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8 Large Dog Breeds Which Make Great Pets

If you’re considering adding a big furry friend to your family, you might be wondering which large dog breeds make the best pets. These gentle giants can bring a lot of love, loyalty, and joy to your home. Here are eight large dog breeds that are not only impressive in size but also make fantastic companions.

1. Mastiff

Pound for pound, the Mastiff is one of the largest dog breeds you’ll encounter. These dogs are massive, mellow, and fiercely protective, with a thunderous bark to announce intruders. Despite their intimidating size, Mastiffs are known for their gentle nature and are great with children. They thrive in a family environment where they can be part of the daily routine. Their calm demeanor makes them wonderful pets for those who have the space to accommodate their large stature.

2. Saint Bernard

Known for their loyalty and love, Saint Bernards are famous for the folkloric image of rescuing stranded travelers in the Swiss Alps. These playful giants grow rapidly and have a history of helping monks in mountain rescues. Saint Bernards are gentle and friendly, making them excellent family pets. They are great with children and have a protective nature. However, they do require a fair amount of space and regular exercise to keep them healthy and happy.

3. Boerboel

The Boerboel, often referred to as the “farmer’s dog,” is calm, territorial, and protective. Their history dates back to the 1600s when they were bred to guard homesteads in South Africa. Boerboels love being close to their humans and have a soft spot for children, although they can be wary of other dogs. These dogs are known for their loyalty and make excellent guard dogs while being affectionate and gentle with their family members.

4. Newfoundland

The gentle “Newfie” is known as a child’s nanny due to their sweet temperament and protective nature. Newfoundlands are excellent swimmers with water-resistant coats, and they have a history of saving lives during water rescues. These dogs are patient, kind, and particularly fond of children. Their calm and loving nature makes them ideal family pets, but they do require regular grooming and plenty of space to move around.

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5. Leonberger

Bred as companions for European royalty, Leonbergers are massive and majestic, resembling lions. These dogs are skillful swimmers and have luxurious fur that requires daily brushing and regular nail clipping. Leonbergers are known for their gentle and loving nature, making them great family pets. They are highly intelligent and trainable, though they need consistent training and socialization to be at their best.

6. Anatolian Shepherd

Anatolian Shepherds are highly observant livestock defenders and family protectors. These dogs are even known to defend cats and are used to protect ranch animals from wolves, thereby helping to preserve endangered wolf populations. Anatolian Shepherds are loyal and protective, making them excellent guard dogs. They require a firm hand in training and plenty of space to roam, making them well-suited for homes with large yards or rural settings.

7. Greater Swiss Mountain Dog

The “Swissie” is a faithful, big-hearted dog known for its clingy nature, stemming from its history of working alongside owners. These strong, loving family dogs are often seen pulling kids on carts or sleds. Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are robust and require regular exercise to stay healthy. They are known for their loyalty and affectionate nature, making them wonderful companions for families who enjoy an active lifestyle.

8. Irish Wolfhound

Known for their rapid growth, Irish Wolfhounds are calm, gentle, and affectionate. These hounds need daily exercise and a peaceful environment, making them ideal companions for devoted owners. Irish Wolfhounds have a noble history as hunting dogs, but today they are cherished for their gentle demeanor and loyalty. They do well in homes where they can get plenty of exercise and attention from their owners.