Top 10 Giant Dog Breeds

Mary Simpson
by Mary Simpson
There are times when bigger is better. And that’s definitely the case when it come to these giant dog breeds. There’s so much more to love!

The “upside” to owning a big breed of dog is that you’ll be walking with a pooch that isn’t easily intimidated by new faces and is therefore comfortable if not outright blasé when it comes to meeting other animals and strangers. Another plus: big dogs are not known for their athleticism meaning his exercise needs can usually be met with a couple of nice walks each day. And if you’re thinking you’d like a couch companion who appreciates the words ‘down time”, this is the boy for you. Lanky, leggy and happy to just hang with their people, these Top 10 Giant Dog Breeds measure their height in feet versus inches and prove great things really do come in big packages.

Irish Wolfhound

Considered the tallest of the giant dog breeds, this handsome handful with the lean physique and long, long legs hails from the land of the leprechaun where he was originally bred for hunting. He stands up to 34 inches at the wither (shoulder blade) and these days he’s known for his sweet-natured, gentle disposition that makes him one heaping helping of lovable family pet. (Photo credit: Manfred Ruckszio/Shutterstock)

Great Dane

While he tends to claim runner-up status when it comes to the battle for air space, this calm, cool and collected tall boy who typically stands in the 30 inch range did gain his moment in the spotlight when Guinness Book of World Records named a Harlequin Great Dane called Gibson to their list of record-holders. At over 42 inches, Gibson towered above all other contenders! (Photo credit: RugliG/Shutterstock)

Great Pyrenees

What a handsome boy! In spite of reaching an intimidating 35 inches (or more) in height, this native of France has an incredibly gentle nature and is one of the oldest breeds around. His calm, chill personality suggests height versus might is what pegged him for guard duty once upon a time because today he’s just a loveable couch pomme de terre! (Photo credit: Cody Hanson Photography/Shutterstock)

Saint Bernard

Often associated with search, rescue, Swiss Alps and a big keg of booze hanging from his neck, this bigger than big pooch typically stands in the range of 27 inches however has been known to hit 35 inches and weigh up to 240 pounds. While agility may not be his strong suit, this truly gentle giant is happy just hanging with his family. (Photo credit: Grigorita Ko/Shutterstock)


This sheep look-alike hails from Hungary where he was bred for guard dog duty. In spite of his mountains of trademark “corded” fur, and a height that can reach over 30 inches, he’s a relative lightweight in the world of giant dogs, averaging just 130 pounds. For those who don’t mind the grooming… he’s a pretty easy-going family pet. (Photo credit: Everita Pane/Shutterstock)

English Mastiff

This big boy brings a little burl with his height and can often weigh in at 200 pounds plus. In spite of reaching 30 inches (or more!) this former English hunting and guarding dog is actually a pretty mellow fellow who gets along well with kids and hasn’t met a sofa he couldn’t call home for an afternoon. (Photo credit: Ricantimages/Shutterstock)

Anatolian Shepherd

This tall Turkish delight was originally bred to guard sheep and defend his home turf. Standing close to 30 inches, his intimidating presence and protective instincts made him a formidable foe to predators. Today, he is still highly protective and like many herding breeds he can be extremely independent minded… which means novice dog owners need not apply. (Photo credit: CharlitoCZ/Shutterstock)


You had to know that the gentle Newfie would make our giant dog breeds list. He’s a natural waterdog who, in spite of his heavy fur and 150 pound plus frame, is highly agile in water. He was bred to work alongside fishermen, hauling nets and protecting the catch so in addition to a thick double-coat that protects him from frigid waters, his imposing 28 inch height makes any fish-poaching critter think twice. (Photo credit: Stanimir G.Stoev/Shutterstock)

Scottish Deerhound

An extraordinary sighthound, this tall, lean agile hunter is rumored to be a kissin’ cousin of the Irish Wolfhound. Standing up to 32 inches in height and carrying just 75 – 100 pounds on his lanky frame, this boy’s been bred to withstand the harsh weather conditions found in the Scottish Moors… or accompany his owner for a quick jog and a snuggle on the sofa. (Photo credit: Kim Christensen/Shutterstock)

Black Russian Terrier

He’s a little Giant Schnauzer, a wee bit of Airedale, some Rottweiler and maybe a smidge of Newfoundland. Together, this big boy that was bred to be a guard dog in the Soviet Union during the Cold War is an efficiently built pooch that carries just 110-125 pounds on his imposing 30 inch frame. Today, he’s a great companion dog that likely guards nothing more than his spot on the sofa. (Photo credit: Degtyaryov Andrey/Shutterstock)

Mary Simpson
Mary Simpson

Sharing space with three seriously judgy Schnoodles and a feline who prefers to be left alone. #LivingMyBestLife

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