The 5 biggest dog breeds in the world

The 5 biggest dog breeds in the world
The 5 biggest dog breeds in the world

Few species range quite so much in size as dogs. From the tiniest Pomeranian to the giants included in this list, dogs truly come from all walks of life. But what makes big dogs so popular and how do you gauge a dog's size, anyway? After all, broad-shouldered Bulldogs carry quite a bit of weight, but they don't have the height of a spindly limbed Great Dane! According to Dogster, dogs need to weigh at least 100 pounds to be among the biggest breeds, and if you're measuring a dog's height, you go by the level of his or her shoulders – called the withers. As for why big dogs have such sustained popularity? It's all about personal preference, but who doesn't love a gentle giant? Check out these five prime examples.

1. The Irish Wolfhound
With its luxuriously wild coat and wise eyes, the Irish Wolfhound looks centuries old and both elegant and untamed at the same time. Dogster reports that they often weigh in at around 180 pounds and – on average – are taller than most Great Danes.

2. The Mastiff
Vet Street reports that the Mastiff's breed name potentially came from the Latin for "massive." If so, it's a name that works. Though the Mastiff breed contains a multitude of offshoots, from the Neapolitan to the Tibetan varieties, they're all uniformly huge, sometimes weighing as much as 200 pounds.

3. The Great Dane
One of the most famous and beloved of big breeds, the Great Dane is popular as a family dog for its gentle demeanor, which stands in stark contrast to its enormous size. A goofy, lovable dog makes an ideal companion at any height.

4. The Saint Bernard
Another popular big breed, Saint Bernards tend to stand between 25 and 27 inches tall, according to Vet Street, and weigh in between 130 and 180 pounds. However, these dogs can appear much bigger, largely due to their famously thick coats.

5. The Black Russian Terrier
Think all terriers are about the size of a handbag? While the Airedale stands tall enough, the Black Russian Terrier takes the cake, often standing as tall as 30 inches and weighing up to 132 pounds, according to the source. They were initially raised in the Soviet Union as guard dogs during the Cold War.

This content post is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.

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