What is the biggest dog breed in the world?

There are few dogs that even come close to coming up against the biggest dog breed in the world. What should you know about this beautiful beast, and which individual dog is larger than all the rest?

A Great Dane holds the record for world's biggest dog.
A Great Dane holds the record for world's biggest dog.  © Photo by leonides ruvalcabar on Unsplash

The most extraordinary dogs in the world are often some of the largest and most physically formidable. That's not to say, of course, that they are frightening or dangerous, they're usually gentle giants who wander around the yard looking for a good place to nap. So what is the biggest dog breed in the world, and what dog takes home the record of being the largest of large?

What is the biggest dog breed in the world?

Great Danes are widely considered the world's largest dogs, mainly based on their extraordinary height and weight. As world record holder Kevin proves, Great Danes really do their name justice, sometimes growing to sizes of over 3 feet, and weighing up to 200 pounds.

These enormous and gorgeous dogs have an incredibly long history and are still being bred and kept in much the same way as they were in the 16th century. Among other things, Great Danes were used as fighting dogs in raids and were also given armor to protect them in battle.

It is a relatively contested category, though, as dogs like English mastiff and the Saint Bernard have similar claims to glory.

The Newfoundland is one of the world's largest dogs.
The Newfoundland is one of the world's largest dogs.  © Unsplash/Ticka Kao

What are the other largest dogs in the world?

There are a number of giant dogs which seem keen to rule the doggy world. Even as puppies these handsome hounds tower about the common terrier or chihuahua. Most were bred for specific purposes, generally as hunters or as dogs used to rescue people in difficult or dangerous environments.

Here are a number of other contenders for the largest dogs in the world:

  • Number 1: Great Dane (up to 34 inches tall)
  • Number 2: English mastiff (up to 32 inches tall)
  • Number 3: Kangal shepherd dog (up to 32 inches tall)
  • Number 4: Irish wolfhound (up to 32 inches tall)
  • Number 5: Great Pyrenees (up to 32 inches tall)
  • Number 6: Newfoundland (up to 28 inches tall)
  • Number 7: Tibetan mastiff (up to 28 inches tall)

Food for thought: Ultimately, the 'size' of a dog, and how that size is ranked, is based on what you choose to include. In our case, we have ranked based on height. In many other senses, such as weight or even length, some of these others dogs might overtake the great dane.

What is the biggest great dane ever?

Great danes are often absolutely huge, and are considered by some to be the biggest.
Great danes are often absolutely huge, and are considered by some to be the biggest.  © Unsplash/Keighla Exum

While Freddy may have once been considered the world's greatest great dane, it is no longer the case. As of June 13, 2024, Guinness World Records (GWR) has given the title of world's tallest dog to Kevin the great dane, who lives in Iowa and is three feet and two inches tall.

At such a whopping size, Kevin is a bit of a lazy beast with a desire for cuddles and love that outshines all other aspects of his life. If he's not hanging with his humans, he doesn't see much of a point in anything else. Luckily, his humans Tracy, Alexander, Ava, and Roger Wolfe are all more than willing to oblige.

"Kevin's favorite activity is probably taking naps," explained Tracy Wolfe. "Holding this couch down is probably his favorite pastime, I think. Kevin is funny, and he is super, super, duper friendly, probably overly friendly - you probably don't want to keep your mouth open too much when he's around because of his tongue."

Missing dog found in mindblowing way after seven long years!
Dogs Missing dog found in mindblowing way after seven long years!

While Kevin might not be the biggest and tallest dog to have ever walked this great green globe of ours, he is the tallest living dog right now - at least as recorded by GWR. He has a beautiful black and white coat and a giant personality. Compared to the kids in his family, he is absolutely massive.

"He loves the kids, he loves all the kids. They're exactly his height, so he really gets to lick their face, it's his favorite thing."

How heavy is the heaviest dog in the world?

The heaviest dog breed in the world is the English mastiff, which can weigh more than 300 pounds. They are also considered the longest dogs, the record going to one Aicama Zorba, who weighed an incredible 345 pounds in 1989 and was just over three feet tall.

While we have no record of Kevin's weight, the previous heaviest dog in the world was Freddy the great dane, who was just short of 200 pounds. As a result, we could probably expect that Kevin weighs a similar amount - but is nowhere near the world record.

What is the biggest great pyrenees ever?

They look similar to golden retrievers, but Grand Pyrenees are effective guard dogs.
They look similar to golden retrievers, but Grand Pyrenees are effective guard dogs.  © imago/Frank Sorge

The great pyrenees dog was originally used as a guard dog in the castles of the Pyrenees mountains, while also enjoying a career as a herding dog. Today, similarly to the Irish wolfhound, it is mainly a domestic companion dog. What makes it extraordinary, though, is how unbelievably huge these incredible creatures can get - a height of over 30 inches, and a weight of over 110 pounds!

While there is no definitive world record for the biggest pyrenees ever to walk the Earth's surface, it is suggested that Boris the Pyrenean takes that title. According to the Daily Mail, Boris is more than 6 feet tall and weighs more than 100 pounds. He's an impressive doggo, and certainly one worthy of our love and attention.

Whether it's the great dane or the great pyrenees, large dogs are often some of the friendliest and sweetest in the world. It's worth being careful, though, as large dogs need more space and more exercise - make sure you can accommodate that before adopting.

Cover photo: leonides ruvalcabar on Unsplash

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