The Four Largest Dog Breeds

English Mastiff

“Mastiff1” by Karina Leo-Steffen, hier hochgeladen von –Caronna 14:08, 15 Apr 2005 (UTC) – Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Standing at around 30 inches tall, a full grown male English Mastiff may exceed a weight of 200 pounds. This massive dog has dark has dark eyes, with a black mask on the face. His coat color may be golden fawn, light fawn, apricot, silver, tiger or brindle. This muscular dog was born to be a guard dog, but is not a barker. It will silently guard your home. As opposed to attacking an intruder, the Mastiff is more likely to back him into a corner or lay on top of him.

Intelligent and calm, the English Mastiff is one of the most ancient types of dog breeds. He was descended from the Molossus, which was a ferocious war dog known over 5,000 years ago. Despite his roots, the English Mastiff is a friendly family dog. The biggest breed in the world, a Mastiff named Zorba was listed in the 1989 Guinness Book of World Records, weighing a record 323 pounds.

Tibetan Mastiff

“Mastif tybetański 2009 pl3” by Pleple2000 – Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons

Developed centuries ago, the Tibetan Mastiff was originally used as guard dogs for livestock and property in Tibet. Standing around 26 inches tall, the Tibetan Mastiff weighs between 100 and 160 pounds. He is a fearless, loyal protector of his family. If you choose to leave your Tibetan Mastiff outside, he may bark at night. They also may trying to climb your fence to escape, or dig in the yard. The solution is to bring your dog inside with you.

The Tibetan Mastiff isn’t the best choice for homes with young children. Proper socialization is key to getting them used to being around other animals and strangers. However, they are said to have a strong instinct in judging particular people. If they dislike a person, this probably will not change. It is recommend that you take several different routes on your daily walk to keep them from becoming territorial. Never take them off of their leash when you are walking them outdoors.

Irish Wolfhound

“Fergus (2544727297)” by Tim Felce (Airwolfhound) – FergusUploaded by russavia. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Standing at 35 inches tall, the Irish Wolfhound weighs anywhere from 115 and 180 pounds. The tallest of all dog breeds, the Irish Wolfhound is gigantic in size. This ancient breed that originated in Ireland were used as war dogs and hunting dogs. He is also the largest sighthound, meaning he chases moving prey.

They are quiet indoors and are not an ideal watchdog. This dog needs a fenced in yard with plenty of space to run around in. They are uncomfortable when they have to go up and down the stairs. Intelligent and gentle, the Irish Wolfhound enjoys having relationships with people. Unfortunately, these dogs live a short life of only 6 to 8 years. Despite their size, they are not outdoor dogs.


Great Dane

“Great Dane black laying” by Melissa – Flickr. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Nicknamed the Gentle Giant, the Great Dane can reach 2 feet and 10 inches tall and weigh between 100 and 200 pounds. Originally bred to hunt wild boar, the Great Dane has a strong bark to match his size. However, don’t let his bark fool you. He has a gentle soul and gets along with other dogs, animals and people.

His stature is terribly imposing, but he is one of the nicest dogs on the block. He is calm with children and has a sweet affectionate disposition. However, because of his size, it would be a good idea to have him attend obedience training classes. This may stop him from chasing something that he rests his eyes on. Some Great Danes try to be lapdogs, not realizing how big they are. They love to be around the family and especially enjoy playtime. Strangers will be greeted happily, unless he thinks you need to be defended.