Authored by Vonda J. Sines in Dogs
Published on 12-07-2009
Ask a dozen experts which is the biggest dog breed in the world. Most of them will probably offer an answer something like, “It depends.”
The list of the largest dogs varies according to how the compiler is measuring size. For some, it’s height. Others go by the dog’s weight. And some use a combination.
According to Buzzle.com, the largest dog breed in the world is the English Mastiff. While a female normally weighs between 120 to 200 pounds, males tip the scales at between 150 to 250. The female is around 27.5 inches tall. Males average 30 inches.
It’s impossible to miss this breed due to its heavy, square-shaped head. Most Mastiffs have short hair, although a few are long-haired and are called “Fluffies.” While these dogs are huge, their temperament is typically very calm and affectionate. They’re not problem barkers, and they get along well with children.
To stay healthy, an English Mastiff needs lots of exercise and a nutritious diet fed three times a day instead of once or twice. They do tend to be prone to illnesses like obesity, retinal atrophy, arthritis, hip dysplasia, cardiomyopathy, and vaginal hyperplasia. The average life expectancy is between 10 and 12 years.
Another five breeds usually appear on every list of the largest dog breeds in the world. They include:
Irish Wolfhound. This breed typically weights between 105 and 125 pounds. The average height is 35 inches. The American Kennel Club (AKC) reports that they’re high-endurance dogs. Roman historical records list them in 391 AD and indicate they frequently served as royal gifts.
Great Dane. These giants stand between 28 and 32 inches. They often reach 100 to 120 pounds. According to the AKC, pictures resembling this breed appeared in Egyptian monuments dating to around 3000 B.C. While they should be supervised around young children, they have gentle dispositions and make excellent family companions.
Neapolitan Mastiff. Most of them hit the scales at 150 to 180 pounds. They stand between 26 and 31 inches tall. Their coat can be bluish gray, tawny, black, or mahogany. During wartime, they were used by the Roman Army. Eventually, they appeared on farms in Northern Italy to defend the properties and the owners. Today, they’re protective around strangers and not recommended for families with young children or those who are getting a dog for the first time.
Newfoundland. This gentle giant grows to between 28 and 30 inches high and weighs between 130 and 150 pounds. He’s an excellent swimmer, the AKC reports, and has a long, thick coat to protect him from icy waters. He’ll fit well into many families due to a sweet disposition.
Saint Bernard. This breed is the heaviest, with an average weight between 150 and 200 pounds. The dog usually reaches a height of 27 to 30 inches. Some Saint Bernards have long coats, while others are short-haired. Both types need regular grooming and shed significantly. Famous as rescue dogs, they currently excel at competitions such as weight pulling.
The world record holder for tallest dog was a Great Dane. Named “Gibson,” when he stood on his hind legs, he reached 7 feet tall. In a normal stance, he measured 42.2 inches.
“Zorba,” an English Mastiff, set a world record in 1989 for heaviest dog. He tipped the scales at more than 343 pounds, Buzzle.com reports.