This first large dog on our list is quite unique. Unlike other large breeds, the Newfoundland was never bred to be a guard dog. In fact, they were specifically bred to help fishermen. These big, muscular dogs are perfectly comfortable on land as well as in water. They possess incredible strength and are able to haul nets and lines from boats, pull carts and, most importantly, fetch anything that falls overboard into the water, including people. The Newfoundland is an exceptional water dog and a very strong swimmer. Think of them as the K9 version of David Hasselhoff in Baywatch. There have been many rescues of people out at sea credited to these gentle-natured dogs. Newfoundland dogs stand between 27 to 30 inches tall and weigh as much as 150 pounds. They look even bigger because of their thick double coat which keeps them warm even in icy water. People have found them to be perfect companions and are even great around children. The downside is, large breeds like these eat quite a lot and can eat you out of house and home.
Number 9. The Irish Wolfhound The Irish wolfhound, as its name implies, was bred to chase down wolves. They were developed from war hounds into a dog that was used for hunting and guarding. One of the most ancient of dog breeds, the Irish wolfhound may have been brought to Ireland as far back as 7000 B.C. Although they were originally bred to be expert hunters, today’s Irish Wolfhounds make excellent human companions. They are quiet, reserved, intelligent and easy-going. Irish wolfhounds aren’t big and muscular like the Newfoundland; they are actually pretty slim compared to other breeds on this list. The reason why they made it to number 9 on our list is because of their sheer height. This breed is the tallest of all dogs, even taller than the Great Dane. Males often stand as tall as 34 to 35 inches from foot to shoulder blade and stand over 7 feet tall on their hind legs. They can weigh upwards of 140 pounds, and while standing on all fours, the Irish Wolfhounds size can be easily comparable to a donkey’s.
Number 8. The Leonberger The Leonberger is what you get when you mix the Newfoundland and the Saint Bernard, both quite large breeds already. In the mid-1840s, Heinrich Essig of Leonberg, Germany, crossed a Newfoundland with a Saint Bernard for four generations, then, just to make things a little bit more interesting, added in a Pyrenean Mountain Dog to the mix. The result of these several
generations of breeding is a breed that stands between 27 to 31 inches tall and can weigh as much as 170 pounds. Quite unlike all the other large dog breeds that are on this list, the Leonberger wasn’t actually bred for one specific purpose. Think of them as being jack of all trades; they do quite well in everything from water rescue, to tracking, to hunting. If it is an activity that requires both strength and smarts, the Leonberger is probably going to be good at it. This breeds primary purpose in life is to be a companion dog, and despite its massive size, they are quite the teddy bears. To put it simply, they are perfect family dogs, a family dog that can easily occupy an entire living room couch all by itself.
Number 7. The Caucasian Shepherd This big dog is quite the specialist and was bred to do one thing and one thing only, and that is to protect sheep from wolves, and any other predator that dares attack a shepherd’s flock. However, even if these dogs are expert sheep bodyguards, they can and have been used to protect other livestock. The Caucasian Shepherd is extremely popular in Georgia which has always been the place to go if you are looking for the purest of these breeds. Also known as Caucasian Ovcharka, Caucasian Sheepdog, Kawkasky Owtscharka, or Kaukasische Schaferhund, Caucasian Shepherd dogs are strongly boned, extremely muscular and, when well trained, quite even- tempered.Of course, this breed makes it to this list because of its enormous size. They are big enough to intimidate even a pack of wolves. Wolves most of the time will dare not attack the flock they are guarding. On the downside, Caucasian Shepherds are very territorial and have been known to attack other strange dogs or even their same breed. Extreme caution should be exercised if you choose this breed to be your family pet.
Now, at this point in time, we will stop looking at dog breeds in general, but rather look at specific dogs who have become very famous for their size, starting with this very big dog with an even bigger heart.
Number 6. Zeus the Great Dane Great Danes are famously large dogs already. But, like with us humans, there will always be.