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Top 10 Biggest Dogs

"Sam," the Biggest Dog in the World

Things To Consider Before Getting a Big Dog

You may be considering buying a dog from one of the biggest breeds. If you own a big dog, you will need a spacious house for the dog, and perhaps most important, a generous budget for feeding the dog. Some of these big breeds will eat up to 8-10 kilograms of meat or other food in a day or two.

Other costs include veterinary costs that may be very high. In 2008, owners of the then-biggest dog in the world, named "Sam" (see right), were trying to raise £1400 for surgery he needed.

These are some of the limitations of owning one of the biggest dog breeds. But although these breeds are costly to maintain as pets, they may be very useful as family guard dogs. If you are ready to own one of the big dogs, here is the list of the top ten largest dogs.

How Does a Breed Qualify to Be One of the Top Ten Biggest?

"Big" is a term that can be relative. So here are certain factors that I considered when writing this list. I decided to rate the dog breeds according to their height, weight, and the size of their extremities (appearance).

  • Height: The height of the breed should be considerably greater than that of other breeds.
  • Weight: The weight of the breed should be over 100 pounds.
  • Appearance and Size of Extremities: For a dog to be considered one of the largest dog breeds, they should look gigantic; they should have a huge head and limbs.

A combination of these three factors makes a good criterion for choosing the top ten.

Neapolitan Mastiff

Neapolitan Mastiff

10. Neapolitan Mastiff

Origin: This breed comes from Italy.

Common Use: The Neapolitan Mastiff is generally bred as a family guard dog. Its size and fearless temperament make it ideal for that purpose.

Height: The height should be 66 to 79 centimeters when measured to the level of the withers. This is the accepted height for AKC registration of this dog breed.

Weight: The breed should weigh between 130 to 155 pounds, but females may weigh slightly less.

Temperament : Fearless. An ideal family guard dog.

Irish Hound

Irish Hound

9. Irish Wolfhound

Origin: Ireland.

Common use: This dog is classified as a sight hound (a breed that relies on keen eyesight and speed in hunting). They have good speed and endurance and will also trail game using their well-developed scent-tracking ability. Primarily this is a hunting dog breed.

Height: The minimum height of this breed is 32 inches (females may be slightly shorter).

Weight: The range of weight for this breed is 120 to 150 pounds. Females may weigh less.

Temperament: This dog is naturally quiet but a very keen and swift hunting dog.

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8. Great Pyrenees

Origin: France or Spain.

Use: Primarily a livestock guarding dog.

Height: From 69 to 80 cm (27 to 32 inches). The females may be slightly shorter.

Weight: Between 80 and 90 pounds.

Temperament: A very good dog for a family with kids since the breed is affectionate and gentle with children and family members. Although the dog may have territorial tendencies, it is very patient.



7. Newfoundland

Origin: The Canadian province of Newfoundland.

Common Use: They worked with fishermen to save people from drowning. The breed has webbed feet, appropriate for their ancient role. Today they are adopted as family pets due to their gentle nature.

Height: from 25 to 28 inches.

Weight: 120 to 150 pounds.

Temperament: Very gentle, and an ideal pet for the whole family.

Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff

6. Tibetan Mastiff

Origin: Tibet, China.

Use: Guarding at night.

Height: From 25 to 31 inches (a maximum of 80 centimeters).

Weight: Between 140 and 180 pounds.

Temperament: Unpredictable behavior that may turn ferocious.

English Mastiff

English Mastiff

5. English Mastiff

Origin: England.

Use: Initially used for protection and combat. Today they are domesticated as pets.

Height: A maximum of 75 centimeters (equivalent to 30 inches).

Weight: 120 to 200 pounds.

Temperament: Although they have a powerful body, they are gentle and loyal dogs that are good for adoption as pets.

Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard

4. Saint Bernard

Origin: Italy / Switzerland (Swiss Alps).

Use: Skilled search and rescue dog.

Height: 26 to 27 inches.

Weight: A maximum of 180 to 200 pounds.

Temperament: Gentle, good family pets.



3. Leonberger

Origin: Germany.

Height: For males, 71 to 81 centimeters; females may be a few centimeters shorter

Weight: Between 120 and 170 pounds

Temperament: This breed makes good therapy dogs, and they are gentle and friendly to family members.

Bull Mastiff

Bull Mastiff

2. Bull Mastiff

Origin: England.

Use: Originally bred for protection and hunting game.

Height: 24 to 27 inches.

Weight: 100 to 130 pounds.

Temperament: A tough and very territorial protective dog. It is a good guard dog as seen in its fearless nature.

Great Dane

Great Dane

1. Great Dane

Origin: Germany; alternatively called the German mastiff.

Use: Bred for hunting, particularly of wild boar and deer.

Height: The tallest of all dog breeds, it stands at 112 centimeters (44 inches).

Weight: 120 to 200 pounds.

Temperament: Despite the impression its height creates, the breed is not aggressive at all. It's a loving and gentle dog breed.

Other Big Dog Breeds

Here are more big dog breeds. The poll below includes all 20.

  • Caucasian Ovcharka
  • Moscow Watchdog
  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
  • Komondor
  • Rottweiler
  • American Akita
  • Anatolian Shepherd
  • Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff)
  • Perro de Presa Canario
  • Bulgarian Sheepdog

Biggest DOG BREED Contest

Top 10 Biggest Dogs Videos


Charni on January 21, 2016:

Your Bull Mastiff IS a Bloodhound!

IriGL on January 12, 2016:

I love these large dogs. I have a german sheperd who is pretty big for his breed, everybody says he's huge but perhaps because he's so loving and caring with me I see him as one of those lap puppies hahaha.

Thanks for the post :)

TenFeet2Hands from Cambridge, MA on August 19, 2015:

I am too attached to the B&T Coonhound: old fashioned long eared variety, to consider any other breed. They are big enough, smart enough, low maintenance, and so affectionate. I have a pair of males and live in the city. We participate in Performance Scent trials, an AKC sport. Keeping them engaged with nose work is a healthy way to be active for this senior citizen, with a dog bred to track, as well as all dogs with a working nose!

Vicky on March 15, 2015:

what about Alaskan malamutes? They're fairly good size and the larger ones can get up to 220lbs.

Elizabeth Parker from Las Vegas, NV on June 05, 2013:

Love this hub. Big dogs are usually the ones who consider themselves lap dogs! I love mastiffs. So adorable.

Deonne Anderson from Florence, SC on June 03, 2013:

Great hub! Dogs are some of my favorite people. I love big dogs and have two dogs, 110 lbs and 85 lbs. I loved the videos!

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on May 24, 2013:

Even as a letter carrier I don't necessary have a problem with large dogs. I've even petted Rottweilers before, who tend to have a gentle disposition until they fall into the wrong hands. The one dog on your list that I am wary of is the Mastiff. A letter carrier out here in San Diego County was killed by a Mastiff a few years back. I enoyed your post. Surprisingly, letter carriers are not necessarily dog haters.

Getitright on April 07, 2013:

Your Bullmastiff (#2) looks like a Bloodhound...oops

Joe Njenga (author) from Nairobi Kenya on November 26, 2012:

Thanks Mecheshier for stopping by to make a complement I highly appreciate

mecheshier on November 25, 2012:

Fabulous Hub. What wonderful pics and info. I definitely favor big dogs overall. Thanks for sharing!

Joe Njenga (author) from Nairobi Kenya on November 25, 2012:

@ conservative Lady ... :) Chihuahua can e very protective I think they suffer from small dog syndrome. Thanks for your contribution

Sheila from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State on November 24, 2012:

I love the big dogs - at least the friendly ones! I currently have a miniature long haired chihuahua who thinks he is a Great Dane - he is always trying to protect me ;-)

dailytop10 from Davao City on November 24, 2012:

Scooby! hehe I love dogs and this hub is really great!

dailytop10 from Davao City on November 24, 2012:

Scooby! hehe I love dogs and this hub is really great!

wetnosedogs from Alabama on November 24, 2012:

Love those large dogs. Thanks for the fun and interesting hub.

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