These gentle giants will astound you with their size! Here are just a few of the largest dog breeds in the world.
1. Great Dane: A strong and friendly breed originally bred to hunt wild boar. The world record holder for tallest dog Zeus, measured in at a 7 feet 4 inches when standing on his hind legs and 44 inches at the shoulder. He was 5 years old when he passed away of old age.
2. Old English Mastiff: Known for courage, mastiff’s were originally bred as guard dogs. 2 world record holders for heaviest dog go to the mastiff’s. In 1989 Zorba weighed in at 343 lbs, while in 2001 Hercules weighed in at 282 lbs.
3. Irish Wolfhound: Originally bred as guard dogs and for hunting wolves and elk. Another tall breed that can measure up to 7 feet tall when standing on hind legs or 30 – 34 inches at the shoulder. Weighing in around 150 lbs.
4. Saint Bernard: Intelligent and strong, they were originally bred to rescue travelers caught in blizzards and avalanches. Weighing on average between 140 – 220 lbs.
5. Newfoundland: Known as the workhorse, they were originally bred for heavy labor and are excellent long distance swimmers. Weighing on average between 100 – 200 lbs.
Remember that the largest dogs also age the quickest and have a much shorter lifespan, on average ranging from 5 – 10 years. If you have a giant breed, consider taking them for a physical exam every 6 months instead of annually after the age of 4 or 5.
Breed information from: The American Kennel Club. AKC Meet the Breeds. http://www.akc.org. Web January 14, 2015.
Photos and information from: Readers Digest. World’s Largest Dog Breeds. http://www.readersdigest.ca/pets/breeds/world-s-largest-dog-breeds/. Web January 14, 2015.