Big Dog Breeds: Can You Name 10?






Big Dog Breeds – What Springs To Mind?

How is your doggy general knowledge? Could you come up with ten big dog breeds? Off the top of my head I would probably guess The Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, St Bernard and Bernese Mountain Dog and that’s as far as I would get without doing some research. How about you?

Why Do People Love Big Dog Breeds?

Well although they say size doesn’t matter, for some of us dog lovers having a big dog to snuggle up to is better than a small dog – simply because there’s more of them. Also you can’t deny that big dogs tend to be more docile and don’t bark at every dog they see!

Many of the small breeds such as my daughter’s Chihuahua, Louis, barks at every dog they meet.

In fact Louis seems to suffer from a canine form of paranoia! I’ve tried explaining to him that every dog he meets is not out to get him and they just want to play. Invariably my explanation falls on deaf ears and Louis continues to bark!

Then of course there is security to consider. After all I can’t see an attacker being deterred by a Chihuahua. On the other hand a large breed such as an English Mastiff is a different proposition all together!

Before choosing the size of dog you want, it’s vital that you consider the potential costs such as food, pet insurance, beds, bowls, leashes etc along with the size of your house and any pets you already own.

Everything about a big dog is well – bigger and costlier. So make sure you can afford one before offering him or her a forever home as a family member!

Big Dog Breeds – My Top 10

Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff is often considered to be the ancestor of the Mastiff breeds. It was originally bred to protect livestock and homes in the Himalayas.

In 1950 the Chinese invaded Tibet and introduced the compulsory slaughter of all dogs. Some Tibetan Mastiffs survived and the breed we know today was derived from them.

Although they look formidable they have a gentle demeanour, are very loyal and love to be with their owners.

Great Dane
Great Dane

The Great Dane stands at between 30-34 inches tall and as such is one of the tallest giant breeds.

They are affectionate and playful with both adults and children so make excellent family pets.

Paradoxically they were originally used for hunting wild boars and as guard dogs by landed German gentry.

Caucasian Shepherd
Caucasian Shepherd

The Caucasian Shepherd is sometimes in excess of 30 inches tall.

It originating in the Caucasus mountain area where it was used to protect and herd flocks.

This breed can be stubborn although they can be trained and socialised by someone who is experienced.

Once trained and socialised they make excellent family pets.

English Mastiff
English Mastiff

Mastiffs have been around for 3000 years making them one of the oldest as well as the largest giant dog breeds.

The English Mastiff is 27-35 inches tall and weighs 200-230 pounds. The breed's weight makes it the biggest of all the giant breeds by mass.

It's thought that they may be descended from the ancient Alaunt and Pugnaces Britanniae.

Once the English Mastiff was used for the baiting of animals. Then latterly for guarding country estates.

Despite this the English Mastiff makes a great family dog and is happy to lie on a sofa whilst snuggling up to their owner.

Nowadays they are often used by the police and army because they are very intelligent.

Irish Wolfhound
Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is another breed that was bred specifically for hunting. And in particular (as the name suggests) for hunting wolves.
Irish Wolfhounds are very strong and tall (up to 32 inches tall).

Despite their fearsome reputation for hunting wolves they make good family pets since they are good with children and other dogs.

As you'd expect they do need lots of exercise so if you love dogs and want to keep fit the Irish Wolfhound would be a match made in heaven!

Saint Bernard
Saint Bernard

The Saint Bernard is so called because of their Saint like temperament - at least that's the popular belief!

This belief becomes even more credible when you learn about the Saint Bernard's monastic beginnings in a Swiss Monastery!

At 28-30 inches tall the Saint Bernard was perfect for guarding monasteries.

Nowadays they are often involved in search and rescue missions in the Swiss Alps and throughout the world.

They are loving and docile and much loved by all who know them or are rescued by them!

Dogue de Bordeaux
Dogue de Bordeaux

The Dogue de Bordeaux is notable for its wrinkly skin and stands at 24 - 26 inches tall.

It was used and is sometimes still used to protect livestock and is thought to be descended from the Molossus.

The Dogue de Bordeaux has been used for a variety of tasks over the years.

This large breed has been used in war, for hunting large game on French country estates and also for driving cattle.


The Leonberger was created from not one but three giant dog breeds - the Saint Bernard, the Newfoundland and the Pyrenean Mountain Dog.

With such auspicious beginnings you would expect to see a fantastic result and you wouldn't be disappointed!

At around 30 inches tall the Leonberger is often used for herding and tracking.

They look adorable and they are adorable too.

If you have young children this breed is not for you as a family pet. This is due to the Leoberger's sensitive nature which means they don't like their often hectic noisy play.

They need an experienced owner to train and socialise them or they can start to be destructive at home .

Anatolian Shepherd
Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd is around 32 inches tall. It has an average life span of 13 to 15 years. This makes the Anatolian Shepherd one of the longest living large breeds.

It originated in Turkey and its origins can be traced back to 2000 B.C.

The Anatolian Shepherd is used to protect flocks of sheep against wild animals and to guard homes and property.

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Sources Of For All Biggest Dog Breeds Information

 American Kennel Club The Kennel Club

USA Breed Owners’ Clubs

Anatolian Shepherd

Anatolian Shepherd Dog Club Of America

Caucasian Shepherd

Caucasian Shepherd Dog Club of America, Inc

Dogue de Bordeaux

Dogue de Bordeaux Society Of America

English Mastiff

The Mastiff Club Of America

Great Dane

Great Dane Club Of America

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound Club Of America


Leonberger Club Of America


The Newfoundland Club Of America

Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard Club Of America

Tibetan Mastiff

American Tibetan Mastiff Association

UK Breed Owners’ Clubs

Anatolian Shepherd


Caucasian Shepherd


Dogue de Bordeaux

Dogue de Bordeaux Club Of Great Britain

English Mastiff

The Old English Mastiff Club

Great Dane

The Great Dane Club UK

Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound Club


The Leonberger Club Of GB


The Newfoundland Club

Saint Bernard

The United Saint Bernard Club

Tibetan Mastiff

The Tibetan Mastiff Club Of Great Britain

Big Dog Breeds – What’s Your Favourite?

Do you have a big dog breed that you think we should include in our top 10?

Please let us know by commenting below and uploading an image.

Derek Collinson
Derek Collinson is a passionate Scot who loves all dogs. He's an animal communicator and healer who created the first dating site for dog lovers in the world in 2006.
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