Top 10 Largest Dog Breeds

English Mastiff
English Mastiff | Source

Large Dog Breeds—Size Does Matter

Despite the fact that small dogs seem to be all the rage with celebrities, many dog lovers prefer a dog that is larger than a cat. I'm not talking about just big dogs—no way! I'm talking giant: the bigger, the better.

You might be thinking, "Big dogs? Well obviously that's either a Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound, or Newfoundland." There's no question that individuals in those breeds tend to be very large. In fact, the tallest dog on record is a Great Dane and the heaviest is an English Mastiff. But does that mean that these breeds are, on average, the largest?

You might be surprised....

About This Largest Dog Breeds List

If you do a quick search of the Internet, you will find quite a few lists of the largest dog breeds. You'll see the same ones listed over and over again, and I'm sure you already have an idea of which those are. However, sometimes you'll come across an unusual breed that should be on a list of the largest but isn't. Usually, this is because many of these lists use AKC (American Kennel Club) standards in determining which breeds make their list. What these lists fail to take into account is that the AKC does not recognize all dog breeds. In fact, there are a couple very large dogs that aren't even on their foundation stock lists.

However, this list of the top 10 largest dog breeds doesn't stick with just the AKC or even the FCI (or Fédération Cynologique Internationale, an international federation of kennel clubs) standards. If it's a large dog breed recognized by at least one legit kennel club, it's fair game for my list! Since I'm talking "largest" dog breeds, I probably don't need to specify "only breeds over 75 pounds" or "only over 26 inches." These breeds are, on average, the tallest, heaviest, brawniest dog breeds in the world. Most of these breeds average well over 175 lbs of pure canine muscle (with a little fluff thrown in).

#10 Neapolitan Mastiff—Mastino Napoletano

Neapolitan Mastiff
Neapolitan Mastiff

How could you not love a face like that? The Neapolitan Mastiff (also known as the Italian Mastiff) comes in at #10. Males average 30 inches tall (at withers) and about 165 lbs. Breed standards generally place the upper limit of height for males at 31 inches, though it doesn't seem they are penalized for being taller as long as correct body proportions are maintained. "Massiveness" is important to the breed standard; a dog can be disqualified if it doesn't have the appearance of massiveness.

Despite their large, imposing exterior, Neapolitan Mastiffs are generally gentle and protective of their family, aloof, and wary of strangers. As such, a Mastini needs to be properly socialized from a young age; these powerful dogs often don't mean to throw their weight around, but they do!

#9 Leonberger—"Gentle Lion"


#9 is the Leonberger, a gentle lion from Germany. These large, sweet dogs average around 30 inches tall and weigh in around 170 lbs. The breed was developed near the town of Leonberg, Germany (hence the name) in the 19th century using a female Newfoundland and a male St. Bernard. Throw in a little Great Pyrenees a bit later and voila! A gentle giant that exhibits the best traits of all its ancestors.

Leonbergers are well-known for being family dogs. They are generally calm, docile dogs that play well with other animals and with children. They were originally seen as a status symbol but owners were quick to realize the Leonberger's great potential as a home and flock guardian and for draft work. Like St. Bernards and Newfoundlands, Leonbergers are often used in search-and-rescues, even in water. Amazingly, only eight Leonbergers were known to have survived WWII. Careful breeding and stewardship brought them back from the brink of extinction.

#8 Boerboel—South African Mastiff


The Boerboel, or South African Mastiff, was bred specifically for guarding the homestead and flocks in South Africa. As you can imagine, you'd need a fairly sturdy, fierce dog to protect your farm from typical South African predators (hyenas, lions, and other big cats). The Boerboel's character—calm, confident, loyal and territorial, without being overly aggressive—was well-suited to this job. The breeds size helped as well: males typically stand about 27 inches at the shoulder and weigh around 175 lbs.

Unfortunately, the breed has developed a reputation as a fighter and has actually been banned in Denmark. The qualities that made the Boerboel perfect for guarding South African homesteads—confidence, a territorial nature, and a tendency to protect to the death—make the breed well-suited to pit fighting. Without proper training and socialization, the Boerboel's protective nature can turn into aggression, towards both people or other animals.

#7 Central Asian Ovcharka—Aziat

Central Asian Ovcharka
Central Asian Ovcharka

As its name suggests, the Central Asian Ovcharka (shepherd dog), also known as the Aziat, hails from Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and surrounding countries). The CAO (for short) is commonly used throughout Central Asia as a flock guardian. The breed is also popular in Russia, where it is often called "volkodav" ("wolfhound") or "volk drobilka" ("wolf crusher").

There are many breed standards for the Central Asian Ovcharka, but most agree that the dog should be "greater than average-sized with great power and strength." Males are often upwards of 32 inches at the withers and usually weigh around 175 lbs. These dogs are still often used as guardians of both home and flocks, but also for hunting and fighting. Like any other dog that is bred for fighting, the CAO can be aggressive, but most are loving family members and work well with other members of their pack. In fact, in many registries in the region, CAOs must pass an "original purpose" test before being registered. Overly aggressive dogs would naturally not pass this test.

#7 Giant Alaskan Malamute

Giant Alaskan Malamute
Giant Alaskan Malamute

I was recently introduced to these beautiful giants and had to add them to my list! Tied for the #7 spot with the Central Asian Ovcharka is the Giant Alaskan Malamute. These beauties stand around 35" at the withers and weigh upwards of 190 lbs. In contrast, the commonly seen Alaskan Malamute male stands around 25" inches and weighs about 85 lbs. That makes this pup one giant sled dog!

The Giant Alaskan Malamute is a descendant of the M'loot type of Malamute (the other two types being Kotzebue and Hinman-Irwin—check out this article on the history of the Alaskan Malamute for more info). The M'Loot type is typically larger than the others. Most (if not all) dog registries do not recognize the Giant Alaskan Malamute as a breed separate from the Alaskan Malamute. But because I love giant, fluffy dogs, I'm putting this one on the list!

#6 Tibetan Mastiff—Do-khyi & Tsang-khyi

Tibetan Mastiff
Tibetan Mastiff

No, this dog isn't part lion. Tibetan Mastiffs, which tie for #6 with English Mastiffs, are large, have an imposing and fearsome appearance, and often possess an attitude to match! Despite its common name, this dog isn't actually a mastiff-type breed. The common Mandarin Chinese name is Zang'Ao, which basically means "Tibetan Mastiff," or better yet, "Tibetan Big Ferocious Dog," is apt since the breed has a reputation for being fierce with strangers and extremely protective of their owners.

There are two types of Tibetan Mastiffs: the Do-khyi ("door guard" is a rough interpretation), which were traditionally used as flock and home guardians, and the Tsang-khyi (which roughly means "dog from Tsang"), which were used as temple guards. The Tsang-khyi is generally larger than the Do-khyi, with males often averaging around 30 inches and weighing in around 180 lbs. It seems that Western breeders are breeding for size, as it's not unusual to find dogs that are over 31 inches tall and weigh over 200 pounds (the largest weighed in at 282!).

Oh, by the way, this breed also has the distinction of currently being the most expensive dog on the planet. In 2011, a Chinese man paid $1.5 million for a dog named Big Splash, a beautiful red 11-month-old Tibetan Mastiff, who, at the time of sale, was nearly 36 inches tall at the shoulder and weighed about 180 lbs (remember, he wasn't full-grown yet!). And let's not forget that Big Splash took the most expensive dog title away from another Tibetan Mastiff, Yangtze River Number Two, who sold for over $600,000 in 2009. As if the price tag wasn't daunting enough, apparently these prized pooches are fed a special diet of beef, chicken, abalone, and sea cucumber!

#6 English Mastiff—Old English Mastiff

Old English Mastiff
Old English Mastiff | Source

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the heaviest dog ever was an Old English Mastiff named Hercules. The poor thing was grossly overweight and was beaten for the title a few years later by another Mastiff named Kell.

It's common knowledge that English Mastiffs are some of the biggest dogs around, so why is this breed at #6? Despite the fact that many individual English Mastiffs get to be much larger than the breed average, the fact is the breed average puts males around 30 inches tall and about 180 lbs. This puts them in the same range as the Tibetan Mastiff and the Cao dos Mourey (which I didn't include on this list because it's a relatively unknown and recently-developed breed). So, while your mastiff may very well be larger than the breeds at #1 through #5 on this list, on average, there are at least five breeds that are larger than mastiffs. (Can you guess what they are?)

#5 Mee Kyun Dosa—Korean Mastiff

Mee-Kyun Dosa
Mee-Kyun Dosa

Yes, somewhere under all that skin is a dog. The Mee Kyun Dosa (or Korean Mastiff) looks like a cross between a Neapolitan Mastiff and a Sharpei (or like a dog wearing a skin suit five times too large). It's hard to tell with all those wrinkles, but a Dosa generally stands about 30 inches tall and weighs around 180 lbs, making it just smaller than the typical Tosa Inu and just larger than the typical English Mastiff.

The Korean Mastiff is rarely seen outside of Korea, where they were developed from crossing Tosa Inu, Dogue de Bordeaux, and possibly Bloodhounds and Neapolitan Mastiffs. Despite their fighting dog ancestry, Dosas are known for their gentle, loving nature and their rather sluggish movement (you try moving all those wrinkles!). Rather than moving gracefully, they lumber like bears. Dosas make great companions, although they were bred to be guard dogs (and are sometimes used for fighting in Korea). These pretty pooches have smooth, shiny coats in red, mahogany, and chocolate.

#4 Tosa Inu—Japanese Mastiff

Tosa Inu
Tosa Inu

The Tosa Inu, also known as the Japanese Mastiff, is known as the sumo wrestler of the dog world. In fact, the most prized Tosa fighters are often honored with the title Yokozuna, the same title as the highest-ranking sumo wrestlers. The Tosa is also known as the Tosa Touken, which means "Tosa fighting dog."

Like many of the breeds on this list, there is no upper limit to the height or weight listed in the Tosa's breed standard. Males Tosas average 28 inches in height and weigh around 200 lbs, though many Western breeders are breeding for taller, heavier dogs, so it's not unusual to see a Tosa who is upwards of 30 inches and 220 lbs. Because Tosas have been bred for fighting, they have a tendency to be aggressive, though with proper training and socialization Tosas can make great companions.

#4 St. Bernard—"Saint Dogs"

St. Bernard
St. Bernard | Source

Tied with the Tosa Inu for position #4 is the St. Bernard, perhaps one of the most recognizable dogs on the list. Unlike the majority of breeds on this list that were bred to fight, hunt, or guard flocks, the St. Bernard was bred to rescue people and flock animals in the Italian and Swiss Alps. Their name comes from a traveler's way station in the Alps founded by the 11th century monk Bernard of Montjoux, who became Saint Bernard.

These loving dogs average a height of 31 inches and a weight around 200 lbs, though much larger individuals are often seen (the largest on record was 315 lbs). The original St. Bernards did not have the long coats seen today. This coat developed in the 19th century after the St. Bernard population was decimated by avalanches. The breed was crossed with the Newfoundland to regain its numbers. Unfortunately, the long hair would freeze in the snow, and many St. Bernards lost their traditional jobs. Due to their docile nature, they quickly became family companions and flock guardians.

#3 Spanish Mastiff—Mastín Español

Spanish Mastiff
Spanish Mastiff

The Spanish Mastiff is the largest of the flock guardian breeds. Like many others on this list, there is no upper limit to size in the breed standard, but male Spanish Mastiffs are usually about 33 inches at the shoulder and weigh around 200 lbs. This breed is well-known for its livestock-guarding abilities and will face down a wolf or a bear without a second thought.

A properly-trained and socialized Spanish Mastiff also makes a great family companion. They tend to be calm and protective, but can be aggressive towards other dogs, especially those it feels are threatening its herd (and by "herd" I mean you!). Like several other breeds on this list (notably the Mee Kyun Dosa), the Spanish Mastiff tends to have a lumbering walk, giving the dog an appearance of clumsy laziness. Don't be fooled, though: when needed, these dogs can move quickly to defend your sheep (or kids)!

#2 Great Dane—German Mastiff

Great Dane
Great Dane | Source

Despite the Great Dane often holding the "tallest dog" title, it's second on my list. These dogs are definitely the tallest, often standing at 34 inches at the withers (on their hind legs, they can reach close to 7 feet tall!) In fact, it's unusual for any dog other than the Great Dane to hold the title for world's tallest dog (the current pooch stands around 43 inches at the shoulder). However, Great Danes are not typically the beefiest dogs. Not that they aren't 200 lbs of pure muscle. These are sleek, powerful critters, well-suited to hunting large animals and war.

Danes make great companions. They tend to be gentle giants who get along well with both people and animals. Unlike some of the other breeds here, Great Danes don't usually exhibit a strong prey drive. Their friendliness doesn't mean they aren't protective of their families—and who's really going to mess with such a large barker coming at them?

#1 Pyrenean Mastiff—Mastín del Pirineo

Pyrenean Mastiff
Pyrenean Mastiff

Finally, the #1 largest dog breed, the Pyrenean Mastiff (not to be confused with the Spanish Mastiff, though they may have developed from the Spanish Mastiff). These beefy dogs are usually around 32 inches tall and weigh upwards of 220 lbs. That makes them tall and brawny!

The breed originated in the Pyrenean mountain region of Spain. It was developed as a flock guardian and as such does not have a strong prey drive but may exhibit herding behavior. They are docile and somewhat lazy until it's time to work. They were a flock's only protection against wolves and bears in the Pyrenees; their size and protective nature ensured a flock's safety. Aggression towards unfamiliar people and other potential predators is encouraged in a flock guardian. Even so, the Pyrenean Mastiff is generally a very calm, loving dog who rarely barks and only shows true aggression when given no other options.

Molossian Guard Dog
Molossian Guard Dog

Did you notice...

...that the majority of large dog breeds on this list are mastiff-types? This type of dog is called molosser, which is derived from the ancient Molossus breed associated with the Molossian tribe of ancient Greece (are you seeing a theme with the name yet?). It is believed that the Molossus breed had a wide, short muzzle (similar to mastiffs) and was primarily used as a fighting and hunting dog.

Of course, there is another camp that claims that the Molossus was actually a lightweight dog, more like the modern Greyhound, and that the modern mastiff-type came from an entirely different ancient dog, the Alaunt, which is thought to have looked much like a Caucasian Ovcharka. The interesting part of this theory is that the Alaunt is believed to have descended from a mastiff-type dog known as the Sarmatian Mastiff (which is thought to have been a close relative to the Caucasian Ovcharka).

In other words, at some point there was a darn big brawny dog from somewhere in the ancient world that was the ancestor to the modern day mastiff-type dog.

Excuse Me?! What About...?: Expanded Largest Dog Breeds List

I realize that I have left off several popular large dog breeds. This may not sit well with some of you, but they couldn't all fit on my list (then it wouldn't be a top 10!). So, what's my justification for leaving off some breeds like Newfoundland, Dogue de Bordeaux, Irish Wolfhound, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, and others?

I created a spreadsheet of large (ok, giant) dog breeds. On it, I listed average heights and weights for the males of the breeds (females are generally smaller), then sorted by weight, then height. The top ten made my list. Simple as that. Here are the next twenty or so breeds that did not make the list but deserve to be mentioned. Some of my faves are here!

Other Large Breeds

  • Caucasian Ovcharka—average height 28 inches; average weight 155 lbs
  • Irish Wolfhound—average height 35 inches; average weight 150 lbs
  • Landseer Newfoundland—average height 32 inches; average weight 150 lbs
  • Anatolian Shepherd—average height 30 inches; average weight 150 lbs
  • Broholmer—average height 30 inches; average weight 150 lbs
  • Newfoundland—average height 29 inches; average weight 150 lbs
  • Moscow Watchdog—average height 27 inches; average weight 150 lbs
  • Kangal Dog—average height 32 inches; average weight 145 lbs
  • Dogue de Bordeaux—average height 30 inches; average weight 145 lbs
  • Black Russian Terrier—average height 29 inches; average weight 145 lbs
  • Canis Panther—average height 30 inches; average weight 140 lbs
  • Greater Swiss Mountain Dog—average height 29 inches; average weight 135 lbs
  • Rafeiro do Alentejo—average height 28 inches; average weight 135 lbs
  • Bullmastiff—average height 27 inches; average weight 135 lbs
  • Akbash Dog—average height 32 inches; average weight 130 lbs
  • Komondor—average height 28; average weight 130 lbs
  • Rottweiler—average height 27 inches; average weight 130 lbs
  • Perro de Presa Canario—average height 25 inches; average weight 130 lbs
  • Bulgarian Sheepdog—average height 30 inches; average weight 125 lbs
  • Great Pyrenees—average height 29 inches; average weight 120 lbs
  • American Akita—average height 28 inches; average weight 120 lbs
  • Cane Corso Italiano—average height 26 inches; average weight 105 lbs (breed standard—some dispute, saying breed is consistently larger)

Do you think my list is fairly accurate? Did I forget a breed? Please join the discussion in the comment section below!

What do you think? 154 comments

JEMArtistry profile image

JEMArtistry 4 years ago

Great lens... I love these dogs and the ones that didn't make your top ten. :)

anonymous 4 years ago

you forgot the great pyrnesse

RockingChairWisdom 4 years ago

Well, at first glace I thought #5 might have been a Halloween costume.

None of these are what I would call lap dogs.

A very educational lens. But I do have one question - Where does Marmaduke fit in?

Loulie LM profile image

Loulie LM 4 years ago

This was a fun read, as I am obsessed with huge dogs. Our family is very involved in dog rescue, and you are right that large dogs are much harder to "place" than small dogs. I want to give a shout out to the all-time greatest dog in every category... The Mutt!! :)

MartieG profile image

MartieG 4 years ago from Jersey Shore

What great photos - love those large dogs! :>)

DIY Mary profile image

DIY Mary 4 years ago

What an adorable lens! I especially love breed #6 (he looks like a lion).

Mickie Gee profile image

Mickie Gee 4 years ago

My daughter used to have two Great Danes. She was way over her head. One needs lots of space and time to take care of them.

anonymous 4 years ago

I like the Leonberger, never seen one before. A mix of all of my favorite breeds...other than the White German Shepherd which we just got a couple weeks ago! Great lens! The poor #5 Mee Kyun Dosa, he looks like he can't even see!

anonymous 4 years ago

I love the Saint Bernard, such a lovely nature

julieannbrady 4 years ago

How incredible the large dog breed! The Tibetan Mastiff actually resembles a lion with its mane. Could you imagine the food bill?

TreasuresBrenda profile image

TreasuresBrenda 4 years ago from Canada

Nicely done, I don't know a lot about dogs so I cannot comment on your accuracy.

MomwithAHook LM profile image

MomwithAHook LM 4 years ago from California

@julieannbrady: I agree - it was the first thing that came to mind when I saw the Tibetan Mastiff.

SoniaCarew profile image

SoniaCarew 4 years ago

Beautiful! I love big dogs.

Fab lens!

Ilonagarden profile image

Ilonagarden 4 years ago from Ohio

I really like your lens it was a great look at some breeds I know little about.

JZinoBodyArt 4 years ago

exceptional lens!

anonymous 4 years ago

Cane Corso Italiano aka Italian Mastiff :-)

Bigdaddyguru profile image

Bigdaddyguru 4 years ago

Great site, I'm a Dane lover

ItayaLightbourne profile image

ItayaLightbourne 4 years ago from Topeka, KS

Wow! There are some dogs on this list I've never even heard of! Great article! :)

TerriLorah 4 years ago

Wow, some of the breeds are funky looking. The Korean Mastiff especially. I think you nailed it when it comes to the largest breeds!

SusanDeppner profile image

SusanDeppner 4 years ago from Arkansas USA

And I thought my Daisy was big! She doesn't come close to these awesome fellas. Aren't dogs amazing?

anonymous 4 years ago

I love the Tibetan Mastiff...looks like a lion!

getmoreinfo 4 years ago

This is a great list of big, loveable doggies. Congrats on your SquidooHQ feature.

anonymous 4 years ago

Those are some very big dogs. Excellent lens!

cathywoodosborn profile image

cathywoodosborn 4 years ago

Aren't they magnificent. Great lens.

Gypzeerose profile image

Gypzeerose 4 years ago

Okay now. Well, I will have a lot to think about tonight! The Mee Kyun Dosa alone is such an amazing site, I stared at that picture for a long time and did not find the eyes. Angel Blessed - you did a lot of work on this lens.

Budeni profile image

Budeni 4 years ago

I'm somewhat in love with those great danes - if their ears ain't cropped. Such gentle beauties. Great lens and thank you for that good work!

shahedashaikh profile image

shahedashaikh 4 years ago

Sorry Not a dog lover.But awesome lens.Liked the info.

moonlitta 4 years ago

We used to own a giant schnauzer -boy she was big:) I adore large dogs.

anonymous 4 years ago

Love the large breeds, just more to hug!

Phoenix2361 profile image

Phoenix2361 4 years ago

Loved your hub. I'm a fan of big dogs and was fascinated to which ones made the list. Many of them I've never heard of before much less seen.

Funner1 4 years ago

Thanks for all the research on large dogs, it was fun learning about their different demeanor, through your great lens!.

CarlittoDunaway 4 years ago

I like St. Bernards the best if I have to choose from these 10.

flycatcherrr profile image

flycatcherrr 4 years ago

I do love big dogs! Great Danes are one of my favourites, though I've yet to meet a Great Dane who didn't secretly think he was a lap dog. :)

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 4 years ago from California Author

@flycatcherrr: In my experience, Akitas are the same way!

jenisays 4 years ago

Love your lens! My daughter wants a Mastiff!

smithlights profile image

smithlights 4 years ago

Wonderful lens! I wrote a few lenses about my giant golden retriever- he is at least 28 inches and 120 pounds. I should go measure how tall he is. Love the list!

anonymous 4 years ago

Yes, I was noticing that the majority of the top 10 largest dogs are mastiffs and had not seen most of them...we had a family saying that seems to fit the Mee Kyun Dosa, a face only a mother could love, how very dear! I love dogs and hugging the neck of a big dog and wish I could have one in my life again.

bigjoe2121 profile image

bigjoe2121 4 years ago

My neighbor has what I think is a leonburger - he's huge! and not super nice through the fence :(

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 4 years ago from California Author

@bigjoe2121: Certain breeds do have an innate personality trait that leads them to be very weary and suspicious of people they feel are encroaching on their territory. It's usually a result of years (centuries) of breeding that trait in, and what makes so many of the larger breeds great watch/guard dogs. But, not exactly great when you just want to enjoy your own yard. It's times like that when you have to remember that it's not the breed, it's the individual dog (who may, unfortunately, be encouraged by their owner).

I feel awful for my neighbors sometimes because my dog has fits over them using their pool - he can't see what they are doing, just hears the ruckus. Fortunately, my pooch is actually a very sweet and gentle dog once he knows you!

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 4 years ago from California Author

@flycatcherrr: I've met a few big dogs who thought they were lap dogs - mine included! The bigger they are, the better lap dog they make :)

Pam Irie profile image

Pam Irie 4 years ago from Land of Aloha

Impressive list. I'd imagine big dog has a very big appetite too. :) Beautiful animals!

alex89 lm profile image

alex89 lm 4 years ago

nice lens, all beautiful animals. I never knew about the leonburger before, but I think it just became my favorite dog breed.

rallo-smith profile image

rallo-smith 4 years ago

I did like your list, after all you did say in the beginning it was your list. I have a great Pyrenees and he's big but not the biggest.

anonymous 4 years ago

what do you think of Aryan Molossus?

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 4 years ago from California Author

@anonymous: Good one! I missed them when making my list. Averaging 34 inches at the withers and weighing over 200 lbs - the Aryan Molossus should definitely make a large dog list!!

sheezie77 4 years ago

Great lens, nice info! I enjoy it! Squidlike

savateuse profile image

savateuse 4 years ago

Great lens - I love big dogs!

savateuse profile image

savateuse 4 years ago

Great lens, I love big dogs!

pawpaw911 4 years ago

Beautiful dogs.......except for maybe the Korean Mastiff.

anonymous 4 years ago

What about Giant Alaskan Malamutes?

anonymous 4 years ago

You never even considered the Caucasian Mountain Shepherd! The males are typically around 35 inches and weigh around 120 lbs, although individuals have made it past 200 lbs! You never even considered!

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 4 years ago from California Author

@anonymous: The Caucasian Mountain Shepherd is also known as the Caucasian Ovcharka - it's first on my list of honorees!

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 4 years ago from California Author

@anonymous: I have to admit, I hadn't heard of Giant Alaskan Malamutes, which is odd for me because I love Malamutes! I did a little research (so a quick search for Wakon Giant Alaskan Malamutes), and will be adding them to my list (I think they'll tie for the #7 spot with the Central Asian Ovcharka). Thanks for letting me know about these - now I want one!!!

anonymous 4 years ago

i think it was a very good list thanks

nickybutler profile image

nickybutler 4 years ago

Some beautiful dogs on here! Great lens, thanks :)

LizMac60 profile image

LizMac60 4 years ago from United Kingdom

I had friends who had 2 akitas. Nice lens.

KandDMarketing profile image

KandDMarketing 4 years ago

We've had Anatolian Shepherd Dogs now for a while. They are fantastic dogs. Smart, protective - yet laid back. Their jobs, mostly, are to keep our sheep happy, healthy and coyote free!

gottaloveit2 profile image

gottaloveit2 4 years ago

I love all dogs, big and small. And, remember, there's a rescue out there for every single dog breed - rescued dogs are the best! Nice article.

norma-holt profile image

norma-holt 4 years ago

Wow, what big creatures. You wonder about why some of them are bred, for instance the Mee Kyan Dosa which must have awful trouble seeing aside from heat problems, etc. Featured on Blessed by Skliesgreen 2012-2 and also on Angel Blessings for Dogs on Squidoo. Hugs

RedShoesGirl profile image

RedShoesGirl 4 years ago

I love the Giant Alaskan Malamute. I would suggest you to look on the Internet for the Romanian Shepard dogs: Carpathian Shepherd Dog , Mioritic Shepherd Dog, The Shepherd Dog of Bucovina and Raven Shepherd Dog

(The Romanian Corb Shepherd). They are all huge and I am sure that you will love them.

vinodkpillai lm profile image

vinodkpillai lm 4 years ago

Great list with beautiful pics! Thanks for sharing.

anonymous 4 years ago

Love your list.. I have a Leonberger, these dogs are the smartest and gentlest dogs ever. Big Teddybears!

anonymous 4 years ago

My irish wolfhound was 37 in at the shoulder and stood on hind legs at 7'5"! Although he weighed in at less than the dogs on this list he was certainly the tallest. He was the best dog I ever owned and the most gentlest!

GrinningFool 4 years ago

I had no idea about most of these dogs. Great list!

anonymous 4 years ago

My Black Russian Terrier dog stood 34" to his withers and weighed over 180lbs

anonymous 4 years ago

My Russian Black Terrier dog stood 34" to the withers an weighed in excess of 180lbs

renstar lm profile image

renstar lm 4 years ago

great lens, great list

sojourner-1 4 years ago

Wow #6 is crazy looking--is that groomed to resemble a lion?

Vikk Simmons profile image

Vikk Simmons 4 years ago from Houston

Well, I don't see the Great Pyrenees....:) Great page.

WinWriter 4 years ago

That picture of the Korean mastiff cracks me up. Hard to find his eyes in all that skin :)

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 4 years ago from California Author

@sojourner-1: That's his natural look. Many Tibetan Mastiffs aren't red (they are most commonly black with tan markings) and aren't that fluffy. The dog in that pic, Big Splash, was valued so high partly because of his unusual beautiful coloring and fur - he's like a giant Chow Chow!

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 4 years ago from California Author

@Vikk Simmons: The Great Pyrenees is on my list of honorees!

anonymous 4 years ago

What about the Brazilian Fila (a Mastiff as well)

anonymous 4 years ago

Caucasian Ovcharka is a pretty dog, though I own 2 Irish Wolfhounds, the worlds largest dogs(on average). I think 35 inches and 150lb is the minimum male spec as the dozens i know are 150-200lbs and 35-40 inches.

Nice reading though :)

Mastiff fan?

anonymous 4 years ago

My Irish Wolfhound will eat your Mastiffs for breakfast.

anonymous 4 years ago

You left out the Sarmation mastif, who is indeed one of the largest dogs in the world, similar to the great dane in size, but with more muscle and a stronger bite! This breed was mentioned by you however you did not include this ancient breed who surprisingly exists today! Although rare, if you google it, you may find information on this dog.......But I do commend you on your diversity, in mentioning The Spanish mastiff, The tru Tibetian mastiff, (both types), and The larger type Alaskan malemute, which I have seen first hand! over all, good job!

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 4 years ago from California Author

@anonymous: Actually I'm not a huge mastiff fan - though it does seem like with this lens! I do love the looks of the Tibetan Mastiff and the Spanish Mastiff though. I prefer my dogs to have some fluff and most mastiffs are smooth-coated. They are pretty impressive dogs though!

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 4 years ago from California Author

@anonymous: It was hard to decide which ones to include. Several big breeds were left off, the Sarmatian Mastiff only got a brief mention, as did several other large molossers. Perhaps I should do another lens dedicated to just mastiffs!

anonymous 4 years ago

giant dogs is scary but cutes

anonymous 4 years ago

Anatolian Shepherd dogs can actually be quite large, as well. I mention it only because there is a local woman who owns one, and when I first saw her, I thought she was walking a pony.

anonymous 4 years ago

Bully kutta is also one of the world largest breed mastiff dog height 30 inches to 34

anonymous 4 years ago

norweigen elk hound

anonymous 4 years ago

Yes, you forgot the biggest and stronger the ´´ Bully Kutta`` or Pakistany Mastiff

anonymous 4 years ago

Highly innacurate list, beginning by not introducing the criteria that is being used. Is it weight or is it height? Or is it a combination of both? The only way the Great Dane could be second would be by height only (beaten by the Irish Wolfhound).

WriterJanis2 profile image

WriterJanis2 4 years ago

I never knew there were Giant Alaskan Malamutes. Trying to envision how huge these dogs are.

anonymous 3 years ago

Good list...provides information on and about breeds most of us did not know. And, surely some folks will be upset that their breed is not in the top 10..tough!

anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: I suppose you didn't read the entire article...

anonymous 3 years ago

I want one......i have a purebred German Shepherd who weighs in at 105 pounds and stands about 36 inches from the floor, and eats up to 50 pounds of dog food in 2 weeks...i'd prefer big dogs, when raised right they will stand by you and will love you forever....

anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: an irish wolfhound is not taller than a great dane if you look at average height there are few irish wolf hounds that get as tall as a great dane, and the criteria is obviously based on a combination of height and weight

anonymous 3 years ago

Newfie. Brave and loyal. Lewis and Clark took a Newfie on their journey west.

anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: yes it was. sorted by weight then height of the male.

anonymous 3 years ago

what about kangal and illyrian shepherd?

anonymous 3 years ago

I am a vet too and I think she hit it pretty well on the head. You didn't do any of what you said you did at all. I am going to say that you are not a vet, you have an English Mastiff and your pee pee just felt like it got a little shorter. I AM a vet and you are wrong buddy. The list may not be 100% right with singular dogs but on average it is. Don't worry just go buy a Hummer or something and you will feel "adequate" again.

anonymous 3 years ago

Did you forget these or is there some other reason you didn't add them to your list?

Bully Kutta

Gull Dong

Central Asian Shepard Dog

stephiy profile image

stephiy 3 years ago

Nice lens! I had a wonderful Neapolitan Mastiff and he was anything but aloof and wary of strangers. He was the exact opposite. He never met a stranger he didn't immediately love! He also was well over the average weight you have listed. He was just shy of 200lbs.

pumpum profile image

pumpum 3 years ago

Great dogs. Maybe you should put to your list Tornjak and Sarplaninac, they are large dogs, they come from Balkans. I am no expert, but I think that they might be put to this list.Keep up the good work!

anonymous 3 years ago

I have never heard of or seen most of the dog breeds mentioned. Only started looking when I weighed my 4 year old Great Pyrenees and he was 208 pounds. I am sure list is accurate. But as local dogs go, mine is the biggest in my mind.

anonymous 3 years ago

A vet who can't spell. Sounds credible.

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 3 years ago from California Author

@anonymous: Individual specimens of a breed can vary greatly in size and weight, so what I did was research the average size of males for a breed and use that. If you do a quick search for "heaviest dog" and for "tallest dog" you'll see that the dogs that pop up are not average for their breed (last time I checked the tallest went to a Great Dane and the heaviest went to an English Mastiff - who looked like he could stand to loose some weight :)

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 3 years ago from California Author

@anonymous: I did include the Central Asian Shepard Dog (Central Asian Ovcharka). I tried to stick with breeds that were recognized by at least one major kennel club (for instance, KC, FCI or AKC). I couldn't find either the Bully Kutta or the Gull Dong as being recognized by any breed registry, including the Kennel Club of India (which seemed the logical place to start). If I missed these breeds in the kennel club lists, then I'll be happy to restructure my list - although I think we all agree that if it's a mastiff, it's probably one of the biggest breeds in general!

anonymous 3 years ago

I enjoyed! All of the information you shared on your article. O learned so much and enjoyed it all

I am a real dog lover and have always had at.least one dog. We have for the most part had rescue dogs and we have been blessed with great companion dogs. Thanks again for so much information.

takkhisa profile image

takkhisa 3 years ago

It is a nice lens, i like big dog.

afriqnet 3 years ago

Certainly your list is comprehensive and I agree with it. The last part is also very informative about breed characteristics. Very useful content. I have been writing about big dog and one of my post about top ten biggest dogs summarizes these largest breeds of dogs into only ten. You can see my list here and compare

kimark421 profile image

kimark421 3 years ago

Excellent lens.I have always been partial to larger dogs.

LynetteBell profile image

LynetteBell 3 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

That Tibetan Mastiff looks like a cross between a lion and a dog!

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TheLittleCardShop 3 years ago

Woww those giant dog breeds are amazing. I hadn't seen a leonbregger before and it is beautiful. I love all kinds of dogs and I have 2 a lab and a Siberian Husky :)

anonymous 3 years ago

Great Pyrenees are significantly bigger than you think, but it is important to measure the larger males, as the females tend to be quite a bit smaller. For example, my last male was 31 inches at the shoulder and weighed around 200 lbs. He was massively built but not as tall as many males I have seen. I would put average male height at closer to 32 inches.

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 3 years ago from California Author

@anonymous: According to my research, male Great Pyrenees are generally between 27-32 inches. I apparently made a typo or miscalculation in spreadsheet, because an average of that range would be 29.5 inches, rather than the 28 inches that I wrote. I'm going to bump the Great Pyrenees up on my honoree list. Thanks for pointing that out!

anonymous 3 years ago

What about bully Kutta who weighs 200 pounds or boerboel or cane corso

anonymous 3 years ago

Sorry I meant sop or serbian service dog instead of boerboel

Gayle Dowell profile image

Gayle Dowell 3 years ago from Kansas

Great lens. These are some BIG dogs!

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 3 years ago from California Author

@anonymous: I tried to stick with dog breeds officially recognized by at least one major kennel club. (for instance, KC, FCI or AKC). I couldn't find either the Bully Kutta as being recognized by any breed registry, including the Kennel Club of India (which seemed the logical place to start). The same goes for the Serbian Defense Dog (also known as the Srpski Odbrambeni Pas). As for the Cane Corso (also known as Cane Corso Italiano, or Italian Mastiff), that's an interesting problem. Several breed standards list the average male's height between 24-27 inches and their weight between 99-110 lbs. That means the Cane Corse would be below the Akita on my list of Honorees. However, I did read some articles by breeders that suggested that those averages were low and that the average should be more around 28 inches tall and 145 lbs. However, other breeders say that these larger specimens are the result of relatively new breeding programs to produce heavier dogs. I'm willing to update my list of Honorees to include the Cane Corso, but to be fair to the other breeds, I have to go by the breed standards listed by the kennel clubs.

anonymous 3 years ago

I want to buy all dogs

anonymous 3 years ago

I found your list interesting to say the least. My fiancé and I where discussing the largest dog breeds and she decided to do a web search to find a listing. This brought us here. Unfortunately A breed I learned of a few years back was not here. I don't know the breed name, but I do remember I couldn't pronounce it. I do have some info I remember from my discussion with the owner and my own observations.

Hight: Unsure, but the one I met was (after I petted him for a bit) able to lick potato chip crumbs off of my shirt (sturnem level) with all 4 paws firmly on the ground.(I'm 6ft tall)

Weight: 250 ave

Appearance: fir was short coarse and grey. The head/neck was similer to the Tosa Inu. The tail seemed odd to me, possably undocked but still disproportunately small.

I realise you included only (AKC or otherwise) recognised breeds. The one I am looking for may not be, however I do know that there is a club for dogs/owners of this particular breed. The club is either bassed in, or has a Michigan (where I live) chapter.

anonymous 3 years ago

You have the Cane Corso as an average of 26 inches, and Rottweiler, Bullmastiff, and Dogue at 27 inches. It's very common knowledge that Corsos are normally taller and more imposing than these breeds, and the standard usually reflects that. The correct average weight of a male corso is 120-150lbs. The Caucasian Ovcharka is normally bigger than the CAO in stature, not always weight. Some Kangal dogs being bred overseas are much bigger than any of these dogs.

anonymous 3 years ago

@Akitajitsu: The old standard for the Corso was Males- 25-28" 110-130, Females-90-110lbs. The AKC and its minions, breeding only to standards vs function and restructuring the breed to type by bringing boxer(the goofiest and most useless breed over 45lbs) blood into the mix has significantly reduced the Corso. I've even seen 88-100lbs for the standard. These dogs are larger than Akitas 99 times out of 100. Luckily, a silly breed like the boxer can't be used to restructure the Akita, so they have remained a solid, hard nosed dog.

anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: true. If you check the tallest dog alive, or guinness, it will give you great danes as the tallest dogs on record.

anonymous 3 years ago

largest dog on record was a english mastiff at 340lbs. Boerboel males do often grow to 200lbs

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 3 years ago from California Author

@anonymous: True, individual specimens of each breed might be much larger than the average listed. Certain breeders may consistently produce larger individuals. However, you have to think of these dogs as outliers- not the norm. I felt sticking with breed standards was a fairer way to do things.

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 3 years ago from California Author

@anonymous: I'd be happy to research the breed if you can remember the name. If the head/neck was similar to the Tosa, then it's definitely a molosser breed (mastiff). There are so many molosser breeds....I should do a list of just those!

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 3 years ago from California Author

@anonymous: I'll recheck the breed standards for the Cane Corso. I believe I used the FCI standards for it. I know that this breed is generally larger than listed, but I had to go by breed standards for all the breeds to be fair.

anonymous 3 years ago

Why isn't the dog breed, the Chow among this list? If you don't mind me asking?

anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: I'm going to guess it's because it's not a giant breed.

ChowChow "Height, Weight

Height: 18 - 22 inches (46 - 56 cm)

Weight: 45 - 70 pounds (20 - 32 kg)"

They are cute dogs though!

anonymous 3 years ago

Loved the list! Thanks

anonymous 3 years ago

first list to have em all. thanks you know your dogs buddy.

Michelllle profile image

Michelllle 3 years ago

I LOVE newfies! But I'd love any of these big guys. Small dogs just don't cut it.

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 3 years ago from California Author

@anonymous: Jess gotit right. Chows just don't have the size to be considered a large breed. They are more of a medium breed. They also happen to be one of my fav breeds too! I miss my Chow, Pooh....such a sweet dog!!

Akitajitsu profile image

Akitajitsu 3 years ago from California Author

@Michelllle: I agree, small dogs don't cut it (but don't let my Mom's Pomeranian/Chihuahua hear that...she'll have fits!)

anonymous 3 years ago

Irish wolfhound isn't on the list..

anonymous 3 years ago

The bully kutta or Pakistani mastiff is anywhere from 30" to 42" tall and weighs 154-198lbs. How did you miss this?

anonymous 3 years ago

Your list is inaccurate you left out Irish wolf hound which is actually the largest dog breed in the world

anonymous 3 years ago

The list was compiled in regards to the average of both height AND weight. Unfortunately for the Irish Wolfhound, the other dogs on the list just happen to be a little beefier. They're still gorgeous dogs though. Nice job!

Spiderlily321 profile image

Spiderlily321 3 years ago

Awesome compilation of dogs. My family and I are looking into getting a big dog but haven't decided on what breed yet. Great info here! Thanks for sharing

anonymous 3 years ago

@Spiderlily321: I whole-heartedly recommend a mastiff breed. I've owned three Old English Mastiffs through the years and I can tell you they are gentle giants. All my boys were great with children, though dodgy with strangers and great with other small dogs I have owned, such as Tiny Toy Poodles, Mutts of no larger then 15 pounds! The only dogs they are not keen on are large breed (Malinois, Shephares, Danish Hounds, etc..) because they seem to threaten the Mastiffs territory. They are wonderful, loving pets and very protective of their humans. None of mine have every attacked a strange human because normally once the human sees their size and hears their deep bark, they back away quickly or cross the street to get out of the path when you are walking them. But, expect to go through about 40 pounds of dog food every 2.5 to 3 weeks and never over feed them

anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: The Anatolian Sheppard from Turkey is a very large dog also but in weight they are no match for the Mastiff.

anonymous 3 years ago

Giant schnauzer

anonymous 3 years ago

Caucasian mountain shepherd is huge!

anonymous 3 years ago

list and your information are quite extensive and impressive... thank you for all the work that you put into this

anonymous 3 years ago

Just the tallest dog in the world - the Irish Wolfhound!

anonymous 3 years ago

you missed the 34 in bully kutta

anonymous 3 years ago

Yes, top breed Cane Corsos are much more in height and weight than what you have noted. 120-140 lbs. Ours (male) is 130 on the nose.

anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: i was just gonna put this up

anonymous 3 years ago

My girlfriend has a Golden Great Pyrenees, she is a real sweetheart but I worry because she is "iffy" with other people and some dogs. She was adopted, like we literally found her wandering lost and alone. She is the sweetest dog to us, but I want to introduce her to my mom/rest of family and worry. Also if we ever want to get another dog. Any advice would be helpful. Great article!

anonymous 3 years ago

@anonymous: No it's not

anonymous 3 years ago

Akita giants at 240lbs from wolf breeds. Watched film on two Akita's getting into lions pen and taking meat away from the big cats, the lions ran away from the Akita's!!

kristin-h-bullard 2 years ago

@anonymous: We have a great also, he's very sweet & gentle but they will show aggression towards anythig that they deam to be a threat to their "herd" ie. your household which will include other pets as well as people just an FYI. I would advise slowly introducing her to other people & well socialized dogs over time (they usually take to people easier). Ours currently lives with a pitbull to whom he's bonded with & is very socialized with other dogs of our friends & family. We still have bought of aggression with new dogs bc again any hostle actions towards himself or anyone in our household he meets with aggression (it's just their nature, they make awesome guard dogs), it just takes time, their very stubborn. Training can be a bit tough to because of that stubborn trait but again it just takes time. Hope this helps!

RussnJo profile image

RussnJo 2 years ago

Growing up, I always thought I wanted a Great Dane, but we ended up adopting a Mastiff. We lost him at a young age, and would certainly love another one in our home. I have never heard of a Boerboel, or some of the others . . . wonderful, informative article!

loretta-phillips-31 2 years ago

@anonymous: Make sure you train the dog with the understanding that the "humans" are the alphas, in everything. Work with a good trainer, research, find one who has trained sport, hunting, agility, therapy and rescue/cadaver dogs. They will be able to offer you the best solutions. When introducing a new person always make sure they have a pocket of the dogs favorite treats first, it helps break some of the tension the dog might feel and the dog will soon start to associate quests with treats. The dog needs you to be firm and command her in her behavior. If her desire to please you is strong enough she will follow your lead on what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Best of luck

VonTassenFarm 2 years ago

We own a small farm, so we raise and breed Turkish Kangal dogs. They're very large and awesome livestock guadians. Our dogs are raised with sheep, chickens, pigs and other farm critters. I had never owned a large dog until I moved to the farm. I enjoyed reading your lens. ~

samarth 7 months ago

I have a dogue de bordeaux its like a huge pillow to me

Anonymous 5 months ago

Hey you forgot the best strongest Muscular big. THE PIT BULL

norlawrence 5 months ago

Great Hub. You included good information about large dog breeds. Some I did not know and I have written dog articles for years.

Frank 5 months ago

The English Mastiff is by far the largest dog in the world

Aparna Ghosh 6 weeks ago

U forgot the bull mastiff

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