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Tibetan mastiff is a loyal and dependable companion. While these pooches usually range from 140 –170 pounds some European owners claim that theirs have reached weights up to 220 pounds! Marco Polo described the Tibetan Mastiff as “tall as a donkey with a voice as powerful as that of a lion.” The Tibetan Mastiff is serious and dignified, calm and quiet — unless provoked. Despite his bulk, this breed is remarkably agile, skilled at climbing and jumping, and requires a six-foot-high fence. Owning anyone of these breeds is going to require the tallest of security fences not to keep burglars out, because your giant dog will get done for you, but to keep in your Clifford sized friend.
With beauty, brains, agility, and loyalty, what other breed could it be but the Doberman Pinscher? The Doberman while one of the smallest breeds on the list is no runt of the pack. Compactly built it has a muscular body and has the strength and endurance to keep up when it needs too. Herr Karl Friedrich Louis Dobermann, the maker of this breed, was a tax collector and dog catcher in Germany in the late 1800s. As a dog catcher he could choose the best dogs for his purpose. He mixed several breeds to develop the breed but kept no records. The Doberman did gain a solid reputation for its harsh strength of character and an ability to hunt, bite, and kill vermin.
English mastiffs the gentle giants. These dogs can reach weights exceeding 200 pounds and is one of the oldest breeds. They’ve been depicted in Egyptian monuments as early as 3000 B.C. and are thought to have come to America on the Mayflower. Some of the Mastiff’s talents include: watchdog, guarding, police work, military work, search and rescue, and weight pulling.
The Bernese mountain dog was originally bred as a farm dog and is one of the four Sennenhund breeds. He is intelligent, strong and agile enough to herd cattle, pull carts, and be a watchdog for which he was used in the mountainous regions of his origin. The dog is tricolor with symmetrical markings of black, rust and white. In addition to being strikingly good-looking, the Berner has a wonderful temperament.
Fourth we have the Italian mastiff or the ‘cane corso’ which is notoriously hard to train. The Cane Corso outdoes the other mastiff breeds in athleticism, agility, speed, energy level, and sense of adventure. This old Italian dog breed was developed to guard property and hunt big game such as wild boar. He was not used for dog-fighting but dog aggression which is often very serious can still be a problem. He’s unwilling to just lie around all day and will find his own “work” to do if you don’t provide it: usually running the fence and barking at passersby, digging holes to China, or chewing up your furniture.
The Great Dane although he looks terribly imposing, in reality he’s one of the best-natured dogs around. He is the Apollo of dogs reaching to a weight of 200 or more pounds. It is no surprise that this dinosaur of a dog is one of the most well known giant breeds. The Great Dane is popular today in America, even appearing in popular culture, such as the newspaper comic character Marmaduke, the Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Scooby-Doo, and Astro in the TV show The Jetsons.
The Scottish Deerhounds original purpose was to hunt and bring down the Scottish roe deer, a magnificent beast twice or more their size. The hunting of antlered game with dogs is not permitted in
the United States, but the Deerhound has been used very successfully on wolves, coyotes, and rabbits. As a companion the Deerhound is ideal, being tractable and easy to train and possessing the most dependable loyalty and utmost devotion to his master.
Our last giant on this list is the Saint Bernard. The Saint Bernards expression often appears more stern, but is never ill-natured. A dog of this sized must be trained early in their puppyhood because once his size sets in and if he has bad habits like jumping up on humans, even in a friendly manner, a person would be knocked off their feet. Some of the Saint Bernards talents are search and rescue, guard dog, watchdog and carting. It has also been known to be able to predict storms and avalanches!