Almost all of us adore dogs. Why not? Cute, Obedient, and intelligent! The world has seen so many species of dogs since its inception.

Many dog species went extinct due to evolution, climate change, or human interference, and every dog differed from its size to habitat. 

Every breed of dog had its distinctive features and work. With so many dog breeds globally, we must be aware of their purpose and popular dog breeds. 

Below are the top 10 most giant dog breeds globally. The list also includes the genesis of the species, the work it is famous for, its physical attributes, and temperament. 

Table of Contents

1. English mastiff 

English mastiff at the age of seventeen months
English mastiff at the age of seventeen months | Image Credit – Bucks Free Press

In terms of mass, the mastiff is the giant breed with a massive head, enormous size, short coat in a limited palette of colors, and always displaying a black mask. 

The forelegs of the species are widespread because the body of the mastiff is large with huge breadth and depth.

As per the AKC standard height, the male mastiff can measure up to 30 inches while the females measure up to 27.5 inches. 

The males can weigh 150-200 pounds, whereas the females can weigh 120-200 pounds. The large individuals of the species can reach up to 300 pounds or more.

The mastiffs are known to be gentle. Descendant from the ancient alaunt and pugnaces Britanniae, the mastiff is famous as a dignified, courageous, and docile breed.

Because of the submissive and intelligent characteristics, the breed is used for security, the police force, and the military. 

Though other species such as the Irish wolfhound and great Dane can be six inches taller than the mastiff, they will never be able to match up with the zeal and robustness of the mastiff. 

They are certainly the cuddliest dogs of all the dogs, making a loving family member. The mastiff has contributed to the evolution of several dog breeds throughout history. 

2. Irish wolfhound 

Irish wolfhound playing in a ground
Irish wolfhound playing in a ground | Image Credit – Wikipedia Commons

As per the AKC, the Irish wolfhound is the tallest dog breed. Its large and majestic appearance was used, in ancient times, to scare away the wolves in Ireland. 

The ancestors of the species date back to ancient times when they were bred as big-game hunters. Now, the wolfhounds evolved into dignified eye-catching companions. 

The FCI standard implies that the expected range of height at the withers is 81-86 centimeters: for the males, the size and weight are 79cm and 54.5 kg, while for the females, the height and weight are 71cm and 40.5kg.

They are long and muscular, and they carry their head high. A sighthound that hunts by visual perception can catch and kill a wolf. 

The coat hair of a wolfhound is hard and rough on the head, body, and legs. With a fuzzy and massive appearance, the wolfhound is not as boisterous as one would perceive it to be, judging from its size.  

Generally introverted, intelligent, and reserved, the wolfhounds are quiet by nature and form strong emotional bonds with the family members.

There is a quote describing the temperament of the wolfhound that goes “gentle when stroked, fierce when provoked.” 

The dog does not protect or guard the house’s possession; instead, they protect individuals. 

3. Great Dane 

Great Dane during a dog show in Poland
Great Dane during a dog show in Poland | Image Credit – Wikipedia Commons

Bred by German nobles to guard and hunt wild boars, the great Dane is one of the world’s most recognizable giant breeds. 

The species descended from hunting dogs are one of the giant breeds globally. 

Created as a result of the cross between English mastiff and Irish wolfhound, the great Dane possesses all the good traits of both parent species. 

It is one of the giant breeds with regal appearance, strength, elegance, enormous size, and a smoothly muscled body.

The Great Dane holds up to the most significant living dog title each year. Previous record holders include Gibson, Titan, and George. Now, the title is won by a great black Dane with a height of 44inches. 

The Great Dane is friendly. They seek the owner’s attention and affection, and the owners often regard the Great Dane as a gentle giant.

The species don’t exhibit extreme aggressiveness. They are great with juveniles because of their playful nature: they are an excellent family member.

They possess a faster metabolism, resulting in more energy and food consumption per pound of dogs than in small breeds. 

4. Dogue de Bordeaux 

Dogue de Bordeaux strutting in a field
Dogue de Bordeaux strutting in a field | Image Credit – Wikipedia Commons

The species is a large french mastiff bread. The powerful guardian dog, the Dogue de Bordeaux, is a mighty dog with a muscular body. 

They have an expressive face and eyes, and their head is proportionally the most prominent head of any breed. 

As the dogs are vigorous, their energy is put into pulling carts, transporting heavy objects, and guarding flocks. 

The breed was known in France as early as the 14th century. Since then, the breed has been put into much work, including hunting, cattle driving, and fearsome war dogs. 

Extremely loyal dogs, while a little pig-headed, training the dogs is imperative. A theory suggests that Dougie is a descendant of a Tibetan mastiff. 

The European FCI and AKC specify a weight of 99pounds for females and 110 pounds for a male. 

The dog’s body is thick with a top line with a slight dip and a rounded croup. The color of the coat varies from shades of fawn to mahogany black, brown, or a red mask. 

According to the statistics by the Dogue de Bordeaux Society of America, the life span of the breed is 5 to 6 years. 

The longest living dog of the species, an acting dog who played hooch in turner and hooch, died at 14.

5. Anatolian shepherd – Kangal

Anatolian shepherd
Female Anatolian shepherd | Image Credit – Wikipedia Commons

The Anatolian shepherd, commonly known as Kangal shepherd, is a large livestock guardian dog breed. Native to Turkey, the species is prevalent over there. 

According to the official Kangal shepherd dog association, the acceptable colors for Kangal are sable and fawn. 

The breed is not a herding dog but a sheepdog that lives with the flock of ships to actively fend off the predators. They are used to protect predators such as wolves, bears, and jackals.

Due to its intimidating size and capabilities as an effective guardian, the species have been shipped to African countries to protect local herds from lions, cheetahs, and similar indigenous big cats.

The dog is known for its calm, controlled, independent, assertive, and protective nature. They may behave aloof in new stimuli, but a well-socialized dog is friendly with visitors and children.  

A leader Kangal dog is sensitive and attentive in situations. They respond to threats with reasonable warning and are capable of taking action whenever necessary. They are independent, intelligent dogs making it hard to train inexperienced dog owners. 

During duty, the leader dog puts itself on a vantage point overlooking its flock. The dogs dig a hole in the ground to keep them cool on hot days. They work in a team, taking positions around the sheep changing their jobs as needed. 

6. Saint Bernard

Saint bernard
Saint bernard | Image Credit – Patterjack

Saint Bernard is a working dog breed from the western Alps in Italy and Switzerland. The species is famous through the tales of alpine rescues and its large size and gentle temperament.

It is a giant dog known as one of the molosser breeds. Their coats are either smooth or rough. The soft skin is close and flat, while the wild is dense, flat, and profuse around the neck and legs. 

They usually have brown eyes with long, heavy, and high-hanging tails but sometimes can be icy blue.

If the dog doesn’t get a proper diet or exercise, the species is highly susceptible to deterioration of the bones. Many are genetically affected by hip dysplasia or elbow dysplasia.

The species is an archetype of a gentle giant. The dogs are calm, patient, and sweet with adults and children. 

They need to be trained to socialize with humans to remove the possible aggression or territoriality. 

Although they are gentle, loyal, and affectionate breeds, their large size can threaten the children as a risk of getting the children knocked down. 

The life expectancy of the species differs according to the place. In the USA, the life expectancy is at 8 to 10 years, while the expectancy is more significant than ten years in the UK. The longest-lived dog of the species is 12 years and nine months. 

7. Newfoundland 

Baby Newfoundland
Puppy Newfoundland | Image Credit – Brightside

The species is a working dog available in different colors, including black, brown, gray, white, and black. Originally bred for the fishers in Newfoundland, Newfoundland is recognized for its giant size, intelligence, strength, loyalty, and calm temperament. 

As working dogs for anglers, the dogs learned to swim. The species excel at water rescue: they have muscular build thick double coat webbed paws that help them excel in swimming.

Newfoundlands have a water-resistant coat. Males weigh around 65-80 kg, while females weigh 55-65 kg on average. The giant Newfoundland ever recorded weighed 120 kilograms with a height of 1.8 m from its nose to tail. 

Newfoundland has a large bone that gives mass, and its large musculature gives it the power to take on rough oceans, waves, and tides. 

With huge lungs capacity for swimming extremely long distances, the Newfoundland has a thick, oily, and waterproof double coat protecting them from the chill of icy water.

The Newfoundlands are calm and submissive. International kennel clubs describe the species as having a sweet temper. The dogs are ideal companions in the world of therapy and are often referred to as nanny dogs. 

They are extremely good with kids, although they can knock down kids unknowingly because of their heavy sizes. 

8. Leonberger 

Leonberger perched on a log
Leonberger perched on a log | Image Credit – ACK

The Leonberger is a working dog breed whose name derives from Leonberger, Germany.

The breed has a double coat. With a large, muscular, and elegant dog with a balanced body type, and dramatic appearance, the head is adorned with a black mask. The black mask projects the breed’s distinct expression of intelligence, pride, and kindliness. 

Initially, the Leonberger was bred as a companion dog for European royalty. It was later when they became famous for working farm dogs. They excel at draft work. 

The breed exhibits sexual dimorphism: the Leonberger possesses either an intensely masculine or elegantly, making gender immediately palpable. 

Generally, the breed is healthy, but many suffer from hip dysplasia. The head of the species is well balanced in proportion to the size of the dogs.

Many coat colors are accepted for the species: lion-yellow, red, red-brown, and sand. The dog is the most family dog out of all dogs. If the dogs are trained, the Leonberger is self-assured, insensitive to noise, and friendly towards kids.

9. Great Pyrenees 

Great Pyrenees

The Pyrenean mountain dog is France’s livestock guardian dog breed, commonly known as Patou. The breed evolved from the french side of the Pyrenees mountain that separates France and Spain.

The breed is widely used to scare away and protect flocks from predators. The Great Pyrenees is a large breed. As per the Société Centrale Canine’s breed standard, the dogs stand from 70 to 82 centimeters while the bitches measure around 65 to 77 centimeters. 

The Pyrenees head is not overly large compared to the body. It has a long, broad, and slightly pointed muzzle and small triangle ears hanging flat to the lead.

The dog has a deep chest and a long tail that lays low when the dog is at rest with a short and intense neck. 

The dog is adorned with a long, thick double coat for protection during harsh weather. The breed is predominantly white, with patches of black, badger, gray, or various shades of tan mainly on the head.

The dogs are very independent and protective. Because of their independent nature, they are pretty challenging to train even though the dogs are quick learners and intelligent.

The dog is innately affectionate with its family members, especially with children. 

10. Cane Corso

Cane Corso standing in the park
Cane Corso standing in the park | Image Credit – AKC

The cane Corso, an Italian mastiff breed, is a companion dog or a guard dog. The breed was used for hunting games; now, it is profusely used as a livestock protector.

The cane Corso comes from a lineage of Molossia type, closely related Neapolitan mastiff. It is well muscled and less bulky than all mastiff breeds. 

According to international standards, the breed should stand some 60-72 cm at the withers in length and weigh 40-50 kg. 

In 2017, a study of cane Corso dogs from twenty-five countries found 9.3 years to average life expectancy. 


The dogs mentioned above are the top 10 giant dog breeds globally. The list provides information on the origin of the species, the type of dog, and their size.

Some of the mentioned species are in grave danger. They are going to get extinct if not taken care of properly. For instance, Irish wolfhound numbers are decreasing because of a bottleneck in their genes.

Most of the mentioned dogs are gregarious and could make a great family member. If you are looking for giant dogs as a pet, any dog mentioned would be a great choice.

(Last Updated on March 30, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Saurav Khadka, with his A levels in computer science from Saipal Academy, owns a keen desire to know more about the environment. He wants to preach his knowledge to others by learning through his hobbies; reading, writing, traveling, and watching movies. He believes sharing his insight regarding a sustainable environment will undoubtedly generate positive perceptions in the people.