Does bigger always mean better when it comes to a canine chum? Many people believe it does, as some larger dogs can be easier to train, more patient and calmer than their tiny cousins. As an added bonus, some larger dogs don’t actually need as much exercise as you might think.
But every breed is different. Let’s get to know some of the biggest dog breeds in the world to help you figure out if one of them could become part of your forever family.
One of the most popular large breeds on the annual American Kennel Club list (ranking 17th out of 195 breeds in 2019), the Doberman pinscher fears nothing. It’s not the largest of canine companions — it typically measures 26 to 28 inches (male) or 24 to 26 inches (female) and weighs between 60 and 100 pounds — but it’s arguably one of the most loyal dog breeds. Athletic, muscular and fast, there’s almost no better canine protector.
Average weight: 60 to 100 pounds
Average height: 26 to 28 inches (male); 24 to 26 inches (female)
The Komondor looks like no other breed, with its long white corded coat. According to the American Kennel Club, the way to maintain its unique appearance is to not brush the coat, but to wash it regularly. Under all that cord, the average Kom weighs 80 to 100 pounds and reaches a minimum height of 27.5 inches (male) or 25.5 inches (female).
Average weight: 80 to 100 pounds
Average height: 27.5 inches (male); 25.5 inches (female)
The smart, calm Great Pyrenees, famous for its lush coat, is a formidable presence on a snowy mountain, but a loving, devoted companion in the home. Male Great Pyrenees reach a height of 27 to 32 inches and weigh 100 pounds or more, while females measure between 25 and 29 inches tall and weigh upwards of 85 pounds. This working dog may be majestic, but it requires only moderate exercise and is more than satisfied with a couple of daily walks.
Average weight: 85 to 100 pounds plus
Average height: 27 to 32 inches (male); 25 to 29 inches (female)
The friendly, happy Dogo Argentino was first bred in the province of Cordoba, in the central region of Argentina, in the late 1920s. It measures 24 to 26.5 inches tall and weighs between 88 and 100 pounds, with little difference between males and females.
According to the American Kennel Club breeding standards, a dark patch near the eye is allowed as long as it doesn’t cover more than 10 percent of the head. Otherwise, the Dogo has a completely white, smooth coat.
Average weight: 88 to 100 pounds
Average height: 24 to 26.5 inches
Almost as tall as the Irish wolfhound is the Scottish deerhound, which can also reach a height of 32 inches. However, it has a slighter frame, typically weighing 85 to 110 pounds (male) and 75 to 95 pounds (female). Gentle and well-mannered, it was bred — as its name suggests — to stalk the giant wild red deer roaming the forests of Scotland.
Average weight: 85 to 110 pounds (male); 75 to 95 pounds (female)
Average height: Up to 32 inches
The bulky bloodhound is famous for more than its wrinkled, saggy face and bloodshot eyes. It’s a remarkable scent dog, capable of finding lost or hidden people and objects. It stands 23 to 27 inches tall and can weigh up to 110 pounds, and while that doesn’t make it the biggest of the big dog breeds, it is one of the more popular. In 2019, it claimed 49th spot on the American Kennel Club’s list of the most popular dog breeds.
Average weight: Up to 110 pounds
Average height: 23 to 27 inches
Dogue de Bordeaux
Translated from the French, Dogue de Bordeaux simply means “Mastiff of Bordeaux.” It’s the oldest of French dog breeds, and it boasts the largest head in the canine kingdom, per the American Kennel Club. This breed requires moderate exercise (swimming is a favorite activity) and is always willing to work. Males measure 23 to 27 inches tall and weigh 110 pounds or more, while females measure 23 to 26 inches tall and weigh 99 pounds or more.
Average weight: 110 pounds plus (male); 99 pounds plus (female)
Average height: 23 to 27 inches (male); 23 to 26 inches (female)
Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese mountain dog may not be the largest breed out there, but at 25 to 27.5 inches tall and 80 to 115 pounds (male) and 23 to 26 inches tall and 70 to 95 pounds (female), it still cuts a robust figure. And the Berner is popular with U.S. dog owners — it ranks No. 22 in the American Kennel Club’s most recent list of most popular breeds. You can count on it to get along with everyone in the home and to be particularly protective toward children.
Average weight: 80 to 115 pounds (male); 70 to 95 pounds (female)
Average height: 25 to 27.5 inches (male); 23 to 26 inches (female)
With its soft, thick white coat and sweet nature, the Kuvasz is a dog you just want to cuddle. And it will quite happily let you do that — as long as you also give it plenty of daily exercise and mental stimulation. Bred as a livestock guardian in ancient Turkey and Tibet, the Kuvasz arrived in Hungary in the Middle Ages. It tends to reach a height of 26 to 30 inches and weighs 100 to 115 pounds (male) or 70 to 90 pounds (female) when fully grown.
Average weight: 100 to 115 pounds (male); 70 to 90 pounds (female)
Average height: 26 to 30 inches
Brave and dignified, the Irish wolfhound weighs up to 120 pounds (105 pounds for females) but it stands tall at 30 to 32 inches. In fact, it’s the tallest of all American Kennel Club breeds. It needs supervision around young kids, but only because of its size — it has a sweet, serene, easygoing nature.
Average weight: Up to 120 pounds (male); up to 105 pounds (female)
Average height: 30 to 32 inches
The Cane Corso, which originates from ancient Roman times, has established a reputation for being a stellar protector. In fact, its name roughly translates from the Latin for “bodyguard dog.” Fully grown, it reaches a height of 25 to 27.5 inches (male) or 23.5 to 26 inches (female), and the American Kennel Club says its weight is “proportionate to height.”
Average weight: Proportionate to its height
Average height: 25 to 27.5 inches (male); 23.5 to 26 inches (female)
Black Russian Terrier
Stocky and strong, the black Russian terrier typically measures 26 to 30 inches tall and weighs between 80 and 130 pounds. A guard dog at heart, this breed is aloof with strangers but showers its owners with love and affection. Its tousled double coat, with a coarse outer layer over its thick, soft undercoat, needs regular grooming to prevent matting.
Average weight: 80 to 130 pounds
Average height: 26 to 30 inches
Another large dog breed that ranks within the top 50 of the American Kennel Club’s annual best dog breeds list (it currently stands at No. 47), the burly Akita is of Japanese origin. This spitz-type dog typically weighs 100 to 130 pounds (males) or 70 to 100 pounds (females), and can reach a height of 28 inches. It’s believed to symbolize good health, happiness and long life.
Average weight: 100 to 130 pounds (male); 70 to 100 pounds (female)
Average height: Up to 28 inches
The bullmastiff, a cross between a bulldog and a mastiff, reaches a height of 25 to 27 inches (male) and 24 to 26 inches (female). Males typically weigh 110 to 130 pounds, while females are generally 100 to 120 pounds. This breed is good-natured, alert and intelligent, which makes for a great family companion and watch dog.
Average weight: 110 to 130 pounds (male); 100 to 120 pounds (female)
Average height: 25 to 27 inches (male); 24 to 26 inches (female)
It doesn’t look like the Rottweiler will fall out of favor in the U.S. any time soon — it ranked No. 8 in the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular dog breeds. At once a gentle playmate with loved ones and a robust protector against threats, the adult Rottie reaches a height of 24 to 27 inches in males or 22 to 25 inches in females and can weigh up to 135 pounds, although females may be as small as 80 pounds. If you can see past the Rottie’s tough reputation, you’ll find a sweet dog who’s up for general silliness and plenty of cuddles.
Average weight: Up to 135 pounds (male); 80 pounds plus (female)
Average height: 24 to 27 inches (male); 22 to 25 inches (female)
Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Devoted to its owner, at times demanding but largely self-sufficient, the Anatolian shepherd dog is a working breed whose lineage can be traced back to early settlers in Anatolia, or Asia Minor, the peninsula that makes up the Asian portion of Turkey. This breed reaches a height of 27 to 29 inches and the males can weigh up to 150 pounds. Nothing can get in the way when an Anatolian shepherd dog wants to look after its family.
Average weight: Up to 150 pounds
Average height: 27 to 29 inches
The Tibetan mastiff may look flamboyant, with its incredible “lion’s mane” around its head and neck, but it’s actually a quiet, reserved breed. Like so many large dog breeds, it may be intimidating in size (males are at least 26 inches tall and weigh 90 to 150 pounds, while females are at least 24 inches tall and weigh 70 to 120 pounds), but it’s soft-hearted and docile in the company of its human family. Despite its size, it’s surprisingly light-footed and agile.
Average weight: 90 to 150 pounds (male); 70 to 120 pounds (female)
Average height: 26 inches (male); 24 inches (female)
If you love the mastiff temperament and appearance but don’t think you could handle a 230-pounder, the Neapolitan mastiff (“Mastino”) is a smaller, lighter alternative. Males are typically 26 to 31 inches tall and females are 24 to 29 inches tall, while the average weight is 150 pounds for males and 110 pounds for females. A superb watchdog, the Mastino needs moderate exercise but overheats quickly in warm weather, and so requires a close watch in the heat.
Average weight: 150 pounds (male); 110 pounds (female)
Average height: 26 to 31 inches (male); 24 to 29 inches (female)
The sweet Newfoundland, aka the “Newfie,” is another giant dog with a nanny-like reputation (you may recall that the dog, Nana, in “Peter Pan” is a Newfoundland — although the animated film version depicts her as a Saint Bernard). At 28 inches tall (26 inches for females) and weighing 130 to 150 pounds (100 to 120 pounds for females), the Newfoundland isn’t quite as large as the Saint Bernard, but fans of the breed will argue it’s just as loving — and lovable. This strong working dog enjoys nothing more than watching over its human family members.
Average weight: 130 to 150 pounds (male); 100 to 120 pounds (female)
Average height: 28 inches (male); 26 inches (female)
Another gentle giant, the Leonberger was originally bred in Germany as a royal companion dog, which sets it apart from the numerous large breeds that were created to be working dogs. Weighing up to 170 pounds and measuring around 25 to 31 inches tall, the Leo is still capable of hard work. A graceful swimmer and adept cart-puller, it thrives on company and loves to play with all members of the family, young and old.
Average weight: Up to 170 pounds
Average height: 25 to 31 inches
Caucasian Shepherd Dog
At a height of 23 to 30 inches and weighing up to 170 pounds, the Caucasian shepherd dog (also known as the Caucasian Ovcharka, the Caucasian Sheepdog and the Kawkasky Owtscharkathe, among others), is a mighty guard dog. There are two breed types and standards: the Mountain type, which has a long coat and a heavier body, and the Steppe type, which is shorter-coated and lighter. Fierce and fearless when performing its guard duties, it’s also a sweet, kind family pet.
Average weight: Up to 170 pounds
Average height: 23 to 30 inches
Standing 30-32 inches tall (28-30 inches for females) and weighing between 140 and 175 pounds (males) and 110 to 140 pounds (females), it’s no wonder the regal Great Dane is also known as the “Apollo of Dogs.” When standing on their hind legs, they are taller than most people!
Welcoming a dog of this size (and strength) into your home isn’t a decision to be taken lightly, but the Great Dane’s dependability, patience and sweet nature make it a joyful addition to any family. Always a popular choice, it ranked 16th on the American Kennel Club’s list of most popular dog breeds in 2019.
Average weight: 140 to 175 pounds (male); 110 to 140 pounds (female)
Average height: 30 to 32 inches (male); 28 to 30 inches (female)
The Saint Bernard, Switzerland’s most famous canine export, has a reputation for being great with kids — so much so that it’s affectionately nicknamed the “nanny dog.” This type of dog may seem imposing — males stand 28-30 inches tall and weigh up to 180 pounds, while females stand 26-28 inches tall and weigh up to 140 pounds — but it’s very much a gentle giant. This breed is watchful, loyal and patient almost to a fault.
Average weight: Up to 180 pounds (male); up to 140 pounds (female)
Average height: 28 to 30 inches (male); 26 to 28 inches (female)
The calm, intelligent Boerboel, standing 22 to 27 inches tall and weighing 150 to 200 pounds, is a strong working dog that is confident in nature but always eager to learn. Despite its stature, this breed is nimble — the American Kennel Club hails it as the most agile of all mastiff types. Best suited to experienced dog owners, the dominant Boerboel may be a challenge — but the rewards are more than worth the effort.
Average weight: 150 to 200 pounds
Average height: 22 to 27 inches
The mighty mastiff may weigh more than any adult in the household. Males can tip the scales at 160 to 230 pounds and females at 120 to 170 pounds. The mastiff is also a tall dog, measuring 30 inches tall and up (male) and 27.5 inches and up (female). This ancient breed is an imposing bodyguard, but also a tolerant, dignified companion for all ages.
Average weight: 160 to 230 pounds (male); 120 to 170 pounds (female)
Average height: 30 inches plus (male); 27.5 inches plus (female)