Skip to main content

The five biggest dog breeds in the world: Check out these gentle giants

Great Dane with Chihuahua on it's back
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Whether it's the biggest dog breeds in the world or the smallest dog breeds, most dog lovers will admit a preference over one or the other if pressed. While there are many stereotypes and assumptions for both, such as small dogs are yappy and large dogs are aggressive, these are not necessarily true.

There are plenty of gentle giants in the dog world, with some of the largest dog breeds in the world actually being the friendliest and most loyal. They also tend to have big personalities to go with their size.

Larger dog breeds do need walking more, so are best suited to active owners who have the time to spend with them. They’ll also require larger accessories such as large dog beds and are likely to eat more of the best dog food, which is something to bear in mind if you’re thinking of adopting a large dog breed.

We’ve rounded up five of the largest dog breeds in the world and delved a little into their characters so you can get to know them a bit better. Whether you’re a fan of big dogs or not, we’re sure you’ll love these friendly giants.

The top five biggest dog breeds in the world revealed...

English Mastiff

(Image credit: Getty Images)

1. English Mastiff

The English Mastiff, often simply known as a Mastiff, is one of the world’s largest dog breeds, standing at a height of up to 35 inches! They can weigh around 200-230 pounds depending on whether they’re male or female, making them incredibly hefty doggos. They often have wrinkled faces which some find cute and others intimidating, but while they may be almost the size of a wild bear, the Mastiff couldn’t be more friendly. They are known to be kind-hearted and affectionate and while they make great protection dogs (partly due to their reputation), they are incredibly calm. 

Irish Wolfhound

(Image credit: Getty Images)

2. Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is one of the tallest dog breeds in the world, with most being at least 32 inches tall. Some Irish Wolfhounds are even equal in size to a small donkey! They weigh around 180 pounds and were originally bred as hunting dogs, like many dog breeds. They are truly one of the world’s gentle giants, making great family dogs with a very sweet and patient character that’s suited to living with children. They’re very playful and always look happy, but you’ll need to give them lots of attention and walks to wear them out.

Newfoundland

(Image credit: Getty Images)

3. Newfoundland

The Newfoundland looks like a giant cuddly bear, weighing in at around 130-150 pounds. They’re super fluffy and very muscular and were originally bred as fishermen’s dogs. This is because they amazingly have webbed feet, which makes them great in the water and strong swimmers. Newfoundland’s stand about 30 inches tall and as with most of the biggest dog breeds, they have a heart of gold, plus they’re very easy to train.

Great Dane

(Image credit: Getty Images)

4. Great Dane

The Great Dane is probably one of the more widely known big dog breeds and is one that is very elegant. They were originally bred in Germany as hunting dogs, and are a cross between the English Mastiff and Irish Wolfhound. As the years have gone on they have grown even taller than their ancestors and now the Great Dane stands at around 28-30 inches tall, but its average weight is 100 pounds, around half that of the English Mastiff. Great Danes are often portrayed as intimidating guard dogs, however, they are actually rather reserved and make great family dogs due to their loyalty and playful character.

St Bernard

(Image credit: Getty Images)

5. St Bernard

Originally bred in Switzerland, the St Bernard truly is a saint, bred as a rescue dog for the hospice of St Bernard Pass on the Italian-Swiss border. Similar to the English Mastiff, they are very hefty in size and height, standing between 28 and 30 inches tall and weighing around 140-180 pounds. They have adorable happy faces and are incredibly loyal to their owners, making wonderful family dogs and very friendly to children. Kindness is in their nature so they’re also generally very good with other animals too.

Those are the top five biggest dog breeds in the world. Other include variations of the Mastiff including the French Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, and the Dogue de Bordeuax. Which one is your favorite? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter.

Sarah Butcher

Sarah is a freelance writer and marketer, covering a variety of topics from lifestyle and fitness to sustainability and travel. When she’s not writing, she can be found relaxing with a cuppa and a cute doggo snoozing on her lap!