Dogs are such magnificent beings that they come in all sizes, shapes, and colors. Each dog comes with unique and individual temperament and a long line of different characteristics.
Did you know that dogs evolved so much overtime that their brain actually evolved? Over centuries, dogs have been bonded with humans, for diverse reasons.
Moreover, they played various roles, as hunting dogs, working dogs, or only as companion dogs. However, among dogs, those with the most significant strengths and insurance worked with humans the most, even in harsh conditions.
Before we list the largest dog breeds of today, we should see if “bigger is better” philosophy applies to dogs as well.
Is Bigger Really Better?
If you are really thinking about getting a large dog, you need to know some things first. First of all, in canine’s world larger dog means more.
More of everything. More exercise. More of living space. More training. More food. More costs. More veterinarian visits. More only doesn’t apply to years. Sadly, the large dog usually means a shorter life span.
First, let’s see why you should mind these factors when it comes to large dog breeds.
Large dog breeds were bred for a purpose. Some were meant to be guard dogs, while others were meant to be hunters, and so on.
Canines with above-average endurance worked with livestock, or simply spend their days protecting the animals.
So, knowing the ‘why’ behind the breed can help you guess the exercise need of a breed.
If your large dog has in his genes to herd all day, then you should provide a lot of activities to work off that energy. Otherwise, you can expect destructive behavior.
2. Living Space
Can you imagine yourself living in a shoebox? That’s how your large dog would feel if you couldn’t provide needed living space. Where and how you live matters.
A small Chinese Crested Dog can’t reach anything from the kitchen counter, or make significant damage, right? However, large dog breeds such as Russian Bear Dog definitely could. This means one thing only – bigger the dog, bigger the responsibility.
You will need to spend months into proper training and early socialization.
Without proper training, even the smallest Chihuahua can become a real walking terror. Large dog breeds tend to be stubborn. Further, they are not well-aware of their size, so they need the right owner to guide them through life.
Nothing but positive reinforcement training should be used with large, or any, dog.
As you know, dogs eat. Naturally, larger dogs eat more. So, when thinking about getting a large dog, you should think about economics as well.
Larger breeds are also fed more than once a day. Simply, they eat more than smaller dogs.
Now that you have these essential points let’s meet the large dog breeds. Of the hundreds of fantastic dog breeds around the globe, here are the largest.
At first sight, the Great Dane looks like the real giant. They are giants in a way, but a gentle one.
This breed is so guffy and such a people-pleaser that they will spend their time following people, and acting as if they are small.
Initially, the Great Dane has a German origin, and in German, this breed is called ‘Deutsche Dogge,’ meaning German mastiff.
The truth is that this breed is a result of a crossbreeding between Irish Wolfhounds and English Mastiffs.
Also, this breed has a very calm nature and loving disposition. Although they are big, they are fantastic with children and even with other pets.
On top of that, they need minimal grooming and regular exercise. Unfortunately, this breed lives between 6-8 years.
According to AKC, this is the largest dog when it comes to height.
A dog hunting a deer? Since Basenji was used for hunting lions, why couldn’t a Scottish Deerhound hunt a deer? This breed is known for its fantastic ability to chase down its prey and red deers.
They are significantly heavier and larger than greyhounds, but they are similar.
They can weight up to 110 pounds, and they can be tall as 32 inches. Nowadays, this amazing breed is not used for deer hunting, but the breed is kept alive by Scottish Deerhound enthusiasts.
Because of its well-muscled build and athletic body, this dog is also known as the Royal Dog of Scotland. They have a wiry coat, which means that grooming should be done regularly.
They are not good watchdogs, but they are courageous and loyal, and their size can intimidate anyone. This ‘fear on the outside factor’ can come handy if you are living in more solitude neighboorhood.
They are quiet and don’t bark. As a puppy Scottish Deerhound is highly active. By the time your Deerhound is five, he will be a true couch potato.
Dogue de Bordeaux
This breed goes by many names, including Bordeauxdog, French mastiff, and Bordeaux mastiff. Regardless of its name, one thing is sure about this breed – it’s massive.
The strong Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the most ancient breeds of France.
They can weight up to 150 pounds, and they can be up to 27 inches tall. They also have a big head.
Among canines, this breed is known for having the most massive head of any canine in relation to body size.
Initially, they were bred to be protectors. However, they did their share of guarding flocks. They are active, energetic, and they love to be outdoor.
Inside your home, your Dogue de Bordeaux be as if he is on heaven – calm, quiet, and will love to spend the day lying around.
This breed is also brachycephalic, meaning that your Dogue de Bordeaux can be affected by various breathing problems. In general, they are too tolerant of hot weather.
The strong and massive English mastiff is one of the largest dog breeds. They can go to 250 pounds and 30 inches. According to AKC, this gigantic dog is known as the most massive dog among the large dog breeds.
Fast fact: Aicama Zorba, the famous English Mastiff, weight astonishing 343 pounds.
Their size is directly linked with their purpose. They were bred to hunt lions, bulls, and even participate in blood sports. Luckily, today their only duty is to spend time with their family members.
Just make sure that you educate your children on how to behave around dogs this size.
If you are enjoying mountain adventures, you would love to have this dog around. Not that this is a great companion, but famous Saint Bernard can save your life.
These dogs are specially trained to help mountain rescuers in any weather. This magnificent breed was created by the monks of the Saint Bernard Hospice.
They were initially bred to be companions and rescue dogs. Although they can save humans buried under a heavyweight of snow, nowadays, these dogs are mostly just adorable family dogs.
They are famous for being calm, gentle, friendly, and great with children. They are also great with other pets if raised or trained together. Saint Bernard can stand between 25-30 inches tall and can weigh from 140 to 180 pounds.
Leonberger is a mixed breed between Saint Bernard and Newfoundland. The breed was created in Germany during the 1840s.
The founder of the breed is Heinrich Essig of Leonberg. He crossed a Saint Bernard and a Newfoundland for four generations.
In the fifth generation, Heinrich added a Pyrenean Mountain Dog to the mix. The result of this mix is large Leonberger.
This breed can weigh up o 170 pounds, and 27-31 inches. Although they seem huge, they are really just fluffy family dogs. Still, they have to be trained well.
Their primary purpose was to be a companion dog, and they remained as such until today.
The Leonberger is excellent in water rescue, tracking, to herding. Whenever there is an activity that requires strength and intelligence, be sure that Leonberger will master it.
The strong Boerboel is originally from South Africa.
Dogs from Africa are known for being incredibly courageous. Originally, the Boerboel means ‘farm dog’ in Dutch.
Boerboel can weight up to 220 IBS, and they tend to have a height of about 27 inches. They are loyal dogs who are fantastic with children.
They love to play, and overall, they are perfect companions. They are superb watchdogs because they have a strong territorial instinct. Obedience training is much needed so everyone can be safe.
Make sure that your puppy Boerboel stays away from aggressive dogs, or he can show signs of aggressiveness. Also, introduce strangers to your home carefully, because they are very territorial.
Since they are highly intelligent and strong, they are not recommended for first-time dog owners.
The Bottom Line
If you still want a large dog breed, make sure that you take into consideration every factor, from living space to food cost. Just like any dog, large dog breeds are unique, and diversity among them is vast.
Some were bred to be companions, some to hunt, while some were bred to survive in extreme conditions. However, no matter how intimidating these dogs may look, they are loving, relaxed, loyal, and mild-tempered animals.
They still have to be adequately trained and socialized to get along with every family member and other pets. Remember – training and proper socialization is the key.