Big Dog Breeds - LUV My dogs

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Friday, August 7, 2015

Big Dog Breeds

  Bigger is not always better, but it is always impressive. There are many large dog breeds, each with different care and training needs. Most large dog breeds were bred for a purpose or function. Some breeds were meant to be hunters, others guard dogs. 
People have been intrigued by giant-size dogs for millennia, keeping them to guard family, flocks and property and to hunt big game. They have also relied on four-legged giants to perform tasks that required size and strength, such as pulling carts with heavy loads. Giant dog breeds can look very intimidating, but most are surprised to find out these dogs are just gentle giants wanting to snuggle.  
  Giant breeds often possess tender, loving temperaments, but before you get one, remember to factor in the costs associated with keeping a large dog breed. In terms of food, veterinary bills and space, the costs can be gigantic. 

Great Dane
  Oh, baby! A Great Dane is truly a great dog breed . The Great Dane combines, in its regal appearance, dignity, strength and elegance with great size and a powerful, well-formed, smoothly muscled body. It is one of the giant working breeds, but is unique in that its general conformation must be so well balanced that it never appears clumsy, and shall move with a long reach and powerful drive. It is always a unit -- the Apollo of dogs.  Apollo is the Greek god of the sun, the brightest fixture in the sky. The Great Dane certainly holds stature in the dog world; but though he looks terribly imposing, in reality he's one of the best-natured dogs around. For all of his size, a Great Dane is a sweet, affectionate pet. He loves to play and is gentle with children. A Great Dane must be spirited, courageous, never timid; always friendly and dependable.   This physical and mental combination is the characteristic which gives the Great Dane the majesty possessed by no other breed. 

  If you've ever seen a mastiff, you'll agree that there is one word that can properly size up its appearance: powerful. No kidding, this dog is huge — not as tall as a Great Dane but probably twice as thick at between 2 and 3 feet tall with a weight of between 130 and 220 pounds. The Mastiff is a large, massive, symmetrical dog with a well-knit frame. The impression is one of grandeur and dignity. Dogs are more massive throughout. Bitches should not be faulted for being somewhat smaller in all dimensions while maintaining a proportionally powerful structure. A good evaluation considers positive qualities of type and soundness with equal weight.
  Fittingly, these dogs make excellent guard dogs. Though the mastiff seems beast-like, it is surprisingly affectionate, gentle and extremely loyal. Their devotion to their owners and patience with children have secured their popularity for years, though they must be properly socialized to get along well with children and other pets, and it's best if you don't have them around very small children or adults who are frail as they can easily knock them over, causing serious injuries. Their life span is generally between 6 and 10 years, but some have lived as long as 18 years.

Neapolitan Mastiff
  The Neapolitan Mastiff is a heavy-boned, massive, awe inspiring dog bred for use as a guard and defender of owner and property. He is characterized by loose skin, over his entire body, abundant, hanging wrinkles and folds on the head and a voluminous dewlap. The essence of the Neapolitan is his bestial appearance, astounding head and imposing size and attitude. Due to his massive structure, his characteristic movement is rolling and lumbering, not elegant or showy.
  The massive, solid Neapolitan Mastiff is an imposing hulk of a dog, and it's meant to be. A writer during the days of the Roman Empire described the ideal guard dog for the house as visible during daylight hours and able to fade into the shadows at night to attack without being seen. He called for a head so massive that it seems to be the most important part of the body. The description fits the Neapolitan, whose ancestors may have first been brought to Italy from Greece, where they were much esteemed. The Romans found all sorts of jobs for these mighty dogs. Not only were they employed as guardians of the home, they were also used for hunting, as war dogs and as contestants in Roman Circus events. The breed continued to exist in the Naples area, though it was largely ignored for several centuries. A few fanciers undertook the reconstruction of the breed after World War II and it has steadily attracted a following. Neapolitan Mastiffs may tip the scales at more than 150 pounds, and stand as high as 31 inches. This is a powerful, dominant breed that requires early and ongoing socialization and training. Not the dog for a first-time owner. Choose an experienced, knowledgeable breeder with care.

  The Bullmastiff dog breed is a firm and fearless family guardian. While standoffish toward strangers he's got a soft spot for his loved ones. He has a short, easy-care coat, but he is a drooler.
  Developed in England as the gamekeeper's night dog, the Bullmastiff represents a cross between the Mastiff and the Bulldog. The breed's job was to warn the gamekeeper of poachers and, if necessary, throw and hold the intruder but not harm it. The breed is powerful and compact; males stand up to 27 inches at the shoulder and may weigh up to 130 pounds. The coat is short and dense in red, fawn or brindle, all with a black face mask. The coat sheds little, and a good weekly rubdown keeps it gleaming and free of dead hair. The Bullmastiff makes a loyal family pet and a superb guard dog. These dogs have been known to do well as apartment dwellers but are really house and garden types.


  The Newfoundland is a large, strong dog breed from — wait for it — Newfoundland. He was originally used as a working dog to pull nets for fishermen and haul wood from the forest. He is a capable and hardworking dog, well suited to work on land or water. He is a strong swimmer and equally strong "pack horse." Sweet-natured and responsive, he makes a wonderful family companion as well.
  The Newfie is a robust, family-loving dog, equally at home in the water and on land. This large, strong, active dog is capable of heavy work, yet the breed's gentleness, even temper and devotion make the Newf an ideal companion for child or adult. In Newfoundland, this dog was originally used as a working dog to pull nets for the fishermen and to haul logs from the forest for the lumbermen. Elsewhere, the Newf did heavy labor of many kinds, powering the blacksmith's bellow and the turner's lathe. The oily nature of its double coat, which effectively keeps the Newf from getting wet to the skin, its webbed feet, its deep, broad chest and well-sprung ribs make it a natural swimmer. The Newfoundland has true instinct for life-saving and is renowned in this role. Average height for males is 28 inches at the shoulder, weight about 150 pounds; females 2 inches and 30 pounds less. The long coat is flat, dense and water resistant, and sheds twice each year'in spring and fall. Acceptable coat colors include black, brown, gray, and white and black. Regular grooming is necessary to remove dead hair and keep the coat shiny and tangle-free. The Newfie is friendly, easygoing, and loves the outdoors. It's most comfortable in a large home where it will receive daily exercise and lots of time with the family.

  Like the English Mastiff further up this list, the Dogue de Bordeaux is one of the oldest breeds in Europe.  Although it has a forbidding look, the Dogue's desire for affection is intense. It's somewhat leery of strangers and may be aggressive toward strange dogs, but it gets along well with children and makes a loving family pet with a calm, tranquil disposition.
  The Dogue de Bordeaux's origin is not known, but it's likely that the Mastiff and Bulldog each played a part in its development. The breed was once used as a fighting dog, challenging bulls, bears and other dogs. The Dogue is powerful and massive, but surprisingly athletic and quick. A large, expressive head characterizes this breed. As with most dogs that were once bred for fighting, the Dogue de Bordeaux has a powerful jaw. This breed is built low to the ground, but is well balanced. The standard calls for males to weigh at least 100 pounds and stand 24 to 27 inches at the shoulder; bitches are slightly smaller. Dogues come in several colors, but dark auburn is preferred. The short coat requires only a weekly brushing. By far the most distinctive feature about the French Mastiff is their gigantic heads, sporting the largest heads of any canine species. They are extremely energetic dogs, requiring many walks throughout the day and a lot of food to replenish their energies.

  The Bernese Mountain Dog is a striking. tri-colored, large dog. He is sturdy and balanced. He is intelligent, strong and agile enough to do the draft and droving work for which he was used in the mountainous regions of his origin. Male dogs appear masculine, while bitches are distinctly feminine. 
  The Bernese Mountain Dog is an extremely versatile working dog from the farmlands of Switzerland. He was developed to herd cattle, pull carts, and be a watchdog and loyal companion. He is one of four types of Swiss Mountain Dogs, and the only one with long hair. The Bernese Mountain Dog comes from the canton of Bern, hence his name.  Regarded by many as the most beautiful of the four breeds of Swiss Mountain Dogs, the Bernese is the only one with a long coat. Its ancestry traces to mastiff-type dogs of Roman times, which crossbred with local herding dogs to produce offspring smaller in stature but just as trustworthy and devoted. The mountain dogs herded livestock and were used as cart dogs to transport goods and produce to market. A large dog measuring up to 27.5 inches at the shoulder, the Bernese has a medium-long, glossy black coat with distinctive markings in reddish brown and white. Vigorous weekly brushing keeps the coat looking trim. This breed likes lots of exercise and is often seen pulling carts in parades. The Bernese is most comfortable in a large home with a yard and thrives in cold weather. This faithful family companion is an excellent watchdog.

  Ancient Italian breed medium-large size Molossus Dog. Sturdy, with a strong skeleton. Muscular and athletic, it moves with considerable ease and elegance. It has always been a property watchdog and hunter of difficult game such as the wild boar.

  The noble Cane Corso's predecessors were big game hunters that showed power, courage and agility, and later proved their skills as drovers and guardians of livestock, property and family on Italian farms. The modern Cane Corso is a stable, protective dog with a strong sense of territory that is loyal and submissive to its family, but suspicious and aloof with strangers. The breed can be highly dominant toward people and other dogs, but plenty of early socialization and obedience training softens these aggressive tendencies. When properly socialized, the Cane Corso is gentle and protective with children. The Cane Corso craves regular affection, attention and interaction with its family. This athletic breed thrives in a house or apartment, provided its high daily exercise needs are met. Jogging, bike riding and long walks are ideal. A Cane Corso male should measure a minimum of 25 to 27.5 inches at the withers; females, 23.5 to 26 inches. The ears may be cropped or uncropped. The tail may be docked; for natural tails, the tip should reach the hock but not below. The short, harsh coat requires minimal weekly grooming. Acceptable colors are black, lighter and darker shades of gray, lighter and darker shades of fawn, and red. Brindling is allowed on all of these colors. Solid fawn and red, including lighter and darker shades, have a black or gray mask. The mask does not go beyond the eyes. There may be a white patch on the chest, throat, chin, backs of the pasterns, and on the toes.

  This still primitive dog breed was developed centuries ago in Tibet. Originally used as guard dogs for livestock and property, Tibetan Mastiffs can still be found performing that role, but they also enjoy life as a family companion and show dog.
  Noble and impressive: a large, but not a giant breed. An athletic and substantial dog, of solemn but kindly appearance. The Tibetan Mastiff stands well up on the pasterns, with strong, tight, cat feet, giving an alert appearance. The body is slightly longer than tall. The hallmarks of the breed are the head and the tail. The head is broad and impressive, with substantial back skull, the eyes deep-set and almond shaped, slightly slanted, the muzzle broad and well-padded, giving a square appearance. The typical expression of the breed is one of watchfulness. The tail and britches are well feathered and the tail is carried over the back in a single curl falling over the loin, balancing the head. The coat and heavy mane is thick, with coarse guard hair and a wooly undercoat.

 Despite the negative attention received due to its portrayal as a mean dog in television and film, the rottweiler remains a highly popular breed.
  Here's why: Historically a herding dog, the rottweiler's natural obedience makes it adaptable to several roles — just as capable of being a guard dog as assisting as a service dog. Extremely intelligent and good-natured, the rottweiler is naturally attentive and very loyal to its family.
  That said, rotties are best in homes with older kids who know how to interact with dogs. Since they are herding dogs, small children can easily get knocked over when the pup tries to herd them with leans and nudges.
  These dogs are stout, generally around 2-feet tall but weighing as much as 130 pounds, and live between 8 and 11 years.

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