Big dogs can be a lot of fun. While they’re obviously a handful, giant dog breeds have a lot of love to give and can become important parts of your life. If you’ve ever been interested in one of these gentle giants, keep reading to find out more about some of the extra large dog breeds on the planet.
Our List of Giant Dog Breeds
Likely the tallest breed of dog out there, these dogs are big boys and girls who typically exceed one hundred pounds and can reach up to two hundred pounds by the time they are fully grown. Gentle creatures at heart, though, these dogs are easy to train and great with the humans who they love.
Like most giant dog breeds, Great Danes need plenty of space to run and play. A bored Dane is a destructive dog, though, and you’ll want to make sure that you spend plenty of time with him or her whenever possible.
Taking second place in the battle of the large dog breeds, the Irish Wolfhound regularly grows to be about three feet tall and often weighs up to 175 pounds. This large dog is friendly and playful, though, which is a bit odd considering that these dog breeds were actually bred to take down huge prey. Today’s version can be a great competitive dog, of course, but most simply want to spend time with family and friends.
These extra large dog breeds might not be the biggest in the world, but they’re awfully close. With their huge, fluffy coats and absolutely massive bulk, these bear-like dogs were originally bred to watch livestock but now most of them live out their lives as companion animals. Definitely more of a cold-weather dog than anything else, these are animals with a significant independent streak and who are often difficult to control if you’ve never trained a dog before but they can be an excellent pet for those who have the time and patience to properly raise them.
Another large dog that can easily hit the two hundred pound mark by adulthood, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a little less well-known than its Tibetan cousin but it shares many of the same traits. A bit shorter and somewhat calmer, these dogs were originally bred as guard dogs and have kept that suspicious nature as part of the breed despite the fact that most of them are no longer working dogs. The good news, though, is that these dogs are very friendly to kids and adults alike and that they are more likely to go off alone when they get overwhelmed than to cause trouble- definitely something that works in the favor of one of the world’s largest dog breeds.
Relatively short, these are muscular dogs who often weigh more than two hundred pounds and have a reputation for being difficult to train. Not necessarily people-pleasers nor dogs who are known to have a great deal of innate intelligence, many people still do have a soft spot for these pups. Typically fairly gentle and loving once you get them trained, it takes some effort to properly socialize an English Mastiff so that they will be able to tolerate strangers.
The last in this brief list of mastiffs, the Spanish Mastiff is tall, strong, and quite ancient. With a history dating back more than two thousand years, these two hundred pounders tend to be among those who can still work as guard dogs based on their intimidating looks alone. Though not necessarily great with strangers, these dogs can become loving pets to those who have the time and energy to make sure that they are properly trained. Smart and loyal, these dogs do make great pets for experienced dog owners.
When many people think of giant dogs, they immediately picture these Swiss behemoths— definitely one of the world’s largest dog breeds. Some of the original search and rescue dogs, these quirky pets are incredibly friendly and immediately fall in love with every person they meet. In fact, the friendly nature of this breed is one of its biggest challenges, as most Saint Bernards simply don’t realize their own size. As such, proper training is a must for anyone who doesn’t want the dog to overwhelm every space in which he or she finds himself or herself.
The Pakistani Mastiff is often better known as the Bully Kutta, but it does share the same imposing mien and massive size with the rest of the mastiff class. Unlike some of their cousins, though, the Pakistani Mastiff is incredibly affectionate and can quickly become a great family dog. With a history that’s based on working as hunting and guard dogs, these dogs take some effort to train but their innate intelligence can make them fantastic pets for those who have the time and patience to ensure that they are properly raised.
Another member of the mastiff class, the Boerboel is a huge dog that was initially bred to guard livestock in South Africa. Fast, brave, and tough, these dogs are also very family-oriented. Boerboels are incredibly dedicated to their families and have a hard time being left alone, making them a fit for those families that spend a lot of time at home.
Like many of the other big dogs, Boerboels are both hard to train and incredibly intelligent. This means that they aren’t great for first-time dog owners, but that they can be good fits for patient trainers. The end result of a good training program is always a Boerboel who can become an invaluable family member.
Caucasian Shepherd Dogs
The so-called ‘Russian Bear Dog‘ is a massive beast that can stand up to thirty-four inches tall and can weigh over two hundred pounds. They look even bigger, though, because of their shaggy coats and their tough demeanor. These dogs were initially bred to protect other animals from bears and wolves, with many of them still working in that role in Russia. Unfortunately, the qualities that make them great guards make them tough to train, with most of these dogs being far beyond the ability of a first-time dog owner to learn how to control.
The Leonberger is a breed that was designed to be huge. With a bloodline that descends from Saint Bernards, Newfies, and Great Pyrenees, it’s no surprise that these dogs have ended up typically weighing around one hundred and seventy pounds. What is nice to note, though, that these dogs are incredibly affectionate and love people. Though they might eventually be good family dogs, Leonbergers take some effort to train and their size and intelligence make them a tough match for a new dog owner. With that said, those who have plenty of room for the dog and plenty of time to train can eventually find these gorgeous animals to be a great pets.
The Great Pyrenees
One of the best guard animals for livestock out there, these dogs are one of the few breeds in the world that tend to be found more often at work than at play. Loners by nature, these dogs can be great family pets but they’re just as comfortable doing their own thing. What this tends to mean is that the dogs are smart but hard to train, with that intelligence making them a bit more stubborn than one might hope. Fortunately, a well-trained Pyrenees can be a fantastic companion if you can learn how to train one.
The Perro de Presa Canario is a big dog that can often seem to be as wide as it is tall. Topping out at about two feet tall and weighing over one hundred sixty pounds, these dogs were originally cattle guards and fighting dogs. What that means for modern dog owners is that any Presa Canario that’s brought into the home needs an awful lot of socialization and should generally be kept as the only pet in the house. With some work, though, these dogs can become loyal members of a household.
Scottish Deerhounds aren’t actually all that heavy when compared to most dogs on this list. Weighing in at around one hundred twenty pounds, these dogs are still tall enough (up to thirty-two inches tall) to make this list.
As you might expect from the name, this big dog is originally bred to hunt down deer and thus remain incredibly fast even in the modern era. Most of this giant dog breed is far more relaxed than one might think, though they’re always going to need plenty of space to play. Training is a challenge due to the breed’s odd lack of motivation, but a good trainer will end up helping to turn one of these pups into an affectionate dog who tends to get along with just about anyone in his or her orbit.
The Cane Corso is well-known for being an intimidating guard dog, yet it’s also fairly small when compared to the other big animals on this list. Tipping the scales at around one hundred twenty pounds and only standing about two feet, it’s a small dog when compared to a Saint Bernard but a massive animal when compared to most other dogs.
Perhaps the best thing about the Cane Corso is how easy the breed is to train. While they might be a little big for someone who has never owned a dog before, the Cane Corso is an affectionate animal who absolutely loves to make his or her owner happy. As such, these energetic dogs can make excellent companions for those who are not intimidated by their size and don’t mind having a dog who will follow them around all day.
Dogue de Bordeaux
The Dogue de Bordeaux is generally best known for its odd face, but the truth is that this large dog breed should be better known for how much it loves being around people. A loyal dog to the extent that it can be destructive when left alone, this breed would actually rather spend time sitting on a couch with his or her owners than running around outside. This can be an intimidating challenge for those who are not used to the one hundred twenty-pound dogs, but it’s more than worthwhile if you can put in the time and effort necessary to learn how to socialize these pups.
Another big guard dog that tends to weigh around one hundred fifty pounds, Anatolian Shepherds are remarkably easy animals to train when compared to most of the big breeds on this list. While they’re just as intelligent and inquisitive as other livestock guards, these dogs are actually bigger people-pleasers than you might initially think. Though they are not particularly affectionate, they can be very protective. They are typically good with kids but do need a fair bit of socialization to reach their potential.
The Newfie is an amazing large dog breed with a unique background. While most big dogs were bred to guard people or animals, Newfoundland was actually bred to help out on fishing boats. Perhaps because of this, the Newfie also has an incredible personality that makes them a great fit for families with kids. Newfies are, however, still big dogs who require a lot of training and definitely need a firm hand when young so they can understand just how big they are.
The Bullmastiff is actually one of the smallest mastiffs, but at around one hundred thirty pounds and two feet tall, these are still massive dogs. Great family dogs who are relatively easy to train, these are smart dogs who want nothing more than to please their owners. It does take some effort to socialize Bullmastiffs, though, and spending some time with these dogs can be the best way to let them know that they are loved.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the largest dog breed in the world in 2020?
The biggest breed by height is the Great Dane, while the biggest breed by weight is the English Mastiff.
2. What are the top 10 biggest dog breeds?
Great Dane, Saint Bernard, Neapolitan Mastiff, Irish Wolfhound, Leonberger, Tibetan Mastiff, English Mastiff, Spanish Mastiff, Pakistani Mastiff, and Boerboel are currently the ten biggest breeds of dog.
3. What is the largest breed of dogs?
The biggest breed of dog by height is the Great Dane and by weight, it is the English Mastiff.
4. What is the tallest dog breed?
The tallest dog breed is the Great Dane.