Home Dog breeds The largest dog breeds in the world: 16 giant dogs

The largest dog breeds in the world: 16 giant dogs


Giant dogs are among the hardest working and most recognizable breeds. But because many of them retain the strong work instinct and drive they were bred to have, they can be difficult to deal with. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you’re considering adding one to your family.


Giant dogs have been giant puppies for a very long time and are slow to mature mentally and physically. When giant dogs are young, their joints can easily get injured, so it’s important to be extra careful when exercising.


The bigger the dog, the bigger everything should be, including toys, bowls and beds. Although some giant dogs are happy and content to live in small spaces, you need to have enough space for the things they need. It’s also important to keep in mind that not everyone or everywhere will be giant dog friendly. Many apartments and hotels have weight limits for dogs, which giant breeds far exceed. It can also be much more difficult to find competent and qualified care from dog sitters or walkers.


Giant dogs can be expensive to maintain. When the dog is bigger, the beak is usually bigger too. Before adding a giant dog breed to your family, consider the flexibility of your budget and whether you will be able to cover the giant size costs. Large Breed Dog Food, toys and other supplies are usually more expensive than those for small dogs. Plus, giant dog medications are going to cost more. Unfortunately, not all veterinary clinics, especially those in urban areas, will be equipped to safely handle giant breeds and you may need to shop around or visit a vet who can accommodate a giant dog for x-rays. , surgery, etc.


Regardless of their size, all dogs need training, but it’s especially essential for giant breeds. Objectionable behaviors that people might find “cute” when they occur with small dogs, such as jumping, counter-surfing, and pulling, aren’t so adorable when your dog is a giant. These are dogs that will outweigh many people as adults, so it’s important to start training giant dogs as very young puppies. Training should always be fun and positive. If you’re considering adding one of these giants to your life, check out the STAR Puppy program to start training off on the right foot.

If you’re okay with all of these potential challenges and still believe that bigger is better when it comes to dogs, one of these breeds might be right for your family.

The largest dog breeds

Anatolian Shepherd

Imposing and protective, the Anatolian Shepherd is a territorial, intelligent and loyal working dog. Weighing 150 pounds, this breed was developed to protect livestock. They are dogs that prefer to intimidate predators rather than attack, which makes them popular as guardian ranch dogs protecting farms today.

bernese mountain dog

With a distinctive tricolor coat, the Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the most popular giant breeds. They thrive in cold weather and were developed as versatile, hardworking farm dogs in their native Switzerland and excellent at drafting/carting. Known for their good-natured temperament, Bernese Mountain Dogs are popular giant companions and family dogs.

Russian black terrier

These giant terriers are as big as they are smart. The Black Russian Terrier was developed by the Soviet government in the 1930s to create a powerful guard dog. Dogs retain these protective qualities, are very loyal to their families, and will often be aloof with strangers. These large dogs must be both powerful and have a reliable temperament.


The ultimate guard dog, the Bullmastiff is known as the “gamekeeper’s night dog”. The breed was developed in the 19th century to guard private English game reserves and country estates. A high bidder, the Bullmastiff responds well to training, but early socialization and training of the puppy is extremely important.

Mastiff of Bordeaux

Another powerful guard dog, the Dogue de Bordeaux is known for its expressive face and eyes and has the proportionally largest head of any breed. These dogs are sensitive and loyal, but they’re also known to be stubborn, which makes early training extremely important.

Cane Corso

An alert and intimidating dog, the Cane Corso is a loyal and strong breed. The ancestry of the Cane Corso is thought to be traced back to the guard dogs of the ancient Greeks, but at some point the breed nearly died out. The first Cane Corso was imported to America in 1988. Due to their wary and protective tendencies, early socialization and training is essential.

Great Dane

One of the most recognizable giant breeds, Great Danes were developed as guards and to hunt wild boar. It is an easy-going giant breed that makes popular companion dogs. Great Danes are very friendly and outgoing, but they are also very loyal and alert guardians of their home and family.

Great Pyrenees

This majestic breed is impressive in size and easily recognizable by its (usually) large white coat. The breed was developed to work alongside herders and to protect livestock. Known for their patience and independence, Great Pyrenees fearlessly fight off predators.

irish greyhound

Grand and majestic, The Irish Wolfhound is the largest dog breed recognized by the AKC and was originally bred as a big game hunter. While their ancestry dates back to ancient times, the Irish Wolfhound first gained popularity in the 15th century to help control the wolf population in Ireland. Today, Irish Wolfhounds are known as worthy and eye-catching companions.


Sporting a lion’s mane, a Leonberger is a strong watchdog and versatile working dog. Unlike many other giant breeds, the Leonberger was first developed as a companion dog for European royalty. It was only later that they became known as an all-around farm dog. Today, Leonbergers are loyal pets and excel at cart-pulling work.


With a broad, wrinkled forehead, the Mastiff is a dignified, courageous and docile breed. Known for their devotion and loyalty to their families, Mastiffs are naturally wary of strangers, which makes early socialization important. After World War II, only around 14 Mastiffs survived in all of England. The population of the breed was later established with the cooperation of breeders in the United States. Mastiffs are emotional and sensitive and thrive with early positive reinforcement training.

Neapolitan Mastiff

Dating back to ancient Rome, Neapolitan Mastiffs are giant and powerful dogs. Visually striking with their loose wrinkles and skin folds all over their bodies, these dogs are easy to spot and are very protective of their family. Like other highly protective breeds, Neapolitan Mastiffs thrive on constant positive reinforcement training.


This powerful working dog is a natural in the water. The breed has webbed feet and a water-repellent outer coat, and was first developed to work with Canadian anglers pulling fishing nets out of freezing water and performing heroic water rescues. These giant water dogs are still used in water rescue around the world. In addition to its massive size, the Newfoundland is known for its gentleness and ease of training.

Saint Bernard

One of the most famous giant breeds, the Saint Bernard originated in the Swiss Alps. The massive and powerful breed was first developed to locate and rescue people who had become lost in the snow and buried by avalanches. The charismatic and friendly expression of the Saint Bernard has helped him gain popularity in movies and television and become beloved by dog ​​lovers.

Scottish hunting dog

Known as the Royal Hound of Scotland, this giant racing dog is one of the largest dog breeds in the world. Bred to hunt, the Scottish Deerhound is very brave and was born to run. This is a sensitive breed that is deeply bonded with family and can find it difficult to be left alone. With a strong urge to hunt, the Scottish Deerhound should only be allowed to run in a fenced area or on a leash.

tibetan mastiff

An intimidating ancient breed, Tibetan Mastiffs are known for their willpower and independence. These dogs are extremely protective and are considered the guardians of the Himalayas as they were used to guard monasteries in Tibet. Not a breed for beginners, these noble dogs are known to make up their minds on a situation and react accordingly, regardless of the training.