Giant dogs are some of the hardest-working and most recognizable breeds. But because many of them maintain the strong working instincts and drive they were bred for, they can be a lot to handle. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re considering adding one to your family.
Giant dogs are giant puppies for a very long time and are slow to mature both mentally and physically. When giant dogs are young, their joints can become injured easily, so it’s important to be very cautious with exercise.
The bigger the dog, the bigger everything needs to be—including toys, bowls, and beds. While some giant dogs are happy and content living in small spaces, you do need to have enough space for the things they need. It’s also important to keep in mind that not everyone or everywhere is going to be giant-dog-friendly. Many apartments and hotels have weight limits for dogs, which giant breeds far exceed. It can also be much more challenging to find skilled and qualified care from dog sitters or walkers.
Giant dogs can be expensive to care for. When the dog is bigger, the bill usually is as well. Before adding a giant dog breed to your family, consider your budget flexibility and if you will be able to cover giant-size costs. Large breed dog food, toys, and other supplies are generally more expensive than those for smaller dogs. In addition, medication for giant dogs is going to be more expensive. Unfortunately, not all vet clinics—especially those in urban areas—will be equipped to safely handle giant breeds and you may need to shop around or travel to a vet who can accommodate a giant dog for X-rays, surgery, etc.
Regardless of size, all dogs need training, but it’s especially essential for giant breeds. Misbehaviors that people might think are “cute” when they happen with small dogs—like jumping up, counter surfing, and pulling—aren’t so adorable when your dog is a giant. These are dogs who will outweigh many people when fully grown, so it’s important to begin training giant dogs as very young puppies. Training should always be fun and positive. If you’re considering adding one of these giants to your life, look at theS.T.A.R. Puppy Programto get training off on the right foot.
If you’re okay with all of these potential challenges and you still think bigger is better when it comes to dogs, one of these breeds might be the right fit for your family.
Largest Dog Breeds
Imposing and protective, theAnatolian Shepherdis a territorial, smart, and loyal working dog. Weighing in at 150 pounds, this breed was developed to protect livestock. These are dogs who would rather intimidate predators than attack, making them popular as guardian ranch dogs protecting farms today.
Bernese Mountain Dog
With a distinctive tri-colored coat, theBernese Mountain Dogis one of the more popular giant breeds. They thrive in cold weather and were developed as hard-working, versatile dogs for farms in their native Switzerland and excel at drafting/carting. Known for their good-natured temperament, Bernese Mountain Dogs are popular giant companions and family dogs.
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Black Russian Terrier
These giant terriers are as imposing as they are intelligent. TheBlack Russian Terrierwas developed by the Soviet government in the 1930s to create a powerful guard dog. The dogs maintain those protective qualities, are very loyal to their families, and will often be aloof with strangers. These large dogs should be both powerful and have a reliable temperament.
The ultimate guard dog, theBullmastiffis known as “the Gamekeeper’s Night Dog.” The breed was developed in the 19th century to guard private English game preserves and country estates. Highly biddable, the Bullmastiff responds well to training but early socialization and puppy training are extremely important.
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Dogue de Bordeaux
Another powerful guardian dog, theDogue de Bordeauxis known for its expressive face and eyes and has the proportionately largest head of any breed. These dogs are sensitive and loyal, but they are also known to be stubborn, which makes early training extremely important.
An alert and intimidating dog, theCane Corsois a loyal, strong breed. The ancestors of the Cane Corso are believed to date back to guardian dogs of the ancient Greeks, but at one point the breed nearly became extinct. The first Cane Corso was imported to America in 1988. Because of their wary and protective tendencies, early socialization and training is essential.
One of the most recognizable giant breeds,Great Daneswere developed as guardians and to hunt wild boars. This is an easy-going giant breed making the dogs popular companions. Great Danes are very friendly and outgoing, but they are also very loyal and alert guardians of their home and family.
This majestic breed is impressive in size and easily recognizable by its (generally) large white coat. The breed was developed to work alongside shepherds and to protect livestock. Known for their patience and independence, theGreat Pyreneesfearlessly fight off predators.
Large and majestic,theIrish Wolfhoundis the tallest breed of dog recognized by the AKC and was originally bred as a big-game hunter. While their ancestors date back to ancient times, the Irish Wolfhound first gained popularity in the 15th century to help control the wolf population in Ireland. Today Irish Wolfhounds are known as dignified, eye-catching companions.
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Sporting a lion-like mane, aLeonbergeris a solid watchdog and versatile working dog. Unlike many other giant breeds, the Leonberger was first developed as a companion dog for European royalty. It wasn’t until later that they became known as an all-around working farm dog. Today, Leonbergers are loyal pets and excel at cart pulling/draft work.
With a broad, wrinkled forehead, theMastiffis a dignified, courageous, and docile breed. Known for their devotion and loyalty to their families, Mastiffs are naturally wary of strangers, making early socialization important. After World War II, approximately only 14 Mastiffs survived in all of England. The breed’s population was later established with the collaboration of breeders in the United States. Mastiffs are emotional and sensitive and thrive with early positive-reinforcement training.
Dating back to ancient Rome,Neapolitan Mastiffs are giant and powerful dogs. Visually striking with their loose wrinkles and folds of skin across their body, these dogs are easy to spot and are very protective of their families. Like other highly protective breeds, the Neapolitan Mastiffs thrive with consistent positive reinforcement training.
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This powerful working dog is a natural in the water. The breed has webbed feet and a water-repellent outer coat, and was first developed to work with Canadian fishermen pulling fishing nets out of icy water and performing heroic water rescues. These giant water dogs are still used in water rescue around the world. In addition to its massive size, theNewfoundland is known for its gentleness and trainability.
One of the most famous giant breeds, theSaint Bernardhails from the Swiss Alps. The massive and powerful breed was first developed to locate and rescue people who had gotten lost in the snow and buried by avalanches. The Saint Bernard’s charismatic friendly expression has helped it gain popularity in film and television, and become beloved by dog lovers.
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Known as the royal dog of Scotland, this giant coursing dog is one of the tallest breeds of dogs in the world. Bred to hunt, theScottish Deerhound is very courageous and was born to run. It’s a sensitive breed that’s deeply connected to family and can struggle with being left alone. With a strong drive to chase, the Scottish Deerhound should only be allowed to run in a fenced area or on leash.
An intimidating ancient breed,Tibetan Mastiffsare known for being strong-willed and independent. These dogs are extremely protective and are considered guardians of the Himalayas because they were used to guard monasteries in Tibet. Not a breed for beginners, these noble dogs are known for making up their mind about a situation and responding accordingly, regardless of training.
The Great Dane is generally recognised as being the largest breed in terms of height – but Irish Wolfhounds and English Mastiffs as worthy contenders too.What is the biggest dog in the world 2022? ›
The Guinness World Record has confirmed Zeus, an American Great Dane from Texas, as the tallest living dog in the world. The two-year-old pup stands at 3 ft. 5.18 inches.What is a XXL dog? ›
when is a dog extra-large? As a rule of thumb, a dog whose adult weight will be over 100lbs is usually considered to be an extra large dog.What is the giant fluffy dog? ›
The Bernese Mountain Dog, Samoyed, and Chow Chow are all big, fluffy dog breeds.Is there any dog as big as a wolf? ›
1. Alaskan Malamute. Alaskan malamute is a huge dog and could weigh up to 45 kg. But don't be intimidated by its size, this breed of dog is really friendly.What breed is Scooby Doo? ›
Scooby-Doo is a Great Dane. The character was designed by Iwao Takamoto, an animator at Hanna-Barbera. According to the American Kennel Club, Great Danes are "the mighty 'Apollo of Dogs,'" which is very unlike the silly and cowardly Scooby-Doo.Do giant dogs exist? ›
One of the most recognizable giant breeds, Great Danes were developed as guardians and to hunt wild boars. This is an easy-going giant breed making the dogs popular companions. Great Danes are very friendly and outgoing, but they are also very loyal and alert guardians of their home and family.What is the fattest dog alive? ›
What is the fattest dog in the world? An English Mastiff named Zorba still holds the record as per the Guinness Book of World Records. Zorba weighed in at 343 pounds.Is Zeus the dog still alive? ›
Zeus (November 22, 2008 – September 3, 2014) was a Great Dane from Otsego, Michigan, United States, famous for being named the "world's tallest dog" by the 2012 and 2013 Guinness Book of World Records.Is there a dog breed bigger than a wolf? ›
Irish Wolfhound vs Wolf: Size
Wolves weigh an average of 80 to 150 pounds, while Irish Wolfhounds outweigh them, averaging at 130 to 160 pounds. Something that may surprise you is the fact that the Irish wolfhound is bigger than the average wolf, regardless of gender.
The Great Dane is widely recognized as the largest dog breed by the American Kennel Club, at least in terms of height. 1 The Great Dane is a breed of German origin and its German name of Deutsche Dogge means German mastiff.What dog is bigger than a human? ›
Great Danes are known for being among the largest dogs in the world. In fact, the AKC revealed that when they stand on their hind legs, Great Danes are usually taller than most people. The typical Dane measures in at about 32 inches tall at the shoulder and can weigh up to 175 pounds.Is XL bully a dog breed? ›
The American Bully XL, a gentle giant, is one of four varieties of the American Bully breed — an extension of the American Pit Bull Terrier. What is this? The XL American Bully is a gentle giant. Since the initial breeders wanted family companions, gentleness is paramount!Is a XL bully a bull dog? ›
The American Bully was recognised as a breed by the US United Kennel Club in 2013. The organisation calls it a “natural extension” of the American Pit Bull Terrier that has been crossbred with breeds including the American Bulldog, English Bulldog and Olde English Bulldogge.Is there a dog as big as a bear? ›
The Tibetan Mastiff may look intimidating, but this densely-coated giant of a dog is really just a big softie. This breed can stand up to 26 inches at the shoulder and weigh well over 100 pounds, according to American Kennel Club, so make sure you have plenty of room for this behemoth bear of a dog.What is the biggest snow dog? ›
The Alaskan Malamute is the oldest and largest of the Arctic sled dogs, having been used for freighting in the Arctic. They have a thick, coarse coat that keeps them warm.What's the most gentle giant dog? ›
- German Shepherd. German Shepherds are great watchdogs and family protectors – you'll often see them used by the police as sniffer dogs. ...
- Great Dane. These dogs are best known for their size, as their name suggests. ...
- Bullmastiff. ...
- Boxer. ...
- Bulldog. ...
- Newfoundland. ...
- Irish Wolfhound. ...
Pit bull. No dog breed has a more ferocious reputation than the pit bull, being recognized as the most aggressive dog breed. According to Canine Journal (an organization that collects and analyzes dog bite attacks in the United States), Pit bull attacks are responsible for the deaths of 185 people in the last ten years ...What dog is the bear killer? ›
The Karelian Bear Dog, called Karjalankarhukoira in the breed's native Finland, is a strong, alert, and fearless breed that is capable of hunting or treeing small-to-large game — even aggressive game such as bears, lynxes, wild boars, wolves, and moose.Can a dog impregnate a wolf? ›
Wolves and dogs are interfertile, meaning they can breed and produce viable offspring.
Yes, wolves and domestic dogs can breed and produce fertile offspring. However, dogs have been shaped for human needs in the process of domestication, so that they are different from their wild ancestors in many characteristics.What dog is called the wolf killer? ›
One of the most spectacular facts by which the strong Caucasian Shepherd dog is renowned is it courage and instinct that allows him to fight wild beasts and even to kill wolves. Well, it is important for us to look a bit at how nature goes and understand this “wolf killer” role as it really is.What breed is Clifford? ›
What dog breed is Clifford? Clifford is a Giant Vizsla. Although Clifford is over 10 feet tall and weighs A LOT (we don't know exactly how much because he broke the scale!), the average Viszla is only about 2 feet tall and between 45 and 65 pounds. The Vizsla breed originated in Hungary as a hunting dog.What dog breed is Pluto? ›
Scooby-Dee is a female Great Dane, with white fur, first appearing in The Scooby-Doo Show. She was a character in the episode titled "The Chiller Diller Movie Thriller", as a distant cousin of Scooby's, who helped them solve the mystery.Is there a wolf bigger than dire wolf? ›
dirus dirus subspecies of dire wolf. The largest subspecies of the grey wolf, known as the Mackenzie Valley wolf, is most similar to the dire wolf in size. In fact, the largest wolf ever recorded weighed 175 pounds and was a Mackenzie Valley wolf.Is there a dog as big as a lion? ›
1. Tibetan Mastiff. With their large, muscular, powerful bodies, dense lion-like mane, strong jaws and tight cat-like feet, it's no wonder the Tibetan Mastiff is often referred to as “lion dog”!What giant animals still exist? ›
Among living animals, the term megafauna is most commonly used for the largest extant terrestrial mammals, which includes (but is not limited to) elephants, giraffes, zebras, hippopotamuses, rhinoceroses, and large bovines.How old was the oldest big dog? ›
Born in November 1999, Spike achieved canine bragging rights on December 7, 2022, with a certificate proving he was “at least 23 years and 7 days old” at the date of verification in the village of Camden.What is the smartest dog? ›
- Border collie. According to The Intelligence of Dogs, which ranks 131 dog breeds in terms of their relative intelligence, the border collie is the smartest dog breed known to man. ...
- Poodle. ...
- German shepherd. ...
- Golden retriever. ...
- Doberman pinscher. ...
- Shetland sheepdog. ...
- Labrador retriever. ...
Greyhound. R. Bitzer Photography / Adobe Stock Greyhounds are the fastest dog breed and can run at speeds of 40–45 mph. Despite their aerodynamic build, greyhounds are actually quite calm—and maybe even a little lazy.What dog Is God? ›
Deities like Rudra, Nirriti and Virabhadra are associated with dogs. Shiva, in his aspect as Bhairava, had a dog as a vahana (vehicle) (mentioned in the Mahabharata). Khandoba, a deity, is associated with a dog on which he rides. Dattatreya is associated with four dogs, considered to symbolize the four Vedas.What dog gets 200 pounds? ›
The English Mastiff is officially the world's biggest dog breed, weighing as much as 200 pounds. According to the Guinness Book of Records, an English Mastiff dog called Zorba weighed in at 142.7kg and stood 27 inches high in 1981.Is Milo the dog still alive? ›
Matt Lucas is heartbroken after his beloved dog Milo has died from cancer just two months after his other dog Hob died. The Little Britain star, who is 45, shared an emotional tribute on Instagram to his chocolate labrador. "The unthinkable has happened," he wrote.What dog is $10000? ›
Löwchens are widely noticed on many prominent Renaissance paintings, the breed was very popular with the nobleman. Löwchens are extremely rare now, by the 19th century Löwchens are virtually extinct. The rarity of the Löwchen will fetch upwards to $10,000 dollars in some locations!What is the easiest large dog to own? ›
- Golden Retriever. If Golden Retrievers were human, they'd be the life and soul of the party. ...
- Boxer. ...
- Labrador Retriever. ...
- Irish Wolfhound. ...
- Presa Canario. ...
- Mastiff. ...
- German Shepherd. ...
Tibetan Mastiffs were originally bred to protect sheep from wolves and (you guessed it) bears in the Himalayan Mountains, so perhaps it's not surprising that they're so bear-like themselves! These noble dogs are as beautiful as they are loyal, and are always much loved by their owners.
The Pit Bull is considered to be the most dangerous dog in America. According to dogsbite.org, between 2005 and 2014, 203 Americans were killed by a Pit Bull ad 305 people were seriously injured after a mauling.
Specifically, this lovable Wookiee is based on George Lucas' Alaskan Malamute named Indiana. According to Lucas, Indiana would sit in the front seat of his car like a co-pilot and was regularly mistaken for a person. “I had an Alaskan Malamute when I was writing the film.What is a Gotti dog? ›
The Gottiline Pit bull Bloodline, otherwise known as the Gotti Pitbulls, Gottyline or Gotty Pitbulls have become one of the most popular bloodlines in American Bully Community. This bloodline was started by Richard Barajas of West Side Kennels. He actually owned the first sire, The Notorious Juan Gotty.
The Bomber Dog is a gripping and heartwarming story for 9+ readers about a brave puppy who joins the paratroopers during the Second World War and becomes a heroic war dog. Perfect for fans of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse and Lauren St John. GREY is just a puppy when he arrives at the War Dog Training school.What is the 1 million dollar dog? ›
If the price of a dog were based on weight, pound for pound, the Tibetan Mastiff would be a front runner for sure. Case in point, a Red Tibetan Mastiff named Big Splash is the most expensive dog ever sold. His new owner shelled out some $1.5 million to take home a then 11-month-old, 180-pound puppy.
Dating back to the Ice Age, the Norwegian Lundehund is recognised as one of the rarest dog breeds on the planet due to its unique characteristics, which aren't shared by any other breed.
Dollar Dog Kids Club is a special youth savings to help kids learn to save and manage money by developing good savings habits from an early age.What is the laziest big dog? ›
What Is the Laziest Dog Breed? The laziest dog breeds include the bulldog, Saint Bernard, basset hound, French bulldog, chow chow, Bernese mountain dog, and Pekingese.