Big dog breeds that make loveable pets

These big dog breeds will suit larger homes and even bigger gardens.

big dog breeds: great dane
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Looking to welcome a four-legged friend into your home? Big dog breeds are as loveable as they come. 

Of course, getting a dog of any breed is a huge decision, but it becomes an even larger one (literally!) with bigger breeds. Remember - they require more food, exercise and space than small and medium dogs.

That being said, big dog breeds will reward your extra care and attention with a super-sized amount of affection. 

Scroll on to see which breed would be best suited to your lifestyle, home and family… 

Dalmatian

Dalmatian

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  • Life expectancy: 10-13 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? At least 2 hours per day 
  • Coat length: Short 

Best known for their starring role in a certain Disney film, Dalmatian’s are so much more than their dotty exterior. They need plenty of exercise, but will reward you with buckets of love and loyalty. 

German Shepherd

German Shepherd

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  • Life expectancy: 9-13 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? At least 2 hours per day 
  • Coat length: Medium

Often used as working dogs for police and security services, German Shepherd’s are really easy to train. They’re highly intelligent dogs, and need lots of exercise to keep them entertained. 

Great Dane

great dane

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  • Life expectancy: 8-10 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? At least 2 hours per day 
  • Coat length: Short 

Gentle giants, Great Dane’s are really playful despite their huge size. They make good family pets, but of course need plenty of space and a big garden. 

Greyhound

Greyhound

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  • Life expectancy: 10-14 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? 1 hour per day 
  • Coat length: Short 

One of the speediest breeds, greyhounds are impressive runners, so need a secure garden to keep them safe. They’re loving pets, but need to be socialised with smaller pets at a young age to counteract their chase instinct. 

Rottweiler

Rottweiler

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  • Life expectancy: 8-10 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? At least 2 hours per day 
  • Coat length: Short 

Large, powerful dogs - training is crucial when welcoming a Rottweiler into your home. They’re naturally very protective pets. 

Standard Poodle

Standard Poodle

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  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? 1 hour per day 
  • Coat length: Medium

Playful dogs, poodles require daily grooming to keep their fluffy coats in tip-top condition. The Kennel Club has named them as one of the best breeds for families. 

Old English Sheepdog

Old English Sheepdog

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  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? At least 2 hours per day 
  • Coat length: Long 

Often referred to as the ‘Dulux dog’, these shaggy pooches love being around people. They’re best suited to active homes with plenty of playtime. 

Mastiff

Mastiff

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  • Life expectancy: 6-12 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? 1 hour per day 
  • Coat length: Short 

Originally bred as guard and rescue dogs, Mastiffs are strong, clever pooches. They have been identified by The Kennel Club as having health conditions, so do your research and find a reputable breeder before taking one home. 

Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound

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  • Life expectancy: 6-10 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? At least two hours per day 
  • Coat length: Medium 

The tallest of all dog breeds, these willowy dogs are calm, quiet and kind-natured. They get on well with all members of the family. 

Newfoundland 

Newfoundland

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  • Life expectancy: 8-10 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? 1 hour per day 
  • Coat length: Medium 

If you don’t mind a dog that drools, a Newfoundland might just be the pet for you. Their soft coats need plenty of grooming to keep them tangle-free. 

Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard

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  • Life expectancy: 8-10 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? 1 hour per day 
  • Coat length: Short 

Patient and gentle, Saint Bernard’s are good with children - despite their huge size. As they’re so strong, they need careful training as pups. 

Airedale Terrier

Airedale Terrier

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  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? 1 hour per day 
  • Coat length: Medium

Originally from England’s north Yorkshire region, Airedale Terrier’s are intelligent, confident dogs with a cheeky streak. 

Afgan Hound

Afgan Hound

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  • Life expectancy: 12-14 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? At least 2 hours per day 
  • Coat length: Long

Glamorous dogs, Afgan Hound’s need plenty of grooming and walkies to keep them at their best. They can get along well with children, but need to be socialised from a young age. 

Boxer

Boxer

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  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? At least 2 hours per day
  • Coat length: Short 

Another slobbery breed, Boxers are recommended by The Kennel Club as making friendly, patient family pets. They don’t wear out easily though, and will need lots of exercise to keep them entertained.

Shar Pei

shar pei

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  • Life expectancy: 9-11 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? 1 hour per day
  • Coat length: Short 

Shar Pei’s are strong-willed (and sometimes stubborn) dogs, which makes them better suited to experienced owners. They love to protect their family and their home. 

Rhodesian Ridgeback

Rhodesian Ridgeback

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  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? At least 2 hours per day
  • Coat length: Short 

An impressive name for an impressive dog, these powerful pooches are loving and loyal. They can be wary around strangers, but show their softer side when you get to know them. 

Saluki 

Saluki

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  • Life expectancy: 12-14 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? At least 2 hours per day
  • Coat length: Short 

Easy to spot thanks to their fluffy ears, Saluki’s are elegant dogs with a gentle nature. They require a substantial amount of walks to keep them happy. 

Weimaraner

weimeraner

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  • Life expectancy: 11-14 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? At least 2 hours per day
  • Coat length: Short 

Striking to look at, Weimaraner's are best suited to busy households and big gardens. They can be a little stubborn, so do well with experienced owners. 

Bloodhound

Bloodhound

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  • Life expectancy: 10-12 years 
  • How much exercise do they need? At least 2 hours per day
  • Coat length: Short 

Tracking dogs by nature, bloodhounds love to follow a scent. Long walks are a must to keep them happy, but they love cosy time with the family too.