What is it Like Living With Giant Dog Breeds?

At Holidays4Dogs we take care of many different breeds of dog, from tiny toy pooches, to giant breeds of dog. Different breeds often have different requirements in terms of their care. Bigger dogs often have their own particular needs that set them apart from owning an average sized dog.  In this article we ask; what is it like living with giant dog breeds?

What exactly is a giant breed of dog? In the UK there are several breeds of dog classified as giants of the dog world.  These include, the Irish Wolfhound, Great Dane, Leonberger, St. Bernard, Otterhound, and Mastiff.

Of course, there may be cross-breed dogs that can similarly grow to over-sized hound proportions!

While all these huge breeds of dog can make wonderful companions, there are a few things to think about before making the decision to share your home with one.

Do you have houseroom for a giant breed of dog?

Perhaps one of the first considerations is how a giant breed of dog is going to fit into the space you have available. While many of the larger breeds tend to be gentle in nature, they still take up a lot of physical space – possibly all of the sofa! Transporting your humongous pal may also pose a problem if your only vehicle is a Mini!

Large breeds of dog are generally very strong. It is important that giant breeds are well trained, especially with lead walking. Large breeds can be clumsy and therefore, may cause a hazard for small children, or anyone unsteady on their feet.

Health aspects of living with giant dog breeds.

A few of the giant breeds – Newfoundland dogs, for instance, have a tendency to drool. If you are particularly house-proud this may not suit if you have pristine soft furnishings. Many giant dog breeds have been selectively bred to be much larger than their ancestors.

As a result, many have extra folds of skin around their mouths, (and sometimes eyes). Drool can collect in these areas more readily, so when the dog shakes his head, you could end up with your living room covered in something resembling ectoplasm slime from the film, ‘Ghostbusters’!

On a more serious note, giant breeds can also suffer from health conditions. Many of these conditions are genetic, so it’s wise to choose a puppy from extensively health tested parents.

Big dogs, sadly, tend not to live quite as long as their smaller cousins. Prospective owners should prepared to have their pet in their lives for a somewhat shorter period of time. However, giant breeds take longer to mature, so expect those goofy puppy traits to stick around for longer – even when they are physically fully grown.


Finally, it goes without saying, the bigger the dog, the greater the expense. Food, veterinary care, grooming and equipment will all cost more. Having said all this though, giant breeds of dog make loyal and generally, gentle family pets – not just big in stature, but big in heart and character.