5 Gentle Giant Breeds to Consider

Gentle giant breeds may look intimidating, but these big dogs would rather cuddle on the couch than give chase to an intruder!

Jul 20, 2023byAmy Brannan
gentle giant breeds to consider

Are gentle giant breeds on your “not in a million years” list? Before you rule out these colossal canines completely, know that they may dwarf you in size, but many of these big dogs are lapdogs at heart!

One dog that weighs 230 lbs. and one that stands almost 3 feet high. Incredible, right? Continue reading to learn more about five enormous dog breeds that might just convince you that big is beautiful!

1. Saint Bernard

saint bernard
Image credit: Sean1006

Originating in the Swiss Alps, the Saint Bernard weighs a whopping 180 lbs. and stands 2-1/2 feet tall. One of the brawniest dogs on our list, the “Saint” is oblivious to his size and often tries his luck as a lap dog but usually winds up leaning against his owner’s legs instead.

Nicknamed “the nanny dog,” the Saint Bernard is a patient and even-tempered dog breed with a history of child-minding. This dog bonds fiercely with his family and will protect them with his life if need be.

Adaptable by nature, the slow-moving Saint Bernard is just as content to “Netflix and chill” as he is to take a leisurely stroll. Just be prepared to lay a towel down if you plan on popcorn for movie night because this pup is the king of drool!

2. Great Dane

great dane
Image credit: Martin Tajmr

Hailing from Germany, the Great Dane weighs in at a svelte 175lbs and stands almost 3 feet high. The tallest breed on our list, this affectionate giant regularly shows her adoration of family by practicing “canine origami” and folding herself into a lapdog.

The Great Dane is protective of her family and suspicious of strangers but far from fierce unless forced to be. In fact, this breed is a rather sensitive dog, and if too firm of an approach is adopted, training gets challenging.

Although energetic, the Dane is a calm dog indoors and happy to sprawl out on the sofa to await her next adventure. Although, you may need to invest in a second sofa if you want somewhere to sit when you bring this leggy pup home.

3. Newfoundland

newfoundland dog
Image credit: DejaVu Designs

Originating in Newfoundland, the Newfoundland dog weighs a hefty 150 lbs. and stands a whopping 2-1/3 feet tall. Despite his intimidating size – when properly socialized, the Newfie is one of the most social dogs of all the giant dog breeds.

The Newfoundland is a great family dog and loves to cuddle close to his people. This pup will not hesitate to plop down in the closest lap like a giant baby. Although good-natured and docile, this teddy bear will protect his family at any cost if forced to do so.

When it comes to exercise, the Newfoundland is a medium-energy dog that loves to swim – a big plus come bath time because this giant dog is another big drooler! Once drained of energy, the Newfie is happy to snore the afternoon away while the world passes him by.

4. Great Pyrenees

great pyrenees
Image credit: Wirestock

Originating in the French Pyrenees, the Great Pyrenees weighs a substantial 160lbs and stands 2-2/3 feet tall. This protective pup was bred to be a guardian, is wary of strangers, and will not hesitate to guard her family when called to do so.

Often described as “serious” and “independent,” the Pyrenees is also a mellow and patient family dog who loves the occasional snuggle. As this fluffy pup prefers a quiet lifestyle, she is a better candidate for families with older children or no children at all.

Despite her moderately high energy level outdoors, this big pup is calm indoors and happy to sit and watch the world go by. Do not let this intelligent beauty get bored, though, because without the proper mental stimulation, she can be a talented escape artist.

5. Mastiff

bullmastiff puppy
Image credit: Michalk37

Originating in Great Britain, the mastiff weighs an unbelievable 230 lbs and stands 2-2/3 feet tall. The heaviest pup on our list, this gentle giant breed is also the most sensitive, requiring a firm-but-gentle touch when it comes to training.

A loyal companion and formidable protector of his family, the English Mastiff also has a softer side. This pup loves nothing more than curling up on his person’s lap and being babied – but keep a cloth handy in case of drool!

With a moderate energy level, the English Mastiff would much rather be a couch potato than a marathon runner. Regardless of this persuasion, a mid-level exercise routine is still advisable to keep this big boy from packing on the pounds.

Amy Brannan
byAmy Brannan

Affectionately referred to as “Snow White” by family and friends, Amy has always connected with animals of all species. In addition to being a lifelong dog mom, Amy has nursed possums, chipmunks, rabbits, and squirrels back to health - much to the chagrin of her black Labrador, Jet. When she is not caring for her animals, Amy advocates pet adoption and educates others on the joys of senior dog ownership.