If you fancy large and giant dog breeds, don’t be scared by their dominating stature. Some large dog breeds are gentle giants when interacting with their favorite human friends. So, here are our top 10 best large sized family dog breeds that are just as friendly as smaller dog breeds:
1: Great Dane
Also referred to as the “Apollo of Dogs,” Great Danes grow up to a height of 30-37 inches and weight of 105-170 pounds. These giant breeds have a commanding presence, but despite their massive size, they are gentle and playful. However, you need to start your training regimens as early as possible since Danes with a more spirited personality can be hard to control around small kids.
2: Bernese Mountain Dog
The Bernese Mountain Dog weighs about 85-120 pounds and heights of 23-28 inches. This breed has a thick, shiny coat that appears a bit wavy. Despite the large size, this versatile and gentle breed is nice with children, but can sometimes turn reserved and shy around strangers. They are also friendly and social with other pets but can experience separation anxiety when left alone for long.
The Newfoundland is another considerably intelligent dog breed in the world. Their love for children is unmatched and they’re very protective of them. This character probably explains their nickname, “Nature’s Babysitter.” They are gentle, patient, and kind, which makes them the “Mother Teresa” of dogs. Your family members and children alike will instantly fall in love with this dog breed.
Related Reading: Top 10 Friendliest Medium Sized Dog Breeds
Consider purchasing this dog if you have large open spaces in your backyard. Although they drool and shed excessively, you should not lock them outdoors in the backyard. However, they love staying indoors with people. Newfoundland breeds are great swimmers and known to save people in emergencies. When swimming with the dog, ensure that you follow the basic pool safety tips to ensure their safety.
Newfoundland dogs are easy to train and are task-oriented. So, you shouldn’t be afraid to provide them with much-needed stimulation.
4: St. Bernard
St. Benard is another large breed with heights of 25-28 inches and weight of 110-118 pounds. This true gentle giant has a calm and dignified demeanor, making it great for families with small kids. It has a muscular build with broad shoulders, and the coat is thick and endowed with brown and white fur. Adored for its loyalty, St. Bernard will strive to please the owner and can work several hours in cold climates.
With a height of 25-27 inches and a weight of 110-130 pounds, the Bullmastiff has an imposing appearance, but the giant dog is generally quiet and gentle. With the right dog car seat, you can easily travel with this dog in your car. The breed can grow to be loyal and protective to its family and it’s good with kids. The breed is even great for apartment living.
6: Old English Sheepdog
The Old English Sheepdog is another giant breed that was bred in the 19th century to work on farms as a cattle dog. But don’t be fooled by its massive size (heights of 20-24 inches and weight of 60-110 pounds), the Old English thrives even in indoor environments as long as you allow them to take part in family activities. They are also great with kids. You will adore the shaggy appearance that gives them a comical expression.
7: Great Pyrenees
The Great Pyrenees weighs about 80-120 pounds and has a height of 25-32 inches. The elegant and powerful dog was originally bred to guard sheep in the Pyrenees Mountains in France. It often appears more heavily boned than it actually is due to its thick and weather-resistant coat that sheds significantly.
Despite the size, this breed is generally well-behaved and calm. However, they will distinctively guard their family if they sense a threat.
8: Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
The Greater Swiss is a bold, easy-going, territorial breed that weighs 80-130 pounds and grows to a height of 23-29 inches. This large dog was bred to traverse steep terrains in the Swiss Alps, and that’s why it has a long, strong body and a short, dense coat for enhanced insulation. Though this adorable pup is a great working dog on farms, it is a gentle and sensitive family companion even if you have little children.
This Germany-originated dog was bred as a multipurpose working dog in farms since the 1800s. They are gentle, friendly pups with a mild-mannered temperament. Leonbergers weigh 70-120 pounds and have heights of 25-32 inches. They make great therapy dogs and companions for families with small children, but they require moderate exercise and regular grooming.
10: Irish Wolfhound
We couldn’t complete this list of friendliest large-size dogs without mentioning the noble Irish Wolfhound, which is actually one of the largest dog breeds in the world. Weighing 90-170 pounds and donning heights of 32-34 inches, this gentle giant has a sturdy hound with lots of energy.
However, the dog is very playful and naturally curious. Surprisingly, this giant breed thrives in indoor environments as well. Just ensure there’s enough room for the dog to lie down and stretch out. The Wolfhound is friendly with new people, kids, and other dogs and pets.
Precautions When Choosing Big Dog Breeds for Family
It’s important at this point to state that parents with small kids should take extra precautions when selecting big and giant breeds. Although many big dog breeds are exceptionally friendly and good with kids, their huge size and extreme weight means that they can accidentally harm kids, especially if they are not properly trained.
Imagine a 120-pound dog jumping on your little kid to say hi, or running between their legs during playtime!
On the flip side, your child may not have learned how to respect and interact with pets. Pulling or picking a dog’s ears, eyes or nose can easily trigger aggression!
So, it’s always a wise idea never to leave your small kid unattended with a large dog. You also need to teach your children the proper way to interact with pets.
Traits of Perfect Dog Breeds for Families with Kids
Most large family dogs exhibit friendly and gentle behaviors, making them great for families with kids. But to be sure of your ultimate choice, do some extra research on your preferred dog and ensure they portray the following traits:
- Appropriate energy levels
- Low Maintenance
That wraps it for our list of the best large sized family dog breeds. If you prefer miniature and small dog breeds, here is our list of top 10 friendliest small dog breeds. Feel free to share with us your experiences with some of these breeds in the comment box below!