Choosing a Breed

Top 10 Largest Dog Breeds

For many dog lovers, the bigger the dog, the better! It’s sometimes shocking to see a dog who’s nearly as tall as his owner, weighing in at just as much. Giant dog breeds aren’t always tougher to handle than their tiny counterparts, either, as many of them are simply gentle giants.

In no particular order, here are the top ten largest dog breeds:

1. Irish Wolfhound. Although not the heaviest, the Irish Wolfhound is considered to be the tallest of all dogs. This breed, which is often described as giant and rather commanding, is regarded as an excellent companion for many families today. An adult Irish Wolfhound male generally stands at a minimum height of 32 inches tall and a weight of 120 lbs. Its female counterpart, on the other hand, normally stands at least 30 inches and weighs 105 lbs.

2. Mastiff. Towering at a height of at least 30 inches for males and about 27.5 in for females, and weighs at a range of 120 up to 200 lbs. or even more, this large breed must have had its name taken from the Latin word “massivus” which means massive- surely a perfect description for its huge size.

3. Scottish Deerhound. This agile and long-limbed breed, which was once bred to knock the wind out of stags in the Scottish hilltops, is on the largest dogs list because of its lofty height, about 28 to 32 in, and sometimes even more, and weight of 100 to 110 lbs.

4. Great Dane. Another majestic line, this breed, also known as the “king of dogs”, used to be part of the packs that guard estates and hunt boars. Nowadays, the Great Dane is a popular family dog adored for it gentle nature and goofy personality. Male members of this breed stand at a minimum height of 30 inches and weight of 120 lbs. Females, on the other hand, usually stand about 28 inches in height and 100 lbs. in weight at the least.

5. Neopolitan Mastiff. No evildoer would want to run into this giant breed with a wrinkled and scowling face which could startle you with its massive build ranging from 24 to 31 inches in height and 110 to 150 lbs. in weight.

6. Saint Bernard. Previously used to help trapped travelers in the chilly Alps, this large breed now spends his days snuggling with the members of his family as he keeps their hearts warm with his love and affection. Towering with a height that ranges from 25.5 to 27.5 inches and a weight of about 130 to 180 lbs.

7. Black Russian Terrier. Originally bred to become guard dogs in the Soviet Union during the cold war, the Black Russian Terriers eventually moved from being military dogs to trusted family companions. While the males normally have a height of 27 to 30 inches and a weight of 110 to 132 lbs. , the females, on the other hand, stand about 26 to 29 inches tall and weigh about 100 to 110 lbs.

8. Leonberger. A mix of giant breeds like Saint Bernard, Newfoundland, and Great Pyrenees has created this another large dog that generally stands up to 28 to 31.5 inches in height and weigh about 120 to 170 pounds at maturity among males. Their female counterparts, however, are 25.5 to 29.5 inches tall, and 100 to 135 lbs. weight.

9. Newfoundland. This popular water dog, which was originally bred to swim long distances, help in hauling nets for fishermen, pull heavy loads, and rescue drowning people, stands a height of about 28 inches and a weight of 130 to 150 lbs. The female members of Newfoundland, on the other hand, have an average height of 26 inches and a weight of about 100 to 120 lbs.

10. Great Pyrenees. Another distinct large breed is the Great Pyrenees which is a flock guardian that originated in France. Territorial and protective agaisnt intruders, this huge dog towers at 27 to 32 inches in height and about 100 to 140 lbs. weight. Its females are about 25 to 29 inches tall and weigh about 85 to 110 lbs.

Do you have a giant breed dog at home? Aside from your gentle giant taking up the entire bed at night, what are some of the challenges of living with a large dog?

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Kathy Capuano

    Jul 23, 2013 at 8:01 am

    I have two Great Danes, a 160 Pound male, and a 115 pond female. They are Therapy dogs that are part of the Tail Waggin’ Tutors program at a local school, and they are much loved by students and school staff. The upsides to Danes are many. The vet bills are a consideration as they age…..the bigger the dog, the bigger the bills!

  2. Kelley

    May 21, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    We have a Newfie/great pyro mix, a Chessie, a Bernese mt. Dog and our “little dog”…a Golden! I agree that big dogs are easier and a lot less drama! They are all so friendly, loving & smart. They are easier to train and are great with kids. A little drool and a lot of fur but worth it all. They think they re lap dogs but all my babies are great cuddlers.
    Big dogs rock!

  3. Colleen

    Mar 18, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Our largest dog is an English Mastiff. I have never had a more wonderful dog. She does not need a lot of exercise and is not destructive. She is the 3rd in our family over the years and only one of the 3 have been a drooler, but she is very tolerant and expects to have her mouth and lips wiped. They sound vicious, but I have never had one of them bite. Over the years we have had St Bernard, German Shepard, Bloodhound, Pitt, Schnauzer, Boxer and several types of hounds and my favorite is our English Mastiffs. We prefer rescues and I want to urge everyone that you can even get dogs with papers from rescues if you really take the time to find them . . . if that is your thing.

  4. Leigh

    Mar 6, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    We have a newfie, a pyr X and a newfie X berner; so lots of dog hair in my house. They don’t like being confined, and have ripped apart chain link fences, eaten gyp-rock walls, and climbed through open windows when left alone. Fortunately they never tried jumping over fences, just through. Wouldn’t trade them for the world though! The very worst thing about a giant breed is the short life span.

  5. Michelle L. Baumeister, Esq.

    Mar 4, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    My Great Pyrenees is no more a challenge because of her size (other than taking up so much room on the bed, as said) than my other 6 dogs; except collectively, we have a lot of stepping over and around to do — and that’s probably good for us. Also, I don’t know about the other breeds mentioned, but Pyrenees will take off and walk forever if they have a chance.

    • Okamiko

      May 21, 2013 at 2:38 pm

      I have a Pyre at home and he can be quite naughty about not coming until he’s good and tired, but he’ll happily play tag with me and my sight hound mix (she’s a good girl and the only one of my pack that’s allowed off leash anymore, there was one other, but he’s blind and mostly deaf now, so I can’t call him anymore) Yuki will run around us until he wears out and then he’ll ram me, which let’s me catch him.

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