Top 10 Large Dog Breeds
Written by: Catalogs.com Editorial Staff
April 4, 2011
Filed Under Pets
Contributed by Robert P. Simon, Catalogs.com Top 10 Guru
Toy pups may have had their day in the sun, but the truth is large dog breeds are smarter, friendlier, and can more than hold their own against the neighborhood cats.
A well-trained, well exercised large dog can do well in a small space, and is often more content in a condo than some of the hyper toy breeds.
Here are my choices for the top ten large dog breeds:
10. Giant Schnauzer
Powerful, compact, and possessing a beautiful black coat, this German giant is playful and protective. Giants are alert, easily trained, and have the calm disposition to live in an apartment or smaller house if they receive enough attention and exercise. They are a different breed from the miniature and standard schnauzer. A gray, or “pepper and salt,” coat can also be found.
Little known, this handsome French guard and herding dog bears a passing resemblance to its more popular cousins, the Doberman and the Rottweiler. Fiercely loyal and highly trainable, the Beauceron does require a steady hand and ample space, but the right owner will be rewarded with a lifelong friend.
8. Doberman Pinscher
Easily recognizable and unfortunately (and incorrectly) characterized as an aggressive breed, the Doberman is in fact an excellent family pet. Disciplined and intelligent, Dobermans are easy to train and socialize well with humans and other dogs. With a short coat, these friendly giants make for excellent housemates and can be easier on owners with allergies.
7. Belgian Shepherd
Also known as the Belgian Sheepdog, this elegant herding dog is known by four names, varying by coat and region: The Groenendael, the Laekenois, the Tervuren, and the Malinois. All share similar build, features, and temperament; the dog is friendly, loving, and has bounds of energy. Highly trainable and family ready, the Belgian has a special place in this author’s heart.
6. Alaskan Malamute
Strong and serene, the Malamute is not a beginner’s dog. Though great companions, they are difficult to train, independent, and require significant socializing around other animals. Around the house, however, they are delicate, gentle with people, and show a great affinity for their owners. With a heavy coat, Malamutes are generally suited for temperate climates.
5. Irish Wolfhound
Irish Wolfhounds are quiet and easygoing by nature, yet form a bond tight enough with their owners that they display a unique fearlessness when they sense danger. Tall, muscular, and graceful, they are impressive to see and surprisingly friendly with strangers.
4. Great Dane
A true gentle giant, the Great Dane is one of the world’s tallest breeds, and also one of its most beloved. Powerful and graceful, they are also friendly, loyal, and get along easily with both people and other animals. Like many large breed dogs, Great Danes have a short life span – 7 to 10 years – and are often called the “heartbreak breed.”
The Akita is stocky and regal in its appearance, a direct result of its lineage as a Japanese royal guard dog. Working dogs, Akitas do require attention and exercise, and if not properly socialized often have difficulty with strangers or other animals. They are, however, highly intelligent and uncommonly loyal to their masters.
2. German Shepherd
World-renowned for its intelligence and capability as a working dog, German Shepherds are among the most commonly registered dogs in many countries. They hold an unfair reputation for their ferocity, a direct result of how easy they are to train. In reality, they are loyal to their masters, amenable to strangers, and eager to find a place in a family.
Like the German Shepherd, Rottweilers possess an undeserved reputation resulting largely from their imposing stature and frequent use as easily trained guard or police dogs. As any Rottweiler owner can attest, they are in fact affectionate and energetic working dogs, good with children and very obedient.