Top 10 Largest Dog Breeds in the World!

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Top 10 Largest Dog Breeds in the World!

 

Painted by Robert L. Dickey for an article in the January 1922 issue of Country Life (by Don O'Brien cc2.0)
Painted by Robert L. Dickey for an article in the January 1922 issue of Country Life (by Don O’Brien cc2.0)

There are several advantages to owning a big dog. You get a dog that can scare away nosy neighbors with just one look. You get a companion for your outdoor adventures. You also have someone you can wrap your arms around and hug like a pillow.

As for the disadvantages, you’ll have to be ready for a lot of exercise — which isn’t necessarily a bad thing — for puddles of drool, hair all over your living room, big piles of poop and huge sacks of dog food. If you are, then by all means, go and get yourself a big dog!

Now, you might be asking: What is the largest dog breed? This is a tricky question, since some dogs are tall but thin and some dogs are not so tall but they’re heavily built. Nonetheless, here’s a list of the ten largest dog breeds that are sure to make anyone say, “What a big dog you have!”



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1. St. Bernard

5 years old german St. Bernard dog, 70 kg weight by VisualBeo, License: Public Domain
5 years old german St. Bernard dog, 70 kg weight by VisualBeo, License: Public Domain

The St. Bernard is one of the most proportional dog breeds, being both tall and heavy, with a massive head that matches its large body. Because of its powerful build, it was once used to pull carts in Switzerland and Italy, but became more known for finding travelers who’ve gotten lost in the snow, saving their lives. One St. Bernard, Barry, saved around forty lives throughout his lifetime.

Today, the St. Bernard is still used in weight pulling and cart pulling events in dog competitions, but is more common as a family companion. In spite of its giant size, it is gentle and loyal, and very good with children. It is also easy to groom, though its dense coat means that it has a hard time tolerating warm weather. As for exercise, it needs at least a moderate run each day to keep fit, as St. Bernards are prone to becoming overweight which, in turn, results in hip problems.

The heaviest known St. Bernard was named Benedictine Daily Double, who weighed 367 pounds (166.4 kilograms)!




2. Pakistani Mastiff

Pakistani Mastiff aka Bully Kutta by Nicolas2200
Pakistani Mastiff aka Bully Kutta by Nicolas2200

Mastiffs are among the largest dog breeds, the Pakistani mastiff included. The Pakistani mastiff, also known as the Bully Kutta (meaning “heavily wrinkled dog”), has a large head, thick bones, wide jaws and a muscular build.

It has a reputation for being aggressive, and is used in dog fights in Pakistan. However, it can be trained to be docile from an early age. The key is to show the Pakistani mastiff who’s boss — you are, of course — in order to keep it reined in.

Well-trained Pakistani mastiffs are loving and playful companions, and excellent guard dogs. Their short coats hardly require any grooming, though they do need a daily walk.


3. English Mastiff

 

English Mastiff by Pleple2000 cc3.0
English Mastiff by Pleple2000 cc3.0

 

The English mastiff (or simply mastiff) is one of the heaviest dogs, with males usually weighing over 200 pounds (90.7 kilograms). It is a burly, powerful dog, which has a strong instinct to guard. Though it rarely barks, it is always watchful and will attack when it senses danger. With its owner, it is patient, docile and eager to please when well-trained. It is quite lazy but will be happier and healthier if exercised daily.

Zorba, an English mastiff, holds the record for being the longest dog — 8 feet 3 inches (2.5 meters) from the tip of the nose to the tail. He also weighed a massive 343 pounds (156 kilograms)!


4. Great Dane

Stella Bella by Jon Hurd cc2.0
Stella Bella by Jon Hurd cc2.0

The Great Dane, known by some as the “King of Dogs” or the “Apollo of Dogs”, is one of the tallest dog breeds, roughly around 32 to 35 inches (81 to 89 centimeters) tall. The record holder for world’s tallest dog was a Great Dane named Zeus who was 3 feet 8 inches (1.1 meters) tall.

It is a majestic dog with a powerful gait, and while it might overwhelm young children with its size, it is good with older children and a pleasant family companion. Never timid or aggressive, it is friendly, courageous and loyal.

It also loves to be around people, but must be taught not to jump on them. (After all, it can overwhelm grown-ups, too.)


5. Irish Wolfhound

Fergus by Aiko, Thomas & Juliette+Isaac cc2.0
Fergus by Aiko, Thomas & Juliette+Isaac cc2.0

The Irish wolfhound is perhaps the Great Dane’s closest rival in terms of height, with some Irish wolfhounds growing taller than Great Danes.

While clumsy and seemingly slow to learn during the first two years of its life, it eventually becomes confident and very intelligent. It is also sweet-tempered, so much so that it cannot be counted on as a watchdog, but it can definitely be trusted with children.

While it needs a lot of space, it doesn’t require vigorous exercise. It does need thorough grooming, though, because of its rough coat.


6. Spanish Mastiff

Spanish Mastiff during International show of dogs in Katowice - Spodek, Poland (by Pleple2000, License: 4.0 International, 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.)
Spanish Mastiff during International show of dogs in Katowice – Spodek, Poland (by Pleple2000, License: 4.0 International, 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.)

The Spanish mastiff is another large mastiff which is robust and well-muscled. It is popular in Spain, where it guards not just homes but livestock, especially sheep.

Indeed, Spanish mastiffs are loyal, watchful and protective, up to the point that they will sacrifice themselves to protect their owners. They are also loving and smart, but tend to be stubborn when they have meek owners. They are patient with children and with other pets.

Although used to being outdoors, Spanish mastiffs love to be indoors with the family and are easy to house-train. They shed heavily, though, not to mention the fact that they drool more than most and snore loudly.


7. Leonberger

Leonberger running Moletai May 2014 by Томасина cc4.0
Leonberger running Moletai May 2014 by Томасина cc4.0

The Leonberger was bred to mimic the lion, the symbolic animal of the city of Leonberg in Germany, and indeed, it looks majestic and intimidating just like a lion. In fact, it even has a thick mane, which is more prominent in males than in females.

It isn’t the least bit aggressive, though. In fact, the Leonberger is considered one of the most affectionate and loyal dog breeds. It is very patient, even with mischievous children, and can get along with other dogs.

A couple of things about the Leonberger — it needs plenty of exercise and it loves to swim. It loves swimming so much, in fact, that it has grown webbed feet and will often jump into the water without a moment’s notice.


8. Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff - dog during the international dogs show in Katowice, Poland. His name is Bagmati KHYI FADO which is called Hando. The owner is Marcin Krasoń from Poland (by Pleple2000 cc4.0)
Tibetan Mastiff – dog during the international dogs show in Katowice, Poland. His name is Bagmati KHYI FADO which is called Hando. The owner is Marcin Krasoń from Poland (by Pleple2000 cc4.0)

The Tibetan mastiff has been used as a guard dog for many years, whether as a guardian of livestock, villages or palaces, and this is no wonder, considering its intimidating appearance. Indeed, Tibetan mastiffs are large and heavily boned, with thick double-coated fur that can make them look twice their size.

Because of its origins, the Tibetan mastiff has a tendency to be overprotective and territorial, but train it firmly and it will be a reliable guard dog and a loving family companion, fiercely loyal and thoughtful.

Like other big dog breeds, the Tibetan mastiff requires regular exercise. It requires regular grooming, as well, especially when it is shedding its thick winter coat — a process that takes about a month.


9. Anatolian Shepherd

Anatolian Shepherd by Jon Mountjoy cc2.0
Anatolian Shepherd by Jon Mountjoy cc2.0

The Anatolian shepherd is another livestock guardian, a job for which it is well suited because of its excellent sight and hearing, agility, speed and strength.

It can become an excellent family companion, as well, as long as it is firmly trained from a young age. Indeed, this dog is particularly stubborn and proud so it needs a firm hand and a well-established presence of authority — yours. Otherwise, it will see itself as the leader of the pack and refuse to obey.

If trained well, it is loyal and intelligent, an excellent guard dog that is protective of children and naturally suspicious of strangers.

Speaking of training, you’ll want to train your Anatolian shepherd not to bark at night since it has a tendency to do so. It requires a lot of exercise but little grooming.




10. Newfoundland

Newfoundland during Dogs Show in Rybnik by Pleple2000 License under 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.
Newfoundland during Dogs Show in Rybnik by Pleple2000 License under 3.0 Unported, 2.5 Generic, 2.0 Generic and 1.0 Generic license.

Newfoundlands excel the most at lifesaving because of their superior swimming skills, which comes naturally to them. In fact, they even have webbed feet and water-resistant coats. They are also very strong, as you can tell from one glance at their muscular build.

If you would rather have a loving companion, the Newfoundland is perfectly suited to become one because of its sweet temper, devotion and patience.

It is very sociable and can be trusted with children, guests and other pets, but is also smart enough to know a threat when one presents itself. It is, however, a bit difficult to train and needs a lot of grooming because of its thick coat.


What do you know?

Think you remember what you’ve read? Try out the World’s Largest Dog Breeds Quiz!

 


Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_dog_breed
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zorba_%28dog%29
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Mastiff
http://www.animalplanet.com/breed-selector/dog-breeds/working/great-dane.html

To view the complete list of sources, click here…

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