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Are you curious about what’s considered the biggest dog in the world?
There are certainly many huge dog breeds in the running. Because of this, it’s difficult to really pinpoint one specific breed as the largest dog in the world.
Some of the largest dog breeds are tall, some are heavy, some have huge impressive coats. The physical traits of the breeds compiling the list are vast.
But we’ll take a look at the top 15 biggest dogs out there and work our way down to the one that’s generally holding the title of the biggest dog ever!
(It’s not really a competition though!)
Did you know that experts think the Tibetan Mastiff is the oldest ancestor of all the Mastiff breeds?
While Tibet is so remote that it’s difficult to know for sure, it’s thought that the Tibetan Mastiff has been patrolling the Himalayas and guarding livestock for thousands of years.
Early travelers to Tibet may have received the dogs as gifts and brought them to Europe and the Middle East to develop their own giant dog breeds.
The Tibetan Mastiff’s dense fur and thick mane help the dog look even larger than his 150-pound frame, making for quite the imposing figure. And while they can make great family pets, they need an assertive owner who understands how to work with a large dog that has a mind of his own that doesn’t always include minding his master.
One great thing about the Tibetan Mastiff is that they have a longer lifespan than most other large dog breeds, living an average of 10-14 years.
Thanks to their history as a guardian dog, they can become very territorial, so they aren’t the right dog for people who like to have a lot of guests in their home, and their daily walking route should be varied regularly, so they don’t perceive the route as part of their territory.
While the Neapolitan Mastiff looks a bit like a giant Pit Bull that has melted in the sun, the Neapolitan Mastiff is an ancient dog breed that served as war dogs, gladiators, and guardians in ancient Rome as far back as 700 BC. Also known as the Mastino, its ancestors date back as far as 3000 BC.
Male Neapolitan Mastiffs can weigh up to 200 pounds or more, and their loose skin and hanging jowls make them look that much more impressive.
Don’t let their size intimidate you, though – Mastinos make great family pets who will happily lounge around unless somebody threatens their family members. Neapolitan Mastiffs do great with older children, but their sheer size makes them a hazard around smaller kids.
Also known as the Neo, the Neapolitan Mastiff isn’t the right breed for everybody. They drool – A LOT – and they’re prone to passing gas.
They also do best with a yard to patrol and an experienced owner who knows how to deal with a large, stubborn dog. This breed is not a Golden Retriever who will happily obey every command.
Though not the biggest dog breed in the world, the Scottish Deerhound can grow to be up to 32 inches in height and weigh as much as 110 pounds. They may not be heavyweights, but they’re strong enough to bring down stags in the Scottish highlands!
These dogs are tall and slender but have some serious power. They’re very athletic and are able to run swiftly and jump great heights with tremendous grace.
The Scottish Deerhound carries itself in a calm and stately manner and is generally undemanding of attention. At least, once they’re adults.
Sporting a short ragged coat, they are well behaved, easy to train and enjoy being around other dogs. Seeing as they are a breed not big on barking, they don’t make for the greatest guard dogs.
One of the biggest dog breeds in the world, this extra large breed looks like it carries its great size in its coat alone. But even if you were to shave off the big bulky coat of ropes, you’d find a serious working dog with tremendous strength.
The Komondor was bred to guard livestock. So if you happen to have a bunch of livestock that needs protecting, then the Komondor’s got you covered.
Komondors are calm and, for the most part, quiet. They do, however, tend to use their impressively loud bark mostly at night. This is not its most desirable feature.
And since these large breeds were bred to watch over the livestock, it is naturally territorial and can be become fiercely protective of its family. That means it’s not too crazy about the idea of outsiders such as guests, other kids or other animals outside the family circle.
Komondors are not especially playful, but they are remarkably agile and quick to react. They also need a moderate amount of exercise.
They tend to be “too much dog” for most people, but for those who can establish themselves as the alpha early into the relationship, the Komondor can be a steady and dependable friend.
With its impressive size, it’s easy to think that the Great Pyrenees is the largest dog breed in the world. It’s not though.
What it is is a huge and rugged dog that can look like a big white bear. It’s a mellow and quiet breed that needs long daily walks well balanced by opportunities to stretch out and lounge.
These dogs love the snow and will happily pull a cart or a sled or carry a backpack on romps through the snowy woods. A working dog, the Great Pyrenees likes to feel useful.
Similar to the Komondor, they were bred to guard livestock. So the Great Pyrenees is also patient with its own family but can get overprotective when neighbors, their kids, or their pets take it upon themselves to join in the fun.
These tall breeds have a deep and impressive bark that it likes to exercise at night. They also have a tendency to roam.
What they lack for in silliness and playfulness, they make up in seriousness and steadiness. And for some of them, a lot of salivae.
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Coming in at up to 150 pounds the Anatolian Shepherd is definitely a big dog breed. One of the biggest dogs in the world, this tall breed is native to Turkey is known for its endurance and agility.
The Anatolian Shepard has a thick neck and a large, round head. They tend to be affectionate, smart, loyal and protective. But with that protectiveness comes a suspicion toward strangers.
This large dog will carefully monitor and watch strangers that enter its circle, but will not get aggressive unless provoked. They will also bark a lot in this situation.
Don’t let the large and rugged frame of this dog fool you. The Anatolian Shepard is graceful and athletic.
It may not be the biggest dog, but it could be the least well known. The Tosa Inu is in the mastiff family and is a study in opposites.
On the one hand, this massive breed is quiet, calm, and chilled. But the moment it’s aroused, it becomes an energized and active powerhouse.
This breed possesses immense power and it loves weight pulling. Some Tosa Inus have been known to pull more than 3000 pounds.
The Tosa Inu is happy and friendly with people – especially when it knows it’s not the alpha. It does tend to have animal-aggression though, which can be problematic for the other four-legged members of the family.
With an average height of 30 inches and weighing between 130-145 pounds, the massive Newfoundland could be considered by some as one of the biggest breeds in the world. It’s certainly among the strongest.
With their black coat, broad and massive head, strong neck, deep chest and long legs, they can appear intimidating. The reality is that behind all of that size and power is a social, intelligent and steady-tempered dog.
The Newfoundland is sensitive to its master’s voice and is easily trained. They are protective and devoted to their family, and very rarely bark.
And they love kids. They just need to be supervised around small children because of their large size.
This noble breed with its tawny coat is calm and steady, yet bold and athletic.
The Leonberger is a working dog that enjoys swimming, tracking, therapy work and weight pulling. Strangely enough, though, the Leonberger is not a fetcher, as it is not inclined toward this activity.
A loyal and loving dog who thrives on being part of the family, it can be discriminating with strangers though rarely aggressive. And its deep throaty bark would scare off any would-be intruder.
Though Leonbergers do well with humans, they tend to have dog aggression. Especially if the other dog is also a Leonberger of the same gender.
This is a breed that needs to learn how to heel because it is powerful enough to pull its human owner right off his or her feet.
And Leonbergers love to play in their water bowls, dunking their heads in, coming up slobbering and trailing it through the house. Just be aware that they can be messy!
With its long and sinewy body, the Greyhound is not the biggest dog breed, but it’s certainly one of the most dignified.
In fact, this shiny-coated breed moves so lightly, quietly and gracefully, it’s often liked to a cat.
The Greyhound is definitely the fastest breed. They were bred for a long time to be race dogs, with their ability to outrun a horse in a sprint. They’re short distance sprinters though and are easily tired after that burst of energy.
This breed is sensitive and prefers peaceful environments with soft-spoken people. They also prefer the company of their quiet owner over people they don’t know approaching them.
Generally speaking, Greyhounds will fare well with medium or large dogs, but because of their heritage, they are inclined to chase cats and little dogs. They can be trained to not do this, however.
Sometimes the Greyhound can be touch-sensitive so training must be done taking that into consideration. They rarely bark and are not aggressive. They will freeze when challenged or attacked.
So in spite of their imposing size, they do not make ideal guard dogs.
The Irish Wolfhound can be calm and dignified or playful and goofy, depending on the situation. But across the board, this gentle giant with a wiry coat and a whiskered face is easygoing and reliable.
In those first three years, Irish Wolfhounds can be gawky and clumsy. This can be a potentially destructive time, but the payoff is worth it.
Most members of this breed are friendly and actually expect to be petted. They aren’t hard-wired to be guard dogs, but this a good thing, considering that it’s pretty close to being the biggest dog breed in the world.
The Irish Wolfhound is usually good with other animals but does love to chase, tackle, and then pounce on anything that moves rapidly. And it does need to be regularly exercised.
The sweet and sensitive nature of this breed makes it easy to train. However, Irish Wolfhounds respond better to positive rewards than heavy-handed jerking.
The Shiloh Shepherd looks similar to a German Shepard. And that makes sense.
This breed was developed in the 1960s from selected German Shepherd lines carefully crossed with a few other breeds. The result was the Shiloh Shepherd.
Though not the biggest dog, the Shiloh Shepherd is larger than the average German Shepherd. It tends to have a calmer and gentler nature than the German Shepherd.
The Shiloh Shepherd isn’t a vigorous breed, but they are known for their stamina. They need a lot of daily walks and some playful romping to stay fit.
Unlike the German Shepherd, Shiloh Shepherds almost never participate in protection dog sports. They love to swim, pull carts and sleds, and have been used in Search and Rescue efforts though.
With a Shiloh Shepherd can be longhaired and shorthaired and its intelligent and easy going nature makes it an agreeable big dog breed.
Saint Bernards were once thought to be the biggest of dog breeds. Though that’s no longer the case, this breed is still impressively huge.
That being said, in spite of their majestic size, Saint Bernards do not like to be left alone. They crave companionship and if they are left alone for too long they can become depressed and even destructive.
This giant breed needs a lot of exercise, although it won’t always appear to want to rise from its lounging spot. Saint Bernards are chilled out and accepting of pretty much every human.
There can be some dog aggression though, which could be dangerous since the St. Bernard is so massive and powerful.
And when it comes to drooling, slobbering, and snoring, the St. Bernard holds the top spot.
Great Danes were originally developed to be hunting dogs. But they can also remarkably sensitive and gentle – qualities not generally associated with a hunting dog.
There’s no way around it though. The affectionate and charming Great Dane is sweet and playful and loves to be around its family. This makes it well suited to be a therapy dog as well.
Great Danes do well around children and they need a moderate amount of exercise. Though not watchdogs, their size alone serves to deter possible intruders.
In terms of sheer mass, the English Mastiff is considered the largest dog breed ever! Although it has an average shoulder height of 27-33 inches, it can weigh between 150-250 pounds.
Also, the heaviest dog breed in the world, the heftiest English Mastiff on record tipped the scales at 343 pounds!
Yet it hasn’t let its size go to its head. This breed is calm and quiet and likes to spend ample time lounging and stretching.
It is important that the English Mastiff gets plenty of exercise, even if it would prefer to stay in its resting position. While they can be mildly stubborn in matters like this, they’re generally good-natured and will respond.
Like the St. Bernard, this other gentle giant needs companionship. And Mastiffs are big on snoring, slobbering and drooling, so their companions need to be amenable to this.
Do you have a dog breed you’d like to see in the running for the world’s biggest dogs? Let us know in the comments below!
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