Don’t be fooled by the dominating stature of these canines. They’re nothing but gentle giants when it comes to their favorite human friends. Click through for 10 large dog breeds that are sweeter than their size may imply.
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Height: 30-37 inches
Weight: 105-170 pounds
Also known as the “Apollo of Dogs,” the Great Dane has a commanding presence. Despite its massive size, this breed is gentle, playful and makes a great family pet. A Dane with a more spirited personality may be difficult to control for small children, but that’s nothing a little training can’t fix.
Height: 23-28 inches
Weight: 85-120 pounds
The Bernese Mountain Dog has a thick, shiny coat that is a bit wavy. This versatile and gentle breed is very good with children, but can be reserved and shy around new people. The Bernese is a social breed, often friendly toward other animals and dogs, but it is not happy if left alone or shut out of family activities.
Height: 25-28 inches
Weight: 110-118 pounds
A true gentle giant, the St. Bernard has a calm and dignified demeanor that is perfect for families with small children. The breed has a muscular build and broad shoulders, covered by a thick coat of brown and white fur. Renowned for its loyalty, the St. Bernard is a people-pleaser and can work long hours in cold climates.
Height: 25-27 inches
Weight: 110-130 pounds
Despite its imposing appearance, the Bullmastiff is generally a quiet and gentle breed that grows to be loyal and protective of its family. It is good with kids, but would do best in a firm household and an experienced dog owner. The Bullmastiff can be stubborn, and though not aggressive, it will fearlessly fight back against a threat.
Height: 25-29 inches
Weight: 100-170 pounds
Intelligent and strong, the Newfoundland — or “Newfie” — is the ideal dog for families with children of any age. The gentle Newfie has been used on farms as a working dog and also to assist in water rescues. The breed is easily trained and loves working with its human companions. Newfies rarely exhibit aggression, but they will put themselves between their family and a threat, and may fight back only if necessary.
Height: 25-32 inches
Weight: 70-120 pounds
The Leonberger originated in Germany in the 1800s as a multipurpose working dog for farms or families. They are friendly, gentle dogs with a mild-mannered temperament, making them great therapy dogs and companions. The breed is excellent with small children, but it requires moderate exercise and regular grooming.
Height: 32-34 inches
Weight: 90-120 pounds
The noble Irish Wolfhound is the largest dog breed in the world. It is a tall, sturdy hound with abundant energy, and a playful and curious nature. Surprisingly, this large breed thrives in an indoor environment, as long as there’s enough room for it to lie down and stretch out. The breed is friendly with new people, children, other dogs and fellow pets.
Height: 20-24 inches
Weight: 60-110 pounds
The Old English Sheepdog was bred in the 19th century to work on farms as a cattle dog. Despite its status as a great working dog, the Old English thrives even in an indoor environment as long as it’s allowed to take part in family activities. Their shaggy appearance gives them a comical expression, and they’re great with children.
Height: 25-32 inches
Weight: 80-120 pounds
The elegant and powerful Great Pyrenees was originally bred to guard flocks of sheep in the Pyrenees Mountains of France. It appears to be more heavily boned than it is, due to its incredibly thick and weather-resistant coat. It’s generally well behaved and calm, but will fiercely guard its family if it senses a threat.
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Height: 23-29 inches
Weight: 80-130 pounds
The Greater Swiss is a bold, territorial and easy-going breed. Bred to traverse steep terrain in the Swiss Alps, the Greater Swiss has a long, strong body with a short, dense coat for insulation. Though it is a great working dog on farms, it is also a gentle and sensitive companion for families with small children.