13 of the World’s Biggest Dog Breeds
We're talking a whole lot a love here! Big, lovable, and adorable, these dogs tip the scales at 100-plus pounds!
Massive and mellow with a huge helping of affection and loyalty, the Mastiff tips the scales at 160 to 230 pounds (females may weigh a bit less) and stands around 30 inches tall. These big dogs are fiercely protective of their human family and announce “intruders” with a thunderous bark. According to the American Kennel Club, mastiffs are adept at reading human body language and expressions and can communicate with their big, soulful eyes. Mastiffs eat a lot of kibble—here’s what veterinarians feed their own biggest dog breeds to help keep them healthy.
Almost anyone can identify a St. Bernard—there’s the popular folklore image of a St. Bernard wearing a brandy cask around its neck to rescue stranded travelers on a snowy mountainside (they actually carried food and water on the packs for rescue). You’ll also remember them from the popular Beethoven movies. Their size alone—140 to 180 pounds and around 30 inches tall—is something you don’t forget either. Fun fact: St. Bernard puppies grow big fast. According to Animal Planet, it took around 100 St. Bernard puppies to star as the canine child in Beethoven’s 2nd, because the pups grew too fast for the film schedule. Just for fun, look at how small these cute tiny breeds are compared to a St. Bernard.
Great Dane’s will hog the whole sofa, but you won’t care because they are so patient and easy-going—they’ll let you sprawl out over their ginormous portions, weighing in at 140 to 175 pounds. And as far as the biggest dog breeds go, they’re tall too, about 30 inches or more. That’s probably why Great Danes are known as the Apollo of Dogs, according to the AKC. Great Dane’s have big appetites and big hearts, but those big hearts are predisposed to heart conditions, so don’t feed them certain types of dog food.
Also known as the “farmers dog,” this broad and blocky breed has roots dating back to the 1600s. Back then, the Boerboel’s intimidating size—150 to 200 pounds—was ideal for protecting farmland and family. Because Boerboels are so territorial and protective of their family, they aren’t happy unless they are close to their family. They even have a soft spot for children. However, they generally don’t have much patience for dogs that challenge them, so dog parks might not be a good place to take your Boerboel. When in doubt, check your dog’s tail for clues as to how he’s feeling. Here’s how to decipher what your dog is trying to tell you.
Affectionately dubbed the “nanny dog,” and “Newfie,” the Newfoundland might be mistaken for a bear in your backyard. Underneath the voluminous hair is a big-boned canine tipping the scales at between 130 to 150 pounds. And as most of the biggest dog breeds with sizes matching their loving heart, Newfoundlands take the prize for best babysitter as they are exceptionally patient and fond of children. See what the Newfie and 49 other dogs looked like as adorable puppies.
Massive and majestic is the Leonberger. Bred as companions for European royalty, Leonbergers commanded attention sheerly because of their immense size (110 to 170 pounds), holding court alongside Napoleon III, Tsar Alexander II, and King Edward VII. The Leonberger is more likely to take a dip in the lake than hold court these days. Their waterproof coat and nimbleness make them skillful swimmers, but that luxurious coat needs daily brushing, and their nails need clipping every other week. Big dogs eat a lot and the grooming bills for ones with long coats add up. Here’s how much it costs when you welcome a fur baby to your family.
There are no shepherding duties for Anatolian Shepherd, originally from Turkey. This dog doesn’t use its massive weight of up to 150 pounds to round up sheep. But it does use its muscular body and keen attention to detail to protect sheep from predators. If it had a LinkedIn profile, the skills would be more like “highly observant livestock protector,” “attentive family protector,” and yes, even “watchful family pet bodyguard.” It’s so much easier to train your dog when you know these secrets from dog trainers.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
As one of the biggest dog breeds, the “Swissie” is well known for its pulling skills. The Greater Swiss, which is closely related to the Bernese Mountain Dog and is a component breed of the Saint Bernard and Rottweiler, used to pull carts of meat and dairy to the market. Swissie’s still like to pull, but today these 115- to 140-pounders are more likely to be pulling kids on carts or sleds through the snow. Looking for a dog that’s great with kids? Here’s how to find the perfect dog for your family.
If the biggest dog breeds had an award for the fastest-growing puppy, the Irish Wolfhound would be a strong contender. The breed’s growth is astounding, packing on nearly a pound a day until they are around six months old; once fully grown they usually hit 120 pounds. And this leggy breed can stand as tall as three feet at the shoulder or seven feet standing on its hind legs. As with any hound, hunting and chasing prey runs in their blood, so they’ll need exercise every day. This how much exercise other breeds need every day.
If you’re looking for a dog with a spiritual connection, the Akita is well known in Japan for being a symbol of health, happiness, and long life. New parents often receive a statute of an Akita; in fact, Japan reveres the Akita so much that they dedicated a national monument to it. An interesting fact about Akitas: they like to be clean and are virtually odorless, which is great if you plan on sharing your sofa with a dog that weighs between 100 and 130 pounds. What’s not so great is the Akita price tag— it’s one of the most expensive biggest dog breeds in the world.
The Bull Mastiff isn’t quite as big as its cousin, but its robust, powerful 130-pound body is nothing to sneeze at. The Bull Mastiff is a top-notch protector of its family and a docile family companion. As a native of England, a Bull Mastiff’s least favorite day, unsurprisingly, involves hanging around in the blistering sun. On those days, it would prefer air conditioning or the cool breezes of a front porch. Bull Mastiffs tend to be a little strong-willed, according to the AKC, so don’t make these puppy training mistakes early on.
Dogues de Bordeaux
You can call the Dogues de Bordeaux by its moniker “Mastiff of Bordeaux,” but you probably won’t find this 110-pounder nosing around in the vineyards as its head, proportionately speaking, is the largest of the dog breeds. But you probably did spot a Dogues de Bordeaux if you saw the Tom Hanks movie, Turner and Hooch. Hooch lived up to the traits of the breed—slobbering drool, stubborn and sensitive, and still undeniably lovable. Getting a new pup soon? Check out these popular names for your new family member
When you think of the biggest dog breeds, stocky and robust physiques often come to mind, but that’s not always the case. The Otterhound is large, at about 115 pounds, and tall, about 27 inches at the shoulder. And speaking of shoulders, the Otterhound is the Michael Phelps of canine swimmers. It has strong shoulders and a broad chest, with webbed feet and a waterproof coat that can power through a day of swimming. Load up your pup and take a road trip to one of these dog-friendly beaches.