Good things do come in large packages – Extra large dog breeds are a prime example. There is a whole lot of joy packed into those 100 – 200 pound bodies of gentle giant breeds. These gentle giants usually have a mild, often comical temperament. Many are great family dogs.
Things to consider before buying a gentle giant dog breed
- Be prepared to adjust your budget to their often large appetites. They need high quality foods, low in carbohydrates and supplements to keep them healthy.
- Life expectancy can range from 8 – 14 years. High quality dog food and nutritional dog supplements can help extend and add quality to the extra large dog breeds life.
- An extra large dog breed will require equipment tailored to their size; large dog feeding bowls, large dog beds and large dog toys.
- Prepare for some work in the grooming of these giant dog breeds. Your home bath tub can prove a bit small when attempting to wash these dogs. Consider professional dog grooming or rent a tub at a self serve dog wash.
- Many of the extra large dog breeds do quite well in apartments and smaller spaces as long as they are provided with regular exercise in the form of walks and trips to dog parks
- These big dog breeds can also be great with kids and love to play and romp with them, often seeing themselves as one of the kids. Care must be taken when selecting a giant dog breed if you have very small children. Often these larger breeds do not realize their size and can be quite clumsy, knocking over smaller kids.
Here are a few gentle giant breeds and their known character traits
- Great Dane – One of the tallest dogs. Friendly, known as “the gentle giant”. Short hair.
- Saint Bernard – Extremely gentle. Long hair.
- Rottweiler – Reliable and loving with their family, very protective. Short hair.
- Mastiff – Gentle with family, excellent with children. Shorter hair.
- Bull Mastiff – Good natured, docile and affectionate. Shorter hair.
- Newfoundland – Calm and gentle. Long hair.
- Irish Wolfhound – Gentle, also one of the tallest dogs. Shorter hair.
- Akita – Docile, affectionate, courageous. May be dog selective.
- American Bulldog – Loves children, loyal, not hostile. Short hair.
- Greater Swiss Mountain Dog – Not aggressive, loves to please, excellent with children. Long hair.
- Black Russian Terrier – Protective, loves children, needs to be close to owner. Longer hair.
- Bloodhound – Mild-mannered, lovable, very gentle. Short hair.