Meet The Gentle Giants Of The Canine World

10 large and in charge giant dog breeds

We’re celebrating these colossal canines with a round-up of some of the world’s most giant breeds of dogs. Some of the gentle giants in our article reach over 2 feet in height - and tip the scales at well over 100 pounds! Now, that’s a whole lot of cute doggy goodness.

So, big dog fans: rejoice! And join us as we explore the below 10 dog breeds - and be sure to scroll down further for more facts and fun about these mighty giants!

Have you had the pleasure of sitting one of these gentle giant breeds or have one in your family and what was the one thing that surprised you the most about your gentle giant connection?
:dog: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :dog:


The giants are my favorites!
I had a tan brindle Irish Wolfhound rescue (although I don’t think people were using that word back then) for 8 years in the 1980s-90s, about 175 pounds of tall, skinny dog. Sam was a delight - I had recently lost a Weimaraner to old age and was visiting the humane societies in the Twin Cities and this big guy happened to have just come in. I fell in love, made sure he fit into my Toyota Tercel wagon (he did across the back seat - head on the right side, tail on the left) and took him home. That was before the time of extensive screenings to adopt.
He loved going XC skiing with me (and didn’t want to wear a sweater no matter how cold), the cat, people, was very aware of his size and when around small or old/frail people would stand stock-still next to them. From the days before digital photos so no pics to post. He traveled cross-country with me to Calif when I went back to grad school. At about age 9 he developed bone cancer that had spread before being discovered.
Sat my brother’s Bernese many times.
My first TH sit was with Odin, senior Bull Mastiff who liked short walks but was happy to be indoors in AC during the summer sit.

Currently sitting Murphy, a 9 year old Pyrenees who is so relaxed and calm.

Other big, but not giant dogs I’ve sat include two flat coat retrievers (Chester, a redhead in Edinburgh and one who shared the house with a pair of Bernedoodles in Ft Worth - about 200 lbs of dog all in).

take care


What a great topic! I’ve had the pleasure of caring for many of these large breeds, and they truly are special.

One large breed not mentioned is the Leonberger. According to the American Kennel Association, Leonbergers have a gentle nature and serene patience, and they relish human companionship. Leonbergers are also known for their aristocratic grace and elegance. That certainly describes the two Leonbergers we spent a month with on one of our earliest pet sits.

And yes, they love cuddling with people on couches, even if they can weight as much as adult humans!


Heres our beautiful gentle giant. x

We have 2 of these beauties, they are an amazing breed.


What a happy photo thank you so much for sharing @india123

We would love to put a name to that very handsome/lovely face and a picture of your other GG … question how old and how “small” when they first joined your family and is “couch potato” a true reference …

This was our “gentle giant” on a sit in the UK a few years ago. That was one big dog bed!!


Couch potato describes them perfectly .
This is Scooby who we rescued 4 years ago, he is now 6.
We also have Jett who is just 1, so still a baby.


We have had the amazing pleasure of knowing, loving & caring for many giant pups!! They are always the BIGGEST teddy bears :paw_prints: :black_heart:

Our favorite mountain dog & mastiff who LOVE cuddles! They both were obsessed with kids and enjoyed playing dress up because it meant they got even more attention :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

A pet sit in North Carolina for two Great Danes + one Saint Bernard. Again, always loving on the kids and following them around to protect them :two_hearts:


We (@theglobalpetsitters) love the giant breeds and we were super lucky recently to get a Housesit with our very own ‘Hooch’. Adorable Lucy, a 3 year old and 45 kg Dogue de Bordeaux. This was a new breed for us to care for and we loved finding out about this breed. Oh my was she a big softie. She loved her cuddle times. She made us laugh so much with her hilarious facial expressions and sitting positions. She loved everyone, hoomans and other dogs, nothing bothered her. She had to be on a lead when on the beach that she lived directly next to as when she does bound towards you she can look a little terrifying. She is one very muscular powerful doggie, having a huge head and neck, prominent jaw, alert eyes and an endearingly wrinkled brown. But as big as she is, she is an utter softie. She has a huge heart and as good as gold. She loved to play in the garden, didnt like walking too far and loved sleeping, a lot! haha!

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What wonderful memories to share … Pictures really does say a thousand words and we are not sure who looks the happiest … :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


We are in love with Lucy @Julie as I’m sure you were in a few seconds of meeting her … that face but tell me … did she need to wear a bib or did you need water proofs? :sweat_smile:

A question, being a new breed to you and Jonathan, and you have looked after many, you tell us the things you learned about Lucy and her breed but what was the one thing that surprised you the most about her?

Thank you so much for sharing these adorable pics … what was the next biggest breed you have cared for … apart from a horse of course … breed of dog?


Hi @Angela-HeadOfCommunity - We were surprised at how stubborn Lucy could be at times :joy: if she did not want to walk any further she would sit down and how ever much you pulled her lead (gently) she would roll over, and we had to play a game to get her to walk on, and sometimes she didnt want to go home and again we had to encourage her with a playful game.
Another large breed we enjoyed learning about was a Saint Bernard we cared for, adorable Tinkerbell. Oh my! was she a total sweetheart. This is a slobbering doggie breed :smiley:. A towel in every room, as soon as she has a drink she needs a good wipe with the towel and bless her she would move her head to you every time, she knew she needed a wipe. We learned about her daily grooming needs, a lot of moulting! Her exercise regime - she went at a slow pace. She LOVED her tummy rubbed.

Another beautiful dog that we will never forget.:dog::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:
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She is adorable @Julie thank you for sharing … but if I had to guess her name I would never have considered “Tinkerbell” do we know how she got that fairy like name, she didn’t have a Peter Pan in her life somewhere and Nana was a Newfoundland … so where did Tinkerbell come from, do you know?


I like big dogs too … except for a young Great Dane that hurled his 170 lbs onto me and almost knocked me onto porcelain tile and a concrete patio on multiple occasions. If this had happened, I might not be here today.

Her Owner has a room full of Peter Pan memorabilia. :grinning:
Tinkerbell (Tinks) mother was called Nana. We were meant to Housesit caring for both Nana (who we were told was also a super loving adorable St Bernard) and Tinks in April just gone but sadly Nana passed In January, it was such a sad message to read from the lovely owners that of course were devastated :smiling_face_with_tear:

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Oh my goodness! How scary for you. Was it an anxious pup or very boisterous?

An unneutered boy who very enthusiastic and probably playful but was not trained not to jump – granted this is not easy, to train a dog not to jump, but it is especially important when the dog is gigantic. I tried the technique they advise, to turn around and not give the dog the attention he’s trying to get, but it was still too dangerous. He still jumped and would have knocked me down face first.

Btw, Tinkerbell is an awesome name for a St. Bernard! :smile:

oh my! you did so well, excellent strategy of turning your back and no eye contact, but scary still. We had a very similar scary experience with a very anxious German shepherd/pit bull cross rescue dog. so not huge in size but showed his anxiety with aggressive barking to us (not biting but we thought he was going to go for us), he just ran around us on the small sofa of the one bedroom flat when his owner left. We gave him no attention or eye contact and gradually he calmed down and collected his comfy blanket (I know isn’t that so sweet) and believe it or not although he was our most challenging pet he turned out to be our most rewarding, we won him round when he began to trust us and love us, we loved him back. He slept under the duvet with us, Bless!! But yes, very scary initially and he wasn’t even the size of your giant.
Take care and happy Housesitting x