13 Tallest Dog Breeds: Irresistible Tall Dogs That’ll Greet You at Eye Level!

Tallest Dog Breeds

Tall dogs are gorgeous. Little dogs are very sweet, but if you want a really big hug, you need a tall dog breed. I’ve lived with tall dog breeds most of my life, and the adult human-sized ones are really fun and make great family pets.

The tall dog breeds below are intelligent, affectionate, playful, and add joy to their owners’ lives. When you look at the large dog breeds, you see how special they are.

Of course, the only thing better than a large dog is a fluffy large dog. We’ve got you covered with these fluffy dog breeds. Many of the big fluffy dogs are livestock guardian breeds because they need to stay warm for their jobs.

Tall Dogs

No one will mess with you when you are in the company of a tall dog breed, except maybe to ask if they can pet your pooch. These dog breeds are mostly calm and enjoy walking, playing, and relaxing. These tallest dog breeds have long legs that don’t tire during hikes.

Here are 13 of the tallest dog breeds that make wonderful companions:

1. Great Dane

tall dog breeds
DOG’S HEIGHT28-32 inches tall
WEIGHT110-175 pounds
GROUPWorking
FUR AND COLORShort hair in black, black and white, brindle, fawn, harlequin, mandle, merle, white, blue and white, blue brindle, chocolate, chocolate and white, chocolate brindle, silver, mandle merle, merlequin
LIFE SPAN 7-10 years

The first in the tallest dog breed category that we’ll explore is the Great Dane. They’re gentle giants that are friendly, patient, dependable, affectionate, playful, protective, energetic, and good with children. They need mental stimulation.

They were originally bred in Germany to fight boars and watch over their families. Fortunately, they only do the latter now.

The Great Dane isn’t from Denmark — where Great Danes are known as Deutsche Dogge, meaning “the German mastiff.” Despite their size, they can live in apartments because they are calm. As large dogs, they need a large fence if you have a yard.

When Great Danes stand up, they are taller than many people. The Great Dane is very sweet but won’t allow anyone to harm their family. As one of the tallest dog breeds in the world, they are imposing creatures that make great family dogs.

2. Greyhound

tall dogs
DOG’S HEIGHT27-30 inches tall
WEIGHT60-70 pounds
GROUPHound
FUR AND COLORShort fur inblack; black brindle; blue brindle; red; red brindle; white; white and black; white and blue brindle; white and red; blue; blue fawn; white and black brindle; white and blue; white; white and blue fawn; white and red brindle; black and white; blue, brindle, and white; red and white, black, brindle and white; blue and white; blue, fawn, and white; fawn; fawn and white; liver; liver and white; liver brindle; red, brindle, and white; white and fawn; white & liver, white and liver brindle
LIFE SPAN 10-13 years

Another in the tallest dog breed category is the Greyhound. Greyhounds are affectionate, athletic, good with other dogs, energetic, and they like kids. The American Kennel Club calls Greyhounds “independent, gentle, and noble.”

The Greyhound is an ancient breed whose history goes back 5,000 years to Egypt, where they were hunting dogs because of their speed. The Greyhound, a sighthound, was also adored by Alexander the Great and Russian Czars.

Greyhounds, one of the tallest dog breeds, are sweet, gentle, aerodynamic, and noble. Greyhounds make great family dogs.

The Greyhound was practically worshipped in antiquity and is raced in the present. Fortunately, many advocacy groups are working to free the greyhounds from greyhound racing.

3. Anatolian Shepherd 

tall dogs breeds
DOG’S HEIGHT27-29 inches tall
WEIGHT80-150 pounds
GROUPWorking
FUR AND COLORThick fur and undercoat in biscuit and white, brindle, fawn, blue fawn, gray fawn, red fawn, liver, white
LIFE SPAN 11-13 years

The Anatolian shepherd, a canine from Turkey and another of the tallest dog breeds. This big dog is good with kids and dogs and is protective. They were originally bred to protect livestock from predators, so it’s natural for them to want to secure your family and home.

Anatolian shepherds existed in the Bronze Age 6,000 years ago. The Anatolian is a devoted, responsive, smart, and adaptable pet.

A lot of working dogs are tall. Anatolians instinctively protect livestock and your family and will watch over smaller dogs and even your cat. Anatolian guardians need to make sure their dog knows that the humans are the alphas of the pack.

4. Great Pyrenees

tallest dog breeds
DOG’S HEIGHT25-32 inches tall
WEIGHT85-100+ pounds
GROUPWorking
FUR AND COLORThick double waterproof coat in white, may have markings of gray, tan, reddish-brown, or badger.
LIFE SPAN 10-12 years

The American Kennel Club (AKC) calls the Great Pyrenees majestic. As a former Pyr mom, I heartily agree. The Great Pyrenees is smart, patient, kind, affectionate, protective, and good with children and dogs. The Great Pyrenees hails from the Pyrenees Mountains on the border of France and Spain.

It helps to be one of the tallest dog breeds when you’re protecting sheep from bears, wolves, and livestock rustlers. The great Pyrenees are calm but will quickly respond if they detect a threat.

They often ignore commands and need obedience training. Great Pyrenees dogs know they can get away with a lot because they’re gorgeous. They are easily recognizable with their large, cloud-like white coat.

5. Newfoundland

big tall dogs
DOG’S HEIGHT26-28 inches tall
WEIGHT100-150 pounds
GROUPWorking
FUR AND COLORThick fur in black, brown, gray, white and black, beige, black and tan, white and brown
LIFE SPAN 9-10 years

The Newfoundland, one of the tallest dog breeds, is sweet, patient, devoted, affectionate, friendly, great with kids (known as nanny dogs) and dogs, and known as highly protective.

The Newfie, a working dog, has webbed feet and is a great swimmer. They helped Canadian fishermen bring nets to shore. The Newfoundland also helped Lewis and Clark hunt for food while they were exploring.

6. Neapolitan Mastiff

tallest dogs
DOG’S HEIGHT24-31 inches tall
WEIGHT110-150 pounds
GROUPWorking
FUR AND COLORShort hair in blue, black, mahogany, tawny
LIFE SPAN 7-9 years

Another of the tallest dog breed in the world list is the wrinkly Neapolitan mastiff. Neapolitan mastiffs are loyal, dignified, strong, and protective. Neapolitan mastiffs are droolers. The ancient Neapolitan mastiff dates back to 700 BC. They worked as gladiators, guardians, and war dogs in the Roman Empire.

The Neapolitan mastiff has loose skin that looks like wrinkles. They are very strong, mellow, and loyal. Breeders bred the Neapolitan mastiff as a guard dog initially, and they are still wary of strangers. Despite their size, Neapolitan mastiffs can live in an apartment because they are calm.

A mastiff named Zorba won a Guinness World Record for being the longest dog at 8 feet, 3 inches.

7. Scottish Deerhound

what is the tallest breed of dog in the world
DOG’S HEIGHT28-32 inches tall
WEIGHT75-110 pounds
GROUPHound
FUR AND COLORWiry coat in blue and gray, brindle, gray, gray brindle, black, black brindle, blue
LIFE SPAN 8-11 years

Scottish deerhounds, one of the tallest dogs, are affectionate, good with other dogs, dignified, gentle, and polite, making Scottish deerhound dogs good pets.

As coursers (canines that chase prey while hunting), Scottish deerhounds were originally bred from greyhounds. Scottish deerhounds are sighthounds that used to hunt 400-pound red deer and are known for their speed.

According to the AKC, the Scottish Deerhound was in Scotland before the Scots themselves arrived in the ninth century. The Scottish deerhound enjoys large fenced-in yards.

8. Saint Bernard

whats the tallest dog
DOG’S HEIGHT26-30 inches tall
WEIGHT120-180 pounds
GROUPWorking
FUR AND COLORThey come in long and short coats in brown and white, mahogany and white, orange and white, red and white, brindle and white, rust and white, white and brown, white & orange, white and red
LIFE SPAN 8-10 years

Another of the tallest dogs in the world is the Saint Bernard. Saint Bernard is good with children, pretty good with other dogs, patient, affectionate, smart, and watchful. Saint Bernard’s history dates back to 1050 when a monk named Bernard of Menthon founded a hospice to help pilgrims going to Rome.

The Saint Bernard is muscular and able to withstand very cold weather in the Alps. Their thick fur looks like it would need a great deal of care, but they only need brushing once a week. When they blow coat in the fall and spring, there’s more fur to remove.

Like all canines, especially the tallest ones in the world, Saint Bernards need obedience training.

9. Black Russian Terrier

tall black dog
DOG’S HEIGHT26-30 inches tall
WEIGHT80-130 pounds
GROUPWorking
FUR AND COLORAKC calls their fur “a tousled double coat.” They can be black, salt and pepper, black and tan, sable, or blue.
LIFE SPAN 10-12 years

The Black Russian Terrier, also on the tallest dog breed list, is playful, intelligent, protective from strangers, energetic, affectionate, easily trained, brave, and needs mental stimulation.

The Black Russian Terrier (BRT) also needs weekly brushings. The Black Russian terrier was originally bred in the 1930s by the Soviet government for their army. They were fence dogs that patrolled Russia’s borders.

BRTs were fast and strong enough to capture and hold down prisoners at Stalin’s prison camps. The AKC reports that in the mid-1950s, when the camps were closed, BRTs were given away to residents.

Fun facts: The BRT isn’t really a terrier; their massive head makes them look even taller, and BRTs are aloof with strangers.

10. English Mastiff

big skinny dog
DOG’S HEIGHT27-30 inches tall
WEIGHT150-160 pounds
GROUPWorking
FUR AND COLORShort double coat in tan with black mask and sometimes black ears
LIFE SPAN 10-12 years

Mastiffs appear in Egyptian monuments from 3000 BC. The Old English Mastiff, or English Mastiff, has been in England for 2000 years and was used as a guardian dog. The English mastiff needs socializing and training at a young age.

They can be friendly and affectionate, and they are watchdogs with massive heads and broad foreheads.

English Mastiffs, one of the tallest dog breeds in the world, are courageous, dignified, affectionate, good with children, and good-natured. Training an English Mastiff may be challenging.

One English Mastiff was 230 pounds, making it the heaviest dog.

11. Irish Wolfhound

largest hound dog breed
DOG’S HEIGHT30-32 inches tall
WEIGHT105-120 pounds
GROUPHound
FUR AND COLORWiry coat over soft undercoat in brindle, cream, gray, gray and brindle, red, red and brindle, red wheaten, silver, wheaten, wheaten and brindle, blue, white brindle, blue, white
LIFE SPAN 6-8 years

They stand at a minimum of 30 inches tall, so the Irish wolfhound is the tallest dog in the world. They are dignified, courageous, calm, affectionate, guardians, good with dogs, and pretty good with children. Irish wolfhounds are muscular and fast.

The Irish wolfhound is too nice to be a guard dog, but they are certainly a deterrent because people behave when they see the gigantic Irish wolfhound.

The AKC says that Irish wolfhounds were fearless wolf killers when they were first bred as sighthounds.

Other sighthounds ran faster, but the Irish Wolfhounds impressed hunters by being able to tackle large prey. Fortunately, they don’t have to run around murdering wolves anymore and can enjoy the good life.

12. Leonberger

tallest dog breed in the world
DOG’S HEIGHT25-31.5 inches tall
WEIGHT90-170 pounds
GROUPWorking
FUR AND COLORLong hair in yellow, red, reddish brown, sandy, and black masks — some with black ears
LIFE SPAN 7 years

Another of the tallest canines is the Leonberger. They are playful, friendly, gentle, affectionate, trainable, good with kids and dogs, and are watchdogs. Their waterproof coat sheds, so they need weekly grooming.

They also need mental stimulation because they are very intelligent dogs. They have a lion-like mane of fur around their heads.

These working dogs are from Germany, and the AKC describes them as “huge and powerful.” The Leonberger was originally bred to help in water rescue.

Heinrich Essig crossed a Newfoundland with a Saint Bernard for four generations, then added in a Pyrenean Mountain Dog to create the beautiful Leonberger.

13. Kangal Shepherd Dog

what's the tallest dog breed
DOG’S HEIGHT27-29 inches tall
WEIGHT80-150 pounds
GROUPWorking
FUR AND COLORThick fur and undercoat in biscuit and white, brindle, fawn, blue fawn, gray fawn, red fawn, liver, white
LIFE SPAN 11-13 years

The Kangal shepherd dog, one of the tallest dogs, is actually the Anatolian shepherd. Kangal dogs are good with children and dogs. They were bred to protect sheep and goats from predators, so they protect your family and your home.

The Kangal shepherd dog existed in the Bronze Age 6,000 years ago. They are devoted, responsive, smart, and adaptable. Kangals are instinctive guardians that will watch over your family and home.

Make sure you train your Kangal so they know you are the alpha of the pack. People who are inexperienced with stubborn dogs shouldn’t adopt a Kangal.

Tips for Caring Your Tall Dog 

The tallest dogs’ owners have to train and socialize them because a gigantic, out-of-control canine can easily hurt someone or break something. The tallest of canines need healthy food, love, exercise, and annual visits to the vet — as all dogs do.

They are also susceptible to joint issues, so make sure they exercise. Don’t let them run on hard surfaces or do high-impact exercises as growing puppies.

Taller dogs are prone to bloat, a serious health condition that occurs when the stomach fills with food, water, or air and swells until it presses on the lungs, making breathing difficult. The opening of the dog’s stomach is narrow, which prevents contents from getting out.

If the bloat is severe, the stomach twists over on itself (gastric dilation volvulus or GDV) and cuts off blood circulation to major organs.

Symptoms include panting, pacing, restlessness, shallow breathing, whining, excessive drooling, dry heaves, and collapsing.

Dogs with bloat must be rushed to the vet where they will be x-rayed, stabilized, hooked up to intravenous fluids, have other tests taken, may need an echocardiogram, and the vet will put a tube in the pup’s belly to pump it out. Sometimes surgery is necessary, but 80% survive.

FAQs

What Is the Tallest Breed of Dog?

The AKC says Irish Wolfhounds are the world’s tallest dog breed, although some sources cite the Great Dane as the tallest dog because of a Dane named Rocko, who could stand seven feet tall.

What Dog Is 30 Inches Tall?

Irish Wolfhounds stand at 30 inches.

Who Are the World’s Second and Third Tallest Dogs?

Great Dane and English mastiffs stand second and third tallest, according to the AKC height information above.

Final Thoughts

Tall dogs are as beautiful as they are intelligent, affectionate, playful, and protective. Small dogs are great, too, but some of us just adore the big ones. If you like a jumbo-sized canine and one of the above big dog breeds appeals to you, take a look at Petfinder or search for a rescue group for that particular breed.

When you adopt, you save the dog you take home and the pet that the rescue group can then take in.

Elise Margulis
Elise Margulis is a talented animal writer and a devoted pet parent residing near Manhattan in a cozy suburb. With a Chow mix and a rescued Siamese as her loyal companions, she's been animal-obsessed since childhood. Penning informative articles on pet nutrition, health, and animal welfare, she's also an avid advocate for adoption and animal rights. When she's not writing, she serves as the editor of two local online news sites. Working from home with her fur babies, she advocates adoption and animal welfare through volunteering and social media. A true animal lover and vegetarian for over 31 years, she's on a mission to raise awareness and make the world a better place for all creatures.

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