Dogs are man’s best friend since time immemorial. The man has used them to hunt for food as well as to provide security for his properties. During lonely times, dogs are a useful companion and having them around provides a psychological boost that helps in preventing depression. Dogs come in different breeds that also determines their size. The following breeds of dogs are among the world's largest.
10. Bernese Mountain Dog
One of the four breeds from the Swiss Alps, the Bernese Mountain Dog is a large sized breed who was used as a farm dog but is currently used as a working dog. Bernese Mountain Dogs have a weight of 35-55 kilograms and 30-50 kilograms for male and female respectively. The height is 61-71 centimeters for male Bernese Mountain dogs and 56-66 centimeters for female. The lifespan of the Bernese Mountain Dog is 7-8 years and it has a double coat with a tricolor of rust, black and white. Cancer is the biggest killer of the Bernese Mountain Dog such as mast cell tumors.
Originally bred in Japan, the Akita is a large breed of dog that has thick double coats which allow it to survive the cold weather. There are two kinds of Akitas, the American Akita and the Japanese Akita. American males weigh between 45–59 kilograms and stand at 66–71 cm, while females weigh 32–45 kilograms and stand at 61–66 cm. The Japanese Akita is a little lighter. The Akita is often intolerant towards dogs of the same sex and it needs a well-trained owner to handle the independent nature of this dog. The Akita is susceptible to autoimmune sensitivity to drugs, insecticides, and tranquilizers. The Akita is a good protection dog and it can participate in dog competitions.
8. Black Russian Terrier
Developed in Russia for use as a military dog, the Black Russian Terrier weighs about 50-60 kilograms if it's male and 45-50 kilograms if it's female. The height for males is 72-76 centimeters and 68-72 centimeters for females. Black Russian Terriers have a rough, thick, and slightly waved black coat that enables it to survive the cold conditions in Russia. Health concerns include hip and elbow dyslapsia, Hyperucosuria, and juvenile laryngeal paralysis. The Black Russian Terrier has a lifespan of 9-12 years.
The Boerboel, also known as the South African mastiff, originates from South Africa where it was bred for guard purposes but was used for farm work as well. Boerboel dogs are known for their intelligence and energy as well as loyalty. The downside is that the Boerboel is quite aggressive and it has been banned or restricted in several countries due to the illegal dog fighting syndicate. The Boerboels have a weight of 60-80 kilograms and 50-65 kilograms for males and females respectively, and stand 60–70 cm tall. The coat of the Boerboel is soft, dense, short, smooth, and shiny. Colors range from faws, red, browns, brindle, piebald, and Irish markings, and the Boerboel can have a black mask. Health risks include dyslapsia and most recently juvenile epilepsy. The lifespan of Boerboel is ten years.
6. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a large heavy boned dog which has incredible physical strength. Many Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are used for purposes such as farm work. Loved for its calmness and enthusiasm, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a good watch dog as it can notice unusual surrounding and give a quick alarm. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has a weight of 60-70 kilograms for the male and 50-60 kilograms for females. The height for males averages 65-72 centimeters and 60-69 centimeters for the females. A tricolor is present in the head of the dog of black, rust, and white and it has a double coat. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog has fewer medical problems but it is vulnerable to the Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus which if untreated can kill the dog. The GBV has killed many dogs and it is prone to deep-chested dogs. The lifespan of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog varies from country to country but it is usually between 10-11 years.
5. Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Known as the Caucasian Ovcharka, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog has its origin in the Caucasus region. Heights for the Caucasian Mountain Dog is 72-75 centimeters for males and 65-70 centimeters for females. Weight is also different for male and female Caucasian Shepherd Dogs, 50-100 kilograms for males and 45-80 kilograms for females. The Caucasian Shepherd Dog's lifespan is 10-12 years. Health issues range from hip dyslapsia, obesity, and heart problems. The aggressive nature of the Caucasian Shepherd Dog causes it to sometimes snap at strangers without any warning.
4. Irish Wolfhound
Gentle when stroked but fierce when provoked is the mantra used to describe the Irish Wolfhound. Irish Wolfhounds are loved for of their loyalty, patience, affection, and devotion. However, the Irish Wolfhounds would not be relied upon to protect your property but can be useful bodyguards as they can attack anyone attacking their master ferociously. Minimum weight and height for the male Irish Wolfhounds are 54 kilograms and 81 centimeters. For the female Irish Wolfhounds, the minimum weight is 48 kilograms and the minimum height is 78 centimeters. The lifespan of the Irish Wolfhound is between 6 to 10 years. Bone cancer and cardiomyopathy have been found to be the leading cause of death for the Irish Wolfhound breed. Hereditary intrahepatic portosystemic shunt also affects this breed.
3. English Mastiff
The mastiff is a breed of a large dog which is believed to have descended from the ancient Alaunt and Pugnaces Britanniae in the 19th century. England is the origin of these large dogs. Mastiff dogs have a black mask on their faces, and their bodies are huge especially between the forelegs. Male mastiffs weigh between 68-113 kilograms and stand at 76cm, while the female mastiffs weigh between 54-82 kilograms and stand at 70cm. Mastiff dogs have a lifespan of 12 years. Mastiffs also suffer from hip dyslapsia and gastric torsion. Before purchasing a purely bred mastiff, tests must be done to check for dyslapsia among other flaws. Experts advise that the mastiff should be fed 2-3 times a day and be exercised more often to help avoid the risk of contracting gastric torsion.
The Kangal originated from Sivas, Turkey where it was used to protect the sheep from predators such as wolves, jackals, and bears. Today the Kangal is used in Namibia and Kenya by herders to ward off predators. Children love the Kangal due to its gentleness and loyalty as well as its devotion. Internationally there are different standards used to gauge the actual size of the Kangal. The measurements are the same in both sexes of the Kangal dog as well as their height, which ranges between 50-80 kilograms and between 77-86 centimeters. All Kangal dogs have a dark mask on their faces and black ears. Kangal dogs are not heavy which gives them agility in its guarding duties.
1. Great Dane
The Great Dane is the tallest breed of dog from Germany and it is popularly known for its gentleness as well as its giant like size. The Great Dane can weigh between 50-80 kilograms. The height of the Great Dane is 76-77 centimeters for the male and 71-76 centimeters for the female. The Great Dane has a lifespan of 8 years but some can live up to 11 years. Naturally, the Great Danes have flappy ears and have up to six acceptable coat colors of fawn and brindle, black and harlequin, mantle and blue. The Great Dane needs to be exercised daily to maintain its health. Dilated cardiomyopathy, as well as other congenital heart diseases, are found in the Great Dane.