Welcome to All Big Dog Breeds!
Discover over 75 big dog breeds! Read the breed profiles, view pictures/videos and learn about the personalities and traits of each breed. There are over 75 different types of big dogs. Find out which one is right for you!
Choosing a Big Dog
When trying to decide what type of big dog breed would work best for you, there are many different factors to consider. The difference in temperaments, energy levels, and grooming requirements mean that you shouldn’t base your decision on looks alone. Choosing a dog breed merely based on appearances is a recipe for disaster, so check out this quick list of considerations to help make sure you choose one that best works with your lifestyle.
Think Before You Go Big
You don’t necessarily need a sprawling ranch and massive square footage to own a big dog; as long as they get ample amounts of exercise, most dogs will be content with an apartment life. Giant dog breeds such as the Irish Wolfhound or Saint Bernard, however, are massive creatures that need plenty of space to stretch out and run around. A tiny apartment simply will not provide enough room for them to exercise and they may resort to destructive problem behaviors due to boredom. Take a good look around your home and decide whether you can support a supersized pup.
Balance Your Energy Levels
Before you take home a new furry friend, make sure you can keep up with their amount of energy. Some breeds will thrive on a walk a day while others require several hours daily of exercise and attention. This means walks or jogs, trips to the park, fun romp in the backyard, etc. Neglecting their needs will result in them finding their own means to work off their bouts of energy and boredom. They will dig holes, destroy furniture, or even self-harming behavior such as excessive licking or biting, to the point of needing veterinarian attention. Only take home a high energy pooch if you have the stamina and time to thoroughly exercise them otherwise, pick a lower maintenance dog if you want to stick to just a daily walk.
A Match Made in Heaven
Different dog breeds will often have different temperaments so deciding what kind of companion you’re looking for is key. Some dogs enjoy constant attention, following you from room to room while others are content with a little alone time. People who have demanding jobs or spend time away from home should pick a pet that isn’t quite as social as others. Some dog breeds rely more on social attention from their owners than others and will become depressed when not given enough attention. Extremely sensitive breeds will even be negatively affected by excessive shouting, fighting, and other aggressive behavior in the home. It’s important to do your research about the typical dispositions of different breeds in order avoid taking home an aloof pooch when you wanted a cuddle-bug.
Ready, Set, Train!
All dogs have the capacity to be well trained; the dedication, behavior, and training techniques of the owner usually have the biggest impact on how well a dog behaves. With that being said, some breeds are notoriously harder to train than others. Dog breeds with very dominant and independent traits will be more difficult to train, especially if you haven’t developed a strong bond with them. Even high intelligence breeds won’t always cooperate simply because they don’t feel they have too. A sturdy and affectionate bond will convince your dog of your authority and will yield better training results. Other dogs will be more simple to train because they love to perform and aim to please their owners. These types of dog breeds are perfect for those who don’t have the time or energy to put into training a stubborn student. Consistent techniques are key for your dog’s training and will be dictated by what type of learner you have. Shorter lessons are great for intelligent dogs who get bored easily while others will benefit from longer, repetitive sessions.
Primping Your Pooch
Different kinds of dog breeds have distinct coats that come in a wide variety of lengths, colors, and textures. Some dog breeds even have double layer coats, which require additional special care. Dogs of all breeds will go through at least semi-annual bouts of shedding in order to be prepared for the next season. Dogs with double coats will have even more noticeable amounts of shedding during these bouts and can be a hassle to clean up. Some dog breeds will shed a great deal on a daily basis while others will barely leave a trail. There are dog breeds that have absolutely gorgeous coats, but are very high maintenance and will need regular brushing, bathing, and clipping. Even with proper care, these types of dogs will leave fur everywhere inside the home as well as outside. For people who don’t enjoy frequent trips to the groomers, pick a breed that is known for having minimal shedding and a shorter coat. While breeds with short coats do still shed, the fur buildup will seem smaller and less frequent due to the length.
Littlest Members of the Pack
Most dogs, of all breeds, will get along with children and other pets if they are raised together from puppyhood. It’s a little trickier, although not impossible, for your dog to acclimate to a home where their spot in the pack isn’t yet established. Some gentle giants will tolerate the avid attention of little ones and won’t fuss at being prodded, poked, and having their tail or fur ruffled. Others simply will not, and those with children and small pets should steer clear of dominating breeds. Dog breeds with extremely dominant characteristics will consider eye contact from someone on their level a threat as well as a challenge of their authority which could spell disaster for a small child. It is ultimately the responsibility of the owner to ensure that they educate their children and keep an eye on initial encounters. Teaching your child to respect others and not be excessively rough with creatures is your best insurance against an attack or bite.
Watchdog vs. Guard dog
Most dog breeds are territorial about their property and will alert you when that property is being threatened, even if that threat is just delivering the mail. Breeds with varying temperaments have different tolerance levels for strangers and can either bring you peace of mind or drive you crazy. Dominant and possessive breeds will not allow strangers or even people they know onto the property if their owners are not present. Dogs with these characteristics should be kept inside a gated yard to help prevent unnecessary provocations. More laid-back breeds will initially bark at strangers but, will later come over for a belly rub once their guard is down. These dogs also make good watchdogs because of their tendency to sound the alarm by barking when strangers approach your home. Giant dogs are also excellent guard dogs; their massive size and sheer ferocity when they bark will usually deter potential intruders. Some breeds pull double-duty and are great at both jobs, but either way large dogs always convey a powerful presence in the home.
Each individual dog breed comes with their own set of potential health hazards; big dog breeds are more prone to developing hip dysplasia, arthritis, and hypothyroidism, just to name a few. Another unfortunate fact is that bigger dogs typically have slightly shorter lifespans than their mini pooch pals. On average, a healthy Great Dane will live between 7-10 years long and a Rottweiler can live between 9-12 years. An important thing to remember when viewing the average life expectancy of a breed is that it is an average; so some within that breed will live shorter lives while some will live even longer than that. However long your furry friend is by your side, their unwavering love and companionship will always make the journey worth it.