In the dog world, there is an age-old battle between owning big dogs and little dogs. Some people swear by their toy-sized companions, while big dog owners say, “Bigger is better.” Large, heavy breeds have mixed reputations in society, but many of them are incredible companions and potential family pets. While giant-sized canines may seem scary or intimidating, they’re more likely to cuddle with you than anything else. If you’re looking for an oversized companion and you have the room for one, check out the 10 heaviest dog breeds in the world.
The 10 Heaviest Dog Breeds
1. Old English Mastiff
One of the oldest breeds in canine history, the English Mastiff is known for being an affectionate and loyal dog that will calm with age. The Mastiff’s large size makes them a popular choice for a family pet and watch dog. The most important characteristic of a Mastiff is their need for attention, so be ready for a 150-pound lapdog!
Fun fact: An Old English mastiff holds the record for the heaviest dog in the world at 343 pounds!
2. Great Dane
Famous for dogs like Marmaduke and Scooby-Doo, the Great Dane is known for being a gentle giant. Happy to be around others, the Great Dane does well with people and other pets as long as it has been exposed to early socialization. With its relatively easy-going temperament, a Dane can become a loyal family dog. If you have the space for a dog breed that holds the record of the tallest dog in the world, the Great Dane will quickly adapt and bond with you.
3. St. Bernard
The St. Bernard is a large, fluffy breed that starts off as an energetic youth. It has a thick double coat suited for colder climates. After growing into a calm demeanor, the St. Bernard is a well-mannered dog. Just like other large breeds, the St. Bernard loves attention and has a constant need for it. Consistency with socialization and training is key to having a happy St. Bernard.
The Newfoundland is a natural-born swimmer with a love for water and swimming. This large breed is generally good-natured and composed, but they will need to grow into their manners through consistent training. The Newfoundland needs daily and constant attention, but they will win over your heart with their affectionate personality. As long as they get daily exercise and lots of cuddles, a Newfoundland will be very loyal to their family.
5. Irish Wolfhound
With an impressive average of 36 inches in height, the Irish Wolfhound has an eye-catching appearance and an easy-going disposition. As long as they get daily exercise and have space to run, the Irish Wolfhound will be a happy dog. Early socialization is important, as with most breeds, but this breed usually does well with people and will gladly be social. At the end of the day, the Irish Wolfhound is happiest around their favorite person and will develop a lifetime bond.
6. Tibetan Mastiff
The Tibetan Mastiff is a protective dog with a strong drive for more serious work rather than playing games. A Tibetan Mastiff adult will usually have a calm demeanor but will be vigilant of strangers. This is a proud and dignified breed that prefers to be outside so they can guard the property. While they may not be enthusiastic to meet new people, the Tibetan Mastiff is usually not aggressive unless pushed too far.
One of the most active and athletic giant dog breeds, the Leonberger enjoys activities like cart-pulling and swimming as a way to get its energy out. A beautiful dog originally bred to resemble a lion, the Leonberger is incredibly loving toward the family and will happily protect them. While they may be wary of strangers at first, the Leonberger enjoys being around people. They can adapt to other pets, but this breed does best being the only dog in the house.
8. Neapolitan Mastiff
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a lapdog stuck in a giant’s body, with a dire need to snuggle and sit on its owner. With a booming bark and a massive build, the Neapolitan Mastiff will happily deter any unwanted visitors. Early socialization is key with all Mastiffs, and the Neapolitan is no exception. An independent thinker with a stubborn streak, the Neapolitan does best with experienced dog owners who understand the mentality of a Mastiff.
9. Dogue de Bordeaux
Also known as the French Mastiff, the Dogue de Bordeaux’s favorite activity is napping on its owner’s lap. A loving and well-mannered temperament as an adult, the Bordeaux will guard its family with fierce loyalty. While this breed may seem lazy, the Bordeaux is surprisingly agile and athletic for its size. The Bordeaux will need food-based training and a strong leader that it will test repeatedly, so this breed may be too much for new dog owners.
10. Anatolian Shepherd
The Anatolian Shepherd is an ancient breed with a serious demeanor and a working-dog mentality. With the right dog owner educated on this type of breed, the Anatolian can be a faithful guard dog. The Anatolian Shepherd is known for being independent and does not require constant attention like other large breeds. Though it may not seem overly loving or affectionate, this breed is extremely protective of its family and will be suspicious of strangers and visitors.
While these big dogs might look scary, they’re all just a bunch of teddy bears, depending on how you raise them, of course. Regardless, with a big dog, that just means there’s a whole lot more to love!
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