If you love dogs but don’t know how to choose which breed is the right one for you, then we are here to help. Dogs come in all shapes, sizes, and even fur colors. Each dog has different needs as well as exercise requirements. This guide is here to teach you all about the 15 biggest dogs in the world and to help you choose which one you can best accommodate in your home. These dogs may be a lot to love but they all generally have great temperaments and a range of quirky personality traits for you to choose from. Listed below are interesting facts and tidbits of information to help you pick out a lovable giant.
15 of the World's Largest Dog Breeds
1. Great Dane
If you’ve ever seen Scooby Doo, then you may have a pretty good idea what we’re talking about with the Great Dane breed. This dog breed originates from Germany and one Great Dane named Zeus made the Guinness Book of World Records for being the tallest dog in the world. The breed is even cited as having possibly existed around the time of the Roman empire. This dog makes for a good guard dog due to their large and intimidating size. The dog was once a hunting breed as well but over years the characteristics were bred out in favor of other traits for the breed. This breed, like almost every large dog, will have some health issues, so you should research before owning and know what to watch out for.
Male Great Danes come out to 30 to 34 inches tall and usually weigh in at 120 to 200 pounds. Female Great Danes, on the other hand, are generally 28 to 32 inches tall, slightly shorter than the male and weigh in at about 100 to 130 pounds. The overall lifespan of a Great Dane is around 7 to 10 yearsin length. This dog is generally welcoming to strangers but does have a protective mode that the dog will begin to go into if it’s irritated to an extreme point. This dog is among one of the easier to train breeds, but like all dogs, it is easier to work with at a young age. The dog’s coat is also very short, which in turn translates to less grooming duties to take care of.
The Mastiff has helped breed several other types of dogs over the years with some of them being on this very list. These dogs are said to have originated in Britain, from where they were originally exported later on to use in hunting sports. Male and female Mastiffs have some size differences with males ranging from 30 to 33 inches in height and weighing in at 150 to 250 pounds, compared to the female’s average height of 27.5 to 30 inches and much lower average weight of 120 to 180 pounds. There is no questioning these dogs are big, but many consider them to be the largest breed of dog around. Like many large dogs, their lifespan can vary greatly depending on their individual health and diet but a range of 6 to 10 years of age is average. A major factor to a Mastiff’s health is ensuring regular exercise to avoid obesity problems known to occur with the breed. Mastiffs also can overheat easily if overworked so it is best to use caution and keep plenty of water around for your canine friend. Surprisingly, Mastiffs handle living indoors better than a full-time outdoors life and will most likely feel just as comfortable in your living room as in your backyard.
3. Neapolitan Mastiff
Another of the Mastiff line, this breed offers a lovable giant to you and your family and a major deterrent to home intruders all in one package. Like other Mastiffs, they are very large with males reaching anywhere from 26 to 31 inches tall and weighing between 150 to 200 pounds and females ranging from 24 to 29 inches tall and weighing between 120 to 175 pounds. These Mastiffs are somewhat more athletic and energetic and like to be able to move around, but are still fond of staying close to their family and being a part of the group. They also have notably deep barks and are known to be fairly intimidating to anyone intruding into a home where one of these family dogs are living. Their expected lifespan is also a little longer than a typical Mastiff, with their minimum average of 8 years of age and up to 10 years old, meaning a healthy pup can live a long life with your family if given the proper exercise and diet.
Bullmastiffs are a breed derived partly from an extinct breed of dog called the “Old English Bulldog”. This dog breed doesn’t stop its growth until about 3 years of age, which catches some owners off guard. The breed is also known for being on the silent side of things, unless they feel threatened, and is another breed on the list that will not make the best guard dogs. This dog breed began in England and wasn’t recognized as a breed until 1924.
These dogs aren’t as big as other Mastiffs, but they’re still considered quite large in comparison to other breeds. Male Bullmastiffs can be as tall as 25 to 27 inches and weigh about 110 to 130 pounds whereas female Bullmastiffs can be as tall as 24 to 26 inchesand weigh about 100 to 120 pounds. They make wonderful indoor dogs but will require some outdoor exercise and roaming time under their owner’s supervision; as the Bullmastiff is an independent breed and will require some training
5. Saint Bernard
Saint Bernards are often coined as being the gentle giants of the dog world. These big lovable fellows prefer an indoor life that is close to the comfort of their family. You often see these dogs pictured with barrels around their necks and are often featured in most media as a rescue dog. One of the downsides to this breed, however, is their constant drooling and their coat attracting quite a bit of mud and other debris. No matter where they go, they release a small puddle of drool that some neat freaks may find too much to handle at first. These dogs are a little bit lazier than most breeds and will prefer to have plenty of space to lie around with you during the day.
The Saint Bernard is a hefty breed with male Saint Bernards being from 28 to 30 inches tall and weighing as much as 140 to 180 pounds. Female Saint Bernards can be anywhere from 26 to 28 inches tall and can weigh as much as 120 to 140 pounds. Like many other breeds on this list, the Saint Bernard’s lifespan is a bit shorter compared to other breeds, being only 8 to 10 years of age depending on its diet and exercise. Due to their large size, the Saint Bernard may be friendly towards children but can be a bit clumsy as it is unaware of its own size.
Newfoundlands are a strong and hard-working dog breed that will need quite a bit of room due to its size and need for exercise. Male Newfoundlands can grow to be as tall as 28 inches with female Newfoundlands being able to grow to be 26 inches tall. Newfoundlands also weigh quite a bit with males being anywhere from 130 pounds to 150 pounds and females weighing from 100 pounds to 120 pounds. They have very thick coats that are known for being water resistant and the breed is often used as rescue dogs in some situations.
This is another dog breed known for their rapid growth during puppyhood. This dog is marked for having a very sweet temperament and is great with children. This breed, like a few other breeds on the list, cannot be left alone for sizable amounts of time. This dog will need a family or active setting where they can acquire a lot of attention daily.
7. Dogue de Bordeaux
This breed has an interesting name that reflects its place of origin, being Bordeaux, France. The breed is a little harder to get puppies from as it has issues with producing completely healthy offspring. This dog breed is known for being a working dog and has plenty of energy and a good focus. The Dogue de Bordeaux is often depicted as being an amazing dog for a family due to its affectionate nature and loyal personality.
Male Bordeaux can be as tall as 23.5 to 27 inches and weigh around 110 pounds and female Bordeaux can be as tall as 23 to 26 inches and weigh in at a minimum of99 pounds. Despite this dog’s loyal and loving nature, the Bordeaux can be quite stubborn at times and will require patience and lots of training. With enough training, the Bordeaux will make great guard dogs and even therapy dogs.
8. Cane Corso
The Cane Corso was originally a farming breed of dog. This breed is good as an all-around hunting and guard dog, although this causes them to need a lot of play time. This breed of dog can get into trouble if you don’t tire him out and provide new toys or activities consistently. The Cane Corso also has a tendency to be cold to those he’s not in constant contact with; and if not trained properly, it can end up defensive around people it’s not familiar with. This dog also has a possibility of damaging your house if left alone for long periods of time due to their working nature and is probably best kept outside unless you can come across a Cane Corso with an extremely calm temperament.
The male Cane Corso usually are anywhere from 25 to 27.5 inches tall and female Cane Corsos being as tall as 23.5 to 26 inches with both male and females weighing around 90 to 120 pounds. These dogs can be fidgety and if not kept doing something, they tend to run around their yard or start digging to occupy their time. These dogs are family-oriented and are very protective of their owners and extremely wary of strangers. The Cane Corso is not the best choice for people looking for their first dog as they require a lot of training and attention.
9. Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees is a breed that would work great as a family pet that is allowed to move freely about your home and property. They boast a great size with males averaging 27 to 32 inches tall and weighing 100 to 160 pounds, while females typically are at an average of 25 to 29 inches tall and weigh 85 to 115 pounds, giving them a large stature but not too much weight. The Great Pyrenees will bond with your family and be friendly but like any person, it will want some personal time to do their own thing for a while. They were originally bred as livestock guards, which is where this independence came from as well as their intelligence. They would be a great fit in a home where they have a portion of the day to themselves to have their personal space as well as a portion of the day to get some interaction with the family on a regular basis.
10. Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog is a beautiful large breed with its tri-colored coat consisting of black, white, and brown. Male Bernese Mountain Dogs weigh anywhere from 70 to 115 pounds andweighing around 70 to 95 pounds if the dog is a female. As for height, you are looking between 25 to 27.5 inches for male Bernese Mountain Dogs and 23 to 26 inches for the females. They can grow up to two feet tall, making this the dog for you if you are looking for a big cuddle buddy. Their coat is thick which can keep them warm in cold temperatures and consists of two layers of fur, one containing long fur and the bottom layer consisting of thicker, protective fur.
The Bernese is a working dog meaning you may find that they have a lot of energy to spare. For this breed, you may find yourself taking a few more walks than average with your new partner. Like many large breeds of dogs, you should also be prepared for rapid growth after the four-month mark of puppyhood. Be aware that the dog's joints won’t fully form for two years and will need to be held back from heavy exercise until then. This dog is bred for cold climates, so pay special attention to him in warm weather to avoid heat stroke or other serious health conditions.
11. Tibetan Mastiff
The Tibetan Mastiff is a dog that will require a skilled hand when it comes to training but can offer a level of companionship that everyone would dream of having with their canine companions. They are quite large, as most Mastiffs are, with males being as tall as 26 inches and weighing 100 to 160 pounds and females as tall as 24 inches and weighing 75 to 125 pounds. The challenge with these dogs is their stubbornness, they will likely be a handful during training and can be frustrating for even those well versed in training methods. However, if you can handle the training phase then your furry friend will be loyal to a fault and can even react to your emotions. While it can be great to have a friend that knows when you’re feeling a little blue and wants to cheer you up, these dogs can also get stressed by any yelling or if you or another person are upset. To prevent this, be sure to take the time to train them so it will keep them understanding the difference between right and wrong but not feeling too sad when you have to tell them no.
12. Black Russian Terrier
The Black Russian Terrier is a great companion for someone that wants their dog to be with them at all times. This breed is a bit lighter than others listed here males can be between 27 to 30 inches in height and females between 26 to 29 inches tall with a breed average weight between 80 to 140 pounds. As an active breed, these dogs will need lots of exercise and outdoor time to burn through their energy on a regular basis. These dogs also like to stick close to their owner or family and can be untrusting of new people or animals and will defend you if they think you are in danger, so remember to show them strangers aren’t all bad and keep their nature in mind when introducing them to new people and animals.
The Leonberger is a breed of dog that originates from Germany and is considered a working breed. The breed has done several things in its past from pulling carts to becoming water rescue dogs in Canada. The dog was also bred as a kind of symbol that was supposed to resemble the lion in the crest of the town of Leonberg, Germany.
The Leonberger is a mixture of multiple large breeds on this list such as the Saint Bernard, the Newfoundland, and the Great Pyrenees. Male Leonbergers can be as tall as 28 to 31.5 inches and female Leonbergers can be up to 25.5 to 29.5 inches tall and both male and females weigh around 120 to 170 pounds. Leonbergers have a beautiful fur coat but are prone to constant shedding, making these dogs not the best choice for those wishing for a fur-free home.
14. Irish Wolfhound
The Irish Wolfhound is a hunting breed of dog used to chase down the wild game and has even been known to help fight in ancient wars. The breed hails from Ireland and despite its fierce hunting habits, they make horrible guard dogs due to their quiet nature. Interestingly enough, this breed also was restricted to nobility back in the day and often was seen being used as a gift between royal families. These dogs will need a home with lots of room to run due to their roaming nature. Without adequate room for the dog to exercise, you may start to encounter health problems in your pet such as underdeveloped muscles.
Irish Wolfhounds are some of the tallest dog breeds in the world with males being as tall as 34 to 35 inches and weighing around 140 to 180 pounds and females can be anywhere from 32 to 34 inches tall and weigh about 115 to 140 pounds. The Irish Wolfhound were originally bred as hunting dogs and are prone to chasing wild animals due to its instincts. Due to their large size, many Irish Wolfhounds have health issues that cause it to have a shorter lifespan compared to other breeds at only 6 to 8 years.
15. Scottish Deerhound
Bred as hunting dogs, this breed is prone to exercise and outdoor activities but may need a supervised area to keep them from sprinting off to chase whatever catches their interest. These dogs are fairly tall and light with males ranging from 30 to 32 inches tall but ranging from 85 to 110 pounds and females averaging at 28 inches tall and ranging from 75 to 95 pounds. Their build makes them quick and imposing for their original purpose, and their instincts have stayed with them. Typically they are friendly to people and animals, but if let loose in your yard they are likely to eventually chase after a small animal or other prey they find interesting and could get lost. A fenced yard is recommended for these active dogs to keep them from losing their way while allowing them to exercise whenever they feel the need.