Humans have been breeding dogs for thousands of years, resulting in a huge range of dog breeds, from the tiny Chihuahua up to the massive Mastiff. But which are the largest dog breeds in the world? We’ve put together this list of the 25 largest dog breeds, spanning from the well-known to the obscure.
These large dogs come from all over the world and are specially adapted to all sorts of environments. They can make great family dogs, provided you have room for them. Keep reading to learn about the largest dog breeds on Earth and maybe even find the next big addition to your family!
One of the largest dogs in the world is the Mastiff, a huge breed that dates back thousands of years. Originally used as war dogs, big game hunters, and watchdogs, these dogs are muscular, patient, and loyal.
Mastiffs can be well over 30 inches tall and can weigh an impressive 230 pounds. They have short double coats, broad heads, and wrinkled foreheads and are generally good-natured and protective.
2. Great Dane
When you think of the world’s biggest dogs, chances are good that Great Danes come to mind. Despite their name, these imposing dogs come from Germany, where they originally hunted wild boars.
The Great Dane can stand up to 32 inches tall and weigh as much as 175 pounds. Lean and muscular, these dogs make great watchdogs and are friendly and patient.
3. Black Russian Terrier
Despite its misleading name, the Black Russian Terrier is an imposing, majestic dog from the Siberian steppes. A recent breed, these dogs were bred in the 1930s from a combination of 17 breeds, including terriers, Rottweilers, and Newfoundlands.
These massive dogs can be up to 30 inches tall and weigh as much as 140 pounds. This breed has a thick black double coat, keeping it warm in even the coldest weather but requiring regular brushing. Black Russian Terriers are intelligent, surprisingly agile, and very independent. They’re stable, calm dogs with quite a bit of strength and endurance.
4. Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs are large, powerful working dogs originally bred in the mountains of Switzerland. They can herd cattle, guard farm animals against predators, and pull many times their weight.
Bernese Mountain Dogs are sturdy, stocky dogs with white, brown, and black coats. They can reach over 27 inches tall and weigh up to 115 pounds. Smart and hardy, these dogs do well in cold weather. Their double coats shed quite a bit and require frequent grooming. These strong dogs are calm and affectionate. They’re particularly good with children, making for excellent family pets.
You may not have heard of the Komondor, but once you’ve seen it, you’ll never forget it! This shaggy white breed was originally bred as a herding dog in Hungary and has been around for 10 centuries.
These distinctive dogs have coats made of white cords, which help them blend with the sheep they traditionally guard. Komondors can reach up to 27.5 inches tall and over 100 pounds. Strong yet agile, these athletic dogs need plenty of exercise and careful grooming. Komondors are dignified, protective dogs. They’re independent and aloof but also loyal and intelligent.
The Azawakh is an elegant, light hound from the West African countries of Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. An ancient breed, these dogs are durable, fast hunters.
These dogs can be up to 29 inches tall and weigh up to 55 pounds. They have fine, minimal coats that may be black, brown, red, or multi-colored. They don’t need much grooming or bathing and only shed occasionally.
Azawakhs are highly affectionate, intelligent, and independent. With early training and socialization, they can be very friendly.
7. Saint Bernard
You’ve almost certainly seen the famous Saint Bernard, a charming mountain breed from the Swiss Alps. Muscular and friendly, these dogs were originally bred 1,000 years ago by monks, who wanted powerful dogs that could rescue travelers from snowy mountains.
The Saint Bernard is well-known for its gentle, playful nature, which makes it a great family dog. They’re inquisitive, friendly, and patient, with large, wrinkled heads and short snouts. They can be up to 30 inches tall and weigh more than 180 pounds.
The Newfoundland is a famously sweet, patient breed that does very well with children. Massive but gentle, these dogs are excellent swimmers and were originally bred by Canadian fishermen for water rescues. They even have semi-webbed feet!
Newfoundlands are trusting, dignified, and very trainable. They can weigh up to 150 pounds and stand 28 inches tall. Outgoing and intelligent, these dogs are eager to please and affectionate.
The Greyhound is an ancient breed perfectly bred for sprinting. These hounds are lean and tall as well as dignified and independent. They’re the fastest dog breed and were beloved by Egypt’s pharaohs and Alexander the Great.
Standing up to 30 inches tall but weighing less than 70 pounds, these are thin, agile dogs. They have aerodynamic skulls, thin waists, and shock-absorbing footpads.
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The stunning Leonberger is sweet-tempered with a beautiful long coat. Originally from Germany, these intelligent dogs were bred as lion-like companions for European royalty, including Russian czars and English kings.
These dogs are strong swimmers and can pull many times their weight. They can stand up to 31.5 inches tall and weigh as much as 170 pounds.
11. Great Pyrenees
Another large mountain dog, the Great Pyrenees has a thick, weather-proof coat and was bred hundreds of years ago to protect sheep from wolves and other mountain predators. These brave, sturdy dogs are from the Pyrenees Mountains, which form a border between Spain and France.
Great Pyrenees dogs can stand up to 32 inches at the shoulder and can weigh over 100 pounds. They’re intelligent, calm, and protective dogs with beautiful white coats.
12. Irish Wolfhound
Graceful and strong, the Irish Wolfhound is a dignified hunter and one of the tallest dog breeds. These ancient dogs date back to the Roman Empire, where they hunted big game.
These huge dogs can be up to 36 inches tall and weigh as much as 180 pounds. They’re serene and patient, making for great family dogs, and have coarse coats that can come in many colors.
13. Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Anatolian Shepherd Dogs are some of the oldest domesticated dogs in the world, dating back to the Bronze Age 6,000 years ago. Originating from the Anatolian region of Turkey, they’re loyal, protective herding dogs.
These dogs can be up to 29 inches tall and weigh around 150 pounds. They have thick undercoats that can handle cold weather and are independent and reserved.
14. Bouvier des Flandres
Originating from Belgium, this large, shaggy breed dates from the Middle Ages. The Bouvier des Flandres was originally a farm dog, bred to herd cows, pull carts, and guard farm animals.
The Bouvier can be up to 27.5 inches tall and weigh as much as 110 pounds. Affectionate, intelligent, and hard-working, these dogs are easy to train and have distinctive beards and mustaches, plus shaggy waterproof coats.
A combination of Bulldog and Mastiff breeds, the Bullmastiff was originally bred in 19th century England to protect estates and game reserves from poachers. Intelligent, muscular, and brave, these dogs make excellent watchdogs and companions.
Standing up to 27 inches tall and weighing as much as 130 pounds, the Bullmastiff is an imposing dog. It has a large head, distinctive V-shaped ears, and a short coat.
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Initially bred in Denmark, the Broholmer was a cattle herder, big game hunter, and guard dog. It dates as far back as the Middle Ages when it was largely used as a stag hunter.
Friendly, watchful, and affectionate, the Broholmer can be up to 29.5 inches tall and weigh up to 150 pounds. This breed is typically good with children, active and agile, and has a short, easy to groom coat.
The Borzoi, whose name means “swift” in Russian, is a unique, beautiful dog that’s catlike and fast. Initially called a Russian Wolfhound, these dogs were bred by the czars for wolf hunting.
Borzois can be up over 28 inches tall and weigh as much as 105 pounds. These dignified dogs have beautiful silky coats and are generally affectionate, athletic, and loyal.
18. Doberman Pinscher
Fans of the Doberman breed have a tax collector to thank for their favorite dogs. Taxman Louis Dobermann developed the breed for protection in 19th century Germany. With a distinctive head and pointed ears, these compact, muscular dogs are imposing, energetic, and fearless.
Dobermans can be up to 28 inches tall and weigh up to 100 pounds. Loyal, alert, and brave, this sleek breed makes for intimidating guard dogs and is easy to train.
19. Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog
Hailing from Romania’s Carpathian Mountains, the Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog has been around for centuries, guarding livestock. These dogs are independent and stubborn but also loyal and devoted to their families.
This breed can be up to 29 inches tall and weigh as much as 130 pounds. It has a long, shaggy coat, which requires regular grooming. Self-confident and protective, the Russian Mioritic is gentle toward children and a dependable companion.
Bloodhounds date back at least 1,000 years and are famously dedicated sleuths. They have powerful noses and can follow the scent of a person for days at a time.
The Bloodhound can be up to 27 inches tall and weigh up to 110 pounds. It has a distinctive wrinkled face with drooping ears and wrinkled skin, along with a short, easy to groom coat. These stubborn dogs can be difficult to train and require lots of exercise.
Meaning “farm dog” in Dutch, Boerboels were brought to South Africa by Dutch and German settlers in the 1600s. These stocky, muscular dogs protected homesteads from predators and served as family companions.
Boerboels can be up to 27 inches tall and may weigh as much as 200 pounds. These intimidating guard dogs are also intelligent, watchful, and calm.
22. Dogue de Bordeaux
The Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the world’s most ancient breeds, possibly introduced to France by Julius Caesar thousands of years ago. Originally war dogs, these dogs make excellent guard dogs and hunters.
The Dogue de Bordeaux can be up to 27 inches tall and weigh up to 110 pounds. It has a large, Bulldog-like head, loose skin, and a short, fawn-colored coat. These dogs can be stubborn but are also loyal, affectionate, and sweet.
23. Akita Inu
The Akita Inu is an ancient Japanese dog breed with a stocky, muscular build and a protective double coat. The current breed was developed in the 17th century to hunt big game, and in Japan, the dogs symbolize happiness and long life.
Akitas can be up to 28 inches tall and weigh as much as 130 pounds. They have curled tails, thick coats, and erect ears, and are independent and protective.
The long-haired French Briard was initially bred over 1,000 years ago to both guard and herd sheep. Smart, strong, and protective, these dogs have beautiful wavy coats and are intelligent and independent.
Briards can be up to 27 inches tall and can weigh as much as 100 pounds. They’re active, athletic dogs who need regular exercise and do very well with children.
25. Alaskan Malamute
The Alaskan Malamute is a slightly smaller but very powerful dog. Dignified, playful, and instantly recognizable, this breed is an ancient sled dog, liked descended from domesticated wolves brought to Alaska 4,000 years ago.
The Malamute can be up to 25 inches tall and weigh up to 85 pounds. They have thick, waterproof double coats capable of handling cold Arctic weather and are muscular, hard-working dogs.
From the Mastiff to the Malamute, there are quite a few big dog breeds in the world. We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of the 25 largest dog breeds, which can weigh more than an adult man and be over 2.5 feet tall. Many of these dogs were bred for their strength, endurance, or ability to withstand freezing temperatures. They can make excellent companions and family dogs, but you’ll need to make sure you have room!
Featured Image Credit: belu gheorghe, Shutterstock
- 1. Mastiff
- 2. Great Dane
- 3. Black Russian Terrier
- 4. Bernese Mountain Dog
- 5. Komondor
- 6. Azawakh
- 7. Saint Bernard
- 8. Newfoundland
- 9. Greyhound
- 10. Leonberger
- 11. Great Pyrenees
- 12. Irish Wolfhound
- 13. Anatolian Shepherd Dog
- 14. Bouvier des Flandres
- 15. Bullmastiff
- 16. Broholmer
- 17. Borzoi
- 18. Doberman Pinscher
- 19. Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog
- 20. Bloodhound
- 21. Boerboel
- 22. Dogue de Bordeaux
- 23. Akita Inu
- 24. Briard
- 25. Alaskan Malamute