12 of the largest dog breeds

There’s a reason large dog breeds are so popular: they’re big, adorable furballs who enjoy plenty of exercise and fun, making them the perfect companions for active pooch-lovers.

These sizeable but majestic pups are so beloved they’re even regulars on the screen – who could forget Beethoven the Saint Bernard or Scooby Doo the Great Dane!

A big dog is a big commitment, but well worth the time and effort, rewarding owners with unconditional love.

It’s important to secure reliable dog insurance, because in the unfortunate event of illness or injury, vet bills can quickly stack up.

If you’re keen on adopting a super-sized furry friend, Purely Pets can help, providing straightforward, quality dog insurance suited to your needs and budget.

Take a look at our list of 12 of the largest dog breeds…

 

1. Great Dane

Famed for its towering height, the Great Dane stands at an average of 28-30 inches tall – often more.

Relatively lean, it weighs roughly 100-120 pounds.

A pooch of German origin, the Great Dane is often fondly referred to as a ‘gentle giant’, due to its sweet and calm nature. It makes a wonderful family dog, and needs daily exercise.

A Great Dane laying on a raised dog bed outside

 

2. Saint Bernard

The Saint Bernard is the biggest softie around. Ranking as one of the heaviest dogs in the world, it weighs up to 180 pounds and stands up to 30 inches tall.

An incredibly loving – albeit drooling! – companion, this muscular yet gentle canine originally served as a rescue dog. The breed makes for a great family pet, thanks to a balanced, mellow temperament.

 

3. Newfoundland

If you like the idea of a Newfoundland, you need to like the idea of regular grooming – the breed’s double coat needs it, daily.

Incredibly adorable and furry, this sweet-natured pooch has a deeply loyal nature. Weighing in as heavy as 150 pounds and standing at up to 30 inches in height, Newfoundlands need daily exercise.

A fluffy Newfoundland dog out on a walk in a woodland area

 

4. English Mastiff

Don’t be intimidated by the Mastiff’s imposing size – these breeds are real people-lovers, forming close bonds with their owners.

Courageous, calm and loyal, they can stand more than 27.5 inches tall, weighing up to 230 pounds.

With their adorably wrinkled foreheads and kind eyes, Mastiffs are fantastic family pooches.

They need minimal exercise and grooming, but gentle training and socialisation should commence early on.

 

5. Bernese Mountain Dog

Standing at around 23-27.5 inches and weighing up to 115 pounds, the pedigree Bernese Mountain Dog is a stunning, tri-coloured hound. Great with children, they make for sweet-natured, loving pets.

A Bernese Mountain dog needs a moderate level of exercise and is a hardy pooch, happy to romp around outside on the coldest of days.

A Bernese Mountain Dog standing in a field covered in yellow flowers on a sunny day

 

6. Great Pyrenees

If you’re looking for a calm yet naturally protective canine, the Great Pyrenees is for you thanks to the breed’s heritage, working as a guardian of sheep.

Majestically tall, standing up to 32 inches in height and sometimes weighing more than 100 pounds, these beautiful canines have an independent streak and need daily exercise.

Their striking weatherproof coats require once-weekly grooming sessions.

 

7. Cane Corso

An approximate translation of this breed’s Latin name is ‘bodyguard dog’ – take one look at this pooch and you’ll see why. The breed has a powerful, muscular body, weighing up to 120 pounds and standing at up to 27.5 inches in height.

Clever and versatile, a Cane Corso forms incredibly strong bonds with its humans. Bear in mind: this breed needs plenty of exercise and thorough training.

A large black Cane Corso dog

 

8. Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff served as a loyal watchdog in Ancient Rome, and its popularity endures today.

A massive, brawny pooch, weighing as much as 150 pounds and standing up to 31 inches tall, this breed is distinctly wrinkly. 

These pups tend to drool profusely, but require minimal grooming.

A calm, peaceful nature and strong sense of loyalty makes them ideal as family pets.

Do note: they are wary of strangers, and require moderate daily exercise.

 

9. Tibetan Mastiff

Boasting a regal demeanour and lustrous coat, the Tibetan Mastiff is another fantastic guard dog.

This breed is incredibly protective of its loved ones and territory, with a strongly independent yet mellow nature – expect them to be aloof with newcomers.

Their double coat sheds twice a year and requires frequent brushing.

Weighing up to 150 pounds and sometimes standing taller than 26 inches, they’re imposing, surprisingly agile canines.

A Tibetan Mastiff puppy asleep on a blanket

 

10. Black Russian Terrier

Originally working as guards of the Siberian steppes, this heavy-set canine has a thick black coat fit for those cold nights out on watch, and needs regular grooming.

Powerful, clever, confident and calm, this breed is wary of strangers, but loving and protective of family.

Intruders won’t want to alarm this pooch – the breed can weigh up to 130 pounds and stand up to 30 inches tall.

 

11. Dogue de Bordeaux

An ancient breed of French origin, these distinctive yet adorable hounds are known for their brawny bodies, sizeable heads and rich, fawn-hued coats.

Famous for their tender, loyal and protective demeanour, Dogues are excellent with children, making them wonderful family dogs.

Sometimes weighing more than 110 pounds and standing up to 26 inches tall, Dogues are powerful, athletic pooches.

They require plenty of exercise and firm obedience training from puppyhood onwards.

A Dogue de Bordeaux sitting in a garden on a sunny day

 

12. Bullmastiff

If you’re looking for a canine guardian but worry about excessive barking, a Bullmastiff is an ideal match.

Docile, loving and biddable, the breed is family-orientated, with an intelligent, loyal nature.

While they don’t need much grooming or exercise, the size of a Bullmastiff – standing up to 27 inches tall and weighing up to 130 pounds – means plenty of socialisation and training is necessary, early on.

 

Welcoming a gentle giant

Every mongrel and pedigree deserves a loving home. Kind and caring, they can form wonderful bonds with their humans, rewarding them with unconditional love.

A larger breed is likely stronger, so it’s important to implement positive obedience training from day one, especially if you’ve opted for a rescue puppy or older hound.

Sadly, you can never rule out the chance of illness or injury.

That’s why it’s so important to protect your pooch with reliable dog insurance.

Purely Pets provides flexible cover, offering 15 different levels for owners to choose from.

Give yourself peace of mind – get a quote today!

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