|Irish Wolfhound, Irish Kennel Club|
What does it mean to be "big" in the dog world?
Well, there are traditionally two aspects that count in what it means to be a big dog -- height and bulk. Traditionally considered the tallest breed, the Irish Wolfhound is--as a rule, not counting individual exceptions -- the tallest dog. Increasingly running a close second due particularly to large individual members is the Great Dane.
|Grey Great Dane|
|Harlequin Great Dane|
The other kind of big is, as I said, made of weight and bulk. Here the top breed is generally considered to be the English Mastiff, although individual members of other breeds, particularly a few Saint Bernards, are also very beefy dogs. As breeds, mastiffs were designed to be a little bulkier than were Saints.
|Fawn English Mastiff|
Other large mastiff breeds would include the Neapolitan Mastiff and the Douge de Bordeaux (which is sometimes called the French Mastiff.)
|Neapolitan Mastiff pup|
|Douge de Bordeaux or French Mastiff|
The Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog is also a fairly large breed, and that lovely fur just adds to the appearance of size - but there is a lot of dog under that hair.
The Scottish Deerhound and the Borzoi both have a fair
bit of height and length -- they aren't the size of dogs
you can loose in the average room.
|Graice - big personality, compact size|
|Borzoi - calmer than the average terrier|
|Schnauzer - not exactly ready for show ring|
A Newfie for example, can walk down the sidewalk with you, never feeling the need to challenge another dog or person. They're confident. But they're relaxed. A terrier on the other hand, can't walk across their own living room without possibly breaking into a charge because they suddenly see someone doing something they need to supervise, or an activity that they need to be in the middle of. When that happens twenty or thirty times a day - well you have to have a certain kind of personality yourself to find that tolerable.
|Bloodhounds - more big than not|
|Schnazuer - saving the world from a demon ball|