The Top 10 Biggest Dogs in the World

Aug. 8, 2017

How big are the biggest dogs in the world? Really big. Here are the top 10 biggest dog breeds in the world.

Passion for big stuff is evident everywhere you look (think Big Gulp beverages and the Sears Tower). You might think the obsession with the biggest dogs in the world is just about size. But ask anyone who's lost their heart to these gentle giants -- whether it's a dog owner or a pet care professional -- and they'll be the first to tell you that that's not the case at all.

[RELATED: "Breeds of Dogs -- How Do You Find the Right One for You?"]

In addition to their larger presence, the biggest dogs in the world are often the sweetest, bred for even-keeled temperaments, and have larger-than-life doggie IQs. (That's why they're a big favorite of dog walkers and sitters alike.)

Here's the lowdown on some of the largest breeds:

1) Great Dane

Image via Getty Images/richardlpaul

Solemn-faced and stoic, Great Danes are known for patience and dependability, as well as astounding size. A friendly breed, many of the biggest dogs in the world have been Great Danes.

In April 2017, a Great Dane named Freddy was awarded the prestigious title of the Tallest Dog in the World by the Guinness World Records. Despite his intimidating size (he measures out at 7' 4" when standing on his hind legs), Freddy is just a big ol' sweetheart and has quickly become Britain's newest -- and tallest -- heartthrob. Freddy was preceded by two other Great Danes in the title of Tallest Dog. The last holder was Zeus, a Great Dane from Michigan who died in 2014 and stood 7 feet 4 inches on his hind legs. Before him was Giant George, a blue Great Dane from Arizona, who measured 7'3" and died in 2013. 

2) Irish Wolfhound

Image via Getty Images/emer1940

Consistently the tallest of all dog breeds, Irish wolfhounds are formidable in history as well as stature. Ancient relics point to their role as war dogs, fighting alongside Celtic warriors. Julius Caesar even referenced them, according to Dogster magazine. Today, this impressive breed is known for its mellow nature, galloping gait and keen vision.

3) English Mastiff

They may not be the tallest, but these huge canines are some of the most massive dogs ever known. Gentle and sweet, the black-masked canines are known for their huge heads and large bodies. Through history mastiffs, according to the American Kennel Club, were matched up against bulls, gladiators, lions, tigers and bears (oh my!).

4) Saint Bernard

Despite the iconic rendition of these huge Alpine rescue dogs and their ever-present neck-casks of brandy, Saint Bernards, bred for centuries to rescue wayward travelers, are not bars on four legs. They don't actually carry that stuff around, as Mental Floss details. What they do bring with them at all times is massive girth, a superior sense of smell and vast strength.

5) Cane Corso

Image via Getty Images/Zlatko Necevski

Also known as Italian mastiffs, these hunting guard dogs are calm, quiet and big. An intelligent, athletic breed, Cane Corsos can hit 27.5 inches at shoulder height and weigh in at around 120 pounds.

6) Bernese Mountain Dog

Image via Getty Images/Othmar Sigrist/EyeEm

This large Swiss mountain farm dog breed is even keeled, strong and good natured. A slow-maturing breed, these dogs don't reach full size until they're three years old and are typically longer than they are tall, often reaching 110 pounds at full maturity.

7) Black Russian Terrier

High energy and smart, these powerfully large dogs will protect people they love with everything they have. Large-boned and muscled, Black Russian terriers are courageous and reliable. Males often reach 150 pounds, and females reach 130 pounds.

8) Scottish Deerhound

Image via Getty Images/Mint Images RF

Known for their intelligence and ability to gallop at a fast clip, this breed was once linked to Scotland's nobility. Bred to hunt red deer, Scottish deerhounds are gentle, friendly and loving. They are formidable in size but not quite as tall as their larger-than-life Irish cousins.

9) Newfoundland

Image via Getty Images/Sveta Elfimova

Exquisitely patient and calm natured, Newfoundlands have thick, heavy coats, in keeping with the northern climes of their origin. They are gentle giants of tremendous strength, used often for water rescue due to their muscular strength, water-resistant fur, webbed feet and excellent swimming ability.

10) Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

Image via Getty Images/qbavsop

Nicknamed "Swissys," these faithful, family-friendly draft and drover dogs are large yet agile, and possess immense physical strength and power. Thought to have descended from local Swiss dogs mated to mastiffs, these dogs can top 150 pounds and also have larger-than-life litters of up to 18 puppies.

Want to learn more about other dog breeds? Check out these articles:


Need suggestions for dog names? Check out these articles:

Corey Kagan is a freelance writer (and animal lover) living in New York.

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