Some breeds of dogs have been around since ancient times. Most dogs are bred for a lot of different things, from protecting livestock, and protecting their owners, to being faithful and loyal companions.
But in order for a dog to be protective, it’s should be bred with the size it needs to be effective. Join us as we take a look at 10 of the largest dogs ever.
1. Hulk, the Pit Bull – The name ‘Hulk’ fits this pit bull dog perfectly because he is a giant 175lbs, and stands on his hind legs almost 5 feet tall. And while he might seem big and scary, his owners say that he is very gentle and is even trusted around their young son.
2. Freddy, the Great Dane - It's probably no surprise to many that the Great Dane is one of the largest breeds of dog in the world, but Freddy takes the breed to a whole new level of big. He stands 7ft 6 inches on his hind legs, 2 feet taller than his owner, and weighs 200lbs!
3. Zorba, the English Mastiff – This English Mastiff was a legend when it comes to some of the world’s biggest dogs. You may know that when it comes to the combination of weight and height, nothing can beat this breed of canine. Many Mastiffs average up to 190 pounds, but it's not unusual for these giants to weigh around 225 pounds at full maturity.
4. CH Samson, the Neapolitan Mastiff – This breed of Mastiff, called ‘Mastino Napolitano’ is actually an ancient dog breed, and that might explain the size of this rare dog. CH Samson was one of the largest and heaviest Mastiffs and weighed a whopping 225 pounds at just two and a half years old.
5. Zeus the Great Dane - Zeus, who lived in Otsego, Michigan, was named the world's tallest dog by the Guinness World Records in 2012. He measured an incredible 44 inches from his feet to the middle of his shoulder blades.
6. Newfoundland - Unlike many larger breeds, the Newfoundland wasn't bred to be a guard dog. Instead, it was bred to help fishermen. These big, muscular dogs are able to haul nets and lines from boats, pull carts and, most importantly, fetch anything that falls overboard into the water, including people.
7. The Irish Wolfhound - Like the Scottish deerhound, the Irish wolfhound, as its name implies, was bred to chase down wolves. Developed from war hounds into a dog that was used for hunting and guarding, the Irish wolfhound is ancient breed of canine, and may have been brought to Ireland as far back as 7000 B.C.
8. Leonberger – This large breed of dog began as a mix between a Newfoundland and a Saint Bernard. In the mid-1840s, Heinrich Essig of Leonberg, Germany, crossed a Newfoundland with a Saint Bernard for four generations, then added in a Pyrenean Mountain Dog to the mix.
9. Caucasian Shepherd – This big dog was bred to do one thing only, and that is to protect sheep from wolves, and any other predator that dares attack a shepherd’s flock. However, these dogs can and have been used to protect other livestock.
10. The Anatolian Shepherd – This canine was bred to be a shepherd’s companion and livestock guardian. The interesting thing about them is that they were bred for their size and color so that they matched the livestock that they were protecting.
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