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When it comes to dogs, sometimes bigger is better. The bigger the body, the bigger the heart, and the more dog lovin' there is to go around! Big dog breeds can make great guard dogs, watch dogs, working dogs, and exercise buddies, to name a few! When it comes to your big BFF, you can often train it to whatever role you want it to do.
Want to play fetch? Sure! Want to keep strangers away? No problem! Want a dog that can be the little and big spoon? Their pleasure! Big breeds have the versatility others could only wish they had. Small dogs are cute and all, but they aren't going to be motivating you to train for a marathon. Or better yet, be right there running beside you! If you're looking for some extra help on the farm, a hunting partner to retrieve waterfowl, or a dog to dominate fetch at the doggy park, there's a breed for you.
However, big dogs often come with bigger challenges. They tend to have higher vet bills, eat way more food, and their mistakes are much messier. With lengthier limbs, they need more space and extra exercise than a lil' pooch. Travelling, retail stores and summer patio days are also something to consider. If you're planning on adding a furry friend to your family, you should consider the following breeds.
Other dogs wish they had the versatility of a Labrador Retriever. The Lab’s beauty is undeniable with their luscious coat in yellow, black, and chocolate brown and beaming dark eyes. Don't be mistaken though, Labs are not just a pretty face! They are working dogs made for the water with their webbed toes and strong tail. Labs can be everything from prestige show dogs to retriever-gun dogs. Their obedient nature and curiosity for the world makes them quick learners.
One of the most versatile breeds out there, the German Shepherd is a jack of all trades. This big beauty can make for a loving family member as well as a trusted guardian. A kind companion to children when properly trained, the German Shepherd’s loyalty is unmatchable. Keenly intelligent and eager to please, it's no surprise this big dog is active in service roles and working alongside policemen.
Named after their famous luscious locks and golden coat, the Golden Retriever also has a heart of gold! Welcoming strangers and owners alike with a sloppy lick and loving smile, this big dog is nothing but friendly. With a personality as big as their size, Goldens are known for their compatibility with children and being a perfect family pet. Although it’s content lounging indoors, it needs lots of play time to burn off its energy!
People often think this big buddy is mean, but for a properly trained Rottweiler, this couldn't be further from the truth! Extremely intelligent and good-natured, the Rottweiler is devoted and attentive to its family. Its natural obedience and willingness to learn makes it suitable for several roles, from a guard dog to a service dog. One thing is for sure, a loving and loyal Rottie would be the best addition to any family prepared to put in the work!
The Boxer is popular and undeniably good looking. An all-around complete package, these dogs are known for their intelligence, loyalty, affection and work ethic. Boxers have an upbeat and playful demeanour, plus a protective nature that makes them a great family dog. Separation anxiety can occur in Boxers if they are left alone and to their own devices for too long. An active and involved owner is therefore ideal for these pups.
Small horse or large dog? Either way, the Great Dane is sure to stand out in a crowd. Monumental in size and personality, this majestic dog towers over other large breeds. Despite their intimidating size, a Great Dane is a gentle giant that's calm and friendly. They need quite a bit of room for their lengthy limbs, but more importantly, lots of lovin’ and attention!
Doberman Pinschers are the intelligent aristocrats of the dog world. Sleek and noble in build, they make loyal companions and protectors. They are muscular, fast, and powerful with an elegant way of moving that has earned them a top spot in the world of dog royalty. Doberman Pinschers have an alert but easy disposition that make them ideal family companions and guardians.
We can thank Switzerland for many great things: Swiss chocolate, rich cheese, beautiful views…and the Bernese Mountain Dog! With its large frame, tri-coloured coat, and beaming smile this breed is truly a gentle giant. Bernese Mountain Dogs are excellent with children and love participating in family activities. Patient, loyal and affectionate, there isn't much not to love about this bear-like cutie!
If you’ve ever come by a Mastiff, you’ll likely agree there’s one word to describe its appearance: Massive. This breed is thick, powerful and has a heart as big as their body. Fittingly so, Mastiffs can make excellent guard dogs. When they aren't holding down the fort, they'll cuddle up at your feet. This big beauty is gentle, affectionate and extremely loyal. Be aware, their mouth is always drooling—but you’ll likely do the same from cuteness overload!
Weimaraners, sometimes called the “Grey Ghost,” is an obedient, friendly, beautiful, and active dog. Of German origin, this pup is great with kids, easy to train, and have a kind, loving nature. They just want to be included in the family. Initially bred to be big game hunting dogs, they have speed, stamina, and alertness but all balanced with poise and grace
Although there’s no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic dog breed, some dogs tend to evoke less allergic reactions for sensitive people. If you are allergic to dogs, but still want to adopt a pup, look into low-shedding options. Smaller dogs have less opportunity to shed dander, and are easier to brush regularly, so they’re a good place to start. But, that isn’t your only option! Although there’s not as many, some big dog breeds are also classified as hypoallergenic. Other tips for people with allergies include keeping your dog out of your bedroom, bathing your dog regularly, choosing carpet-free flooring and use air purifiers/vent filters to reduce airborne allergens.
Big dog breeds that are “hypoallergenic” include:
When you’re selecting the right breed, it’s important to consider your whole family. Do you need an easy-going dog that can deal with pokes and prods from younger children? Are there lots of people coming and out of your house to keep an energetic dog entertained? Not every breed is good for every situation and you should make sure a breed’s temperament and behavioural qualities align with your lifestyle.
Big dogs, especially if they’re not socialized correctly, can be defensive or territorial with young children or busy atmospheres. That being said, highly affectionate and eager-to-please breeds are a great addition to your family.
All of the medium dog breeds listed in the Top 10 above are kid- and family-friendly, with the exception of Rottweilers.