When people compare your dog to a horse, you know you have one of the biggest dogs around.
Big dogs are impressive to look at, and they're just as cute, cuddly, and companionable as their smaller canine cousins. Usually described as being over 100 pounds, giant dog breeds are known to have loving personalities with calm temperaments.
They're strong and powerful, but they're also usually laid-back and affectionate. If you're looking for a large dog to serve as your constant companion, check out these seven breeds that are sure to turn heads.
1. Dogue De Bordeaux
As its name suggests, the Dogue de Bordeaux hails from France and is a part of the mastiff dog family. They're characterized by having massive heads with stocky and powerful builds and fawn-colored coats. Those strong muscles are paired with strong feelings of affection toward their owners and families.
The temperament of the Dogue de Bordeaux is described as being patient and calm, and they're always willing to please. They excel in obedience training and have also been known to succeed on the agility course. Both males and females weigh between 120 and 140 pounds and stand up to 26 inches tall.
2. Neapolitan Mastiff
The next big dog on the list is another mastiff. The Neapolitan Mastiff is one of those dog breeds that instantly earns attention when walking down the street.
Their massive and powerful bodies are hung with loose wrinkles that fold over their heads and sag everywhere else. Their looks are described as being "astounding," and there are few other words to accurately express their awe-inspiring appearance.
The Neapolitan Mastiff isn't all looks, however. They're noble and protective with a history of being effective guard dogs. Weighing up to 150 pounds, this giant dog breed requires an owner experienced with handling large dogs.
As the 38th most popular dog breed, Newfoundlands are known for heroic actions whilst serving as water rescue dogs. They are masters at long-distance swimming, and their heavy double coats allow them to safely enter icy waters. When not working, the Newfoundland is a large dog with an obviously sweet disposition.
Despite their giant size, they behave well around children and make great family pets. A male Newfoundland can grow to be 150 pounds and 29 inches tall. Their female counterparts are slightly smaller and usually don't surpass 120 pounds.
4. Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees is one of the few giant dog breeds that also ranks high on the energy scale. They move gracefully with a speed unexpected for their size. They're best recognized by their flowing all-white coats, but they also come with gray, tan, and reddish markings.
As powerful mountain dogs, a Great Pyrenees is often seen protecting livestock as well as people. They require consistent training to keep them out of trouble, and they love to bark. These fearless canines can weigh up to 120 pounds and stand tall at 32 inches.
5. Irish Wolfhound
These dogs are very tall, considered the tallest breed in the AKC registry. They were originally bred to hunt wolves, as their name suggests, and are very fast sight hounds. They seem very formidable with their large size but are often quite timid, and are considered gentle giants.
These dogs have a long history in Ireland and are considered one of the oldest dog breeds with mentioning in early 5th century literature.
6. English Mastiff
The heavyweight champion of this list is the English Mastiff. With males weighing up to an incredible 250 pounds, the English Mastiff holds the record for the heaviest dog breed. In fact, an English Mastiff named Aicama Zorba holds the world record for heaviest dog with a recorded weight of 343 pounds.
The English Mastiff is the definition of giant, but don't let its size fool you. These dogs are gentle and docile and love nothing more than spending quality time with their owners. Their mellow, even-tempered personalities make them great companions for children--even though they weigh hundreds of pounds more than their youngest family members.
7. Great Dane
While the English Mastiff holds the record for weight, the Great Dane takes home the trophy for height. When a full-grown Great Dane stands on his back legs, he's taller than most full-grown men. These noble dogs are immensely strong but manage to maintain a graceful, well-balanced stride.
They enjoy daily exercise as well as frequent socialization with both dogs and humans. With males weighing anywhere between 120 and 200 pounds and standing as tall as 35 inches at the shoulder, the Great Dane is an impressive example of canine strength. The world record for tallest dog is currently held by a Great Dane.
More large dog breeds include the Saint Bernard, Swiss Mountain and Bernese Mountain dogs, the Anatolian Shepherd, Leonberger, Scottish Deerhound, Bullmastiff, Tibetan Mastiff, French Mastiff, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, and Akita.
These large dog breeds tower over all other dogs, and their size makes lasting impressions on everyone lucky enough to meet them. As with most dogs, however, it's what's on the inside that really matters. The bigger the dog, the bigger the heart, and with the right training and socialization, these large breeds can make for great family dogs.
Do you have one of these breeds? Tell us or show us in the comments below!
WATCH NOW: Great Danes Are Big Dogs