Large dog breeds
The FCI divides the different dog breeds into a total of ten groups, some of which have several sections. Apart from this, a distinction is usually made between small, medium and large dog breeds.
In large dogs, the shoulder height is at least 60 centimetres, while weight is not a factor in the classification. The differences in the physique of large dog breeds are correspondingly large. While a Golden Retriever usually weighs just 25 to 34 kilos, the Mastiff sometimes weighs up to 100 kilos. Nevertheless, due to their shoulder height, both breeds count among the large dogs.
Known large dog breeds
Popular large dog breeds are, for example:
- Great Dane
- Saint Bernard
- German shepherd dog
- Golden Retriever
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
The Great Dane can reach a shoulder height of over 80 centimetres. This makes it one of the largest dogs of all, despite its relatively slim build. Great Danes are considered to be gentle and affectionate. However, as these large dogs need a lot of exercise, keeping them is quite time-consuming.
The Newfoundlander, originating from Canada, was originally valued as a reliable working dog. The large dogs have a massive physique and can grow up to 71 centimetres in height. Thanks to their relaxed and calm nature, Newfoundlanders are considered to be extremely fond of children despite their imposing appearance. The large dogs love to swim and also need enough attention and activity.
St. Bernards grow to a height of up to 80 centimetres and weigh around 80 kilos. This makes them one of the largest dog breeds in the world. The origins of the St. Bernard dog lie in Switzerland. There they were once bred as guard, protection and rescue dogs. St. Bernards are regarded as being gentle and patient, which has made these large dogs extremely popular family dogs.
The Rottweiler, which originates from Germany, is probably one of the best known large dogs of all. The, up to 69 centimetres, large animals have a pronounced protective instinct and should therefore only be kept by experienced dog owners if possible. Apart from this, Rottweilers have always been used as service dogs by the police, customs and military.
The Dobermann reaches a shoulder height of up to 72 centimetres. He is extremely alert and intelligent. Apart from being used as a service dog, these large dogs can also live in a family. In this case, however, it is important to pay attention to a consistent education as well as a need-based workload. Like the Rottweiler, the Doberman needs an experienced owner who knows how to handle him.
When it comes to large dog breeds, the Mastiff is, of course, a must. These dogs from England are not only large but also extremely heavy, sometimes up to 100 kilos. Despite its enormous body size, the Mastiff is an extremely considerate companion, which can also get along well with children if they are properly educated.
German shepherd dog
The German Shepherd has been leading the puppy statistics of the VDH by a wide margin for years despite declining birth rates. The large dogs are classic protection, guard and herding dogs, which are characterised among other things by their distinctive protective instinct as well as their strong nerves and resilience. Although these characteristics make German Shepherds reliable service dogs, they also ensure that the large dogs are only suitable for experienced owners.
Golden retrievers can grow up to 61 centimetres tall and weigh 34 kilos. These large dogs from Great Britain are considered to be extremely sociable, nice and friendly. Although like many large breeds, Golden Retrievers need a lot of exercise, they are ideal for beginners or families with children.
Leonbergers reach a shoulder height of 80 centimetres and a weight of 70 kilos. This large breed of dog is characterised by its good-natured and calm nature. In addition, the Leonberger, which comes from Germany, has a very high stimulus threshold, which makes him an excellent family dog. Like many large dogs, however, the Leonberger does not live to a great age with an average life expectancy of between eight and nine years.
The Rhodesian Ridgeback is a large breed of dog from South Africa and Zimbabwe. There the big dogs were originally used for hunting big game. The Rhodesian Ridgeback reaches a shoulder height of up to 69 centimetres. It is considered to be a dog that is eager to work and learn and is used, among other things, as a person tracker and rescue dog. However, these large dogs are only suitable for beginners to a limited extent.
Large dog breeds and health
Of course, all breeds of dogs can get sick. However, some health problems occur more often than average in large dogs. Large dog breeds are susceptible to joint diseases, calluses and stomach torsion, among other things.
Joint problems in large dogs
Large breeds of dogs suffer particularly often from joint problems. In addition to hip and elbow dysplasia, arthrosis in large dogs is also one of the most widespread diseases of the musculoskeletal system.
Chronic joint diseases are very painful for affected animals and also lead to a progressive restriction of mobility. Owners of large dogs should therefore take care from an early age not to overload the joints of their four-legged friend and ensure healthy growth with a diet tailored to their needs.
In addition, a dietary supplement with Joints & Bones from Bellfor is useful for large dog breeds. The nutrients it contains, such as collagen and hyaluronic acid, contribute to an optimal supply of nutrients to the joints and can thus help to support joint health in large dogs.
Lying bumps for large dog breeds
Lying calluses or lying bumps also occur quite frequently in large and heavy dog breeds. Couch calluses initially manifest themselves in dogs in the form of local hair loss and the formation of calluses. Over time, cracks in the skin and small bleedings and inflammations can occur.
In order to prevent calluses, large dogs should always have a padded lying area available. If calluses have already formed, we recommend counteracting them with a combination of Bellfor callus ointment, Bellfor Skin & Coat and Bellfor Joints & Bones.
Stomach torsion in large dog breeds
In dogs, the stomach is held in position by ligaments, which make it mobile and sometimes allow it to rotate on its own axis. In this case, we speak of a stomach rotation (torsio ventriculi). Torsion of the stomach is a medical emergency in dogs. It is fatal within hours without immediate surgery and therefore requires immediate veterinary care.
Large dogs are particularly susceptible to torsion. To reduce the risk, we recommend dividing the daily amount of food between two or three meals and avoiding excessive slurping and running around after meals.
It is also advisable for large dogs to rely on cold-pressed dry food. This is because it causes less swelling in the stomach, which further reduces the risk of suffering from stomach torsion.
Appropriate food for large dogs
In the Bellfor range, you will find everything you need for feeding large breeds of dogs in a way that is appropriate for their species. Take advantage of our high-quality cold-pressed dry food as well as our natural food supplements and rich care products.
With the Bellfor nutritional concept, you support the health and well-being of your large dog from the very beginning and thus make a decisive contribution to a long and healthy dog life.