Largest dog breeds in the world: Here are the top 10 biggest dogs
The biggest and the fluffiest are often also the friendliest, and that's no real surprise. Many bred to protect and look after their humans, or flocks of sheep, here are ten of the largest dog breeds in the world!
Don't be scared when these gentle giants cross your path!
Big dogs are often docile, friendly, and fiercely loyal. They might be protective, and that could present a few potential problems, but if they're trained correctly they will become the best friend you've ever had.
TAG24's dog guide takes you through the top 10 biggest dogs out there.
What are the largest dog breeds in the world, why are they so immense, and what do you need to know? Let's find out!
How are we defining the largest dog breeds: size or weight?
Size and weight aren't mutually exclusive features. Doggos that are larger in size are also generally heavier in weight. Now, a small dog can get quite heavy as well, generally due to overfeeding and the potential for obesity, but they'll never reach the immense weight and size of some larger dogs.
So, to answer your question, we are taking both size and weight into account when considering which dog breeds are the largest. These dogs are the physically biggest and heaviest in the world.
Top 10 largest dog breeds in the world
What comes with a big dog? Is it just a physically large, playful pooch? Or are there a few things you need to know about these big-boys, apart from their names? Here are ten of the largest dog breeds in the world, presented in no particular order, with everything you need to know about their size, appearance, character, and educational needs.
Keep in mind: Giant doggos generally have a shorter life expectancy than their smaller brothers and sisters. Keep this in mind when you adopt your puppy!
Irish wolfhounds take their name from a history of wolf hunting, not from any particular resemblance they may bear to a wolf (of which there is little). Often growing to around 40 inches in height, these beautiful canine companions are often rather large, fast, and strong.
While the Irish wolfhound has been bred for hunting and the protection of livestock, it actually has a very cheerful and gentle soul, and can be perfect as a family dog. They love to run, and need plenty of exercise. As a result, it isn't a bad idea to do plenty of agility training with them, take them for lots of walks, and devote plenty of time to them.
Mastiffs are characterized by excessive opulence. No, we're not talking riches here (though they can be, admittedly, quite an expensive breed).
It's just their sheer, spectacular size! These giant doggos often grow up to 36 inches in height and regularly weigh more than 200 pounds.
Originally from Great Britain, mastiffs were mainly used as guard dogs, but are now more commonly known for being calm, sociable, affectionate and, of course, huge. While they can often look rather scary, this big boys are actually incredibly affectionate and rarely aggressive.
Their physical appearance is characterized by a muscular body, a wide mouth, wrinkled forehead and face, and an enormous size. Mastiffs are friendly and perfect families.
The Great Dane originates from Germany and is one of the world's largest dog breeds. All fully-grown Danes generally tower well above 30 inches in height, and weigh up to a whopping 200 pounds. They have been widely used across Europe since the 16th century and, like many other big dog breeds, were used for hunting.
They look a little grumpy, with that flappy face, but they are actually incredibly gentle, affectionate, and devoted doggos. Great Danes build particularly strong and long-lasting relationships with their humans and are great for a cuddle.
Just keep an eye on your kids, these canine companions can get pretty excited and a little bit too rambunctious. It won't be on purpose, but they could cause harm.
Borzois, also known as Russian wolfhounds, are some of the biggest and most interesting dogs in the entire world. They can grow nearly 35–40 inches tall, and have a particularly iconic facial look, with a long and narrow nose. Bred as hunters in Russia during the 19th Century, Borzois are extremely fast, strong, and have incredible natural instincts.
As with most of these ginormous doggos, Borzois might look scary and violent, but they're actually wonderful family dogs.
This is a well-balanced, friendly, affectionate breed that is often protective of children. It is extremely important to pay attention to a Borzoi's diet, though, as their incredibly slender legs will quickly suffer if supporting an overweight dog!
St. Bernards look like giant, cuddly teddy bears at first glance, and you wouldn't be wrong. These gentle giants are incredibly huge, often growing to more than 35 inches in height and 200 pounds in weight. Historically used as guard and herding dogs, St. Bernards are still widely used as therapy dogs due to their reliable, calm, and kind temperament.
These giant cuties make the perfect family dogs, despite their enormous size, assuming that they are kept well-trained and exercised.
St. Bernards might be some of the biggest dogs in the world, but they are also some of the best family pooches, are friendly towards kids, and make a great pillow.
The Great Pyrenees is one of the biggest and most friendly dogs in the entire world. With a dark history, often guarding big mountain castles, these vigilant and distrustful doggos have been bred to remain attentive, and are a great choice if you're concerned about security.
Growing more than 30 inches tall, these dogs might have been bred to keep watch, but they're incredibly fluffy as well. If you're looking for a loyal, gentle dog, that will faithfully protect and defend you, then a Great Pyrenees would be an absolutely brilliant choice!
This giant dog breed originates from Turkey and is characterized by its fluffy white fur. Akbash dogs are not only some of the largest in the world, but also some of the most muscular. Indeed, they look rather like big, buff, and fluffy Labradors. They are not the same, though, as an Akbash will be much stronger, taller, and more attentive due to their farming past.
As dogs that were bred to protect livestock, these dogs are incredibly alert and independent. That doesn't mean that they're not balanced and trustful, though, as they also make wonderful companions who are incredibly loving, protective, calm, serene, and fun to live with. They grow up to around 35 inches in height.
Newfoundlands were often used for fishing and hunting, but are now more often used for rescue work and as assistance dogs for people with various disabilities. They often grow as tall as 40 inches from ear to paw, and are characterized by a thick and substantial coat, a friendly smile, and big, boisterous paws.
As some of the biggest dogs in the world, it's important to note that Newfoundlands are relatively easy to train. They are generally calm, balanced, and relaxed dogs, and are incredibly patient - especially towards children. Newfoundlands are also loyal and caring dogs, making them wonderful for families.
Originating from the German town of the same name, the Leonberger is one of the biggest dogs in the whole world and rather reminiscent of a proud lion. This is due to its iconic mane, a feature that has seen it immortalized on many western European coats of arms. At more than 30 inches in height, its mane isn't the Leonbergers only claim to fame.
These child-friendly, loyal, cuddly, and friendly creatures get remarkably close to their loved ones and are keen for adventures and long walks in nature. They are incredibly active dogs and will need to be challenged through both physical exercise and mental stimulation (puzzle games work well). Leonbergers are some of the smartest dogs in the world, and need to be treated as such!
Kangal shepherd dog
The Kangal herding dog is a large breed of dog from Turkey, and has existed over many centuries. They are incredibly alert and protective, having defended livestock from wolves, bears, and other predators over many generations. Growing a little shorter than the rest, at most 30 inches high, these creatures are considered large mostly due to their insane strength and muscles.
Characterized by black outlines on the fact, Kangal dogs may seem calm and relaxed at first, but will attack viciously if they sense a threat. As a result, they are not suitable for families and should be kept away from small children in particular. Only experienced dog owners should look after a Kangal, and should provide plenty of training.
Important: Kangals, and any similar dog breeds, should be taught every possible command and kept extremely obedient. Their size and aggression can be a dangerous combination, so they should be adopted with caution.
The world's largest dogs are also some of the most sociable!
Big dogs might be a little scary at times, but that's usually just because they can get a bit over-excited. If you get them trained well from a young age, provide them with plenty of exercise (to burn that energy!), and allow them to socialize, you won't need to worry too much about your big-hearted and big-boned friend.
The largest dogs in the world are some of the friendliest, sweetest, and cutest beasts out here. Keep their size in mind when you adopt them, though, you'll need A LOT of room!
Cover photo: 123rf / 84kamila