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17 Large Dog Breeds That Make Great Family Companions

Large dog breeds - great family petsMany large dog breeds are quite lovable and gentle, despite their imposing size. Some of the big dog breeds you are probably familiar with, like the Great Dane and the Irish Wolfhound. But there are quite a few dogs that weigh as much as 120 pounds or more that do not get the attention they deserve.

Here at the Large Dog Boutique we love all large dog breeds. Listed below you will find 17 varieties of big dogs, statistics regarding their size, and a few of their characteristics.

In most cases, females are generally a couple of inches shorter and a few pounds lighter than males. Height is measured at the shoulder.

Greater Swiss – This Mountain dog is gentle and easy-going, with short hair and a very thick coat. A perfect gentle-minded protector and companion if you have small children.

Irish Wolfhound – This lovable family companion was originally bred in Ireland to protect against wolves. A full grown male Irish Wolfhound stands at least 32 to 34 inches tall and can weigh more than 120 pounds.

Scottish Deerhound – This member of the large dog breeds took the top title at the 2011 Westminster Kennel Club Show. As its name would indicate, this animal was bred to take down deer. He can be very gentle and loving, measuring at least 28 inches tall and weighing between 70 and 115 pounds as an adult.

Newfoundland – Newfoundlands love the water. They are incredibly strong and have webbed feet and 2 water resistant coats, making them excellent swimmers. Adults can reach 28 inches in height and 150 pounds.

Great Dane – This regal looking animal can appear rather daunting physically. But Great Danes are generally gentle and friendly, and make great family dogs. They reach more than 30 inches tall at the shoulder and 125 pounds fully grown.

Mastiff – Some believe that this animal’s name comes from the Latin word “massivus”, which means massive. Adult males measure at least 30 inches at the shoulder and can reach 200 pounds or more.

Tibetan Mastiff – This beautiful dog owns a very thick coat and makes an excellent family companion and protector. They grow slowly, not reaching maturity usually until they are 4 or 5 years old. A shoulder height of 29 inches and a weight of 140 pounds is not uncommon.

Neapolitan Mastiff – At least 25 inches tall and weighing more than 150 pounds in some cases, this wrinkle-faced big dog breed is massive and powerful.

Bullmastiff – This is one of those large dog breeds that looks more imposing and terrifying than he actually is. This gentle, quiet animal is also good with kids, but can be stubborn.

Saint Bernard – Easily one of the most popular large dog breeds, the Saint Bernard can reach more than 2 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh close to 200 pounds.

Black Russian Terrier – This is a relatively recent breed. It was developed in the Soviet Union as a guard dog during the Cold War era. An excellent guardian and companion, Black Russian Terriers grow to more than 27 inches tall and 130 pounds.

Great Pyrenees – This beautiful dog of French origin is characterized by a brilliant white coat. Very territorial and defensive, he is loyal to his family and makes a great guard dog. Males can grow to 27 inches tall and 150 pounds.

Leonberger – This dog can reach 28 inches and 175 pounds. Genetics from the St. Bernard, the Newfoundland and the Great Pyrenees big dog breeds were all used to create this gorgeous canine.

Bernese Mountain Dog – This large dog breed can reach 28 inches and 120 pounds. A gentle and social breed, he is very protective of children and prefers to be interacting with his family as opposed to being left alone.

Anatolian Shepherd – This Turkish animal was bred to keep wolves away from the sheep they guarded. Another great family protector, growing to 29 inches and 160 pounds.

Kuvasz – The blazing white coat of this loyal protector has to be seen to be appreciated. He can grow up to 30 inches at the shoulder, and weigh more than 100 pounds.

Old English Sheep Dog – Bred originally in the 19th century, this adorable and sometimes comical looking animal loves to join in your family activities. It can reach 24 inches at the shoulder and more than 100 pounds.

You can expect a Great Dane, Mastiff or Irish Wolfhound to live just 7 years on average. The Newfoundland and Great Pyrenees usually live for about 9 years, with the Old English Sheep Dog at the far end of the spectrum with an average 11 year lifespan.

Remember that the cost of owning one of the large dog breeds can be as enormous as the animal itself. Larger dogs generally have a shorter lifespan than smaller canines, and you should expect to spend time and money at your local vet several times during a big dog’s life.