What is the best large dog breed? – 25 Best Large Dog Breeds With Pictures

What is the best large dog breed?

Large dog breeds may not be on your radar, but if you ever dare choose a dog, going for a medium to large dog breed is the only way to go. And if you have finally narrowed down your pet selection pool, there can only be a few key traits to consider as you pick your fancy.

So, getting your ideal family dog breed selection off to a good start is a crucial step, especially if you are a complete newbie to picking the best large dog breed. 

With that said, what do people who get to choose their ideal large dog breed look for in the best large dog breed?

here’s what to look for in your dog breed type:

  1. Dog breed size, 
  2. Dog breed weight and height, 
  3. Dog friendliness, 
  4. Dog breed talents, 
  5. Dog breed intelligence ranking index, 
  6. Dog breed trainability 

And if you care even more about dog life expectancy and health issues, you can throw those in there as a part of your dog breed fact-finding research.

Large Or Medium Dog Breed Size?

Like everything else in life, size does matter. And choosing a large or medium dog is no different. But if you are going to choose a large dog breed when adding a new member to your family, you are going to have to consider your living and accommodation as large dog breeds are not the best dogs to have for apartment living.

Dog Friendliness

Large dog breeds have a favorable record for being well-mannered and the calmest as they tend to earn respect from when they are puppies compared to some of the best small dog breeds

What I like the most about large dogs is the fact that they are the calmest dog breeds to have when you put in the work to begin training them from when they are puppies. 

Unlike the large dog breed, the small dog breed tends to be underrated, picked, and dropped all the time. 

Especially in homes with young children, enthusiastic kids assume when a small dog is playful, it needs to be picked up, and that affects the development and mannerisms which tend to turn small dog breeds into little nippers. 

When you bring home a large dog breed, over time, that puppy will outgrow the kids and become more cumbersome for the kids to toss it around like they would with a Chihuahua or Bicho Frise. 

Due to the way humans treat small dogs, they tend to develop a defensive mechanism, and that includes being passive-aggressive even when they do not have to be.

Dog Breed Trainability

Large dogs rank well above many of the small dog breeds in intelligence index. Therefore, training the giant dog breeds is by far a lot easier than most small dogs liked by many families in America.

Dog Breed Lifespan

Most large dog breeds life expectancy is between 15 to 20 years, so if you are worried that your dog may outlive you or become a burden to others when you are gone, then consider looking for other dog breeds that may fit in well within your life expectancy.

Dog Breed’s Activity And Energy Levels

Large dogs with high energy and activity demands may not be fit for you if you are on the low side of active life. Thankfully, not all big dogs are burdensome when it comes to activity needs, grooming demands, or feeding as well.

When you have finally decided that you want a new canine member into your family, it is important to pick the specific breed that matches the family dynamics as well as your lifestyle. 

For instance, when you are a person who likes to go for walks and you get a breed that does not like to leave the house, this can leave you frustrated.

Dog breeds come in small, medium and large sizes. People who go for big dog sizes often say “The bigger, the better”. 

Big dogs were bred in the past for various reasons. Some were bred to survive in extreme conditions and others were bred to hunt since big dogs make excellent hunters than smaller ones. 

Despite their many reasons for being bred, big breeds can be the kindest and most loyal dogs and with a properly formed training, they can learn to get along with everyone in the family.

However, big dogs that are protective may need someone who is experienced in dogs in order to control them. Their size usually means that controlling these dogs may come difficult to an inexperienced person. In this case, a trainer can help to keep your dog under full control. 

If you are ready to welcome a big canine as a new family member, let’s look at the top breeds and see which one is perfect for you. 

Tosa Inu 

Weighing about 120 to 200 pounds, the Tosa Inu is a big Japanese dog that originated after cross-breeding European dogs and those of Japan.

They grow to 32 inches and are very masculine dogs that are bred for fighting. This led to them being called “Canine Sumo Wrestlers”

These dogs are, however, very affectionate and protective of their family. They also have cute unique faces with sad brown eyes. They are also very easy to train as long as they do not receive a harsh training as this usually has an adverse effect on them. 

If you want a dog that is very energetic and play with you all day then this is the dog for you

Bernese Mountain Dog

These dogs are very large and males can reach the height of 28 inches and weigh about 125 pounds while females are smaller than the males. 

This breed originated from the Bern region in Switzerland where they were raised in mountain farms and have beautiful tri-colored marks on their neck and face which makes them look very unique and cute. 

The Bernese mountain dog is very outgoing and very adventurous. It is also very loyal, affectionate to the whole family but also very protective but not very threatening to strangers because of their friendly character.

Anatolian Shepherd

These dogs have a big coat and can grow up to 31 inches and weigh over 150 pounds. Males are slightly heavier and tend to grow taller than females. They date back to over 6000 years ago in the Anatolia region which is located in turkey. 

In turkey, the Anatolian’s ears are cropped unlike in other countries where it is not allowed by law or custom to crop the years.

Naturally, they have a curled tail regardless of the mood that they are in and they can come in all sorts of colors and markings which can be different from one dog to another. It is also possible for a female Anatolian to give birth to puppies that have different colors. 

Other than that, these shepherds are very loyal and affectionate and often need training to be able to associate with other dogs or strangers.

Belgian Sheepdogs

These dogs were mostly used in the first world war as ambulance dogs because they are very easily trained and also very intelligent. 

They weigh about 45 to 75 pounds and mostly used as herders. They have tall legs and a light weight which enables them to be fast. 

On top of that, these dogs are very loyal and good with the whole family.


These are incredibly loyal dogs that weigh between 50 to 80 pounds and are very common around the world. Their suspicions of strangers makes them excellent watchdogs and are naturally tough dogs.

If you want a dog that will be affectionate and protective of your family them get yourself a boxer. They are also known to be very intelligent.

Chow Chow

These breeds weigh from 45 to 70 pounds and have a very strong, tough appearance which tends to intimidate a lot of people. 

Chows adapt very easily to every environment around them which makes them perfect for both city and rural life

They are very loyal dogs and are good listeners. These breed is most loved in the U.S and it is most times seen with celebrities like Martha Stewart.

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

These dogs are well known for their ability to tolerate its owners as well as children’s behavior around them. They weigh around 55 to 80 pounds and are naturally tall dogs that are very easily trained to suit every household. 

The Chesapeake likes to beg to attention, is very playful and loyal so it will be your companion for a very long time.

 It tends to get jealous if you seem to show other dogs more attention so if you plan on having this breed, make sure it is the only breed you will have because the bond you create with this dog depends on whether or not you have other dogs around.

Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiff dog

This breed can grow to a height of not more than 33 inches and their weight ranges from 100 to 160 pounds which is a lot heavier than most big dogs. It originated from cross breeds of China, Tibet and Central side of Asia and were called “Defenders” because they would fight off predators like wolves.

They should be kept under supervision if they are with kids because they might confuse kid’s playful character as fighting. They are very protective of their owners and disgusted by strangers.

Overall, they are cute dogs, very loyal and affectionate in the family. It is a good idea to welcome the Mastiff in your house when it is at a very young age for it to properly adapt to your home as it grows.


Kangal dog

Originating in Turkey, this breed can reach a height of 30 to 33 inches and 145 pounds in weight for males. Female appear shorter and lighter than the males. 

It has a large coat hence requires grooming to keep the dog looking its best especially in shedding seasons which may be different days in various countries. 

The kangal thrives best in a large fenced yard than living indoors so it is best not to have this dog if you are living in an apartment.

Other than that, the Kangal is very affectionate to its owners but may need little supervision around very small kids. They are loyal and protective of their families. 

Cane Corno

This highly muscled dog weighs atleast 110 pounds and most of them can reach an average height of 28 inches which is shorter than most big dogs. They mostly look like the Mastiff breeds but are a little smaller. 

These breeds are very protective of their owners and often not friendly to strangers which means they are best suited for people who don’t usually receive visitors at their home. 

Other than that, they are very affectionate dogs around the people they are used to and their attentive behavior allows them to be very easy to train. 

The Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog

This dog dates back to the Bronze Age where is was used as a shepherd dog because of its defensive and fighting character and used to protect sheep from predators. Their existence was proven through fossils that were discovered in Siberia which is where these canines are believed to have originated. 

They average height of 32 inches and mostly weigh over 100 pounds and are very fast and have a sharp mind of their own which makes them challenging to train. 

Overall, these dogs are very loving and loyal. Plus their protective character will make them defend the whole family. This makes them excellent watchdogs. 

Doberman Pinscher

This breed is very active in a fenced area and tends to react fast to things around them. Most of them weigh from 60 to 100 pounds and have an average height of 29 inches

The Pinscher is very affectionate to its owners but takes a while for it to get used to a new person. If you want a dog that will protect your premises no matter the weather, then I recommend this breed. 

English FoxHound

These dogs are incredibly light with a weight of 60 to 75 pounds. Their weight and tall legs makes them excellent runners and they can run for miles

If you are a runner and want a dog that will keep up with you, this is the dog you should get. Plus it is very loving, playful and loyal to its owners.

Irish Setter

Mostly known for its red coat, these dogs are one of the cutest dogs in the big dog family and they are very well recognized. They have a weight of about 60 to 70 pounds which is surprisingly light. 

On top of that, these dogs are excellent for hunting because they are long runners and do not tire easily. They are also very playful and tend to be all over the place.

Alaskan Malamute

As the name suggests, these breeds originated in regions around Alaska some years ago which makes this dog excellent in adapting to extreme cold weather since Alaska is mostly known for being very cold. They weigh 75 to 80 pounds and most of these dogs are tall.

Other than that, if you want a dog that will actively listen to you and also be friendly to other people around you then this is the dog for you.

Belgian Malinois

These breeds are mostly used as military dogs and also in the secret service because they are very loyal, very good protectors and very easy to train. 

However, these dogs need constant exercises to keep their bodies fit and they need to be kept active as they tend to get bored when they feel like they have nothing to do. 

Despite these facts, the Mals are great dogs that are very loving to their owners and may need to be kept under minimal supervision around small children.

Belgian Tervuren

These athletic dogs weigh about 45 to 75 pounds and are very energetic in everything that they do. They are good dogs to take out on runs with you.

They are also very easy to train and can adapt to any kind of environment. The Tervuren are also for being hardworking and do what they can complete the challenge given to them by their owners. 

Dogue de Bordeaux

This particular breed is very strong and highly muscular and are sometimes called French Mastiffs since they are originally a French breed.  It could be the dog with the biggest head size among the rest of the big dog breed. It has a weight of 150 pounds and grows to a height of up to 27 inches.

They only live for about 5 to 6 years making it the dog with the shortest life span. Despite this, they are very loving dogs, like to play games and like going out for walks. 

Bully Kutta 

Its name is in a language called Urdu and it means “Heavily Wrinkled Dog”. They originated in Pakistan from a breed known as Alaunt which is now extinct. 

These are very strong dogs and are mostly meant for activities like hunting and fighting. They also have a weight of about 210 pounds and a height of 35 inches, making one of the tallest and heaviest dogs

The Bully Kutta are very decent breeds but they are not suitable around small children. Other than that, this dog will keep up to your activities and will protect your premises. 

 Dogo Argentino

Originally from Argentina, these dogs are excellent for activities like hunting boars. Their big and strong bodies allow them to chase prey and their big jaw allows them to get a tight grip of their hunt.  They weight about 120 pounds and a lot of them can reach an average height of 30 inches. 

The Dogo Argentino is very loyal and protective of its owners which makes them excellent service and watchdogs. 

This dog is for people that are very active and outgoing because it needs a lot of exercise and tends to get bored when it has nothing to do. 


The name “Boerboel” is Dutch which means “Farm dog” and they originated in South Africa many years back.  This dog weighs up to 220 pounds and can grow to an average height of about 27 Inches. 

They are very territorial which can make them really good watchdogs. However, I do not recommend this breed to those who do not have experience in owning a dog because these dogs need a lot of training and socializing, which may be difficult for first-timers.

Despite that, they are very loyal dogs and are good with kids as well. This is the dog that will be a family companion and will keep up to your activities.


These dogs are sometimes called “Russian wolfhounds”. They weigh between 60 to 105 pounds and are very intelligent and great companions to those people that love running as these breeds can reach a speed of 40 mph. This speed also makes them excellent for hunting. 

On top of that they love to be around their owners and are very affectionate.

Bull Terrier

These dogs have a big coat and their weight is around 50 to 70 pounds and they grow to an average height of  29 inches. They shed very little which makes them ideal for allergic people. However, their coat requires little grooming.

Despite having an intimidating look, they are very loving, playful and loyal to their owners. 

German Wirehaired Pointer

Known for its enthusiasm in hunting, the wirehaired pointer weighs about 50 to 70 points which, along with its long legs, allows it to achieve very high speed.

Other than that, they are loving dogs that adapt to all sorts of environments and will make a suitable dog for you if you and an active person.

Afghan Hound.

This breed originated in Afghanistan and it has a big and smooth coat. This coat protects it from the sun’s heat as well as keeping it warm in the cold seasons. The Afghan hound sheds quite a lot compared to other dogs especially in shed seasons.

Despite the need for frequent grooming, this dog likes to play games like fetch and is loyal as well as protective of its owner. 

In conclusion, before adding a dog to your family it is crucial to check its characteristics to see what you are in for and decide if they are the right breed for you. 

Large dogs are very loyal and kind. They also tend to be calmer than small dogs. They however need training so that they act in their best behavior.  

Eddie Mcfarren

Eddie Mc Farren has been proudly advocating for pets and animal welfare for countless years and he's been doing so with passion and commitment to excellence. Because of that commitment, he helps Pet Referred.com maintain a completely friendly support team who help you navigate the complex choices you have to make for your pet food, best dog travel beds, skincare products for your pet and many more. Being on the constant hunt for 100% best pet supplies and service satisfaction for your pet is a task we approach with unprecedented intensity. Eddie also helps with the selection of our partners of choice and are carefully vetted to make sure that you get the best results possible for your pet.

Recent Posts