For many, when considering adopting a dog a large breed may come to mind. A large breed is typically between 40 and 100 pounds or more! These dogs were primarily bred to work for a specific task, from protecting livestock to guarding property or hunting. True to their breed, the vast majority of purebreds still performs some work for their owners or competes in a dog sport that will work well with their instinctual drives. While large dogs can have their setbacks such as difficulty to travel with and sometimes more difficult to handle for some people, they can provide comfort for their owners.
Most Popular Pets
Some large dog breeds have become incredibly popular pets and working partners today. Their size allows them to better perform the work humans need them to do while also being large enough to stay safe from predators, other dogs, and even human intruders. Each breed comes with his own set on specific instincts built just for the work his breed was intended to do and even those kept solely as house pets will still make an attempt to act on what drives him.
Some of the most popular large dog breeds include:
- Labrador Retrievers are extremely friendly and affectionate large dogs with a happy go lucky attitude. Created to retrieve water fowl after being dispatched by a hunter, this breed is considered mouthy and must be taught bite inhibition.
- American Pit Bull Terriers are often given a bad reputation due to their illegal use as fighting dogs, but these dogs are actually highly attentive and affectionate with their humans. Even used successfully as service dogs and farm dogs, they love to work and please their owner.
- Great Danes may be one of the largest, and certainly the tallest, dog breeds commonly seen today. A true gentle giant, these dogs are easily trusted around small children and other pets. This short haired dog comes in a variety of colors from black to merle.
- Akita Inus are beautiful double coated dogs with an ancient and rich history. Considered one of the best canine babysitters out there, they can be highly reserved and even act aggressive towards strangers. They are not for the first time dog owner and must be with a family that knows how to properly train and handle them.
- Siberian Huskies are extremely common and often sought after for their beautiful and striking color patterns. These dogs were made to run, pulling sleds and people through the icy tundras of the northern hemisphere. They should not be trusted off leash and can have a high prey drive.
Typically, the larger the dog the shorter their lifespan seems to be. This is probably because their frames carry more weight and stress than that of medium or small dog breeds, thus bringing on more health conditions and wear on their bodies. Breeds such as the Great Dane or even the Saint Bernard tend to only live to 10 years while the Siberian Husky, a somewhat smaller dog than the giants can live to about 12 to 14 years.
You should discuss with the breeder you decide to purchase a puppy from about the health conditions associated with their lineage. Talk with them about the genetic health testing and screenings that they have performed on their breeding dogs. Any breeder who will not share this information with you should be avoided, as they may have knowingly bred sick dogs.
If you feel that a large dog breed is right for you, consider the instincts, energy levels and special considerations each breed has before taking that leap into dog ownership. A shelter or rescue as well as an ethical breeder will help you to prepare yourself, your family, and your home to welcome a new, large member of the family. Consulting someone with extensive experience will help you and your puppy’s new relationship flourish, prevent unwanted bumps along the way and set the two of you up for a successful life together!