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Top 20 Largest Dog Breeds

Top 20 Largest Dog Breeds

Most dog lovers will tell you that good dogs come in all sizes.

But there is something endearing about those gigantic breeds that can not only meet you eye-to-eye, but that consider themselves cuddly lap dogs at the end of the day.

Large dog breeds are typically in the working group of dogs, which means they were originally bred to help people with tasks like pulling sleds and carts, guarding livestock and homes, and protecting families, according to the American Kennel Club.

“Breeds in the working group tend to be known for imposing stature, strength, and intelligence,” says the AKC website.

With a big dog, owners need to be prepared for everything that comes along with bringing a large breed into the family. According to the AKC, there are a few things to keep in mind with large dog breeds:

  • Development: Bigger dogs tend to mature and develop slower than other breeds, both mentally and physically. That requires being extra cautious with their joint development, as they can injure themselves more easily.
  • Space: Big dogs will require big things, including large beds, toys and food bowls. This also includes their living space and the space in which they can freely play.
  • Expenses: Bigger dogs come with bigger bills. While their toys, food and supplies are often more expensive, keep in mind that veterinary costs for large dog breeds will also be higher due to their size. And don’t be surprised if pet insurance for your large dog costs more, as well.
  • Training: Proper behavioral training is critical when it comes to big dogs because behaviors often overlooked in smaller dogs, such as jumping on people and leash pulling, can be more dangerous with a big dog. Owners will need to ensure the dog receives appropriate training from the start.

“Owning a large breed dog can be a wonderful experience as long as a potential dog owner is prepared,” says Charlotte Reed, a pet care and lifestyle expert and host of The Pet Buzz, a nationally syndicated pet talk radio show.

“It is important to note that large breed dogs continue to maintain the drive that they were bred for as well as their working instincts,” Reed adds. “As a result, they are not for all dog lovers.”

Here’s a look at the top 20 largest dog breeds (by weight) and why there’s just more to love about each one.

Rank Breed Average Weight 
1 Mastiff 120-230 pounds
2 Boerboel 150-200 pounds
3 Tosa Inu 100-200 pounds
4 Saint Bernard 120-180 pounds
5 Great Dane 110-175 pounds
6 Leonberger 90-170 pounds
7 Neapolitan mastiff 110-150 pounds
8 Newfoundland 100-150 pounds
9 Anatolian shepherd 80-150 pounds
10 Tibetan mastiff 70-150 pounds
11 Rottweiler 80-135 pounds
12 Bullmastiff 100-130 pounds
13 Akita 70-130 pounds
14 Black Russian terrier 80-130 pounds
15 Irish wolfhound 105-120 pounds
16 Great Pyrenees 85-100 pounds and up
17 Scottish deerhound 75-110 pounds
18 Bernese mountain dog 70-115 pounds
19 Dogue de Bordeaux 99-110 pounds and up
20 Cane corso 90-100 pounds
Source: American Kennel Club

Top 20 Largest Dog Breeds

1. Mastiff

The ultimate gentle giant, the mastiff has a rich history spanning thousands of years. These dogs are known for their obedient and docile nature, as well as their protective instincts toward their beloved families.

Some male mastiffs can grow to a staggering weight of 230 pounds and can reach 30 inches in height. With their broad, muscular build and adorable squished faces, they are both impressive and endearing. Mastiffs are not only loving family members, but they are also staunchly loyal to their families.

Mastiff Overview
Average Height: 30+ inches (male) 27.5+ inches (female)
Average Weight: 160-230 pounds (male), 120-170 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 6-10 years

2. Boerboel

Originating from South Africa, the boerboel is a robust dog known for its athleticism and protective instincts. With a name derived from the Dutch word “Boer,” meaning farmer, it reflects their role as loyal companions to the Dutch and German settlers who arrived in South Africa in the mid-1600s. Through interbreeding, the boerboel blends various large guard dog breeds. Boerboels were originally used for big game hunting and safeguarding homes and families; today, they remain devoted to watching over their loved ones.

Boerboel Overview
Average Height: 24-27 inches (male) 22-25 inches (female)
Average Weight: 150-200 pounds
Life Expectancy: 9-11 years

3. Tosa Inu

The Tosa Inu, or the Japanese mastiff, has a history as a fighting dog originating from Shikoku island. This breed emerged from a crossbreeding program involving the Shikoku Inu and various western breeds such as mastiffs, bulldogs, Great Danes, and German pointers. In Japan, the Tosa Inu is held in high regard, much like sumo wrestlers, and is treated with utmost respect and ceremony. While displaying a stoic and patient nature, the Tosa Inu exhibits deep affection toward its family, although it may initially appear reserved around strangers. With their vigilant instincts, Tosa Inus are great as watchful guardians of the home.

Tosa Inu Overview
Average Height: 21.5-23.5 inches
Average Weight: 100-200 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

4. Saint Bernard

The Saint Bernard is a gentle giant among dog breeds. Originating from the Swiss Alps, this breed is known for its imposing size and kind-hearted nature. Saint Bernards have a distinctive appearance with their massive head, deep-set eyes and expressive face framed by droopy jowls. Known for their legendary rescue efforts in the treacherous mountain passes, they have incredible strength, endurance, and an exceptional sense of direction. Their friendly and patient demeanor makes them excellent family pets.

Saint Bernard Overview
Average Height: 28-30 inches (male), 26-28 inches (female)
Average Weight: 140-180 pounds (male), 120-140 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 8-10 years

5. Great Dane

The Great Dane, often referred to as the “Apollo of dogs,” is a majestic and elegant breed. Originating from Germany, these gentle giants have a regal stature, standing as one of the tallest dog breeds. Great Danes can reach heights of up to 32 inches at the shoulder and weigh nearly 200 pounds. When standing on their hind legs, they are taller than most people. Great Danes are affectionate and thrive on companionship, making them popular family pets.

Great Dane Overview
Average Height: 30-32 inches (male), 28-30 inches (female)
Average Weight: 140-175 pounds (male), 110-140 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 7-10 years

6. Leonberger

The Leonberger, a breed originating from Germany, is a handsome dog with a gentle and friendly nature. With a thick double coat and a powerful build, they carry themselves with elegance and strength. Leonbergers can grow to be quite large, with males reaching up to 170 pounds. They are known for their calm and patient nature, making them great family members. Leonbergers are extremely smart and eager to please, and often do well with obedience training, therapy work, and water rescue.

Leonberger Overview
Average Height: 28-31.5 inches (male), 25.5-29.5 inches (female)
Average Weight: 110-170 pounds (male), 90-140 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 7 years

7. Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan mastiff is a unique and powerful dog breed that originates from Italy. With its massive size and wrinkled skin, it has quite the distinct appearance. They are known for their calm and protective nature, making them loyal and devoted companions. Neapolitan mastiffs tend to develop a deep bond with their families and have a sweet and loving temperament. Neapolitan mastiffs have low energy levels, which means they enjoy a calm and easygoing lifestyle, with a majority of their time spent lounging around the house.

Neapolitan Mastiff Overview
Average Height: 26-31 inches (male), 24-29 inches (female)
Average Weight: 150 pounds (male), 110 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 7-9 years

8. Newfoundland

The Newfoundland is a friendly and gentle breed that originally comes from Canada. They are known for their large size and thick, water-resistant coat that helps them stay warm even in cold waters. Newfies are excellent swimmers, in part due to their webbed feet, and are strong enough to save people from drowning. They are also very patient and good with children, making them great family pets, and are known for being calm and well-behaved. If you don’t mind lots of drool, Newfoundlands make wonderful members of the family.

Newfoundland Overview
Average Height: 28 inches (male), 26 inches (female)
Average Weight: 130-150 pounds (male), 100-120 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 9-10 years

9. Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian shepherd is a strong and protective breed originating from Turkey. They have a sturdy build and a thick coat that helps them withstand different weather conditions. Anatolian shepherds are known for their loyalty and bravery, and have been used for centuries to guard livestock from predators. They are extremely intelligent and independent, making them excellent guardians. While they tend to be more serious than other breeds, they can also be gentle and affectionate with their families.

Anatolian Shepherd Overview
Average Height: 29 inches (male), 27 inches (female)
Average Weight: 110-150 pounds (male), 80-120 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 11-13 years

10. Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan mastiff is a strong and striking dog that originally comes from the mountains of Tibet. They have a thick and fluffy coat that keeps them warm in cold weather. Tibetan mastiffs are known for their loyalty and protective nature and a very deep bark, which makes them excellent guard dogs. They’re typically gentle and loving with their families, but tend to be reserved and aloof with strangers.

Tibetan Mastiff Overview
Average Height: 26 inches (male), 24 inches (female)
Average Weight: 90-150 pounds (male), 70-120 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

11. Rottweiler

The rottweiler, originally from Germany, has a sturdy build with a sleek black coat and tan markings. They are known for their loyalty and protective instincts, making them great guard dogs that are very smart and can be easily trained. Despite their outwardly tough appearance, rottweilers can be gentle and loving with their families. They thrive on companionship and enjoy spending time with their human pack. Regular exercise and socialization are important for their well-being.

Rottweiler Overview
Average Height: 24-27 inches (male), 22-25 inches (female)
Average Weight: 95-135 pounds (male), 80-100 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 9-10 years

12. Bullmastiff

Originally from England, the Bullmastiff is a powerful and loyal dog with a strong, muscular build. Bullmastiffs were originally bred to guard English estates, so they are known for their protective nature. They are intelligent, have a calm temperament and can be gentle and affectionate with their loved ones. Bullmastiffs require regular exercise and socialization to stay healthy and well-behaved; with the right training and care, they can be devoted and loving companions.

Bullmastiff Overview
Average Height: 25-27 inches (male), 24-26 inches (female)
Average Weight: 110-130 pounds (male), 100-120 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 7-9 years

13. Akita

The Akita is a loyal and courageous breed originating from Japan. They have a strong and powerful build with a thick, double coat that helps protect them from cold weather. Akitas are known for their independence and intelligence, making them unique and sometimes stubborn family members. They also have a natural protective instinct, which makes them excellent guard dogs. While they can be reserved around strangers, they are devoted and affectionate with their families. Akitas are staunchly loyal and make great lifelong companions.

Akita Overview
Average Height: 26-28 inches (male), 24-26 inches (female)
Average Weight: 100-130 pounds (male), 70-100 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 10-14 years

14. Black Russian Terrier

Originally from Russia, the black Russian terrier is a strong and confident breed with a thick, dense coat that is usually black or dark gray. They are known for their loyalty and protective nature, making them great guard dogs. They are intelligent and easy to train, but they require consistent guidance and socialization. Black Russian terriers may look tough, but they can be gentle and affectionate with their families. Regular exercise and mental stimulation are important for their well-being.

Black Russian Terrier Overview
Average Height: 27-30 inches (male), 26-29 inches (female)
Average Weight: 80-130 pounds
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

15. Irish Wolfhound

The Irish wolfhound is a majestic and gentle giant from Ireland. They are one of the tallest dog breeds, with a thin and athletic build. They are famous for their wiry and shaggy coats and are known for their friendly and kind nature, which makes them great family pets. They tend to be calm, good-natured and are known for their loyalty.

Irish Wolfhound Overview
Average Height: 32 inches (male), 30 inches (female)
Average Weight: 120 pounds (male), 105 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 6-8 years

16. Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees is a gentle and protective dog breed that comes from the mountains of France. They have a distinctively thick and fluffy white coat that helps keep them warm. Great Pyrenees are known for their loyalty and watchful nature, making them great guard dogs. They are calm and patient, and usually gentle with children and other pets. Great Pyrenees require regular exercise and grooming to stay healthy.

Great Pyrenees Overview
Average Height: 27-32 inches (male), 25-29 inches (female)
Average Weight: 100+ pounds (male), 85+ pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years

17. Scottish Deerhound

The Scottish deerhound is a gentle and graceful dog originating from Scotland. They have a slender and athletic build, with a shaggy coat that comes in a variety of colors. Scottish deerhounds are known for their friendly and mild-mannered nature and are usually gentle with children and good with other animals. Historically used for hunting deer, they require regular exercise and lots of space to run and play.

Scottish Deerhound Overview
Average Height: 30-32 inches (male), 28+ inches (female)
Average Weight: 85-110 pounds (male), 75-95 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 8-11 years

18. Bernese Mountain Dog

A friendly and affectionate dog, the Bernese mountain dog comes from the Swiss Alps. They are known for their sturdy and powerful build, and thick, tricolored coat. Bernese mountain dogs have a gentle and patient nature, making them great family pets. They are good with children and other animals, and they love being part of the family. Bernese mountain dogs enjoy outdoor activities and do well in cooler climates. Regular exercise and mental stimulation are important for their well-being.

Bernese Mountain Dog Overview
Average Height: 25-27.5 inches (male), 23-26 inches (female)
Average Weight: 80-115 pounds (male), 70-95 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 7-10 years

19. Dogue de Bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as the French Mastiff, is a powerful and loyal dog breed from France. They have a large and muscular build with loose, wrinkled skin and a broad head. Dogue de Bordeauxs are known for their calm and gentle nature, making them great family members. They are protective and devoted to their loved ones. Even though they appear intimidating, they are usually good-natured and patient, especially with children.

Dogue de Bordeaux Overview
Average Height: 23-27 inches (male), 23-26 inches (female)
Average Weight: 110+ pounds (male), 99+ pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 5-8 years

20. Cane Corso

The cane corso is a strong and protective dog originally from Italy. They have a muscular and athletic build, with a short coat. Cane corsos are known for their loyalty and confidence, making them great guard dogs. They are intelligent and can be easily trained, especially with their innate eagerness to please. They are gentle and affectionate with their families, as well as fiercely protective. Early socialization with people and other dogs is important for this dog.

Cane Corso Overview
Average Height: 25-27.5 inches (male), 23.5-26 inches (female)
Average Weight: 90-110 pounds
Life Expectancy: 9-12 years

Bottom Line

Owning a large dog requires extra care and commitment to cater toward their unique needs, including careful joint development, proper nutrition, regular medical care, and providing them with large spaces to live and play. While these big breeds require a lot of maintenance, they are recognized as loyal, loving family members, and make great options to welcome into the right family.

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