Dogs are often seen as man’s best friend. As loyal friends, they bring joy, comfort, and companionship. From tiny Chihuahuas to massive Great Danes, the diversity among canines is truly astounding.
Large dog breeds are known for their impressive size, strength, and often gentle and affectionate personalities. They are frequently regarded as gentle giants and are some of the most recognizable breeds around.
Undoubtedly, a larger dog comes with added responsibilities—such as having enough space, extra care, and increased food consumption—compared to their smaller counterparts.
Before adding a big dog to your family, it is important to consider whether you have the resources and capabilities to accommodate a large dog. Training a bigger dog can also be more challenging, and it is essential to recognize that not everyone has a suitable environment to provide them with a happy and fulfilling life.
Taking care of a giant dog can seem intimidating, but their large size makes them cozy and cuddly companions.
Throughout history, large dog breeds have been bred for work and tasks such as sled pulling, herd rearing, and guarding property. Due to this, big dogs are often renowned for their high intelligence, loyalty, and strong work ethic.
Many large dog breeds have calm temperaments, making them great for families with children or other household pets. With proper training and socialization, they can exhibit remarkable patience and tolerance.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 world’s largest dog breeds:
10. Cane Corso (Average Weight: 90-100 pounds)
This loyal breed was originally bred in ancient Rome and later employed in Italy as a farm dog and protector. Its name means “bodyguard dog” or “guard dog”.
They typically weigh between 90 to 110 pounds and stand 23 to 30 inches tall. Their coats are short and stiff, and, in some countries, their ears are cropped short.
The Cane Corso was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 2010 as an independent breed and, today, their popularity is quickly rising due to their intelligence and affectionate natures. 1
9. Bernese Mountain Dog (Average Weight: 70-115 pounds)
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a beautiful dog with a sweet and loving nature. It is a robust and sturdy breed, standing at 25 to 28 inches at the shoulder.
Their coats are thick and luscious, making them well-suited for colder climates. They require consistent grooming and brushing to prevent tangling and matting.
These massive dogs are known to be extremely affectionate and good with young children. Their gentle hearts and devotion to their families have earned them a special place in the hearts of many dog owners worldwide.
8. Newfoundland (Average Weight: 100-150 pounds)
Also called “Newfies”, Newfoundlands are famous for their love of water. Named for their Newfoundland (Canada) origins, Newfies frequently serve as work dogs on land and boats.
Their coats are waterproof and their huge, webbed feet make them skilled swimmers. They have a long history of working alongside fishermen and water rescues.
This breed comes in a variety of colors, including black, brown, and gray. With their kind and hardworking dispositions, Newfoundlands bring immense joy to those fortunate enough to care for them.
7. Neapolitan Mastiff (Average Weight: 110-150 pounds)
The American Kennel Club recognizes the Neapolitan Mastiff as a dignified, loyal, and watchful dog. It is known as a powerful guardian with an intimidating appearance that has long intimidated intruders since the days of ancient Rome.
These dogs form deep bonds with their families and are well suited for those who are not very active as Neapolitan Mastiffs have lower energy levels compared to other large breeds.
Easygoing and tranquil, Neapolitan Mastiffs fit the definition of a gentle giant. 2
6. Leonberger (Average Weight: 90 to 170 pounds)
Leonbergers are working dogs that were originally bred as companion dogs in Europe. Named after the town of Leonberg, these dogs have regal manes that resemble lions, which are also found on the town’s crest.
These dogs have a commanding presence, with males standing at a height of 29 to 32 inches. Females are slightly smaller, measuring between 25 to 30 inches.
They have strong muscular bodies, with a thick double coat that can come in a range of shades, including yellow, red, and sand. Despite their size, they are excellent family companions that are trustworthy and willing to please.
5. Great Dane (Average Weight: 110-175 pounds)
The Great Dane is often referred to as the “Apollo of Dogs” for its impressive size and graceful stature. They have a history dating back hundreds of years. Originating from Germany, they are one of the tallest dog breeds, with males typically standing at 30 inches.
Great Danes have short coats which make their upkeep slightly easier. Grooming can be done monthly. They can be fawn, blue, black, brown, or multicolored.
They may seem cool and quiet, but Great Danes require daily exercise. Many enjoy agility training, tracking events, and even sports such as flyball.
4. Saint Bernard (Average Weight: 120-180 pounds)
Originating from the Swiss Alps, Saint Bernards were named after the Great Saint Bernard pass where they worked as rescue dogs.
They are large and powerful, typically standing between 27 to 30 inches at the shoulder and weighing between 120 to 180 pounds.
Their massive heads and expressive eyes give them a kind expression. They are gentle with children but require regular exercise and socialization to keep them mentally and physically stimulated.
3. Tosa (Average Weight: 100-200 pounds)
Also known as the Tosa Inu or Tosa Ken, the Tosa is a powerful breed that originates from Japan. It was a breed that was bred by crossing several European dog breeds, including Mastiffs and German Pointers.
Imposing and muscular, male Tosas stand between 25 to 32 inches at the shoulder. They have deep-set eyes, a strong jaw, and short coats that are red, black, or fawn in color.
Unfortunately, this dog breed has a history as fighting dogs, so they have strong prey drives and may exhibit aggression towards other animals. Early socialization and training are crucial to ensure they develop into well-mannered dogs. 3
2. Boerboel (Average Weight: 150-200 pounds)
The Boerboel, also termed the South African Mastiff, originates from South Africa. Bred as a working dog to guard livestock, it is celebrated for its striking strength and protective character.
Temperament-wise, Boerboels are loyal but wary of strangers. They are smart and respond well to reinforcement training techniques. Due to their size, it is vital to supervise them when they are in the proximity of younger children.
Boerboels are generally resilient dogs; however, they are prone to some health issues such as hip and elbow dysplasia. Routine checkups are key to keeping this dog healthy and happy. 4
1. Mastiff (Average Weight: 120-230 pounds)
Mastiffs have a rich history dating back thousands of years. They are believed to be one of the oldest and largest dog breeds in the world.
They have a solid and muscular build, a broad head, and a gentle expression that matches their calm and easygoing nature. They are not overly active and their exercise needs are moderate. Regular walks and routine playtime are generally enough to keep them happy.
Their short and dense coats require minimal grooming and they come in various colors including apricot, black, gray, or fawn. 5
That completes our list of the biggest dog breeds on the planet.
In conclusion, large dogs possess a captivating allure that is undeniable. These breeds command attention with their impressive size, strength, and often gentle dispositions.
Despite the added challenges, such as having ample space, regular exercise, and grooming needs, the rewards of sharing a life with a larger dog can be well worth it. They bring joy, companionship, and a sense of security that is harder to obtain with smaller breeds.
Large dogs can make excellent family pets and offer a unique presence that truly makes a house feel like a home. With a lot of love to give, they can provide endless moments of happiness and cherished memories as valued members of the family.