6 Giant Dog Breeds You've Probably Never Heard Of

12:21:00 AM

Many popular dog breeds are considered giants because of their immense size and weight.  Perhaps you might be familiar with the St. Bernard, the Great Dane, the Irish Wolfhound, the Newfoundland, the Bullmastiff, or the Black Russian Terrier?
There are numerous breeds of very large dogs from different parts of the world and some of them,  you have probably never heard of.  Here are six amazing, large dog breeds that may not be as famous as their giant cousins, but are definitely worth knowing.


The Sarplaninac is a large dog breed that lives in the Šar mountains, Kosovo, Macedonia, and Albania. It is also known as the Illyrian Sheepdog or the Yugoslov Shepherd. These giant breeds can grow from a height of 28 inches to 32 inches, and weigh anywhere from 38 kilograms to 55 kilograms when full grown.
Like many mountain dogs has a large, strong body. They have a slightly long coat (4 inches), and can either be rough or smooth. The coat coloring can range from white, black, fawn, gray, or sable. They are originally bred as a livestock guardian dog. They can live up to 11 or 13 years.
When it comes to temperament, the Sarplaninac is known to be an intelligent, reliable, calm, and loyal breed. As a livestock guardian, it is independent and instinctively protective of the flock and its human family. It can be suspicious of strangers and if it senses impending danger, it will be very protective.


The Kangal is a mastiff-type breed originally from the Sivas Province of the Central Anatolia Region, Turkey. It is a livestock guardian dog well-favored for its gentle temperament as well as its protectiveness and loyalty.
Kangals can reach a height of 26 inches to 31 inches.  Males are often larger and heavier than the females, weighing about 50 to 63 kilograms.  Females on the other hand can weigh from 41 to 59 kilograms.  The Kangal has a short, dense outer coat.  The color can be solid tan or sable while some may have a brindled coat. It is also noted for its black mask on its face.
Compared with other mastiff breeds, the Kangal is not as heavy-built and thus, are more agile.  They can run up to 30 miles per hour. These dogs will do everything in their power to protect their sheep, and will not back out of a confrontation if the predator stands its ground. The Kennel Club of the UK officially recognized the breed in October 2012, listing it under the Pastoral Group.


Here’s another livestock guardian dog that’s a native of Turkey – the Akbash or the Akbas Coban Kopegi.
This giant dog breed can grow from 27 inches to 34 inches tall, and reach a weight ranging from 34 to 64 kilograms. Its smooth, double coat in solid white color is its most prominent characteristic.  They are leaner and taller than other Turkish livestock guardian breeds.
The Akbash is calm, independent, and intelligent.  They are instinctively protective of their flock.  An Akbash dog would stay with its flock for many hours, “sleeping with one eye open”, and reserve its energy in case a predator attacks.  Like many large breeds, it has an average lifespan of 10 to 11 years.

 Estrela Mountain Dog

The Serra da Estrela or Estrela dog is a native and ancient breed of Portugal.  These dogs can reach the height of over 24 inches to 27 inches for females, and over 25 inches to over 28 inches for males.  The weight can range anywhere from 66 to 88 pounds for females, and from 88 to 110 pounds for males.
The coat can either be short or long, yet both resemble that of a goat’s  – thick, close to the body, and coarse – except for the hair on the head and the base of the legs which is smooth. The color can range from fawn, yellow, gray, and brindle. The face is dark which makes the dog look as if it’s wearing a black mask.
Like most giant breeds, the Estrela Mountain dog is intelligent, calm, loyal, and affectionate by nature.  They were traditionally bred as guardian dogs because of their instinctive protectiveness and strength.

Bully Kutta

The Bully Kuta or the Bully originated in Pakistan, where (sadly) it is commonly bred for dog fighting.  Its name is derived from the English term “bull” in reference to its resemblance to the Bulldog, and “kutta” which means dog in South-Asian languages. It is also referred to as the Pakistani Mastiff or the Sindhi Mastiff in reference to its place of origin.
The Bully can grow from 28 to 35 inches tall and reach a weight of 64 kilograms to 95 kilograms.  The coat is short and smooth, often white while some may have brown, black, fawn, or brindled coat.  It has a loose skin, a large head, and well-defined bone structure.
The Bully Kutta has a calm temperament.  It is a smart and loyal breed, but it can be very protective of its master and family.

Pyrenean Mastiff

This mountain dog is originally from Spain, also known by its Spanish name, Mastin del Pirineo.  It is not the same breed as the Great Pyrenees or the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, although both breeds are native of Spain.
The Pyrenean Mastiff has an average height of 28 inches for females and 30 inches for males.  They can weigh from over 80 kilograms to 100 kilograms.  It has a slightly long coat which is usually white with black, fawn, or brown patches.
Like most livestock guardian dog breeds, it is independent, docile, and gentle to the people as well as the animal it knows.  However, it is a protector and will not hesitate to act on its instinct to protect when it feels threatened.
Which of these giant dog breeds did you know?  Do you know of other giant dogs?  Or do you own a giant dog?

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