If you love dogs, these large ones will steal your heart in a big way. Here are
some of the biggest dog breeds in the world, their characteristics and their needs. Because life changes in a major way when a dog of this size enters your home (and your car, your bed, your living room, the lives of your kids...) What to consider before choosing a large dog Before deciding to share your life with a big ol’ doggie, think about the following: They generally need a lot of exercise and walks. They tend to be more laid-back than smaller dogs. If you are choosing a dog with small children in mind, some breeds are friendlier with children than others. They need good training and a leader to manage them. Professional training may be best. They don’t handle loneliness well, so leaving them in a house or property for long periods of time is not the best option. Without training, they can become aggressive.
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The top largest dog breeds Newfoundland or Newfie Full screen Newfoundlands excel in canine sports such as sled racing, tracking, and obedience trials. sliper84 Getty Images/iStockphoto Height: up to 80 cm Weight: between 60 kg and 90 kg Life expectancy: 8 to 10 years Characteristics: Bred as a working dog to assist fishermen on boats. Currently used in water search and rescue operations. It has a double coat of hair that keeps it warm even in icy waters. Excels in canine sports such as sledding, tracking, and obedience trials. Children: It will be friendly, protective, and very affectionate with the entire family. Exercise: The adult Newfoundland does not require a great deal of exercise. Irish Wolfhound Full screen An Irish Wolfhound participates in the St. Patrick’s Day parade on March 17, 2023 in New York City. Alexi Rosenfeld Getty Height: between 70 and 90 cm Weight: 54 kg Life expectancy: 6 to 8 years Characteristics: A very ancient breed, developed for wolf hunting and guarding. It has a hunting instinct, and it has a tendency to chase other animals. They are very independent. Children: Very friendly with children Exercise: Daily and highly active Komondor Full screen The Komondor is an ancient breed, known in its native Hungary for thousands of years. It is very distinctive for its white coat that becomes tangled in the undercoat and overcoat, forming long cords Marta Miranda Diez Getty Images/iStockphoto Height: between 70 and 80 cm Weight: 60 kg Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years Characteristics: The Komondor is an ancient breed, records of it in its native Hungary go back thousands of years. It is very distinctive for its white coat that becomes tangled in the undercoat and overcoat, forming long cords, and requires a lot of care. Children: They tend to be good with children in the family and adapt well to other pets. Exercise: Does not require much exercise. English Mastiff Full screen It is one of the breeds that is kindest to children. Anita Kot Getty Images Height: 54 cm to 77 cm Weight: 100 kg Lifespan: 6 to 10 years Characteristics: Used as a therapy dog, for search and rescue operations, weight pulling, and tracking. Children: Caution with small children because of their strength. Exercise: Requires daily walks, firm training, and early socialization. St. Bernard Full screen The Saint Bernard does not tolerate heat well. Christopher Furlong Getty Height: 70 to 90 cm Weight: 100 kg Lifespan: 8 to 10 years Characteristics: This breed was developed in the Swiss and Italian Alps for mountain rescue operations. They were used to move through snow and ice and search for avalanche victims and lost people in the mountains. They are very resistant to cold and have a great sense of direction. They do not tolerate heat well and love freezing conditions. Children: They are very affectionate with the smaller members of the family. Exercise: Does not need to engage in intense physical exercise. Caucasian Shepherd Dog Full screen It needs a professional trainer to manage its character. Height: 76 cm Weight: 60 kg Life expectancy: 10 to 12 years Characteristics: Very stubborn and independent. They are difficult to train and require firm and consistent training with a confident leader who teaches them that all humans in the house are above them in the hierarchical structure. It’s a strong and muscular dog and very self-assured. Children: Not very suitable for living in an apartment or a house with young children. However, with very good training, it can be done. Exercise: Daily, intense exercise required to strengthen, develop and maintain their muscles. Great Pyrenees Full screen It has a high pain tolerance. Katja Ogrin Getty Height: 76 to 99 cm Weight: 52 to 54 kg Lifespan: 10 to 12 years Characteristics: This breed was developed to guard flocks alongside shepherds in the mountains between Spain and France. It is a good guard dog, with a highly acute sense of sight and hearing, capable of detecting any intruder or animal that approaches, even if all the windows are closed or there is noise in the house. It has a high pain tolerance. Children: While usually aloof, it is very protective of its family members. Exercise: Needs a lot of mental stimulation. Great Dane Full screen They need to be socialized from the beginning to balance their behavior. Ralf Weigel Getty Images/iStockphoto Height: 65-85 cm Weight: 55 kg Lifespan: 8 years Characteristics: Originally bred for boar hunting, this breed is now known for being affectionate and getting along well with both humans and other animals. They are brave and will defend their family against any threat. Early socialization is important to balance their behavior. Children: Very affectionate and playful with children. Exercise: They need around two hours of exercise daily. Anatolian Shepherd Dog Full screen It does not recognize children as pack leaders. Height: 40 to 70 cm Weight: 75 to 90 kg Life expectancy: 11 to 13 years Characteristics: Not for beginners. It’s stubborn and independent, though very loyal to its family. It can be aggressive towards strangers, both people and other animals. Children: Tolerant of the family’s children, however it doesn’t respect them as leaders but rather as ‘livestock’ to be watched over. Exercise: Needs daily exercise and enough space to run. Leonberger Full screen The ideal dog for long walks. Mikkel Bigandt Getty Images/iStockphoto Height: 54 to 77 cm Weight: 80 kg Life expectancy: 7 to 10 years Characteristics: It is a good guard dog if trained well, very protective of the family, very active. Does not tolerate loneliness and loves being around the family. Children: Gets along with the children. Exercise: Needs physical exercise and training from a young age. Ideal for those who enjoy long hikes and walks. Dogo de Bordeaux or French Mastiff Full screen French Mastiffs are very calm dogs. OLI SCARFF Getty Height: 58 to 69 cm Weight: 36 to 45 kg Lifespan: 10 to 12 years Characteristics: This breed requires firm and consistent training, as well as early socialization. It is also territorial and excels as a watchdog and in therapy, tracking, search, and rescue work. Children: Gets along well with them. Exercise: It is very calm and lazy. A short walk is enough to satisfy its exercise needs. Scottish Deerhound Full screen The Scottish Deerhound comes from an ancient breed. Antonia Gros / EyeEm Getty Images/EyeEm Premium Height: 76 cm Weight: 45 kg Lifespan: 8 to 11 years Characteristics: This breed requires firm and consistent training, as well as early socialization. It is also territorial and excels as a watchdog and in therapy, tracking, search, and rescue work Children: Docile and good-tempered, never suspicious, aggressive or nervous Exercise: At least 30 minutes of exercise twice a day