Special Report

Most Popular Giant Dog Breeds

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It’s often said that Americans like things big. The same goes for dogs. The top three most popular dogs in the United states are giant dogs — the Labrador retriever, German shepherd, and golden retriever.

24/7 Wall St. has compiled a list of the most popular giant dog breeds in the United States. We reviewed data from the American Kennel Club (AKC), which registers 190 dog breeds, to determine our list.

Click here to see the most popular giant dog breeds.
Click here to see the most popular tiny dog breeds.
Click here to see our detailed findings and methodology.

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25. Chinese Shar-Pei
> Average weight (male): Up to 60 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 64

Shar-pei have some very distinctive characteristics, including a rough coat and folds of wrinkled skin. They are intelligent but stubborn and need to be trained at an early age. Unfortunately, shar-pei are prone to a range of health conditions, including allergic skin disease, eye disorders, and various bone and joint problems.

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Source: Matthew Murray / Getty Images

24. Dalmatians
> Average weight (male): Up to 70 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 63

The dalmatian is known for its spotted coat, although puppies are born without spots. It has a unique AKC designation — coach dog — as it was used to accompany and guard horse-drawn coaches. The breed has been known to generations of children as the star of the Dodie Smith book and Walt Disney film adaptation “101 Dalmatians.”

Source: Matt_Collingwood / Getty Images

23. Alaskan Malamutes
> Average weight (male): 85 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 59

The Alaskan malamute, the official dog of the nation’s largest state, is named after the Mahlemut people of Alaska, a native Inuit tribe whose remoteness helped preserve the purity of this ancient dog breed. Malamutes are true working dogs and have been used to pull sleds, hunt seals, and protect people from bears. They are also friendly, loyal, and make great pets.

Source: MihaelaIulianaStancu / iStock

22. Samoyeds
> Average weight (male): Up to 65 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 57

The Samoyed originated in Siberia, where it was used to hunt and herd reindeer, as a watchdog, and to pull sleds. Its thick white coat provides protection against the harshest conditions. Explorer Roald Amundsen relied on samoyeds to get him to the South Pole.

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Source: Scott F Smith / Getty Images

21. Portuguese Water Dogs
> Average weight (male): Up to 60 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 54

Described as medium sized and robust by the AKC, this breed has an advantage above the other water-loving pups — a waterproof coat. The most well-known of the breed is former “first dog” Bo, who belongs to President Obama and his family. Malia, President Obama’s daughter, is allergic to dogs, which led to Bo’s “appointment.”

Source: Eriklam / Getty Images

20. Bullmastiffs
> Average weight (male): 110-130 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 51

As the name suggests, the bullmastiff is the result of bulldog and mastiff crosses. It was bred to guard country estates and game preserves from poachers. It is large, tipping the scale at up to 130 pounds, and is powerful and intimidating. The bullmastiff requires careful training.

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Source: alkir / Getty Images

19. Bloodhounds
> Average weight (male): 90-110 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 50

The bloodhound is famous for its sense of smell and tracking ability. The breed is used by police forces around the world to find missing people and escaped prisoners. It is instantly recognizable because of its wrinkled face and large drooping ears. Unfortunately the bloodhound is one of the shortest-lived dog breeds at 7 to 9 years.

Source: Alan Levine / Wikimedia Commons

18. St. Bernards
> Average weight (male): 140-180 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 48

Named after a monk who aided pilgrims crossing the Alps on their way to Rome, the St. Bernard is famous as a rescue dog. It is very big — males can weigh up to 180 pounds — and very strong, but has a very gentle and winning expression. The animal has a relatively short life expectancy of 8 to 10 years.

Source: Caro108 / Wikimedia Commons

17. Akitas
> Average weight (male): 100-130 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 47

The Akita is a large, powerful breed that originated in Japan. Two distinguishing features are its trademark curling tail and its alert expression. The Akita is wary of strangers, has little tolerance for other animals, and is protective of its owners.

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Source: Sansargo / iStock

16. Belgian Malinois
> Average weight (male): 60-80 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 44

This dog was bred to herd livestock around the Belgian city of Malines. It is versatile and hard working and is also used as a military and police dog. The animal makes for a great pet but needs more exercise than most dogs. Belgian Malinois bears a resemblance to a German shepherd dog.

Source: Keith Rousseau / Wikimedia Commons

15. Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
> Average weight (male): 65-80 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 43

The Chesapeake Bay Retriever is the official State Dog of Maryland, its home state. This family-oriented dog has a waterproof coat that’s oily to the touch. It’s protective of its owners and determined, making it a great watchdog.

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Source: Vulkano12 / Wikimedia Commons

14. Rhodesian Ridgebacks
> Average weight (male): 85 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 41

The Rhodesian Ridgeback is named for its land of origin, now Zimbabwe and Zambia, and for the distinctive ridge that runs along its back, which is formed by hair growing in the opposite direction from the rest of its coat. Bred to hunt lions, but not kill them, it’s an imposing looking dog. They are devoted to family and affectionate toward children.

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13. Collies
> Average weight (male): 60-75 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 40

Collies have strong herding abilities and protective instincts, as generations who have seen Lassie in films and on television know. They are strong, loyal, affectionate, and elegant dogs, and they respond well to training. Originally bred in Scotland and Northern England to herd sheep, collies make surprisingly good couch potatoes.

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12. Basset Hounds
> Average weight (male): Up to 65 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 39

Originally bred in France, the basset hound is known for its droopy features, hunting ability, and keen sense of smell, which is second only to that of its cousin, the bloodhound. Bassets are great with kids and, despite their size, think of themselves as lap dogs.

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Source: SvetaElfimova / Thinkstock

11. Newfoundlands
> Average weight (male): 130-150 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 36

Newfoundlands were originally bred as working dogs for fishermen in the Canadian province after which they are named. Newfoundlands are big, strong, loyal, and excellent swimmers, with lifesaving instincts in the water. The breed is easy to train and eager to please. It is an excellent companion and is even referred to as “the nanny dog.” Novelist J.M. Barrie specified that the beloved “Nana” in “Peter Pan” was a Newfoundland.

Source: forisana / Getty Images

10. Mastiffs
> Average weight (male): 160-230 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 28

This massive breed was developed to guard livestock from predators such as wolves. There are also accounts of them being used for entertainment as fighting dogs in ancient Roman arenas, where they were pitted against lions and tigers. Despite their fierce history, mastiffs are good-natured dogs and surprisingly docile.

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Source: Thinkstock

9. Bernese Mountain Dogs
> Average weight (male): 80-115 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 25

The Bernese were bred in Switzerland to be all-around farm hands. They were used to guard flocks, haul milk and cheese carts to market, and move livestock over mountainous terrain. While most don’t work quite so hard these days, Bernese love outdoor activities and have been known to pull children around in carts.

Source: OlgaOvcharenko / Shutterstock.com

8. Doberman Pinschers
> Average weight (male): 75-100 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 16

The Doberman pinscher was first bred in Germany in the mid-1800s by Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, a tax collector and night watchman. He wanted a dog to protect him in his sometimes dangerous line of work. As well as being one of the smartest breeds, the Doberman ranks high in obedience and trainability. This makes the dog popular with police and military forces around the world.

Source: RalfWeigel / iStock

7. Great Danes
> Average weight (male): 140-175 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 14

The great Dane was developed in England and Germany as a boar hound, its long ears often left shredded by the sharp tusks of the wild boar. Today’s great Danes lead much less hazardous lives and can make for great pets. They are dependable, patient, and friendly. But as their name implies, they are huge. Standing on its hind legs, a great Dane can be taller than its owner and weigh up to 200 pounds.

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Source: SVPhilon / iStock

6. Siberian Huskies
> Average weight (male): Up to 60 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 12

Bred as a sled dog, the Siberian husky is known for its endurance. Huskies have a great work ethic and love to run, preferring that to walking. In fact, the husky is so energetic that it has to be kept leashed or it will run away. In 1925, a relay team of huskies and other sled dogs saved people in Nome, Alaska, from a diptheria epidemic by running for five days to bring medicine to the town.

Source: Ryan McVay / Thinkstock

5. Boxers
> Average weight (male): 65-80 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 11

Although it was recognized by the AKC in 1904, the boxer did not really gain popularity in the U.S. until after World War II, when returning soldiers brought the dogs home with them from Europe. Its popularity may also have received a boost when actors Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall were given one as a wedding present.

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Source: Grigorita Ko / Shutterstock.com

4. Rottweilers
> Average weight (male): 95-135 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 8

The Rottweiler is one of the oldest working breeds and may have been herding livestock since the days of the Roman Empire. The breed combines intelligence, strength, and endurance. Unfortunately, the Rottweiler has sometimes been portrayed in the media as aggressive, but according to the AKC, it is “a calm, confident, and courageous dog.”

Source: Thinkstock

3. Golden Retrievers
> Average weight (male): 65-75 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 3

Golden retrievers aren’t just intelligent, they are hard workers, too. They are often used as guide dogs, in search and rescue, and – as their name suggests – for hunting. Their many other endearing characteristics, including patience and playfulness, make them great pets.

Source: Legolin / iStock

2. German Shepherd Dogs
> Average weight (male): 65-90 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 2

The German shepherd is the second most popular dog in the U.S., according to the AKC. Originally bred to herd sheep, it has become the first choice for many roles because of its intelligence, trainability, and obedience. German shepherds are used for disability assistance, search and rescue, and as police dogs.

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Source: sgilsdorf / Wikimedia Commons

1. Labrador Retrievers
> Average weight (male): 65-80 lbs.
> Popularity ranking among all dogs: 1

The Labrador retriever has topped the AKC’s list of most popular breeds in the U.S. since 1991. Labs are friendly, outgoing, and eager to please. They are also one of the most sought-after breeds for challenging work, whether as guide dogs or for search and rescue. When lives are in danger, you want a dog that is smart and dependable.

Detailed Findings

Big dogs are one of the reasons why dogs are so popular in the United States. According to a recent survey, 60 million American households have a total of almost 90 million dogs as pets.
Many of the large dogs on our list are herders or hunters. Some breeds need a lot of exercise and space to roam, while others are content to snooze away much of the day indoors.
Whatever the reason, all these dogs have devoted fans across the country and dedicated national clubs — a requirement for American Kennel Club recognition.

Methodology

In order to determine the most popular giant dog breeds, 24/7 Wall St. used the ranking from the American Kennel Club’s list of the 190 most popular dog breeds for 2017. We considered breeds for the giant category if male dogs in that breed weigh at least 60 pounds, per the information the AKC provides on each breed.

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