Best Large Dog Breeds and Why We Love Them

There’s always more to love with a large dog. While they won’t fit in a designer purse or easily tuck in a backpack, many large breeds insist they’d make good lap dogs. 

Big dogs are often considered the hardest-working group of dog breeds and some of the gentlest giants. If you’re looking to welcome a large dog into your family, you probably have questions. Do they bark a lot? How difficult are big dogs to train? Are they hard to groom? Here’s a glimpse at the wonderful world of large dog breeds.

What are Large Dog Breeds?

Determining what breed classifies as large isn’t clear-cut. You might find a breed categorized as both a medium-size and large breed because of the height and weight variances. In general, you can expect a large dog to weigh from 50-70 pounds to over 100 pounds. Bred for a purpose or function, large breeds excel at jobs such as hunting companions and guard dogs. Although their size is enough to intimidate most people, they tend to get along well with humans of all ages. 

Before you decide to adopt a large dog, it’s important you research the breed to ensure he’s the right dog for your lifestyle, home size, and family (with young children). Here are 20 of the most popular large dog breeds starting with the shortest (height, weight range):

  1. Siberian husky – 20-23.5 inches, 35-60 pounds
  2. American bulldog – 20-25 inches, 60-100 pounds
  3. Old English sheepdog – 21-22 inches, 60-100 pounds
  4. Golden retriever – 21.5-24 inches, 55-75 pounds
  5. Labrador retriever – 21.5-24.5 inches, 55-80 pounds
  6. Boxer – 21.5-25 inches, 65-80 pounds
  7. Chinook – 22-26 inches, 50-90 pounds
  8. German shepherd dog – 22-26 inches, 50-90 pounds
  9. Rottweiler – 22-27 inches, 80-135 pounds
  10. Alaskan malamute – 23-25 inches, 75-85 pounds
  11. Weimaraner – 23-27 inches, 55-90 pounds
  12. Curly-coated retriever – 23-27 inches, 60-95 pounds
  13. Bloodhound – 23-27 inches, 80-110 pounds
  14. Pointer – 23-28 inches, 45-75 pounds
  15. Giant Schnauzer – 23.5-27.5 inches, 55-85 pounds
  16. Rhodesian ridgeback – 24-27 inches, 70-85 pounds
  17. Doberman pinscher – 24-28 inches, 60-100 pounds
  18. Afghan hound – 25-27 inches, 50-60 pounds
  19. Irish setter – 25-27 inches, 60-70 pounds
  20. Greyhound – 27-30 inches, 60-70 pounds

Do Large Dogs Bark a Lot?

There’s no getting around it, dogs bark, and you’ll have no problem hearing when a large breed barks. For this reason, you need to consider whether barking is an issue with the breed you’re interested in adopting. The good news is many large dog breeds, such as the Labrador retriever and Alaskan Malamute, aren’t barky breeds. On the other hand, Irish setters can bark incessantly if left alone for too long, and the German shepherd dog, known as a superior guard dog, barks more than most. 

Even if you choose to adopt a highly vocal canine, there are a few tips that can reduce or eliminate nuisance barking. What’s nuisance barking? It’s when your pet barks to merely bark. He’s not hurt, fearful, or warning you of imminent danger. Early socialization and training are essential. If your pet is older or had early training and is still a barker is time to invest in some training. With plenty of treats, praise, and the proper tools like the BarxBuddy ultrasonic training tool, you can help eliminate or reduce your dog’s incessant barking.

Are Large Dog Breeds Difficult to Train?

So, how difficult are large dog breeds to train? It depends. Breeds like the golden retriever and rottweiler are among the easiest to train dog breeds, whereas an Afghan hound and a bloodhound, with their independence and stubbornness, make training a challenge. Here are a some tips for training a large dog:

  • Use a firm tone and never yell at your pet.
  • Be consistent in your commands.
  • Practice patience (dog training will take time).
  • Use positive reinforcement, aka offer treats and praise immediately following your dog’s successful completion of whatever task.
  • Be sure your dog gets plenty of exercise.

Interested in learning more? Check out the BarxBuddy train, treat, and repeat training method

Are Large Dog Breeds Hard to Groom?

A bigger dog means more hair, larger teeth, and nails. Some large breeds like the Weimaraner are generally easy to groom outside of keeping their nails trimmed with the appropriate equipment like the BarxBuddy nail clippers. Others like the Afghan hound and their long, silky coats require hours of grooming per week and require brushing with a brush like the BarxBuddy self-cleaning brush and regular bathing to prevent mats and tangles. While dogs of all sizes require some form of grooming, you might need to make a few adjustments for a larger breed, like bathing outside if possible (avoid picking up your large dog into a bathtub). is your resource center for more grooming tips for large dogs and other dog-related issues.

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