The world’s biggest dog weighs more than 100 kilos: these 10 breeds outweigh them all

Csupor Erik

2023. August 18 - Photos: Getty Images Hungary; YouTube

Like wild animals, our pets, the dogs include dwarfs and giants. Why should they be the exception?


The bad news for lovers of really big dogs is that unlike other members of the animal kingdom, where a large body is usually associated with a longer lifespan, the opposite is true for dogs. Most small dogs live longer than their larger counterparts. But what are the Goliaths of the dog world? Let’s look at them by breed, in ascending order.

10. Neapolitan Mastiff

This ancient breed of Italian Mastiff is undoubtedly one of the 10 heaviest, with adult males often weighing up to 70 kilos. In many cases, they even exceed this. Until the late 1950s, this lead-grey coloured, robust guard dog was an agile dog, much like the cane corso of today. Its huge stature, as we know it today, was shaped by the breeders’ approach to the fashion wave of the 1960s. Unfortunately, the large, slouchy body of some Neapolitan Mastiffs means that they are no longer necessarily suitable for serious work, although there are still exceptions.

9. Leonberger

This huge, long-haired dog, whose colours are reminiscent of lions from a distance, was created in the German town of Leonberg. In the 1830s, several large-breed ancestors were crossed, such as the Newfoundland, the Bernese Mountain Dog and the Great Pyrenees. The larger males can weigh up to, and sometimes even more than, 75 kg, and their fur makes them look even larger than they actually are. Today, the Leonberger has found its place as an excellent family dog with a gentle temperament.

8. Central Asian Sheperd Dog

The CAC (Central Asian Shepherd Dog) is a very ancient breed of shepherd dog from the eastern wastelands, whose modern standard was born in Russia. Although adult males can weigh up to 80 kg, the CAC is an agile, non-sickly, highly capable territorial guard dog breed. He is independent and in many respects hard-headed, which is why he is not at all recommended for novice dog owners. For centuries it has protected flocks from wild animals, and today it is used to guard large areas, buildings and factories.

7. Newfoundland

The calm, peaceful and extremely friendly breed of dog has evolved in the Newfoundland area of Canada, where they have helped local fishermen with their daily work for centuries. This giant, sometimes weighing over 80 kg, was introduced to Europe in the mid-1800s, where it soon became fashionable and its popularity grew considerably. Nowadays, it is mainly kept as a family pet, and because of its history, it is extremely fond of water, with owners claiming that it will even try to rescue its owners and family members from a pool.

6. Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound is considered to be the largest dog in the world in terms of height, with larger dogs weighing up to 85 kg. Anyone who has met him face to face knows that descriptions of his size are not exaggerated. From a distance it can indeed be mistaken for a smaller breed of donkey. Its agar-like ancestors were used primarily for hunting in Ireland, and they (and their owners) are partly to blame for the disappearance of wolves from Ireland.

5. Tosa

A mastiff-like fighting dog of the Japanese, developed by the deliberate crossbreeding of ancient Japanese fighting dogs with European mastiffs introduced to Japan by Europeans. The current population is split into two, the smaller Japanese type weighing around 60 kg and the larger variety common in Europe and America, where larger individuals can weigh up to 90 kg. In Japan they are still used primarily for dog fighting, with a ritual similar to sumo, and in the western world they have found their place as family and guard dogs.

4. Great Dane

Many people consider the Great Dane to be the largest dog breed in the world. This is partly true, as the Irish Wolfhound is in close competition with the Irish Wolfhound in terms of size. In weight, Great Dane males typically weigh up to 90 kg. These dogs were used in past centuries for hunting big game and became a favourite of the German aristocracy, and no carriage or castle was complete without a Great Dane. Nowadays they are mainly kept as family dogs, but in the 20th century their character has been much tamed and consolidated.

3. Saint Bernard

This well-intentioned, slightly sluggish but terribly strong breed can reach up to 90-100 kilograms in larger individuals. They are a colossus in the dog world. The ancestors of the Saint Bernard evolved in the snowy landscapes near the St. Bernad Pass. They are described as having been bred by monks in the area from the 12th century onwards, mainly for mountain and avalanche rescue and guarding purposes. Their most famous specimen is Barry, who is said to have rescued 40 people from the snow and made the breed famous. Today, they are primarily kept as family dogs.

2. Caucasian Sheperd

Despite its name, the present form of this rather rough and tough dog was developed after the Second World War in the Soviet Union, mainly for military and guard duties (e.g. in the Gulags), in the Red Star state breeding. The Caucasian Sheperd is a huge breed, larger dogs can weigh up to 100 kg and its standard does not have an upper weight limit. To this day, it is primarily a guard dog, and is not recommended for novice dog owners.

1. English Mastiff

The English Mastiff is undoubtedly the world’s largest, heaviest and most powerful dog. The larger males weigh up to, and often more than, 110 kg. An English Mastiff named Zorba, for example, weighed over 150, making him the heaviest dog ever measured and recorded in the world.

Zorba and his owner.

English Mastiffs are almost certainly descendants of the ancient large-bodied British fighting dogs. In England, there are specific descriptions of them from the Middle Ages, including one by King Henry VIII. Henry also kept a large number of them. Today, this huge dog has become a friendly, well-balanced, not too agile family dog.

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