Big dogs, though they need a bit more room to move around, are such amazing companions! Looking through these pictures of big dogs can help you decide which one suits you best — or just make your day a little brighter.
And here's a tip: if you're thinking of getting one of these gentle giants, it's super important to start with socializing and some basic training early on. It helps them become the best pals ever!
The Reserved Bullmastiff
Bullmastiffs are the gentle giants of the dog world. Even though they might look super intimidating because of their size and strong build, they're often just big softies at heart. Originally, they were bred to be gamekeepers' assistants, helping to catch poachers, which means they've got a natural protective streak.
But here's the cool part: despite their history, they're super affectionate with their families. They might be a bit reserved with strangers at first, but give them some time, and they usually warm up.
Bullmastiffs are low-energy dogs, and a couple walks each day is sufficient.
The Tall Great Dane
The great dane stands 32 inches tall or higher, and males are typically slightly larger than females. While they can be a bit rambunctious and clumsy as puppies, these dogs mature into gentle giants that make excellent family companions.
Great danes only live to be around 8 years old on average.
The Fluffy Great Pyrenees
Great Pyrenees were watchdogs for sheep, so they've got this amazing mix of strength and gentleness. They're big, fluffy, and look a bit like walking clouds with their thick white fur. But don't let that serene demeanor fool you — they're also excellent protectors when it comes to their families.
Brushing your great Pyrenees daily can help prevent fur from building up in your home.
The Sweet Irish Wolfhound
Hailing from Ireland (no surprise there!), Irish wolfhounds were originally used for hunting wolves, hence the name. But, despite their impressive size — seriously, they're one of the tallest breeds — they're total sweethearts. It's like they don't even realize how big they are! They often think they're lap dogs, which can be both hilarious and a bit overwhelming if one tries to cuddle up on you.
These dogs prefer to sleep with their humans, and they sprawl, so a bigger bed could be in order.
The Protective Neapolitan Mastiff
The Neapolitan mastiffs are the very definition of "don't judge a book by its cover." At first glance, with all those wrinkles and that solid, muscular build, they might seem a bit... well, intimidating. But let me tell you, underneath that imposing exterior, they're just big, droopy lovebugs.
Originating from Italy — the "Neapolitan" part kind of gives it away — they were historically used as guard dogs. That protective nature is still in them, so they're super loyal to their families. But despite their guarding instincts, many are total softies with people they know and trust.
Carry around a washcloth for all that drool falling out of their mouth. And, stand back, they may just sprinkle you with it.
The Gentle Newfoundland Dog
Affectionately known as the "newfie," Newfoundland dogs are big-hearted pups from — you guessed it — Newfoundland. If you're looking for a giant, fluffy lifeguard, this dog is it. Originally bred to help fisherman, these dogs are ridiculously strong swimmers with a natural knack for rescue. Beyond their water abilities, they are loving gentle giants that just adore a good snuggle.
Investing in a good vacuum is necessary with this breed... and a daily brushing doesn't hurt either.
The Strong-Willed Rottweiler
Rottweilers have a bad rap, but let me tell you, they can be huge lovebugs. Originating from Germany, this breed is often associated with guarding and police duties because of their loyalty and protective instincts. And while they are protective and loyal, they're also intelligent, loving, and eager-to-please. Some rotties even have an adorable tendency to lean against the humans they love, just like they're giving you a little doggie hug.
This breed is more strong-willed than most and requires a strong leader.
The Slobbery Saint Bernard
Whenever I think of the Saint Bernard, I get this mental image of a big, drooly dog with a barrel around their neck, rescuing people in the snowy Alps. And there's some truth to that!
These gentle giants hail from Switzerland and were once used for mountain rescues. Imagine getting saved by one of these fluffy heroes! But beyond their historical duties, they're just big bundles of love. They're super patient, especially with kids, and are always eager to be around their families.
These dogs come with short or long coats, and both types only need occasional brushing.
The Muscular Dogue de Bordeaux
Have you ever seen the movie Turner & Hooch? Hooch is a dogue de Bordeaux — also known as a French mastiff. They've got this solid, muscular build and a face that's just begging for snuggles, even with all those delightful wrinkles.
They're fiercely loyal, and while they might look a bit imposing, they're genuinely affectionate, especially with their families.
They have a strong personality, and they're not shy about voicing their opinions, whether it's with a bark or a playful grumble.
Living With Big Dogs
Big dogs obviously aren't the right fit for every home, but when they are, you sure get a lot to love. Just make sure you're prepared to provide the kind of active ownership and firm boundaries they need to become well-behaved companions.
If this sounds like a bit too much to handle, perhaps a small or medium dog might be a better choice for your lifestyle. But if you're all in because the bigger, the better, check out the Big Dog Rescue Project and see if there's a giant snuggle bug perfect for your family.