9 Giant Dogs: Myth and Legend or Real Breeds? Exploring Extra-Large Canines


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Introduction: The Fascination with Giant Dogs

For decades, people have been captivated by giant dogs. An array of huge dog breeds have become famous in the canine world – inspiring awe and admiration in all dog lovers. Are these mythical beasts or real breeds?

Exploring this lore often reveals their real-life counterparts, such as the Mastiff, Saint Bernard, Great Dane, and Newfoundland. Each breed brings its own unique charm of loyalty, protection, and love for their families.

These oversized dogs are more than just pets. They can be used for search and rescue operations, watchdogs, or military roles. They need daily exercise and a balanced diet to stay healthy, as their size poses more challenges than smaller breeds.

Giant dogs need more food than regular-sized ones. But, overfeeding can lead to obesity-related issues like heart conditions and joint disorders. To keep your giant pooch healthy, make sure they get the right nutritional values according to their size!

These real breeds of giant canines show that bigger is better in the dog world.

Real Breeds of Extra-Large Canines

Real Breeds of Giant Canines have been a fascination for many people. Here is a list of extra-large dog breeds that exist today.

  • The Great Dane: A German breed known for its size and elegance.
  • The Saint Bernard: A Swiss breed famous for rescuing stranded travelers.
  • The Bernese Mountain Dog: A Swiss breed that was originally a farm dog and was used for drafting and driving cattle.

These breeds are known for their size, strength and loyalty. They require plenty of exercise and a good diet to maintain their health.

In addition to height and weight, giant breeds have some unique characteristics. They have a longer lifespan than smaller breeds, but may be more prone to certain health issues such as joint problems and heart disease. Proper training and socializing is crucial for these breeds, as they can be very protective and intimidating.

Pro Tip: When considering adopting an extra-large breed, be sure to research breed-specific needs and seek guidance from a veterinarian with experience in treating giant breeds. Great Danes may be gentle giants, but good luck finding a bed big enough for you and your furry roommate.

Great Dane

This pup is known for its gigantic stature and grandness, popular amongst canine lovers and families. It originated from Germany during the 16th century, bred to hunt boar and guard estates. It has a wide range of coat colors from fawn to black, and its jowls and ears give it a friendly vibe. Great Danes must get workout but are usually calm and chill.

It’s one of the tallest breeds of dogs, normally standing at 30-32 inches (76-81 cm). Its weight is fitting for its size, males weighing 120-200 pounds (54-91 kg) and females 100-130 pounds (45-59 kg). Despite its intimidating aura, these giants are loving and devoted to their people.

Unlike other big breeds, like Mastiffs or Saint Bernards, Great Danes have a graceful muscular body that captures people’s attention. Their feet are as large as a human hand, allowing them to take lengthy strides when running. Sadly, due to their size, they may experience health problems such as hip dysplasia.

The biggest Great Dane on record is Zeus, who weighed a whopping 343 pounds (155 kg), according to Guinness World Records. If someone asks why you need an English Mastiff, simply say it’s for your home security system.

English Mastiff

This breed of hulking canines is famed for their huge size and weight. They are known as the ‘gentle giants‘ due to their docile temper and loving nature. Their past is rooted in centuries-old times; they have been employed for numerous roles, such as protectors and fighters. To stay healthy in body and mind, they need daily exercise and socialization.

Their bulk is because of their bulky frame, wide skull, slightly upturned nose and drooping jowls. Their coats are short and smooth, typically in shades of apricot, fawn or brindle. A full-grown English Mastiff stands over 27 inches at the shoulder and weighs more than 200 pounds! They usually live for 6-10 years, with some surviving beyond 12.

Besides their physical traits, English Mastiffs may develop medical conditions like hip dysplasia and bloat. To keep them healthy, pet owners must give them a balanced diet and regular vet check-ups.

There is a tale of an English Mastiff named Zorba who made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the heaviest dog ever. He weighed a whopping 343 pounds and was over eight feet tall on his hind legs! He will always be remembered as a true canine giant.

Next time you’re lost in the Alps, just remember, the Saint Bernard has your back (and maybe a barrel of brandy!).

Saint Bernard

These majestic canines, known as Saint Bernards, are immense – ranging from 26 to 32 inches tall and weighing up to 180 pounds. Thick fur coats enable them to survive frigid temperatures in the mountains. Plus, they have an amazing sense of smell that allows them to detect people buried under snow or avalanches. This breed has even saved more than 2,000 lives in rescue missions worldwide!

These gentle giants make excellent family pets due to their calm and patient nature. If you plan on adopting one, it’s essential to feed them high-quality food formulated for large breeds, and ensure they get regular exercise. Doing so will prevent obesity-related health issues like joint pain or cardiovascular problems. Plus, providing obedience training early on will help them behave well with children and other animals. Irish Wolfhounds are perfect for those who want to feel small and insignificant next to their furry best friend!

Irish Wolfhound

This giant breed is called the Hound of Cú Chulainn, hailing from Ireland. It was bred to hunt wolves and elk. Known for its calm temperament, it’s a great companion.

Unfortunately, their size puts them at risk of health issues like hip dysplasia and bone cancer. To keep them healthy, they need proper nutrition, regular exercise, and vet check-ups.

Pro Tip: Before adopting an Irish Wolfhound, make sure you have enough space for them – both indoors and outdoors. Rather than a security system, why not get a Neapolitan Mastiff and let its wrinkles scare away any intruders?

Neapolitan Mastiff

The Neapolitan Mastiff, also known as the Roman Mastiff, has a long history dating back to ancient Rome. It’s a mighty pup, boasting a powerful frame and intimidating look with wrinkles and droopy skin.

Socializing them from puppyhood is essential to stop them showing aggression towards strangers or other animals.

These pooches are loyal and devoted to their owners and should only be kept by experienced dog owners with enough space for the huge size and exercise needs.

This Mastiff has a distinguished appearance: deep-set eyes, long ears, a broad head with strong jaws, and a lion-like mane of skin around the neck. They can weigh up to 150lbs and have incredible strength that scares off even the boldest of intruders.

If you’re searching for a guard dog that can be your companion too, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a majestic choice. Just be sure you have the space and experience for such an impressive breed.


This big canine breed is famous for its grand look and strong body. Its fluffy, double coat has lion-like colors and needs regular grooming to stay neat. The Leonberger is a devoted family companion with a peaceful nature. So, it’s great for homes with kids or other animals.

Besides its mild nature, the Leonberger has tremendous strength and stamina. It was bred to pull carts and be a working dog. Due to its size, joint problems can be an issue. So, regular exercise and weight control are necessary for its health.

An interesting feature of the Leonberger is its webbed feet. These help it move easily in water. It’s a great swimmer and loves to fetch things from water.

Pro Tip: Because of its size and exercise needs, the Leonberger may not be suitable for apartments. Think of its energy levels before having one in a smaller place. If you’re looking for a guard dog that could double as a bear, the Tibetan Mastiff is your best bet.

Tibetan Mastiff

This breed is huge! Known around the world as one of the biggest canines. It has a robust frame, dense fur, and an intimidating appearance with a broad head and long snout.

It is also a great guard dog.

Originally bred by nomadic Tibetans centuries ago, the “Do-khyi” is a tie dog. Usually used to guard livestock, its protective capabilities spread beyond its native region.

The Tibetan Mastiff‘s lifespan is between 10-14 years and they can reach up to 180 pounds. An interesting feature is their deep-set eyes, giving them a serious look.

Pro Tip: Training needs to start early for this independent breed.

Anatolian Shepherd

This big pup is one fierce livestock protector! With devotion and strength like no other, they can reach up to 150 pounds. Their thick double coats keep them warm in the harsh climate of their homeland – an expansive plateau in Turkey. Through time, they’ve safeguarded flocks from predators like wolves and bears, making them a must-have for farmers and herdsmen.

But wait – there’s more! Their amazing hearing also makes them great security guards. They can detect danger from miles away! Plus, their loyalty and hunting skills make them top-notch home protectors.

Want to be in the company of one of these brave canines? Learn more about them now!

Oh, and one more thing – Newfoundlands double as personal flotation devices!


The Newfoundland is an impressive breed. It’s thick coat makes it great for outdoor activities. Plus, its webbed feet and muscular build make it a strong swimmer! It’s known for its droopy jowls and loyal, protective, and patient nature.

No matter their size, Newfoundlands have big hearts. They are known for their kindness, intelligence, and calm demeanor.

If you’re interested in getting one of these cuddly giants, reach out to reputable breeders or adoption agencies. Don’t miss out on the chance to own this bundle of love!

Mythical and Legendary Giant Dogs

Paragraph 1: Accounts of Extraordinary Canines of Mythical Proportions

Throughout history, accounts of legendary and mythical giant dogs have puzzled and intrigued people. Their existence remains a mystery, leaving enthusiasts to debate if these colossal creatures were fact or fiction.

Paragraph 2: A Look at Giants of Lore

This table explores some distinctive giant dog breeds from myth and legend, including the monstrous Cadejo of Central American lore, the Irish Wolfhound, and the noble Slovakian Chuvach, amongst others.

Breed Origin Height Weight
Cadejo Central America 8-10 feet
Irish Wolfhound Ireland 32-34 inches 120 lbs
Chuvach Slovakia 25-28 inches 100 lbs

Paragraph 3: Additional Information on Mythical Giants of the K-9 World

While many cultures have their own version of the mythological giant dog, the Babylonian creature known as the Sirrush, is a lesser-known but fascinating example. This ancient beast, found in Babylonian art, was a combination of various predatory animals, including claws, a snake’s tongue, and a scaly body.

Paragraph 4: Pro Tip

Remember, While the existence of mythical giant dogs remains an enigma, various real dog breeds can grow to huge proportions. Ensure that you have the space and resources to accommodate these giant breeds before taking one home.

Sorry Hades, turns out Cerberus is just a Great Dane with a lot of heads.


This beast was Cerberus, a three-headed hound of Greek mythology. He guarded the entrance to the underworld, preventing souls from escaping. Feared for his sharp fangs, he was also said to have a voice like thunder. He was notorious for being unapproachable and unkind. He couldn’t be bribed – not with anything but food. Entering the underworld came with severe consequences.

Cerberus had an incredible ability – he could see everything that happened on earth and in the underworld at the same time. This made him a valuable protector of both realms. One of Hercules’ labours was to capture Cerberus.

Legend has it that Hercules succeeded in bringing Cerberus up without permission. Everywhere they went, chaos ensued as no one dared approach them. Until, that is, Hercules returned Cerberus safely to the underworld.

Fenrir, when not chomping down on Norse gods, loves taking long walks on the beach and playing catch… with small islands.


Fenrir, the child of Loki, was a monstrous canine from Norse mythology. So big, no chain or shackle could hold him. It took an unbreakable ribbon called Gleipnir to control this fearsome beast.

Ragnarok is the Apocalyptic battle between gods and giants. And Fenrir will play a vital role in it. He will fight Odin and eventually be slain by Odin’s son, Vidar.

Fenrir was huge, and his strength incomparable. But his cunning intellect? That was even greater. He was a nightmare for children, one of the most feared beings in Norse mythology.

Stories tell us he was an overpowering force. But some accounts portray him as neither good nor evil. He was merely misunderstood and feared because of his size and power. Orthrus may have two heads, but he needs two brains to remember where he buried your shoes!


This mythical giant dog, Orthrus, is often linked to Geryon, a three-headed monster. It was said to be owned by Hades, the god of the underworld. Additionally, it was the brother of Cerberus, another giant dog believed to guard the entrance to the underworld.

Orthrus was known for being fierce and strong, with sharp teeth and claws that could do major harm in fights. It was devoted to its masters and didn’t give up in its pursuit of opponents. Its only goal was to give the best protection and help during battles. This dog has been an influence on art and literature.

Some stories even suggest that Orthrus had superhuman intelligence and improved senses, so it could spot any risks or threats before they arrived. Additionally, there are some myths that say it could heal infectious diseases during wars.

For those who love pets, consider teaching your pet to defend your family using similar methods from ancient times, while taking animal welfare measures into account. Even though these creatures stopped existing centuries ago, their heroic acts have been remembered in tales. Some dogs fetch bones, but Garmr fetches souls – now that’s impressive!


Legend tells us Garmr’s bark is the beginning of Ragnarok – the gods’ downfall and world’s end. Nothing gets past his gaze – he watches those stuck in Helheim, forever.

Garmr stands out among mythical dogs; he hungers for human flesh. His jaws are too strong for even the thickest chains.

Remember: take precautions before meeting Garmr on your way to Helheim. He is no ordinary pup – he’s Cú Chulainn’s giant dog, king of all hounds!

Cú Chulainn’s Hound

A monstrous Hound of myth was said to belong to Cú Chulainn, an Irish warrior. The Hound was known for its loyalty and supernatural abilities. It guarded its master’s land and wealth. In battle, it was fierce and at home, gentle. Its bravery is now part of Irish myths and tales.

It is said that Cú Chulainn’s Hound could converse and comprehend human language. It warned its master of danger and offered tactical advice in battle. This creature was allegedly unbeatable in combat.

The Hounds were bred by Irish Kings for their warriors. They were trained from a young age and treated with respect. But only a few grew to be giants like Cú Chulainn’s Hound.

The source of this legend is unclear, but it likely originated between 400 BC and 1200 AD when Irish culture was passed down by storytelling.

This is the story of Cú Chulainn’s Mythical Hounds, still inspiring us today. However, a Barghest is even more frightening – a giant, mythical dog with a taste for human flesh!


The Barghest is a mythical giant dog, said to roam the moors and marshes of Northern England. It’s known for its chilling appearance; glowing red eyes and sharp fangs. The myth states that it preys on travelers who wander into its territory at night.

It’s believed that the Barghest is one of the most feared creatures of English folklore. The name is a combination of two Old English words, “bær” (barley or brown) and “gæst” (ghost or spirit). It’s been mentioned in various works of literature, such as Sherlock Holmes, and even in Dungeons & Dragons.

If one sees the Barghest three times but fails to touch it, legend says they are doomed to an unnatural death. Although there is no proof of its existence, many believe it originated from hunting dogs bred by powerful nobles in medieval England – for their size and ferocity.

The Barghest remains a significant part of British folklore, and continues to capture our imagination. Its bark is just as feared as its bite – after all, it’s a massive spectral canine!

Black Shuck

The ‘Dark Hellhound’, Snarlsnout, is famed for its menacing aura and ghostly form. It has been a source of fascination in stories for centuries, described as a beastly, mythical creature that lurks in countryside.

Black Shuck is seen as a portent of evil and gloom, often connected to old churches and cemeteries in East England. It’s said to have coal-black fur, eyes that glow scarlet, and sharp fangs that can cause harm to any human it meets.

Witnesses report Black Shuck appears soundlessly and leaves no trace. It’s been sighted in marshes between Norfolk and Suffolk, multiple times.

Folklore claims that Black Shuck was first spotted in 1577, terrorizing churchgoers during a severe storm in Bungay, Suffolk. There have been other reported events across England.

The legend of Black Shuck is like a reminder of how our ancestors saw the natural environment – unpredictable and wild, with an unknown force beyond our control. Its story still captivates us today, as it speaks to a shared, ancient fear.


The Colossal Canine, otherwise known as Snarlsnout, is a mythical beast talked about by many. They are said to be huge and have sharp teeth and claws. Legends tell of them being used as war dogs, and even swallowing humans.

These creatures have immense strength and agility, moving at high speeds. Tales of them exist in many cultures. People shudder at the thought of facing them, yet these stories often contain lessons and social critiques.

If you come across one, the best way to stay safe is to avoid it. You could also carry items like pepper spray or ultrasonic devices to deter them. Fitz may have been a giant dog, but his bark was bigger than his bite!

Fitz of Tamanrasset

Fitz, a mythical and legendary giant dog from Tamanrasset, is said to have been bred by the Tuareg people. Local folklore claims Fitz has supernatural abilities, such as jumping over camels and outrunning cheetahs. This makes him a helpful companion on their desert journeys.

The Tuareg are experts in breeding dogs with great hunting and herding skills. Fitz stands out due to his size, strength, and agility. Many accounts support the legend of Fitz, through oral and written traditions.

Fitz is a cultural icon of the Tuareg people. He symbolizes their resilience and adaptability in surviving harsh desert environments. They have bred exceptional dogs like Fitz to help them.

It is believed that the modern-day sloughi breed comes from Fitz. The sloughi is a sighthound from North Africa/Maghreb region. It is known for its endurance and athleticism and was used in desert hunting.

Dogs have been with humans for 20,000 years, as pets or work animals. They guard treasure and snore on the couch. These giant dogs have left paw prints on our cultural imagination.

Conclusion: The Cultural Significance of Giant Dogs.

Giant dogs have been a cultural phenomenon for ages. Famous figures and media have contributed to their appeal. Big size and protective nature make them great guardians. Friendly temperaments make them perfect family pets. These extra-large canines have become famous all over the world. They fascinate us with their massive presence. Breeders can develop larger-than-life variations with selective breeding. Humans desire companionship and protection, and giant dogs provide it.

The Great Dane, Irish Wolfhound and St Bernard have an aura of mystery. To own one is to have something special – a living guardian! Stories about fictional characters like Beethoven and real Giant dogs’ resilience during disasters make us fall in love with them!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are giant dogs real or just a myth?

Giant dogs do exist and there are several breeds that fall under this category. These breeds tend to be larger than the average dog and can weigh over 100 pounds.

2. What are some examples of giant dog breeds?

Some examples of giant dog breeds include Great Danes, Irish Wolfhounds, Saint Bernards, Mastiffs, and Newfoundlands.

3. Are giant dogs good pets?

While giant dogs can make great pets, they require a lot of space, exercise, and attention. It is important to do your research and make sure you can provide for the specific needs of the breed before getting a giant dog.

4. How long do giant dogs live?

The lifespan of a giant dog breed will vary depending on the specific breed and individual dog. Some giant breeds have shorter lifespans, while others can live for up to 10 years or more.

5. Can giant dogs be trained?

Yes, giant dogs can be trained with patience, consistency, and positive reinforcement. It is important to start training early and be prepared to put in the time and effort necessary for a well-trained dog.

6. Do giant dogs have health issues?

Like all dogs, giant breeds can be prone to certain health issues such as hip dysplasia, bloat, and heart problems. It is important to consult with a veterinarian and monitor your dog’s health closely.