Top 20 Largest Dog Breeds (With Pictures) & Complete Guide

Largest dog breeds

Towering over 26 inches tall and often weighing north of 100 pounds. The world’s largest dog breeds never fail to make a dramatic first impression. From the venerable English Mastiff and stately Great Dane to the formidable Tibetan Mastiff and towering Irish Wolfhound, these gentle giants capture our imagination with their imposing frames and larger-than-life presence.

But what truly sets these colossal canines apart is not merely their impressive size. Behind their Herculean exteriors lie sensitive souls bursting with personality, intelligence, and devotion. Getting acquainted with the 20 biggest and popular dog breeds in the world provides an enlightening glimpse into the diverse spectrum of canine excellence.

Defining the Largest Dog Breeds

Before spotlighting these leviathans by name, it’s important to clarify precisely what constitutes a “largest breed.” While dimensions like height and weight are obvious metrics, overall size and mass must also be considered holistically across bone structure, musculature, coat density, and other morphological factors.

Additionally, intra-breed variability and exceptions to the rule always exist. For example, a petite female English Mastiff may stand shorter or weigh less than a strapping male Great Dane. As such, the following calm dog breeds are highlighted not solely by cold statistics but by their commonly accepted status among experts and the public as extraordinarily large dogs.

The Top 5 Largest Dog Breeds

1. English Mastiff

English Mastiff

Hailing from England and often claiming the crown as the biggest dog breed in terms of sheer mass. The English Mastiff is an ancient Molosser breed revered by the Romans as a fearsome war dog. Today’s Mastiffs retain incredible size, with males reaching 30 inches and upwards of 230 pounds, but temper their imposing presence with a calm and dignified temperament. Despite their shorter lifespan and extensive health considerations, Mastiffs make wonderfully devoted companions.

2. Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard

Originally bred at the hospice at Italy’s Great St. Bernard Pass to rescue lost mountain travelers. The aptly named Saint Bernard carries its legendary size and strength into the modern era. Typically ranging from 25-27 inches tall and 140-180 pounds, these “gentle giant” dogs require regular grooming to manage their long, thick coats. With adequate space to stretch out and proper socialization, Saint Bernards flourish as friendly, playful pets.

3. Great Dane

Great Dane

Nicknamed the “Apollo of Dogs” for its imposing yet elegant physique, the Long Haired Dalmatian Dog Breed has earned its place as one of the world’s tallest dog breeds, with males standing on average 32 inches at the shoulder. Despite hovering around 100-200 pounds, the overall impression is one of sleek grace and noble dignity. Beneath its regal bearing lies an energetic yet people-oriented personality that thrives in families. Regular training and socialization help Long Haired Dalmatians shine as outgoing pets.

4. Neapolitan Mastiff

Neapolitan Mastiff

With roots extending back to ancient Roman campaigns. The formidable Neapolitan Mastiff stands out even among mastiff breeds for its sheer bulk and folds of loose skin. While ranging from 26-31 inches tall, these intimidating guardians carry upwards of 150 pounds with astonishing power. Beneath their wrinkled facades, they bond closely with their families. Requiring dedicated training and possibly drool control, Neapolitans can succeed as gentle companions.

5. Boerboel


Hailing from South Africa, the Boerboel represents a more athletic take on the mastiff blueprint. Standing up to 27 inches at the shoulder while weighing anywhere from 150-200 pounds. These tough guardians and loyal working dogs retain keen intelligence and agility behind their imposing frames. With consistent leadership and extensive socialization from an early age, Boerboels can channel their protective instincts into dependable family companionship.

The Next 5 Massive & Majestic Breeds

1. Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound

One of the tallest breeds in existence today. The commanding Irish Wolfhound has prowled the Emerald Isle for centuries, valued by locals for hunting wolves and guarding homesteads. Standing at least 32 inches tall and potentially exceeding 180 pounds, the Wolfhound strikes an imposing silhouette matched by noble bearing and quiet dignity. Requiring ample room to stretch out as well as patient training, Wolfhounds make steadfast guardians and caring companions.

2. Leonberger


First emerging in Germany during the 19th century before nearly going extinct amid wartime devastation, the striking Leonberger has reclaimed its standing among giant breeds by combining the best traits of the Newfoundland, Saint Bernard, and Great Pyrenees. Weighing up to 170 pounds while standing up to 31.5 inches tall, these active dogs retain a family-friendly temperament behind their lion-like mane. As longhaired dogs, Leos require significant grooming.

3. Dogue de Bordeaux

Dogue de Bordeaux

Hailing from southwestern France since at least the 14th century, the Dogue de Bordeaux cuts an intimidating figure with a formidable headpiece framing a stocky, muscular body. Ranging from 23-27 inches tall and often exceeding 150 pounds, these powerful guardians demand conscientious training and care. But in the right hands, Bordeaux Dogs reveal themselves as steadfast protectors and affectionate companions.

4. Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff

Guarding remote Chinese villages and Himalayan hillsides for millennia, the imposing Tibetan Mastiff has earned renown as one of the world’s most ancient and intimidating breeds. Typically topping 160 pounds and 26 inches in height, TMs reside among the heavier giant breeds while retaining athleticism and intelligence. As fiercely independent flock guardians, Tibetan Mastiffs require intensive socialization to function properly as family companions.

5. Cane Corso

Cane Corso

Having patrolled Italian estates since Roman times, the formidable yet versatile Cane Corso presents the ultimate synthesis of imposing presence with responsive handling. Typically reaching 26 inches tall and often exceeding 100 pounds, they excel at everything from property guardian to boar hunting companion. Beneath their intimidating facade lies an eager-to-please and family-devoted temperament requiring proper leadership and training for optimal success.

The Majestic Second 10 Largest Dog Breeds

1. Spanish Mastiff

Spanish Mastiff

The ultimate livestock guardian dog throughout the Iberian Peninsula, the supremely large Spanish Mastiff has traditionally deterred predators and thieves with sheer size and attitude alone. At upwards of 35 inches tall and 220 pounds, this ancient colossus cuts an imposing figure matched only by its steady temperament as an attentive flock protector requiring minimal formal training to excel.

2. Komondor


The singular Komondor has defended Hungarian livestock for a millennium thanks to its trademark corded coat that renders it nearly indistinguishable from a roving mop or animated dust bunny. Despite a cumbersome appearance, this fleet-footed guardian runs up to 27.5 inches tall and 125 pounds, with its shaggy armor protecting against the elements and would-be predators. Beneath the cords lies an intelligent and faithful companion.

3. Dogo Argentino

Dogo Argentino

Developed in Argentina as the ultimate big game hunting partner capable of pursuing wild boar and mountain lions, the imposing yet agile Dogo Argentino is a pack leader’s dream. Standing upwards of 27 inches tall while averaging 80-100 pounds, the Dogo couples athletic prowess with steadfast courage and a keen intelligence responsive to extensive training. Firm leadership allows Dogos to thrive as adventurous yet loyal companions.

4. Landseer


Essentially a black-and-white variant of its Newfoundland parent breed rather than a separate breed per AKC guidelines, the striking Landseer retains the iconic Newfie’s giant size (150 pounds), strength, and easygoing personality. Originally bred for draft work and water rescue by artist Sir Edwin Landseer, Landseers make wonderful working and family dogs with appropriate training and socialization.

5. Hovawart


Among the most versatile working breeds, the commanding Hovawart (“yard guardian”) has safeguarded German homesteads for over 500 years. Weighing up to 90 pounds for males and standing upwards of 28 inches, theseBig, self-assured guard dogs retain a keen intelligence and eagerness to please that facilitates training across myriad tasks from tracking to search and rescue.

6. Moscow Watchdog

Moscow Watchdog

A relative newcomer among giant breeds after emerging in the Soviet Union through the 1947 crossing of several European guardian breeds, the imposing Moscow Watchdog lives up to its daunting name. Typically exceeding 25 inches and 100 pounds, these protective flock guardians demand experienced leadership to direct their territorial instincts properly and prevent problematic aggression.

7. Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Anatolian Shepherd Dog

Developed to guard free-roaming Turkish livestock with decisive independence, the formidable Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a force to be reckoned with when defending its flock against predators. Weighing upwards of 150 pounds while standing at least 29 inches tall, they exude rugged power cloaked in a dense, protective coat ideal for harsh environments. Consistent leadership and extensive socialization help ensure this bold guardian directs its protective instincts appropriately.

8. Great Pyrenees

Great Pyrenees

Majestic in form and nature, the Great Pyrenees has vigilantly guarded the French Pyrenees highlands for centuries by blending into the rugged alpine backdrop. Typically exceeding 100 pounds and 27 inches tall, the Pyrenees’ stunning white coat demands regular brushing and grooming. This no-nonsense mountain dog requires patience and creative problem-solving to succeed as a devoted family companion.

9. Fila Brasileiro

Fila Brasileiro

Hailing from plantation estates across Brazil, the imposing yet athletic Fila Brasileiro (“Brazilian Mastiff”) has traditionally deterred intruders with sheer intimidation factor alone. Typically 30 inches tall and weighing upwards of 100 pounds, Filas exude powerful muscles cloaked in a smooth coat requiring moderate grooming. Prized for their piercing gaze and relentless guarding instincts, Filas demand expert leadership from owners able to provide consistent guidance, extensive socialization, and firm boundaries.

10. Scottish Deerhound

Scottish Deerhound

Coursing through the Scottish highlands for centuries alongside noblemen and commoners alike, the wiry Scottish Deerhound presents a unique blend of commanding size, athletic grace, and quiet dignity. Often exceeding 32 inches tall while averaging 80-110 pounds, these agile sighthounds once pursued red deer and could race at commanding speeds when necessary. Beneath their somewhat aloof demeanor, Deerhounds bond closely with their families.

Appreciating Every Giant Breed

This diverse lineup of colossal canines brilliantly showcases the myriad interpretations of what constitutes a supersized breed. From established ancient breeds like the Neapolitan Mastiff and Tibetan Mastiff to relative newcomers like the Moscow Watchdog and Leonberger, each giant offers unique perspectives on the interface between imposing presence and sensitive soul.

Final Thoughts

While their sheer size undoubtedly captivates our wonder, the world’s biggest dog breeds ultimately reward those committed to properly channel their potential. Despite towering over 26 inches tall and averaging upwards of 100 pounds, these gentle giants ultimately desire the same thing we all do – to enjoy purposeful days alongside people they can please and protect.


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