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September 11, 2020

Are Caucasian Shepherds the largest dogs?

We have received this question regarding the size of the Caucasian Shepherd dog from our customers several times. Is it the largest or among the largest dog breeds? It is obvious that the Russian Ovcharka is part of the large breed category, both in weight and in stature. However, it is not correct to call it “the largest breed”, there are few other breeds that exceed the Caucasian in size or weight. Let’s take a look.

Average size of the Caucasian Shepherd male and female

So when we say “largest” dog breeds, we can refer both to height and weight. There are dogs that are taller but weigh less than other dog breeds which are shorter but heavier and more massive.

The Caucasian Ovcharka, as it is also called in Russia, has the following breeding standards for males: 72-75 cm average in height at the withers with a minimum of 68 cm and a weight range of 50 to 75 kilos. The female shepherd is a bit smaller, with a desirable height range of 67-70 and a minimum of 64 cm at the withers, while its weight ranges between 45 and 65 kilos

The appearance and dimensions of this beautiful shepherd dog is given also by its muscular build and thick, multi-layered fur. In the world of animals every details matters and different physical characteristics are results of adaptation in different environments. The size of the Caucasian shepherd dog, its power and its fur are perfect adaptations for outdoor mountain environments in cold temperatures. 

The Great Dane

Image by Martin Tajmr from Pixabay

Of course that when you hear “the largest dog breed in the world” and close your eyes you cannot help visualizing a Great Dane if you ever saw one live. Great Danes are German dogs that have resulted after the breeding of the English Mastiff and the Irish Woulfhound.

Their height at the withers is in average around 75 centimeters but some individuals can grow taller than that, the record being 111 centimeters (44 inches), held by a Great Dane named Zeus. Unfortunately, their unique appearance and size has a price to pay in their life span. These giants live no longer than six to eight years of age.

The Mastiffs

Image by Warren Matthews from Pixabay

A close relative of the Caucasian Mountain dog is the Tibetan Mastiff, also a shepherd dog, similar in appearance and dimensions. The Tibetan Mastiff is the guardian of flocks in the regions of China and Tibet and grows to an average of 80 centimeters in height and between 45 and 70 kilogams in weight.

Another spectacular appearance is the Dogue du Bordeaux breed, also called the French Mastiff. With a massive trunk and limbs, this dog can weigh between 55 and 50 kilograms and stand as tall as 58-70 inches high. What makes him special is the particularly large size of the head in relation to its body size. 

The Mastiffs have been bred since ancient times as working dogs and guard dogs and keep doing a great job until present times.

The St Bernard

Image by Insa Osterhagen from Pixabay

The Saint Bernard became a figure in popular culture due to the movie Beethoven, so almost anyone can recognize this huge breed nowadays. Being used a lot as a rescue dog in the Swiss Alps, the Saint Bernard developed an appropriate body so as to cope well with the harshness of ice and cold.

Its height ranges between 64 and 77 centimeters and its weight goes between 60 and 80 kilos for an adult Saint Bernard. Along with the Great Dane, this beautiful giant is among the most famous representative of the large dog breeds of the world. 

The Hounds

Image by Deana Zelinová from Pixabay

Other maybe less popular large dog breeds are the hounds which excel more in height and length, less in weight. The Scottish deerhound and the Irish wolfhound are ancient dog breeds used for hunting, equipped with extra-long legs that gives them great speed and agility. 

The Scottish deerhound was used for hunting deer, with its long legs and great ability to run. Very rare until the 19th century and very similar to the greyhound but with longer hair, this breed measures up to 81 centimeters high and weighs up to 50 kilograms.

The Irish wolfhound is also a very old breed, developed for chasing wolves away from human territory. Also a very light dog, weighing maximum 55 kilos, the wolfhound grows to be amongst the record holders in what concerns height, going taller than 85 centimeters. 

Coming back to our favorite, the Caucasian Shepherd, it is clearly one of the representative of the largest dog breeds in the world, thus requiring respect for having its needs met and an adequate space for its home. There are plenty of other varieties of large dog breeds all over the world, we just selected a few of them to point out in this article.

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