Size is merely one component of the large dog breed equation. While a certain percentage of people may view giant dog breeds as threatening—many of these animals are bound to shatter public stereotypes with their loving nature and strong work ethic.
A University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna report stated that large dogs were more obedient and level-headed during organized experiments. This finding can partially explain why sizable dogs are synonymous with activities like police work and hunting.
Whether you’re looking for a large dog for protection, cuddling, hunting, or all of the above—our list of our five favorite big dog breeds may inspire your next choice of pet.
The Akita dog breed originated in Japan and is known for its premier watchdog status. If you’re looking for some loving protection, Akita dogs are loyal, large with a 70-130 pound weight average, and quiet enough to maintain peace at home.
When you train an Akita to overcome its general hesitancy toward strangers and other animals, you’ll have the perfect loyal companion at your side.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Bernese Mountain dogs are one of our list’s more recognizable giant breeds due to their trademark tri-colored fur coat, but this animal’s beauty is more than skin-deep. Originally bred in Switzerland, Bernese Mountain dogs excel in the cold and have a hard-working history from their Swiss owners’ farm training.
Are you looking for a dog that’ll more easily acclimate to your training techniques? If your answer is yes, you may benefit from the responsive presence of an Irish Setter.
This large dog breed weighs between 60-70 pounds on average, features a smooth chestnut-colored coat, and can readily join in on a run or a game of fetch with its natural athleticism.
Maremma Sheepdogs have a storied Eastern European history and share strong relations with other European mountain-dwelling guardian dogs. Originally bred in Italy, Maremma Sheepdogs continue to permeate their native country and protect livestock for locals.
With their thick and long fur coats, Maremma Sheepdogs are an ideal large teddy bear dog and great for families.
Black Russian Terrier
Black Russian Terriers were first bred in the 1930s through 17 different breeds. The final result is a bright, independent, and shockingly nimble dog that remains calm and stable.
The coat of a Black Russian Terrier requires routine brushing, and since these dogs can weigh up to 140 pounds, they’re not a strong choice for apartment dwellers.
Before You Purchase a Large Dog
Knowing the challenges large dog breeds can present is as important as knowing the positives that each type of dog breed can bring to the table.
Bigger dogs take longer to mature, which emphasizes their need for positive training that takes their development in stride. Sizable breeds are more likely to injure their joints during exercise while young—so throwing some healthy caution into your dog’s initial training regime is always helpful.
Large animals naturally need more space—and big dogs are no different. Many apartment buildings have animal weight limits, and if you’re able to house a significantly-sized breed, you’ll need to budget more money for larger accessories and remain sure that the space is conducive to the dog’s living needs. While you’re budgeting for giant dog breed accessories, plan to pay more on average for medication.
If you feel comfortable meeting the potential challenges of a bigger dog, then one of our list’s breeds may be for you. Knowing the pros and cons of the best large breeds and the best small dog breeds can help you in finding the best fit for you and your family.