Black and white puppy enjoying the yard.

Giant Breed Dogs

Definition


Giant breeds are primarily from the working group used to protect families or livestock. These breeds were developed to work in cold climates and as rescue dogs. Giant breed dogs were predominantly selected based on morphologies, typically focused on a specific characteristic. They have a life expectancy of 9 - 12 years and weigh over 100 pounds at maturity.


Characteristic


To reach his full size, the giant breed puppy needs 18 to 24 months. His birthweight will increase by 80 to 100 times. Their longer growth period must be monitored carefully to prevent any malformation in the skeleton and muscles. 


The larger and heavier the dog, the earlier the aging process starts. Life expectancy for large breeds is 2/3 of small breeds. It is best to begin addressing the nutritional considerations of aging early in the large breed dog's life to help promote optimal health and longevity. 


Sensitive Joints

The dog's body weight, combined with an active temperament, puts their joints under daily stress. A food rich in the antioxidant vitamins E and C, plus natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin, helps protect the joints. 


Digestive Sensitivity

Because of their reduced digestive capacity, giant breed dogs are very sensitive to their food. Heavy meals and indigestible food can lead to diarrhea, abdominal distension (bloat) and other digestive disorders. 

Example of giant breeds

  • Great Dane
  • Newfoundland
  • Great Pyrenees
  • Saint Bernard
  • Mastiff
  • Leonberger
  • Giant Schnauzer
  • Kuvasz
  • Greyhound