Owning a large breed dog can be tons of fun, especially for children. Here is an overview of large breed dogs, what their needs are, and how large they can grow.
Large Breed Dogs
Of the 155 dogs that are listed in the American Kennel Club in 2006, the majority of the dogs listed in the top half are large breed dogs. Regardless of whether you choose a large breed dog or a small breed dog, it will be to your advantage to learn as much as you can about the breed. Some of the more popular large breed dogs are German shepherd, Mastiff, Newfoundland, Great Dane, and Labrador. The Labrador is the most popular of all dogs and has been for quite some time. In fact, they are so far ahead of other dogs in popularity; it would take a lot for some other breed to pass them up.
Large Breed Dog Needs
It is a known fact that large breed dogs require more food, more space, more energy and time than small breeds, but there must be something special about them for them to remain so popular. For some reason, children seem to be enamored at the prospect of having a large dog. Whether children feel they play better or are more protective is unknown, but they just seem to prefer large dogs. They just seem to be more affectionate and loving, with children enjoying them more.
Large Breed Dog Size
There are certain concerns involving owning large dogs. When you bring home that cute little puppy, you know they will grow to be a large dog, but you have no idea at that time how big they will actually grow. They can be an average size German shepherd weighing around 85 pounds or an English Mastiff like Hercules, the Guinness Book of World Records setter, which weighs 282 pounds. There is a lot of difference in the care these two dogs will need.
Dogue de Bordeaux
Most often when people want to get a dog, they will usually already have their minds made up of what they want. However, many times when people see a Dogue de Bordeaux dog they end up changing their minds.
Right away when people see a Dogue de Bordeaux, they fall in love with them. Dogue de Bordeaux is most definitely a dog that is unlike most other dogs. However, they are similar looking to the English Mastiffs as well as boxers; in fact it is also known as the French Mastiff.
Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff) Large Breed
Dogue de Bordeaux is also known as a French Mastiff and is a large dog breed known to be strong, powerful, and also imposing. In fact, in the past they were originally bred for use in dog fighting and as a guard dog. The temperament of the Dogue is very subtle. In fact, they have a very even temperament as well as them being very loyal and devoted to their master as well as the family. However, if strange people come they are very wary of them, and may show dominance towards other dogs. The Dogue de Bordeaux is definitely a dog that must be socialized from a very young age; due to them having great strength and athleticism.
Dogue de Bordeaux (French Mastiff) Breed History
When it comes to the history of the Dogue de Bordeaux, it is relatively new. In fact, the Dogue do Bordeaux was known, and originated in France, in the fourteenth century. However, a “uniform” breed type did not exist until 1920. The Dogue was a real popular dog in the southern France around the town Bordeaux; hence the name Dogue de Bordeaux. The Dogue de Bordeaux is known to come in two varieties, the Dogues and the Doguins. The Dogues are considerably larger populated than the Doguins; which are almost nonexistent today. However, in France they are hoping to rekindle the breed once again with the remaining survivors.
When it comes to the appearance of the Dogue de Bordeaux, they are similar looking to the English Mastiff. However, they are also different looking at the same time. The average height of the Dogue de Bordeaux is from 23-26 inches at the shoulders, and they may weigh an excess of 100 pounds. It is possible for the dogs to be 30 inches at the shoulder and weighing in at 150 pounds. It mostly depends on the bloodlines of the dog, as well as how it is being taken care of.
Alike many other large dog breeds, the Dogue de Bordeaux is also known to have been seen in many movies. In fact, the most famous Dogue de Bordeaux dog was Beasley. Beasley was one of the two main characters in the movie Turner & Hooch.
Anatolian Shepherd Dog
The Anatolian Shepherd is a large breed of dog from Anatolia, Turkey that many people have not heard of. Known for their large size, they are bred for guarding sheep, from wild animals such as wolves, bears, jackals and cheetahs.
Anatolian Shepherd Dog Characteristics
They are a very muscular dog with a thick neck, big head and strong body. They stand up to 32 inches tall at the withers and weigh as much as 150 pounds or more. The males are generally larger than the females. They are a very independent and forceful dog. They are still today used for guarding sheep and can do this on their own without their guardian’s assistance. While guarding, the Anatolian has three different kinds of barks, with each one having its own significant meaning.
A rapid quick bark will tell you that there is something on the outskirts of his territory and he will continue to observe it. His next bark is a definite bark with more intensity and volume than the first bark and is telling you something is coming towards him and his ‘flock’ and is threatening. His final bark is a menacing snarling growl that tells that something is very threatening to him and it needs to be stopped immediately.
As good as these characteristics are for a guard dog, it does make their training a little more difficult for a family pet. Being so independent, they need to be socialized around people and specifically children at a young age. This is important as it teaches them that the family is their “flock”. The Anatolian shepherd is a very intelligent dog and catches on quickly as soon as they realize you are serious. They are not a dog for an inexperienced dog owner, however. Once they become your watchdog and protector, there is little they won’t do to protect the family.
Anatolian Shepherd Dog Breeding and Health
They have a life span of 14 to 16 years of age with good care. They are a healthy breed of dog with only a few health issues such as dermatologic, musculoskeletal and lipomas, Entropion hip Dysplasia. Breeders wishing to breed their Anatolian dog should have their eyes and hips tested prior to breeding. If well taken care of, they can make a wonderful watchdog as well as family pet.
There have been some Anatolian Shepherd dogs made famous by their appearance in television or movies. ‘Butch’ from Cats & Dogs, ‘Bart’ from Kate and Leopold, and ‘Marlow’ from Simon & Simon were all Anatolian shepherds.
For many unknown reasons, every dog, cat, or animal has some sort of health issues. However, many of the larger dogs such as St. Bernard, English Mastiff or the Irish wolfhound are more prone to having health problems over the smaller breeds of dogs.
St. Bernard Health Issues
Many times when people go to get a St. Bernard, the health aspect is one thing that is rarely mentioned. In fact, many people don’t want to even mention the possible health issues of the dogs, only because 1) the dog may not have health issues, and 2) it may prevent anyone from buying the St. Bernard.
Whether a person is buying the St. Bernard or they are rescuing it, they should still know what the possible health problems are or could possibly be. Unfortunately, the St. Bernard is prone to have some health issues.
One problem that many St. Bernard dogs has or may get is an autoimmune disease; which may cause large amounts of mortality and debilitating disease in dogs. Within the autoimmune disease, there are three diseases that should be watched for. Those are canine diabetes, immune-mediated thyroiditis and immune-mediated hemolytic anemia.
Canine diabetes is when a dog has a deficiency of hormone insulin or insensitivity to it. Diabetes in an animal is not life threatening, however, untreated it can be. When a dog has canine diabetes, they are given a shot of insulin that is a hormone.
When a dog has an immune-mediated thyroiditis it is when the cells in the dogs body starts to attack the cells of the thyroid. In most cases, the dog is given a daily dose of thyroxin; which will make the levels of thyroxin go back to normal.
Lastly, when a dog has hemolytic anemia it is when the immune system destroys red blood cells prematurely, faster than the rate at which new ones can be produced. In most cases when a St. Bernard has hemolytic anemia, provided they don’t die (it is a very life threatening diseases), they are given corticosteroids or other types of medication and in worse cases they are given blood transfusions.
When it comes to hemolytic anemia, there really isn’t anything anyone can do to prevent their St. Bernard or any other dog from getting it! A rather common disease, it is unknown if hemolytic anemia is inheritated or not. One thing for sure, is that it is more common in the female than the male; and is more so in certain breeds.
St. Bernard Pets
When choosing a St. Bernard, you should choose it because you have fallen in love with it, not because of what might or might not happen! In fact, the St. Bernards, despite their health history, are wonderful family pets!
The Great Dane is one of the most popular large breed dogs among dog owners and for many Great Danes are a wonderful dog. However, many people tend to be afraid of the Great Dane only because of the size of them. In fact, the Great Dane is the world’s tallest dog! However, it is very important that people learn everything there is to know about a Great Dane before they choose to get one.
Great Danes = Gentle Giants
Great Danes are a large breed of dog that is known for its giant size and their gentle personality. In fact, the breed of dog is often referred as the gentle giant. When it comes to the temperament of the Great Dane, it is very well. In fact, they are usually high spirited, courageous, always friendly and dependable, and never timid or aggressive. Usually they are of a friendly nature to anything or anyone (including strangers, children, and animals of all kinds). However, there are some Great Danes that have a dominance issue and become aggressive with other dogs or even chase small animals.
When people see a Great Dane for the first time they are shocked by the size of them. However, the Great Danes are known as the world’s tallest dogs. When it comes to the height of the dogs, the male should/is more massive than the female with having a larger frame and heavier build. Usually, the male should look square with his height-to-weight, where the female tends to be longer than heavier. In fact, when it comes to the height and weight for the dog, they are usually at a minimum of 100-120 pounds and 28-32 inches tall at the shoulders. However, in August of 2004, a Great Dane named Gibson was named the world’s tallest dog measuring in at 42.2 inches at the shoulders.
Great care is needed as an owner of these big pets as they require a lot of attention and have greater needs than most dog breeds.
Great Dane Characteristics
Another thing that many people look for in a Great Dane when they look at them is their shape and appearance. When it comes to the body shape of the Great Dane, they are a combination of having a regal appearance, dignity, strength, and elegance along with having a great size and a powerful and smooth muscled body. The coloring of a Great Dane may also differ; they are not a one-color dog. In fact, they appear to be six different colors. The normal colors of the Great Dane are fawn, brindle, blue, black, harlequin, and mantle.
Fawn: When the dog has a yellow gold, and black mask. Usually the eyes, eyebrows, ears, and the tip of the tail are black; everything else is yellow gold.
Brindle: When the dog is fawn and black with a stripe pattern.
Blue: When the dog is blue, it is usually a steer color. Similar to the coloring of an elephant. Also, they are known to have unwanted white markings on their chest and feet.
Himalaya Tibetan Mastiffs
Usually when people hear of big dogs they usually think of St. Bernard’s, Irish Wolfhounds, or English Mastiffs; and rarely think of the Himalaya Tibetan Mastiffs-a cousin to the English Mastiffs.
Most often when people think they know everything about dogs, they learn that there is something new. In fact, when people hear that there are Himalayan Tibetan Mastiffs, they are shocked. They never realized that there was another kind or cousin of the English Mastiff. In fact, the Himalayan Tibetan Mastiffs are a newer type of dog for the public.
Are Himalaya Tibetan Mastiffs Ugly?
Many times when people hear that there is a Himalaya Tibetan Mastiff, they have no idea what they look like, in fact, they usually think of some kind of ugly dog. Look at these Tibetan Mastiff pictures and that perception will disappear quickly. The Himalayan Tibetan Mastiff is a very good looking dog. If you like the looks of the English Mastiff you will probably also like the looks of the Himalayan Tibetan Mastiffs.
Himalaya Tibetan Mastiffs Characteristics
Just like any other breed of dogs, the Himalayan Tibetan Mastiffs are much like other dogs; especially the English Mastiffs. However, they also have some of their own characteristics unlike the English Mastiffs. In fact, there are many characteristics that you can see between the English Mastiff and the Himalaya Tibetan Mastiffs.
Most often when people get a Himalayan Tibetan Mastiff, they already know all the characteristic of them; however, many people don’t. The Tibetan Mastiff is known by its intelligence, self-confidence, self-awareness, curiosity, and courage. However, if the dog cowers or snaps for no reason, it will not make a good companion. That is definitely when socialization comes in hand; it is very important that they stay socialized. In fact, they are a very independent and can be very head strong. However, they love the company of other animals as well as their human family. In some of the Tibetan Mastiffs, barking is a big complaint, however, that may be treated when the dog is a puppy. Also, it has been stated that if they get excessively bored, they may become destructively mischievous. One positive thing that has been stated is that they are very cat-like with their cleanliness and stealth.
When it comes to the looks of the Himalayan Tibetan Mastiff, they are much like the English Mastiff only the Tibetan Mastiff has long hair. Otherwise, they have the same body build as the English Mastiff; 24-26 inches tall.
If you are looking for a Himalayan Tibetan Mastiff, it should be fairly easy. There are many of them in the United States, as well as around the world. However, you may end up paying a high price for one! Check out World’s Largest Dogs
English Mastiffs are a large breed that make great pets. Many times when people go to buy a dog for there children, they tend to go for the smaller breeds of dogs, and totally passing up any of the larger breeds such as the English Mastiff.
Will A Massive Mastiff Eat My Children?
A legitimate question, especially if you follow some of the horror stories on the news from time to time by other large breed dogs. For many large English Mastiff breeders, one of the most asked questions from potential buyers is “Are Mastiff’s a good dog to have with children?” or “Are Mastiff’s a good family dog?” The answer to both questions is yes. Mastiff’s are very good dogs for children of all ages, families, or even the elderly. In fact, most breeders have not has any complaints at all about mastiff’s not being a good family dog.
However, when it comes to the temperament of the dog, there are a couple different factors that must be considered. One of the main factors is how the parents are to people, whether they are friendly or mean. But mostly when having a Mastiff, it is very important that you give the dog all the good attention it needs or wants. When having a puppy the most important thing an owner can do for it, is give it positive attention and get it socialized. Socializing the dog will prevent it from getting too protective.
If you are looking for a great family dog, the English Mastiff is a great choice; however, they are not known to live exceptionally long. In fact, the life span of an English Mastiff is much shorter due to its great body mass. The average life span of a Mastiff is 6-8 years. Either way, it is a long time to have a family love and enjoy the comforts of a lovable puppy/dog!
No matter what problem people think Mastiff’s are, they are not. The English Mastiff is known to be a very loving and loyal pet. In fact, all animals start out as great ones, it is the owners or other people that make them do things wrong! However, the Mastiff’s are characterized as being easy going and good natured; around children and other pets. Some Mastiff’s are so loyal to their owners that they will even go to the extremes and corner a stranger until the owner reassures them that everything is okay! Also, the English Mastiff’s are a dog that has a low energy level, therefore, if you wanted it for a running partner, they are not what you want! English Mastiff’s are great for being a pet, and only a pet! Despite the big size of the dog, there is no reason why anyone should not consider getting an English Mastiff! Click to read about the World’s Largest Dogs and their records.