Large dog breeds – Does size matter
Despite the fact that small dogs look all the rage with celebrities, many dog lovers prefer a dog that is bigger than a cat. I’m not just talking about big dogs – there’s no way! I’m talking gigantic : the bigger the better.
You may be thinking, “Big dogs?” Well, obviously it’s either a great Dane, an Irish wolfhound or a Newfoundland. ” There is no doubt that the individuals in these breeds are very large. In fact, the tallest dog on record is the Great Dane, and the heaviest is the English Mastiff. But does this mean that these breeds are the largest on average?
You may be surprised ….
For this largest list of dog breeds
If you do a quick search on the Internet, you will find quite a few lists of the largest dog breeds. You will see the same ones listed over and over again, and I’m sure you already have an idea who these are. However, sometimes you will come across an unusual breed that should be on the list of the largest, but it is not. This is usually because many of these lists use AKC (American Kennel Club) standards to determine which breeds make their list. What these lists cannot take into account is that the ACC does not recognize all dog breeds. In fact, there are some very large dogs that are not even on their stock lists.
However, this list of the 10 largest dog breeds does not only adhere to AKC standards or even the FCI (or the Fédération Cynologique Internationale, the International Federation of Breeding Clubs). If this is a large breed of dog recognized by at least one legal kennel, this is fair play for my list! Since I’m talking about the “biggest” dog breeds, I probably don’t need to specify “only breeds over 75 pounds” or “only over 26 inches.” These breeds are on average the tallest, heaviest, bravest dog breeds in the world. Most of these breeds average over 175 pounds of pure canine muscle (with little down thrown).
# 10 Neapolitan Mastiff – Mastino Napoletano
How could you not love such a person? The Neapolitan Mastiff (also known as the Italian Mastiff) comes in at # 10. Males are an average of 30 inches tall (at the withers) and about 165 pounds. Breed standards typically set the upper height limit for males at 31 inches, although they do not appear to be penalized for being higher as long as proper body proportions are maintained. “Massiveness” is important for the breed standard; a dog can be disqualified if there is no type of massiveness.
Despite their large imposing exterior, Neapolitan Mastiffs are generally gentle and protective of their family, aloof and wary of strangers. As such, Mastini must be socialized properly from an early age; these powerful dogs often don’t want to throw their weight around, but they do!
# 9 Leonberger – “Gentle Lion”
# 9 is Leonberger, a gentle lion from Germany. These large cute dogs are about 30 inches tall on average and weigh about 170 pounds. The breed was developed near the town of Leonberg, Germany (hence the name) in the 19th century with the help of a female Newfoundland and a male St. Bernard. Throw in the Great Pyrenees and the veil a little later ! A gentle giant who shows the best features of all his ancestors.
Leonbergers are well known for being family dogs. They are usually calm, obedient dogs that play well with other animals and children. Initially, they were seen as a statutory symbol, but the owners quickly realized Leonberger’s great potential as a guardian of the home and herds and for working in the black. Like St. Bernards and Newfoundlands, Leonbergers are often used in search and rescue, even in water. Surprisingly, only eight Leonbergers survived World War II. Careful breeding and management brought them back from the brink of extinction.
№ 8 Boerboel – South African Mastiff
The bourboel, or South African mastiff, was bred specifically to protect farms and herds in South Africa. As you can imagine, you will need a fairly strong, ferocious dog to protect your farm from typical South African predators (hyenas, lions and other big cats). Bourboel’s character – calm, confident, loyal and territorial, without being too aggressive – was very suitable for this job. The size of the breed also helped: males usually stand about 27 inches in the shoulder and weigh about 175 pounds.
Unfortunately, the breed has developed a reputation as a fighter and was actually banned in Denmark. The qualities that made the Boerboel ideal for guarding South African farms – confidence, territorial character and a penchant for protection to the death – make the breed well suited for pit control. Without proper training and socialization, the protective nature of the bubble can turn into aggression, both towards humans and other animals.
# 7 Central Asia Shepherd – Asian
As its name suggests, the Central Asian Shepherd (Shepherd Dog), also known as an Asian, is a native of Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and surrounding countries). CAO (for short) is commonly used throughout Central Asia as a herd keeper. The breed is also popular in Russia, where it is often called “volkodav” (“wolf”) or “volk drobilka” (“wolf crusher”).
There are many breed standards for the Central Asian Shepherd, but most agree that the dog should be “larger than average size with great strength and power.” Males are often over 32 inches at the withers and usually weigh about 175 pounds. These dogs are still often used as guardians of both home and herds, but also for hunting and fighting. Like any other dog bred for battle, the AOC can be aggressive, but most are loving family members and work well with other members of their pack. In fact, in many registries in the region, AOCs must pass an initial test before being registered. Naturally aggressive dogs would naturally not pass this test.
# 7 Giant Alaskan Malamute
I was recently introduced to these beautiful giants and had to add them to my list! Linked to place №7 with the Central Asian Shepherd is the giant Alaskan Malamute. These beauties stand about 35 “in the withers and weigh over 190 pounds. Unlike the common Alaskan Malamute man, he stands about 25” inches and weighs about 85 pounds. This makes this puppy a giant sled dog!
The giant Alaskan Malamute is a descendant of the M’loot type of Malamute (the other two species are Kotzebue and Himan-Irwin – see this article on the history of the Alaskan Malamute for more information). The M’Loot type is usually larger than the others. Most (if not all) dog registries do not recognize the giant Alaskan Malamute as a separate breed from the Alaskan Malamute. But because I love giant, fluffy dogs, I put that on the list!
# 6 Tibetan Mastiff – Do-khi and Tsang-khi
No, this dog is not part of a lion. The Tibetan Mastiffs, which are associated for №6 with the English Mastiffs, are large, have an impressive and scary appearance and often have an attitude towards the match! Despite its common name, this dog is not actually a mastiff breed. The usual Chinese name for mandarin is Zang’Ao, which basically means “Tibetan Mastiff”, or better yet, “Tibetan Fierce Dog”, which is appropriate because the breed has a reputation for being fierce with strangers and extremely protective of owners. you are.
There are two types of Tibetan Mastiffs: Do-khi (“door guard” is a rough interpretation), which are traditionally used as guardians of the herd and the home, and Tsang-khi (roughly meaning “Tsang dog”), which are used as temple guards. Tsang-khi is usually larger than Do-khi, with men often averaging about 30 inches and weighing about 180 pounds. Western breeders seem to breed for size, as it is not uncommon to find dogs that are over 31 inches tall and weigh over 200 pounds (maximum weight of 282!).
Oh, by the way, this breed has the distinction that it is currently the most expensive dog on the planet. In 2011, a Chinese man paid $ 1.5 million for a dog named Big Splash, a beautiful red 11-month-old Tibetan Mastiff that was nearly 36 inches tall at the time of sale and weighed about 180 pounds (remember, he still has not yet reached the age of majority!). And let’s not forget that the Big Splash took the most expensive dog title from another Tibetan Mastiff, the Yangtze River number two, which sold for over $ 600,000 in 2009. As if the price tag isn’t discouraging enough, apparently these award-winning whips are feeding special diet of beef, chicken, abalone and sea cucumber!
# 6 English Mastiff – The Old English Mastiff
According to the Guinness Book of World Records , the heaviest dog was ever an Old English Mastiff named Hercules. The bad guy was overweight and was beaten for the title a few years later by another mastiff named Kel.
It is well known that English Mastiffs are one of the largest dogs around, so why is this breed # 6? Despite the fact that many individual English Mastiffs become much larger than the average for the breed, the fact is that the average breed puts males about 30 inches tall and about 180 pounds. This puts them in the same range as the Tibetan Mastiff and Cao dos Mourey (which I did not include in this list as it is a relatively unknown and recently developed breed). So, although your mastiff may be much larger than the breeds №1 to №5 on this list, there are at least five breeds on average that are larger than the mastiffs. (Can you guess what they are?)
# 5 Mee Kyun Dosa – Korean Mastiff
Yes, somewhere under all this skin is a dog. The Mee Kyun Dosa (or Korean Mastiff) looks like a cross between a Neapolitan Mastiff and a Shar Pei (or like a dog dressed in a five-fold skin suit). It’s hard to say with all these wrinkles, but the Dosa usually stands about 30 inches and weighs about 180 pounds, which makes it just smaller than the typical Tosa Inu and just bigger than the typical English Mastiff.
The Korean Mastiff is rare outside Korea, where they were developed by crossing Tosa Inu, Dog de Bordeaux and possibly Bloodhounds and Neapolitan Mastiffs. Despite their fighting canine origins, the Dosas are known for their gentle, loving nature and rather slow movement (trying to move all those wrinkles!). Instead of moving gracefully, they weave like bears. Dosas are great companions, although they are bred as guard dogs (and are sometimes used for battles in Korea). These nice guys have smooth, shiny coats in red, mahogany and chocolate.
# 4 Tosa Inu – Japanese Mastiff
Tosa Inu, also known as the Japanese Mastiff, is known as the sumo wrestler of the dog world. In fact, Tosa’s most respected fighters are often awarded the title of Yokozuna, the same title as the highest-ranking sumo wrestlers. Tosa is also known as Tosa Tuken, which means “dog to fight Tosa.”
Like many of the breeds on this list, there is no upper limit on the height or weight specified in the Tosa breed standard. Male Tosas are on average 28 inches tall and weigh about 200 pounds, although many Western breeders breed for taller, heavier dogs, so it’s not uncommon to see Tosas taller than 30 inches and 220 pound. Because Tosas have been bred for battle, they tend to be aggressive, although with proper training and socialization, Tosas can make great companions.
# 4 St. Bernard – “St. Dogs
Tied to Tosa Inu for position №4 is Saint Bernard, perhaps one of the most recognizable dogs on the list. Unlike most of the breeds on this list that are bred to fight, hunt or guard herds, Saint Bernard was bred to rescue humans and herds of animals in the Italian and Swiss Alps. Their name comes from the passenger station in the Alps, founded by the 11th century monk Bernard of Montjux, who became Saint Bernard.
These loving dogs have an average height of 31 inches and a weight of about 200 pounds, although much larger individuals are often observed (the largest record is 315 pounds). The original St. Bernards did not have the long coats seen today. This coat developed in the 19th century after the population of St. Bernard was destroyed by avalanches. The breed was crossed with Newfoundland to regain its numbers. Unfortunately, long hair would freeze in the snow, and many Saint Bernards lost their traditional jobs. Due to their obedient nature, they quickly became family companions and guardians of the herd.
# 3 Spanish Mastiff – Mastín Español
The Spanish Mastiff is the largest of the breed guards. Like many others on this list, there is no upper size limit in the breed standard, but male Spanish Mastiffs are usually about 33 inches in the shoulder and weigh about 200 pounds. This breed is well known for its ability to keep cattle and without any thought will face a wolf or a bear.
Properly trained and socialized Spanish Mastiff also becomes a great family companion. They tend to be calm and protective, but can be aggressive towards other dogs, especially those who feel they are threatening their herd (and by “herd” I mean you!). Like several other breeds on this list (notably Mee Kyun Dosa), the Spanish Mastiff tends to walk, giving the dog the appearance of clumsy laziness. Make no mistake, though: when needed, these dogs can move fast to protect your sheep (or children)!
№2 Great Dane – German Mastiff
Although the great Dane often holds the title of “tallest dog”, he is second on my list. These dogs are definitely the tallest, often standing 34 inches at the withers (on their hind legs they can reach nearly 7 feet tall!) In fact, it is unusual for any dog other than the Great Dane to hold the world’s highest title. dog (the current coup stands about 43 inches in the shoulder). However, Great Danes are not usually the most bee dogs. Not that they are not 200 pounds of lean muscle. These are shiny, powerful inhabitants, well suited for hunting large animals and war.
The Danes make great comrades. They tend to be gentle giants who get along well with both humans and animals. Unlike some of the other breeds here, the great Danes usually do not show much prey. Their friendship doesn’t mean they don’t protect their families – and who’s really going to mess with such a big bastard coming at them?
# 1 Pyrenean Mastiff – Mastin del Pirineo
Finally, the largest breed of dog – the Pyrenean Mastiff (not to be confused with the Spanish Mastiff, although they may have evolved from the Spanish Mastiff). These puppies are usually about 32 inches tall and weigh over 220 pounds. This makes them tall and brave!
The breed originates from the Iberian mountain region of Spain. It is designed as a herd keeper and as such has no strong prey, but can exhibit herd behavior. They are obedient and somewhat lazy until it’s time to work. They were the only protection of the herd from wolves and bears in the Pyrenees; their size and protective nature ensured the safety of the herd. Aggression towards strangers and other potential predators is encouraged to guard the herd. However, the Iberian Mastiff is generally a very calm, loving dog that rarely barks and shows real aggression only when there are no other options.
Did you notice …
Most of the large dog breeds on this list are mastiff species? This type of dog is called a molosser, which comes from the ancient Molos breed, related to the Moloss tribe of ancient Greece (do you see another topic with the name?). The Molos breed is thought to have a broad, short snout (similar to mastiffs) and is used primarily as a fighting and hunting dog.
Of course, there is another camp that claims that the Moloss was actually a light dog, more like a modern greyhound, and that the modern type of mastiff comes from a very different ancient dog, Allow, who is thought to look very much like a Caucasian Shepherd. The interesting part of this theory is that the Allunt is thought to have originated from a mastiff-type dog known as the Sarmatian Mastiff (believed to be close to the Caucasian Shepherd).
In other words, at one point somewhere in the ancient world there was a cursed big muscular dog, which is the ancestor of the modern mastiff dog.
Excuse me?! How about …?: Extended list of the largest dog breeds
I realize that I have left several popular large breeds of dogs. This may not work well with some of you, but they might not fit on my list (then it won’t be in the top 10!). So what is my excuse for leaving some breeds like Newfoundland, Dog de Bordeaux, Irish Wolfhound, Great Swiss Mountain Dog and others?
I created a spreadsheet with large (ok, giant) dog breeds. In it I listed average heights and weights for males of the breeds (females are usually smaller), then sorted by weight, then by height. The top ten made my list. Just like that. Here are the next twenty or more breeds that have not compiled the list, but are worth mentioning. Some of my favorites are here!
Other large breeds
- Shepherd of the Caucasus – average height 28 inches; average weight 155 pounds
- Irish Wolfhound – average height 35 inches; average weight 150 pounds
- Landseer Newfoundland – average height 32 inches; average weight 150 pounds
- Anatolian Shepherd – average height 30 inches; average weight 150 pounds
- Brolmer – average height 30 inches; average weight 150 pounds
- Newfoundland – average height 29 inches; average weight 150 pounds
- Moscow guard – average height 27 inches; average weight 150 pounds
- Kangal Dog – average height 32 inches; average weight 145 pounds
- Dogue de Bordeaux – average height 30 inches; average weight 145 lbs
- Black Russian Terrier – average height 29 inches; average weight 145 pounds
- Canis Panther – average height 30 inches; average weight 140 pounds
- Larger Swiss Mountain Dog – average height 29 inches; average weight 135 lbs
- Rafeiro do Alentejo – average height 28 inches; average weight 135 lbs
- Bullmastiff – average height 27 inches; average weight 135 lbs
- Akbash Dog – average height 32 inches; average weight 130 lbs
- Komondor – average height 28; average weight 130 lbs
- Rottweiler – average height 27 inches; average weight 130 lbs
- Perro de Presa Canario – average height 25 inches; average weight 130 lbs
- Bulgarian Shepherd – average height 30 inches; average weight 125 pounds
- Great Pyrenees – average height 29 inches; average weight 120 pounds
- American Akita – average height 28 inches; average weight 120 pounds
- Cane Corso Italiano – average height 26 inches; average weight 105 pounds (standard of the breed – some controversy, saying that the breed is constantly larger)