BREEDS: A     B    C    D    E    F    G     H   I     J    K    L     M     NO    P    QR     S    TU     VW    XYZ

› Big Dog Breeds

Big Dog Breeds

Big Dog Breeds are the most numerous group of animals in the world.  They were first developed for only two purposes:  Hunting and Farming and many can trace their roots to ancient times.

Quick History of Big Dog Breeds

Hunters needed them to help find and retrieve game.  Farmers needed their help to protect, guard, and herd the livestock.  Today, big dog breeds are some of the most popular dogs on earth. 


This is one group of canines that have helped people since antiquity. 


While developing these breeds, our forefathers taught them to be reliable, obedient, and easy to train.  It is no wonder that dogs such as the Labrador Retrieve, Golden Retriever, and German Shepherd are some of the most loved dogs, even if they are no longer hunting or herding.  Gun dogs love working with people.  Think:  Spaniels, Setters, Pointers and Retrievers. 


The German Shepherd has gone from helping farmers to helping police and serving in the military.  From search and rescue to guide dog to therapy dog, most people will agree that this is an all-round great breed able to follow directions, yet work on their own at the same time. A lowly farm hand, the German Shepherd has gone onto achieve world wide recognition as a "must-have" breed.


All the farm hands listed below were great at protecting livestock from wolves and other predators.  If they didn't work on a farm, they made a great hunter in one aspect or another.

All the big dog breeds on this and the next few pages are between

45 and 88 pounds (20-40 kg)

Big Dog Breeds A-Z

Afghan Hound

Read about the Afghan Hound

Size:
50-61 lbs ( 22.5-27.kg)

Height:
25-29 in (64-74 cm)

Colors:
All Solid or Shaded Colors

While somewhat aloof, they are affectionate and loyal and extremely exuberant with energy to spare.


Aidi

AidiAidi

Size: 
51-55 lb.  (23-35 kg)

Height: 
21-24 in ( 53-60 cm)

Colors:  White, tawny, red, black, black and white

They make great guard dogs, but do not do well as companions.  They have protected herds of sheep and goats for Moroccan nomads since the Middle Ages and have even been used for hunting.


Airedale Terrier

Read about the Airedale Terrier

Size: 
44-50 lb.  (20-22.5 kg) 

Height: 
22-24 in  (56-61 cm)

Colors: 
Black and Tan

The largest terrier, often referred to as the King of Terriers.  Once used as a vermin hunter, messenger, sentry and police dog, they are now primarily companions despite their stubborn streak


Appenzell Mountain Dog

Appenzell Mountain DogAppenzell Mountain Dog

Size: 
55-70 lb  (25-32 kg)

Height: 
19-23 in ( 48-58 cm)

Colors:
Tricolor

Having possibly descended from the warrior mastiffs that accompanied Roman soldiers into Switzerland some 2000 years ago, this dog has become a versatile farm helper.  Also known as the Appenzeller Sennenhund, they can pull small carts and also work cattle.


Ariegeois Pointer

Ariegeois PointerAriegeois Pointer

Size: 
55-65 lbs (25-30 kg)

Height:
21-24 in  (53-61 cm)

Colors: 
Black and White

Here is an easy going, affectionate breed developed in the Ariege  area of France for hunting, but now they are household companions.


Australian Shepherd

Read about the Australian Shepherd

Size: 
35-70 lb.  (16-32 kg)

Height:
18-23 in (46-58 cm)

Colors: 
Red, Red merle, blue merle, black, solid or with white.

Despite the name, this breed originated in the USA and is virtually unknown outside of the country.  Needing a herding dog that could work in varied climates, California breeders worked to create a breed from collies and sheepdogs from Australia and New Zealand.  Today, they are great companions and adapt exceptionally well to family life.  Some are being dwarfed down to create a miniature Australian Shepherd.


Azawakh

AzawakhAzawakh

Size: 
37-55 lbs. (17-25 kg)

Height: 
23 - 29 in ( 58-74 cm)

Colors: 
Light sable to dark fawn with white;

An independent dog bred from Mali. Developed  as a hunter and a guard dog.  This is a very fast breed that can reach speeds of up to 37 mph.  (60 km/h)


Basset Hound

Read about the Basset Hound

Size:
40 to 60 lbs (18-27 kg)

Height:
13-15 in (33-38 cm)

Colors:
Black, tan, lemon, white in any combination

He may be short, but he's muscular and strong.  With long backs and ears, back problems are common.  They are excellent hunters, but most just lounge around the house.


Bearded Collie

Bearded CollieBearded Collie

Size:
45-55 lb (20-25 kg)

Height:
20-22 in (51-56 cm)

Colors:
Gray, red-fawn, blue, brown, black, either solid or with white

Here is a dog with a sense of humor!  They are friendly and good with children, but be ready for to spend considerable time in your grooming room.  They have high maintenance coats.


Beauceron

BeauceronBeauceron

Size:
66-86 lb.  (30-39 kg.)

Height:
25-28 in (64-71 cm)

Colors:
Black and Tan, Black, Harlequin

With a history of hunting and boar herding, today they are kept as family pets and guard dogs.  They are a powerful big dog breed and may not do well with other dogs.


Belgian Shepherd

Belgian ShepherdBelgian Shepherd

Size:
61-63 lbs (27-28 cm)

Height:
22-26 in (56-66 cm)

Colors:
Grey through fawn; red to black

Not naturally aggressive, these dogs make excellent family pets, but can be wary of strangers and a bit timid.  Naming and classifying these dogs has been confusing, so you might see the names Malinois, Tervueren or Laekenois in addition to the the Belgian Shepherd


Berger Picard

Berger PicardBerger Picard

Size:
51-70 lb  (23-32 kg)

Height: 
22-26 in (55-66 cm)

Colors:
Gray, fawn, gold, black

Rare in most parts of the world, the majority of these dogs live on farms in northeastern France.  There, they herd and guard sheep, but sadly, these dogs are on the verge of extinction.


Bernese Mountain Dog

Read about the Bernese Mountain Dog

Size:
88-97 lb (40-44 kg)

Height:
23-28 in (58-70 cm)

Colors:
Tricolor

Here is an easy going family member that is both good with other pets and devoted to children.  They make a great watch dog, but are not very protective despite their size.  We've included them in our big dog breed pages, but they could easily be considered an extra large or giant breed.


Black and Tan Coonhound

Black and Tan CoonhoundBlack and Tan Coonhound

Size:
51-75 lb (23-34 kg)

Height:
23-27 in (58-69 cm)

Colors: Blue, Brindle

These are the most popular of all the coonhounds, these dogs can be found in rural settings in the eastern US, extending into Canada


Bluetick Coonhound

Bluetick CoonhoundBluetick Coonhound

Size:

45-79 lb (20 -27 kg)

Height:

20-27 in (51-69 cm)

Colors: Tricolor

Developed in Louisiana, they are likely descended from hunting hounds from Gascony, France.


Bouvier des Flanders

Bouvier des FlandersBouvier des Flanders

Size:
60-88 lbs (27-40 kg)

Height:
23-27 in (58-69 cm)

Colors:
Fawn to Black

They make good guard dogs, but don't always get along well with other dogs.  Best know for their cattle herding ability, they are now mostly family companions.


Boxer

Read more about the Boxer

Size: 
55-70 lb  (25-32 kg)

Height: 
21-25 in ( 53-63 cm)

Colors: 
Fawn and White, Fawn, Brindle, Occasionally white

Bouncy, energetic, and fearless, this is one breed that makes an excellent family pet even with young children.  They may have an intimidating appearance, they are gentle with children but make a great house protector.


Briard

BriardBriard

Size:
75-75 lb ( 34-34.5 kg.)

Height:
23-27 in (58-69 cm)

Colors:
Fawn, Gray, Black

The Briard is one of France's most popular companion breeds.  Breeders have worked hard over the last 50 years to eliminate shyness and aggression, so they are now well-mannered and fun pets.


Bulldog

Read more about the Bulldog

Size:
51-55 lb.  (23-25 kg)

Height:
12-14 in ( 30-36 cm)

Colors:
Fawn, red, brindle, solid or with a black mask or with white

Here is a lovable, if low energy dog, they make great companions and family dogs despite their bull-baiting beginnings.  Early on, the bulldog would hang onto the bull regardless of any injury, but the sport became illegal in 1830.  You will never win a tug of war game with these guys, but it's fun to try.


Bull Terrier

Size: 
53-62 lb,  (24-28 kg)

Height: 
21-22 in  (53-56 cm)

Colors: 
White, fawn, red, black brindle, tricolor

A very unique looking breed, they were first developed to fight.  Developed in the early 19th century, by crossing  bulldogs with the now extinct White English Terrier, they became fighting dogs .  This cruel sport was banned in England by 1835 and became illegal in most countries, soon thereafter. The bull terrier is considered a big dog breed, but they also come in a smaller size, Miniature Bull Terrier.


Big Dog Breeds

Reference and Further Reading

These are a few of many books and research articles used to prepare these pages on Dog Breeds Expert.  All of these books can be purchased directly from this site on Amazon.com.  We receive a tiny commission for any purchases you make directly from this site.  The money is used to keep this site up and expanding and we appreciate your help.

The Dog Enclopedia
The Complete Dog Breed Book

Advertising on this site
Dog Breeds Expert is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com  This site receives a small commission from all affiliate links and third-party advertising.

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below. Let me know if you agree or disagree!