Big Dog Breeds

Big dogs: lots of beauty and dignity on four paws.

Large dogs are the epitome of the dog for many people. Especially the very large breeds such as St. Bernards or Newfoundland dogs are often cosy, good-natured and fluffy.

Do you also love large breeds and consider buying a large dog? Then read this guide, which gives you an overview of the largest dog breeds and everything worth knowing about the subject of large dogs. Here you will find answers to frequently asked questions about buying and keeping a big dog.

Big dog breeds: This is what you should know about the big dogs

The size differences of dogs can be enormous.

Many of the large and very large dog breeds were bred to accompany humans on hunting (hunting dogs), to protect them and their belongings (guard dogs, herding dogs), but unfortunately also to fulfill “bloody” tasks (fighting dogs). Although these functions are fortunately already forbidden for a long time, some of the large dog breeds function in many law books as so-called “dangerous dog breeds”. To wrongly, how many animal protectors and dog owners mean.

In fact, many dogs of the largest breeds are among the most gentle of all. This applies especially to the Great Dane, Mountain and Cattle Dogs as well as almost all representatives of the big greyhounds. Large dogs include many of the popular breeds such as Leonberger, Boxer, Weimaraner and the White Swiss Shepherd.

Dogs can grow to more than one metre in height
big dogs small dogs

Giant dogs have little in common with their tiny fellow dogs.

Theoretically there is no “maximum” for dogs, but like all other living beings they are bound to genetic and anatomical preconditions. The joints and bones, for example, are the most important factors in the growth of a dog. Many of the big dogs have problems with their hip joints. This concerns in particular Great Danes, Shepherds and Retrievers.

The largest dogs that have become known exceed the size of ponies. They are Great Danes and Irish Wolfhounds. They become over one meter tall. As big a dog counts from the withers-height of 61 cm.

In the table above you can see that the average size for particularly large dogs is about 75 to 80 cm.

Info: Characteristic for particularly large dog breeds is that the FCI standards specify a minimum height at the withers and the size is open at the top (e.g. Irish Wolfhound).

Small dogs live longer than large dogs

Word’s gotten around: Big dogs live shorter than their small conspecifics. But the riddle of the big dogs is not solved yet. While a Chihuahua can live to be 16 years old and a medium-sized mixed-breed dog can celebrate his 13th birthday, the biggest dogs hardly live to be more than 8 years old.

Long-term scientific studies (University of Göttingen, headed by Cornelia Kraus) suggest that the rapid growth of the cells leads to a rapid aging process. Rapid cell division also promotes the development of cancer cells.

Info: The weight of a puppy of a large breed increases seventyfold within 15 months.

There are large breeds for beginners

Chart Polski: “Insider tip”

The Polish Chart is a breed from the 13th century. It is not only an aristocratic greyhound, but also an intelligent guard dog. During the German occupation of Poland their keeping was forbidden, the dogs themselves were killed. Only a few have survived. Nowadays they are excellent companion dogs for sporty “beginners”.

Actually there are big dogs, which are also suitable for so-called “dog beginners”. What makes them particularly suitable for beginners is their balanced nature, the relatively simple upbringing and the close connection to their owner or family.

These positive characteristics are perfectly embodied by the Great Dane, a dog breed that produces the biggest dogs in the world besides the Irish Wolfhound and is also not hairy. Also the popular Golden Retriever and some greyhounds with low hunting instinct and less independence are quite suitable as “beginner dogs”.

Attention: If you want to run with your dog, you should refrain from Great Danes and other heavy breeds, because their joints are not made for running.

But keep in mind that even such a gentle, big dog is a powerhouse that you should have under control at all times.

Caution is advised when handling small children.

A fluffy giant is some children’s best friend.

Caution is advised here. If it concerns older children and children, who have gained good experiences with dogs and behave dog-fairly, then nothing stands in the way of the entrance of the large one. With small and inexperienced children, however, large dogs are not advisable. This includes not only pedigree dogs, but also mixed-breed dogs.

Large dogs can knock over a child with ease, whereby a fall can lead to larger injuries. Some of the large dog breeds are particularly affectionate, which can overtax a child physically.

Info: Not to be underestimated is also the shock, which can occur in an unpleasant encounter with a large dog with the child and lead to lifelong dislike of dogs.

You must consider this with the attitude and care

Have you decided or are you planning to buy a big dog? Before buying, there are a few important things to consider so that living together does not quickly become a fiasco.

Whether in a flat or in a car, a large dog needs a lot more space than a medium-sized dog. Especially the huge breeds need a lot of space. Your sleeping and resting places alone do not fit into a small car. In these breeds, a small two- or three-room apartment is not species-appropriate.

Info: What big dogs don’t need is their own garden. Large dogs need extensive gas rounds several times a day. Many of the big dog breeds and all greyhounds need running time and mental work.

Fresh food often makes sense for large dogs

Many big dogs have a very big appetite.

Basically, no special dog food is necessary for large dogs. With large dogs it makes sense – and possibly cheaper – to switch to fresh food, which you can prepare yourself or buy cheaply in special shops and on the Internet.

Young and very large dogs need calcium, vitamins and trace elements for their bones and joints. Old dogs and large dogs suffering from certain typical breed diseases, on the other hand, should be given special food that is tailored to their needs. Retriever breeds and boxers, for example, are prone to obesity and need a special “diet food” or precisely balanced amounts of normal food. The BARF diet also offers possible solutions.

Info: BARF is a nutrition method for the natural nutrition of dogs, in which predominantly raw meat is supplemented by some vegetables. You can find comprehensive information about the BARF concept here and here.