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Welcome to the land of gentle giants, where size is just a number, and big hearts come with even bigger paws! In the diverse world of dogs, while tiny pups with petite paws have their charm, there’s something uniquely majestic about a dog who could easily reach the kitchen sink yet still believes they’re the perfect size for a lap cuddle.

These colossal canines, often mistaken as intimidating due to their impressive stature, are, in fact, perfect additions to families who have the space to accommodate their grandeur.

But don’t let their size fool you; these big buddies might require a bit more room to roam (and yes, a slightly larger budget for those giant-sized meals), but they bring with them an unparalleled presence of love and loyalty.

We’re about to unveil not just the world’s largest dog breed but also our handpicked list of 11 massive yet magnificent dog breeds that redefine the meaning of a ‘full-on’ companion.

Biggest Dog Breeds

So, if your heart and home are big enough for a furry family member of epic proportions, read on! Get ready to meet the towering beauties of the canine world!

1. Scottish Deerhound

The majestic Scottish Deerhound, hailing from the rugged terrains of Scotland, stands tall as one of the largest breeds in the canine world. Renowned for its towering height, this breed combines the elegance of a greyhound with a more robust build, featuring a rough coat and an impressive stature of 28-30 inches at the withers, weighing between 75 to 110 pounds.

Bred for the challenging task of hunting Scotland’s giant wild red deer, the Deerhound boasts a long, lean physique, perfect for athleticism and endurance. Beyond its grand size and hunting heritage, the Scottish Deerhound is celebrated for its affectionate and loyal nature, making it an endearing companion despite its formidable appearance.

These gentle giants thrive in spacious environments where they can stretch their long legs and indulge in their love for running and playing. Healthwise, the Deerhound is a hardy breed, often enjoying a long lifespan for its size. While they may face some genetic health challenges, proactive care and attention can help prevent or successfully manage these issues.

2. Great Dane

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Great Danes are massive yet graceful dogs, standing 30-32 inches tall and weighing between 100 to 140 pounds. These gentle giants can even tower over humans when they stand up! Despite their size, they are smart and can be wonderful companions.

However, their large size can be a bit overwhelming, especially if they’re not properly trained, and might intimidate some people. Great Danes are often laid-back, enjoying their time as couch potatoes, but they do need a couple of short walks daily and some off-leash playtime in a yard. If left alone, some may become destructive. Great Danes typically live for about 7 to 10 years.

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An extraordinary example is Zeus, a Great Dane from Texas, who stands at an impressive 3 feet 5 inches tall, earning him the title of the world’s tallest living dog according to Guinness World Records.

3. Dogue de Bordeaux

biggest dog breeds

The Dogue de Bordeaux, also known as the French Mastiff, is an ancient and powerful guardian breed from France. This giant dog breed is well-known for its strength, historically used for tasks like pulling carts and moving heavy objects.

Males can stand 27 inches tall and weigh around 110 pounds, characterized by a massive head with a Bulldog-like jaw, expressive eyes, and a furrowed brow. Sadly, their lifespan is relatively short, typically six to eight years, though some live up to 10 or 11.

Early training is crucial for this large and strong breed. Despite their size, they don’t require excessive exercise, which should be adjusted based on the climate they live in. The Dogue de Bordeaux is a laid-back dog that forms strong bonds with its family, making it a loyal pet and an effective watchdog.

4. Neapolitan Mastiff

huge dog

The Neapolitan Mastiff, an imposing Italian breed, has its roots in the traditional guard dogs of central Italy, renowned for their unwavering loyalty and protective instincts. Characterized by their massive build, these dogs are both well-built and powerful, with distinctive loose skin folds that add to their formidable appearance. Weighing between 110–150 pounds and standing 24–31 inches tall, they truly embody the essence of a giant breed.

Despite their short lifespan of 7–9 years, Neapolitan Mastiffs are considered robust dogs. However, like many large breeds, they are prone to orthopedic issues like elbow and hip dysplasia, and arthritis is also a common concern.

These dogs excel in family environments and are great with children, but they can be cautious around strangers and may not always get along with other pets. Their large size belies a lazy and loyal nature. Neapolitan Mastiffs crave companionship and do not fare well when left alone for long periods, often developing separation anxiety.

5. Pyrenean Mountain Dog

biggest dogs

The Great Pyrenees often hailed as ‘majestic,’ is a powerful mountain dog, renowned as one of the most prominent livestock guardian breeds. This huge, heavy-bodied dog, also known as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog in some regions, boasts a thick, protective coat.

It stands impressively tall, up to 32 inches at the shoulder, and frequently weighs over 100 pounds, rivaling the size of a wolf, especially in larger males. With a lifespan of 10 to 12 years, the Great Pyrenees is known for its calm demeanor, making it an excellent choice for families with children and a good companion for other pets.

These dogs are not just gentle giants; they are also fiercely loyal and fearless, willing to do anything for their handler. They exude quiet confidence and remain remarkably composed in new situations. However, it’s worth noting that the Great Pyrenees can be strong-willed, a trait that reflects their independence and guardian instincts.

6. Irish Wolfhound

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Standing as the tallest among dog breeds, the Irish Wolfhound combines grace and athleticism in its towering frame. These tall dogs were historically bred for hunting large game like wolves, deer, and even bears, which explains their impressive height. Despite their imposing size, Irish Wolfhounds are less suitable as guard dogs.

Characterized by big dark eyes and long, undocked curved tails, Irish Wolfhounds typically stand between 30 to 33 inches tall and weigh 105 to 140 pounds. Unfortunately, like many large breeds, Irish Wolfhounds have a shorter lifespan, averaging around 7 years, with estimates ranging between 6 and 10 years.

Despite their size, these dogs are true sweethearts and fit well into family life, even around children, with adequate space and proper training. They have a moderate energy level but require ample space for exercise to maintain their large, athletic bodies.

7. Saint Bernard

largest dog breed

Saint Bernard is a muscular and powerfully built dog, instantly recognizable by its massive head and drooping ears. Originating as rescue dogs in the Swiss Alps, they’re known for their historic role in aiding travelers in challenging conditions.

In terms of size, adult male Saint Bernards can weigh between 140 to 180 pounds, while females typically range from 120 to 140 pounds. Notably, a Saint Bernard named Benedictine holds the record for the heaviest dog ever, weighing an astonishing 368 pounds (167kg). As with many large breeds, Saint Bernards have a relatively short lifespan, generally living 8 to 10 years.

When it comes to exercise, they require a daily long walk to keep their minds active, although their tendency towards laziness might make getting them outside a bit of a task. They often prefer lounging on the couch over vigorous activity. Saint Bernards are known for their good temperament but can be powerful and challenging to handle due to their size.

8. Leonberger

tall dogs

The Leonberger, a breed combining immense power with aristocratic grace and elegance, is truly a sight to behold. Males can stand over 31 inches at the shoulder and weigh as much as an average adult human, while females, though smaller, are still quite substantial in size.

With a lifespan of 8 to 9 years, typical for large dog breeds, Leonbergers are known for their confident yet gentle disposition. They are calm, affectionate, and particularly friendly towards children, making them excellent family pets. While Leonbergers adore kids and make great playmates, it’s important to supervise their interactions with small children and babies due to their large size.

Despite their giant stature, Leonbergers don’t demand vast living spaces. A reasonably sized yard suffices for their needs, proving their adaptability to various living environments. These dogs are not just loyal; their protective instinct makes them excellent guard dogs. They will alert you to someone at the door and are known to protect their family in times of danger.

9. Giant Schnauzer

whats the biggest dog breed

Giant Schnauzers are large, robust dogs with a natural aptitude for guarding and protecting their territory. Their strong, imposing stature and business-like demeanor are complemented by a square frame and a harsh, protective coat. Standing up to 27.5 inches at the shoulder and weighing as much as 95 pounds, they command a formidable presence.

With an average lifespan of 12 to 15 years, adopting a Giant Schnauzer means welcoming a long-term companion, particularly when brought into a home as a puppy. These dogs are known for their good nature, though they can exhibit dominant traits.

Typically friendly towards other dogs, they thrive in family environments and are affectionate with children, making them excellent family pets. Loyalty, devotion, and protective nature are hallmarks of the Giant Schnauzer, qualities that make them not only beloved companions but also effective guard dogs.

10. Bernese Mountain Dog

biggest dog breed

The Bernese Mountain Dog, originating from Bern, Switzerland, and the Swiss Alps, is a large breed known for its majestic appearance and gentle temperament. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), these dogs reach up to 27.5 inches in height and weigh about 115 pounds by the time they are three years old.

They fall into the giant breed category and typically have a lifespan of seven to 10 years. These dogs are renowned for their affectionate and patient nature, making them particularly good with children whom they are known to protect.

Bernese Mountain Dogs are social creatures that thrive on interaction and affection from their human families. While they may bark to announce the arrival of visitors, they are generally quick to settle down and welcome guests warmly.

11. Newfoundland

largest dog breed

The Newfoundland dog, one of the largest breeds on Earth, is a true gentle giant. Males can reach an impressive weight of up to 200 pounds and stand 28 inches tall, while females are typically a bit smaller. With proper care, these magnificent dogs can live up to 10 years or more.

Newfoundlands are celebrated for their combination of immense size, intelligence, and tremendous strength, matched with a calm demeanor, a deep love for children, and unwavering loyalty. These traits make the “Newfie” an ideal working dog, most content when engaged in tasks alongside their owners.

Notably, they are exceptional water dogs known for their remarkable strength in aquatic environments. Their prowess in water is so distinctive that they even have their own unique swimming style, a testament to their adaptability and specialized skills.


Giant dog breeds have captured the hearts of dog lovers worldwide with their impressive size and diverse origins. Originally bred for various purposes, from acting as a guard dog to serving as a fighting dog, these giant breeds embody strength, loyalty, and a commanding presence.

While big dogs like these require specific care and training, their unique characteristics and histories make them fascinating and beloved companions for those who appreciate the majesty and power of these gentle giants

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