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    by Sebastiano Battaglia May 18, 2023 7 min read

    The biggest dog breeds are also the biggest bundles of love, loyalty, and fun. Many of them were developed to be farmhands and for protection, so choosing one of the biggest dog breeds can be a great boon for your household if you choose right. However, keep in mind that the biggest dog breeds also come with the most significant responsibility and commitment. There's much to know about these breeds, their origins, temperaments and how big they can get.

    TL;DR Summary:

    • Before getting one of the biggest dog breeds, make sure you consider:
    • Maturation
    • Space
    • Cost
    • Training
    • It’s important to remember that the bigger the dog, the bigger the brain, and big brains mean a lot more intelligence.
    • The biggest dog breeds include:
    • Anatolian Shepherds
    • Bernese Mountain Dogs
    • Black Russian Terriers
    • Bullmastiffs
    • Cane Corso
    • Great Danes
    • Great Pyrenees
    • Irish Wolfhound

    What to Consider Before Getting One of the Biggest Dog Breeds

    Maturation

    If you choose to buy a dog as a puppy, remember that they won’t always be that size. The most giant dog breeds are known for slow growing, both physically and mentally, so it's important to be ready for a long maturation process. It is also important to know that their joints can become injured easily as pups because their cartilage isn’t as strong as their ligaments and bones, so exercise needs to be done cautiously. [1]

    Space

    The bigger the dog, the bigger everything needs to be for them. This includes bowls, food, space to run and play, space to sleep, toys, and everything else. In addition, bigger dogs might need more exercise and room to move, which means that living in a small apartment can lead to health and behavioral concerns in the long term. So even though some breeds of the biggest dogs are happy to live in smaller homes, you will still need to have enough room for them to exercise and for their large belongings.

    On top of this, not all spaces and places are giant-dog-friendly, so it’s important to consider your lifestyle before bringing one of the biggest dog breeds into it.

    Cost

    The bill for your dog is usually proportionate to their size. It is imperative to take a long hard look at your budget and make sure there's more than enough room for a large dog's needs because it will inevitably be more expensive than you first expected.

    Training

    Training is important for all dogs but essential for the biggest dog breeds. Misbehavior in big dogs can have big consequences in terms of damage to property and for the potential of unwanted personal injuries during play-time, so it's crucial to have a training plan in place to ensure their happiness and the safety of everyone they are with.

    A Quick Note about the Smartest Dog Breeds

    Although we are all aware at this point that size doesn't matter, size might affect intelligence in dogs. A study from the University of Arizona has come to show that brain size predicts dog breed differences in executive function, indicating that bigger dogs performed better in certain areas of intelligence, such as short-term memory and self-control, aka the bigger the brain and the smarter they are. [2] But before you go buy the biggest dog you can find, while it is an interesting correlation, the study wasn't exactly sure about the reason for increased intellect; other than that it seemed to have something to do with the size of the brains.

    Yet, as you peruse this list of what you need to know, you can clearly see they're going to be among the smartest dog breeds out there.

    What are the Biggest Dog Breeds?

    Anatolian Shepherd

    Anatolian Shepherds start off our list of the biggest dog breeds by looking tough and imposing. Originally developed to protect livestock, they're known for being one of the smartest dog breeds, highly territorial, and very smart. These loyal dogs would rather intimidate predators than attack, making them excellent guardian ranch dogs protecting the home today.

    Expected Size

    Usually between 2.25 and 2.45 feet tall, these protective dogs weigh as much as 150 pounds. They're thickly muscled and large dogs that can move quickly over uncertain ground. [3]

    Bernese Mountain Dog

    Bernese Mountain Dogs have that distinctive and beautiful tri-colored coat, colored black, white, and a reddish brown. They're incredibly popular in cold weather regions and have reputations as hardy, hard-working farm dogs in their home of Switzerland. Combined with their good-natured temperament, these dogs are popular giant companions for families.

    Expected Size

    Coming in on the smaller size of the biggest dog breeds, Bernese Mountain dogs tend to be just as tall as their counterparts, around 1.9 to 2.3 feet tall, but much lighter, usually topping out at about 115 pounds. [4] This makes them a superb choice for families looking for a smart, friendly dog that will still fit in the house.

    Black Russian Terrier

    Originally developed as a powerful guard dog, the Black Russian Terrier is a tall and loyal breed that focuses on protective qualities and is often aloof with strangers. Still powerful, this dog also has a reputation for a reliable temperament, making them good family dogs.

    Expected Size

    The Black Russian Terrier is roughly 2 to 2.5 feet tall, ranging from 80 to 130 pounds. [5]

    Bullmastiff

    Speaking of dogs made to protect, the Bullmastiff is known as “the Gamekeeper’s Night Dog” because they were developed to guard private English game preserves and country estates. They respond well to training and are highly obedient, but it's extremely important to socialize and train them right from when they’re puppies.

    Expected Size

    The average mature adult Bullmastiff will reach over 2 feet and 120 pounds. These are thick, muscular dogs with a big powerful build and bark that can shake the windows. [6]

    Saint Bernard

    Saint Bernards are among the most famous of the biggest dog breeds. They were immortalized in the popular movie series Beethoven, making them a childhood favorite. These dogs came from the Swiss Alps and were developed to help locate and rescue avalanche victims. Interestingly, they can come in longhair or shorthair versions, which can make a huge difference to your vacuuming habits if you bring a gentle giant home with you. With a big lolling smile and big shaggy fur, it’s no wonder that they’ve become so popular.

    Expected Size

    Fully grown Saint Bernards will range between 2 to 2.5 feet tall and weigh between 120 and 140 pounds. [7]

    Cane Corso

    If you’re looking for a dog that looks intimidating but incredibly loyal, the Cane Corso is a classic. Their ancestors potentially date back to the ancient Greeks, when they were used as guardian dogs, although the breed nearly became extinct at some point during history. Modern Cane Corso's were imported to America in the 1920s. These wary and protective big boys need lots of early socialization and training.

    Expected Size

    The Cane Corso will usually shoot well above 2.3 feet tall and weigh in at more than 100 pounds, depending on how tall they are. [8]

    Great Dane: one of the most famous biggest dog breeds

    The Great Dane is often the dog people think of when they think of the biggest dog breeds. Developed as guardians and wild boar hunters, these massive dogs are known for being surprisingly easy-going and friendly. Alert and loyal, they’ve also been referred to as the “Apollo of Dogs," and most kids you stumble across might recognize them. [9] Scooby Doo, the scaredy-cat mystery-solving cartoon character, was a Great Dane, acting the opposite of the mighty dog’s reputation.

    Expected Size

    Great Danes are some of the tallest of the biggest dog breeds, measuring 2.3 to 2.6 feet tall and easily weighing between 110 and 175 pounds.

    Great Pyrenees

    These dogs often have a distinctive white coat; the fluffy texture and size make them look like a big bounding cloud. Developed to work alongside shepherds and protect livestock, these dogs are known to fearlessly fight off predators while being patient with their owners and more independent.

    Expected Size

    Great Pyrenees are tall dogs, often coming in at 2.6 feet tall and well over 100 pounds, although it varies depending on the height of the dog. [10]

    Irish Wolfhound

    Largely recognized as the tallest of the biggest dog breeds, the Irish Wolfhound was originally developed as a big-game hunter. Their ancestors date back to ancient times, although they became popular in the 15th century to help control the wolf population in Ireland. They’re known for their dignity and eye-catching qualities.

    Expected Size

    Male Irish Wolfhounds can easily grow to almost 3 feet tall and weighing up to 180 pounds, and although the females are usually smaller, they're still comparable. [11]

    Enjoying the Biggest Dog Breeds

    Getting the most enjoyment out of the biggest dog breeds comes down to finding the right large dog that has a temperament and size that works well for you, your lifestyle and your family. This includes having the right consistent training and control regimen to keep them calm and happy.

    At My Blissful Pet, we believe in finding natural ways to help your big dogs chill out and have a great day. Moreover, the biggest dog breeds are known to have a number of issues with hip and joint pain and inflammation. Our series of THC-free CBD Edibites, is developed especially for dogs who may need help with handling issues related to age, size and inflammation.

    For more fun information about dogs and to see how you can give them stress-free treats, visit our website.

     

    References

    References:

    [1]- https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/dog-breeds/16-largest-dog-breeds/

    [2]- https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190129093722.htm

    [3]- https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/anatolian-shepherd-dog

    [4]- https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/bernese-mountain-dog

    [5]- https://pets.webmd.com/dogs/what-to-know-black-russian-terriers

    [6]- https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/bullmastiff

    [7]- https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/dog-breeds/saint-bernard

    [8]- https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/cane-corso

    [9]- https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/great-dane/

    [10]- https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/great-pyrenees

    [11]- https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/irish-wolfhound

    Sebastiano Battaglia
    Sebastiano Battaglia

    Seb has been a research scientist for the past two decades and is the founder and owner of My Blissful Pet. Seb grew up with cats and dogs and married his passion for science and animals with My Blissful Pet by wanting to help dogs and cats live healthier lives.

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