List of Big Dog Breeds

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  • Afghan Hound
  • Akita
  • Alaskan Malamute
  • Bloodhound
  • Bull Mastiff
  • Doberman Pinscher
  • German Shepherd
  • Great Dane
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Newfoundland
  • Rottweiler
  • St. Bernard

Big Dog Breeds: Afghan Hound

Big Dog Breed Afghan Hound pet bandanas comMale:
Average Height: 27″ Weight: 60 lb
Average Height: 25″ Weight: 50 lb
Lifespan is 12-14 years

The Afghan Hound breed originated in the country of Afghanistan during the 1800s.

They are a popular show dog and are also a popular choice for therapy work. They have an aristocratic air and the word that is constantly used to describe this breed is dignified. They require open spaces and are not cut out for apartment life. They need exercise and love to run and leap. Even if you have a large yard for the afghan, be sure your fence is high enough to contain them as they can jump high.


They are a good choice as a family dog and are known for their loyalty and devotion. Although, take into consideration that although gentle with children, it may not be very playful and interactive with them. They have a natural instinct to chase things that move and should not be trusted off a leash in a potentially dangerous setting. If a cat or other creature is in running mode, the afghan may follow suit and not heed any dangers.

Upkeep and Health

It is a tall dignified breed with a long silky hair that requires regular brushing and grooming. They require a daily opportunity to stretch their legs and get exercise. Being able to run full speed in a safe enclosed area is best. It is best suited as a house dog.

No major health concerns. Minor health concern – cataract.

Big Dog Breeds: Akita

Big Dog Breed Akita pet bandanas comMale:
Average Height: 25-28″ Weight: 85-115 lb
Average Height: 23-26″ Weight: 65-90 lb
Lifespan is 10-12 years

The Akita dog originated in Japan and is a great watch dog and is known for it’s hunting skills. It has a powerful build and thick bone structure. The weight of this dog ranges from 80-126 pounds. Moderate exercise is recommended.


The Akita is intelligent but domineering and bold. This breed makes a good family pet – and is very loving and protective of its family. Although he may be good with the children in his own household, this breed may not be completely trustworthy with visitors, especially children and must be monitored or separated when in this situation. This breed does not always mix well with other family pets and requires a stern and strong leadership to counteract its strong countenance.

Upkeep and Health

The Akita requires ample daily exercise consisting of a long job or a good run in a fenced yard. With a proper outlet for its physical requirements, the Akita can make a well-mannered house dog. It is happiest if it is allowed to live with its family indoors but with its thick coat, he is able to tolerate cold climates and live outdoors. They tend to be messy when they drink. Their coat requires weekly brushing but the frequency should be much more during the shedding season.

Major health concerns include CHD and PRA.

Big Dog Breeds: Alaskan Malamute

Big Dog Breed Alaskan Malamute pet bandanas comMale:
Average Height: 25″ Weight: 85 lb
Average Height: 23″ Weight: 75 lb
Lifespan is 10-12 years

The Alaskan Malamute gets its origin in the Arctic regions first described by native Inuit people who lived on Alaska’s northwest coast. They were part of the hunting parties of large prey such as polar bears and were used to haul the heavy carcasses back to the tribe. They are built for strength and not speed. They were not pampered but were treated as one of the family and were essential to their way of life. The Malamute was chosen to help Admiral Byrd in his 1933 trek to the South Pole. During World War II they served as freight haulers, pack animals and in search and rescue expeditions.


The Alaskan Malamute is a loveable Arctic sled dog known for its loyalty and devotion. They love to run and roam and think it’s great fun to pull a cart or sled. With a daily exercise outlet, they make well behaved indoor dogs. They like to howl and dig. They possess a mellow nature and they do not make good watchdogs.

This breed requires a strong leadership and strict upbringing. They have a strong dominant nature which requires a strong nature to lead them and discipline them. They are sometimes aggressive towards other dogs, pets or livestock.

Upkeep and Health

They have a strong, stocky, solid build with a coarse coat that sheds profusely. They love the cold but should not be left outside in the heat as they do not tolerate it well and are not conditioned for the heat. This breed can run for miles and should be given daily exercise in the form of a long walk or run. The coat needs brushing a couple times a week and more often during shedding season.

Major health concerns include CHD and cataract

Big Dog Breeds: Bloodhound

Big Dog Breed Bloodhound pet bandanas comMale:
Average Height: 25-27″ Weight: 90-110 lb
Average Height: 23-25″ Weight: 80-100 lb
Lifespan is 7-10 years

Their fame and their name emphasize their uncanny ability to follow scents including human scents for miles and miles. Once on a trail, it cannot be called off. They have proven to be one of the most useful breeds, being used to trail missing and lost people as well as tracking criminals. Its heritage goes back to ancient times documented in Europe by the eighth century. They’ve been known in the United States since the mid-1800’s. The bloodhound holds many trailing records and at one time was the only breed whose identifications were accepted in a court of law.


The Bloodhound breed is gentle and placid and you will find them extremely trustworthy with children. It also has a playful side and does not always fit the stereotype that is portrayed in movies and television. It is extremely easy to train when it comes to tracking and trailing but may show it’s stubborn and independent side when it comes to obedience training. He is reserved with strangers. Bloodhounds typically get along well with other animals and family pets. They require a small amount of exercise but are not destructive and do alright in an apartment environment.

Upkeep and Health

The Bloodhound is a hunting dog that should be exercised daily. It tends to drool allot and the ears can get dirty from getting dragged in their food. They have deeply wrinkled skin that requires daily cleaning. The ear canals also require regular cleaning for good health. They have a short, smooth coat that requires little maintenance. The Bloodhound can live outside if given shelter and warm bedding. They are not the best choice for family’s obsessed with cleanliness in their home.

Major health concerns include CHD, gastric torsion, elbow dysplasia, skin-fold dermatitis, ectropion, otitis externa, and entropion.

Big Dog Breeds: Bull Mastiff

Big Dog Breed Bull Mastiff pet bandanas comMale:
Average Height: 25-27″ Weight: 110-130 lb
Average Height: 24-26″ Weight: 100-120 lb
Lifespan is 8-10 years

The Bull Mastiff is a fairly recent development – combining the Mastiff with the Bulldog. They were developed when large estates had issues with game poaching that got so out of hand that gamekeeper’s found their lives were threatened. They were referred to as the “Gamekeeper’s Night Dog”. They wanted a dog that could subdue but not maul the poachers. In time, estate owners used this breed for estate sentries.


The Bullmastiff has a mild temperament although still can play the part of a guard dog. Although it will not attack an intruder, it will knock the person down and restrain them for you. It does not do well with other animals especially dogs of the same sex. Although mild in nature their size requires a stern handling. One of the unusual traits of this breed is the noises it produces – flatulence, wheezing, snoring and snorting. Although the Bullmastiff is a large dog, it can tolerate apartment life with a regular exercise routine.

Upkeep and Health

This dog should be exercised to stay in shape but its needs are moderate. It does not like the hot and humid weather and should be kept indoors. It needs roomy living quarters with room to stretch out. The fur is easy to maintain and produces little in the way of shedding.

Major health concerns include elbow dysplasia, CHD, and gastric torsion.

Big Dog Breeds: Doberman Pinscher

Big Dog Breed Doberman Pinscher pet bandanas comMale:
Average Height: 26-28″ Weight: 65-90 lb
Average Height: 24-26″ Weight: 65-90 lb
Lifespan is 10-12 years

The original Doberman has a rounder head and were heavier boned than the breed as we know it today. The Doberman breed originated in Germany fairly recently – 1900 or so. It was bred for the purpose of acting as a guard dog. The Doberman arrived in the US in 1908 and sound became valuable as a police and guard dog. Their popularity grew as family’s learned that they also made good pets at the same time offering protection.


They can make a great family dog if trained correctly. Some lean towards a one-person devotion while some Dobermans bond equally with all members of the family. They are intelligent and play many important roles such as therapy dogs, law enforcement, tracking, watchdog, guard dog, military, and as search and rescue dogs. Unfortunately, these dogs had been given a reputation of being aggressive which is not an accurate description. It is generally reserved towards strangers and can show aggression towards dogs it does not know.

Upkeep and Health

An active breed that requires daily exercise or you may end up with a frustrated and possibly destructive animal. They do better if allowed to share the house with the family and can only live outside in temperate climates. Upkeep of its coat is minimal.

Major health concerns include CVI – also referred to as wobbler’s syndrome.

Big Dog Breeds: German Shepherd

Big Dog Breed German Shepherd pet bandanas comMale:
Average Height: 24-26″ At least Weight: 80-90 lb
Average Height: 22-24″ Weight: 75-85 lb

The German Shepherd is considered a fairly young breed and falls into the category of herding dogs. They are an intelligent breed who is a popular choice for search and rescue, police, and military work. It is known for its fearlessness, intelligence, athleticism, and bravery. During World War I it was used in the role of the sentry. It was the most popular breed of choice for many years.


The German Shepherd is unsurpassed in working versatility and is one of the most intelligent breeds. It is famous for its devotion and faithfulness. It can be aggressive towards other dogs but usually can live with other pets. It’s weary of strangers and protective of his family and the home. Its coat should be brushed a couple times a week.

Upkeep and Health

This breed enjoys a good exercise session and should be stimulated mentally. Although it can live outside in cool climates, it does equally well as a house dog.

Major health concerns include CHD and elbow dysplasia. Lifespan is 10-12 years.

Big Dog Breeds: Great Dane

Big Dog Breed Great Dane pet bandanas comMale:
Average Height: 30-32″ Weight: 130-180 lb
Average Height: 31-33″ Weight: 110-150 lb
Lifespan is 7-10 years

The Great Dane was developed in Germany to be a fearless game hunter. With their speed, stamina, strength and their courage, they were able to bring down a wild boar. They became popular for their hunting ability but also popular for their graceful and imposing appearance. Nobility eventually decided they made gracious additions to their palaces. They came to America in the late 1800’s and have achieved great popularity despite the challenge of owning and caring for such a large dog.


It is known for its gentle temperament and generally good with children although consideration must be given to it’s imposing size. They are usually friendly towards other pets and dogs living in the same household. It prefers to be with the family but requires a large home environment and room to run and burn off energy. Vigorous training is suggested for the early months as the size of the Great Dane makes disciplining difficult when they are full size. With the correct training, it is a well-mannered family pet.

Upkeep and Health

It is not well suited for outdoor living and is best suited for a home where they have access to the outside but live inside. It should be given soft bedding and room to stretch out when sleeping. Coat care requires little maintenance. Some tend to drool.

Major health concerns include osteosarcoma, gastric torsion, and cardiomyopathy.

Big Dog Breeds: Great Pyrenees

Big Dog Breed Great Pyrenees pet bandanas comMale:
Average Height: 27-32″ Weight: 115 lb
Average Height: 25-29″ Weight: 85-90 lb
Lifespan is 10-12 years

The Great Pyrenees is a very old breed and their role was as flock guarding dogs in the Pyrenees Mountains around 3000 B.C. They made excellent livestock guardians for several centuries. They were used as a fortress guard in medieval France and eventually caught the eye of the French nobility. Importation to America occurred around the 1930’s and today the Great Pyrenees enjoys moderate popularity.


Although the Great Pyrenees loves to be a member of the family, they require space and do not do well in apartments. They require daily walks – regular exercise. They will be loyal and devoted to the family and make good watchdogs. Although extra large and big boned this breed is very gentle when around small children and is devoted to its family. They do not good off the leash as they have a habit of wandering away and they have a tendency to bark a lot.

Upkeep and Health

The Great Pyrenees requires daily exercise to keep in shape. This can be met with a moderate walk and it enjoys hiking especially in the cold temperatures. It also enjoys spending time with the family indoors. Its coat should be brushed once or twice a week and increased to a daily brushing during shedding season. It tends to be a messy drinker and sometimes drools.

Major health concerns include patellar luxation and CHD.

Big Dog Breeds: Irish Wolfhound

Average Height: 32″ Weight: 120 lb
Average Height: 30″ Weight: 105 lb

The Irish Wolfhound was believed to have come to Ireland from Greece. It gained fame for it’s fighting ability with wild animals in arena sports. They were traditionally given to foreign nobility as gifts.


This dog of great size is also known as the gentle giant for it’s soft nature and easy going temperament. It is a calm, sensitive, patient dog that is good with children, pets, and other dogs. Normally friendly with strangers and is courageous when the need arises.

Upkeep and Health

The Irish Wolfhound requires an adequate amount of space for it’s living accommodations and daily walks to stretch its long legs. Its coat should be brushed or combed twice weekly. Major health concerns include gastric torsion and elbow dysplasia.

Big Dog Breeds: Newfoundland

Big Dog Breed Newfoundland pet bandanas comMale:
Average Height: 28″ Weight: 130-150 lb
Average Height: 26″ Weight: 100-120 lb

The Newfoundland breed is a massive, heavily boned, powerful breed that loves the water and the cold weather. It can be found in either it’s more popular color – solid black or a black and white coloration. Its history is seeped in the water – hauling heavy fishing nets through frigid water and saving drowning humans. On land, it served a purpose as a pack animal.


Newfoundlands are most known for their sweet temperament. They are a calm, gentle, and patient dog that desires to be friends with everyone they meet. Although, if they feel their family is threatened they can act protectively.

Upkeep and Health

The Newfoundland does not do well in warm weather and should only be kept outside with temperate to cold weather. They tend to be messy drinkers and they drool. They are not a high energy dog and just need a moderate amount of exercise. This breed loves to swim and pull.

Major health concerns with this breed are gastric torsion, SAS (Subvalvular aortic stenosis), canine hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia.

Big Dog Breeds: Rottweiler

Big Dog Breed Rottweiler pet bandanas comMale:
Average Height: 24-27″ Weight: 85-135 lb
Average Height: 22-25″ Weight: 180-100 lb

The Rottweiler is considered a medium-large breed with a powerful build, great strength, endurance, and agility. It combines the ability to serve as a guard dog as well as drive cattle for long distances. Throughout history, the Rottweiler breed played a vital role as cattle drovers and was a center of cattle commerce. The drove and guarded cattle and served as draft animals.


The Rottweiler breed has a self-assured nature and tends to be stubborn and bold. It is often guarded towards new people. They require daily exercise and should be socialized to avoid an overprotectiveness towards its family.

Upkeep and Health

The Rottweiler prefers the cold weather and may become overheated in the hot weather. Coat care and upkeep are minimal requiring only an occasional brushing to remove dead hair. They need daily physical and mental activity, either with romping game playing or long walks or jogs.

Major health concerns with this breed are osteosarcoma, SAS (Subvalvular aortic stenosis), canine hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia.

Big Dog Breeds: St. Bernard

Big Dog Breed St. Bernard pet bandanas comMale:
Average Height: 27.5″ Weight: 120-200 lb
Average Height: 25″ Weight: 120-200 lb

The St. Bernard breed is one of the most popular of the giant breeds with a well-muscled build. Their coat comes in two types – smooth short hair and long where the hair can run from straight to slightly wavy. Saint Bernards originally functioned as watchdogs, pull carts and turn spits. It was soon discovered by monks that they were invaluable pathfinders in the deep snow. They were very adept at finding lost travelers. They served in this role for 3 centuries.


The Saint Bernard breed is known for it’s gentle and sweet nature. This breed is very patient especially around children, although they are not a playful breed. it is devoted to its family but can be stubborn.

Upkeep and Health

The St. Bernard requires daily exercise, moderate walks, to stay in shape. They prefer the cold weather and do not do well in warm climates. They drool although some breeders have attempted to eliminate this trait so you may find strains that drool less than others. Their coat should be brushed weekly, more so during shedding.

Major health concerns with this breed are gastric torsion, ectropion, canine hip dysplasia, osteosarcoma, and elbow dysplasia.



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