The World’s Largest Dog Breeds
Despite their size, these gentle giants are generally loyal, well-tempered and good-natured creatures.
The biggest dog breed: English Mastiff
According to the American Kennel Club, the biggest dog breed is the English Mastiff, also known as the Old English Mastiff. Mastiffs are considered the heaviest dog breed, but not necessarily the tallest. They can weigh anywhere from 110 pounds to 343 pounds. The height of a mastiff can range from 25 inches at the shoulder to 36 inches.
In 1989, Zorba, an English Mastiff, broke records as the heaviest and tallest dog ever, with a weight of 343 pounds. Zorba measured over 8 feet from nose to tail and was said to be about the size of a small donkey. Hercules, a 282-pound English mastiff with a 38-inch neck, cinched the record in 2001 for World’s Heaviest Dog.
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Runners-up: Neapolitan Mastiff
Neapolitan Mastiffs are fearless and extremely protective companions. They measure approximately 26 to 31 inches at the withers. Usually weighing about 170 pounds, Neapolitan Mastiffs can also reach up to 200 pounds.
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Runners-up: Irish Wolfhound
Irish Wolfhounds are said to be the world’s tallest dog breed. Historically, the Irish Wolfhound’s astonishing size, speed, and intelligence made them ideal animals for hunting wolves and boars, though they are quite docile and friendly in nature. With a robust and muscular build, males can attain the stature of a small pony. The Irish Wolfhound can reach up to seven feet tall when standing on its hind legs and weigh 90 to 150 pounds.
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Runners-up: Great Dane
Great Danes are considered the world’s second-tallest dog breed after Irish Wolfhounds. However, from year to year it seems the title of Tallest Dog, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is held by a Great Dane. Giant George was the Guiness Book of World Records’ Tallest Dog from 2010 to 2012. George was a 250-pound blue Great Dane from Arizona. He stood three feet, seven inches tall from paw to shoulder, and reportedly consumed 110 pounds of food each month. Although he passed away in 2013, he lived a life of luxury, sleeping on his own queen-sized bed inside the house.
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Runners-up: St. Bernard
Known for its bravery and aptitude in alpine rescue missions, the St. Bernard weighs between 140 and 220 pounds on average, and stands anywhere from 27½ inches to 35½ inches tall. A St. Bernard named Benedictine holds the world record for the Heaviest Dog Ever. Benedictine, who displaced Zorba as the heaviest dog of all time, is said to have weighed 357 pounds.
The Newfoundland is thought to be the strongest of any dog breed, even beating some characteristics of the Great Dane, Mastiff and Irish Wolfhound. Some Newfoundland dogs have been known to weigh over 200 pounds. The largest Newfoundland on record weighed 260 pounds and measured over 6 feet from nose to tail.
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Deriving its name from the city of Leonberg in southwest Germany, according to legend the Leonberger was bred as a “symbolic dog” that would mimic the lion in the town crest. These proud and self-disciplined animals stand 28 to 31.5 inches tall and weigh between 120 to 170 pounds.
Runners-up: Anatolian Shepherd
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a muscular breed with a thick neck and broad head, commonly used for guarding sheep from wolves, bears, jackals, and even cheetahs. It stands 29 to 36 inches and weighs between 90 and 150 pounds.
Runners-up: French Mastiff
The Dogue de Bordeaux is said to have the largest head in the canine world in proportion to the rest of the body. The average Dogue de Bordeaux measures 23 to 30 inches, and weighs 120 to 145 pounds.
It’s important that big dogs get outdoors as much as possible-at least two long walks a day-as their energy requirement is 25 per cent higher than that of small indoor dogs. All that spent energy will require a hefty amount of food to keep your hungry companion fit and healthy, but it is recommended you give your large dog three smaller meals, rather than one large one. This will prevent overeating, as bloat is the number two killer of large dogs after cancer.
Also, know that large dogs are prone to bone and joint problems, and diseases like arthritis, hip dysplasia, and obesity. So before making any final decisions, ensure you will be able to properly care for your new furry friend.
Next, check out 13 of the world’s tiniest dog breeds!