For those who live by the motto that bigger is better, there are plenty of big dogs breeds, giant dogs, to choose from to join your family. While toy dogs have become increasingly popular in recent years, many still appreciate the impressive and commanding stature of these top big dog breeds.
Living Large with Gentle Giants
If you are considering one of these big dog breeds, you may want to go furniture shopping as well. These big guys will take over your entire sofa when they fill the roles of couch potatoes to hang out with their human family members in front of the television.
Supersize Responsibly Even though many giant dog breeds may seem like gentle giants, they must go through obedience training in order to be controlled when they reach their massive measurements. These dogs require a consistent and firm pack leader or boss, which must be a responsible adult family member. Young children and visitors to your home may find their size intimidating, especially when “ Hercules ” charges up to them to plant a slobbery kiss. You must be able to control your dog at all times.
Giant dog breeds have shorter lifespans than small dog breeds. They are prone to health conditions such as hip dysplasia and bloat. Be sure to educate yourself on your chosen breed’s health conditions and how to prevent them.
Medium and Long-Haired Giant Dog Breeds
Great Pyrenees – This is a sheep-herding dog, bred as a white-coated guardian to distinguish him from wolves that might have wandered onto the field.
Saint Bernard – This protector is famous for his successful alpine search and rescue missions. The Saint Bernard is protective of their families, but are usually mellow and friendly toward others.
Kuvasz – Another colossal canine clad in white, this breed originated in Tibet. It is more commonly known for its Hungarian associations as a skilled hunter and devoted guard dog for the royal family. The Kuvasz is sweet and loyal towards its family.
Newfoundland – Bred to work alongside fishermen in the Canadian region for which they are named, these water-loving dogs are characterized by their thick, black coat and webbed paws. Newfoundlands are nice with other dogs and friendly with strangers and kids.
Irish Wolfhound – The largest dog breed of all giant dog breeds, this fuzzy-faced canine stands seven feet tall on his hind paws. Irish Wolfhounds are sweet-natured and gentle with children.
Short-Haired Giant Dog Breeds
English Mastiff – This docile and dignified dog weighs in as the heaviest of big dog breeds. Although it may look large and scary, the Mastiff is a gentle giant.
Great Dane – Familiar with Scooby Doo, children who flock to this breed are undaunted by his towering size. They may look intimidating and overpowering but they are gentle giants.
Dogue de Bordeauxs – Also called a French Mastiff, this dog made his claim to fame as the co-star of “ Turner and Hooch.” They are good with kids if they see them as part of the family. Towards strangers and strange dogs they can be aggressive.
Neapolitan Mastiffs – The fearsome look of this Italian dog serves to promote his skill as a fierce protector of his home and family. Neapolitan Mastiffs are usually not aggressive though and they are friendly towards kids, other dogs or strangers.
Whether you opt for a large dog breed for protection or prefer a rugged breed that you can take along on hiking trips and that can withstand playful roughhousing with the children, these dogs will make a valued and beloved addition to your family. Go here for an extensive list of big dog breeds.