While your Border Collie’s paws are much tougher than your feet, there are still occasions when they need protecting.
Arguably the best way to keep your Collie’s paws safe is to get them a good set of doggie shoes. In the summer dog boots can help protect your pups paws from hot tarmac and other hot surfaces. While in the winter, dog shoes can help keep your Collie’s paws dry and safe from nasty substances such as rock salt or ice melt.
To help you make a decision on the best dog shoes for your Border Collie we rounded up the top ones from Amazon. Additionally, at the end of this article we have included more information on how to select the best dog shoes for Border Collie, how to find the correct size and much more.
The Best Dog Shoes & Boots for Border Collies
QUMY Waterproof Reflective Dog Boots
One of the highest recommended and reviewed set of canine shoes is from QUMY. Their Waterproof Reflective Dog Boots feature a wide split seam opening that makes it easy to put them on and take them off.
These tough dog boots also feature two reflective Velcro straps that provide finer adjustment and help to stop the shoes from falling off during intense play or exercise. The reflective straps also help you to see your dog when the sun goes down and there is not much light.
QUMY’s dog shoes are manufactured from a tough and water-resistant material that is great for all kinds of conditions. The anti-slip waterproof sole is created from durable and sturdy rubber that will keep your Border Collie’s paws safe from harmful substances and objects.
To join all the materials together, QUMY decided to use stitching rather than glue. This ensures that their dog shoes are tough and durable enough for all your Border Collie’s high energy activities. If your Collie gets the boots dirty or muddy during play they can be easily hand washed to bring them back to new-like condition.
QUMY’s Waterproof Dog Shoes come highly recommended and they have a 4-star rating with over 2,000 reviews. The shoes seem to be incredibly durable, however, some buyers have complained that it is difficult to find the right size for their dog and that the shoes get very heavy when wet.
Treaded waterproof soles made from high quality rubber
Great for high energy Border Collies who need extra paw protection
Reflective Velcro straps that provide finer adjustment
Made from durable and tough material that is sewn together
Weight: 181g (6.4 ounces) shipping weight
Kurgo All Seasons Dog Boots
Another excellent choice for those who need shoes for their Border Collie is Kurgo’s All Seasons Dog Boots. These tough paw protecting dog shoes will be great for both harsh winters and blistering summers.
Kurgo’s dog boots are adjustable so you can get the perfect fit for your Collie and they won’t fall off. They also feature reflective strips for visibility in low light and they are manufactured from lightweight materials. While Kurgo’s dog shoes feature a tight weave mesh design, they are still breathable and provide ample ventilation for your Border Collie’s paws.
Kurgo has created these shoes from a water resistant material so they can be used in light rain, snow and on ice. The top part is made from ripstop leather and the sole is designed to mimic the structure of your Border Collie’s paw.
A total of six different sizes are available from XX-Small to X-Large, so you should be able to find the perfect size for your Collie. To get the right size, Kurgo states that the best way is to get your canine companion to stand on a ruler. You can then measure the widest part of their paw and compare it against the size chart provided by Kurgo.
The All Seasons Dog Boots have great reviews and Kurgo also offers a lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects. Some owners have complained about getting the right size, but this is a common complaint for all dog shoes.
Made from breathable yet tough mesh material
Excellent all seasons dog shoe
Wide range of sizes available
Weight: 431g (15.5 ounces) shipping weight
Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots
A great option for those with a more senior Border Collie is Ultra Paws Durable Dog Boots. They feature a non-slip sole and are manufactured from a flexible nylon material that conforms to your Collie’s paws. This makes them a slightly softer alternative to the two options we have already listed.
Despite being a bit softer than some other dog shoes, Ultra Paws’ Durable dog Boots are still tough and they will be able to handle even the most energetic Border Collie. They are perfect for both indoor and outdoor use in a range of different weather conditions. The strong thermoplastic sole will protect against nasty harmful substances and sharp objects.
These dog boots come in six different sizes from Petite to X-Large and they also feature Velcro straps for further adjustment. They are also designed with a generous amount of foam lining that ensures they are a comfortable, snug fit that will be perfect for your Border Collie.
Made from nylon material that conforms to your Collie’s paws
Foam lining inner for extra comfort
Flexible, tough sole that has great traction
Excellent for more senior Border Collies
Brand: Ultra Paws
Weight: 280g (9.9 ounces)
Ruffwear Grip Trex Outdoor Dog Boots
Do you like going running or hiking with your Border Collie? If you do, Ruffwear has got you sorted with their Grip Trex Outdoor Dog Boots. These dog shoes will protect your Collie’s paws from whatever the trail throws at you. They are ideal for hiking, mountain biking, trail running and loads of other outdoor activities.
One of the best features of these dog shoes is the Vibram non-marking outsole with rugged lug design. This high quality sole provides excellent traction and flexibility, so your Border Collie can tackle any terrain.
The upper part of the shoe is manufactured from tightly woven air mesh that keeps dirt and debris out while keeping your Collie’s paws comfortable and ventilated all day long. They also feature a wide opening that makes them easy to put on and take off.
A reliable hook-and-loop cinch closure system provides further adjustment and ensures that the boots stay on your Collie’s paws. Like many other dog shoes, Ruffwear’s product features reflective trim for low-light visibility.
With over 500 reviews and a four-star rating these are some of the highest reviewed dog shoes available today. The biggest complaint about Ruffwear’s Grip Tex shoes is that they lack padding on the inside.
Fantastic for those looking for a durable dog shoe for hiking, running and other outdoor activities
Vibram sole is higher quality than many other brands
Mesh material keeps your Collies’s paws cool and comfortable
Weight: 136g (4.8 ounces)
Zacro Protective Dog Boots
Zacro’s Protective Dog Boots are an excellent option for those looking for a slightly cheaper option for their Border Collie. They are easy to put on and take off with a wide and adjustable “magic” strap that provides extra adjustability.
The upper portion of the boot is made from a breathable and soft fabric material that provides protection from the outside elements. On the inside, Zacro have used velvet that provides extra warmth and will be comfortable for your Collie’s paws.
On the bottom of the shoe there is a tough anti-slip sole that provides traction, stability and protects your Border Collie’s paws from sharp thorns, hot pavement, nasty chemicals and more.
To get the right sizing, place your Border Collie’s paws on a blank piece of paper and mark from the longest toenail to the back of the paw. For the width, measure the widest part of the paw (the width of the paw should be smaller than the size of the boot for a proper fit).
Zacro’s Protective Dog Boots come highly recommended and they are praised for their ability to stay on highly energetic dog’s paws. The main issues people seem to have with them are getting the right size and putting them on.
Low price when compared to many of the other options out there
Anti-slip sole and breathable material
Soft velvet interior material that is easier on your Collie’s paws
Weight: 222g (7.8 ounces)
Best Dog Shoes for Border Collies Buyers Guide & FAQs
Selecting the right boots for your Border Collie is quite difficult. There are loads of different options out there and you can easily become overwhelmed with the choice. That’s why we have created this guide that should help you pick the right shoes for your Collie.
Picking the right shoes for your Lab is difficult. There are simply so many options to choose from and it is easy to become overwhelmed with the selection both online and at brick and mortar stores. That’s why we have created this guide to help you pick the best boots for your Labrador.
Things to Remember When Purchasing Shoes for a Border Collie
While shoes are not a requirement for a dog, they do have a number of benefits. However, if you are thinking about purchasing some boots for your Border Collie, you need to consider the following things:
Size – It is incredibly important that you get the right size shoe for your Border Collie. If you look at reviews of many dog shoes you will often find owners complaining about the fit or the fact that they fall off their pup’s paws. The problem is that they have usually got the wrong size and if they went one size bigger or smaller, the shoes would fit perfectly. Measure twice, buy once!
Durability – You can buy the best fitting and looking dog shoe in the world, but if it only lasts one play session or walk it is completely useless. While no dog boots will last forever with a Border Collie on top of them, a good pair should last at least a couple of years.
Shoe Type – There is no point in purchasing soft slipper-like dog shoes if you plan to take your Border Collie hiking or trail running. Some dog shoes are better for certain activities than others, so note down your reason for buying dog boots and purchase ones that meet your needs.
What Conditions They Will Be Used in – This is sort of similar to the above, but you need to look at what season and weather conditions you are planning to use the shoes in. If you are looking to protect your Collie’s paws from hot tarmac in the summer, you may want to go with something that is a bit more breathable and lighter. On the other hand, if you only want to use the shoes in winter you may want to purchase something that is a bit warmer. Some dog shoes are good for all seasons, so you could look at getting those as well.
Price – Price is always important, and it depends on how much you are willing to spend. There are loads of cheaper options out there that do a good job, so don’t think you have to buy the most expensive boots for your Border Collie.
Why Does My Border Collie Need Dog Shoes?
Your Border Collie doesn’t necessarily need boots or shoes, but they can be useful for those wanting a bit more protection for their dog. Here are some reasons why Border Collies should wear dog booties:
If your Collie is active – Border Collies tend to be very active dogs and they love to go hiking, running and biking with their human companions. While the pads of a Collie’s paws are pretty tough, they can still be easily damaged by sharp objects or other harmful items. A Border Collie’s paws can also wear out and become cracked if they are constantly running on hard surfaces such as tarmac.
If your Border Collie is more senior – For those with older Border Collies, dog boots can be an excellent option to help them move about a bit more. Elderly Collies tend to develop hip, knee and paw issues and an extra bit of cushioning and support can help make walking a bit easier. Another reason why older Border Collies should wear shoes is that they can help with traction on slipper surfaces.
To protect them in the summer – Hot tarmac or pavements can quickly burn your Collie’s paws. As we wrote in this article, you should avoid taking your Border Collie for walks in hot weather. If you do plan to take your dog out for walks when it is hot, make sure you get some shoes first.
To protect them in the winter – Shoes are not only useful to protect your Border Collie’s paws in the summer, but also the winter as well. Snow and ice can cause slipping hazards and many of the de-icing products used on roads are harmful to a Collie’s paws.
They help to keep your home tidy – Do you get annoyed when your Collie brings mud back into the house after a walk? If you find yourself facing this problem regularly you should invest in some dog shoes (or just clean their paws before you enter the house). Remove the shoes before you enter your house and enjoy a clean, mud free home.
How to Find the Right Size of Shoe for a Border Collie?
Without a doubt finding the right size is the most important thing about purchasing shoes for a dog. A dog shoe that is the wrong size is completely useless, so take note of the manufacturers size guide and read it thoroughly. We also recommend that you check out reviews to see what other owners have to say about the sizing of a particular shoe (might run big or large).
If you are still unsure about what size is correct for your Border Collie, we recommend that you contact the company selling the shoe. Most companies will be more than happy to assist you with sizing requirements.
When to put Dog Shoes On?
Once you have decided to purchase shoes for your Border Collie you must decide when they should wear them. Obviously, you won’t need to put them on all the time, so you need to consider what you may encounter during a walk. If your Border Collie may possibly come into contact with the following harmful items or substances you should put their shoes on.
Hot surfaces such as tarmac
Snow that is cold enough it squeaks when you walk on it
De-iced or salted areas (salt can get stuck between their paws)
If your dog is trying to keep their paws off the ground
Slippery areas (especially so for older canines)
Anywhere that has sharp objects that could puncture your Collie’s paws
How we Chose the Boots in this Guide
We chose the dog shoes in this guide based on the features provided, price, build quality and reviews. All the shoes in this buyers guide are well reviewed and perfect for your Border Collie.
So, you are thinking of getting a Labrador, but you are wondering what colour is the best? Many prospective Labrador owners wonder what the difference between the colours are and in this article we hope to answer that question.
How Many Labrador Colours are there?
First, let’s take a look at just how many different colours of Labrador there are. According to the American Kennel Club there are three main different colours of Lab:
However, while these are the three main recognised Labrador colours, there are some other coat colours which we will later in this article.
Labradors in the above colours tend to have a metallic-looking sheen to their coats. The colours are often linked to a skin disease known as Colour Dilution Alopecia.
A Labrador’s coat colour is determined by a set of genes, with the D gene being responsible for the strength of the colour. It is possible for a Labrador to carry two recessive copies of the gene (dd), which will lead to a silver, charcoal or champagne coat colour. This can occur if two Dd genotype Labradors are bred together.
Labrador Colours Explained
Black Labs have been the most common variation of the breed for centuries. The reason for this is largely down to genetics as they have the dominant “B” gene. Black Labradors are supposed to be solid black in colour, but a small white spot on their chest is okay.
They are descended from the St. John’s dog of Newfoundland. It was originally thought that they were first found working with fishermen in Newfoundland and were taken from there to England in the 19th century where they developed into the Labrador breed we know today.
However, it is now known that the story of the Labrador starts much earlier than that in the 18th century. These early Labradors excelled in working in icy, cold water. They also looked a bit different with longer coats and more upright ears. Many of the dogs also had a white patch on their coats, which is still common in black Labradors today.
chocolate or brown Labradors are that colour because they have the recessive gene. If a Labrador does not possess the dominant black gene they can get this colouration. chocolate Labs tend to vary in colour from light brown to deep chocolate. Like with black Labradors, tan markings or brindle striations are not accepted by the American Kennel Club.
The first known recordings of the chocolate colour were in 1892, when two “liver coloured” puppies were produced by the Earl of Buccleuch’s dogs. However, it wasn’t until the 1930s that chocolate coloured Labradors become more prominent.
Interestingly, the genetics of a yellow Labrador are a bit different from those in a black or chocolate Lab. Yellow or Golden Labradors can essentially “switch off” the black and chocolate genes thanks to the presence of the “E” locus gene. A Labrador with the recessive “e” gene will only produce phaeomelanin pigment and will be yellow regardless of the “B” gene.
Yellow Labradors have the greatest variation of the three main coat colours. They are often seen in colours ranging from fox-red to light cream in colour. Yellow Labs can also have shading on their ears, back and belly.
Up until the start of the 20th century there were no yellow Labradors. The first two yellow puppies appeared in a litter bred by Captain (later Major) CE Radcliffe in 1902. One of the puppies was called Ben, while the other was a female. It is generally believed that all yellow Labradors are descended from Ben and his son Neptune.
Silver, Charcoal Champagne Labradors
A Labrador’s coat colour is determined by a set of genes, with the D gene being responsible for the strength of the colour. It is possible for a Labrador to carry two recessive copies of the gene (dd), which will lead to a silver, charcoal or champagne coat colour. This can occur if two Dd genotype Labradors are bred together.
Labradors in these colours tend to have a metallic-looking sheen to their coats. The colours are often linked to a skin disease known as Colour Dilution Alopecia. Silver, charcoal and champagne colours are not officially recognised by the American Kennel Club, however, the are becoming more popular with breeders.
Are Different Coloured Labradors Used for Different Jobs
In a word yes. Black Labradors are the most dominant colour in the world of hunting and trials. According to “The Best of the Best”, a history of the IGL retriever championship it was found that 1,790 black Labradors qualified to run, compared to just 367 yellow ones from a period form 1909 – 2011.
While yellow Labradors aren’t so desirable for hunting, they are without a doubt the most popular colour for guide and service dogs. They are also incredibly popular as show dogs and are often used to advertise charity literature.
Chocolate or brown Labradors aren’t really known for any particular role, but they can sometimes be found in the showring. They are also used for hunting and as service dogs, but not as much as black or yellow Labradors.
Silver, charcoal or champagne coloured Labradors are not commonly used for work as they are a relatively new creation and there are limited numbers of them. Additionally, they are not used as show dogs because they are not recognised by the American Kennel Club and other dog clubs around the world.
Which Colour Labrador is the Healthiest & Longest Living?
For a long time it was believed that the colour of a Labrador’s coat had no effect on its health. Recently however, it has been found that there are some differences between the coat colours.
The American Animal Hospital Association performed a study in October 2018 that compared the veterinary patient records for over 33,000 Labrador Retrievers. They found that chocolate coloured Labradors experienced a higher risk of health related problems than black or yellow Labs. Additionally, they also found that chocolate Labradors on average tend to have shorter lifespans.
For example, they discovered that the lifespan of the other two colours was around 12.7 years, whereas chocolate Labradors only lived until about 10.7 years, a difference of more than 10 percent.
Which Labrador Colour is the most Intelligent?
This is a commonly asked question about Labradors. Many prospective owners want to know what the most intelligent colour is and then base their decision around that. Some people believe that black and yellow Labradors are more intelligent than chocolate ones as they are more commonly used as working dogs.
The truth is that there really isn’t any difference in intelligence between the different colours. A Labrador’s intelligence is based on its breeding, not the colour of its coat.
However, if you have noticed that chocolate Labradors are less intelligent or less well-behaved it may not be your imagination. Many chocolate Labrador breeders are what’s called “backyard” or “irresponsible” breeders. These breeders are often focused on getting the colour at detriment to the dog’s intelligence, temperament and even health (this may explain why they have shorter lifespans).
A well-bred chocolate Labrador that is trained properly will be just as intelligent as a yellow or black Labrador.
Which Colour Labrador has the Best Personality?
Once again, many Labrador owners believe that there is a difference in personality between the different colours. Some say that yellow Labs are the sweetest and kindest, while black Labradors are the calmest and most patient, and chocolate Labs are the most boisterous and wild. Studies have been conducted to see if any of these beliefs are true, but to date there is no scientific evidence to back up any of these claims.
Which Colour Labrador is the Best?
In truth, there is no best colour of Labrador. Yes, chocolate Labradors can sometimes seem like they are less intelligent and more boisterous, but this is largely down to poor breeding. We’ve had yellow and black Labradors and loved them equally, so choose the colour that you want.
If you do want to enter your dog into shows then avoid silver, charcoal or champagne coloured Labradors as they are not usually recognised by kennel clubs around the world.
The most important thing to consider when purchasing a Labradors is the breeder and not the colour. Are they well reviewed and experienced? If they are not try to find someone who is. Don’t go to backyard breeders as they often over-breed or have inbred dogs that have more health problems.
Which Colour Labrador Do You Like the Most?
Let us know in the comments below which Labrador colour you like the most!
Tea is one of the most popular beverages in the world.
It is a cornerstone of civilisation, from East to West.
History has been made over a shared tea (and sometimes humans have even fought over it).
Tea is as inherently human as walking on two legs.
But can dogs drink tea?
Maybe you’ve noticed your dog “sniffing around” when you sit down for your morning cup of tea.
Maybe you’ve even given your dog a few sips.
Is this safe? Or is this harmful for your dog?
Let’s find out if dogs can safely drink tea or not.
Is Tea Safe For Dogs?
The first step is to determine whether or not tea is safe for dogs.
If it isn’t safe, then there is no point in giving your dog any tea to drink!
Long story short, tea isn’t really safe for dogs. The reason for this is that tea contains caffeine, and dogs are at great risk from caffeine toxicity.
While the quantity of caffeine in tea is relatively low for a human, it could be all too high for a dog.
Even a relatively small amount of caffeine could be harmful for your dog, which means a relatively small amount of tea could be problematic!
Remember that your dog has a different metabolic system to a human, and weighs a lot less than you do. While the caffeine in a cup of tea isn’t going to do much to you, it could have serious consequences for your dog.
Therefore, dogs shouldn’t drink tea.
My Dog Has Drunk Tea – What Should I Do?
If your dog has consumed some tea accidentally, then you’ll probably want to know what you should do in this situation.
How you respond will depend largely on how much tea you think your dog has consumed.
For example, if your dog has chewed up and eaten several tea bags, then we would strongly suggest taking your dog to the vet (even if this is just a precaution).
However, if your dog has just had a couple of sips of tea, then this probably isn’t anything to worry about.
To a large extent, this is all about using your judgement. If you notice any changes in behaviour, vomiting etc, then definitely go to the vet.
Can dogs drink tea?
No, they should not. Although a small amount of tea is unlikely to be too harmful, it is never a good idea to get into the habit of providing your dog with any substance that contains caffeine.
If you want a liquid treat for your dog, then it’s much better to invest in some quality pet milk instead.
Cola is one of the most popular drinks in the world for humans. For some, it is an occasional treat. For others, it’s a bit of an addiction (if we’re honest).
But can dogs drink cola?
Maybe you’ve been quietly enjoying a can or two of refreshing cola, and then your beloved pooch has come along to try and get some off you.
Dogs may be attracted to the sweet smell and sugary taste of cola – but is it safe?
In this short article, we look at whether or not dogs can safely drink cola.
Is Cola Safe For Dogs?
For all intents and purposes, no. Cola isn’t safe for dogs, and here’s why:
1. Cola contains caffeine, and caffeine is highly toxic to dogs. As we established in our articles about whether or not dogs can drink coffee and energy drinks, caffeine is harmful to dogs. What would be a relatively modest amount of caffeine for a human could be fatal to your four-legged friend. The caffeine content of your favorite cola has the potential to cause serious illness for your dog.
2. It is terrible for your dog’s teeth. The combination of acidity, sugar, and carbonation work in tandem to wreak havoc on your dog’s teeth. Remember that your dog doesn’t brush twice a day like you (hopefully) do, so the effect is even worse. Tooth decay is a serious problem for dogs.
3. Full-sugar colas are packed with empty calories. Excessive weight gain is a massive problem for many dogs (pun intended). Cola contains nothing but empty calories, which risks causing serious health problems for your dog.
4. Diet colas contain a variety of sweeteners, which may be harmful for your dog. Don’t think that diet colas are a decent alternative – the sweeteners in them may be harmful for your dog, and there are still concerns around tooth decay and the caffeine issue.
Therefore, it is very clear that cola isn’t safe for dogs.
What To Do If Your Dog Has Consumed Some Cola
If your dog has accidentally drunk some cola (e.g. from a bottle or can that was left open and tipped over) then how you respond will depend on the approximate quantity that was consumed.
A small amount won’t likely cause any problems, but it’s still worth monitoring your dog over the coming hours and days to ensure they don’t develop any changes in behaviour, start vomiting etc. If this happens, then go to the vets.
If your dog has consumed a substantial quantity of cola, then this would be an emergency in our opinion and you should go to the vet immediately.
Conclusion – Can Dogs Drink Cola?
Absolutely not. There is no good reason to allow your dog to drink any amount of cola. It has no nutritional value for your dog, and could be seriously harmful.
If your dog has consumed a small amount of cola inadvertently, then you probably don’t need to worry. However, if you are concerned that your dog has somehow consumed a substantial quantity, then it is definitely worth considering a visit to the vet.
For many humans across the world, an energy drink (or two) is a bit of a daily ritual.
From office workers to hard labourers, many people love the taste and buzz they get from energy drinks.
But what about dogs?
Can dogs drink energy drinks? Or are they harmful to your precious pooch?
In this short article, we aim to find out!
Can Energy Drinks Kill Dogs?
Long story short, energy drinks are extremely dangerous for dogs.
As we established in our article on whether or not dogs can drink coffee, dogs are sensitive to caffeine.
Even a modest amount of caffeine (for a human) could be fatal for your dog, as it can cause rapid rises in heart rate, and a whole host of other unpleasant side effect.
Therefore, your dog should not be given energy drink under ANY circumstance.
Energy drinks often contain more caffeine than coffee, so are even more dangerous.
Furthermore, energy drinks are generally laden with sugar and sweeteners, which can also be harmful for your dog.
We hope you can see just how bad energy drinks are for your dog!
My Dog Has Accidentally Drunk Some Energy Drink – What Should I Do?
In writing this article, we figured that 99% of the people out there with dogs who might read it are probably already aware that they shouldn’t give any energy drink to their pooch.
But what about if your dog has accidentally drunk some energy drink?
For example, you might have had a half-finished can sitting on your table, and your dog has managed to knock it off and drink it from the floor.
What do you do in this scenario?
Basically, your response will depend on how much of the energy drink your dog has consumed.
For example, if your dog has only consumed a splash of Red Bull, then this is unlikely to cause harm (e.g. a few mLs fell out of the can, and they lapped it up). We would still advise monitoring your dog over the coming hours and days to see if there are any signs of illness or distress, e.g. vomiting. If so, a trip to the vet is on the cards.
However, anything over say 50 mL would probably be concerning in our opinion. Certainly, if your dog has managed to drink say a half can of Red Bull or Monster, then you need to make an emergency trip to the vet.
This could be a life or death situation!!!
To conclude, dogs cannot drink energy drink. It is dangerous due to the caffeine level and risk of caffeine toxicity (you can learn more about this on our article ‘can dogs drink coffee?’).
If your dog has consumed a noticeable quantity of energy drink, then we recommend you pay a visit to the vet – sooner, rather than later.
Continuing on with our current theme of the foods and drinks that are (and often aren’t) safe for dogs, today we are looking at whether or not dogs can drink coffee.
Coffee may be essential to the daily functioning of many humans – but what about our four-legged friends?
Can they perk themselves up with a quick hit of Java … or is that going to cause health problems?
Is Coffee Safe For Dogs?
Coffee is not safe for dogs, and dogs cannot drink coffee.
The key reason for this is that coffee is high in caffeine. Dogs have a low tolerance for caffeine, and even relatively small amount of caffeine could be seriously harmful for your dog if ingested.
Compared to humans, dogs simply have a far lower tolerance for caffeine (this makes even more sense when you consider that dogs generally weigh a lot less than their human companions).
A couple of sips of coffee won’t kill your dog, but the ingestion of even a relatively small amount of coffee grounds (or drinking larger quantities of coffee) could be fatal, especially for smaller dogs who are even more prone to the effects of coffee.
What Are The Effects Of Coffee On Your Dog?
If your dog consumes too much coffee, then the following symptoms may occur:
Shortness of breath
Abnormal heart rhythm
Elevated body temperature
Elevated heart rate
As you can see, coffee (and its constituent, caffeine) really are not good for dogs at all!
What Should You Do If You Suspect Your Dog Has Consumed Coffee?
This depends largely on the quantity you suspect your dog has consumed.
For example, if your dog has just sipped a couple of sips of coffee out of the bottom of your cup, then you probably have nothing to worry about.
However, if your dog has managed to eat a bag of coffee grounds, then that is a serious emergency and you need to get to the vet immediately.
If you suspect only a relatively small amount of coffee has been consumed, then you are probably fine just to monitor your dog over the coming hours and days to note any change in behaviour, vomiting etc. If you notice this, then once again you need to get down the vet – pronto!
Conclusion – Can Dogs Drink Coffee?
No, absolutely not. Dogs cannot and should not drink coffee, as it could be very toxic to them.
If your dog has consumed a small amount of coffee, then that’s unlikely to be too harmful.
However, consumption of any serious amount of coffee is an emergency, and should be treated as such.
Welcome to Dogopedia – the website where we aim to answer your questions about dogs and dog ownership.
In today’s article, we are continuing with our dog food theme, examining the types of food that dogs can (or cannot, in some cases) eat.
Can dogs eat blueberries is what we are looking at today.
Blueberries are a tasty, highly nutritious, often rather expensive fruit for humans to eat. But what about dogs? Is is it safe to give your dog some blueberries as an occasional treat, or could they cause harm, illness, or even death?
Is it safe to feed your dog blueberries? Let’s find out!
Yes, Dogs Can Eat Blueberries
The good news is that dogs can definitely eat blueberries. They are not a harmful/toxic food for your dog to eat.
In fact, blueberries are a superb source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more.
It’s actually rather difficult to think of a fruit that would be healthier for your dog than blueberries!
Not only are blueberries great for humans … they are an excellent choice for their beloved canine companions as well.
Here’s a quick explanation of why that is the case:
Blueberries Are Packed With Health-Giving Nutrients
One of the reasons that dogs can eat blueberries safely is that they are packed with health giving nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
The antioxidant power of blueberries is particularly interesting. Antioxidants help to fight against ‘free radicals’ which contribute to the ageing process and molecular/cellular damage.
Combine this with the fact that blueberries are very low in calories, and they make a good treat option for your dog.
Can Dogs Eat Frozen Blueberries
We’ve established that blueberries are fine for your dog. But is there any difference when it comes to frozen blueberries?
The good news is that frozen blueberries are also safe for your dog to eat.
In fact, frozen blueberries could be a great idea as a healthy treat for your dog on a hot day!
If you’ve seen our guide on how to keep your dog cool, then you’ll know that feeding frozen food/treats (provided it’s safe) is a good way to lower that temperature.
To sum up – can your dog eat blueberries?
Yes, your precious pooch sure can! In fact, they are probably one of the best healthy fruit snacks that your dog can have.
Low in calories, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, they are simply a great choice for your dog.
Just keep in mind the ‘best practices’ around not feeding your dog too many treats (ideally, treats should not constitute more than 10% of your dog’s diet) and you will be fine.
So, you’ve just got yourself a new Border Collie puppy, but when do you start training it? There is so much conflicting information on when to start training a Border Collie and in this article, we hope to answer the question definitively.
We are going to be talking about why some trainers recommend starting the training process immediately and why some believe it is better to wait a bit longer. We are also going to give you some tips and tricks that will hopefully make the training process simpler and easier.
Why is Training a Border Collie Important?
Lots of new dog owners often make the mistake of spending way too much time looking at what collars they think will suite their dog best and what toys they should purchase for their pup. While there is no doubt that these things are important, getting your dog correctly trained is arguably more vital.
The reason for this is that a poorly trained Border Collie can be a nightmare to deal with, leading to a bad pet/owner relationship. Additionally, a well-trained Collie can be called back in a dangerous situation, which may save their life.
Why Do Some People Recommend Waiting?
Some trainers and owners recommend that you wait until about 6 months before you start training a Border Collie. This idea comes from a more “old school” training method where heavy handed corrections were used. The dog needed to be old enough to withstand wearing a collar and dealing with harsh physical corrections or punishment during training.
These old school trainers also believed that a Border Collie would reach the same skill level in adulthood, whether they started at six months or eight weeks, so they saw no reason to start them early.
What About Training a Border Collie at Eight Weeks?
Generally, eight to twelve weeks is around the time that Border Collies are taken from their mother and sent to a new home.
Before this, Collie puppies should be spending time with their mother, brothers and sisters to learn about being a dog. During this time they learn what it means to be part of the pack, how to communicate, and how to play. This first eight weeks is an incredibly important time for a Border Collie puppy and starting training too early can be detrimental to their development.
The idea that training should start at around eight weeks is based on this fact that most Border Collie puppies go to their new owners at this time. They have learnt most of what they need to know about being a dog and now it is time to learn from their new family.
Additionally, a puppy’s brain is not properly formed to learn much before eight weeks, so they do not have the ability to learn new commands and tricks properly.
When Should You Start Training a Border Collie?
With all the above in mind, when is actually the best time to start training a Border Collie puppy? We believe that the best time to start training a Collie puppy is as soon as you get them home, whether it is at eight or twelve weeks.
While a young Border Collie’s attention span is fairly limited, you can start the training process with short sessions. You should start the training process by teaching your puppy not to bite, how to take food gently and basic commands such as “sit”. Additionally, socialising your Border Collie as early as possible is incredibly important.
You should only use reward-based methods of training such as luring with food or clicker training. Forceable methods can be used at later points, but we are not fans of this training method and believe that reward-based training is always the best.
What to Expect from a Border Collie Puppy?
When you get your new Border Collie home don’t expect too much of them during training. Young puppies tend to be impulsive and have little self-control. Their attention spans are extremely limited, so keep training sessions as short as possible.
Try to think of your Border Collie puppy as a child. They will play with anything that interests them and do anything they want. They don’t understand what is theirs and what is not, so do not punish them for chewing your shoes. Remember, that a Collie puppy at around eight weeks will not listen to every command (in fact, they will probably ignore most of them).
Below we have created a rough training guide for a Border Collie puppy.
Border Collie Training Schedule
The following training schedule will be slightly different for each individual Border Collie, however, it should give you a basic idea of what you should expect from your puppy.
What to teach a Border Collie at 8 – 10 weeks.
The first things you should focus on when you bring your Border Collie puppy home for the first time is getting them socialised, training them to take food properly and getting them toilet trained. Remember, don’t expect too much at this stage. In fact, we would recommend that you don’t create formal training sessions and instead let it happen naturally.
It is also a good idea to reward your new Collie puppy when they follow you or come to you on their own accord. This will get them mentally prepared for future training sessions when more difficult and advanced commands are introduced.
As soon as you get your Collie puppy home you should also be getting them used to you touching their paws, tummy, inside their mouth and around their ears. This will make trips to the vets much easier and your vet will appreciate it.
Socialisation – Border Collies need to be socialised as soon as possible and you need to introduce them to a range of different people, dogs and other animals. While you may not be able to take them out for walks straight away (due to vaccinations), you can still introduce them to a friend’s dog who has been vaccinated.
Follow – Rewarding your new Collie puppy if they follow you is incredibly important. If your Collie understands that following you is a good thing it makes teaching them commands such as “come” or “heel” much easier.
Recall or come – While you are not teaching your Border Collie to come properly, you are teaching them that coming to you is a good thing. Reward your Collie puppy when they come to you naturally
Not to bite – Do not allow hard biting, however, mouthing is acceptable at this stage for a Collie puppy.
How to take food – Nobody likes a dog that snatches food and if you continue to let your Border Collie do this they may eventually bite somebody by accident. Never let your Border Collie snatch food from your hand and if they do say no and then ignore them.
House Training – One of the most important things you can do at this early stage. Get your Collie house trained, but remember it usually takes a few months before accidents stop.
What to teach a Border Collie at 10 – 12 Weeks
This stage of a Border Collie’s training process is pretty much the same as above. Just continue what you have been doing, however, you can introduce some more basic commands/skills.
Socialisation – Increase the amount you socialise your Border Collie and make sure they are meeting a wide variety of people and dogs.
More recall training – You can start to introduce the ‘come’ command, but only associate it with the action. Only use the word ‘come’ when they are already moving towards you. Continue to reward your Collie when they come to you naturally.
Discourage biting – hard biting should not be allowed, but mouthing is still okay at this stage.
Fetch or retrieve – Encourage your Collie to chase after toys and pick them up. Don’t try and get them to fully retrieve yet, but reward heavily of they do.
Walk by your side – Start to introduce heel training by getting your Collie to walk by your side. You can do this by either using clicker training or food rewards.
What to teach a Border Collie at 3 – 4 Months
At three to four months a Border Collie puppy is much more developed. They should be capable of sleeping through the night and there should be less toilet accidents occurring.
Don’t worry if your Border Collie puppy is even more keen on biting and nipping your hand. Three months is the peak age for biting, so don’t expect the problem to be gone by this time.
Introducing commands such as ‘sit’ or ‘lie down’ is a good idea, but don’t expect them to stay in the position. Remember to keep rewarding your Collie when they come to you naturally and start getting them associated with lead walking.
Even more socialisation –Your Border Collie should be finished their vaccinations at around 14 to 16 weeks, so you can introduce them to more dogs and take them more places.
Come – Once your Collie has associated “come” with the action of moving towards you, you can begin to use it as a command. Try and get your Collie puppy to come to you in a distraction free environment. Remember to reward and praise them heavily if they do so.
Biting – No biting should be allowed, but gentle mouthing is ok.
Fetch and retrieve – Continue to encourage your Collie to retrieve different items and toys.
Introduce some new positions – Start rewarding your Collie when they sit or lie down. We are not training them fully yet, but instead indicating that we like it when they do get into those positions. Read more about teaching your dog to sit here.
Basket – Introduce the idea that sitting in their basket when you are doing the washing or when you are eating dinner is good. Reward them for doing so.
What to teach a Border Collie at 4 – 6 Months
At four to six months old you should be getting your Border Collie’s biting problem under control and mouthing should be discouraged. Your puppy should also be toilet trained, but the odd accident here and there is to be expected, especially if they are left alone for an extended period of time.
From around four months a Border Collie puppy will be quite capable, so you can get much more advanced with their training. You can start to introduce more commands and formal commands for the actions you have been rewarding them so far.
Despite their ability for more advanced training, don’t expect your Collie to walk at heel or stay for long periods of time.
Come – Introduce distractions into your Collie puppy’s ‘come’ training routine.
Sit and lie down – Introduce distractions and get your Collie sitting and lying down at your command
Stay – You are not going to ask your Border Collie to stay, but use commands like sit and lie down to get them to so.
Heel – Continue getting your Collie to walk by your side and introduce more advanced heel training.
Socialisation – Continue to socialise your dog.
No more biting – There should be no biting or mouthing allowed.
What to teach a Border Collie at 5 – 6 months
Command and obedience training – Continue training for commands such as ‘sit’, ‘lie down’, ‘come’ and ‘heel’. Introduce distractions in their training routine.
After 6 Months
From six months onwards, the basics should be fully ingrained into your Border Collie’s mind. They should be able to carry out simple commands such as ‘sit’, ‘come’ and ‘down’. Your Collie puppy should be socialised, toilet trained and there should not be any biting or mouthing.
With that in mind, you can begin to raise your expectations for their training. Train your Collie to sit and stay for longer periods of time and introduce some distractions into their training.
Your puppy should be capable of walking at heel for extended periods of time or close to being able to do so, and they should also come at your command. You can also start to teach your Border Collie some other tricks and commands at this age as well.
Remember that a six-month old Border Collie will be quite strong and powerful. They will be full of energy at this age and you may even find that training them is more difficult. Despite this, if you have set a good basis for their training you should be able to work through the problems.
Are Training Classes Necessary for a Border Collie?
You may be wondering if puppy training school is worth it or even necessary for your Border Collie puppy? Most pet owners can teach their dog everything they need to know. With a bit of patience and consistency, you should be able to train your Collie to respond to commands predictably and reliably.
For those who are struggling with the training process, a puppy school can be really helpful. In puppy training classes the instructor will take you through different training techniques and can answer any of your questions immediately. They will guide you through the training process and can advise you on any problems.
One of the biggest benefits of taking your Border Collie to a puppy training school is that it forces you to train them. So many owners buy a dog and then never train it, so taking them to a puppy school is a good way to motivate yourself.
Another big benefit of a puppy school is that there are usually lots of other dogs there. This means they are great places to socialise your Border Collie, which is incredibly important for their development.
If you have access to other dogs, you may find that a puppy school is less beneficial for socialising. First time dog owners will get the most out of training classes.
Summing Up When to Train a Border Collie
With so many differing opinions out there on when to start training a Border Collie puppy, it can be difficult for new owners. Most modern dog trainers (us as well) believe that training should start as soon as you get your Border Collie home.
If you decide to leave the training process for a bit later it probably won’t make much of a difference, however, we feel that six months is far too late. The only vital things you should do straight away is socialisation, toilet training, and stopping your Collie from biting/mouthing.
Remember to never ask too much of your Collie and that progress can be quite slow. Do not get frustrated and try not to compare your dog’s progress with another.
If you do start training at an early age, you will be surprised by how much your Border Collie can learn. They are an incredibly intelligent breed of dog, so they will soak up anything you teach them.
Labradors are known for their fondness of water and for the most part they love to swim. This is unsurprising when you consider the origins of the breed and the fact that they are considered to be the king of waterfowl retrievers.
But a common question that gets asked about the breed is “when can Labrador puppies start swimming?”. In this article we will be answering that question, along with a few other questions about Labradors and swimming.
When Can Labrador Puppies Start Swimming?
There is a lot of conflicting opinions on this question with some people and experts stating that Labradors can start swimming as early as 8 weeks, while some believe it is much later at something like 3 months.
The truth is that all these answers are somewhat correct and the age at which a Labrador puppy can start swimming depends on number of factors. We have outlined some of these factors below:
Your Labrador puppy needs a certain level of physical strength before they can start to swim properly. Their muscles need time to grow and they are usually not strong enough to swim properly until around 3 months of age. However, Lab puppies can start swimming at around 8 weeks in very calm and shallow water.
It is not recommended that you take a Labrador puppy swimming in public pools and areas until they are fully vaccinated. Vaccinations usually start at around 6 to 8 weeks and then continue to around 4 months of age, when the final round is given. If you do not wait until your Lab puppy is fully vaccinated, they are at risk of catching deadly diseases and viruses.
Surroundings & Influences
If your puppy lives near a safe body of water that they can access quite easily (supervised of course) they will be more likely to start swimming earlier. Additionally, if their mum, brothers, and sisters are keen swimmers then they will probably just follow their lead and head into the water at some point.
Their Past Experiences
If your Labrador puppy becomes scared of water at some point then it will take them longer to swim. This usually happens when they accidentally fall or are forced into water that is too deep and dangerous for them.
It is recommended that you wait until about 6 months of age before taking your Labrador puppy to a larger body of water such as the sea or a big lake. If you want to start earlier, you should find a shallow and calm place to so that your puppy can get used to the water.
With all of these factors out of the way we would recommend that you start introducing your Labrador puppy to the water at around 3 – 4 months. This way they will be stronger and their vaccinations will be/or nearly be finished.
Can Labradors Swim Naturally?
While Labradors have an innate ability to swim, they do not swim naturally like fish. A Labrador’s body may be more suited to swimming than other dog breeds, but it does not mean they can swim for any duration of time or in any condition. It is important to remember that your Labrador (especial so for puppies) has limitations to their swimming ability.
Why Are Labradors Such Good Swimmers?
There are a number of reasons why Labradors are known for their swimming ability with the first being their love of water. The other reasons are to do with their physical traits such as their water-resistant coat and their wide tail that acts somewhat like a rudder. Labs also tend to have a very sleek profile that lets them cut through the water.
How to Encourage a Labrador to Swim
For the most part, Labradors don’t need any special motivation or training to make them swim. Most Labs, including Labrador puppies, will simply jump straight into water and love it from the get-go.
However, this is not always the case for every Labrador puppy. Some puppies will show signs of fear the first time they approach the water. One of the best ways to get them in the water is to use the assistance of an older dog who likes to swim. The older dog can teach the young Lab puppy how to swim and encourage them into the water.
It is important that this process is not forced. Do not simply drop your puppy in the water and make them swim. By doing this you will traumatise your puppy and they may become scared of the water. This will make it much harder to teach them how to swim and it could set you back months (possibly even longer).
If your Lab puppy doesn’t want to swim and you don’t have access to an older dog (or they won’t follow the older dog into the water), you are going to have to get creative. Instead of taking your puppy to a lake or small stream, you could purchase a children’s paddling pool or fill up the bath and encourage them to get into it.
To do this, bring your Lab puppy to the edge of the water and start playing with them. Remember to bring their favourite toy and make them fetch repeatedly. After a while of playing with them, toss the toy into the water.
Hopefully your puppy will overcome their fear of the water and chase after the toy. If they do not, keep trying until they enter the water (you may have to do this over a couple of play sessions). When your puppy does enter the water make sure you praise and reward them with a treat. Reward your puppy even if they only put one paw in the water.
After a while, your Labrador puppy will begin to love the water and they will dive straight in after the toy. Once your puppy becomes used to the water in a paddling pool or bath, move onto a larger body of water. Find a small lake, pond or stream and do the same as you did before.
Some puppies will dive straight into the water without any encouragement, while others may need more encouragement. If this is the case, use the toy trick again (something like a cheap tennis ball is good because you don’t want to lose their favourite toy) and when they approach or go into the water remember to reward and praise them.
If you are still struggling, get into the water yourself. Puppies have a natural tendency to follow their mother and family, so they will probably follow you straight in.
By doing this your Labrador puppy will eventually become used to a wide range of water bodies and they will love swimming.
Swim Safety for Labradors
While Labradors are excellent swimmer, there are some precautions you need to take when your dog is around water (especially so for puppies). We have listed some things to watch out for below:
Avoid areas with strong currents or waves – A fast-moving river is not an ideal place to take your puppy for a swim, even if they are experienced. You could easily be separated from your dog or they may be pulled under by the currents. The same can be said for places where there are large waves as they may pull your dog under or out to sea.
Look for clean water – You wouldn’t go swimming in dirty water, so don’t make or let your dog go in polluted water either. If you are near a polluted body of water it may be best to keep your puppy on a lead to stop them going in or drinking the water.
Avoid bodies of water that have steps or sloped ground – If your Lab gets into trouble you will want it to be easy for them to get out. If the water body you are letting them in has steep slopes or stairs it may be difficult for your dog to get out.
Never leave your dog alone – Always make sure you supervise your dog or puppy when they are in the water. If you do not you may lose them or may not notice if they get into trouble.
Buy them a life vest – If you are going into some rough water or you are on a boat we recommend that you buy your Labrador a life vest such as this one. While a life vest probably isn’t suitable for a young Lab puppy that is growing quickly, it will be great once you dog gets older.
Don’t overexert your dog – Be mindful of overexerting your Labrador, especially if they are a puppy. If your dog becomes too tired while they may not be able to get back to shore without your help.
Be mindful of other animals and predators – Do not let your Labrador swim in areas with dangerous animals. Jellyfish, large fish, crocodiles and sharks are a threat that you should keep in mind.
Do you love big dogs? Many people prefer larger dogs to smaller ones and if you are one of those people we have created a list of the ’25 biggest dog breeds’. We have included information on their history, temperament, characteristics and common health conditions.
Characteristics of the Biggest Dog Breeds in the World
The largest dog breeds in the world are surprisingly different when it comes to their characteristics and even their physical abilities and stature. Some big dogs are bred to hunt and guard while others are gentle giants that roll over when anyone comes in the room.
Many of the largest dog breeds in the world have been bred to perform jobs such as protecting farmers from wild animals or to hunt large animals. For this reason it is important to learn your dog breed’s history. If your dog’s breed was created to work all day, they are going to need more exercise than some other breeds.
Unfortunately, many large dog breeds have a short lifespan compared to smaller breeds. They also tend to have more health complications than their smaller counterparts and can be more costly to own.
Bigger dogs also tend to need more space than smaller canines, which means they may not be suitable for apartment living. They can also need more training as a misbehaving Great Dane is probably going to be a bigger problem than a badly behaved Boston Terrier.
The 25 Largest Dog Breeds in the World
Below we have listed the 25 biggest dog breeds in the world. We have included information on their history, characteristics and more. Note: we have ranked the breeds below based on their weight.
English Mastiff (54 – 113 kg)
This massive breed holds the record for the greatest weight ever recorded for a dog at 155.6 kg (343 lb). The record setting English Mastiff was known as Aicama Zorba, and he stood 94 cm (37 inches) at the shoulder and was 251 cm (8 ft 3 inches) from tip to tail.
English Mastiffs can trace their roots back to Roman times with part of their ancestry being the Pugnaces Britanniae (Dogs of Roman Britain). It is unsure when exactly the Pugnaces Britanniae breed came into existence, but some believe they were descended from dogs brought to Britain by the Phoenicians in the 6th century BC.
The Alaunt is likely to have been another contributor to the English Mastiff. Alaunts were introduced into Britain by the Normans. Over the course of centuries, the English Mastiff breed developed and they were primarily used as guard dogs.
English Mastiffs feature a massive body with an extremely broad head. They are the largest dogs in the world in terms of mass, although Irish Wolfhounds and Great Danes can be taller. Most male English Mastiffs tend to weigh between 68 to 113 kg (150 – 250 lb), while females tend to be 54 – 91 kg (120 – 200 lb). Heights are usually around 76 cm (30 inches) for males and 70 cm (27.5 inches) for females.
Despite their enormous size and appearance, English Mastiffs tend to be quite gentle and docile dogs. They are powerful and loyal, but due to their physical size they are not suited to city life.
It is extremely important that these dogs be fed well and exercised correctly. Excessive running for the first two years of an English Mastiff’s life is not recommend as it may damage the growth plates in the joints. The breed tends to suffer from hip dysplasia, gastric torsion, obesity and more.
English Mastiff Stats
Male weight – 68 to 113 kg (150 to 250 lb)
Male height – 76 cm (30 inches)
Female weight – 54 to 91 kg (120 to 200 lb)
Female height – 70 cm (27.5 inches)
Caucasian Shepherd Dog (45 – 100 kg)
The Caucasus Mountains are home to some of the oldest living dog breeds, such as the Azerbaijani Volkodav, Azerbaijani Shepherd Dog and Georgian Shepherd Dog. During the 20th century Soviet breeders selected some of these varieties and created the Caucasian Shepherd Dog.
The different varieties of Caucasian mountain dog have been used as hunters, guardians and shepherds for thousands of years. The traits of these dogs were passed onto the Caucasian Shepherd Dog and the breed is still used to protect livestock from predators.
Caucasian Shepherd Dogs are extremely muscular and strong boned. Plain Caucasian Shepherds have a shorter coat and appear taller as they are less strongly built, while Alpine types are more muscular with a heavier coat.
With an average weight of 50 – 100 kg (110 – 220 lb) for males and 45 – 80 kg (100 – 180 lb) for females, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is one of the heaviest and largest dog breeds in the world. Males tend to stand 72 – 90 cm (28 – 35 inches) tall and females are usually 67 – 78 cm (26 – 31 inches).
Caucasian Shepherd Dogs are extremely independent, intelligent and fearless. They are highly protective of their territory, which makes them an excellent guard dog. Additionally, the breed can be aggressive towards other dogs, which means socialisation and obedience training is extremely important.
With a lifespan of 10 – 12 years, the Caucasian Shepherd Dog is a long-lived large breed of dog. They tend to be healthy dogs, however, hip dysplasia, obesity and heart disorders can be a problem.
Caucasian Shepherd Dog Stats
Male weight – 50 to 100 kg (110 to 220 lb)
Male height – 72 to 90 cm (28 to 35 inches)
Female weight – 45 to 80 kg (100 to 180 lb)
Female height – 67 to 78 cm (26 to 31 inches)
Tosa Inu (36 to 90 kg)
This breed of dog originates from Japan and was originally bred in Tosa, Shikoku (present day Kochi) as a fighting dog. They are considered to be rare and ownership in many countries is restricted as they are considered to be a dangerous breed.
Tosa Inus were first created in the second half of the 19th century. The breed started from the native Shikoku-Inu (an indigenous dog that weighs about 25 kg (45 lb). Breeders then cross the Shikoku-Inu with European dog breeds such as the Old English Bulldog and the English Mastiff. The aim of this was to create a larger, more powerful breed of dog.
Coats on Tosa Inus tend to be short and smooth, and are often red, brindle or fawn, but occasionally they can be dull black. The coats require very little maintenance.
Interestingly, Japanese breeders tend to focus on producing smaller dogs, while non-Japanese breeders focus on larger Tosa Inus. Japanese dogs tend to weigh between 36 to 61 kg (80 to 135 lb), while those from other countries are usually anywhere from 60 to 90 kg (130 to 200 lb). The larger foreign Tosa Inus tend to stand anywhere from 62 to 82 cm (24 to 32 inches) tall.
Tosa Inu Stats
Japanese weight – 36 to 61 kg (80 to 135 lb)
Non-Japanese weight – 60 to 90 kg (130 to 200 lb)
Height – 62 to 82 cm (24 to 32 inches)
Tibetan Mastiff (55 – 90 kg)
The Tibetan Mastiff is not only one of the world’s largest dog breeds, it is also the world’s most expensive breed with one selling to a Chinese businessman for an eye-watering $1.5 million.
Tibetan Mastiffs are known as ‘Dogs-Khyi’ in Tibetan and they have been used to protect herds, flocks, tents, villages and more for thousands of years. They are traditionally allowed to run loose at night and they are known for their fierce loyalty.
Interestingly, the Tibetan Mastiff is not a true Mastiff and it gets its name from the Europeans who first came to the country. In Europe, almost all large breeds of dog were referred to as “mastiff”, so they carried on the tradition. In truth, the Tibetan Mastiff should really be called the Tibetan Mountain Dog or the Himalayan Mountain Dog.
There are essentially two types of Tibetan Mastiff: the first being the Do-khyi and the second being the Tsang-khyi. The Tsang-khyi is referred to as the “monastery” type and is generally taller, heavier and bigger boned. The Do-khyu is regarded as the “nomad” type and is typically used for more active jobs. Both types can be produced in the same litter.
Male Tibetan Mastiffs can reach heights of up to 83 cm (33 inches) and usually weigh between 55 – 90 kg (121 – 198 lb). In some cases, Tibetan Mastiffs can weigh in excess of 115 kg (254 lb), however, these are generally not used as working dogs as they would cost too much to feed.
The breed features a long double coat that can be found in a wide variety of colours, including solid black, black and tan, various shades of red and more. Tibetan Mastiffs also lack the unpleasant smell that affects many larger breeds of dog.
Like many large dog breeds, it is important to train and socialise Tibetan Mastiffs. They are incredibly intelligent and known for being somewhat aloof with strangers. Tibetan Mastiffs often sleep during the day and can be more active at night. They have a very loud, strong bark that means they should not be left outside at night.
Compared to many other larger dog breeds, Tibetan Mastiffs tend to have a longer life expectancy (breeders often claim 10 – 16 years). They tend to have fewer genetic health problems although Hypothyroidism is fairly common in the breed.
Tibetan Mastiff Stats
Weight – 55 to 90kg (121 to 198 lb). In some cases they can exceed 115 kg (254 lb)
Height – Up to 83 cm (33 inches)
Boerboel (55 to 90 kg)
This large, mastiff-type breed of dog originates from South Africa and is bred for the purpose of guarding homes and farms. They are one of the strongest and most powerful dog breeds in the world with a bite force of 800 psi.
It is generally believed that Boerboels were created from the interbreeding of native African landrace dogs, such as the Africanis, with breeds brought into South Africa by British, Dutch, and French settlers.
Boerboels are large with a very strong bone structure and well-developed muscles. They tend to have a blocky head, with a short length between the stop and nose. The coat is short and sleek with a dense coverage of hair. The recognised colours are brindle, fawn, brown and black.
Male Boerboels usually weigh between 65 to 90 kg (143 to 198 lb), while females are smaller at 55 to 70 kg (121 to 154 lb). Heights typically range from 60 to 77 cm (24 to 30 inches).
This is a highly intelligent and energetic breed. They are often called “Velcro” dogs, as they always want to be with their owners. While they tend to be good with children, Boerboels need firm training and good socialisation from a young age. The breed can be somewhat aggressive to other dogs.
Overall, Boerboels are healthy dogs but they can suffer from hip and/or elbow dysplasia. The average life expectancy is ten years for this breed.
Male weight – 65 to 90 kg (143 to 198 lb)
Female weight – 55 to 70 kg (121 to 154 lb)
Height – 60 to 77 cm (24 to 30 inches)
Bully Kutta (60 to 89 kg)
This extremely large breed of dog is also known as the Indian Mastiff or the Indo-Pakistan Mastiff. The breed dates back to the 16th century and it is believed that it either came from the Thanjavur and Tiruchi districts of Madras or the Sind region of Medieval India.
Bully Kuttas are working dogs that are primarily used for hunting and guarding purposes. They have also been kept as pets by ruling families in India and the surrounding region.
Male Bullys can weigh anywhere from 70 to 89 kg (154 to 196 lb), while females can be 60 to 70 kg (132 to 154 lb). Heights typically range from 76 to 86 cm (30 to 34 inches) for males and 75 to 80 cm (29.5 to 31.5 inches) for females.
This breed is often described as intelligent, alert, responsive and aggressive. They should only be owned by experienced dog owners and they need to be trained and socialised from a young age.
Bully Kutta Stats
Male weight – 70 to 89 kg (154 to 196 lb)
Male height – 76 to 86 cm (30 to 34 inches)
Female weight – 60 to 70 kg (132 to 154 lb)
Female height – 75 to 80 cm (29.5 to 31.5 inches)
St. Bernard (54 – 82 kg)
The St. Bernard breed is an extremely large breed of a working dog that originates from the Western Alps in Italy and Switzerland. They were originally bred for rescue by the hospice of the Great St Bernard Pass on the Italian-Swiss border.
The hospice was built by and named after the Italian monk Bernard of Menthon. The earliest written recordings of the breed date back to 1707, while the first evidence that the dogs were used in the monastery date back to 1690 in paintings done by Italian artist Salvator Rosa.
The most famous St. Bernard at the hospice was a dog called Barry. According to reports, Barry saved somewhere between 40 and 100 lives during his service. There is a monument to Barry in the Cimetière des Chiens, and his body was preserved in the Natural History Museum in Berne.
St. Bernards can have either a smooth or rough coat. The smooth coat is usually close and flat, while the rough is dense, flat and more profuse around the neck and legs. Most dogs are typically a shade of red with white, or mahogany brindle with white. Black is also usually found on the face and ears.
Most St. Bernards weigh between 54 to 82 kg (120 to 180 lb) and they usually stand anywhere from 66 to 76 cm (26 to 30 inches) tall. However, the breed is known to get much larger. A St. Bernard by the name of Benedictine V Schwarzwald Hof reached a weight of 143 kg (315 lb), which made earned him a place in the 1981 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.
Due to the incredibly fast growth rate of St. Bernards, it is incredible important to feed and exercise them properly, otherwise they can suffer from serious joint and bone problems. Hip and elbow dysplasia are common and Osteosarcoma (bone cancer) is hereditary. Most St. Bernards have a lifespan between 8 – 10 years.
These dogs are known as gentle giants and they tend to be very calm and patient with adults and children alike. They also tend to be very friendly with other dogs, but correct obedience and socialisation training is important.
St. Bernard Stats
Male weight – 64 to 82 kg (140 to 180 lb)
Male height – 71 to 76 cm (28 to 30 inches)
Female weight – 54 to 64 kg (120 to 140 lb)
Female height – 66 to 71 cm (26 to 28 inches)
Great Dane (50 – 82 kg)
In the 16th century, the nobility in many European countries imported strong, long-legged dogs from England. These dogs were descended from crossbreeds between English Mastiffs and Irish Wolfhounds. They were given the name “Englische Dogge (English dog)”, however, there was no formal breed for them.
The dogs were primarily used for hunting bear, boar, and deer, with the favourite ones staying at night in the bedchambers of their lords. When firearms become more prominent Englische Dogges become rare and were only kept as pets or as a hobby.
During the 19th century the name of these dogs was changed a number of times. It was known as the “Deutsche Dogge” in Germany and the “German boarhound” in English-speaking countries. The breed would later become known as the “Great Dane”, after the grand danois in Buffon’s Histoire naturelle, générale et particulière
Great Dane’s have a powerful and muscular body with a coat that can come in Fawn, Black, Brindle, Mantle, Blue, Grey, and Harlequin. Other colours are possible, but not acceptable for show dogs.
The breed also has natural floppy, triangular ears that, in the past, were commonly cropped to make injuries less likely during hunts. In the United States it is common to find Great Danes with cropped ears that stand up, however, in many other countries the practice is banned.
Great Danes are one of the largest breeds of dog with most weighing between 50 to 82 kg (110 to 180 lb). They can also be very tall with males usually standing 76 to 79 cm (30 to 31 inches), while females are typically 71 to 76 cm (28 to 30 inches). The tallest dog ever was a Great Dane called Zeus who measured 111.8 cm (44 inches) from paw to shoulder.
Dilated cardiomyopathy and many congenital heart diseases are also commonly found in the Great Dane. Additionally, they tend to suffer from bloat and can develop Wobbler disease, a problem that affects the vertebral column. Average lifespans tend to be 6 to 8 years.
Great Danes are usually a very friendly and gentle breed of dog, but they can become very fearful or aggressive if they are not socialised or trained properly.
Great Dane Stats
Weight – 50 to 82kg (110 to 180 lb)
Male height – 76 to 79 cm (30 to 31 inches)
Female height – 71 to 76 cm (28 to 30 inches)
Landseer (60 – 80 kg)
During the colonial times, large white and black “Newfoundland dogs” were brought to England because of their excellent swimming abilities. Fishermen used these dogs to tow nets to the shore and to save them or other fishermen from drowning.
Because of the breeds impressive appearance, many painters made them the subject of their work. The most famous of these paintings was created by renowned English animal painter Sir Edwin Landseer in 1838. Later the breed would be named after Sir Edwin Landseer.
Male Landseers are very big dogs with a bodyweight of 65 to 80 kg (143 to 176 lb), while females are slightly smaller at 60 to 75 kg (132 to 165 lb). Heights can range from 72 to 80 cm (28 to 31 inches) for males and 67 to 72 cm (26 to 28 inches) for females.
Landseers are known for their sweet disposition, gentleness and serenity. They love swimming and make great family pets. However, socialisation and training is still important as they can be unruly if not trained properly.
Male weight – 65 to 80 kg (143 to 176 lb)
Male height – 72 to 80 cm (28 to 31 inches)
Female weight – 60 to 75 kg (132 to 165 lb)
Female height – 67 to 72 cm (26 to 28 inches)
Newfoundland (55 – 80 kg)
This massive breed originated on Newfoundland and it is descended from a breed indigenous to the island known as the lesser Newfoundland, or the St. John’s dog. Newfoundlands around closely related to other Canadian retrievers such as the Labrador and Golden Retriever.
The Molosser-like appearance of the breed is a result of an introduction of Mastiff blood. It is believed that the Mastiffs introduced into the breed were either from Portugal or England.
Newfoundlands tend to be black, brown, grey, or white and black in colour. They have extremely large bones and a muscular body. Additionally, Newfoundlands have enormous lung capacity and webbed feet for swimming extremely long distances, and a thick, oily, waterproof double coat that protects them from the cold.
Male Newfoundlands tend to weigh anywhere from 65 to 80 kg (143 to 176 lb), while females are usually 55 to 65 kg (121 to 143 lb). the largest ever recorded Newfoundland was 120 kg (260 lb) and measured 1.8 m (6 ft) from tip to tail. Most male Newfoundlands tend to be 71 cm (28 inches) in height, while females are typically 66 cm (26 inches).
Newfoundlands are calm and docile dogs, but extremely strong. They are extremely loyal and are known as “gentle giants”. It is fairly easy to train these dogs as long as the training process is started early.
The breed is prone to hip dysplasia, cystinuria and SAS. Newfoundlands tend to live around 8 to 10 years, however, it is not uncommon for them to live up to 15 years.
Male weight – 65 to 80 kg (143 to 176 lb)
Male height – 71 cm (28 inches)
Female weight – 55 – 65 kg (121 to 143 lb)
Female height – 66 cm (26 inches)
Leonberger (45 – 77 kg)
In the 1830s, Heinrich Essig, a dog breeder and mayor of the town of Leonberg in Germany, claimed to have created the Leonberger by crossing a Newfoundland with a Great St. Bernard Hospice and Monastery. Later, a Pyrenean Mountain Dog was added, which resulted in very large dogs with long, white coats.
The first dogs registered as Leonbergers were born in 1846 and they featured many of the prized qualities of the breeds from which they were derived. It was believed that only five Leonbergers survived the First World War and almost all were lost in the World Ware II as well. During both wars, Leonbergers were used to pull ammunition carts. Leonbergers today can be traced to eight dogs that survived the Second World War.
The breed features a water-resistant double coat and a large and muscular body. A striking black mask adorns the head and projects the breed’s distinct expression of intelligence, kindness and pride. A variety of colours are acceptable, including red-brown, yellow, sand, black and more. The nose, paw pads and lips should always be black
Male Leonbergers tend to weigh anywhere from 54 – 77 kg (120 – 170 lb), while females tend to usually weigh around 45 – 61 kg (100 – 135 lb). In terms of height Males are usually 71 – 80 cm (28 – 31 inches) and females can be 65 – 75 cm (26 – 30 inches).
Leonbergers are excellent family dogs and once socialised and trained they are self-assured, submissive to family members, friendly with children and insensitive to noise. They tend to be very intelligent, loyal dogs that are also playful. Proper training and socialisation is essential.
Overall, Leonbergers are strong, healthy dogs and don’t usually suffer from hip dysplasia (Many breeders screen their Leonbergers for the problem). However, while they tend to be quite healthy dogs, they have a short lifespan of around 7 – 8 years, around 4 years shorter than the average purebred dog.
Male weight – 54 to 77 kg (120 to 170 lb)
Male height – 71 to 80 cm (28 to 31 inches)
Female weight – 45 to 61 kg (100 to 135 lb)
Female height – 65 to 75 cm (26 to 30 inches)
Bernese Mountain Dog (40 to 75 kg)
Bernese Mountain Dogs are one of the four breeds of Sennenhund-type dogs from the Swiss Alps. They were bred from crosses of Mastiffs and guard-type breeds, and were brought to Switzerland by the Romans 2,000 years ago. However, despite the breeds ancient beginnings, it was only officially established in 1907.
The breed was originally used as an all-purpose farm dog for guarding property and to drive dairy cattle long distances from farms to alpine pastures They were also used to transport carts of milk and cheese, and as such, they were given the nickname “Cheese Dogs”.
Bernese Mountain Dogs have a highly muscular body with a very strong, wide back. The head of these dogs is flat on the top and they feature a distinctive tri-coloured coat that is black, white and rust in colour.
Males typically weigh between 45 to 75 kg (100 to 160 lb), while females are usually 40 to 65 kg (90 to 140 lb). Most males stand 64 to 70 cm (25 to 27.5 inches) in height, with females being 58 to 66 cm (23 to 26 inches).
Bernese Mountain Dogs can have quite a varied temperament, however, they should not be aggressive, anxious or shy. As they are outdoor dogs at heart, it is important to exercise them regularly. If they are not exercised correctly, Bernese Mountain Dogs can harass their owners or bark continuously.
Unfortunately, Bernese Mountain Dogs have a much higher rate of fatal cancer than most other breeds of dog. As such, they have quite a low life expectancy of around 7 to 8 years.
Bernese Mountain Dog Stats
Male weight – 56 to 75 kg (100 to 160 lb)
Male height – 64 to 70 cm (25 to 27.5 inches)
Female weight – 40 to 65 kg (90 to 140 lb)
Female height – 58 to 66 cm (23 to 26 inches)
Pyrenean Mountain Dog (39 to 73 kg)
The Pyrenean Mountain Dog or Great Pyrenees in North America is a very large breed of dog that is used to guard livestock. Pyrenean Mountain Dogs were bred centuries ago to work with shepherds and herding dogs in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Span.
One of the first descriptions of the breed comes from Fray Miguel Agustín’s book the Libro de los secretos de la agricultura, casa de campo y pastoral, which was published in 1617. The spread of the breed occurred in the 19th century with the first of them being introduced into the United States in 1824.
Pyrenean Mountain Dogs feature a weather-resistant double coat that consists of a long, flat, thick, outer coat and a fine, woolly undercoat. The main coat colour is white, but varying shades of grey, red, or tan are acceptable.
Males of the breed usually weigh between 45 to 73 kg (100 to 160 lb), while females tend to be 39 to 52 kg (85 to 115 lb). Heights range from 69 to 81 cm (27 to 32 inches) for males and 64 to 74 cm (25 to 29 inches for females).
Overall, Pyrenean Mountain Dogs are confident, gentle and affectionate. They are territorial, independent dogs that like to patrol. The breed can be slow to learn new commands and they can also be stubborn when it comes to training time.
Pyrenean Mountain Dog Stats
Male weight – 45 to 73 kg (100 to 160 lb)
Male height – 69 to 81 cm (27 to 32 inches)
Female weight – 39 to 52 kg (85 to 115 lb)
Female height – 64 to 74 cm (25 to 29 inches)
Neapolitan Mastiff (50 – 70 kg)
This massive breed of dog derives from the traditional guard dogs of Central Italy. Selective breeding began in 1947 by Piero Scanziani. He created the standard for the breed and it was officially recognised in Italy in 1949, while it would have to wait until 1956 for its international recognition.
The most prominent feature of Neapolitan Mastiffs is the abundant and loose skin around the neck and head (although they do have loose skin in other areas as well). Around the neck and head, the skin hangs in heavy wrinkles much like a Chinese Shar-Pei.
Neapolitan Mastiffs tend to have black, grey or leaden coats, however, other colours such as fawn, mahogany, hazelnut and more are accepted. White markings on the toes and chest are tolerated for this breed.
Males tend to weigh anywhere between 60 to 70 kg (130 to 155 lb), while females are usually smaller at 50 to 60 kg (110 to 130 lb). Heights can range from 65 to 75 cm (26 to 30 inches) for males and 60 to 68 cm (24 to 27 inches) for females.
Unfortunately, Neapolitan Mastiffs have quite a short life expectancy with most living on average around 7 years. About 1 in 6 will live to 9 years or more.
Neapolitan Mastiff Stats
Male weight – 60 to 70 kg (130 to 155 lb)
Male height – 65 to 75 cm (26 to 30 inches)
Female weight – 50 to 60 kg (110 to 130 lb)
Female height – 60 to 68 cm (24 to 27 inches)
Irish Wolfhound (48 – 70 kg)
The Irish Wolfhound is a historic breed of sighthound that originates from Ireland. The original Irish Wolfhound breed was presumed extinct by most knowledgeable experts but was recreated by Captain George A. Graham in the late 19th century.
It is believed that the original Wolfhound breed dates back to the Roman times and they were used for hunting. During the 1836 meeting of the Geological Society of Dublin, Dr. Scouler presented the “Notices of Animals which have disappeared from Ireland“, with the wolfdog mentioned.
Modern Irish Wolfhounds were created from the best examples of the Scottish Deerhound and the Great Dane, two breeds which are believed to have been derived from the original Wolfhound. It is also believed that some other breeds such as the Tibetan Mastiff were used to develop the modern Irish Wolfhound.
Irish Wolfhounds have a rough coat with a very muscular, strong build that somewhat resembles a Greyhound. They can come in a variety of colours including grey, red, black, fawn, and wheaten.
Male Irish Wolfhounds usually weigh between 54 to 70 kg (120 to 155 lb), while females are typically 48 to 61 kg (105 to 135 lb). They are considered to be the tallest dog breed in the world with males coming in at 81 to 86 cm (32 to 34 inches), while females are usually around 76 cm (30 inches).
This breed tends to be introverted and intelligent. They are considered to be poor guard dogs and will protect individuals instead of the owner’s house or possessions. Irish Wolfhounds are favoured for their loyalty, affection and patience, and they tend to be good with children.
Like many large breeds of dog, Wolfhounds have a relatively short lifespan of about 7 years. Dilated cardiomyopathy and bone cancer are the leading causes of death in this breed.
Irish Wolfhound Stats
Male weight – 54 to 70 kg (120 to 155 lb)
Male height – 81 to 86 cm (32 to 34 inches)
Female weight – 48 to 61 kg (105 to 135 lb)
Female height – 76 cm (30 inches)
Dogue De Bordeaux (45 to 68 kg)
The Dogue De Bordeaux (also known as the Bordeaux Mastiff, French Mastiff or Bordeauxdog) is one of the oldest and largest French dog breeds. The earliest known recordings of the breed date back as far as the fourteenth century, however, a formal breed type was not established until about 1920.
Due to their power and size, the breed has been put to work in many different capacities from pulling carts to guarding flocks and European castles.
The Dogue De Bordeaux features a well-balanced, muscular build. A massive head with proper proportions and features is an important trait of this breed. Compared to a breed like the English Mastiff, Dogue De Bordeaux are set somewhat low to the ground. The coat should be short and fine, with a soft to the touch feel. Colours tend to be fawn to mahogany with a black, brown, or red mask.
Males of the breed usually weigh between 50 to 68 kg (110 to 150 lb), while females are typically 45 to 57 kg (99 to 125 lb). Heights range from 61 to 69 cm (24 to 27 inches) for males and 58 to 66 cm (23 to 26 inches) for females.
Unfortunately, even compared to large breeds the Dogue De Bordeaux has a short lifespan of about 5 to 6 years. Some are known to live longer, but in an American survey the oldest of the breed was 12 years old.
Dogue De Bordeaux Stats
Male weight – 50 to 68 kg (110 to 150 lb)
Male height – 61 to 69 cm (24 to 27 inches)
Female weight – 45 to 57 kg (99 to 125 lb)
Female height – 58 to 66 cm (23 to 26 inches)
Kangal Shepherd Dog (41 – 66 kg)
The Kangal Shepherd Dog is a large breed that was originally created to serve the people of Anatolia. The breed has been in use for thousands of years, and despite its name, it is not a herding dog but rather a guardian. Kangal Shepherd’s often live with flocks of sheep and actively fend off predators of all sizes.
Compared to many other Mastiff breeds, the Kangal Shepherd Dog is not as heavy. This allows the breed to be much more agile and faster than other large dogs. Kangal Shepherds have a short and dense coat that is pale fawn or tan in colour, and all of them have a black facial mask with black or shaded ears.
In America, the standard for the breed is a weight of 50 to 66 kg (110 to 145 lb) for males and 41 to 54 kg (90 to 120 lb) for females. Heights range from 76 to 81 cm (30 to 32 inches) for males and 71 to 76 cm (28 to 30 inches) for females.
This breed tends to have a temperament that is calm, controlled, independent and protective. They can be aloof to strangers, but a well-socialised dog will be friendly with visitors and children. Kangal Shepherd Dogs are not recommended for inexperienced dog owners.
Kangal Shepherd Dog Stats
Male weight – 50 to 66 kg (110 to 145 lb)
Male height – 76 to 81 cm (30 to 32 inches)
Female weight – 41 to 54 kg (90 to 120 lb)
Female height – 71 to 76 cm (28 to 30 inches)
Anatolian Shepherd (40 – 65 kg)
This breed originates from Turkey and is named after the peninsula of Anatolia. Anatolian Shepherds are members of a very old breed of dog and are probably descended from the powerful hunting dogs of Mesopotamia.
They were developed over time to meet a specific set of circumstances. The most important of these was the ability to live in both very hot and very cold environments. Additionally, they had to be able to guard flocks moving great distances across the Central Anatolian Plateau. Today, they are still used to guard livestock and can be found in many parts in rural USA.
Male Anatolian Shepherds can be between 50 to 65 kg (110 to 143 lb), while females are typically smaller at 40 to 55 kg (88 to 121 lb). Heights are usually 74 to 81 cm (29 to 32 inches) for males and 71 to 79 cm (28 to 31 inches) for females.
As this breed was developed to be independent and forceful, they can be challenging to own as pets. It is vitally important that socialisation and firm training are undertaken at a young age. They tend to roam, so microchipping and tagging is highly recommended.
Like most breeds of dog, the primary cause of death in Anatolian Shepherds is cancer. They tend to live around 11 years on average, higher than most other breeds of similar size.
Anatolian Shepherd Stats
Male weight – 50 to 65 kg (110 to 143 lb)
Male height – 74 to 81 cm (29 to 32 inches)
Female weight – 40 to 55 kg (88 to 121 lb)
Female height – 71 to 79 cm (28 to 31 inches)
Akbash (34 to 63 kg)
This rare breed of dog originates from Turkey and goes by several other names such as the Coban Kopegi, Akbaş Çoban Köpeği, and Askbash Dog. The breed is primarily used as a livestock guardian or a shepherd dog.
Not much is known about the history of the breed, but it is thought that they were created about 3,000 years ago. Modern day versions of the breed were first introduced into the United States in the 1970s and they were officially recognised by the United Kennel Club in 1998.
The coats of this breed only come in white and as such, they blend in with flocks of sheep. Additionally, the coat is of the double variety and it is medium length.
Akbash dogs tend to weigh between 34 to 63 kg (75 to 140 lb) and stand 69 to 81 cm (27 to 32 inches) tall.
The Akbash breed is predisposed to some of the same health conditions that Mastiff-type breeds may also face. The most common health issues include hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism and gastric torsion (bloat).
Akbash dogs tend to be very protective of their family and they are fiercely loyal. They are intelligent dogs and if they sense anything amiss, they can growl or bark. A well trained and socialised Akbash should not be aggressive or shy.
Weight – 34 to 63 kg (75 to 140 lb)
Height – 69 to 81 cm (27 to 32 inches)
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog (36 to 61 kg)
This large breed of dog was developed in the Swiss Alps and at one point it was believed to have been one of the most popular breeds in Switzerland. The exact origin of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is not known, however, the most popular theory on the creation of the breed is that it is descended from the Molosser.
The Molosser was a large, Mastiff-type dog, which accompanied the Roman Legions during their invasion of the alps more than 2,000 years ago. A second theory is that in 1100 BC, the Phoenicians brought a large breed of dog with them to settlements in Spain. These dogs later migrated eastward to the Swiss Alps.
It is believed that Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs almost died out in the 19th century but the breed was rediscovered in the early 1900s. Today, numbers of the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog have grown, but it remains a rare breed.
Males of the breed are usually 41 to 61 kg (90 to 135 lb) in weight, while females are typically 36 to 50 kg (80 to 110 lb). Heights range from 65 to 72 cm (25.5 to 28.5 inches) for males and 60 to 69 cm (23.5 to 27 inches) for females.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs tend to be very happy and enthusiastic, especially when they are around people or other dogs. While the breed does need exercise, they do not need a vast space to play in, unlike some other larger dogs.
For the most part, Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs are relatively healthy for their size and have far fewer health related problems than other breeds of similar size. Despite being healthy dogs, they still have a relatively short lifespan of about 8 to 11 years.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Stats
Male weight – 41 to 61 kg (90 to 135 lb)
Male height – 65 to 72 cm (25.5 to 28.5 inches)
Female weight – 36 to 50 kg (80 to 110 lb)
Female height – 60 to 69 cm (23.5 to 27 inches)
Black Russian Terrier (45 – 60 kg)
The Black Russian Terrier (BRT), also known as the Chornyi Terrier is a breed of dog that was created by the USSR in the late 1940s for use as military/working dogs. Breeds used in the development of the BRT largely came from countries where the Red Army was active during the Second World War. The main breeds that make up the BRT include the Giant Schnauzer, Airedale Terrier, Rottweiler, Newfoundland, and Caucasian Shepherd Dog.
BRTs were bred solely by the state-owned Red Star Kennel in Moscow until 1957, when some puppies were sold to civilian breeders. In time, the breed spread to other parts of the USSR and then to the rest of the world.
The breed has a double coat with a coarse outer guard hair over a softer undercoat. The coat is hard and dense, and it should b trimmed to between 5 and 15 cm (2 to 6 inches). A beard and eyebrows should form on the face, and there is usually a slight mane around the neck that is more pronounced on males.
Male BRTs should weigh between 50 and 60 kg (110 to 132 lb), while females should be 45 to 50 kg (99 to 110 lb). The height of the breed should be 72 to 76 cm (28 to 30 inches) for males and 68 to 72 cm (27 to 28 inches) for females.
This breed is typically calm, confident and courageous, however, some can be stubborn and lazy. They tend to be highly intelligent dogs that respond well to training. BRTs can be somewhat aloof with strangers, but are extremely friendly once they get to know a person.
Compared to many other large breeds of dog, BRTs have quite a long lifespan of 9 to 14 years. They are mostly healthy dogs, but suffer from hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and Hyperuricosuria
Black Russian Terrier Stats
Male weight – 50 to 60 kg (110 to 132 lb)
Male height – 72 to 76 cm (28 to 30 inches)
Female weight – 45 to 50 kg (99 to 110 lb)
Female height – 68 to 72 cm (27 to 28 inches)
Komondor (40 – 60 kg)
The first written reference to the Komondor breed dates back to 1544, however, it is believed that the breed started much earlier. Komondors are descended from Tibetan dogs and came from Asia with the Cumans. The Cumans had to flee westwards when the Mongols began to expand their territories. Komondors are related to the South Russian Ovcharka, the Puli, the Old English Sheepdog and more.
With a long, thick, strikingly white coat, Komondors are a unique looking breed. Their coat features a soft undercoat and a coarser outer coat that combines to form tassels or cords. The coat is usually around 20 to 27 cm long and it is the heaviest in the canine world.
Male Komondors tend to weigh between 50 and 60 kg (110 to 132 lb), while females are usually 40 to 50 kg (88 to 110 lb). The average height of males is 80 cm (31.5 inches), with females being 65 cm (25.5 inches).
Like most livestock guarding dogs, Komondors are calm and steady when things are normal, but fearless and defensive when things go bad. They are independent thinkers and very protective of their family. They tend to be very good with other family pets but are intolerant to trespassing animals.
Male weight – 50 to 60 kg (110 to 132 lb)
Male height – 80 cm (31.5 inches)
Female weight – 40 to 50 kg (88 to 110 lb)
Female height – 65 cm (25.5 inches)
Cane Corso (40 to 50 kg)
This breed of dog comes from the South of Italy and is closely related to the Neapolitan Mastiff. They are descended from the old Roman Empire Molosser dogs and the name is derived from cane da corso, an old term for catch dogs used in rural activities for cattle and swine.
Cane Corsos were used to protect property, livestock and families, and some continue to be used for these purposes today. The breed become rarer in the 20th century when life changed for Southern Italian rural farms. In the late 1970s a group of enthusiasts began a program to bring the breed back from near extinction.
The most distinguishing feature of Cane Corsos is arguable the large and imposing head. They appear in two basic colours: black and fawn. Brindling of varying intensity is common on both coat colours and white markings are common on the chest, tips of toes, the chin, and the bride of the nose.
Male Cane Corsos tend to weigh between 45 and 50 kg (99 to 110 lb), while females are slightly smaller at 40 to 45 kg (88 to 99 lb). Heights range from 62 to 70 cm (24 to 28 inches) for males and 58 to 66 cm (23 to 26 inches) for females.
Cane Corso dogs are usually docile and affectionate to their owners. They can be easily trained, but very aggressive to strangers and difficult to handle for vets. The average lifespan of this breed is around 9 years with some colours living longer than others.
Cane Corso Stats
Male weight – 45 to 50 kg (99 to 110 lb)
Male height – 62 to 70 cm (24 to 28 inches)
Female weight – 40 to 45 kg (88 to 99 lb)
Female height – 58 to 66 cm (23 to 26 inches)
Scottish Deerhound (34 – 50 kg)
The Scottish Deerhound is not only one of the largest dogs in the world, it is also one of the fastest. It is a large breed of sighthound that was originally bred to hunt Red Deer by coursing.
Scottish Deerhounds are somewhat similar in appearance to a Greyhound but with a heavier build and longer, rough coat. The breed is closely related to the Irish Wolfhound and was a contributor to the breed when it was re-created at the end of the 19th century.
With the demise of the clan systems in Scotland, Deerhounds became sporting animals for landowners and the nobility. Due to their speed and silent hunting ability they are capable of making quick work of any game the size of a hare or larger.
Male Deerhounds are usually 76 – 81 cm (30 – 32 inches) in height while females are typically around 71 cm (28 inches). Weights for males can be anywhere from 39 – 50 kg (85 – 110 pounds), while females can be 34 – 43 kg (75 – 95 pounds).
This breed is known to be gentle and extremely friendly. They need considerable amounts of exercise when they are young to properly develop their health and condition. While they do not need considerable amounts of space to live in, apartment living is not recommended for these dogs.
Scottish Deerhounds tend to live around 8 to 9 years and they can suffer from cardiomyopathy, osteosarcoma, bloat, stomach or splenic torsion, and a variety of other health problems.
Scottish Deerhound Stats
Male weight – 39 – 50 kg (85 – 110 pounds)
Male height – 76 – 81 cm (30 – 32 inches)
Female weight – 34 – 43 kg (75 – 95 pounds)
Female height – 71 cm (28 inches)
Dogo Argentino (35 – 45 kg)
The Dogo Argentino is a large, muscular breed of dog that was originally developed in Argentina for the purpose of big-game hunting. It was first bred in 1928 from the Cordoba dog, along with a number of other breeds, including the Great Dane.
Antonio Nores Martínez was the man behind the creation of the breed, and he wanted a dog that would exhibit steadfast bravery and an unwavering willingness to protect its owner. The breed is so determined and strong that they are known to take down mountain lions.
Dogo Argentinos have a short, white coat with black spots in its skin. The body is strong and muscular, and there are rarely any markings on the coat. The breed is often described as looking similar to the American Bulldog.
Males are usually 40 to 45 kg (88 to 99 lb), while females are typically 35 to 40 kg (77 to 88 lb). Heights range from 60 to 68 cm (24 to 27 inches) for males and 60 to 65 cm (24 to 26 inches).
Dogos are highly intelligent and courageous with a strong, natural instinct to protect their home and family. They are very social dogs, but they make a strong distinction between familiar people and strangers. This means it is very important that they are trained and socialised correctly.
As with Dalmatians, white Boxers, and white Bull Terriers, Dogos may experience pigment-related deafness. There is a possibility of around 10% deafness in Dogos, but this problem can be dramatically reduced with proper breeding.