They are considered man’s best friends. A relationship that began at least 15,000 years ago, towards the end of the last Ice Age, when wolves became the first species to originate a domestic population: the dog. Some estimates suggest that there are currently about 700 million dogs in the world, a species that is subdivided into 354 breeds, according to data from the International Cynological Federation (FCI). There are dogs of all sizes, small, medium and giant. We tell you which are the 10 largest dog breeds in the world.

The truth is that the largest dogs fight nose to nose to occupy the top positions in the classification. In fact, a dance of positions occurs depending on how you measure it: by height when standing on all fours, from head to ground; by cross height (the highest point of the shoulder blade); by height when rising from its hind legs or by weight.

Broadly speaking, the Great Dane is considered the largest breed in terms of height, but it is followed just a few centimeters away by the Irish Wolfhound or the English Mastiff, the latter being the leader in terms of height-weight ratio.

If we opt for the cross height, there is a concrete winner. His name is Zeus, a Great Dane who in 2022 was recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the tallest living dog (male) in the world. At two years old, he was 1,046 meters tall and weighed 90 kilograms.

As we said, there are different classifications of the largest dogs in the world, but almost all of them contain the same breeds.

Mastiffs can exceed 81 centimeters in height and some specimens have weighed 142 kilograms (a certain Zorba received the Guinness record for that weight in 1989).

This dog was used for centuries as a livestock guard dog and to hunt wolves and bears. According to Purina, the breed was banned in 1835 and at the end of World War II there were only 14 mastiffs left in the United Kingdom. Fortunately, the breed was reestablished.

Despite their power, mastiffs are docile, noble and not very prone to barking.

There are English, Neapolitan and Tibetan mastiffs, among others, all of large sizes. The latter have been valued at one million euros.

Another classic among the canine giants. It can reach 90 centimeters in height and 90 kilos in weight. The saint comes from its origins in the Great Saint Bernard Pass, in the Alps, where this dog was used to protect travelers and carry out rescue work. One of the emblems of Switzerland is the Saint Bernard with a small barrel of brandy hanging from its collar, an image that, however, is nothing more than a myth.

The Saint Bernard is the king of dogs in terms of weight. A certain Benedictine weighed 167 kilograms. A world record among all dog breeds that is still in force.

The tallest and most stylized. At 18 months, females exceed 70 centimeters and males, 76. They have an average weight of 60 kilograms. But, as we have seen previously with Zeus, there are specimens that destroy stockings, exceeding one meter in height and weighing close to 100 kilos.

Although it is called a Great Dane, the truth is that it comes from northern Germany. He was used as a guard dog, although his temperament is usually calm and affectionate.

The Irish Wolfhound is one of the tallest breeds with an average of between 81 and 86 centimeters. In fact, one of its specimens boasts of holding the Guinness record for the tallest dog on two legs, reaching 2.9 meters in height.

Now, in terms of weight, it loses a whole lot compared to other races. An adult male Irish Wolfhound weighs between 54 and 70 kilograms.

The name of the breed itself explains its origin. They come from Ireland, where for centuries it was used as a field dog and to hunt wolves.

The Leonberger is a breed that was created by crossing Saint Bernard, Newfoundland and Pyrenean Mountain Dogs. The goal was to obtain a majestic lion-like dog, similar to the heraldic lions of the German city of Leonberg. Its large head, thick trunk and dense fur are reminiscent of the king of the jungle.

Originally, it was used as a guard dog on farms and noble houses. It can reach 78 centimeters in height and weigh more than 75 kilograms, although there are also specimens that barely reach 40 kilos.

The Newfoundland or Newfoundland were originally bred as working dogs for fishermen on the island of Newfoundland (present-day Canada), pulling heavy loads with carts and sleds, collecting nets from the water or serving as a rescuer of shipwrecked people.

In fact, as Science Focus BBC points out, this breed stands out for how well it performs in water at cold temperatures, thanks to its web-like legs, its enormous lungs and its dense fur.

On average, the Newfoundland measures just under 80 centimeters and weighs about 70 kilograms (between 55 and 90 kilos), although specimens weighing 120 kilograms have been recorded. A beast of the water.

The Tosa or Tosa Inu is a breed of dog that was originally used by the Japanese in combat and as a guard dog in the 19th century.

It stands out for its short and soft hair, whose color can be red, brindle or brown, and for its behavior; He is intelligent, obedient and a little aggressive.

It is said that the specimens bred in Japan are somewhat smaller than those bred in other countries, where they can exceed 70 centimeters in height and 100 kilos in weight.

The Kangal Dog is a breed of guard dog, originally from Turkey, and is considered one of the oldest and most primitive breeds. This dog stands out for its strength, but also for its speed and agility. The largest male specimens are close to a meter high and weigh 100 kilos.

The Pyrenees Mountain is one of the large white mastiffs found in Europe. Their origin dates back to the Middle Ages, when they were the defenders of flocks against the threat of wolves and bears.

Adult males weigh between 50 and 60 kilograms and are usually between 70 and 99 centimeters tall at the withers.

Originally from Brazil, the Fila is one of the most faithful dogs that exists, showing its aggressiveness when it must defend its owner.

With a compact figure, an adult male can measure between 65 and 75 centimeters tall at the withers and weigh at least 50 kilos.

In addition to these ten enormous dogs, we cannot forget other equally impressive breeds. There are, for example, the Boerboel (up to 70 centimeters in height and 90 kilos in weight); the Anatolian Shepherd (71-81 cm in height and 50-59 kilograms in weight); the Kuvasz (70-76 centimeters and 48-62 kilograms) or the Bernese Mountain Dog (64-70 cm and 38-50 kilos). They are all giants, especially when compared to the smallest dog in the world, Pearl, a Chihuahua 9.14 centimeters high, 12.7 centimeters long and just 28 grams in weight.