The world’s biggest dog breeds

The world is full of all sorts of different dogs, from the tiny Chihuahua to the massive Mastiff. But what are the world’s biggest dog breeds?

The world’s largest dog breeds aren’t always the ones you’d expect. There’s a big difference between the tallest and the heaviest dog breeds. It’s no surprise that many on our list are Mastiff-type dogs as these are often the heaviest out there. But we have plenty of much lighter, but very tall dogs too.

Do you have your heart set on a giant pup? You might want to consider one of the following massive breeds:

10. Irish Wolfhound

an Irish wolfhound showing that they are the world's tallest dog

One of the tallest, the Irish Wolfhound is a giant among dogs. These gentle giants were originally bred for hunting wolves in Ireland. Today, they are beloved family pets known for their loyalty, gentle nature, and imposing size. While not one of the world’s biggest dog breeds in terms of weight, their imposing height makes them one of the tallest breeds out there.

The Irish Wolfhound is thought to have originated in Ireland over 2,000 years ago. They were bred by the Irish Celts to hunt wolves, and are believed to be one of the oldest of all breeds. The first written mention of the Irish Wolfhound was in 1127 AD, when King Henry I of England sent a pair of these dogs as a gift to the King of France.

Weight: up to 125 pounds

Height: 32 inches (avg)

9. Tibetan mastiff

three giant tibetan mastiffs

With a 6000 year history, the Tibetan Mastiff is probably the originator of all Mastiff type breeds. Historically one of the world’s biggest dog breeds, they are specially adapted to high altitudes Tibetan Mastiffs were originally used as guard dogs in the Himalayan mountains to ward off wolves and other predators. The Tibetan Mastiff is a large and powerful dog, with a thick coat of shaggy black, brown, or red fur. Today, they are popular family pets known for their loyalty, protective nature, and impressive size.

Interestingly, the Tibetan Mastiff is also used as a working dog in monasteries. The monks use dogs to help with tasks such as delivering food or carrying heavy loads. The monks believe that the Tibetan Mastiff has a special connection to the spiritual realm and that these dogs are able to help them communicate with the divine

The Tibetan Mastiff is a fearless dog with a strong protective instinct. They make excellent guard dogs, and are known for their willingness to protect their family and property.

Weight: up to 150 pounds

Height: 26 inches (avg)

8. Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd is another large breed of dog, weighing in at a whopping 150 pounds and standing 29 inches tall. These massive dogs were bred as guard dogs in Turkey, and today they are still prized for their protective instincts and fearless nature.

The appearance of the Anatolian Shepherd varies depending on the region they come from. Dogs from the Aegean region are often black and white, while dogs from Central Anatolia are typically brindle. The Anatolian Shepherd is a relatively rare breed, and is not well known outside of Turkey.

Anatolian Shepherds are known for their strength and agility. They are able to run long distances and jump high fences, making them an ideal choice for working dogs.

Weight: up to 150 pounds

Height: 29 inches (avg)

7. Newfoundland

The Newfoundland is a large breed of dog, weighing in at up to 150 pounds and standing 28 inches tall. These massive dogs were bred as working dogs in Newfoundland, and today they are still prized for their loyalty and hardworking nature. The Newfoundland is a gentle giant, known for being patient and loving with children. They are also known for being intelligent and trainable, making them excellent family pets.

The Newfoundland is a large breed of dog, originally bred as a working dog in Newfoundland. Today, they are still prized for their loyalty and hardworking nature. The Newfoundland is thought to have originated in Canada, and was brought to Newfoundland by English settlers in the 18th century. The breed was used for a variety of tasks, such as hunting, guarding, and draft work. The Newfoundland is now the official dog of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.

One of the most distinguishing features of the Newfoundland is their webbed feet. This helps them to swim well and paddle through water with ease. The webbed feet also give the Newfoundland a unique look that sets them apart from other breeds.

Weight: up to 150 pounds

Height: 28 inches

6. Leonberger

Another giant, the largest Leonberger weighs 170 pounds and stands 32 inches tall. These massive dogs were originally bred in Germany. The Leonberger is a gentle giants and are also known for being intelligent and trainable, making them excellent pets.

The origin of the breed is not quite clear, but it is believed that the Leonberger was bred from a mix of the Newfoundland, Saint Bernard, and Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. These three breeds were all known for their size and strength, and the Leonberger was created to be the ultimate all-purpose dog.

This breed was used extensively during world war I and II on the front line. So many lost their lives that after the wars they were on the brink of extinction. Thankfully a few remained and the breed was revived.

The Leonberger has a unique appearance, with a long, shaggy coat of fur that can be black, brown, or red in colour.

Weight: up to 170 pounds

Height: 32 inches

5. Great Dane

The elegant and regal Great Dane can weigh up to 175 pounds and is some of the tallest dogs. The world record for the tallest Great Dane is an amazing 44 inches! These massive dogs were first bred in Germany and are one of the tallest dog breeds in the world. Great Danes are gentle giants and patient with children. They are also known for being intelligent and trainable, making them excellent family pets.

The Great Dane is thought to have originated in Germany, where they were used as hunting dogs. The breed was later brought to England, where they became popular as guard dogs and family pets. They quickly became one of the most popular large breeds in the world, and today they are still prized for their loyalty and gentle nature.

Due to their elegance, these dogs became popular with the upper class and were seen as a status symbol. The breed was later brought to America, where they became popular as family pets and show dogs.

Weight: up to 175 pounds

Height: 32 inches

4. Saint Bernard

Immortalized by the movie Beethoven, Saint Bernards can weigh 180 pounds and stand 30 inches tall. These massive dogs were originally bred in Switzerland. This breed is a gentle giant, highly intelligent and easy to train, which has made them popular working dogs across history.

The Saint Bernard is thought to have originated in the Swiss Alps, where they were used as working dogs. It is known for being strong and hardy, making them well-suited for search and rescue missions in harsh conditions.

The breed has a long history of working with mountain rescuers, and today they are still used for avalanche and mountain rescue operations. The Saint Bernard is also used as a therapy dog, bringing comfort to patients.

Saint Bernards became famous due to the movie Beethoven. The movie tells the story of a loveable Saint Bernard named Beethoven who goes on a series of adventures with his family. The movie was a huge hit, and it helped to make the Saint Bernard popular.

Weight: up to 180 pounds

Height: 30 inches

3. Tosa Inu

The Tosa Inu is thought to have originated in Japan, where they were used as fighting dogs. Fortunately, that time has passed and now they are solely pets, although there aren’t many found outside of Japan.

The Tosa Inu is banned in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom and Australia. The breed is considered to be dangerous due to its history, and it is illegal to own or import one into these countries. The Tosa Inu is still legal in a number of countries, including the United States and Canada.

The Tosa Inu’s temperament is calm and loyal. The breed is affectionate with their family but can be aggressive with other dogs if not socialised. The Tosa Inu requires a lot of exercise and training. Like many big dogs, this breed is not suited for first-time owners.

Weight: up to 200 pounds

Height: 24 inches

2. Boerboel

A strong working dog, the Boerboel can be huge and weigh up to 200 pounds and stand 27 inches tall. The Boerboel is thought to have originated in South Africa, where they were used as working dogs.

Bred to defend against wild animals such as lions and leopards, the Boerboel is a powerful and fearless dog. The Boerboel is also known for being highly intelligent and trainable like many working dogs.

The appearance of the Boerboel can vary depending on their lineage. Generally, it is a large and muscular dog, with a short coat that can be black, brown, red, or brindle.

The Boerboel requires a lot of exercise and training. Like many big dogs, this breed is not suited for first-time owners.

Weight: up to 200 pounds

Height: 27 inches

1. English Mastiff

The heaviest breed of all, English Mastiffs (or just Mastiff) can get up to an amazing 230 pounds and 30 inches tall. It’s a truly giant dog breed and was originally bred in England, and is the ancestor of many of the world’s biggest dog breeds.

The breed was later brought to America, and was popular as guard dogs and family pets and gained in popularity from the beginning of the twentieth century. Like the Leonberger, the Mastiff almost went extinct during World War II but was revived after help from American breeders.

Descended from the ancient Alaunt and Molossus dogs, the English Mastiff is a powerful dog with a strong jaw. The English Mastiff was used as a working dog across history, performing tasks such as guarding, hunting, and even bear-baiting (a cruel blood sport in which bears were pitted against dogs).

Despite its imposing size the English Mastiff is a loyal gentle giant and is known for being good with children and protective of their family.

Weight: up to 230 pounds

Height: 30 inches

World’s heaviest dog

The world’s heaviest dog is an English Mastiff named Aicama Zorba, who weighed in at a whopping 343 pounds. He died in 1989, but his record still stands today and makes the English Mastiff the world’s biggest dog breed.

World’s tallest dog

The world’s tallest dog is a Great Dane named Zeus, who measured an incredible 44 inches tall at the withers. The massive dog was originally bred in Germany. Great Danes regularly grow to more than 34 inches making them one of the world’s biggest dog breeds.

Cost of keeping a giant dog breed

While you might like the idea of owning one of the world’s biggest dog breeds they can be expensive to keep, as they require a lot of food and may need special housing. The cost of large-breed dog food can range from $50 to $100 per month and housing a giant breed dog can also be expensive, as they may need a larger kennel or run.

Veterinary costs for giant breed dogs can also be higher, as they are more prone to joint problems and other health issues. Overall, the cost of keeping a giant breed dog can be significant, but the reward of owning a loyal and loving companion is priceless.

What is the difference between big and giant dog breeds?

The main difference between big and giant dog breeds is size. Big dog breeds are typically over 100 pounds, while giant dog breeds are up to 200 pounds or more. Giant dog breeds are also typically taller than big dog breeds, with some reaching heights of over 30 inches.

Do all giant dogs come from Europe?

No, not all giant dogs come from Europe. The English Mastiff is a giant breed of dog that originated in England. The Great Dane is a giant breed of dog that originated in Germany. The Boerboel is a giant breed of dog that originated in Africa. There are many different giant breed dogs from all over the world.

Are there any health risks associated with giant dog breeds?

Yes, there are some health risks associated with giant dog breeds. Giant breed dogs are more prone to joint problems, such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia. They are also more likely to suffer from obesity and other health issues. I’ve written an article about the best supplements you can give your dog to help with these common conditions.

Giant Dog Breeds as Family Pets

Early socialization is important for all dogs, but it is especially important for big dogs. They are typically more powerful than small dog breeds, and they can be difficult to control if they are not properly trained and socialized. Early socialization helps to ensure that your big dog breed puppy grows up to be a well-rounded and well-behaved adult dog.

Some of the best ways to socialize your big puppy include:

– enrolling them in puppy classes

– taking them to the park

– exposing them to different people, places, and experiences

– having regular playdates with other dogs

Bigger dogs require a lot of time, patience, and commitment. But, the effort is well worth it when you have a loyal and loving companion by your side.

Training big dogs

Large dogs require a lot of training, patience, and commitment. The best way to train your big dog is to enroll them in obedience classes. Obedience classes help your big dog learn basic commands, such as sit, stay, come, and down.

Enrolling your big dog in an obedience class is a great way to socialize them and help them learn good manners. It is also a great way to bond with your big dog.

Some tips for training your big dog include:

– using positive reinforcement

– being consistent with commands

– breaking down tasks into small steps

– having patience

Feeding the world’s biggest dog breeds

Bigger dogs require a lot of food, and they typically eat more than small dog breeds. The best way to feed your big dog is to give them high-quality dry food or wet food. Dry food is typically cheaper than wet food, but wet food is often more palatable for big dogs.

I’ve created a review of the best types of large-breed dog food for both puppies and adult dogs.

Large-breed dog food reflects the fact that these dogs have different nutritional needs than smaller breeds. The best large-breed dog foods are typically lower in calories and protein, and they contain joint-supporting ingredients like glucosamine and chondroitin.

The best large-breed puppy food is typically higher in calories than adult dog food, and it contains DHA to support cognitive development.

Final Thoughts

Giant dog breeds are a popular choice for family pets because they are loyal and loving companions. However, before you decide to add a giant breed dog to your family, it is important to understand the health risks associated with these dogs. Giant breed dogs are more prone to joint problems, obesity, and other health issues. It is also important to provide early socialization and training for your big dog. With the proper care, giant dog breeds can make great family pets.

Do you have experience with a giant breed dog? Share your tips in the comments below!

About Tamsin de la Harpe 16 Articles
Tamsin has worked extensively in dog behavior problems and is passionate about canine nutrition. She has worked with trainers who specialize in Shutzhund and protection training, and worked with many Rottweilers. Her passion for dogs shows in her writing and she loves sharing her knowledge with Rottie lovers!