The 10 Biggest Dog Breeds in the World: A Complete List
As Mark Twain once said, "The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog." OK, so Twain never actually said that (thanks a lot, internet), but the sentiment behind it is still pretty valid. Your dog is just about the best friend you’ll ever have—these movies about dogs vouch for that. So if you’re in the market for a new furry friend and are looking for a breed outside the ever-popular tiny designer dogs, the list ahead is for you. If a large dog suits you best (they do make the best cuddle buddies), then it's best to do your research first to see if you have the space, time, and energy to keep up with them.
As someone who just did a lot of Google searching about the best breeds (and eventually went with a small dog), I know firsthand how time-consuming that research can be. So we did a lot of the digging for you and rounded up 10 of the biggest dog breeds in the world. You'll be hard-pressed to choose just one because they're all incredibly special with fun traits and good looks you'll want to bring home.
10. French Mastiff
The French mastiff, also known as the dogue de Bordeaux, may look intimidating, but this powerful dog is amazingly loyal and affectionate. It can weigh up to 140 pounds and stand up to 26 inches tall at the shoulder.
9. Anatolian Shepherd
The Anatolian shepherd is an ancient Turkish breed, which, unlike many large breeds, has an impressive average lifespan of 13 to 15 years. This dog can have some aggressive traits, so it’s not always ideal for families with small children. The Anatolian shepherd can weigh up to 140 pounds and reach a height of 32 inches.
The most famous Newfoundland is probably Nana from J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan (the play, not the 1953 Disney version), and it’s no wonder Barrie chose this breed to watch over the Darling children. This dog is a gentle giant and makes a wonderful family pet. The Newfoundland can weigh up to 150 pounds and stands at 29 inches tall.
7. Neapolitan Mastiff
Intelligent, independent, and surprisingly quiet, the Neapolitan mastiff is a big dog with a fearsome reputation. It’s often used as a guard dog because of its fiercely protective nature and large size. This muscular dog can weight up to 150 pounds and stands up to 31 inches at the shoulder.
For anyone who loves big dogs, it doesn’t get much better than the majestic Leonberger. This German breed is patient and affectionate like the Newfoundland, but the Leonberger can reach an even greater size. A male can weigh up to 170 pounds and stand over 31 inches tall at the shoulder.
5. Irish Wolfhound
The name pretty much says it all: The Irish wolfhound originated in Ireland and was once used for the purpose of wolf hunting. Though it may sound fierce, this breed actually adapts very well to family living if properly socialized. The Irish wolfhound can reach up to 180 pounds and stands up to 32 inches tall at the shoulder.
4. Great Dane
Scooby-Doo may have popularized the Great Dane as a domestic breed, but there are plenty of other reasons to love this towering German breed. In terms of height, this dog is hard to beat: The tallest-known Great Dane was measured at an incredible 44 inches at the shoulder. On average, the dog measures 32 to 34 inches and weighs between 150 and 180 pounds.
3. Saint Bernard
The Saint Bernard is a massive, friendly, ever-drooling affection machine that stands about 35 inches in height. It’s also one of the heaviest dogs in the world, averaging about 200 pounds. Some of these dogs have even been known to reach a weight of up to 260 pounds.
2. Caucasian Shepherd
The Caucasian Shepherd is a gorgeous Eastern-European breed that’s best reserved for experienced dog owners who excel in obedience and socialization. Traditionally used for herding livestock, this breed can have difficulty getting along with other dogs and may get aggressive if threatened. If you think you have what it takes to train and care for one of these beauties, you’ll have a dog that can definitely keep you warm at night. The Caucasian Shepherd can weigh up to 220 pounds and stand over 30 inches at the shoulder.
1. English Mastiff
The Big Daddy of them all, the English Mastiff is a giant dog lover’s dream. Standing 36 inches in height and averaging 200 to 230 pounds, this is definitely a dog that will keep the burglars away. The largest English mastiff on record weighed an unprecedented 343 pounds. But despite this dog’s size, it’s actually known for being a sweet, docile breed.
Now that you’ve found the dog breed of your dreams, see 20 of the most popular dog names.
This story was originally posted on April 3, 2018, and has since been updated.