Large Dog Breeds
The Gentle Giants

How large is a large dog breed? Well seeing as this my own group formation I decided that anything above knee height is capable of knocking you down therefore they must be big dogs (mind you I am only 5ft tall so maybe some of the big ones aren’t so big).

If you want to jump right in we have

The other criteria I used was, if you arrive at a gate and a dog comes out that makes your heart skip a beat or two, then that also belongs here.

At this time I would like to point out, this is a basic listing and in no way does it complete your research on a particular large dog breed. You will need to do your homework because those cuddly puppies could grow into an 80lb dog that will require many hours of exercise.

The Not So Big Big Dogs

  • Bull Terrier
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier
  • American Pit Bull Terrier

The mere power of these dogs is why they are in this group, even though they are below the knee. That and the fact that they are terriers and all terriers have delusions of grandeur. These dogs are incredible with children, they however are not such good multi-pet family dogs.

This is my son, he decided he was more dog than boy so for a long time he would eat with the Staffies and sleep with them in their kennels. They tolerated all his attention with indifference, but if I tried to discipline him, they would let me know that he was their child and not mine.

The Big Skinny Dogs

These are those big scrawny looking dogs, with back bones sticking out and long legs. They always look as though they are in need of a good meal. But this slim, sleek build has a purpose, all these large dog breeds are extremely fast.

Fencing and gates need to be well maintained, they are ‘catch me if you can ‘dogs.
And obviously lots of energy = lots of exercise.


  • Afghan- Elegant, aloof, strong and agile.
  • Borzoi- Also known as Russian Hounds. These gentle natured dogs are extremely fast.
  • Greyhound- Well known as a racing dog. They love to run and have a great deal of stamina.

  • Saluki- Intense hunting instincts. They have been used by desert tribesmen for centuries.
  • Whippet- Slightly smaller than the others but this is a cousin of the greyhound so stamina abounds.

The Big Hairy Dogs

I have separated these large dog breeds from the others purely because they almost all have irresistible, fluffy cuddly puppies. BUT, and it is a big but, remember they will be big dogs, who need not only a great deal of exercise but also a great deal of grooming.

A lot of these dogs have a double coat which needs special attention otherwise they start to look a bit rastafarrish. So big hairy dog = lots of time.

Chow Chow

These are all members of the Spitz Breed. The Malamute and the Husky are very similar in appearance but they are different dog breeds. The Malamute is much larger and stronger and was bred to pull heavy weights whereas the Husky has more stamina over long distances.

It is said that these dogs are not dogs that can be owned rather you will always belong to your dog (they must be in communication with the cats.)

Old English Sheepdog

All of these dogs are super cute but that comes with some major hazards. When they drink water they absorb half of it onto their beards and then they will leave behind a dripping trail through the house.

They have lots of hair especially around their rear which means cleaning you know what off every now and then. My suggestion is invest in a box of rubber gloves it makes the job less disgusting.

They all need to be inside dogs otherwise they don’t do well. You know the saying people person well these are people dogs.

Mountain Dog
St Bernard
Bearded Collie
Clumber Spaniel

  • Mountain Dogs- Very well mannered dog that kind of embodies everything a dog should be.
  • St Bernard- Huge and uncoordinated with a charm that will win your heart.
  • Bearded Collie- Charmingly manipulative in a loving and friendly way.
  • Clumber Spaniel- Big heavy boned dog with the biggest head I have ever seen on a dog.

These giant size mops are really big dogs and they will need huge amounts of food which will lead to huge piles of you know what.

Border Collie
German Shepherd

Both the Border Collie and the German Shepherd are highly active very clever dogs. Although their coats are not as high maintenance as some of the other dogs in this group they do still require grooming as well as lots of exercise.

Kerry Blue
Airedale Terrier

  • Schnauzer- comes in three sizes S M and L (miniature, standard and giant). It has a wirehaired top coat and a denser undercoat, which requires brushing to avoid tangles. They do not make good multipet family dogs as they are highly protective of their owners.
  • Kerry Blue- needs to be well groomed to look good. They are Terriers and remember what I said about Terriers, delusions of grandeur.
  • Airedale Terrier- another TERRIER whose coat requires careful attention.

  • Poodle- Lady Gadiva. I had on a fur coat and underneath I was butt naked.
  • Puli- Bob Marley reincarnated. They originally worked as herding dogs and I decided that this is their disguise so that they fit in with the flock.

The Other Big Ones

They may not be as hairy but they are still large dog breeds with all the needs of big dogs.

Bull Mastiff

  • Bull Mastiff- incredibly strong dog that is very territorial.
  • Rottweiler- these dogs need careful handling from an early age otherwise they have a tendency to become unstable.
  • Boxer- biddable and quirky. Its name comes from the way it punches the air in play.

  • Doberman- although very loyal the Doberman needs a firm controlling hand.
  • Dalmatian- a hardy easy to care for breed although, they sometimes have a tendency towards shyness.
  • Pointers- the ones with those shy soulful eyes.
Rhodesian Ridgeback

  • Retrievers- happy smiling and very talkative.
  • Newfoundland- looks a bit like a Labrador on steroids and has the same eager to please temperament as the retrievers.
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback- easy to maintain, energetic and all round good dog breed.
Great Dane
Irish Wolfhound

  • Great Dane- huge and clumsy, not a great combo but still you have to love them.
  • Weimararer- the grey ghost. Fearless and friendly.
  • Irish Wolfhound- the gentleman of the giant dogs.

More Dog Breeds that you can explore...

Choosing a Dog Breed|Small Dog Breeds|Working Dog Breeds

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