15 of the biggest Dog Breeds in the world

Biggest dogs in the world

From the historic Old English Mastiff, to the Great Dane and many giant breeds in-between, what are the biggest dogs in the world? 

Sure, some people might find the large, giant dog breeds overwhelming, but one thing is for sure, they also have a lot of charm and character. 

Ironically, some even see themselves as lap dogs and although cuddles are always welcome, a drooly Mastiff sitting on your lap isn’t exactly the most elegant of looks. 

What is the biggest dog breed in the world?

There are many different factors to consider when it comes to judging the biggest dog breeds in the world. Some dogs are heavy because they have dense bones and thick muscles. Some dogs are tall and lanky. Some dogs are all fluff. 

BreedHeight averageWeight average
Bullmastiff24 – 27” 100 – 130 lbs   
Great Dane30 – 32” 105 – 120 lbs
Irish Wolfhound30 – 32”105 – 120 lbs 
English Mastiff28 – 30”175 – 190 lbs 
Neapolitan Mastiff24 – 31”110 – 150 lbs 
Newfoundland26 – 28”100 – 150 lbs 
French Mastiff23 – 27”100 – 110 lbs
Saint Bernard28 – 30”140 – 180 lbs
Cane Corso23 – 28”90 – 110 lbs 
Scottish Deerhound28 – 32″75 – 110 lbs
Leonberger 28 – 32″90 – 150 lbs
Anatolian Shepherd27 – 29″110 – 150 lbs
Caucasian Shepherd Dog23 – 30″99 – 170 lbs
Tibetan Mastiff24 – 26″75 – 160 lbs
Great Pyrenees27 – 32″110 – 160 lbs
Data – Biggest Dog Breeds by Heigh & Weight

Our best guess is that when it comes to claiming the top spot, we need to be looking at weight and height combined. This more than likely means that the biggest dog breeds in the world are more likely to be livestock guardian and Mastiff type breeds, but this might also include a few outsiders as you’ll see later.

As it stands, Zorba takes the prize for the heaviest dog of all time, whereas the recently deceased Zeus the King Dane takes the prize for tallest dog

Both of these giants go down in the history books as kings. But what breed currently holds the crown as the biggest dog breed in the world? 

Find out as we explore our list of the top 15 largest dog breeds in the world.

15 of the largest dog breeds in the world

1. The Old English Mastiff

The Old English Mastiff currently holds the crown of the biggest dog breed in the world. This is the same breed that famously produced Zorba who weighed in at 343 lbs and measured at 37 inches tall at the shoulder. If Zorba was to stand on his hind legs, he would be taller than most NBA players. The legend of Zorba still hasn’t been surpassed to this day. 

Zorba the mastiff

Zorba was of course an outlier, the average English Mastiff weighs around 180 lbs and measure at around 28 -30 inches tall, check out our English Mastiff growth chart for more detail. That’s still a hell of a lot of pooch and is amongst the tallest of all mastiff breeds alive today.  

And it’s not just size that makes this breed so striking. The English Mastiff comes in a narrow range of distinctive colours, which includes, fawn, brindle and apricot. This is usually accompanied with the striking black mask which contrasts with the coat. 

This gentle giant has ancient origins all the way back to Roman times. Used as fighting dogs, the Mastiff was formally voracious, carrying an almighty bite. 

Zorba Mastiff

However, as time moved on, many landowners adopted the breed as estate guardians. It was here that their temperament became more docile. Watchful but docile is often how they are described. 

Their fighter tendencies were bred out over the years, making them a walking, drooling, cuddle machine for the modern owner. A truly wonderful protector and guardian breed.

2. Saint Bernard

The famously large but cute Saint Bernard is no stranger to the conversation around big dog breeds. The breed is an exemplary example of a wonderful family dog, devoting its life and purpose to being your number priority as an oversized lap dog. 

saint bernard

The Saint Bernard origins go back to Switzerland where they were bred as protectors and rescue dogs for the mountainside monastery. Their temperament is wonderfully balanced and although they are very friendly to friends and family, they will not hesitate to protect against any stranger that threatens. 

This spectacular giant of a dog typically weighs around 140-190 lbs and is on average between 26 to 28 inches tall. Yes there are heavier dogs, yes there are taller dogs, but when combined, the Sainty B is near the top of the list. 

3. Caucasian Shepherd Dog

The Caucasian Shepherd Dog varies in size significantly. Depending on the sex, the Caucasian Shepherd (Caucasian Ovcharka) can range from 23 to 30 inches tall. They can also weigh anywhere between 100 – 170 lbs. 

 Caucasian Shepherd

In appearance the Caucasian Shepherd isn’t too dissimilar to the Leonberger. It is large, athletic and comes in a range of colours from brown, chocolate, liver, fawn, grey, red and white. They typically have patterns from bi-colour, tri-colour, brindle and sable. However, this will require some grooming and be prepared for a bit of shedding. 

A breed full of character and ancient origins. The first mentions of this breed can be traced back to 1st century BC, where Armenian armies used them.

Unsurprisingly, these dogs were bred as livestock guardians and hunting companions. Their athleticism and strength was unrivalled in the region of the Caucasus mountains. 

The breed is known for intelligence, loyalty, confidence and strength. What would you expect from a Mastiff cross Sheepdog. 

4. Great Pyrenees

The Great Pyrenees can reach 32 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh up to 160 lbs for a male. For a female, the Great Pyrenees can reach 29 inches tall and weigh up to 115 lbs. 

great Pyrenees dog

The Great Pyrenees is used on farms across the world as a livestock guardian. They are especially popular on many organic and small farms across the USA where they are commonly used to deter foxes, coyotes and other predators. This is easy work for a breed that used to be used to deter wolves in the Pyrenees mountains in France. 

As far as it’s origins go, it is claimed the the breed evolved from the Pyrenean Mastiff brought to the area from Asia in Roman times. Over the years this breed received royal ascension as it was crowned the royal dog of France by Louis XIV. Later, it was commonly used to help guard chateaus, alongside the likes of the French Mastiff (Dogue de Bordeaux). 

The dogs are primarily white in colour, sometimes with patches of black around their coat. The coat is particularly long around the neck and shoulders and is fairly weatherproof which leads to this breed adapting well to colder temperatures. 

The dog is typically trusting, gentle and loyal. They enjoy their work on farms and are very watchful and alert to danger. They will not hesitate to step in if any trouble arises. However, it is for this very reason that the breed requires a healthy amount of socialisation.

5. Tibetan Mastiff

A Tibetan Mastiff stands at around 26 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs up to 160 lbs for a large healthy male. Female Tibetan Mastiffs are a bit shorter at 24 inches tall and can weigh up to 125 lbs. This isn’t just one giant ball of fluff though, under all that fur is a muscle bound Mastiff. 

The Tibetan Mastiffs origins are considered ancient, with DNA evidence pointing to the fact that these dogs have been roaming around Tibet for around 5,000 years. That said, the breed standard has been adapted to become larger, more fluffy and all round more regal. 

The Tibetan was typically used to help nomadic tribes protect livestock in the earlier days, as time moved on the larger adaptation of the breed, named the Tsang-Khyi served as a guardian to Buddhist monks. 

The appearance of the Tibetan Mastiff is striking. They have a long double layered coat. The topcoat being long, thick and coarse, the undercoat is soft and woolly. Their colours come in a range of brown, black, gold, red and blue.They have a large mane at the neck and shoulders which gives them a lion like appearance which has made them so desirable to wealthy owners. 

Interestingly, did you know that a Tibetan Mastiff named Big Splash currently holds the record for the most expensive dog ever sold

Most expensive dog ever sold

In temperament, the Tibetan Mastiff is watchful and protective. Like many Mastiff breeds, they need early socialisation and training to ensure that their superior size doesn’t become a problem. 

They are an expensive dog to keep, requiring a lot in food whilst also having their fair share of health concerns (although they’re more hardy than some other Mastiff breeds). Insuring a dog this size also comes at an increased premium.

6. Leonberger

The Leonberger is what you get when you cross a Newfoundland Dog, a St Bernard and a Pyrenean Mountain Dog. It has a majestic golden coat and a black face which resembles that of a lion. 

leonberger dog

The breed can weigh up to 150 lbs and grow to 29 inches in height, making this a serious contender in the list of largest dog breeds. 

The breed originates from Germany where they served as livestock guardians and worker dogs on farms. Alternatively, they were also much adored by wealthy people from the Leonberg region in Germany. 

Much like the Dogue de Bordeaux, the breed almost vanished thanks to world wars which tore through western Europe.

7. Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff height and weight varies a lot which makes them harder to score on this overall list. However, at the very top end, the Neapolitan Mastiff can reach a whopping 150 lbs in weight and 31 inches in height. 

neapolitan mastiff

This loose and wrinkly skinned breed is droopier and droolier than your average Mastiff (if that’s even possible). But looks can be deceiving. 

Although they may look a little slow, the Neapolitan Mastiff is smart but meticulous. They have the same great protector qualities that all Mastiff breeds have and they simply dote on and adore their family members. That said, if confronted and threatened, it simply isn’t a dog to be messed with due to its immense power. 

Like many of the Mastiff breeds, the dog only requires moderate exercise when it reaches adulthood. That said, their energy levels may surprise a bit from time to time. They are not always the couch potato that they are perceived to be.

8. Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd is an imposing breed, measuring up to 29 inches in height and weighing up 150 lbs in some more rare instances.

Anatolian shepherd

Their roots are in livestock and cattle droving across the Anatolian Plateau. They’re a hardy breed that derives a lot of purpose from work. 

The breed is largely nomadic and has little history in many well populated societies. They are notoriously hard to train and socialise and are serious athletes. These attributes, whilst admirable, can be a nightmare scenario for any novice to intermediate dog owner. That is likely why the breed remains fairly rare in many countries.

9. Newfoundland Dog

The Newfie can weigh up to 150 lbs and measures up to 28 inches in height for a healthy male. The Newfoundland dog also has a lot of fluff to contend with which just adds to their awesome appearance, especially when you consider the range of coat colours

The Newfie rivals the Saint Benard for cuteness overload too, a simple scroll on Instagram is enough to send you into overdrive. What’s more, this breed is a genuine life saving superhero. The Newfoundland is to this day still used as a water rescue dog, due to their swimming ability and webbed feet. 

But that’s not all, the Newfie’s worker dog origins are equally impressive. Used across Newfoundland, the breed would help their companions out with pulling heavy sleds, guarding livestock, and of course pulling heavy nets from the water. 

Their remarkable coats are heavy, oily and largely waterproof, meaning they can bear extremely cold temperatures making them a hardy breed. That said, you’ll certainly have your hands full with this one. Whether it’s the constant grooming, or cleaning up their drool. The Newfie is a time intensive, but loveable family dog with a fabulous temperament.

10. Bullmastiff

The Bullmastiff breed can grow up to 27 inches tall and weigh up to 130 lbs when fully matured. They were initially a cross breed of the Old English Mastiff and the Old English Bulldog (now extinct). They were recognised by the Kennel Club in 1924

credit – Instagram @bullmastiff.dog

Their origin story isn’t well documented but it’s largely believed that they were used as hunting companions by gamekeepers and poachers. Their power, speed and strength meant that they were sometimes called the Gamekeeper’s night dog, often preferred over the less aggressive English Mastiffs of that period. 

They typically come with an apricot coloured coat and are generally a lesser known Mastiff to have as a family pet compared to other alternatives. 

11. The Irish Wolfhound

The average Irish Wolfhound is 30-32 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs up to 120 lbs for a healthy male. They are a distinctive breed of sighthound, both tall and broad. They are unmistakably giant and their shaggy coat makes them all the more charming. 

irish wolfhound

Although they don’t quite have the messy drooling capacity of their Mastiff counterparts, the Irish Wolfhound is just as boisterous and clumsy as a puppy and juvenile. Adulthood is when this breed flourishes into a well loved gentle giant that is a joy to have around the home. 

Thankfully, it is due to the endeavour of Captain Graham that this breed survives to this day. Although its history dates back to the first century, the breed nearly found its way to extinction.

Rescued by a mix of Scottish Deerhound, Borzoi, Great Dane and Pyrenees Mountain Dogs, the Irish Wolfhound would certainly confuse many DNA testing kits if compared to the earlier descendants.

12. The Great Dane

Certainly the tallest of the bunch, the Great Dane is no stranger to the list of biggest dogs in the world. The breed holds the record for the tallest dog in the world, twice running, ironically both named Zeus. 

tallest dog in the world - Zeus the great dane

On average, the Great Dane reaches around 32 inches in height and 120 lbs in weight (at the top end). Often clumsy looking and certainly ungraceful in puppy-hood, the Great Dane warms our hearts as one the best gentle giants to exist (small shout out to Scooby Doo, too). 

This goofy, adorable, horse-like breed has an interesting origin which takes them back to Germany as boar hunting companions. Beyond this, the Great Dane was also used as a guardian across many wealthy estates. 

Zeus King Dane – Tallest Dog In The World

This fun loving giant requires a lot of food and creates a lot of mess due to excess drooling and its general all round clumsiness. 

Like many larger breeds, the Great Dane unfortunately has a shorter lifespan than most and can develop many health conditions as they age into adulthood, which adds to the cost of ownership for this breed.

13. Scottish Deerhound

The Scottish Deerhound may be more slender than many on the list, weighing in at 110 lbs (at the very top end). However, their height of up to 32 inches means that they have the distinct pleasure of making our esteemed list of big dogs. 

Scottish Deerhound

As the name suggests, the Scottish Deerhound was bred to take down deer in the Scottish highlands. They could catch them and hold them until their human hunting companion could finish the job. 

Perhaps even more interestingly, the Scottish Deerhound was also used to help catch wolves when they were once native to the land. Their tall, lean and athletic build was built for endurance, which has remained unchanged even to this day. 

The appearance of the Scottish Deerhound is quite striking. They resemble a shaggy coated, oversized grey hound, with a huge resemblance towards Irish Wolfhounds (but leaner). They are generally quite clumsy and clownish until adulthood where they make excellent family dogs due to their love of family and friends.

14. Cane Corso

The majestic Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff), can grow up to 28 inches at the shoulder and weigh up to 110 lbs. This puts them at the smaller end of our list of the world’s biggest dogs. However, whatever the Cane Corso lacks in size, it more than makes up for in strength and power. 

cane corso size

The Cane Corso is another ancient form of Mastiff breed brought to us by the Roman empire. Thanks to their power and unbelievable bite force, these dogs were used as war dogs and livestock guardians. 

As time moved on, the Cane Corso’s reputation as a protector meant it found its way onto the farms of many farmers across Italy, protecting cattle and flocks from wolves and other predators. These days, many admirers of the breed love it for its aesthetic and powerful persona. This has led to a lot of designer features such as ear cropping their otherwise lovely floppy ears

In appearance, the Cane Corso comes in a range of striking colours from black, brindle, fawn, red, grey and even blue. They require minimal grooming and they shed a low to moderate amount. 

As a pet, the Cane Corso can be an unbelievably loyal and affectionate companion. They love their family to bits and are very protective of them. They enjoy assessing the family’s home parameter at all times of the day, ever watchful for danger. 

However, it is this very asset that means the Cane Corso requires a lot of training and socialisation. Their high prey drive, intelligence and stubbornness all need to be controlled, along with their immense power, so that the dog doesn’t become a danger to others. If these areas are in check, the Cane Corso is a joy! 

Finally, the cost of ownership for the Cane Corso can also be high (as with all large breeds). They are a robust breed, they require a lot of healthy food to match their energy demands and muscle growth. As they age, the breed also suffers with some health conditions which are common in Mastiff breeds. On top of this, their insurance costs can be fairly high compared to smaller dogs. 

15. Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff)

The Dogue de Bordeaux weighs around 110 lbs at the higher end and can grow up to 27 inches, you can read more on their growth stages here.

dogue de bordeaux size

Smaller than other Mastiff types, the DDB is more stocky, but still magnificently powerful and majestic. They come with an apricot/red coat which is fairly easy to groom and stay on top of. That said, they drool a lot so be prepared.

An evolution from the Roman Mastiffs, the Dogue de Bordeaux finally settled in France and found its way onto the many wealthy estates as a guardian breed. They were nearly wiped out of existence during the French revolution due to their protection of their French lords. However, they were eventually salvaged and then found themselves on farms as guardians and worker dogs. 

Amazingly, the breed almost suffered the same fate during the second world war when Hitler ordered them destroyed due to their protective qualities during the Nazi occupation of France. Thankfully, they were rescued once more and have grown in popularity over the years due to films such as Turner and Hooch
The French Mastiff has wonderful temperament which is loyal, affectionate and docile towards friends and family.  They also have brilliant protection instincts as you may gather from above. A well socialised Dogue de Bordeaux is a wonderful family dog, however they do sadly have their fair share of health concerns and a relatively short lifespan.

Paws for thought On the Biggest Dogs in the world

So which of these large breeds appeals to you most? 

The list is ultimately dominated by many of the Mastiffs commonly found around the world today, however the likes of the Irish Wolfhound, Leonberger and Great Dane do help lend some variety. 

But let’s not forget, responsible ownership of a larger breed takes a lot of time, effort and finances. You must also make sure that you have ample space around your property for them to roam and relax. 

Larger breeds are sometimes slower to mature, meaning you should expect a degree of clumsiness and goofy behaviour for a longer period than you would for a smaller breed. Their behaviour around other dogs and animals also means that investment in training and socialisation is critical. 

Lastly, larger dogs do unfortunately come with more health concerns and a shorter lifespan compared to smaller dogs. This is a heartbreaking fact that needs to be considered when you’re assessing your options. This means extra vet bills, premium food, higher insurance. 

 That said, if you love the larger breeds and are a committed, responsible owner then these larger breeds are packed full of charm and character. With much care and attention, they will bring a lot of joy to you and your family. 

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