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Most Popular Large Dog Breeds

At A Glance

Large dog breeds are larger than life and always leave people smiling. Despite their size, most large breeds love a cuddle and when trained properly can make excellent guard dogs. On the other hand, some are more reserved and need their space.

If you’re looking for a large breed dog, remember:

  • Given their size, caring for them is not easy. They require high-quality nourishment and lots of space to thrive.
  • Choose a dog based on its temperament if you have children and space is not a concern.

Last Updated on: July 12, 2023

The person who said all good things come in small packages clearly never had a large breed dog. Canines with a height 24 inches (measured from the base of its front paws to the highest point of its shoulder blades) and weight of min. 50 pounds are considered large breeds. They are just as cuddly, warm, and adorable as small or medium sized dogs, but in the end it all boils down to what you prefer.

But remember, with great size, comes great responsibility. Since they are huge, they need ample space to live comfortably and a high-quality diet to maintain muscle and bone strength.

Large breeds are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, so regular screenings are necessary. They are also victims of extreme bloat, or gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV), which may sound minor but is actually life-threatening.

Here are the most popular large dog breeds:

custom oil-painted dog portraits by Poshtraits

German Shepherd Dog

Up until the 19th century, German Shepherd Dogs varied in each district. German officer Captain Max von Stephanitz and other like-minded canine enthusiasts then started to standardize the breed.

The result? An all-purpose worker and an even better watch dog! German Shepherd Dogs are muscular, strong, agile, and loyal. Because of their appearance and voluminous fur they appear regal and stoic, but in reality they are quite outgoing and active.

Since they belong to a herding ground of dogs, early socialization and training helps them become more alert and eager to please. With training, they are loyal to their loved ones and give a sense of aloofness to outsiders.

  • Height and weight: 22-26 inches, 110-175 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 7-10 years
  • Temperament: Courageous, Confident, Smart
  • Colors: Black, Black & Cream, Black & Red, Black & Silver, Black & Tan, Gray, Sable, White, Liver, Blue, Bi-Color

Great Dane

popular large dog breeds - great dane

No one really knows how a German dog came to be in Denmark. But what experts do know is that Great Danes were used to hunt wild animals. Also known as the Apollo of Dogs, the breed is like no other. Their size, weight, and strength is what makes them stand out from the rest of the large breeds.

They look elegant with their black and white patchwork harlequin pattern. Their appearance makes them look intimidating enough to scare away intruders, making them excellent guard dogs. However, they are absolute softies and will do anything to please their loved ones.

  • Height and weight: 28-32 inches, 50-90 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 7-10 years
  • Temperament: Friendly, Patient, Dependable
  • Colors: Black, Black & White, Blue, Brindle, Fawn, Harlequin, Mantle, Merle, White, Blue & White, Blue Brindle, Chocolate, Chocolate & White, Chocolate Brindle, Silver, Mantle Merle, Merlequin

Doberman Pinscher

The 19th century Dobermans were not as we know it today. They were ferocious and named after their maker Louis Dobermann, a tax collector. With a lot of refinement and temperament control, we now have what we call Doberman Pinscher or Doberman.

This breed is one of the most vigilant breeds out there. As a result, they make excellent watchdogs and even better companions. They are muscular, loyal, and fearless.

Their demeanor makes them seem aloof to outsiders, but these gentle giants love a good cuddle with their loved ones. Their sleek body type allows them to be fast and agile. All of these factors make them ideal patrol dogs.

  • Height and weight: 24-28 inches, 60-100 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Alert, Loyal, Fearless
  • Colors: Black & Rust, Blue & Rust, Fawn (Isabella) & Rust, Red & Rust, White

Bernese Mountain Dog

popular large dog breeds - bernese mountain dog

Another from a working group of dogs, Bernese Mountain Dogs are beautiful both inside and out. Their good-natured temperament, and affectionate nature make them one of the best cuddle buddies. Moreover, they are smart, loyal, and hardworking.

Thanks to their furry double coat, they can easily survive in regions with extremely low temperatures. However, they’ll need weekly brushing to remove any tangles. The breed is mostly seen in farms because of how well they adapt to work and how affectionate they are towards children.

Potential Bernese Mountain Dogs owners should know that the breed is susceptible to hip and elbow dysplasia, blood disorders, some cancers, and progressive retinal atrophy. So regular screenings can help.

  • Height and weight: 24-28 inches, 60-100 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Alert, Loyal, Fearless
  • Colors: Black & Rust, Blue & Rust, Fawn (Isabella) & Rust, Red & Rust, White


Powerful, large, and watchful are the exact words anybody who has a Newfoundland would use to describe it. The working dog is heavy-boned, is sweet-tempered, and super patient. Because of these qualities everyone fondly calls them “nanny dogs”.

These dogs look majestic because of their flat and coarse double coats. Some would argue they look like bears, and that’s not entirely wrong. Once a week, use a stickler brush to comb through dead hair and prevent matting. During shedding season, you may want to brush through their coats every day.

The breed is prone to elbow and hip dysplasia and ear infections. Keep these factors in mind when looking for a Newfoundland puppy.

  • Height and weight: 26-28 inches, 100-150 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 9-10 years
  • Temperament: Devoted, Sweet, Patient
  • Colors: Black, Brown, Gray, White & Black, Beige, Black & Tan, White & Brown

Saint Bernard

popular large dog breeds - saint bernard

Saint Bernards, although a rare breed, are famous for their majestic build and personalities. And even though they’re huge, their puppy-like energy and fierce love for children makes them an endearing breed.

It is believed that monks from the Alps developed this breed. This explains why these dogs thrive in cold temperatures. They can also survive warm weather as long as they have a cool place to rest in and lots of water to drink. These canines have long or short coats; either way they need weekly brushing.

Saints love their playtime with children, so early training can teach them to be gentle. But, like most large dog breeds, they are prone to bloating, which can be fatal.

  • Height and weight: 26-30 inches, 120-180 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 8-10 years
  • Temperament: Playful, Charming, Inquisitive
  • Colors: Brown & White, Mahogany & White, Orange & White, Red & White, Brindle & White, Rust & White, White & Brown, White & Orange, White & Red

English Mastiff

This breed is famous for all the right reasons. Even Julius Caesar, back in 55 BC, commended them for their defense abilities. English Mastiffs, or simply Mastiffs, are brave, alert, and muscular. Their prominent wrinkled forehead sets them apart from other dogs and makes them look aloof.

At the same time, they are excellent at reading body language and the slightest negative intonation can make them sad. Mastiffs are also prone to seasonal allergies, eye anomalies, heart disease, cancer, eye and hip dysplasia, so screenings are recommended.

The breed doesn’t need vigorous grooming, except during shedding season. Also, it’s worth noting that these giants drool a lot. So, keep a napkin ready when bringing an English Mastiff home.

  • Height and weight: 27-30 inches, 120-230 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 6-10 years
  • Temperament: Good-natured, Dignified, Courageous
  • Colors: Apricot, Brindle, Fawn


popular large dog breeds - rottweiler

The Roman legions developed distant ancestors of Rottweilers, Asian Mastiffs, to help them conquer the world. Years after the empire’s collapse, the dogs were found in a town called Rottweil, giving them the name.

Like all dogs from the mastiff family, these dogs are alert, muscular, and strong. Although aloof and intimidating to outsiders, with their loved ones Rottweilers are goofy, cuddly, and territorial (in a positive way).

Their medium-length coarse coat sheds minimally and requires weekly brushing to maintain hygiene. The fierce dogs need high-quality dog food; keep that in mind when looking for a Rottweiler.

  • Height and weight: 22-27 inches, 80-130 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 9-10 years
  • Temperament: Loyal, affectionate, confident guardian
  • Colors: Black & Rust, Black & Mahogany, Black & Tan

Great Pyrenees

The breed was produced in the Pyrenees Mountains as herding dogs. Even today, they effortlessly camouflage into snow-covered mountains, preventing sheep from being prey to other animals.

One of the tallest breeds, Great Pyrenees are often called majestic because of their build and fluffy white coat. They can be calm and jump right into action when needed. Also, because they are independent thinkers, early training is essential.

The breed is likely to have elbow and hip dysplasia, eye problems, and bloat. But staying informed and vigilant can help nip these conditions in the bud. Also, Pyrenees dogs have a thick and long double coat. Maintaining a regular trimming and brushing routine is essential.

  • Height and weight: 25-32 inches, 100-160 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Patient, Calm
  • Colors: White

Anatolian Shepherd Dog

popular large dog breeds - anatolian shepherd dog

Anatolian Shepherd Dogs, also known as Asia Minor, come from Turkey, where they were used as herding dogs. The breed can thrive in harsh climates and guard flocks no matter what, giving them a reputation.

Today, Anatolian Shepherd Dogs make great pets for the very same reasons. They are fearless and caring and will do anything to protect their family. They are great with children and love a cuddle every once in a while.

These dogs, however, need a strong leader. Because they are independent, establishing a hierarchy at an early age is paramount. Obedience and early socialization also help calm their dominating personalities.

  • Height and weight: 27-29 inches, 80-150 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 11-13 years
  • Temperament: Independent, Reserved, Loyal
  • Colors: Biscuit & White, Brindle, Fawn, Blue Fawn, Gray Fawn, Red Fawn, Liver, White


Traced back to the late 1800, Boxers were bred to hunt game. They could hold the toughest of wild animals like wild boars, bison, and even bears. Eventually, they became guard dogs, police dogs, and even guide dogs for the visually challenged.

Nowadays, Boxers are bred as a playful companion and watchdog. Their scrunched up, wrinkled faces make them look alert and intimidating. At the same time, they are active and fun-loving, making them perfect companions for families with children.

Since they are extremely energetic, they need ample exercise. They love running to exude energy, so early training can help harness their tendency to run away.

  • Height and weight: 21-25 inches, 65-80 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Active, Intelligent, Fun-Loving
  • Colors: Brindle, Fawn, Whit


popular large dog breeds - leonberger

Fondly called Leos, Leonbergers were bred by mixing Saint Bernards and Newfoundlands to please nobles. The crossing did so well that the Prince of Wales and Tsar Alexander II lined up to make them a part of their court.

Leos can work as farm dogs, watchdogs, and even royalty. Their immense strength, build, and gait make them one of the most sought-after canines. They’re intelligent and protective of their humans.

Because they are such high-energy dogs, they need a lot of room to run around. They also require regular brushing, as their coats tend to matt easily. With an appropriate diet and unconditional love, your Leonberger is sure to thrive.

  • Height and weight: 25-32 inches, 90-170 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 7 years
  • Temperament: Playful, Friendly, Gentle
  • Colors: Yellow, Red, Reddish Brown, Sandy

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhounds (IW) came to be after crossing large-size dogs from Britain and the Middle East. The breed was so good at hunting that most animals nearly became extinct. As a result, IWs were no longer needed, causing them to become scarce.

Thankfully, a British army captain scoured places and standardized the breed. This resulted in the muscular, quick, efficient, and brave hounds.

Families must supervise this breed’s interactions with children solely because of their size. Irish Wolfhounds are naturally inclined to hunt. Leaving them loose in fenced spaces can help them exert their energy while staying safe.

  • Height and weight: 30-35 inches, 105-120 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 6-8 years
  • Temperament: Brave, Calm, Dignified
  • Colors: Black, Brindle, Cream, Gray, Gray & Brindle, Red, Red & Brindle, Red Wheaten, Silver, Wheaten, Wheaten & Brindle, Blue, White

Alaskan Malamute

popular large dog breeds - alaskan malamute

The Inuit people of Alaska needed a breed to haul heavy sleds over long distances at a steady pace. This need created the Alaskan Malamute, the original sled dogs.

The breed is a descendant of domesticated wolf dogs. Taking after their ancestors, they are strong, hardworking, and well-built. At the same time, their thick, waterproof coat keeps them safe in harsh climates but needs constant upkeep.

Alaskan Malamutes are born to be leaders, so early training is more than necessary. Once they learn the hierarchy, they are eager to please, gentle, friendly, and great with friends.

  • Height and weight: 23-25 inches, 75-85 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-14 years
  • Temperament: Loyal, Affectionate, Playful
  • Colors: Gray & White, Black & White, Red & White, Seal & White, Silver & White, White, Sable & White, Blue & White, Agouti & White

German Shorthaired Pointer

The Germans perfected this bird hunting dog breed in the 1800s. These noble dogs were famous among the royals and aristocrats because of how sturdy they are.

German Shorthaired Pointers, also called GSP or pointer dogs, are enthusiastic and friendly but curt when needed. They are easily trainable because they love to please their owners. Moreover, they love running around aimlessly and are always up for a challenge.

GSPs have a short coat, but still need vigorous grooming because of how active they are. They’re also prone to a life-threatening condition where the stomach tends to twist up. Pet parents must educate themselves of the symptoms to administer proper care.

  • Height and weight: 21-23 inches, 45-70 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years/li>
  • Temperament: Friendly, Intelligent, Eager to please
  • Colors: Liver, Liver & White, Liver Roan, White & Liver, Black & White, Black, Black Roan


Komondorok were a part of the Hungarian royal court as sheep guards for centuries. But don’t fall for their adorable puppy eyes. The breed is ferocious when needed.

Their signature thick, white corded coat shields them from the cold while helping them camouflage with the herd of sheep, surprising any attacker that is brave enough. The Komondor needs a shampoo every once in a while to stay clean.

They also need a lot of exercise. Let them free in fenced lawns to watch them prance around in absolute delight.

  • Height and weight: 25-28 inches, 80-100 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Dignified, Loyal, Courageous
  • Colors: White

Afghan Hound

One of the oldest purebred dogs, Afghan Hounds originated from remote regions of India and Afghanistan. Although the exact origin of the breed is unknown, historical accounts mention them accompanying royals on hunts.

Afghan Hounds have a regal look with their flowy, long coats in colors of black, tan, blue, and red to name a few. It keeps them warm in cold, harsh weather. They can tread mountains with ease and hunt prey for hours without tiring. But they also have a soft side to them; they are silly and extremely loyal with their loved ones.

Remember, these are sighthounds and will run freely when given the chance. They also like the physical grunt, so ensure they get plenty of exercise.

  • Height and weight: 25-27 inches, 50-60 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12-18 years
  • Temperament: Independent, Sweet, Stubborn
  • Colors: Black, Black & Tan, Black & Silver, Blue, Blue & Cream, Cream, Red, Silver, White

Giant Schnauzer

Back in the mid-1800s, Giant Schnauzers were used by merchants and farmers as guard dogs. They were developed from Standard Schnauzers in the Bavarian Alps but soon became popular for their build and strength.

Schnauzers are bold, alert, and extremely loyal, making them ideal as watch dogs for families. They are also territorial, but with training they can learn how to stay calm. Additionally, they are more muscular than the standard and mini breeds but have the same wiry, waterproof, double coat.

  • Height and weight: 23-28 inches, 55-85 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Temperament: Loyal, Trainable, Alert
  • Colors: Black, Pepper & Salt, Black & Tan, Fawn


Gamekeepers needed a canine companion that is quick and brave to pursue thieves. Enter Bullmastiffs, a cross between English Mastiffs and Bulldogs. Fondly called “the Gamekeepers’ Night Dog”, the breed isn’t as tall as the Mastiffs, but they’re just as fearless.

With their broad shoulders and muscular build, Bullmastiffs make excellent companions and guard dogs to families. Their coats shed minimally and they adjust well to active and sedentary lifestyles. Bullmastiffs are truly the epitome of ideal dogs.

  • Height and weight: 24-27 inches, 100-130 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 7-9 years
  • Temperament: Affectionate, Loyal, Courageous
  • Colors: Fawn, Fawn Brindle, Red, Red Brindle, Red Fawn, Red Fawn Brindle

Australian Shepherd

popular large dog breeds - australian shepherd

The Basque Shepherd had long been regarded as Europe’s finest shepherd dog. The Australians saw how great the breed was and brought them along. Somewhere along the way, they were misunderstood as native to Australia and the name stuck.

Today, they’re one of the most hardworking breeds. They’re tough, lean, and love to spend their time following orders on ranches. Their varied colored or patterned coat needs to be brushed every other day to avoid matting.

Australian Shepherd dogs are inherently hardworking and love to exercise. Apartment dwellers may want to look at other options because they need an active lifestyle and plenty of space to stay healthy.

  • Height and weight: 18-23 inches, 40-65 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years
  • Temperament: Smart, Committed, Excited
  • Colors: Black, Blue Merle, Red, Red Merle

Neapolitan Mastiff

popular large dog breeds - neapolitan mastiff

With evidence of its existence back in 700 BC, Neapolitan Mastiffs or Mastinos are one of the oldest breeds to live. If artifacts are anything to go by, the breed seemed to be used as war dogs and guardians.

Mastinos are huge and the sight of them can scare away the bravest! They are always up for a challenge or chase and protective of their loved ones. As they get older, they get calmer, but as adolescents they’re energetic and stubborn. Given this tendency, early training is called for.

Thanks to their short coats, you don’t need to groom them often-an occasional bath can help keep them clean and odor-free.

  • Height and weight: 24-31 inches, 110-150 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 7-9 years
  • Temperament: Alert, Dignified, Loyal
  • Colors: Blue, Black, Mahogany, Tawny

Black Russian Terrier

Back in the 1930’s the Soviet Government wanted to produce a dog they could use as part of their army. After crossing more than 10 breeds, including Schnauzers, Terriers, and Rottweilers, they successfully created Black Russian Terriers.

The breed, as expected, is tireless, powerful, and quick. They make excellent guard dogs because of their size and will to please. Moreover, they are strong and naturally aloof with strangers.
Their fluffy, tousled fur makes them warm in the freezing cold but needs regular grooming to prevent matting. They also need lots of exercise and thrive in agility tests.

  • Height and weight: 26-30 inches, 80-130 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Calm, Strong
  • Colors: Black, Salt & Pepper, Black & Tan, Sable, Blue

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback is a unique blend of a native African dog and breeds like Greyhounds and Terriers. The result: Absolute beasts that are strong, tall, and fearless! This breed was not only used to guard and retrieve game but also to ward off leopards. Even to this day, they are employed to track lions.

They are faithful, loving, and patient when need be. That said, Rhodesian Ridgebacks are also independent and have a strong prey drive. So families shouldn’t be surprised to see them slip up every once in a while. But with early training, this tendency can be kept under control.

  • Height and weight: 24-27 inches, 70-85 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Even-Tempered, Dignified, Affectionate
  • Colors: Light Wheaten, Red Wheaten, Wheaten

Old English Sheepdog

popular large dog breeds - old english sheepdog

Don’t be mistaken by the name; the Old English Sheepdog (OES) is not really a herding dog. They were bred in England as drovers to move cattle from one place to another.

OES are powerful, warm, and hardworking dogs with warm personalities. It’s hard to not fall in love with their shaggy coats which come in a variety of colors. They are also smart, and physical and mental stimulation only adds to their strength and intelligence.

These adorable dogs are also affectionate towards children and thrive in a loving, positive environment. But be warned, their sharp barks are piercing!

  • Height and weight: 21-22 inches, 60-100 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Gentle, Intelligent, Adaptable
  • Colors: Black & White, Fawn & White, Brown & White, Blue Merle, Blue, Grizzle, Gray, White, Blue Gray, Grizzle & White, Blue & White, Blue Gray & White, Blue Merle & White, Gray & White

Belgian Tervuren

Belgian Tervuren, one of the Belgian herding dogs, are popular because of their coat type and pattern. They are protective, versatile, obedient, and agile. Because of these very reasons, today, the breed is employed as military and police dogs. They also make excellent service dogs.

But don’t misunderstand them as grim, hardworking dogs; they’re more than that. The breed is always up for a challenge, loves spending quality time with their loved ones, and are mischievous.

Keep a brush handy to remove any dead hair from their abundant double coat and play lots of games to keep them motivated and fit.

  • Height and weight: 22-26 inches, 45-75 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Temperament: Courageous, Alert, Intelligent
  • Colors: Gray & Black, Silver & Black, Black, Cream & Black, Fawn & Liver, Mahogany & Liver, Fawn & Black, Mahogany & Black, Brindle


popular large dog breeds - kuvasz

Originally from Turkey or Tibet, Kuvaszok (singular noun: Kuvasz) came to Hungary in the Middle Ages. They soon became dependable guards to livestock because of their patience and courage. Needless to say, they became famous and were soon part of the royal court.

Even today, they’re known for all the right reasons, including their white double coat. It’s luxurious and needs weekly brushing. And since it’s a working dog, the Kuvasz needs exercise everyday to stay in its best shape.

  • Height and weight: 26-30 inches, 70-115 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Loyal, Courageous, Even-Tempered
  • Colors: White


Samoyed, named after the Samoyedic people, came to Siberia centuries ago. They were bred because of their grit and ability to withstand extreme temperatures. At first, they were used to haul sleds and fight prey, but with time they became reindeer herding dogs.

Soon, everyone who had heard tales of them wanted one for themself. Today, Sammies make great household pets because they are patient, alert, smart, and sociable. Ensure you train them at an early age to prevent destructive tendencies. Moreover, they don’t do well in scorching temperatures, so be mindful of that.

  • Height and weight: 23-27 inches, 80-110 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Temperament: Gentle, Adaptable, Friendly
  • Colors: White, Biscuit, Cream, White & Biscuit


popular large dog breeds - bloodhound

There’s not much known about the origins of Bloodhounds, but according to historical accounts the breed was standardized in Western Europe a thousand odd years ago. The breed’s name may sound scary, but they were only called that because nobles bred them.

In all truth, Bloodhounds are docile, unless they decide to track a scent. They can even get restless and stubborn sometimes, so obedience training is a must. Caring for these dogs is fairly easy, thanks to their short coats. Ensure you feed them well and give them long walks so they can sniff scents to their hearts’ content.

  • Height and weight: 19-24 inches, 80-110 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Gentle, Adaptable, Friendly
  • Colors: White, Biscuit, Cream, White & Biscuit


The Weimaraner, or Weimaraner Pointer, was produced by the Germans after crossing Bloodhounds with other hunting dogs. The goal was to develop the perfect hunting dog, and boy, did they succeed. The breed was so powerful, they decreased the population of predators like lions, bears, wolves significantly.

Thankfully, because they are adaptable, they were used as all-around dogs. Fondly called the Gray Ghost, have solid colors of blue, gray, or silver gray with one or spots on the chest. They’re kind and excel among families with children. Moreover, they are easy to train and groom.

Clearly, the breed is a class apart from the rest!

  • Height and weight: 23-27 inches, 55-90 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-13 years
  • Temperament: Obedient, Fearless, Friendly
  • Colors: Blue, Gray, Silver Gray

Dogue de Bordeaux

popular large dog breeds - dogue de bordeaux

Easily one of the oldest American Kennel Club (AKC) -registered, the Dogue De Bordeaux could be close ancestors of Mastiffs. The breed is also said to have fought wars alongside Julius Caesar. At first, Bordeaux Mastiffs or Bulldogs had a smaller size, but the large ones outlived because of their ability to fight and protect.

They were slowly employed as guard dogs, and today as adorable companions. This French dog breed is sweet-tempered, affectionate, and loyal. When called for, they can be protective and proactive as well. However, with no training, they can boss you around.

  • Height and weight: 23-27 inches, 99-110 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 5-8 years
  • Temperament: Loyal, Affectionate, Courageous
  • Colors: Fawn, Mahogany, Isabella, Red

Siberian Husky

Siberian Huskies, contrary to their name, were originally bred in Asia. However, due to a scarcity of food, they migrated to Siberia, where they became light-weight hauling dogs. Today Huskies, also known as Chukchi, are one of the most popular breeds.

They are powerful, mischievous, and friendly. Since they are born pack dogs, they do well with large families and love being the center of attention. Siberian Huskies have iconic coats that have little to no typical “dog” odor.

But remember, Huskies need attention and love. Leaving them alone can lead to problematic behaviors, which even early training might not solve.

  • Height and weight: 20-24 inches, 30-60 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Temperament: Loyal, Mischievous, Outgoing
  • Colors: Agouti & White, Black & White, Gray & White, Red & White, Sable & White, White, Brown & White, Black Tan & White, Black

Cane Corso

cane corso walking

Cane Corso, brought from Greece, were brought to Italy and bred as native dogs. They were known to be fearless and adaptable. It is also believed that the earlier dogs were much larger than they are now.

Today, they stand at nearly 28 inches. They appear cool, calm, and collected but don’t mind charging when the need arises. Corsos are also eager to please, and early training helps them develop into willful companions.

  • Height and weight: 23-28 inches, 90-110 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 9-12 years
  • Temperament: Affectionate and Intelligent
  • Colors: Black, Gray, Fawn, Black Brindle, Gray Brindle, Red, Chestnut Brindle

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

The origin and mix of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever is unknown. Though Newfoundlands, Irish Water Spaniels, and hounds are close guesses. As the name suggests, the dogs were used to retrieve ducks during hunts because of the waterproof double coat which doesn’t need much grooming.

Today, they are popular as rescue and search, therapy, bomb-detector, and police dogs. Many dog show enthusiasts also breed them to win agility and speed shows because of their speed and athleticism.

Chessies are protective of their humans and love a chase every now and then.

  • Height and weight: 21-26 inches, 55-80 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-13 years
  • Temperament: Affectionate, Intelligent, Sensitive
  • Colors: Brown, Dark Brown, Dark Deadgrass, Deadgrass, Light Brown, Light Deadgrass, Sedge, Tan

Tibetan Mastiff

This breed is so ancient that no one really knows when it came into existence. Historical accounts, however, claim that Tibetan Mastiffs guarded the Himalayan mountain range and locals often gifted the dogs to travelers, paving their way to the rest of the world.

At first glance, the breed may seem intimidating and even imposing given their size. Needless to say, no intruders will dare come to your doorstep. Although they are aloof to outsiders, they are warm and devoted to their family.

Their wooly, fuzzy coat makes them look charming and huger than they already are. They obviously need a lot of food, but during mating season they skip food and lose about 22 pounds.

  • Height and weight: 24-26 inches, 70-150 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Reserved, Intelligent
  • Colors: Cream Sable, Blue Gray, Brown & Tan, Red Gold Sable, Blue Gray & Tan, Black, Black & Tan, Brown, Red Gold, Cream

Irish Setter

Setters, game bird-locating dogs, have a sharp eyesight and sense of nose. They used to work alongside hunters to find game, but have now earned a reputation for being companions to families with children.

They make excellent playmates and love playing a game of fetch-anything to please their humans. Irish Setters also look regal because of their coats, which can be a bit challenging to maintain.

With some TLC, lots of play, time, small meals in intervals, you’ll see your furry companion thrive!

  • Height and weight: 25-27 inches, 60-70 pounds
  • Life expectancy:12-15 years
  • Temperament: Sweet-Tempered, Active, Adventurous
  • Colors: Chestnut, Mahogany, Red


popular large dog breeds - vizsla

In the mid-800s, the Russian raided the Maygar people, causing them to flee. In order to fight back, they started to breed quality horses and dogs, leading to the Vizsla.

Modern Vizslas differ from their ancestors, but when it comes to speed, agility, and toughness, they’re pretty much the same. They’re athletes of the canine world. Today, the breed is used to hunt, accompany humans, and guard them.

They are by no means high maintenance dogs. They only need occasional grooming and baths. A daily 30-minute exercise routine helps them stay in optimum mental and physical health.

  • Height and weight: 21-24 inches, 44-60 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Temperament: Lively, Gentle, Affectionate
  • Colors: Golden Rust, Golden, Red, Red Golden, Rust, Rust Golden, Sandy Yellow


popular large dog breeds - boerboel

German and Dutch settlers of South Africa realized they needed a dog who could protect them from protectors. They brought types of bull and mastiff dogs, which inbred and gave birth to Boerboel, which translates to “farmer’s dog.”

Their strength and agility helped them take down tough predators like baboons and even lions. Since the breed was developed as guard/working dogs, they never back down from a fight and fiercely protect those they love, especially children.

That said, Boerboels have strong personalities and may not be suitable for first-time dog owners.

  • Height and weight: 22-27 inches, 150-200 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 9-11 years
  • Temperament: Confident, Calm, Intelligent
  • Colors: Brown, Brindle, Cream, Tawny, Reddish Brown, Red

Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

popular large dog breeds - greater swiss mountain dog

Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs, or Swisses, are closely related to Bernese Mountain Dogs and have components of Saint Bernards and Rottweilers. They were originally produced as wardogs to join Julius Caesar’s army, and with time started to work in farms and as haul dogs.

Swissies are known for their striking tricolor coats with white markings, also known as the blaze, around their face and chest. They only need occasional baths and blows for a healthy double coat.

These dogs are usually docile and respond well to reward-based training. Although sometimes they can be stubborn if you don’t establish hierarchy.

  • Height and weight: 23-28 inches, 85-140 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 8-11 years
  • Temperament: Family-centered, Faithful, Dependable
  • Colors: Black, White & Red, Red & White, Blue White & Tan

Poodle (Standard)

Although the national dog of France, Poodles originated in Germany as duck hunters. They made for excellent retrieving dogs because of their durable coats, swimming abilities, and intelligence. However, with time, the Poodles’ elegance and high trainability made them royal court companions rather than working dogs.

Their coats are hypoallergenic and need regular brushing and grooming to avoid matting. This breed is also prone to gaining weight, so it’s best to ask your vet for a well-rounded diet. Poodles are brilliant; prioritize mental stimulation to keep them fit.

At first, Poodles were only available in standard sizes; medium and mini sizes were developed later.

  • Height and weight: 10-18 years
  • Life expectancy: 9-12 years
  • Temperament: Active, Intelligent, Proud
  • Colors: Apricot, Black, Blue, Brown, Cream, Red, Silver, Silver Beige, White, Cafe Au Lait, Gray


popular large dog breeds - greater swiss mountain dog

The Borzoi, an agile and versatile dog, was employed as a hunter in royal Russian courts. Every empire had nearly hundreds of dogs that would participate in extravagant expeditions. However, as the revolution came, the royals and all their belongings, including the Borzoi, were slaughtered.

If it weren’t for the American and English, the breed would have long been extinct. Today, the breed makes affectionate family dogs. They are calm, trainable, and patient. Underneath all the fur, they look exactly like Greyhounds. Even their instincts to follow scents is similar to that of a Greyhound.

  • Height and weight: 26-29 inches, 60-105 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 9-14 years
  • Temperament: Affectionate, Loyal, Regal
  • Colors: Black & Cream, Black & Brindle, Silver Brindle, Gold Brindle, Silver Sable, Gold Sable, Brindled Sable, Sabled Gold, Sabled Red

Scottish Deerhound

Scottish Deerhounds are so old, no one knows how they originated. Some say they inhabited Scotland way before the Scots did. Yes, that’s how old the breed is. Historical accounts suggest that these canines used to hunt red deers who weighed more than 400 pounds through the mucky and rocky highlands.

These hounds are similar to Greyhounds under their majestic coats but significantly larger. They have what one would call a ‘crisp’ or wired coat, which needs brushing and trimming every other week. And while they are mostly gentle and patient, their instincts to track scents may make them stubborn.

  • Height and weight: 28-32 inches, 75-110 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 8-11 years
  • Temperament: Gentle, Dignified, Polite
  • Colors: Blue Gray, Brindle, Gray, Gray Brindle, Black, Black Brindle, Blue


popular large dog breeds - dalmatian

Dalmatians have the most disputed origins. Back in the 1800s, these coach dogs used to trot with horses and guard them when they used to draw carriages and fire engines. Because they used to travel so much, their conception is unknown.

But what canine enthusiasts do agree upon is that the breed is exceptionally eye-catching with a white coat full of black spots-sometimes liver. They are lean yet strong and have stamina like no other. People with an active lifestyle will enjoy a Dalmatian’s companionship.

That said, they are quite aloof toward strangers, and rightly so. Their instinct to protect proceeds everything else.

  • Height and weight: 19-24 inches, 45-75 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 11-13 years
  • Temperament: Outgoing, Dignified, Intelligent
  • Colors: White & Black, White & Liver Brown, White & Orange, White & Lemon, White Black & Tan, White, Liver & Tan

Belgian Shepherd Dog

Belgium has many unique herding dog breeds, and the Belgian Shepherd, or Belgian Sheepdog, is just one of them. They were exceptional and hardworking on farms but with time adopted other roles.

These days, Belgian Shepherds Dogs are used on border patrol, as police guard, and watch dogs. They’re intelligent, versatile, and muscular. Their reputation for being hardworking has preceded them, making them one of the most sought-after dogs today. Moreover, they love pleasing their humans, so training them is easy.

  • Height and weight: 22-26 inches, 45-75 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 12-14 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Alert, Sensitive
  • Colors: Black, Black & White, Brown, Fawn & Black, Sable, Silver, Silver & Black, Wolfgray & Black, Black & Cream, Gray & Black, Gray, Fawn


popular large dog breeds - hovawart

The Hovawart, from an old German dialect, translates to farm watchman. From the name, it is obvious that the breed was developed as watchdogs. The breed is rather rare and its existence has been on the brink of extinction more than once. In 1948, the German Kennel Club standardized the breed.

These days Hovawarts are employed as search and rescue dogs, herding dogs, and loving pets. Although hardworking and agile, the breed is difficult to train, especially for first-time dog owners. But once trained, they’re loyal and attached to their owners for life.

  • Height and weight: 23-28 inches, 45-90 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-14 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Alert, Loyal
  • Colors: Black, Blonde


Greyhounds have been around for a while. In fact, many breeds are closely related to them. Prehistoric accounts show hunters chasing game with Greyhounds by their side. Soon nobles sat at their thrones with one of these gentle giants at their side.

To this day, Greyhounds, a popular large-sized dog breed, are used for their one-of-a-kind scent-tracking ability. They are used in the police force, for search and rescue, and as adorable companions. Their bone structure gives them the ability to be fast and agile, which only adds to their grandiose.

But training them is a challenge only a few dare to take. They are easily bored, so be prepared with a gentle approach.

  • Height and weight: 27-30 inches, 60-70 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-13 years
  • Temperament: Independent, Gentle, Regal
  • Colors: Black, Brindle, Blue, Red, White, Fawn

Rafeiro do Alentejo

Originating from the Middle East, the Rafeiro do Alentejo were developed as herding and watchdogs. The breed’s size and courage kept many predators away from the people’s farms and livestock.

Soon people around the world started to notice the breed and brought them along on their expeditions. The result? A standardized Rafeiro Do Alentejo that excelled at farm and house watch.

These dogs have short to medium dense coats that need weekly grooming and occasional baths. Plenty of playtime and a high-quality diet makes them stay sharp.

  • Height and weight: 27-30 inches, 60-70 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-13 years
  • Temperament: Confident, Strong, Calm
  • Colors: Black, Fawn, Wolfgray, Yellow, Brindle


Tosas are brave, vigilant, and aggressive toward assumed intruders. The breed was developed by crossing Japanese and Western European fighting breeds to create a breed that beats them all. Thankfully, canine fighting stopped, leading this breed to becoming ideal watchdogs.

These largest Japanese dogs love their humans fearlessly and respond well to training. Contrary to their past, they are actually calm, borderline low-energy dogs. About 30 minutes of daily exercise and mental stimulation is enough to keep Tosas fit as a fiddle.

  • Height and weight: 20-25 inches, 100-200 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years
  • Temperament: Alert, Patient, Fearless
  • Colors: Red, Fawn, Black, Brindle

Standard Goldendoodle

popular large dog breeds - standard goldendoodle

Goldendoodles, a cross between Golden Retrievers and Standard Poodles, are a popular large hypoallergenic dog breed. This cross is perfect for families who are looking for companionship. The breed is genetically diverse and has all the good qualities from both parent breeds.

They are sharp, friendly, and stable. Moreover, they are healthy physically and mentally. Moreover, their hypoallergenic coat makes them ideal dogs for people with sensitivities. That said, they need regular brushing to keep their coats from matting.

  • Height and weight: 21 inches and above, 51 pounds and above
  • Life expectancy: 10-15 years
  • Temperament: Intelligent, Playful, Friendly
  • Colors: Cream, Apricot, Red, Chocolate, Black

Airedale Terrier

Most dogs in this list were employed by the nobles. The Airedale Terrier is probably one of the few dogs that was developed and employed by the working class. They used it as guard dogs and to hunt ducks and rats. The breed was so powerful that they even served the British army.

A mix of Terriers and other unknown breeds, the Airedale Terrier is not to be messed with. They are huge, muscular, and stubborn. Additionally, they are loyal and will do anything to keep their loved ones out of harm’s way.

  • Height and weight: 23 inches and above, 50-70 pounds
  • Life expectancy: 11-14 years
  • Temperament: Courageous, Friendly, Intelligent
  • Colors: Black & Tan, Grizzle & Tan

Frequently Asked Questions

popular large dog breeds - frequently asked questions

What Is The Most Popular Large Dog?

According to a report by Forbes, Mastiffs are the most popular large dog breed. These beasts stand 27-30 inches tall and weigh around 120-230 pounds.

Moreover, they are brave, alert, and muscular and their coat needs little to no grooming. All of these qualities make them one of the most sought after large dog breeds.

What Is The 2 Largest Dog Breed?

The Boerboel is considered the second largest dog breed with a height of 22-27 inches and weight of around 150-200 pounds. But this answer could differ for some people.

Some would also consider Great Danes to be the second largest breed based on its height, which is around 28-32 inches.

What Is The Biggest Friendliest Dog?

The Bernese Mountain Dogs are one of the most friendly dog breeds out there. Their sweet temperament and affectionate nature make them one of the best cuddle buddies.

Moreover, they are smart, loyal, and hardworking. That said, other breeds like Leonberger, Alaskan Malamutes, and Samoyed are also friendly when trained.

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Meet Paul, a devoted dog dad to the delightful French Bulldog, Cofi. With a flair for humor and a deep understanding of Frenchie quirks, Paul brings a lighthearted touch to his writings. His relatable stories and practical insights are a blend of laughter and valuable advice and resonate with fellow dog owners.

Through his words, Paul aims to celebrate the joys and challenges of being a dedicated pet parent, reminding you that life is simply better with a four-legged, snorting sidekick by your side.