There's plenty more to love with large dog breeds, and their gentle temperaments make them great for children of all ages. Larger breeds like the Mastiff or Golden Retriever are typically easier to train, as they have a more laid-back personality than smaller dogs. Raising a large dog can be an extremely rewarding and exciting experience!
If you think these gentle giants are perfect for you and your family, check out our list of some of the most popular large dog breeds. Find out why so many owners prefer larger dogs and all the things that make them so great!
What is Considered to be a Large Dog Breed?
Officially, a large dog breed is any breed that typically weighs over 50 pounds and under 100 pounds. Some of the largest dog breeds like the Mastiff or Bernese Mountain Dog can weigh over 100 pounds, with some even nearing 200 pounds! Some breeders may classify these extra-large dogs as "giant breeds."
However, generally, any dog that weighs over 50 pounds is considered large. A large dog breed usually stands around 24 inches tall at the shoulder.
Are Large Dog Breeds Easy to Care For?
Different dog breeds require different care. Moreover, factors like the owner's experience, the home environment, and the dog's past can affect the animal's needs. If you are a brand new dog owner, it's essential to do your research beforehand to take care of a larger breed properly. You can enroll your dog in puppy kindergarten classes or have them work with trainers so you can learn all the best tips for raising your dog.
Larger dogs may require more food, exercise, and grooming than smaller dogs. Larger breeds are not always recommended for first-time dog owners with little to no experience. However, learning how to care for any dog can be an excellent bonding experience, as long as you are willing to put in the time and effort.
Potential Health Issues
One issue to be wary of is that larger dogs typically have a few more potential health conditions than smaller breeds. Larger breeds are more prone to hip dysplasia, joint problems, bloat, or heart conditions.
Most responsible breeders won't continue to breed dogs with known genetic health issues. However, it is helpful to know about these conditions in case they come up.
Fortunately, modern medicine has made it so that many canine health problems can be treated or managed. The best way to prevent countless health problems from arising is with proper diet and exercise. If your pet experiences discomfort, CBD dog treats may be able to help. Ensure your large dog stays active daily and has sufficient nutrition to keep its health and strength up. And always remember to schedule annual vet checkups so they can screen your dog for any issues and problems!
Do Large Dog Breeds Get Along with Children?
Most larger breeds are gentle giants with calm temperaments. Dogs like German Shepherds or Labradors are also extremely loyal and protective of their families, making them great to raise with children.
Even breeds with more aggressive natures can be trained to act calm and composed around children and other situations. As with all breeds, proper training and socialization are necessary to make sure your dog becomes the best family pet it can be!
Most Popular Large Dog Breeds
The most popular large dog breeds on this list are typically great with children and families. They have loving and affectionate personalities while staying protective and loyal. If you are trying to decide which breed you want to add to your family, check out our top 10 most popular large dog breeds!
The most popular and commonly owned dog in America is the Labrador Retriever. They are very similar to their cousins, the Golden Retriever, and have a gentle but playful temperament. Labradors are the ideal family pet as they love to play and lay around with their owners watching TV.
Labs are slightly larger than Golden Retrievers, standing on average about 21-25" tall. They can also weigh slightly more, about 55-80 pounds. Labradors also have shorter coats, which may make them easier to groom and manage.
The German Shepherd is one of the most popular large dog breeds and the second most popular overall, just after Labrador Retrievers. German Shepherds are incredibly intelligent, often working as search-and-rescue and police dogs. The breed is one of the most loyal and devoted companions you'll ever find, perfect to raise with any family.
The German Shepherd is one of the most recognizable breeds in the world, and you can't go wrong with raising one. German Shepherds typically stand about 22-26" at the shoulder while weighing on average about 60-80 pounds.
One of the most popular and iconic dog breeds in America, it's no surprise that the fun-loving, affectionate Golden Retriever makes this list. This breed is known for its social, energetic, and cheerful personalities. They are also extremely athletic and love the outdoors, making them perfect for active families.
Golden Retrievers make friends easily with other humans and dogs alike and are very gentle with smaller pets and children. You can often find Golden Retrievers working as therapy or emotional support dogs. The breed typically stands about 20-24" tall and weighs about 55-75 pounds.
Boxers make great family pets because they are constantly fighting for your attention and have super-sweet personalities. They are easily excitable and can get a little rowdy at times, but they are intelligent and easy to train.
Boxers are super playful and have bountiful energy, which is great for active families. Boxers stand about 22-25" tall at the shoulder and weigh approximately 50-80 pounds.
Rottweilers are extremely popular because they are fiercely loyal and protective of all their loved ones. The strong breed often gets a bad reputation for their overly defensive or aggressive behaviors, but they are actually incredibly playful and loving animals.
Rottweilers today play significant roles in law enforcement, but many also work as therapy and service dogs. Their gentle and lively natures are perfect for any family. A Rottweiler can get pretty big, standing about 22-27" tall and weighing anywhere from 80-130 pounds.
Great Danes are known for their patience and loyal personalities. They stand taller than most other breeds, at about 28-34". They also typically weigh over 100 pounds, with some even reaching 150 pounds.
Despite being bigger than most dogs, this sizeable breed doesn't require as much exercise as most canines. They have average energy levels and can live with just a few short walks per day. Their willingness to lounge around the house with their owners makes them one of the easiest large dog breeds to raise.
Mastiffs are massive dogs that can be considered "giant." Mastiffs are the definition of gentle giants, preferring to sleep rather than go out and exercise. The breed prefers to have plenty of space to roam around, so keep that in mind if you're living with limited room.
Mastiffs can reach sizes of 27-30" tall and weigh a massive 120-230 pounds. Luckily, they don't require much grooming with their short coats, and their laid-back personalities make them great with families.
Alaskan Malamutes are closely related and even look similar to their Siberian Husky cousins, but they are much taller and heavier. Malamutes are friendly and sociable dogs, and as a consequence, they are terrible guard dogs.
Alaskan Malamutes love to play and can be the ideal pet for an active family. Originally bred as a sled dog, Malamutes have boundless energy that they should burn off with daily exercise. The breed usually stands about 27-30" tall and weighs about 75-100 pounds.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs are powerful animals that are often used to rescue stranded climbers in the Swiss Alps. This dog breed has incredible stamina, and you can take them with you on hiking or backpacking trips. It's crucial to keep Bernies active and busy so that they are not left to boredom, which can result in destructive behavior.
Another gentle giant, the Bernese Mountain Dog, has a smile that will melt your heart. They also have beautiful coats that may require more grooming. Bernies typically stand around 23-27" tall and weigh about 80 to 120 pounds.
Saint Bernards are commonly used in search-and-rescue operations, but these giant dogs have extremely gentle personalities. These hefty dogs have hearts of gold and make affectionate pets. They also love to lounge around and don't require much daily exercise.
Saint Bernards are an incredible addition to any family, and they love being around children. Don't be intimidated by their large size! This breed stands 26-30" tall and weighs between 120-180 pounds.
What Breed is the Largest Dog?
Among the many large dog breeds, the English Mastiff is the largest of them all. English Mastiffs were once descended from ancient war dogs, but are now soft, cuddly pets that sit on our sofas.
English Mastiffs can stand up to 27-35" tall at the shoulders. Most English Mastiffs weigh over 200 pounds and can reach upwards of about 230 pounds. The heaviest dog ever recorded was an English Mastiff named Aicama Zorba, weighing in at a whopping 343 pounds!
In terms of height, the Great Dane holds the record for the tallest dog. The world record for the tallest dog goes to a named Zeus, standing at a staggering 44" tall.
Fun fact: Great Danes were originally bred from English Mastiffs and Irish Wolfhounds!
Final Thoughts - Large Dog Breeds
You'll have a pet that is extremely patient, gentle, fun, and loyal when you go with a large dog. Most are relatively easy to care for since many breeds don't require as much exercise as some smaller dogs. If you have enough space and time to raise a large dog, it could be one of the best decisions you'll ever make!