Besides the division of the different breeds into one of the 10 groups defined by the FCI, it is especially common to divide dogs into small, medium and large breeds according to their shoulder height. To qualify as a large dog, a breed must typically have a shoulder height of more than 60 centimetres.
The weight does not play a role in this context, which is why there can be very clear differences. For example, the Golden Retriever with a weight of 25 kilograms or more is one of the big dogs, as is the Saint Bernard, which can easily weigh up to 80 kilograms.
Overview of popular large dog breeds
There are numerous large dogs from which prospective owners can choose. Which breed is the right one depends among other things on the own living situation as well as the experience and preferences of the prospective dog owner.
The following large dogs are particularly well known and popular:
- Saint Bernard
- Great Dane
- Golden Retriever
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- German Shepherd Dog
The Saint Bernard
With a shoulder height of up to 80 centimeters and a weight of up to 80 kilograms, the Saint Bernard is one of the largest dog breeds of all. He comes from Switzerland, where he was originally bred as a rescue, guard and protection dog. Thanks to his gentle nature, this big dog has meanwhile developed into a popular family dog.
The Newfoundlander comes from Canada, where the big dogs were appreciated earlier as reliable working dogs. He reaches a shoulder height of 66 to 71 centimeters and is regarded as extremely good-natured and affectionate. The Newfoundlander is also an enthusiastic swimmer who has to be sufficiently occupied by his owner and needs a lot of attention.
The Rottweiler is a large dog from Germany, which reaches a shoulder height of up to 69 centimeters. He has a strong protective instinct, which is why his upbringing requires a certain consistency. Rottweilers are nerve-strong working dogs, which are not only suitable as watchdogs, but also as service dogs for the police or customs.
The Great Dane
Male Great Danes reach a shoulder height of more than 80 centimeters, which makes the slender animals one of the largest dog breeds at all. The Great Dane convinces with a good-natured character and establishes a close relationship with its owner. However, the big dogs need a lot of exercise, which is why the time required for keeping should not be underestimated.
The up to 72 centimeter tall Doberman is considered intelligent and alert. He is a popular service dog for the Bundeswehr, customs and police, but is also suitable as a family and companion dog. Assuming the right education, the big dogs prove to be friendly and affectionate. Beginners should decide however rather for another dog breed.
The Mastiff is not only one of the biggest dogs. With a weight of up to 100 kilograms it is also one of the heaviest. The impressive animals have a high stimulus threshold and prove to be extremely considerate when dealing with children. A good upbringing with the Mastiff is however indispensable alone already due to the size.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large dog from Zimbabwe and South Africa, where it was originally bred for big game hunting. Today the animals, which are willing to learn and willing to work, are used as rescue dogs or person tracking dogs, among other things. Despite their affectionate character, the up to 69 centimeters large dogs are not suitable for beginners.
The German Shepherd Dog
The German Shepherd is a classic watch, guard and herding dog from Germany. The large dogs have a pronounced protective instinct. In addition, they are considered resilient and strong nerves, which is why they are appreciated worldwide as reliable service dogs. When keeping them, it is important not only to use them physically, but also mentally.
The Leonberger is up to 80 centimeters tall and weighs 70 kilograms. The big dogs are considered calm and good-natured. In addition, they prove to be extremely adaptable and have a high stimulus threshold, making them ideal as a family dog. Unfortunately the life expectancy of the Leonberger is relatively short with eight to nine years as with many large dogs.
Common health problems in large dogs
Of course each dog can become ill independently of its race. However, there are certain health problems that are particularly common in large dogs. These include in particular the so-called rotation of the stomach (torsio ventriculi), various joint diseases and calluses.
Stomach rotation in large dogs
Since the stomach of dogs is only held in position by ligaments, it is very mobile and can rotate around its own axis under certain circumstances. Such a rotation of the stomach results, among other things, in blood vessels and nerves being pinched off and no air can escape from the stomach of the four-legged friend.
As a result, the dog's body can no longer be sufficiently supplied with blood and oxygen. Without an immediate operation it comes within fewer hours to a deadly breakdown of the cycle.
In principle, a gastric torsion is possible in dogs of all breeds. However, it occurs particularly frequently in large animals.
In order to reduce the risk, we recommend feeding with our cold-pressed dry food. In addition, divide the food ration into two or three meals and make sure that your dog neither devours nor romps around immediately after eating.
Joint diseases in large dogs
These diseases cause excessive wear and tear of the joints, which is associated with severe pain and an increasing restriction of their mobility for affected animals.
In order to prevent joint diseases, it is particularly important to avoid overloading the musculoskeletal system in large dogs as early as puppies.
In addition, we recommend regular supplements with Bellfor Joints & Bones. The preparation contains the innovative active ingredient complex Ovopet, which supplies the joints of the four-legged friend with a multitude of important nutrients and can thus make a valuable contribution to joint health not only in large dogs.
Lying calluses in large dogs
Lying calluses are another health problem that occurs more frequently in heavy and large dogs. They occur mainly in those areas where the bone presses directly on the skin when lying down, and initially become noticeable through local hair loss and corneal formation.
If left untreated, cracks may appear in the lying calluses over time, often leading to inflammation and minor bleeding. In order to prevent the development of recumbent bumps, it is particularly important in large dogs to ensure a sufficiently padded sleeping area.
The combination of these three products nourishes and supplies the skin of your large dog optimally with nutrients so that calluses can be counteracted effectively.
Proper nutrition for large dogs
A species-appropriate diet is indispensable for the health and well-being of all breeds. Large dogs are of course no exception. In addition to the energy requirement of the four-legged friend, breed-specific characteristics and health restrictions, such as feed allergies, must also be taken into account in this context.
Whether cold-pressed dry food, natural food supplements or high-quality care products - Bellfor's special nutrition concept also offers the right products for large dogs.
With our online nutritionist you will know within a few moments which food is the right one for your large dog and how you can optimally support the vitality of your four-legged friend.