- Originally bred in Switzerland, Bernese Mountain Dogs make great family pets because of their gentle and affectionate personalities.
- Samoyeds have an interesting past, being bred by the Samoyed people, a mix of Finnish and Siberians, who utilized these smart dogs to herd reindeer.
- Newfoundlands have earned the nickname “nanny dogs” because they are patient and very watchful with children.
They’re fine for other people, but small dogs don’t float your boat. For you, large, hulking canines are where it’s at! We understand. After all, there are several advantages to having a large dog as a pet. In general, they are easier to train than small dogs. They bond with new owners quickly, and they can make excellent guard dogs. As such, we hope you appreciate our list of the 11 best large dog breeds.
#11 Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain Dogs are the epitome of “gentle giants.” They weigh between 70 and 115 pounds but are calm and affectionate. However, if you’re in the mood to horse around, they’ll be more than happy to oblige. After all, Bernese Mountain Dogs love nothing more than pleasing their people.
Click here to learn more about Bernese Mountain Dogs, which are affectionate Swiss imports.
Known as “smiling sled dogs,” Samoyeds are both gorgeous and hard working. Originally bred to withstand harsh northern climates, they sport beautiful coats and can withstand temperatures that dip below -60 ℉. Their name derives from the Samoyed people, native northerners with both Mongolian and Finnish blood who migrated to Siberia over a thousand years ago.
Click here to learn more about Samoyeds, which were originally bred to herd reindeer.
#9 Afghan Hound
With their long straight hair, pointy faces, and considerable size, Afghan hounds turn heads. Some people think they’re odd-looking, and others revere them as regal. The large breed has ancient roots and was a favorite of European monarchs. They’re rare today, but most owners are fanatical about their unique canines.
Click here to learn more about Afghan Hounds, which date back to 4000 BC.
Newfies are large, in charge, and incredibly sweet. Considered “nanny dogs,” the big lugs are patient and watchful with children. But they can weigh up to 150 pounds, so leaving newborns around them unsupervised isn’t the wisest move. Accidents can and do happen.
Borzoi dogs, also known as Russian Wolfhounds, are thin and large — standing 28 to 30 inches and weighing 60 to 100 pounds. From snout to tail, everything about them is angular. They’re also fast and can chug along at 49 miles per hour. Often described as elegant, the large breed was a favorite of Russia’s ruling Romanov family.
#6 Curly-Coated Retriever
Described by the American Kennel Club as “a thinking person’s retriever,” Curly-Coated Retrievers are large animals with big brains. They’re also incredibly proud and have a seemingly indefatigable store of energy. Traditionally, Curly-Coated Retrievers are gun dogs, and thanks to their waterproof coats, they have no problem bounding into the nearest lake or river.
Click here to learn more about Curly-Coated Retrievers, which are affectionate with their humans but aloof with strangers.
#5 Giant Schnauzer
Smart and highly trainable, Giant Schnauzers are wonderful large animals that a fancier once famously described as “bold and valiant figures.” Their double, wiry coats require lots of grooming, and Giant Schnauzers need loads of exercise to live their best lives. But for people with the time and resources, it’s difficult to find a more loyal friend.
Click here to learn more about Giant Schnauzers, which originated in Germany.
#4 Great Dane
With their gigantic upright ears and saggy jowls, Great Danes are the iconic big breed. Svelte and standing 32 inches tall, these “Apollos of Dogs” are strong, patient, and surprisingly easygoing. An excellent choice for busy families, they don’t need frequent grooming, nor do Great Danes shed much. However, puppy training is a must because they need to learn how to control their size.
Click here to learn more about Great Danes, which were originally bred as boarhounds.
Originally from Hungary, Komondor dogs are large pups with a distinct style. Their corded coats are a show stopper — especially at the dog park — but their grooming bills aren’t for the financially faint of heart. They can grow to nearly 30 inches and usually weigh about 100 pounds. Be aware, though, that they’re exceptionally independent. Plus, training — while possible — isn’t a cakewalk.
Fun fact: the plural of Komondor is Komondorok.
#2 Old English Sheepdog
The quintessential shaggy dog breed, Old English Sheepdogs are large, mellow, and affectionate with their people. They can have either brown or blue eyes — and some have one of each! They need a good brushing two or three times a week, and owners should expect profuse seasonal shedding. Old English Sheepdogs possess independent streaks — but they’re also smart and have memories like elephants.
Click here to learn more about Old English Sheepdogs, which are very sociable.
#1 Neapolitan Mastiff
Neapolitan Mastiffs aren’t just big — they’re huge. The average male stands over 30 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs upward of 150 pounds! At first glance, they’re terrifying. But like many large dog breeds, Neapolitan Mastiffs are sweet and steady with the ones they love. As far as strangers go, they’re not aggressive, but they are wary.
These giants get very attached to their family and are prone to separation anxiety when left alone. Like all dogs, it is important to give them plenty of socialization with other people, places, and animals when they are a puppy. This deters later aggression towards unfamiliar people or pets and gives your dog some much-needed mental stimulation. While they tend to be a bit lazy once they reach maturity, Neapolitan Mastiffs get bored easily. This can lead to destructive behavior, so it’s important to make sure they are getting enough exercise and excitement in their days to stave off any boredom chewing.
Click here to learn more about Neapolitan Mastiffs, which are very protective of their homes.
Summary of the Best Big Dog Breeds
If you’re searching for a big dog to join your family, here’s a review of the best big dog breeds:
|2||Old English Sheepdog|
|7||Borzoi (Russian Wolfhound)|
|11||Bernese Mountain Dog|
The 10 Best Apartment Animals Are you considering the best pet to cohabitate with you in an apartment? Here’s a guide to the best pets for apartment living.
The 10 Most Expensive Dog Breeds If you’re looking to splurge on a dog, here’s a look at 10 dog breeds that will break the bank.
The Best Big Dog Breeds Searching for the perfect large dog to join your family? We’ve got suggestions in this article.
Ready to discover the top 10 cutest dog breeds in the entire world?
How about the fastest dogs, the largest dogs and those that are -- quite frankly -- just the kindest dogs on the planet? Each day, AZ Animals sends out lists just like this to our thousands of email subscribers. And the best part? It's FREE. Join today by entering your email below.
The Featured Image
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.