Most popular large dog breeds
Adding a dog to a home can be a major decision. Among other things, aspiring owners have to consider what size breed they have space for; how much time they can devote to their new addition; and more particular concerns like shedding, health issues, and climate. It’s certainly not a decision to be taken lightly—and yet, many people do. Approximately 3.3 million dogs end up in shelters each year, according to data from the ASPCA. Of those dogs, it’s estimated that only 620,000 are strays who are returned to their owners, meaning that many of these pups are abandoned after their owners find they can’t care for them properly.
Stacker is here to help hopeful dog owners with their important pre-pup research. Using data from the American Kennel Club dog profiles, we’ve compiled a list of the 30 most popular large dog breeds.
To be considered for this list, each dog’s max height must be at least 25 inches, and its max weight must be at least 70 pounds. The dogs are ranked by their 2018 AKC popularity rank, which was released in 2019. While this is in no way the authoritative source for picking a new canine companion, it’s intended to be a resource to help guide that search.
From American favorites like collies and Chesapeake Bay retrievers to more exotic breeds like borzois and Akitas, there’s sure to be a breed that catches your eye and pulls at your heartstrings.
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- Height of dog: 28 inches and up (male), 26 inches and up (female)
- Weight of dog: 75-105 pounds (male), 60-85 pounds (female)
- AKC popularity rank: #103 of 191
- Temperament: affectionate, loyal, regally dignified
- Life expectancy: 9-14 years
Borzois have their origins in 17th-century Russia, where they were favorites of Tolstoy and the Romanovs. The elegant sighthound, bred for hunting and its signature long coat, can run up to 40 miles per hour—a feat that’s truly impressive to watch. They aren’t much into roughhousing like other hounds but make affectionate family pets.
#29. Neapolitan mastiff
- Height of dog: 26-31 inches (male), 24-29 inches (female)
- Weight of dog: 150 pounds (male), 110 pounds (female)
- AKC popularity rank: #102 of 191
- Temperament: loyal, dignified, watchful
- Life expectancy: 7-9 years
Neapolitan mastiffs were acting as guard dogs as far back as 700 B.C.E. Their massive frames and wrinkled appearance certainly make them look intimidating, but they’re incredibly loyal to their families and owners. The dogs are stubborn, though, and training must take place early in order to make them understand the appropriate hierarchy.
#28. English setter
- Height of dog: 25-27 inches (male), 23-25 inches (female)
- Weight of dog: 65-80 pounds (male), 45-55 pounds (female)
- AKC popularity rank: #94 of 191
- Temperament: friendly, mellow, merry
- Life expectancy: 12 years
Elegant and beautiful, English setters have uniquely speckled coats described as “belton” which come in a range of colors. Merry, polite, and playful, these hunting dogs are often regarded as one of the best canine companions for families of all lifestyles.
- Height of dog: 28-31.5 inches (male), 25.5-29.5 inches (female)
- Weight of dog: 110-170 pounds (male), 90-140 pounds (female)
- AKC popularity rank: #93 of 191
- Temperament: friendly, gentle, playful
- Life expectancy: 9 years
Bred to be working dogs and companions, Leonbergers may look intimidating but they're actually sweet and gentle, and do well with children of all ages. The breed requires lots of room to run and play as well as plenty of daily exercise, so they wouldn’t do well in a city or small suburban house, but athletes and outdoorsy folk are sure to find a faithful adventure partner in these pups.
#26. Anatolian shepherd dog
- Height of dog: 29 inches (male), 27 inches (female)
- Weight of dog: 110-150 pounds (male), 80-120 pounds (female)
- AKC popularity rank: #90 of 191
- Temperament: loyal, independent, reserved
- Life expectancy: 11-13 years
Originally bred in Anatolia (Asia Minor), Anatolian shepherd dogs were designed to be livestock guardians, which makes them protective and territorial. They need strong owners who are willing to invest time in their training and can handle the dog’s stubborn nature. These dogs are loyal, calm, and loving, and would make a great addition to any family.
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#25. Bouvier des Flandres
- Height of dog: 24.5-27.5 inches (male), 23.5-26.5 inches (female)
- Weight of dog: 70-110 pounds
- AKC popularity rank: #84 of 191
- Temperament: affectionate, courageous, strong-willed
- Life expectancy: 10-12 years
A true working dog, the Bouvier des Flandres has been employed on farms, in the Belgian army, in the European police force, and as a seeing-eye dog, among other professions. The pups are happiest when they have a job to do, and can get destructive when they feel bored. They do best in active families with lots of room to roam.
#24. Greater Swiss mountain dog
- Height of dog: 25.5-28.5 inches (male), 23.5-27 inches (female)
- Weight of dog: 115-140 pounds (male), 85-110 pounds (female)
- AKC popularity rank: #74 of 191
- Temperament: faithful, family-oriented, dependable
- Life expectancy: 8-11 years
Another working dog, Greater Swiss mountain dogs are immensely strong and best known for their tri-color coats. Faithful and family-oriented, these pups like plenty of activity and enjoy being part of a family.
#23. Dogue de Bordeaux
- Height of dog: 23.27 inches (male), 23-26 inches (female)
- Weight of dog: 110 pounds and up (male), 99 pounds and up (female)
- AKC popularity rank: #67 of 191
- Temperament: affectionate, loyal, courageous
- Life expectancy: 5-8 years
The oldest of the French dog breeds, the Dogue de Bordeaux has been around for thousands of years. Known for their short, fawn-colored coat; stubborn wills; and sweet souls, these dogs need obedience training early on to ensure they don’t rule the roost. Their strong attitudes and a host of health concerns mean that they won’t make a great fit for those who are busy and not around often.
#22. Great Pyrenees
- Height of dog: 27-32 inches (male), 25-29 inches (female)
- Weight of dog: 100 pounds and up (male), 85 pounds and up (female)
- AKC popularity rank: #66 of 191
- Temperament: smart, patient, calm
- Life expectancy: 10-12 years
Bred to protect flocks and deter predators in the mountains between Spain and France, Great Pyrenees are massive, muscled guardians. However, in their day-to-day lives, the dogs are mellow and calm, only leaping into protective mode when they sense a major threat.
#21. German wirehaired pointer
- Height of dog: 24-26 inches (male), minimum 22 inches (female)
- Weight of dog: 50-70 pounds
- AKC popularity rank: #63 of 191
- Temperament: affectionate, eager, enthusiastic
- Life expectancy: 14-16 years
Plenty of outdoor space is a requirement for German wirehaired pointers, who are active and high energy. Bred to be a hunting dog, these athletic and intelligent pups crave human connections and need consistent attention in order to remain on their best behavior.
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