If you enjoy living large, then you may be searching for a large dog breed to match your lifestyle! Although they will require more space (and more food!), large dogs are full of cheer, devotion, and tender affection. Most big dog breeds are also especially patient with children, making them great dogs for families.
Read on to learn about some of the best large dog breeds around!
Newfoundlands are more than gentle and kind-hearted—they’re a positive force for good. This water-rescue breed is not overly active but enjoys swim outings and cool-weather hikes. Newfoundlands love people, particularly kids, whom they will always keep an eye on.
This breed has no faults of character, but drawbacks include shedding, drooling, and a low tolerance for hot temperatures.
#2: Bernese Mountain Dog
After receiving kind and consistent handling, the friendly Bernese Mountain Dog will repay you with tons of love and affection! This active dog breed varies greatly in size, and males tend to be much larger than females. They thrive in cold climates and are another large breed that doesn’t care for heat and humidity.
Like the colossal Newfoundland and other double-coated dog breeds, the Bernese Mountain Dog has a thick undercoat and sheds quite heavily.
Ancient Mastiffs were meant to impress, and these large dogs continue to do so! Adoring to their family, Mastiffs remain true to their guard dog heritage and act quite reserved around strangers. These formidable and dedicated dogs will gladly put up with countless silly antics from household children while protecting them from harm when needed.
Mastiffs are massive shedders (and droolers!) but are otherwise quite easy to groom.
#4: Great Dane
Great Danes are widely recognized as sociable, gentle giants. Their original function was to chase wild boar, and their dependability led them to become successful estate guard dogs. Despite the Great Dane’s active history, these sweet dogs require surprisingly little exercise for their considerable size.
Great Danes need plenty of puppy socialization and thrive when meeting new people. They don’t shed much, but they still require moderate grooming.
Fun Fact: Animator Iawo Takamoto designed the character of Scooby-Doo to look like a big and clumsy Great Dane, according to the Los Angeles Times.
#5: Saint Bernard
Among the best large dog breeds, the benevolent Saint Bernard definitely lives up to its saintly title. These warmhearted dogs are slow, patient, and very responsive to training. They are famous for their rescue work and love playing in the snow with children.
Saint Bernards shed, slobber, and drool, and young Saints can be quite energetic. As they grow older, however, these good-natured dogs settle down nicely.
Fun Fact: Saint Bernards are often portrayed with small barrels around their necks, which is based on an 1820s painting, according to The Daily Beast.
#6: Irish Wolfhound
Originally bred to hunt wolves, these dogs are surprisingly calm and sweet-tempered. Although they thrive in places where they can stretch their long legs, Irish Wolfhounds are quiet in the house and respond well to obedience training.
Irish Wolfhounds require little grooming. While they do shed, they don’t shed seasonally like most double-coated dog breeds.
Fun Fact: As the tallest dog breed in the world, an Irish Wolfhound can stand as tall as 7 feet on its hind legs, according to the Irish Post.
#7: Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees is a superior, affectionate protector who takes their job very seriously. If you have anything that needs guarding—whether it’s your house or your Chihuahua—you can count on this dog. Great Pyrenees are not particularly playful, choosing to maintain their energy for watching over the home.
These dogs require minimal grooming, but their abundant coat leads to heavy shedding.
Fun Fact: This breed takes its name from the Pyrenees Mountain range in Southwestern Europe, according to the Great Pyrenees Club of America.
#8: Alaskan Malamute
Alaskan Malamutes are extremely friendly toward people. When it comes to other dogs, however, the outgoing Malamute often needs training from experienced pet parents to minimize aggression. This dignified breed also needs plenty of exercise. They enjoy the cold and snow, making them wonderful sled dogs.
Malamutes are excessive shedders. While they can be a challenge for some due to their strong, working-dog mentality, the Alaskan Malamute can be an extremely rewarding companion.
Fun Fact: Alaskan Malamutes are often used to portray wolves in movies and on television, according to Woof POST.
The Leonberger is an athletic breed that enjoys outdoor dog activities including water sports, pulling sports, and hiking. They are friendly toward people, but also make great watchdogs! One drawback to this intelligent breed is that they do not usually get along with other dogs of the same gender. Like many large dog breeds, Leonbergers also prefer a colder climate.
The thick coat and massive size of the Leonberger mean that, in addition to heavy shedding, this breed requires increased grooming time.
Fun Fact: Heinrich Essig, the breed’s founder, was town counselor of Leonberg, Germany. Legend has it he wanted a dog that resembled a lion for the town’s crest, according to AKC.
#10: Dogue de Bordeaux
While many people are fooled into thinking this breed is a couch potato, the Dogue de Bordeaux is a powerful, independent dog who needs a strong and knowledgeable owner. They require moderate exercise and are calm indoors. Most are gentle but extremely protective when it comes to their family!
This dog breed slobbers, snores, and sheds throughout the year. In addition, their lovable face wrinkles require frequent cleaning.
Fun Fact: A Dogue de Bordeaux co-starred with Tom Hanks in the 1989 movie Turner & Hooch, according to Bow Wow Meow.
Big Dogs, Big Hearts
Large dogs deserve tremendous amounts of love from kind, caring families. If you’re thinking about welcoming a large dog into your home, evaluate how well each breed matches your lifestyle, and how much space you can offer them. For more big dog breeds, look into the following: