Giant Dog Breeds
From Deerhound to the Russian Bear dog.. Here are 9 of the Biggest Dog Breeds in the World..:
9. Scottish Deerhound
The Scottish Deerhound A.K.A The Royal Dog of Scotland, was originally bred to hunt road deer which can be up to twice the size of the dog. Deerhounds are anywhere from 2 feet 4 inches – 2 feet 8 inches (73-86 cm) tall at the *shoulder* and can weigh 110 pounds (50 kg). Their wire coat can come in several colors but breeders tend to prefer the Dark Blue-Gray coat. Deerhounds can easily can be confused with Irish Wolfhounds, However deerhounds are not as tall as Wolfhounds and are much more slender. Deerhounds have a long history of being highly valued. At one time, No one of rank lower than earl could possess these dogs, Noble condemned to death could even give deerhounds as a way to purchase his freedom. Numerous records from the middle ages mention the hound and describe his courage during hunting. It’s value and exclusive ownership ironically nearly caused the breed to go extinct but, it has made a remarkable comeback.
8. French Mastiff
French Mastiff A,K.A dogue de bordeaux. This breed is one of the most ancient french Breeds. French Mastiffs are very powerful dogs with muscular bodies. This dog isn’t anywhere near the tallest but he makes up for it in weight and just general enormity. It’s minimum weight is 110 pounds for males and 99 pounds (44 kg) for females. They stand between 23 to 27 inches (58-69 cm) at the shoulder. The most notable part of the French Mastiff is it’s massive head. Their fine coat ranges from light fawn to dark red. Americans became aware of the French Mastiff when one of them played the character of hooch in the Tom Hanks film Turner and Hooch. Where the French mastiff came from is a bit of a mystery and some say its history may predate the Bullmastiff or the Bulldog. Others say this dog descends from Roman war dogs. Despite that possible origin, the French mastiff has a calm and gentle disposition and is both loyal and patient.
7. Old English Mastiff
Old English Mastiff also simply called mastiff or English mastiff. This dog is the largest breed by mass, with some individual dogs exceeding 200 pounds (90 kg). Males can stand at least 30 inches (76 cm) and females at least 27 inches from paw to shoulder. At the very least, Males can weigh 160 pounds (72 kg) while females can weigh 150 pounds (68 kg). The grandfather of modern mastiffs was the molasses, and now extinct war-dog common in the ancient Greco-Roman world. No one can agree on what the molasses looked like but it could’ve looked like the Jennings dog a Roman sculpture showing a dog with a docked tail. since Caesar mentioned the dogs during his invasion of Britain, It’s possible the Romans first introduced mastiff type dogs to England. Today molasser is an umbrella term for massive and muscular type dogs. Originally, people bred the English Mastiff for blood sports like bear and bull baiting. In 1835, England out log such activity. Breeders bred aggression out of the dogs and turned them into the gentle giants of today. However, This breed nearly went extinct during the World War I when food shortages made it made it difficult to feed these furred behemoths. After the war, breeders revived the breed only for the same thing to happen again during World War II. The title of world’s heaviest dog once belonged to an English Mastiff named Zorba, He was over 343 pounds (155.5 kg) and measured 8 feet 3 inches (253 cm) from nose to tail.
Related Reads: Zorba – The Giant English Mastiff..!!
The Kuvasz is an ancient breed among the oldest of all breeds. This white-coated dog stand a little over 2 feet and can weigh anywhere from 75-110 pounds (34-50 kg). The origins of Kuvasz is traced back as far as Mesopotamia and the steps of the Ural mountains in Western Asia. When the dog was introduced to Hungary, the breed achieved its present appearance and was used as a guard dog for livestock. It’s name comes from the Magyar phrase cuenca, which means dog of the horse. In the 15th century, Hungarian nobility favored the Kuvasz for protection and hunting game. King Matthias of Hungary even established his own breeding program and trusted the dogs over his royal guardsmen. To be gifted Kuvasz from the King’s Royal Kennels was considered a special honor, In fact when Vlad tepes aka Vlad the Impaler married his daughter, Matthias gifted him one of his dogs. World War II nearly drove the breed to extinction in Hungary, Some letters from that time suggest occupying German troops hunted the dogs while ironically officers were known to take Kuvasz with them. Later a factory owner wanted Kuvasz to protect his property triggering a massive search to collect the remaining dogs in the country, which ultimately saved the breed.
5. Cane Corso
This dog hails from Italy and is yet another mastiff. The Cane Corso or The Italian Mastiff is a large dog with a massive presence. They descend from Roman war dogs and were used to guard property, family and livestock. They can stand anywhere from 1 foot 11 inches to 2 feet 3 inches(58-73 cm) at the shoulder and can weigh 90-120 pounds (41-54 kg). When farming became more mechanized, the breed declined in near extinction. However, In the 1970’s dog fanciers worked to bring the breed back. The first letter to be born in the United States was in 1988. These dogs are confident, intelligent and loyal. Ideally they are docile and affectionate for their families, particularly children. However these dogs do need regular training and mental stimulation. When the bodies of Pompeii were being uncovered, Archaeologists unburied a female dog frozen for ever and a curl of agony wore a silver collar on which was engraved the name Delta and 3 great beads. Delta had saved her owner from drowning, from being robbed and from a wolf attack. A surprise awaited underneath the animal, A child. Most likely the child belonged to Delta’s master and her final act was to protect it from the heat and ash. The modern breed that most resembles this loyal canine, The Cane Corso.
4. Black Russian Terrier
When we think of Terriers, most of us think of small yappy dogs, well that’s not the case with this dog. Standing 26-30 inches (66-76 cm) at shoulder, the Black Russian Terrier can weigh 80-145 pounds (36-65 kg). The Russian Army created the breed in the 1930’s to use as a guard dog and in climates with extremely cold temperatures and are known as the Black Pearls of Russia. To create the breed, the Russians interbred Giant Schnauzer – Rottweiler – Airedale – Newfoundland. Large bones with well developed muscles, the dog has a double coat that can be 1½ inches long. The dog is very protective, calm and an independent thinker, who needs a lot of training, socializing and exercise. And this dog only comes in one color, Black.
3. Irish Wolfhound
The tallest breed of dog Irish Wolfhound, stand at 28-35 inches (71-89 cm) and can weigh 90-150 pounds (40-68 kg). When standing on a time legs an Irish Wolfhound can be up to 7 feet tall. Because of their size, they’re very aptly known as the Great Hound of Ireland. they are also the subject of an old Irish proverb “Gentle when stroked, Fierce when provoked”. one of the earliest recorded references to Irish Wolfhound is in Roman record stating to 391 A.D. but Irish mythology also contains several references that date back even further. The breed receive their name from being used to hunt wolves and Irish elk. In fact they were so good at their jobs both prey species went extinct on the Island. For centuries, only royalty and nobility could own a wolfhound. The loyalty and fierceness of the Wolfhound is the stuff of many Irish legends. One such legend concerns the 13th century Prince of Wales Llewellyn and his Irish wolfhound, Gelert. One day Llewellyn went hunting Gelert to guard his infant son while he was gone. Why Prince would leave a hunting dog behind on a hunting trip or why he couldn’t leave actual guards are details that apparently aren’t important to the story. Anyway when he returned, he found the baby’s crib overturned Gelert covered in blood, instantly blamingthe dog, Llewellyn killed Gelert, but as the dog lay dying LLewellyn heard the cry of his son. After further searching, he found his son alive next to the body of a wolf Gelert had killed. LLewellyn mourned the dog and his mistake and erected a tomb in Gelert’s Honor. The tomb can still be seen in caernarfon, Whales. Because of the lack of meat for dogs and the tendency to give them to kings and important people as gifts, Very few Irish Wolfhounds were left in Ireland by the 19th century. In recent years, they have made a comeback. they come in a variety of colors from wheat gold to slate gray.
2. Great Dane
The Apollo of dogs, Great Dane stand at little over 2 feet, few inches shorter than Irish wolfhounds and weigh in at 175 pounds (79 kg). Originally bred to hunt wild boar, their ferociousness was eventually bred out of them. These huge dogs are now known to be affectionate and gentle pets making them a favorite choice for houses with children. In fact, Great Danes have made huge inroads into popular culture. Scooby Doo and Marmaduke are both of the same breed. The Great Dane breed came from Germany where they’re known as ‘Deutsche Dogge’ or German Mastiff and was the national dog of the German Empire. Many believe that Great danes originated as a crossbreed of Irish Wolfhound and English Mastiff. Because of their size, Great Danes have one of the shortest life spans of dogs, only 8 years. The rule of the thumb is , The larger the dog – The shorter the life, which explains why Chihuahuas can live up to 20 years. The tallest male and female dogs in the world who are still living are a pair of Great Danes, Lizzie at Fort Myers, Florida is an astounding 38 inches (96.5 cm) tall while Freddie of Claire StoneMen in the UK stands at 3 feet 5 inches (106.6 cm) tall. The tallest dog ever? A Great Dane name Zeus Otsego, Michigan. He was 44 inches tall, sadly Zeus died in 2014 at the age of 5. On December 29th 2016, Freddie was also declared the biggest dog in the world by the Guinness World Records.
Related Reads: Zeus – Tallest Dog Ever..!
1. Caucasian Shepherd Dog
This next dog is known by several names, Caucasian Shepherd Dog, Caucasian of Ovcharka, Caucasian mountain dog and The Russian Bear Dog. Like most of the other dogs in this list, like Great Dane and English Mastiff have had their aggression bred out of them, the opposite is True of Russian Bear Dogs. Used as guard and protection dogs, these animals are fierce, protective and can be very Aggressive. These dogs come from the Caucasian mountains of Russia, hence the name and were used by the soviet military as guard dogs for their gulags. The dog’s original purpose was to guard livestock and in fact the Russian word of Ovcharka means sheepdog. Improperly trained and unsocialized of Ovcharkas become uncontrollable and vicious. Even with the correct training, these dogs are very suspecious of strangers. But what about size? The Russian Bear Dog Comes in at 25-28 inches (64-71 cm) at shoulder and can weigh between 99-154 pounds (45-70 kg). Their most distinctive feature is it’s heavy coat, which is developed to survive the harsh winters and the Russian mountains, This is definitely not a dog for families or first-time owners.
Related: Smallest Dog Breeds in the World..!