Dogs come in an amazing array of sizes, shapes, colors and temperaments. Man’s best friend can be found in a tiny teacup version that fits in the palm of your hand or a hulking breed that compares in size to a small horse. Dogs have long been bred to suit specific purposes for mankind. Some are intended to be hunters while others for herding livestock or merely as companions or champions that will steal the show in competition. For dog lovers who are searching for a larger pet, here is a listing of the 20 largest dog breeds in the world. We’ve included those who are the largest according to a combination of height and weight.
1. Great Dane
The average size of a full grown Great Dane is between 28 to 30 inches in height. The largest Great Dane in recorded history was a dog named Zeus who reached the height of 44 inches tall. Great Danes originated in Germany. They are a crossbreed between Irish wolfhounds and English mastiffs. The average weight is between 100 to 120 pounds when fully grown. While not the heaviest, they are the tallest in height. These dogs tend to be patient, friendly, and dependable. They have a powerful yet medium sleek musculature. They come in 9 colors and color variations including black; black and white, blue, brindle, fawn, harlequin, mantle, merle, white, blue and white, blue brindle, chocolate, chocolate and white, chocolate brindle, mantle merle, merlequin and silver.
2. English Mastiff
English Mastiffs reach an average height of 30 inches. This breed is believed to have originated in Asia and they were used for hunting and as warriors. The English mastiff averages 250 pounds when fully grown. It is the heaviest breed with the record English mastiff Aicama Zorba weighing 343 pounds. They are steady, patient, good family companions with a sweet disposition and excellent guardians for protecting family members. They are droolers who require gentle training but emerge with fierce loyalty. English mastiffs can reach the size of a small pony. They are stocky built with well developed musculature and a stocky stature. They come in three colors: apricot, brindle and fawn.
3. Neapolitan mastiff
This breed averages between 26 to 31 inches in height. Neopolitan Mastiffs are certainly among the largest dogs in terms of sheer mass. The Neapolitan mastiff originated in southern Italy. Used as a guard dog, the average male mastiff stands between 26-31 inches tall and weighs a hefty 130-155 pounds. Females are usually a little smaller, standing a few inches shorter and weighing 110-130 pounds. The breed was used as a dog of war by the Roman Army.
It was then red to protect estates and farms throughout Italy in the capacity of guard dog that would detect intruders.
Neapolitan mastiff males are between 130 to 155 pounds. Females average a couple of inches shorter and weight between 110-130 pounds. They are dignified, watchful and loyal. This breed is fearless and protective. They are a massive breed with heavy bones and muscles. Loose skin covering the entire body creates hanging folds and wrinkles on the head. The structure is massive and the dog has a lumbering gate. They come in black, blue, mahogany and tawny colors.
4. Bull Mastiff
Bull mastiff males reach a height of between 25 to 27 inches while females reach 24 to 26 inches when fully grown. Bull mastiffs were recognized as a breed in 1860. They were first bred in England for the purpose of keeping game preserves and estates free of poachers and intruders. The average weight for males is between 110 to 130 pounds. Females weight 100 to 120 pounds.
The Bull mastiff is an intelligent dog that loves to please. They are large, but still active and agile. They conform easily and are obedient. These dogs have well defined symmetrical muscles with a powerful build. They are 660 percent Mastiff and 40 percent bulldog. The come in fawn, fawn brindle, red, red brindle, red fawn and red fawn brindle colors.
Newfoundland dogs average between 27 to 30 inches in height. They look even bigger because of their thick double coat, which keeps them warm even in icy water. Although the origins are a bit uncertain, it is believed that Newfoundlands are a crossbreed of Great Pyrenees with husky and possibly French hound. Their origin is on the coast of Newfoundland, most likely bred by Basque fishermen to assist with pulling fish carts from the shore to the markets.
The average weight of an adult Newfoundland is 150 pounds. Newfoundlands have a sweet disposition with good temperament and intelligence. They are devote and good companions. These are working dogs and they love to be active. They are obedient and loyal as well as being gentle natured and strong swimmers.
Newfoundlands are large dogs with deep bodies and a heavy curly coat that makes them appear even larger. They are muscular, heavy boned with a proud head carriage. The colors may be black, brown, gray or white and black.
6. Dogue de Bordeaux AKA French Mastiff
This breed reaches a height of 23 to 27 inches when fully grown. Dogue de Bordeaux is believed to have originated from the Tibetan Mastiff and is a relative of the Greco Roman Molossoids which were bred as war dogs. The breed was started in ancient France. The average weight is between 125 to 150 pounds. This dog is instinctually a guard dog. It is affectionate, courageous, loyal and protective but it is not an aggressive breed. The breed was made popular with the dog that appeared with Tom Hanks in the movie “Turner and Hooch.” It is also known as the Bordeaux mastiff, French mastiff and Bordeauxdog. It is a muscular dog with a blocky appearance. This energetic powerhouse has a lumbersome gait. The colors are red, mahogany, fawn and Isabella.
7. Cane Corso
The Cane Corso averages 28 inches at the shoulder when fully grown. This dog was bred in Italy and became a recognized breed in 2010. Prior to this date, the breed was considered to be very rare. The intention for the breed is as a guard dog. The average weight of a Cane Corso adult is between 90 to 100 pounds. This dog is affectionate, loyal, intelligent, trainable, assertive, confident and protective. This guard dog is regal in stature appearing with a confident demeanor. They are muscular and powerful in build. The most ominous deterrent for intruders is the very large head which is bigger than most canines. Colors include black, black brindle, fawn, gray, gray brindle and red.
8. Great Pyrenees
This breed averages 32 inches in height at the shoulder. This breed originated in Europe sometime between 1800 and 1000 BC. It is a stone age breed that is believed to have originated in Central Asia or Siberia and was brought to Europe during the great migration. The average weight is between 100 and 120 pounds for an adult dog. Great Pyrenees tend to be dominating so early training must discourage use of teeth on humans. They are steadfast and calm guardians that respond quickly when a threat is detected. They are strong willed, affectionate, calm, patient and intelligent.
Great Pyrenees have a majestic stature as a strong mountain dog with immense strength and well developed musculature. The colors are gray, tan, reddish brown and badger. Frequently described as “majestic,” Great Pyrenees are big, immensely strong mountain dogs standing as high as 32 inches at the shoulder and often tipping the scales at more than 100 pounds. These steadfast guardians usually exhibit a Zen-like calm, but they can quickly spring into action and move with grace and speed to meet a threat. The lush weatherproof coat is all white, or white with markings of beautiful shades of gray, tan, reddish-brown, or badger.
9. Bernese Mountain Dog
An adult male averages between 25 to 28 inches in height. Females are 23-26 inches. The Bernese Mountain Dog was first bred in the midlands of Switzerland with an ancient lineage. It is a companion dog at home on the farm. Adult males weight between 86 to 100 pounds. Females weight between 79 and 110 pounds. This breed tends to attach more firmly to one person. They are intelligent, enjoy playing sports and they enjoy human companionship. They are good family dogs. They are quick learners. Great Pyrenees have an aristocratic appearance and some varieties have a long silky coat. It is a hardy dog, thriving in cold weather. They are striking in appearance with strong muscles and a frame that gives them agility. The males are masculine and the itches are feminine. The colors are black rust and white, black tan and white, black and rust, black and white and rust and white.
10. Tibetan Mastiff
Males average between 26 to 30 inches in height. Females are between 24 to 28 inches tall when fully grown. This breed originated in Tibet and was bred to be a large guardian dog. It is believed that the first of this breed appeared in the high Himalayan Mountains and in the region of the plains of Central Asia. Adult males are between 100 to 160 pounds with females weighing between 75 to 120 pounds. They are intelligent, reserved and independent. They are aloof, yet watchful. They often have a kind expressive face.
The dog presents with a noble bearing. They are large, athletic and substantial in build. They appear alert with a body that is a little longer than it is tall. The head is broad with deep set almond shaped eyes and a road well padded muzzle. The hair is thick and heavy with a wooly undercoat and coarse guard hair. The colors are black, brown, blue grey and a variety of gold shades.
11. Black Russian Terrier
This breed averages heights of 30 inches at the shoulder. Originally bred in the Soviet Union as a military dog. Suitable for the cold weather pervasive in the region. Developed through selective interbreeding of giant schnauzers, rottweilers and airedales. The average weight of an adult Black Russian Terrier is between 130 and 140 pounds. They are intelligent and highly trainable. Enjoys being employed as a work dog. Courageous, aloof with strangers and protective of loved ones.
Black Russian Terriers are large and heavy with the appearance of an airedale and Schnauzer cross with less bulk than a rottweiler. This dog has a sleek musculature with a somewhat shaggy appearance. Color possibilities are black, slat and pepper, black and tan, blue and sable.
A leonberger stands between 27 to 31 inches in height. This dog is a crossbreed of Newfoundland, Great Pyrenees and Saint Bernard. It was developed in Leonberg, Germany. Fully grown dogs can weight up to 170 pounds. This dog is intelligent, smart and a fast learner. This breed is confident and is adaptable. They are of gentle temperament which makes them suitable for family dogs. A tall dog that has the appearance of a German Shepherd with a more dense and muscular body that is thicker and stronger. Leonbergers have the same coloring as seen in German Shepherd black and tan breeds.
13. Irish Wolfhound
The Irish wolfhound stands at a height of between 32 and 35 inches for males with females reaching heights of 30 inches. This breed originated in Ireland, tracing its roots back as far as 7000 BC. Their primary use was hunting.They may reach up to 140 pounds. They are quiet, reserved and easy going. The Irish Wolfhound has a sleek and strong musculature with a shaggy appearance. They may stand as tall as a small pony. Their heads are smaller in proportion to their bodies and the facial appearance is similar to that of an Airedale, yet with a more narrow muzzle.
14. Scottish Deerhound
This breed reaches a height of up to 32 inches when fully grown. Originally bred as a courser to hunt deer in Scotland. The average weight for an adult Scottish Deerhound is 110 pounds.
They are energetic when young and in need of exercise. They are dignified, gentle, polite and fast learners. Scottish Deerhounds have a similar build to a greyhound yet with a lanky body for greater speed for chasing down prey.
15. Saint Bernard
The Saint Bernard breed can reach heights of 25 to 30 inches tall. Saint Bernards were originally bred as rescue dogs in the country of Switzerland. Adults weigh between 140 and 180 pounds. They are gentle, loving and nurturing despite their size. They have a gentle nature, are friendly and good with children. This breed is large through the middle with a bulky musculature and a thick coat of tri colored white, tan and often lighter black markings.
16. Old English Sheepdog
This dog averages 20-22 inches at the shoulder for females when fully grown. Males are 22-24 inches. Originally bred in England as a drover dog to help drive cattle and sheep in during the roundup. The average weight of a full grown male is between 70-100 pounds and 60 to 80 pounds for females. They are intelligent, adaptable, good natured and quick learners. This is a large dog with a very shaggy coat. They are white, gray and more rarely, brown generally with a white base and second colored markings.
17. Chow Chow
This breed stands between 15 to 20 inches tall at the shoulder. Originally bred in Northern China to be imperial guard dogs. An adult chow weighs between 40 to 70 pounds. Chows are not aggressive, although they may look like they are. They are graceful and independent yet loyal and devoted to their families. They are aloof and loyal to family members but will not tolerate abuse.
Chows have a noble appearance. They have a thick fluffy coat with guard hairs extending upwards. They are not fast and their git is a bit choppy and stilted. The rear legs are nearly straight which is what contributes to the stiff gait.
A Chinook averages a height of 21 to 27 inches at the shoulder when fully grown. This breed was created in New Hampshire in the White Mountain region. It was expressly bred for being an agile dog for sports, sled pulling or other activities. The average adult weight is between 55 to 70 pounds. This dog is gentle in nature. It is a good family dog with strength and intelligence. It is not an aggressive breed, but it does make a good watch dog. The most predominant traits are that it is versatile, loving and athletic. A Chinook is a large dog that is a rare breed. It ha s head that is in proportion with its body and comes in both floppy or prick ear types. This breed is easy to groom but sheds massively twice a year. Moderate shedding is an issue in between the major sheds. The coat is thick and the color is tawny and white.
The Kuvasz grows to an adult height of between 26 to 32 inches tall at the shoulder. This breed originated in the country of Hungary. He is bred to be a working dog but in recent years has found popularity as a show dog. The average weight of an adult Kuvasz is between 70 and 115 pounds with some exceeding the high range. This dog has a complex personality. The breed is loving, affectionate and loyal, but is also very sensitive. Always suspicious of strangers, this is a one family dog that is protective of his family. Kuvasz have the appearance of a white wolf. The fur is dense and his nose and almond shaped eyes are a striking deep black which contrasts remarkably with its white coat. Well muscled and sturdy, they are strong, full of stamina yet elegant and graceful in appearance.
The average size of an ault Komondor is 25 to 27 inches at the shoulder. This breed originates in Hungary. They were initially bred to guard the flocks. A full grown Komondor weighs between 80 and 100 pounds. The Komondor is highly protective and enjoys watching over people and animals. He is highly intelligent and easy to train if done when the dog is still young. He is independent and instinctively suspicious of strangers. If you don’t establish who’s boss at an early age, this dog is independent and may resist authority. He may attack someone if he perceives them as a threat. This breed would give his life protecting his loved ones. Komondors look like white dust mops. Their fur is thick and hands in thick woven strands with a shaggy appearance.