Tiny teacup pups aren’t for everyone – while their little paws may excite some dog lovers, there are those looking for something more dog to love. Huge breeds of dogs can be intimidating, and of course, they require more maintenance and a lot more space than one Chihuahua or a Shih Tzu, but their size makes them the best snuggly companions and when well socialized they can become amazing family members.
If you have space at home and on your sofa, a huge breed of dog will suit you perfectly. Read on for our top 10 great dog breeds.
1. English mastiff
Standing between 27-35 inches tall and weighing around 200-230 pounds, the English mastiff is among the largest breeds of dogs living today – both in size and weight. Known for their terrifying beginnings throughout history, this breed descended from ancient war dogs and is now warming couches around the world and making a loving family member. When they are not cuddling up to their favorite people, this huge breed of dog is also used for security, police, and military work thanks to their high intelligence.
2. Irish Wolfhound
Like the English mastiff that Irish Wolfhound also comes from impressive roots. Formerly used for wolf hunting (hence the name), this huge breed of dog was used in wars to pull men from horses and chariots! As you would expect, Irish Wolfhounds are very strong and can be up to 32 inches tall, but they are actually big softies at heart. With a shaggy appearance and gentle eyes, this large breed of dog is great for kids and other dogs, but they are quite energetic so you need to make sure they get plenty of exercises!
3. St. Bernard
Many often wonder about the reason for the name of the ‘St. Bernhard and it is usually believed to be attributed to their angelic temperaments, but did you know that they were actually bred by a Swiss monastery? Because of their size (usually between 28-30 inches), they were perfect for protecting the holy land. However, it soon turned out that they made incredible search and rescue dogs in the Swiss Alps, and their kind face and soft eyes meant they were a very welcome sight to lost travelers. To this day, they are used in search and rescue operations around the world and, thanks to their loving and docile temperament, are one of the most popular large dog breeds.
If you’ve heard of this giant breed of dog, it’s probably because of their love for swimming! Known as excellent lifeguards and fantastic at water sports Newfoundland even have webbed feet to give them an advantage in the water. Typically between 27 and 29 inches tall, they are highly intelligent dogs, and their lifeguard history is so ingrained that when they see them swim, they are known to try to “save” their family members. Newfoundland dogs are incredibly loving by nature, and their large and fluffy appearance makes them ideal for cuddling.
5. Dogue de Bordeaux
Also known as the French Mastiff, this large breed of dog is usually 24 to 26 inches tall and has an unusual wrinkled appearance. As a descendant of the old cattle guard breed Molossus, the Dogue de Bordeaux has had many different uses over the years. From hunting big game on French lands in the 12thth In the 18th century to drive cattle and even be a terrifying war dog, this huge breed of dog was there and did it all.
Did you know already? If you’re considering getting a Dogue de Bordeaux, know that they are at high risk of dermatitis due to their excessive skin wrinkling.
A cross between a St. Bernard, a Newfoundland, and a Pyrenean Mountain Dog Leonberger looks like a big adorable fluffball. Often around the 30-inch mark, this large breed of dog is strong and intelligent and is most commonly used for tracking and herding. They are best suited for experienced owners with or without Obedience training they can become destructive. When well trained and socialized, the Leonberger makes an excellent family dog, but they can be delicate so they may not always be suitable for very young children.
7. Anatolian Shepherd Dog
According to the American Kennel Club, the Anatolian Shepherd Dog is an ancient Turkish breed that originated around 2000 BC. BC. Originally bred to protect herds and property, this huge breed of dog is still used for this purpose in its native Turkey today. The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is about 30 cm tall and has a fairly long lifespan compared to other large dog breeds with an average of 13 to 15 years.
Did you know already? The Anatolian Shepherd Dog has been used in Namibia to protect cheetahs since 1994. Previously, ranchers in the area would kill cheetahs to protect their herd. However, after conservationists had used Anatolian shepherds to guard, this significantly reduced the number of cheetah deaths.
8. Neapolitan mastiff
The Neapolitan mastiff is an intelligent and calm giant dog breed that was originally bred to guard houses in southern Italy. They have an unusual appearance with heavy, loose skin to protect them in the event of an attack. These oversized lapdogs are usually about 30 cm at the shoulder and thrive on human contact, so they are best suited for family life. They have to be able to handle a lot of drooling as their huge, sagging cheeks mean they are prone to drooling!
9. Great Dane
Originated as a result of a cross between the English Mastiff and the Irish Wolfhound, it should come as no surprise that the German Mastiff is one of the biggest dogs. About 30 to 34 inches tall, this large breed of dog was bred by German nobles to hunt big game such as boars and to protect their lands. In today’s world, Great Danes are known for their nature and playfulness, and they make excellent family dogs.
Did you know already? The greatest dog of all time was a Great Dane named Zeus and he was a whopping 44 inches!
10. Caucasian Shepherd
The Caucasian Shepherd is an Eastern European breed of dog that was bred to protect and keep livestock. This large breed of dog can be over 30 inches at the shoulder, and their size meant they were excellent at protecting herds and herds from predators in the Caucasus. Best for seasoned owners due to their tenacity, they can also be very territorial to their home and dislike other dogs or strangers near their property. However, with proper training and socialization, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog can make a friendly and kind family dog.