling with you.
5. Dogue de Bordeaux
You wouldn’t be surprised to know that these are often referred to as French Mastiff, given their French name. These are perhaps small by the standards of this list, nonetheless, these are still large dogs, reaching 26 inches and weighing 110 pounds, and have a similar stance to a pit bull. In the past, these were used as guard dogs for the livestock, but over many years, these were used for many other tasks as well, from taking down a large game in French estates to even being a fearsome war dog during the Roman empire, this is one dog breed that has done it all.
Leonberger is one of those dogs that can show you their ancestry by stating what percentage of different breeds they have in their genes, as they are the result of the cross between a Saint Bernard, a Newfoundland, and a Pyrenean Mountain Dog. These are usually 30 inches tall, weigh anywhere from 130 pounds to 170 pounds, and due to their lineage, they are full of long hair as well. These were bred to be used in tracking and herding, while these are great dogs and look very fluffy, they do require serious training to fit well in families, or else they quickly become destructive and are often not recommended to new dog owners, but once trained, these are great for families as well.
7. Anatolian Shepherd
This may be one of the oldest domesticated breeds known to humans as it dates back to 2,000 B.C. This is a Turkish breed that was originally used to protect property, and being a giant dog, these are still used for similar work, just think if this dog applies for a new job, it has a ton of experience. These are easily among the larger ones, standing at 32 inches tall and weighing up to 150 pounds, but unlike other dogs on the list, it has shorter hair, which is more suited for hotter areas. These were also used in Namibia to protect cheetahs from cattle ranchers in 1994.
8. Neapolitan Mastiff
If you heard the name Neapolitan, you’d automatically think of either the pizza or this wrinkly giant. These were bred to be used as guard dogs in Southern Italy, their loose skin is for this specific reason; if they get attacked they’ll be able to withstand it. These dogs stand at 31 inches tall, but they themselves do not feel that way, as they love being a lapdog, so you better have strong legs as these behemoths weigh up to 150 pounds. One thing to watch out for these giants is that they drool a lot, and it must be taken care of to avoid slobbering.
9. Great Dane
These were also created by crossing English Mastiff and the Irish Wolfhound, therefore, it’s not a surprise that these are tall, in fact, it is considered one of the tallest in the world as it stands at 35 inches and weighs anywhere from 140 pounds to 170 pounds, so you might be wondering why they were bred to be such large dogs? Well, to hunt larger game, of course, and these were used by German nobles for taking down boars. Today, these can be often found in homes as they have a playful attitude, and make Great family dogs, pun intended.
10. Caucasian Shepherd
Just like other larger dogs, these are covered in fur and have a fearsome appearance. These were originally bred for protecting and herding livestock. It is an Eastern-European dog that stands at 32 inches, and thanks to its larger size, it was capable to protect herds against predators in the region of the Caucasus mountains. Just like the Leonberger breed, these are recommended to experienced owners only, as their stubborn nature can be problematic. Furthermore, they are highly territorial and will engage in fights with other dogs and even people, if they happen to come near their home; however, just like any other dog, these can be trained to socialize and be friendly.