Top 10 Largest Dog Breeds in the World

Largest dog breeds cover

Dogs are truly loving, 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 and some more. 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 truly larger 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. [1]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 are working that job. The reason why it is called Saint Bernard is because of two reasons, first, 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.

Saint Bernard largest

Saint Bernard in its uniform

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, now they get to sit on couches which are almost always small for them but these are very gentle dogs, and make for a great family dog. Thankfully, while no dogs are used in wars now these are still used for security purposes but other than that they can be found snuggling up with their favorite human.

English Mastiff largest

A photograph of English Mastiff

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 those 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.

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound in strong winds

4. Newfoundland: 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 makes 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.

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Newfoundland in the woods

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, weigh 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 be a fearsome war dog, this is one dog breed that has done it all.

Dogue de Bordeaux largest

One happy Dogue de Bordeaux

6. Leonberger: Leonberger is one of those dogs that can show you their ancestry by stating what percentage of what breed they originated from, 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.

Leonberger largest

Leonberger walking

7. Anatolian Shepherd: This is maybe 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.

Anatolian Shepherd largest

Anatolian Shepherd being alert

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 do not know it as they love being a lapdog so you better have strong legs as these 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.

Neapolitan Mastiff largest

Neapolitan Mastiff standing

9. Great Dane: These were also created by crossing English Mastiff and the Irish Wolfhound, therefore you can expect it to be tall, in fact, it is considered one of the tallest in the world as it stands at 35 inches and weigh 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.

Great Dane largest

Two Great Danes sitting

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 Caucasus mountains. Just like Leonberger, these are advised 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.

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Caucasian shepherd sniffing

These are the largest dog breeds in the world and if you want one you better be conscious of your decision. While some of them are truly just big softies others can be quite the work but in the end, if you know how to take care of a dog, you’d have no troubles with any of these.


1 Purina

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