There are numerous dogs in the world that have been continuously bred for their size. Giant dog breeds have been used as protectors, hunters and herders, which is why they were always in great demand in the past.
But at the moment, many Giant dog breeds play the role of lovable pets, which is why families all over the world welcome them into their homes.
Giant Dog breeds often weigh more than 45 kilograms, and the heaviest dog in recorded history was Benedictine, a Saint Bernard that weighed up to 166 kilograms, which would be the weight of about three and a half average-sized Dalmatians.
However, don’t let the size fool you, as large dogs tend to have mild temperaments and don’t be surprised when a Great Dane comes and lies on your lap.
The pros and cons of Giant dog breeds
Like any type of dog, giant dog breeds have their pros and cons. On the positive side, giant dogs are typically very gentle, loving and loyal.
Many giant dogs will not have extremely high energy levels and will not need tons of exercise. In addition, many giant dog breeds are fairly easy to train.
The downside is the increased cost of food, supplies and veterinary care. Some giant dogs also have large dewlaps, which causes them to drool quite a bit (their owners often carry a rag around to wipe up all the drool).
In addition, many large dogs are more prone to orthopaedic problems or health problems such as bloat. Perhaps most unfortunate is that extra large dog breeds tend to have a shorter lifespan compared to the average canine (around 6-10 compared to the 12-15 years most dogs live).
However, those who adore these big beauties feel that this adds up to a small price to pay.
List of the most popular Giant dog breeds
The Kuvasz is an ancient Hungarian dog famous for guarding livestock. The story goes that they were once used as royal guard dogs, but today, they are common household pets. Their thick, large coat requires them to be housed in places that have a cool temperature to prevent them from overheating. Females generally weigh between 30 to 40 kilograms while males weigh between 45 to 50 kilograms.
The Cane Corso is an Italian breed related to the Neapolitan Mastiff, although less muscular. For years, they have been considered excellent hunters and guard dogs. They are relatively smaller than their cousins, with a height of 70 centimetres and a weight of 40 to 50 kilograms. This breed is not recommended for novice owners, as they require early training and socialisation as puppies.
At first glance, the Akbash may look like a white Labrador, but it is much taller and slimmer, with a maximum height of 86 centimetres and a weight of 35 kilograms 65 kilograms. The double coat helps them adapt to the often cold climate in western Turkey. They tend to be a peaceful and quiet breed, but are hard-working and focused livestock guardians.
The Landseer is often confused with the Newfoundland, but they differ in colour and intelligence. The Landseer has a distinct black and white coat and is generally easier to train. However, they share the same statistics as the Newfoundland, with a height of 80 centimetres and a weight of 80 kilograms. Landseers also enjoy swimming and make excellent lifeguards.
The Kangal originated in Turkey. It is approximately 76 centimetres tall with a weight of up to 65 kilograms for males and 55 kilograms for females. Kangals have been used to protect the herd from predators because they are brave enough to fight off bears and wild wolves. They also make good pets as they are exceptionally gentle with children, but they also need an adequate level of exercise.
Dogue de Bordeaux:
This is a large breed of French Mastiffs. This powerful breed has the ability to carry heavy objects and has historically been known to protect European royal families. It is not their height, but their weight, which can go up to 70 kilograms. They have similar faces to the Boxer and French Bulldog.
The Bully Kutta is also called the Bully or the Pakistani Mastiff. They are said to be direct descendants of the extinct Alaunt breed from the Sindh and Punjab regions of modern Pakistan.
These dogs are generally white in colour, but have traces of brown or black on their body. They are usually 88 centimetres tall and can weigh up to 95 kilograms. They need to be introduced to families at an early age due to their different temperaments. Apart from that, they are an intelligent breed and are easy to train.
The Dogo Argentino is known for its big muscles. But, unfortunately, their strength and agility have been exploited by those involved in underground dog fighting pits. But Dogo Argentinos are excellent and loyal protectors, and have proven to be useful for police and military work. Males can measure up to 75 centimetres and weigh over 55 kilograms.
The St. Bernard is popular in northern Italy and the Swiss Alps and was originally bred for search and rescue. The St. Bernard is also well known in pop culture, with Benedictine named the largest dog by the Guinness Book of Records, and others named Barry, who reportedly saved 40 to 100 human lives in the mountains.
The Great Dane is undeniably large, and over the years, countless dogs of this breed have been named as the tallest living Great Dane in the world. One notable tall one named Zeus, who stood 111 centimetres tall, held the record until his death in September 2014. However, the Great Dane is considered a lap dog despite its surprisingly large size.
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