When it comes to our beloved canine companions, their size can often leave a lasting impression. Something is awe-inspiring about the majesty and sheer presence of large dog breeds. In this article, we will introduce you to the top 12 largest dog breeds in the world. Showcasing their remarkable size, unique characteristics, and the joy they bring to their owners’ lives.
Top 12 Largest Dog Breeds in the World
Let’s find out what is the largest dog breeds.
The Great Dane
Great Dane Overview
The Great Dane, often referred to as the “Apollo of Dogs,” holds the title of the tallest dog breed in the world. With their gentle and friendly nature, they make excellent family pets despite their imposing size. Great Danes can reach heights of up to 32 inches at the shoulder and weigh around 140 to 175 pounds.
Great Dane Temperament
Despite their intimidating stature, Great Danes are known for their calm and affectionate demeanor. They are gentle giants, often described as friendly, patient, and good-natured.
Great Dane Key Points
- Tallest dog breed
- Gentle and friendly nature
- Excellent family pets
- Calm and affectionate temperament
Great Danes are not only known for their large size but also possess some interesting and lesser-known facts. Here are a few intriguing things to know about this majestic breed:
- Gentle Giants: Despite their imposing size, Great Danes are known for their gentle and friendly nature. They are often referred to as “gentle giants” due to their calm and loving demeanor.
- Tallest Dog: Great Danes hold the title of being one of the tallest dog breeds in the world. On average, they can reach a height of 28 to 32 inches (71 to 81 cm) at the shoulder, with some individuals even exceeding these measurements.
- Scooby-Doo Breed: The famous cartoon character Scooby-Doo is based on the Great Dane. The lovable and comical traits of Scooby-Doo reflect the playful nature often associated with this breed.
- Historical Background: Great Danes have a rich history that dates back to ancient civilizations. They were initially bred as hunting dogs to pursue wild boars. Over time, they transitioned to become valued companions and guard dogs.
- Short Lifespan: Despite their regal presence, Great Danes have a relatively short lifespan compared to other breeds. On average, they live between 6 to 8 years. However, with proper care, nutrition, and regular veterinary check-ups, some individuals can exceed this lifespan.
- Heartwarming Therapy Dogs: Great Danes have a natural affinity for providing comfort and emotional support. Their gentle and patient nature makes them excellent therapy dogs, bringing joy and healing to those in need.
- Snuggle Lovers: Despite their large size, Great Danes are notorious for being “lap dogs.” They often crave close physical contact with their owners and enjoy curling up on sofas or beds, seeking warmth and affection.
- Unique Coat Patterns: Great Danes come in various coat colors and patterns. Some of the most common colorations include fawn, brindle, black, blue, harlequin, and mantle. These striking coat patterns add to their individuality and charm.
- Puppy Growth Spurts: Great Dane puppies undergo rapid growth during their first year. It is not uncommon for them to gain several pounds per week. Their growth spurt requires careful monitoring and nutrition to ensure proper bone and muscle development.
- Heart Health: Great Danes are prone to certain health issues, particularly related to their heart. Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM), a condition characterized by an enlarged heart, is more prevalent in this breed. Regular veterinary care, a balanced diet, and exercise can help maintain their heart health.
These fascinating facts showcase the unique qualities and characteristics of Great Danes, making them a beloved and awe-inspiring breed among dog enthusiasts worldwide.
The English Mastiff
English Mastiff Overview
The English Mastiff, often hailed as one of the world’s largest dog breeds, is truly a sight to behold. These magnificent dogs possess a muscular build and a massive head. They can reach heights of up to 30 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 160 and 230 pounds.
English Mastiff Temperament
Despite their imposing size, English Mastiffs are known for their docile and gentle nature. They are incredibly loyal and make excellent guardians, always willing to protect their loved ones.
English Mastiff Key Points
- Muscular build and massive head
- Docile and gentle nature
- Excellent guardians
- Incredibly loyal
The English Mastiff is a remarkable breed known for its massive size and gentle nature. Here are some lesser-known facts and fun tidbits about this magnificent dog:
- Ancient Origins: The English Mastiff is one of the oldest dog breeds with a rich history. They can be traced back to ancient civilizations, including the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Romans, where they were employed as guard dogs and war dogs.
- Giant Stature: The English Mastiff holds the title for being one of the largest dog breeds in terms of size. Adult males can weigh between 160 to 230 pounds (73 to 104 kg), while females typically range from 120 to 170 pounds (54 to 77 kg). They can stand as tall as 30 inches (76 cm) at the shoulder.
- Gentle Giants: Despite their imposing size, English Mastiffs are known for their docile and gentle temperament. They are renowned for their calm, affectionate, and patient nature, often making them excellent family pets and companions.
- Record-Breaking Weight: The English Mastiff named “Zorba” holds the record for the heaviest dog ever recorded. He weighed a staggering 343 pounds (156 kg) and measured 37 inches (94 cm) at the shoulder. This exceptional example of the breed set a remarkable milestone in the canine world.
- Watchful Guardians: English Mastiffs have a strong protective instinct and make excellent guard dogs. Their imposing size, deep bark, and watchful nature serve as deterrents to potential intruders. However, their gentle disposition means they are typically more likely to rely on intimidation rather than aggression.
- Historical Roles: Throughout history, English Mastiffs played various roles beyond guarding. They were used for big game hunting, as war dogs, and even as protectors of castles and estates. Their loyalty and courage made them highly valued assets in various capacities.
- Slobber Champions: English Mastiffs are notorious for their slobbering tendencies. Their large jowls and loose lips can produce copious amounts of drool, which can be amusing and endearing to some but may require extra cleanup and maintenance.
- Short Lifespan: Unfortunately, the English Mastiff has a relatively short lifespan compared to many other breeds. On average, they live between 6 to 10 years. However, proper care, regular exercise, and a balanced diet can help promote their overall health and longevity.
- Gentle with Children: English Mastiffs are known for their patience and gentle nature, particularly with children. They often form strong bonds with family members, including little ones, and are renowned for their nurturing and protective instincts.
- Canine Celebrities: English Mastiffs have made appearances in various forms of media, including movies and television shows. Notable examples include the character “Hercules” in the film “The Sandlot” and the lovable pup “Marmaduke” in the comic strip and subsequent movies.
These lesser-known facts and fun tidbits highlight the unique qualities and fascinating history of the English Mastiff. With their massive size, gentle temperament, and rich heritage, they continue to capture the hearts of dog enthusiasts around the world.
The Saint Bernard
Saint Bernard Overview
Saint Bernard is a breed renowned for its impressive size and legendary rescue efforts in the Swiss Alps. These gentle giants can reach heights of up to 27.5 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 140 and 180 pounds. Saint Bernard is one of the largest dog breeds in the world.
Saint Bernard Temperament
Saint Bernards are known for their friendly and patient temperament. They are incredibly sociable, making them ideal family pets. Saint Bernards is one of the largest dog breeds. Despite their massive size, they are gentle and great with children.
Saint Bernard Key Points
- Impressive size
- Legendary rescue efforts
- Friendly and patient temperament
- Ideal family pets
The Saint Bernard dog, known for its iconic appearance and gentle nature, holds some interesting and lesser-known facts. Let’s explore these fascinating aspects of this beloved breed:
- Rescue Prowess: Saint Bernards have a remarkable history as rescue dogs in the Swiss Alps. With their keen sense of smell and strong instincts, they were trained to locate lost or stranded travelers in treacherous mountain conditions.
- Impressive Size: Saint Bernards are renowned for their large size. Adult males can weigh between 140 to 180 pounds (64 to 82 kg), while females typically range from 120 to 140 pounds (54 to 64 kg). They stand at a height of 25.5 to 27.5 inches (65 to 70 cm) at the shoulder.
- Barrel Myth: Contrary to popular belief, Saint Bernards did not carry barrels of brandy around their necks. This misconception likely originated from tales and artwork depicting them as rescuers providing warmth to stranded travelers. In reality, they relied on their tracking abilities and physical presence to aid those in need.
- Gentle and Patient: Saint Bernards are known for their gentle and patient nature, particularly with children. They possess a calm and friendly temperament, making them excellent family pets and companions.
- Winter Adaptation: These dogs have several physical adaptations that aid them in snowy conditions. Their broad chests and powerful legs allow them to navigate through deep snow with ease. Additionally, their thick double coat provides insulation and protection from the cold.
- Movie Star Status: Saint Bernards has made appearances in various movies, capturing the hearts of audiences. Notable examples include the lovable character “Beethoven” in the film franchise of the same name.
- Short Lifespan: Unfortunately, Saint Bernards have a relatively short lifespan compared to many other breeds. On average, they live between 8 to 10 years. Providing them with proper nutrition, regular exercise, and routine veterinary care can contribute to their overall health and well-being.
- Slobber Alert: Saint Bernards are notorious for their slobbering tendencies. Their large jowls and loose lips can produce copious amounts of drool, requiring extra cleanup and care.
- Great Family Dogs: Saint Bernards are often described as gentle giants and are known for their affectionate and sociable nature. They enjoy being a part of the family and thrive in environments where they receive love, attention, and social interaction.
- Remarkable Strength: Despite their friendly disposition, Saint Bernards possess incredible strength. They were originally bred to have the power and stamina to traverse challenging terrain and assist in rescues, showcasing their robust physical capabilities.
These lesser-known facts and fun tidbits shed light on the captivating qualities and history of Saint Bernard. With their rescue heritage, gentle temperament, and impressive presence, they continue to hold a special place in the hearts of dog lovers worldwide.
The Newfoundland captures hearts with size, strength, and sweetness. These dogs have webbed feet and a water-resistant coat, making them excellent swimmers. They can reach heights of up to 28 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 100 and 150 pounds.
Newfoundlands, the largest dog breeds are known for their kindness and patience. They are exceptionally gentle with children and possess a strong instinct to protect their families.
Newfoundland Key Points
- Size, strength, and sweetness
- Excellent swimmers
- Kind and patient nature
- The strong instinct to protect
The Leonberger is a majestic breed originating in Germany. These dogs possess a striking appearance, with their thick, water-resistant coat and lion-like mane. They can reach heights of up to 31.5 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 120 and 170 pounds.
Leonbergers are known for their gentle and friendly dispositions. They are highly trainable, making them excellent working dogs and companions.
Leonberger Key Points
- Majestic appearance
- Thick, water-resistant coat
- Gentle and friendly disposition
- Highly trainable
The Irish Wolfhound
Irish Wolfhound Overview
The Irish Wolfhound is a breed steeped in history and known for its grace and nobility. These dogs have a slender build and a long, rough coat. They can reach heights up to 32 inches at the shoulder. They weigh between 105 and 180 pounds.
Irish Wolfhound Temperament
Irish Wolfhounds, the largest dog breeds are known for their sweet and gentle nature. Despite their size, they are extremely good with children and maintain calm and patient behavior.
Irish Wolfhound Key Points
- Grace and nobility
- Slender build and long, rough coat
- Sweet and gentle nature
- Remarkably good with children
The Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiff Overview
The Tibetan Mastiff is an ancient breed known for its impressive size and protective instincts. These dogs have a dense double coat, allowing them to thrive in harsh weather conditions. They can reach heights of up to 26 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 90 and 150 pounds.
Tibetan Mastiff Temperament
Tibetan Mastiffs are known for their independent and intelligent nature. They are fiercely loyal and make excellent guardians.
Tibetan Mastiffs Key Points
- Ancient breed
- Impressive size and protective instincts
- Dense double coat
- Independent and intelligent nature
The Anatolian Shepherd
Anatolian Shepherd Overview
The Anatolian Shepherd is a breed that combines strength, agility, and endurance. Originating from Turkey, these dogs were traditionally used to guard livestock. They can reach heights of up to 29 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 90 and 150 pounds.
Anatolian Shepherd Temperament
Anatolian Shepherds are known for their loyalty and protective instincts. They are intelligent and make excellent working dogs.
Anatolian Shepherd Key Points
- Strength, agility, and endurance
- Traditional livestock guardians
- Loyalty and protective instincts
- Highly intelligent
The Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dog Overview
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a striking breed originating from the Swiss Alps. These dogs possess a tricolor coat with distinctive markings. They can reach heights of up to 27.5 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 70 and 115 pounds.
Bernese Mountain Dog Temperament
Bernese Mountain Dogs are known for their friendly and affectionate nature. They are great with children. Bernese Mountain Dogs are great family companions.
Bernese Mountain Key Points
- Striking appearance
- Tricolor coat with distinctive markings
- Friendly and affectionate nature
- Great with children
The Dogue de Bordeaux
Dogue de Bordeaux Overview
The Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as the French Mastiff, is a powerful and muscular breed. The French Mastiff breed originated in France. These dogs have massive heads and distinctively wrinkled faces. They can reach heights of up to 27 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 110 and 145 pounds.
Dogue de Bordeaux Temperament
Dogue de Bordeaux is known for its calm and patient temperament. They are loyal and protective, making them excellent family guardians.
Dogue de Bordeaux Key Points
- Powerful and muscular breed
- The massive head and distinctive wrinkled face
- Calm and patient temperament
- Loyal and protective
The Great Pyrenees
Great Pyrenees Overview
The Great Pyrenees, also known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, is a majestic and powerful breed originating from the Pyrenees mountains. These dogs have a beautiful double coat, with a thick, weather-resistant outer layer and a dense undercoat. They can reach heights of up to 32 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 85 and 115 pounds.
Great Pyrenees Temperament
The Great Pyrenees are known for their calm and patient nature. They are incredibly devoted and protective of their families, making them excellent guardians. They are also gentle and affectionate, creating a strong bond with their loved ones.
Great Pyrenees Key Points
- Majestic and powerful breed
- Beautiful double coat
- Calm and patient nature
- Devoted and protective
The Cane Corso
Cane Corso Overview
The Cane Corso, an Italian breed, is known for its strength, athleticism, and imposing presence. These dogs have large heads, strong muscles, and a short, dense coat. They can reach heights of up to 28 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 88 and 120 pounds.
Cane Corso Temperament
Cane Corsos are known for their loyalty and protective instincts. They are highly intelligent and require firm and consistent training. While they are devoted to their families, they can be reserved with strangers, making them excellent guard dogs.
Cane Corso Key Points
- Italian breed with strength and athleticism
- Large head and strong muscles
- Loyal and protective instincts
- Reserved with strangers
Each breed brings its charm, temperament, and characteristics, making them suitable for different lifestyles and preferences.
With their remarkable size and unique characteristics, these top 12 largest dog breeds delight our hearts and leave a lasting impression. Whether you’re looking for a gentle giant to cuddle with or a loyal guardian to protect your family, these breeds offer a wide range of options to suit different lifestyles and preferences.
Remember, owning a large dog breed requires proper care, training, and socialization. If you’re considering adding one of these magnificent dogs to your family, make sure to research and understand their specific needs to ensure a happy and fulfilling companionship.
So, why not embark on a wonderful journey with one of these impressive canine companions? The joy, love, and loyalty they bring will enrich your life in ways you never imagined.