The range of size, shape, color, personality and purpose for which dogs are bred is jaw-dropping. Over centuries, different dogs in different geographic locations have been honed by humans to play certain roles, from hunter to guardian, from herder to companion.
For some of these breeds, size has been a significant player in the search for perfection, whether that was to hunt bigger or faster game or guard a home with more intimidation, or even just to have the mass to survive in freezing locations. Of the hundreds of dog breeds around the world, here are nine of the largest.
Some people live by the motto “bigger is better,” and it extends to their dogs, too. Despite their massive size, they’re actually wonderful to live with as most prefer to relax all day and are relatively calm inside the house. Large does are well suited to suburban or country living because that means more space for them to sprawl. But apartment dwellers need not worry: Many large dogs are more than happy to sleep all day as long as you give them daily exercise to work off their energy. Since they were originally bred to be hunters and have a natural instinct to guard and protect, regular activity is a must.
If you're a family that loves to play and exercise outdoors, or wants to grow their clan without having another child, then you might want to consider taking in a larger dog. Big dogs love nothing more than bonding with their owners, tossing around a ball outside, and protecting their house. They’re perfect for snuggling up on the couch with when you’re not outside taking on hikes and playing catch, and they’re often intuitive to your emotions and will be there to brighten your day. There’s nothing quite like coming home after a long day and having a big furry friend run to the door to greet you.
Larger dog breeds typically weigh more than 55 pounds, so they are considered an investment due to the cost of food and care. But is there a better feeling than coming home from a long day and seeing your giant best bud waiting at the door? No, there is not.
The Great Dane is widely recognized as the largest dog breed by the American Kennel Club, at least in terms of height. The Great Dane is a breed of German origin and its German name of Deutsche Dogge means German mastiff. However, before setting down official roots in Germany, the dogs that eventually became the Great Dane breed came from a crossbreed between English mastiffs and Irish wolfhounds.
Here's a video look at the Great Dane:
Though they aren't the heaviest dogs, reaching around 100-120 pounds, they are among the tallest. The average Great Dane stands around 28-30 inches tall but often they can be taller. The world record holder for tallest dog was a Great Dane named Zeus who stood an astounding 44 inches tall. However, these big dogs trade longevity for their size, and live only to be between 6 to 8 years old. Zeus died of old age at just 5 years old.
Though the Great Dane is typically considered the largest of all dog breeds, we're going to look at a few other breeds that give this one a run for its money, including one breed that is actually even taller.
The Cane Corso is of Italian origin; a medium to large-sized dog with a muscular, strong and athletic appearance, the distinguished Cane Corso is an ancient dog of Roman decent. Like others of its type, the Cane Corso has a particularly short coat. They come in a variety of colours, including: black, brindle, grey and black.
The Cane Corso is a very energetic dog, inquisitive and highly independent. They are known for their fierce loyalty and suitability as a guard dog, minding persons and property.
Cane Corsos are large muscular dogs that belong to the Molosser family and is very closely related to and outdates the Neapolitan Mastiff. The breed dates back to Roman times where it was developed and employed as a guard dog, working dog and war dog. The breed is still very popular in Italy and has found some popularity in Australia in recent years. The modern Italians have bred the Cane Corso for a number of roles including hunting dog guard dog and companion animal for the family home.
The breed was nearly lost in the mid-1900s. With the wide-spread availability of firearms for hunting and the onset of the Second World War the breed was almost entirely abandoned. While the traditional hunting role of the Cane Corso has almost diminished to nothing, it has been revived in recent times and remains a popular animal in Europe and is now gaining recognition internationally.
The Cane Corso is a very energetic, strong and heavy-set dog, eager to please but tough to handle for an inexperienced owner. Early training is essential to maintain a firm grip on this stubborn breed and socialisation as a puppy is a must curb aggression.
The average Cano Corso is quite large, measuring between 64 to 68cm and weighing in at between 45 to 50 kgs. A healthy Cane Corso will live for between 10 and 11 years of age.