A home with a dog can be a better place to live.
A dog is a lifelong commitment, and with that commitment comes certain responsibilities. However, if you are ready to fulfill those responsibilities, we can assure you that you will get a best friend for life.
When we talk about family dogs, we often recall smaller and compact ones, but this may not always be the case. Certain large dog breeds can be excellent family pets.
While they may not be for everyone, large dogs can be immensely charming and fascinating pets. And just because a dog is bigger doesn’t mean it has more duties. In this context, the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna has stated that larger dogs are more obedient and less agitated than their smaller counterparts.
But make sure your large dog has lots of room to relax and wander along with the space to exercise. So, if you’re seeking a large family dog, here’s the list and some information about the best large dog breeds available.
But first, let’s look at why you should consider a large family dog and what to look for while searching for one.
Why Go for Large Dog Breeds?
Sometimes, bigger size means a better dog. Why? Let’s explore!
Opposite to their size, most large dogs are patient and wear a calm demeanor. Breeds like Golden Retrievers, Labrador, and St. Bernard, among others, are dogs that will seldom bother you and will be happy in their own space.
#2. Child friendly
Large canines have big hearts, just like their big bodies. These breeds are tolerant of physical play. Hence, if you have little children at home and want a large dog, consider the Newfoundland, German Shepherd, Bernese Mountain Dog, and Giant Schnauzer, among others.
Larger canines, despite their imposing size, are usually gentle in temperament. They are also less delicate than smaller dogs and can withstand strenuous activities and exercises. However, this should not lead owners to believe that these breeds may be ridden, grabbed, or handled infrequently.
#4. Easier to train
You can easily train large dogs when they are young. In addition, they have better manners than several smaller breeds, which could be attributed to how humans interact and handle them.
#5. Good as guard dogs
Big dogs make excellent watchdogs. If you’re seeking a watch and guard dog, Mastiffs are a good option. Aside from that, larger breeds such as Labradors, German Shepherds, and others can make excellent service dogs.
What to Look for in Large Dog breeds?
So, you have made up your mind to get a large fluff dog for your family? Great! Now it’s time to look for some factors to consider while choosing your favorite dog breed.
If you have children in your family, look for a child-friendly dog that’s calm. It is advisable not to choose a breed that can topple your kids and chase them. Also, you should never leave a small child with a dog unattended. And it’s crucial to teach children how to interact properly with their pets.
Another thing to look for is the shedding level. Some dogs, like Golden Retriever, Husky, German Shepherd, and Chow Chow, among others, shed a lot, which may be an issue for people with allergies. These dogs also need regular grooming to keep their shedding under control.
However, one of the most important things to consider is the level of exercise your dog would need. Some large dog breeds, like Husky, Saint Bernard, etc., need regular exercise and outdoor activities.
Intelligent dogs are often easier to train. On the other hand, the smarter dog breeds are more prone to separation anxiety. They can also get into many mischiefs, especially if they’re left alone. Hence, constant human interaction is important.
Top Best large Family Dog Breeds
#1. Golden Retriever
When we talk about large family-friendly dogs, how can we not mention Golden Retrievers? Goldies are exceptional when it comes to a pleasing personality. This breed is very adorable, loyal, and social and can be considered the quintessential family dog breed. Used as rescue, rehabilitation, and comfort service dogs, Golden Retrievers are of two broad categories: American and English. So, choose which type suits you the most as per your need.
|Longevity||10- 12 years|
|Personality||Outgoing, fun, and friendly, and cheerful|
#2. Labrador Retriever
One of the most loved dog breeds globally, Labrador Retrievers wear a calm demeanor and are pretty social. They can be extremely friendly with humans and with other dogs. In addition, Labrador Retrievers have a laid-back personality and are noted for their intellect and kind nature. Originally bred as hunting dogs, they make wonderful companions for outdoor activities such as jogging, horseback riding, hiking, and trekking. They are also suitable for training as guide dogs for the blind, assistance, and therapy dogs.
|Longevity||10- 12 years|
|Personality||Intelligent, outgoing, social, and easy to train|
#3. Bernese Mountain Dog
If you are looking for a massive fur baby for your family, choose Bernese Mountain Dog. Also known as Berners and Bernies, this Swiss dog breed is a great rescue dog and can be extremely protective without being aggressive. Hence, making them a perfect family pet. Despite their enormous size, they are gentle with humans, especially younger ones, and like participating in family time and events.
|Weight||79 to 110lbs|
|Longevity||6 to 8 years|
|Personality||Highly energetic, easy to train, alert, and protective|
#4. Alaskan Malamute
One of the oldest dog breeds globally, the Alaskan Malamute is apt for families that live in colder regions. Originally bred as working dogs, these huge canines are ideal for anyone who enjoys spending time in the great outdoors.
This breed will be a wonderful playmate and is most content while pulling cargoes or buggies. However, Malamutes are extremely powerful heavy-duty workers and require daily training and exercise. As a result, you’ll need to spend some quality time with them outdoors.
This breed thrives in a home with an experienced owner and plenty of room to run around. If you can satisfy this breed’s requirements, undoubtedly, you’ll have a lifelong loyal companion.
|Height||23"- Female25"- Male|
|Weight||75lbs- Female85lbs- Male|
|Longevity||10- 14 years|
|Personality||Active, alert, trainable, and less drooling|
#5. Great Dane
Although one of the most powerful and largest dog breeds, Great Danes are quite patient, kind, and trustworthy. They can even be described as gentle giants. Once they’ve grown out of puppyhood, Great Danes require a few daily walks to uphold their good health status. Originally developed as hunting dogs, they make excellent watchdogs and can be kept to guard vast estates. This breed, however, is not appropriate for keeping in small urban flats due to its size.
|Longevity||Up to 10 years|
|Personality||Energetic, friendly, loyal, and calm|
The appearance of a Rottweiler can be intimidating, especially if you are not familiar with this breed. Still, it should not discourage you from getting one for yourself and your family. These dogs can be your forever companion in outdoor activities, including hiking, running, etc. But always remember that a Rottweiler will need regular exercise to channelize its energy. In addition, Rottweilers make excellent security dogs, so you can keep them in an outside kennel to keep an eye on your property. However, they tend to herd children, knocking young children over. Therefore, keep an eye out for Rotties and young children when they’re together.
|Longevity||8- 10 years|
|Personality||Social, eager to please, and alert|
#7. German Shepherd
Courageous, intelligent, and confident, a German Shepherd can be the best guard dog as well as a family pet dog. In a nutshell, this is an all-purpose working dog breed. If you want a dog with exceptional devotion, bravery, liveliness, and conviction, choose a German Shepherd. However, keep in mind that they need regular outdoor time to stretch their muscles. As a result, taking them outside daily is essential. When choosing a family dog, this breed is highly devoted and affectionate, making them an excellent choice for a busy household. Also, if you want a service or search dog, a German Shepherd could be a good option.
|Shedding||Medium to high|
|Longevity||9- 13 years|
|Personality||Loyal, alert, eager to please, and easy to train|
#8. Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherds are lively, clever, and diligent dogs who are extremely smart and focused. These canines are quite active in addition to being really cute and social. As a result, you should keep them cognitively and physically active. This is critical since boredom in these dogs can lead to destructive behavior and incessant barking.
Aussies are devoted, energetic, and thrive on human company. They are at their best when playing, fetching, running, or strolling with other people. If you leave your Aussie alone for an extended period, it may develop abandonment issues. As a result, you should only get an Australian Shepherd if you or your family have the time to devote to them.
|Height||18-21" Female20-23" Male|
|Weight||Up to 55lbs Female Up to 65lbs Male|
|Longevity||12- 15 years|
|Personality||Eager to please, highly energetic, active, alert, and friendly|
#9. Standard Poodle
Because of their intelligent and adorable personalities, these lux dogs can make excellent family pets. Along with their fluffy and hypoallergenic coats, they can be dressed to show off their beauty in dog shows, as they belong to the non-sporting class.
Standard poodles often weigh 50 to 70 pounds and stand 22 inches tall. However, don’t be fooled by their appearance; these dogs are brilliant and usually simple to train. They are also affectionate, caring, and gentle canines who make excellent large dogs for toddlers.
A standard poodle might also be your best friend if you are a first-time dog owner. However, remember to interact with them because they become frightened when left alone.
|Group||Non- sporting group (AKC)|
|Weight||Up to 70lbs|
|Longevity||10- 18 years|
|Personality||Active, adorable, social, eager to please, and good with children|
#10. Saint Bernard
Don’t get intimidated by the size of Saint Bernard, as this breed is known for its loving, gentle and tolerant personality. These dogs are good with families and children and are well-behaved. These large affectionate dogs make great family buddies and guardians, especially with a heart as enormous as their body. They are constantly willing to please their humans, and if correctly trained, your Saint Bernard might even bring you a bottle of beer if you ask!
|Height||25.5" to 27.5"|
|Weight||130 to 180lbs|
|Longevity||8 to 10 years|
|Personality||Laid back, happy, friendly, pleasant, and easy to train|
Newfoundland dogs are mostly found in black, brown, grey, or white and black, and they belong to the working dog breed. In Newfoundland, they were bred and employed as working dogs for fishers. They are huge, weighing up to 150 pounds, but their size isn’t put off. Newfoundlands are among the friendliest dogs on the planet.
On the other hand, Newfoundlands shed a lot, making them unsuitable for allergy sufferers, unless you are not bothered by this tendency. This breed can provide you with a gentle and attractive furry companion.
Newfoundland could be an excellent companion for a single individual and a family, considering their huge size. Adult Newfoundlands do not require much activity. But to stay in shape, they should be allowed daily walks or run outdoors, and you can even take it for a swim.
|Height||Up to 28"- Male Up to 26"- Female|
|Weight||130-150lbs- Male 100-120lbs- Female|
|Shedding||Medium to high|
|Longevity||9- 10 years|
|Personality||Trainable, protective, vigilant, adaptable, and friendly|
#12. Giant Schnauzer
A Giant Schnauzer is an excellent choice for a large, robust dog for your family. In addition, this breed is a fantastic companion dog because of its intelligence and loyalty. However, it is not advised for households with little toddlers because this breed can be dominant. However, if you have a large property and require a security dog, you may rely on a Giant Schnauzer’s senses.
On the other hand, small flats are not suited for Giant Schnauzers. They require a spacious fenced yard to play and romp safely. Also, remember to provide these dogs plenty of opportunities for socialization, as they may develop aggressive behavior if they don’t. Also, it is recommended to get Adult Schnauzers from local rescues and shelters.
|Height||Up to 27.5"|
|Weight||Up to 85lbs|
|Longevity||12- 15 years|
|Personality||Domineering, alert, energetic, and social|
#13. Old English Sheepdog
Old English Sheepdogs (OES) can be a loving family pet that requires a lot of human attention. They were originally bred as English countryside dogs. These dogs are not only adorable with their long double coat, but they are also energetic and rambunctious. However, remember that because OES, or Sheepies, demand human companionship, they may become anxious if left alone.
On the one hand, they are courteous to strangers, and on the other, you can rely on their observational skills. Sheepies, however, do not make good security dogs. Sheepies are medium shedders; therefore, grooming their coats for three to four hours, once a week, is essential. The well-groomed OES is lovely, but it takes a lot of effort to attain that look, so be prepared to put in the effort.
|Longevity||10- 12 years|
|Personality||Energetic, alert, active, and social|
Adding a dog to the family requires a lot of preparation, and when it is a large dog, the preparation should be bigger. But that should not discourage you from choosing your favorite dog breed from the list above. So, go ahead and learn about these breeds to understand which one suits you and your family the most. And remember to prepare yourself to give lots of love and companionship to your new fluffy furry friend!
Meet Fabian Wright, our guide into the animal realm at PetLoversArena.com. Having served as an Animal Care Specialist for the Ruwenzori Team at the Kansas City Zoo, he prioritizes conserving exotic species by replicating their habitats. Fabian aspires to share captivating stories of creatures, big and small, through PetLoversArena.com.