Dogs are man’s best friend. Over the centuries, humans have bred dogs and domesticated them. They have become the most domesticated species and have even taken on traits and characteristics that resemble their masters.
Dogs can be used for hunting, herding, protection, companionship, and even have jobs in the military and police forces around the world. They are our loyal companions. Dog breeds vary in size, from the tiny teacup Yorkshire terriers to the massive dogs that made it onto this list.
It is hard to determine with definitive proof which dog breeds are the largest in the world. There are many dog breeds that are quite large and many of them are very close in average height and weight. The following dog breeds are among the largest breeds, but at any moment the order could shift depending on the size of living dogs that belong to each breed.
Even though you cannot ultimately decide on a perfect order for ranking the largest breeds, the following is a close representation of the top 12 largest dog breeds in the world.
#12 – Tibetan Mastiff
Height:minimum 26 inches (male), minimum of 24 inches (female)
Weight: 90-150 pounds (male), 70-120 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy:10-12 years
At number twelve of the largest breeds of dogs is the Tibetan Mastiff. This large dog is not the only mastiff that will appear on this list. The Tibetan Mastiff is distinguished from other mastiff breeds by their thick coat and mane. They can be a great family dog, especially when properly trained. Males are often 26 to 29 inches in height and weigh between 100 to 140 pounds. Females can reach heights of 27 inches and weigh between 85 and 120 pounds.
#11 – Anatolian Shepherd
Height: 29 inches (male), 27 inches (female)
Weight: 110-150 pounds (male), 80-120 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 11-13 years
Anatolian Shepherds are large protectors that are capable of fending off wolves and other large predators. They are still used for home protection, especially in their native region of Turkey. The typical male can reach heights of 29 inches and weighs between 110 and 150 pounds. The females may reach 27 inches and weigh 80 to 120 pounds.
#10 – The Great Pyrenees
Height: 27-32 inches (male), 25-29 inches (female)
Weight: 100 pounds & up (male), 85 pounds & up (female)
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
The Great Pyrenees is a guardian dog of French origin. It has a thick, white coat and was used by the king of France as a guard dog. It remains a popular breed of dog in the region and are often used for the defense of property. Males of the breed can reach heights of 32 inches and can weigh up to 140 pounds, while females reach heights of 29 inches and can weigh up to 110 pounds.
#9 – Newfoundland
Height: 28 inches (male), 26 inches (female)
Weight: 130-150 pounds (male), 100-120 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 9-10 years
The Newfoundland is a big, hairy dog that is full of warmth. This is an example of a dog breed that is known for helping people out. They were primarily used for pulling heavy loads and helping to rescue drowning people. They have a massive head, webbed feet, and their coat is water-resistant. The average height for males is 28 inches and they weigh between 130 and 150 pounds. Females average about 26 inches and weight between 100 and 120 pounds.
#8 – Leonberger
Height:28-31.5 inches (male), 25.5-29.5 inches (female)
Weight:110-170 pounds (male), 90-140 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy:9 years
At number eight on the list, the Leonberger was bred into existence by Heinrich Essig. No one is completely sure which breeds he used to develop the Leonberger, but it is known that at least three of the largest dog breeds were used – including the Saint Bernard, the Great Pyrenees, and the Newfoundland. Males can reach heights of 28 to 31.5 inches and weigh between 120 and 170 pounds. Females stand 25.5 to 29.5 inches tall and weigh between 100 and 135 pounds.
#7 – Black Russian Terrier
Height:27-30 inches (male), 26-29 inches (female)
Life Expectancy:10-12 years
The Black Russian Terrier looks like an overgrown terrier, with a height that typically falls between 27 and 30 inches and a weight between 110 and 132 pounds – for males. This breed was actually created during the height of the Cold War era in the Soviet Union. They were used as guard dogs and are now a common family companion.
#6 – Saint Bernard
Height: 28-30 inches (males), 26-28 inches (female)
Weight: 140-180 pounds (male), 120-140 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 8-10 years
Saint Bernard is a large, popular family dog. The large coat helped give this breed their name. They were used to help rescue stranded travelers along the snowy Alps. The travelers were then taken to the Saint Bernard hostelry – hence the name of the dog. These friendly and affectionate dogs can reach heights between 25.5 and 27.5 inches. Their weight varies between 130 and 180 pounds.
#5 – Neapolitan Mastiff
Height:26-31 inches (male), 24-29 inches (female)
Weight:150 pounds (male), 110 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy:7-9 years
This large, cuddly dog is fast, despite his massive size. The Neapolitan Mastiff is number five on this list of the largest dog breeds, with an average height of 24 to 31 inches and a weight of 110 to 150 pounds or more.
#4 – Great Dane
Height: 30-32 inches (male), 28-30 inches (female)
Weight: 140-175 pounds (male), 110-140 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 7-10 years
The Great Dane has a majestic appearance and is often labeled the King of Dogs. Despite the size, Great Danes are a gentle dog breed. They are known for being loyal, obedient, and outgoing. They were originally used to hunt animals and guard properties, but now they are a common family dog. Males can reach heights of 30 inches or more and weigh at least 120 pounds. Females can reach 28 inches and can weigh 100 or more pounds.
#3 – Scottish Deerhound
Height: 30-32 inches (male), 28 inches & up (female)
Weight: 85-110 pounds (male), 75-95 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 8-11 years
The Scottish Deerhound is another dog that is incredibly tall, but does not always achieve a massive weight. The skinny, lanky, fuzzy dog can reach heights between 28 and 32 inches and a weight between 75 and 110 pounds.
#2 – The Mastiff
Height: 30 inches & up (male), 27.5 inches & up (female)
Weight: 160-230 pounds (male), 120-170 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 6-10 years
The name “mastiff” literally means massive, which perfectly describes this breed of dog. The mastiff can reach heights of 30 inches and can vary in size from 120 to 200 pounds. Some of the heaviest dogs on record have been Mastiffs.
#1 – The Irish Wolfhound
Height: 32 inches minimum (male), 30 inches minimum (female)
Weight: 120 pounds (male), 105 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy: 6-8 years
Which dog breed managed to make it to the top of the list? The Irish Wolfhound earns the distinction of being the tallest breed of dogs, along with one of the largest. While Mastiffs and other breeds are capable of reaching bigger weight sizes than the Wolfhound, the Wolfhound can reach a height of at least 32 inches when fully grown. Though, the average weight for a male Irish Wolfhound is just 120 pounds.
There you have it – the top 12 largest dog breeds in the world. If you are considering getting one of these breeds, you should realize what you are getting into. Very large dogs require special care and training. Many of them are known to be at higher risk of certain medical conditions, such as hip displacement and other bone structure issues – due to their enormous size.
Always take your time when choosing a dog to join your family. They will be with you for a long time. If you plan on buying one of the dogs on this list, make sure that you have plenty of room for them to get the exercise that they need.