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7 Dog Breeds Who Are Bigger Than Wolves

Written by: Ejay C.
Ejay Cris C. Camposano, hailing from the Philippines, is a proud fur dad to two lovable dogs: a Beagle and a Shih Tzu. A college graduate with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Ejay has a diverse background that combines technical expertise with a passion for pets. His love for dogs and cats has profoundly influenced his life, leading him to a fulfilling career as a content writer at iHeartDogs. In his writing, Ejay captures the heartwarming bond between pets and their owners, sharing valuable insights and stories with a broad audience of animal lovers.Read more
| Published on March 27, 2024

The majestic wolf, revered and mythologized in numerous cultures, stands as a symbol of the wild and untamed natural world. Yet, in the realm of domesticated companions, several dog breeds boast dimensions and statures that surpass those of their ancestral counterpart, the gray wolf. These colossal canines not only share a common ancestry with the wolf but also exhibit a commanding presence that is both awe-inspiring and formidable. This article delves into “7 Dog Breeds Who Are Bigger Than Wolves,” highlighting the unique characteristics, history, and sheer size of these gentle giants. Each breed showcases the diverse potential of canine evolution and breeding, combining size with loyalty, strength, and a gentle demeanor.

1. Irish Wolfhound

The Irish Wolfhound, with its towering stature and noble bearing, is not just bigger than a wolf but is also one of the tallest dog breeds in the world. Historically bred to hunt wolves and elk, this breed combines power with grace in a surprisingly gentle giant. Irish Wolfhounds possess a calm and friendly temperament, making them excellent family pets despite their imposing size. They are known for their patience with children and a dignified aloofness that belies a deep loyalty and affection for their families. While their size demands considerable space and care, their serene disposition and faithful companionship endear them to many.

2. Great Dane

The Great Dane, often referred to as the “Apollo of Dogs,” is renowned for its grandeur and elegance. Despite their formidable size, Great Danes are gentle souls, known for their affectionate nature and patience with children and other animals. They were originally bred for hunting boar and guarding estates, but today they are cherished as gentle, loving family members. While their height can be intimidating, Great Danes are often oblivious to their size, sometimes believing they are lap dogs. Their blend of loyalty, courage, and kindness makes them beloved companions, capable of dwarfing even a large wolf in size.

3. English Mastiff

The English Mastiff is one of the heaviest dog breeds, with a robust body and a massive head that exudes strength and stability. Known for their gentle and loving nature, Mastiffs form strong bonds with their families, often acting as vigilant protectors. Despite their size, they are surprisingly gentle with children and known for their patience. English Mastiffs were historically used as guard dogs, their size and presence enough to deter any intruder. While they may be less active than other breeds, their sheer mass and devotion make them imposing figures, surpassing the size of wolves with ease.

4. Saint Bernard

The Saint Bernard is a breed synonymous with rescue and compassion, having been originally bred for search and rescue operations in the Swiss Alps. Their size and strength enabled them to traverse deep snow and carry out life-saving missions. Today, Saint Bernards are beloved family pets, known for their gentle disposition, tolerance, and affectionate nature. They may not be as tall as some of the other breeds on this list, but their girth and muscular build make them larger than the average wolf. Saint Bernards are true gentle giants, offering loyalty and warmth to their human companions.

5. Leonberger

The Leonberger is a breed that combines the majestic looks of a lion with the gentle heart of a family dog. Bred as a symbol of the town of Leonberg in Germany, these dogs are known for their friendly and patient demeanor, making them excellent companions, especially for families with children. Despite their lion-like appearance and size, Leonbergers are playful and affectionate, often eager to please their owners. Their thick mane and powerful build can intimidate those unfamiliar with the breed, but their sociability and kind nature quickly win hearts, easily making them larger and more imposing than a wolf.

6. Anatolian Shepherd

The Anatolian Shepherd is a breed built for endurance and strength, originally used for protecting livestock from predators such as wolves and bears in the rugged landscapes of Turkey. Their size and muscular physique are complemented by an intelligence and independence suited for making critical protective decisions autonomously. Anatolian Shepherds are devoted to their families and wary of strangers, making them excellent guard dogs. Their ability to stand their ground against formidable predators historically proves their size and courage, surpassing that of wolves not only in physical stature but also in the heart.

7. Newfoundland

The Newfoundland is a breed known for its remarkable strength, especially in water rescue operations. Originating from Canada, Newfoundlands were used by fishermen for their incredible swimming ability and for pulling carts. They are gentle giants, known for their sweet temperament, patience, and loyalty. Their thick, water-resistant coat and webbed feet make them adept swimmers, larger and more powerful than wolves, especially in aquatic environments. Despite their imposing size, Newfoundlands are known as “nanny dogs” for their nurturing and protective attitude towards children, embodying the gentle protector archetype.

These seven dog breeds stand as towering examples of canine diversity, each with unique attributes that extend beyond their impressive size. They serve as living reminders of the incredible variety within the dog world, where selective breeding has emphasized not just physical traits but also temperament and abilities suited to various human needs. From the ancient Irish Wolfhound, bred for the hunt yet gentle at heart, to the Newfoundland, a powerful swimmer, and tender companion, these breeds exemplify how dogs have evolved alongside humans, fulfilling roles that require both brawn and a deep capacity for loyalty.