Extra Large Dog Breeds Biggest Dogs! Biggest Hugs! Biggest Shovel!
Extra large dog breeds usually belie their enormous size by being mellow, relaxed and very gentle giants who will repay the care you give them with over 100 Lbs of unconditional slobbery love.
I dont know about you, but I think there is always something really impressive about meeting a really big dog and if you are the sort of person who likes a bit of attention, then walking down the street in the company of a magnificent Irish Wolfhound is bound to garner stares, admiring comments and plenty of head turning.
Of course, choosing any dog just because you want to get noticed is never going to be a good idea, so it makes sense to think carefully about the pros and cons of owning an extra large breed dog; before you rush out to buy the first Great Dane puppy you can find.
Don’t be put off by their extra large size
What size dog to choose is usually one of the main considerations prospective new dog owners think about. More often than not they are put off by large breeds because of a misguided perception that large dogs are more problematic or harder to look after than smaller breeds.
If truth be told, all dogs have the same care requirements, so it makes sense to keep your options open and check out what these big beasties have to offer. You may be surprised at how compatible a large dog may actually be for your own lifestyle.
Big dogs often get a bad rap, their huge size creates images of difficult to control, powerful wrecking balls that are only suited to alpha owners. But this idea is rarely correct, the true reality is that the larger breeds are often the mellowest. While they can be a handful during puppydom (show me a puppy that isn’t) extra large breeds such as Newfoundlands or St Bernards especially, tend to chill right out as they get to adulthood.
Top Ten Extra Large Breed Dogs
For such a huge dog, Great Danes are gentle, easygoing and loving. Being sensitive, they respond well to training, which is just as well for a dog that can look you in the eye.
Size: 150-175lbs / 32 inches
This gentle loving giant doesn’t start trouble, but he will finish it. By nature a very peaceful breed but will protect family and home with maximum prejudice.
Size: 175-190 lbs/ 31 inches
Loyal and devoted to their family, watchful and suspicious of strangers. This drooling monolith weighs in at 200lbs of doggy goodness.
Size: 150 to 200 pounds/ 31 Inches
One of the tallest breeds, they are far too friendly and gentle to be guardian dogs. A sweet natured personality makes them great with kids.
Size 140-180lbs/35 inches
Sweet natured and sometimes shy, the mighty Saint Bernard makes a great family companion and protector, they are also fairly easy to train.
Size: 140-18lbs/30 inches
The ultimate Nanny Dog-
Size: 130-150lbs / 30inches
A natural guardian dog, from its time spent watching flocks on lonely hillsides, they are devoted to family and wary of strange people and dogs. Quite a vocal breed.
Size: 100+ lbs /32inches
This huge dog is a natural guardian of home and family, requiring a solid training program to ensure their protectiveness doesn’t become unwanted aggression.
Size: 100-150lbs / 29 inches
Very smart and independent minded, This Big fella is family focused and extremely protective. Don’t tell him that he looks like a carpet with legs
Size 100-160lbs / 30inches
While these powerful, muscular dogs are natural guardians, they also have a calm, patient and affectionate disposition. Easy to look after and only requiring moderate exercise. Be prepared for lots of drool!
Size: 110+lbs /29 Inches
Big IS sometimes better
Some major advantages of having a very large dog breed is that they don’t demand the physical attention of their smaller cousins and, somewhat counterintuitively you don’t usually need very much, (if any) ouside space to keep them.
As far as energy levels go, bigger dogs often require much less exercise and are more apartment friendly than smaller more lively breeds.
Most large dogs are generally happy with a moderate daily walk with limited demand for strenuous or extended activity. Many are happy to stretch out by your feet while you watch TV and are always quick to accept a cuddle.
In fact, despite their size, the largest breeds often just want to be like lap dogs – massive teddy bears that are content to while away their days with a head on your lap, snoring contentedly.
Large breed dogs might take up more floor space in themselves but they generally don’t dominate the home space.
Before you rush out then and order two Irish Wolfhounds for your one room apartment, there is still plenty to think about.
Extra Large Dog Breeds Cost More!
By definition. We are talking about the strongest, most powerful and physically imposing dog breeds. Breeds that were bred to be guardians and for doing for heavy work. Not everyone’s lifestyle is suited to one and they often come with their own particular issues which prospective owners need to be mindful of.
For starters, extra large dogs have BIG needs and tend to slobber. Food must be plentiful and the costs add up quickly.
- Dog toys, baskets, blankets, crates are all more expensive for the extra large dog and costs for owning a large dog can be as much as 50% more overall.
- Extra large dogs will probably eat at least twice as much as a smaller dog and might need a specialised diet to tackle size related health problems.
- Grooming and kennelling fees usually cost more for extra large breed dogs.
- Vet fees will cost more. Pharmaceuticals or anaesthetics that your dog is prescribed are charged by volume and therefore more expensive the bigger the dog, proper dog medical insurance therefore is a must.
What goes in must come out! Giant dogs eating giant amounts of food, produce giant amounts of poop which needs to be scooped up.
Extra Large Dog Breeds Can Be Surprisingly Sensitive
Just because the dog is enormous, it would be wrong to assume they require more physical handling or sterner correction to make up for it.
- Giant breed dogs are often quite sensitive and rough handling or bullish training methods can frighten them. Some guardian breeds can resent this sort of discipline and become obstinate or develop behavioral problems. A bad tempered and resentful ‘Goliath’ is not a good proposition.
- Extra large dogs will need to be trained properly, they are usually quite intelligent and adapt well, but train them early while they are young and before their size becomes overwhelming.
Health Considerations For Extra Large Dog Breeds
The bigger a dog is, the more likely they are to suffer from health problems related to the joints and skeleton. Hip dysplasia, and arthritic disorders are common.
- The accelerated bone growth that large breed puppies go through, combined with their adult size can mean aggravated bone and joint problems in adulthood. Very large breeds are also prone to thyroid problems, heart problems, bloat (Torsion) and Hormone imbalances.
- Big dog breeds also have the shortest lifespan and many enter old age at seven years. Veterinary science is improving on this and life spans are increasing, many fanciers and breeders say that a good diet, regular exercise and veterinary care will improve longevity, but even so 10 years would be the maximum you could realistically expect from one of these extra large dogs with 7 –
9 being the norm.
Extra Large Dogs and Children
Temperamentally speaking, many of the largest dog breeds were bred as guardians or protectors and are naturally inclined to look after the children of their human family. They are also usually very tolerant of rough play and physical handling that living with children entails.
On the flipside is the fact that these dogs are very big indeed and at over 120-150lbs their sheer size makes them inherently clumsy. They are quite capable of knocking over small children or unintentionally hurting them and so are perhaps not the best dog breeds to consider if you have small children or toddlers.
Maintaining Control Over An Extra Large Dog
If you have any concerns about your own physical ability then you might want to think carefully about choosing to own a very large dog breed- especially one which may actually be stronger than you are. Very large breeds, although biddable, are usually quite intelligent and some of the guardian breeds have a tendency towards dominance.
Make sure you are confident that you have the strength of personality to exert your control. There is nothing more humiliating than being taken for a walk by your dog
Owning an extra large dog can be an absolute joy. There is something very comforting about being in the reassuring presence that their furry bulk provides. Just be mindful that extra large dog breeds do have some very specific needs. If youcan do that and dont mind the slobber you won’t go too far wrong.
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