Five of the world largest dog breeds
1) Great Dane
The Great Dane has its history as far back as the 14th century when its ancestor of large hounds were found in Greece. As it was a big and large dog, it was used mainly for hunting in most part of Europe. However it was bred by the Germans as a boar hunting hound and later as a recognized breed as Great Dane. It was officially recognized in the late 19th century by the AKC which is a registry for purebred dogs.
Great Danes are large bones and have a square shoulder. Its head is slender and long with its medium size ears high and folded to the cheek. Its eyes are of average size and is deep set having an attentive gaze. The Great Dane has a height of at least 30 inches for a male dog and 28 inches for a female dog at standing (shoulder height) which is one of the criteria. Its legs are long and if it were to stand on its hind legs, it towers over most of the people.
It has a short and thick coat with glossiness. Great Dane registry shows that there a 9 colors and 3 types of markings. Some of these are describes by the color of its body which can be yellow gold and brindled with black stripes across, black and glossy, and harlequin of white base and black patches evenly distributed over its body.
Even though this is a big and strong dog, it strides with smooth elegance and pride. It is courageous, friendly with great awareness which you can depend on its bravery, yet it does not show aggressiveness. It is a gentle and loving giant but needs a lot of exercise. The lifespan of a Great Dane is about 8 years and can weigh as much as 120 pounds.
2) Tibetan Mastiff
This is an ancient breed dating back to the time of nomadic period in the region of East Asia. They were used to protect the livestock from wild animals. It lives among the nomadic tribes and spread far as it is a hardy breed. Even though this breed has been in existence for a very long time, it was only in year 2007 that this breed was officially recognized by the AKC.
In USA, The American Tibetan Mastiff Association which is a member of the American Kennel Club is the only national Tibetan Breed Club which is authorized and recognized by the AKC. This means that the Tibetan Mastiff has not really has a footing in America yet. It could take a long time before it becomes a more popular breed in the US. Its standing at the AKC ranking is at the 138th most popular breed.
Standing at 26 to 29 inches tall at shoulder height, it is not a giant dog. But it is a large and strong breed which were utilized as a guardian dog for farmers to defend against wild animals like bears, leopard, wolves and large animals. They display dominance over other animals. They like to roam and do have cat-like character. They are sort of unique in their own sense of independence and strong willed, and not like other breed of dogs which are willing to please their owners. Exercise is the important part of their routine. This breed has the tendency to bark at night.
The weight of this Tibetan Mastiff is at 130 to 170 pounds and they are enormous especially the males. It has a double long coat usually under the influence of climate, the colors are of wide range such as black and tan, black, bluish gray, and yellowish to red-like gold. Most of the time they have white markings. Its head broad, strong and wrinkle. As the hair is long and thick, they needs grooming often.
The head with it long flowing hair from its forehead is habitually regarded as Lion head. Another one with a shorter hair is also called a Tiger Head. The eyes are almond shaped with a slant. It is medium in size and deep-set. The ears of a Tibetan Mastiff are hung down and close to the head more like the shape of a “V”. Its tail has long soft hair of feather like and is curled up back to the body. This big breed of dog has a body that is usually a bit longer than its height at the shoulder at standing.
Their lifespan usually range from 14 to 18 years.
3) Dogo Argentino
Dogo Argentino is also known as an Argentinian Mastiff. Its ancestor is the extinct Cordoba Fighting Dog. This is a large and muscular dog chiefly used for hunting of large wild animals. However it was also used for dog fighting as it is fearless with its aggressiveness and ferocity in the ring. Usually when it is used as a hunting dog, it does not fight with the other accompanying hunting dogs.
The history of this breed can be seen to date back to the 1920s where a medical doctor named Antonio Nores Martinez, sets its objective to breed a large dog capable of hunting big animals. And also in his mind was that the breed must be loyal and an obedient pet yet able to act as a guard dog. With this criteria in mind, he started his project by cross breeding a Cordoba Fighting dog with, Bull Terrier, Irish Wolfhound, Boxer, Great Dane, English Bulldog, Spanish Mastiff, Dogue de Bordeaux and Great Pyreness. He continued with this selective cross breeding to acquire the desired distinguished characteristics. From there on this breed has come to be known as the Dogo Argentino.
Dogo Argentino has a short coat. Its color is solid white. It has a square deep-set chest and upright front body with a muscular neck. Its head is rounded has to a great extend of being wide looking into it at the front and the muzzle is slightly slanted upwards. Its natural ears are half drop to the side of the head. However it is usually cropped so that it stands high and upright looking more alert and menacingly wild. The eyes are brown, either light or dark in color and are set well apart.
The Dogo Argentino stands at a height of 27 inches and can weight as heavy as 100 pounds. This breed is lean and with such a mass, it really has a stout strong body. The tail of this breed is long and tapper, being thick at the base. It is carried low and usually at the hocks. The life expectancy of this breed is about 10 to 13 years.
The character of this breed is bullish with great stamina and knows no fear. Due to these characters, people use the Dogo Argentino as a fighting dog and it has created bad reputation. With a number of unfortunate incidents, it has becomes a ferocious type tagged to it.
The need to understand that when a dog is used for fighting, the breeder or owner trains and nurture it in a “negative” way so much so that it has become “anti-social” and has become a ferocious animal instead of a pet. This has caused the public to view this breed as an “unpredictable” and dangerous animal as a pet and more and more nations has ban it from their countries. Its reputation has becomes so notorious that even countries that allow owning of such breed as a pet, under Dangerous Dog Act, they need to be registered and their dogs be insured with a certain sum as per imposed by the authority.
Countries that ban the Dogo Argentino are Spain, Great Britain, Italy, Romania, Norway, Israel, Turkey, USA, Bermuda Islands, Portugal, Singapore, Malaysia, Malta, New Zealand, Australia, Ukraine,
4) Irish Wolfhound
As the name implies, this breed is from Ireland. This breed has a long history of ancestors dating back to as early as 300BC where there were stories of hugh dogs that fought side by side with the Celts at the Gallic invasion of the Balkans. Further down its historical events, there were records of King John of England presenting an Irish Hound to a Prince of Wales.
Also in a documented record that in 1952 Oliver Cromwell who was the Lord protector of the Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, made a declaration that the Irish Hound was a protected breed as it was used to control the number of wolves which were flourishing at that period. Historically, this shows that the Irish Wolfhound was owned by the nobles. This Irish Hound was the ancestor line of our present Irish Wolfhound.
Originally its main purpose were to be used for hunting of wolves and big elks which were abundant in the Ireland. It was also used as guard dog. Among the galloping hounds, Irish Wolfhound is placed in the number one ranking as the tallest. It was recognized officially by AKC in 1897.
Its coat is rough and wiry of average length on the body with sort of a shaggy look. It is long at the underjaw and over the eyes. Per the AKC standard, this breed come in 13 colors from cream to black. Blue is the color not acceptable. It should not have any markings on its body. However small markings such as at tip of tail and at the feet are allowed.
The head is long and with a bit of a raised forehead. Its muzzle is long and slightly pointed. Irish Wolfhound has average eyes that are deeply set and with its long hair, its usually not noticeable. They have small ears and are back against the head. The neck is long and strong with an arch. Its chest is wide and the tail has a slight curve and is long and hung down.
It can stand as high as 34 inches tall at the shoulder and weights as much as 130pounds.
With such a height, it seems to have a commanding impression. However an Irish Wolfhound may do not seem to have a long lifespan as it averages at about 7 years.
Usually dogs matured in about a year, this breed takes about two years to mature in terms of its physical and mentally. The Irish Wolfhound is also known as a gentle giant as it is a very obedient loving companion. They may not be ranked at the top for intelligence but they make up by being very faithful and loyal to their owners.
5) Cane Corso
The Cane Corso is an Italian breed and is one of the two mastiff kind of dogs that is native to Italy. They were believe to be descended from the Roman times when dogs fought together with the army. At that period of time, the dogs were known as Pugnaces. With such a long history as was documented, this breed has a long ancestry from the ancient time.
This breed is also known as the Italian Mastiff. They were a highly respected hunting dog especially for wild boars and big game, as wild boars were one of their food source. It is also used for herding cattle as it size and stamina could dominate the herds. Also known to be a guard dog against intruders.
The ancestor of this breed in America was believe to be started when a man named Michael Sottile SR brought in the first litter of Cane Corso in 1988. He has such passion for this breed of dog that he continue importing the next batch the following year for breeding. With such an interest in Cane Corso, he travelled widely in Italy to procure his stock for the breeding. There were controversies and disagreement with some other parties that were also trying to popularize this breed in the US leading to strained relations with Italy on this matter. Only in the year 2010 was Cane Corso recognized by the AKC.
Cane Corso has a large and impressive head with eyes looking straight up front. Its forehead is flat down merging the muzzle. It has dark medium-size almond shape eyes and ears that are folded down angled to the front rather than the side of the head. It is also a tradition to crop the ears so that the ears are standing upright.
Its coat is short and smooth that do not need much grooming. According to the registry, there are seven colors; Black, Black Brindle, Chestnut Brindle, Fawn, Gray, Gray Brindle and Red, and two markings being Black Mask and Gray Mask that makes the mark for this breed.
The tail is thick with a slight taper to the extreme. It is similar to a hound it that its tail is carried low to the hock and when excited, its tail is carried at a horizontal. However most of the owners docked the tail of the Cane Corso which is usually done at its forth vertebrae.
Standing at 28 inches high at the shoulder, this breed can weigh as much as 110 pounds. Its frame is so large and muscular that it looks majestic. With such a huge mass, the sight of it is can also be intimidating. It is calm and self-confident around strangers but do not agitate it as its mild-mannered can turns into aggressiveness.
Therefore extensive socializing is an important part Cane Corso at an early stage as with other type of mastiff. This is to encourage it to flourish positive temperament such as being affectionate, obedient and calm to eliminate any aggressiveness. It needs a lot of exercise to wane off its built-up “tension”. This breed is expected to live to about 10 to 11 years.