Is mass the same as great? Already on this list! If you’ve always wanted to know which dogs weigh the most pounds, then you’ve come to the right place. Big dogs, heavy dogs, gentle giants: these dog breeds are truly impressive!
In the dog world, there are true giants and numerous heavyweights. But basically, it is not just about the kilos – it is also important that they are well distributed on the body! Obesity in dogs is (similar to us humans) a major health risk and unfortunately also an increasing trend.
The situation is different, however, if the body size is correct in relation to the weight. That is why many of the heaviest dog breeds are also among the largest dogs in the world – and can therefore impress twice as much.
The following list should not be understood as a definitive evaluation of dog breeds, because of course there are always individual individuals of the bulkiest dogs that deviate from the norm – and would probably tolerate a diet well. Basically, males are usually larger and heavier than females.
That is why many of the weight specifications are designed for male representatives of these breeds. We have summarized some of the heaviest and largest dog breeds in the world for you – and added one or two places.
Some of these heavyweights weigh more than their owners. The following dog breeds are among the heaviest dogs in the world.
For some of these breeds, weight and size are important, for example when chasing fast game or earning respect as a guard dog.
Other dog breeds use their large, muscular bodies to pull heavy loads or even take down bears. Here are the most important details about the heaviest breeds.
The Mastiff is a large, bulky, and well-proportioned dog. Males reach a height at the withers of at least 80 cm.
Because of the breed’s strength and stamina, they were formerly known as “bear dogs” and were used to hunt bears, bulls, and especially wild boar.
Mastiffs are patient and lovable companions and guardians who need gentle exercise. As loyal family dogs, they are protective of their family and wary of strangers.
Mastiffs can weigh up to 104 kg, making them the heaviest dog breed in the world.
The Boerboel (Afrikaans for “farm dog”) is a stocky farm dog of South Africa. This breed protects the farms from wild animals and cattle thieves.
These dogs are intelligent, trainable, and controllable. They exhibit strong protective behavior and respond to threats with confidence, calmly, and fearlessly.
Training and socialization for Boerboels should begin early, before the puppies develop too much dominance.
The Boerboel (Afrikaans for “farm dog” or “farm dog”; pronounced “Burbul”) originally comes from South Africa and was used as a guard dog. At that time, there was still little value in targeted breeding – the focus was on functionality. The mastiff-type dog should serve as a protector and guardian. In South Africa, the Boerboel was given a whole host of tasks. He was to take the children to the fields during the day, catch them a rabbit to eat at noon, and protect the house and yard in the evening.
In addition, whoever spoke of a Boerboel did not have the breed known today in mind. It was a term for a dog that did the work described. Only through selective breeding did the Boerboel that we know today become established.
Even today, his protective instincts are unrestrained and the breed needs its own territory, subject to its guarding skills.
If you are a novice dog, this dog breed is not ideal for you, as it requires a strong leader. The bond between Boerboel and the owner is very intense, but the dog must clearly recognize that the human remains supreme. Ideally, this dog breed is adopted as a puppy so that the animal grows up in the same environment and can mark out its environment and territory from the start. A change of home is often uncomfortable for the dog, as it bonds very strongly to a reference person, and even when moving to a new home, the Boerboel needs time to adapt to the change.
In order to enable this breed of dog to have an adequate and pleasant dog life, a large refuge is necessary for the animal. Problems could arise in the terraced house due to the strong protective instinct. A garden is great, but not suitable as a sole outlet. The dog has a strong urge to move, it should be exercised two to three hours a day. You should note that the Boerboel is not unfriendly, but attaches little importance to contact with other dogs. You should also never ignore the dog’s hunting instinct.
Quick Facts: With up to 91 kg, the Boerboel is the second heaviest dog breed in the world.
Up to 120 kilograms
The St. Bernhardshund has its origins in a Swiss mountain monastery in the 17th century. His job was to protect travelers and pilgrims from predators, highwaymen and robbers, and he was already used as a rescue dog in snow and fog. Males reach a proud shoulder height of up to 90 centimeters; the Swiss heavyweight weighs up to 120 kilograms.
St. Bernards reach a height of up to 90 cm at the withers and are described as powerful, extraordinarily muscular, and imposing.
Originally used as supporters for monks, St. Bernards became famous through their use as avalanche dogs. Avalanche dog Barry is said to have saved over 40 people.
Like most large dog breeds, Saint Bernard has a comparatively short life expectancy. 30 percent of dogs die before the age of 5.
Quick Facts: Saint Bernards can weigh up to 82 kg, making them one of the heaviest dog breeds in the world.
Up to 90 kilograms
With a shoulder height of 71-81 cm for females and 76-86 cm for males, the Great Dane is a truly impressive sight. Despite their relatively slender legs and bodies, males can weigh up to 90 kilograms. Incidentally, the world record holder for the tallest dog is also a Great Dane named Freddy (103.5 centimeters), his predecessor also a Great Dane named Zeus. No wonder this breed is among the largest and heaviest dogs in the world!
The Great Dane is one of the largest dog breeds, with a minimum height of 80 cm for males. This makes them taller than most humans when standing on their hind legs.
Great Danes have a long history and are friendly, affectionate and affectionate by nature. They are also very compatible with other dogs.
Despite their lovable nature, these dogs are vigilant home guards. Just the sight of these gentle giants is usually enough to ward off invaders.
Quick Facts: With up to 80 kg, the Great Dane is the 4th heaviest dog breed in the world.
Up to 75 kilograms
With this breed of dog, the name says it all: the original breeding goal of the Leonberger was that it should look as similar as possible to a lion. Even if the dog breed does not quite come close to the dimensions of the big cat, males still weigh up to 75 kilograms with a stick size of up to 80 centimeters. wow!
Leonbergers are extraordinarily large dogs, reaching a shoulder height of up to 80 cm.
Their lion-like fur is medium soft and quite long. A mane of lion yellow, red, or reddish brown develops on the neck and chest.
This dog breed is confident and easy-going with sound judgment. Leonbergers also have good learning and memory skills and are extremely child-friendly.
Due to their good-natured and strong character, Leonbergers are ideal for families with children. If he is socialized accordingly, nothing throws him off track so quickly. Thanks to his strong nerves, he remains calm in most situations. However, Leonberger should be brought up consistently. He is loyal to his people. He brings with him a sovereign composure and self-confidence. However, the Leonberger is not an uncomplicated beginner’s dog. If you want to get a Leonberger as your first dog, you should study the breed well and give the guard dog a loving upbringing. Sufficient exercise is important for the dog. Leonbergers like to romp and play and also feel very comfortable in the water. Leonbergers are real water rats. Long walks and dog sports are ideal for active dogs. Dog sports such as tracking or obedience, dog diving, dummy training or Hooper’s agility are suitable sports for Leonbergers. You can take the well-behaved Leonberger with you everywhere. He likes to accompany his pack and protects them without being aggressive towards strangers. Leonbergers have a great ability to learn and a quick grasp. Leonbergers require a lot of grooming due to their long and thick coat. Daily brushing is a must to keep the coat from matting and remove the undercoat. The big dogs are not really suitable for the city, unless you have a large apartment and the opportunity to run around a lot. In principle, however, a little house in the countryside is the better option for the “Leo”. In terms of fur, Leonbergers are suitable for kennel keeping, but the good-natured giants feel more comfortable with their pack.
It should be rather rare that a dog breed is bred for a city. Leonbergers are actually named after the town of Leonberg in what is now the state of Baden-Württemberg. At the end of 1830/beginning of 1840, the city councilor Heinrich Essig is said to have crossed his Newfoundland bitch with a St. Bernard male. Later, a Pyrenean mountain dog and another St. Bernard were crossed. Actually, Essig wanted to breed the heraldic animal of his hometown, the lion, as a dog breed. The enterprising town councilor is said to have had success with the mane dog in his day and to have supplied some gentlemen with animals from his breeding. Essig was bred from non-pedigree Leonberger cattle dogs. By the way, Essig bred not only golden Leonbergers, but also white and silver dogs of this breed, which had a dark mane. The first Leonberger was born in 1846. As an adult, he weighed 160 pounds and was 80 cm tall. According to tradition, the dog had the mind of an angel. But it took a while before the breed was recognized. Envy spread among many breeders, because Essig is said to have even sold his dogs in palaces. Nobody less than Empress Sisi Leonberger is said to have bought it. Napoleon and the Italian King Umberto are also said to have been among Essig’s customers.
During the two world wars, the Leonberger breed almost died out. Nobody needed the big, good-natured dogs anymore. It is thanks to the commitment of a few breeders that the Leonbergers still exist today. Today the Leonberger has developed into an excellent family dog. However, he is one of the rather rare breeds – but with an increasing tendency.
The appearance of the Leonberger was established in 1895, but revised in 1938 and 1955. The current standard was defined in 1995. Incidentally, on June 10, 1948, the German Club for Leonberger Dogs e.V. was founded.
Quick facts: Leonbergers can weigh up to 77 kg and are the 5th heaviest dog breed in the world.
With its massive, stocky body, the Neapolitan Mastiff is the epitome of a Molosser for many people. This ancient dog breed was already loyal to the Romans as a war dog. Male dogs usually weigh between 60 and 70 kilograms – but unfortunately, the high weight is more of a harmful health factor. Because they often suffer greatly from joint problems and extreme wrinkling of the skin.
The Neapolitan Mastiff used to be used in Roman campaigns as well as in arena fights against humans and wild animals. Today he is primarily a guard and protection dog.
These majestic sentinels have lush drooping folds and drooping lips with short, rough, hard, and dense fur.
And many Harry Potter fans know: “Fang”, the gamekeeper Hagrid’s dog, is a Neapolitan Mastiff.
Quick Facts: This breed of dog tips the scales at up to 70 kg.
Up to 70 kilograms
If you put a Newfoundland next to a Chihuahua, it seems hard to imagine that both dog breeds belong to the same species. Compared to other conspecifics on this list, the “Neufi” is almost lightweight, weighing up to 70 kg. With a maximum stick size of 71 centimeters for males, he is also one of the smaller dogs on this list. Literally hard to believe!
Male Newfoundlands grow up to 71 cm. This makes these noble giants some of the largest dogs in the world.
This dog breed is known to be friendly, calm, and even-tempered. Their massive build is covered in dense, water-resistant fur with a thick undercoat.
This makes Newfoundlands ideal for use as heavy-duty sled dogs and water dogs.
Quick facts: Newfoundlands can weigh up to 68 kg and are the 7th heaviest dog breed in the world.
Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Large specimens of this breed grow up to 90 cm tall and have a powerful, upright demeanor.
The Anatolian Shepherd Dog is a livestock guardian dog and is also used as a watchdog and protection dog. These dogs can go several days without eating.
Anatolians are smart, dedicated, and responsive. These dogs need strong leaders, otherwise, they will happily take the helm themselves.
Quick Facts: Anatolian Shepherd Dogs can weigh up to 65 kg and are the 8th heaviest dog breed in the world.
Said to be one of the oldest dog breeds in the East, this dog breed appears powerful, muscular, and massive.
Their hair is very dense with a heavy undercoat in winter. Especially in males, the hair on the head and neck forms a ruff.
The Do Khyi is a very reliable and loyal dog. He learns quickly, but is also easily bored.
Quick Facts: This dog breed can weigh up to 68 kg, making it one of the heaviest dog breeds in the world.
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog
At 72 cm tall, these powerful dogs are the largest of the mountain dog breeds.
Their fur is black with tan and white markings. Her character is described as secure, alert, fearless, and good-natured.
This breed of dog is very hardy. However, as with all large dog breeds, there is a certain susceptibility to joint problems and stomach torsion.
Quick facts: Large Swiss Mountain Dogs can weigh up to 63 kg and are the 10th heaviest dog breed in the world.
These elegant and muscular dogs grow to 68 cm and have a short, black coat with auburn markings.
With its strong physique and powerful teeth, the Rottweiler makes a good guard dog. Well trained, this dog breed is calm, confident, and not overly aggressive.
Early socialization and training is especially important for Rottweilers, as research shows that Rottweiler-type dogs bite at an above-average rate.
Quick facts: Rottweilers can weigh up to 61 kg, making them one of the heaviest dog breeds in the world.
The Bullmastiff originated in England in the 19th century and is therefore one of the more recent dog breeds. They were intended to act as protectors to game wardens who had to fight the exploding trend of poaching.
He has maintained his strong guard instinct ever since. Today, male representatives of this breed usually weigh between 50 and 60 kilograms, while females weigh between 40 and 50 kilograms.
A cross between the Old English Mastiff and the Old English Bulldog, the Bullmastiff is a comparatively young breed. These dogs grow up to 69 cm.
Bullmastiffs were bred to be guard dogs for gamekeepers and require early socialization and training.
Exuding alertness and intelligence, this breed is powerful, persistent, active, and dependable. This makes the Bullmastiff a top-notch protector and family companion.
Quick Facts: At up to 59 kg, the Bullmastiff is the 12th heaviest dog breed in the world.
The Akita is a heavy-boned Japanese Spitz with an imposing build. It grows up to 70 cm.
This breed of dog has a broad head and a full, curled tail. The erect ears and dark, luminous eyes show an expression of alertness.
Akitas are calm but demanding dogs. They are wary of strangers and have a need to protect their family. Therefore, socialization is very important from birth.
Quick Facts: Akitas can weigh up to 59 kg, making them one of the heaviest dog breeds in the world.
Russian Black Terrier
This muscular guard dog grows up to 78 cm and has a large, brick-shaped head.
The hard and dense fur allows them to be deployed in the coldest habitable places on earth.
Originally used as a protection and guard dog at border posts, today this breed is above all a loyal family companion.
Quick Facts: Russian Black Terriers can weigh up to 59 kg and are the 14th heaviest dog breed in the world.
Over 70 kilograms
According to the FCI breed standard, the minimum weight for the Irish Wolfhound is 40.5 kilograms for females and 54.5 kilograms for males – with a body height of at least 71 or 79 centimeters.
With fully grown four-legged friends, however, it is not uncommon for the animals to weigh 70 kg and more. Nevertheless, the weight is well distributed over the body of these slim, athletic furry friends. These imposing dogs therefore rarely appear massive.
With their graceful build, Irish Wolfhounds are made for speed on the racetrack. These hounds also grow up to 79 cm.
In England, this breed of dog was formerly used for hunting wolves and hunting bears. The hair is rough and hard and comes in many colors. Including grey, red, black, white and brown.
These dogs have a calm character and show a lot of patience with children. Unfortunately, this breed has a relatively short life expectancy due to various hereditary diseases.
Quick facts: At up to 55 kg, the Irish wolfhound is one of the heaviest dog breeds in the world.
As the name suggests, otterhounds are ideal for otter hunting. They are expert swimmers made for the water with their rough, waterproof fur and webbed feet.
Their broad chests and powerful shoulders allow them to swim all day long without tiring.
As a thoroughbred hunting dog, this dog breed has an extra dose of stubbornness. The upbringing, therefore, requires a lot of training and, above all, a lot of consistency.
Quick Facts: Male otterhounds grow up to 52 kg.
The Kuvasz looks imposing and majestic. This breed of dog is large with white fur and was originally bred to guard livestock.
Today, the Kuvasz mainly guards property and his family and, in cool weather, also likes to walk up to 15 km next to the bike.
Despite the size and strength, the Kuvasz is gentle with children and has a great sense of humor.
Quick Facts: The “white giant” weighs up to 52 kg and is the 17th heaviest dog breed in the world.
Bernese Mountain Dog
Large and sturdy, the Bernese Mountain Dog has a distinctive tri-color, thick and silky coat of jet black, white, and tan-red.
A hardy dog, even in colder areas, this breed is an intelligent and strong multitasker, especially on the farms and pastures of Switzerland.
These dogs get along with the whole family and are particularly gentle with children.
Quick facts: Bernese Mountain Dogs are among the heaviest dog breeds, weighing up to 52 kg.
Dogue de Bordeaux
The Dogue de Bordeaux is a powerful guard and can grow up to 70 centimeters in size. Their fawn-colored fur is short and sleek.
Previously used for hunting and fighting wolves and bears, today they are primarily watchdogs, protection dogs, and family dogs.
The Dogue de Bordeaux is considered “probably dangerous”. Dogs in the 2nd category can refute the dangerousness with a negative certificate.
Quick Facts: This dog breed is one of the heaviest breeds in the world, weighing up to 50 kg.
Bloodhounds are large, powerful, up to 70 cm tall. Their long, wrinkled, loose-skinned face and huge hanging ears are undoubtedly their distinguishing features.
As a pack dog, Bloodhounds enjoy company, including other dogs, family, and young children.
Her good nose can sometimes get her in trouble. Long walks with opportunity for sniffing are recommended in combination with lots of training.
Quick Facts: With a weight of up to 50 kg, this dog breed ranks 20th among the heaviest dog breeds worldwide.
Deerhounds have the noble silhouette of a greyhound. However, with a height of at least 76 cm at the withers, this dog breed is larger and also heavier than the classic sighthound.
A strong and resilient companion dog, the Deerhound is often used as a sporting dog in greyhound racing.
This breed of dog is obedient and easy to train as they are very eager to please their owner.
Quick facts: With a weight of up to 50 kg, Deerhounds are among the heaviest breeds in the world.
Beaucerons are muscular, robust and reach a shoulder height of up to 70 cm. With their red feet, they earned their French nickname Bas-Rouge: “red stockings”.
Breeders describe this dog breed as outgoing and confident. This makes them not suitable for beginners as they can be downright dominant.
With plenty of training, Beaucerons are level-headed watchdogs and guardians and are particularly good with young, small, and defenseless children & babies.
Quick Facts: With a weight of up to 50 kg, this dog breed ranks 22nd among the heaviest dog breeds worldwide.
Bouvier des Flandres
Bouviers are heavy-boned, powerfully muscled, and have impressive heads complete with beards and mustaches.
This breed of dog is used on farms and pastures and does just about everything except milk the cows. They are extremely intelligent and have a big heart, which makes them very popular.
Often involved in dog sports, work ethic and exercise needs must be kept up. This makes Bouviers suitable for owners with a lot of time and a large property.
Quick facts: With a weight of up to 50 kg, this breed of dog is one of the heaviest in the world.
Black and Tan Coonhound
This breed of dog has a very sensitive nose, long velvety ears and specializes in hunting raccoons and possums.
Black and Tan Coonhounds are large and heavily built. Adult males grow up to 69 cm.
This dog breed requires a lot of human contact and quickly feels lonely. The entire neighborhood then gets to hear loud, sad howls.
Quick Facts: According to American Kennel Club guidelines, these dogs weigh up to 50 kg and rank as the 24th heaviest dog breed in the world.
The borzoi is a large, elegant sighthound breed. A full-grown male reaches a height of up to 85 cm at the withers.
This dog breed has luxurious, silky hair with waves or short curls. On the head, ears and limbs, the hair is satinized, making it heavier and lying close to the body.
With their calm, feline disposition, this breed of dog requires a lot of patience and consistency when it comes to training. The sight of a cat or squirrel triggers their pursuit instincts in seconds.
Quick facts: At up to 47 kg, the borzoi is one of the heaviest breeds in the world.
This dog breed is often referred to as “majestic.” Great Pyrenees are large, immensely strong mountain dogs, growing up to 80 cm.
These steadfast guardians often exude a Zen-like calm but are quick to spring into action when threatened.
Their fur is white or light yellow. When present, markings are light grey, light yellow, tan, or wolf gray and are visible on the head, ears, and base of the tail.
Quick facts: At 45+ kg, Pyrenean mountain dogs are among the heaviest dog breeds in the world.
At almost 80 centimeters in size, the Komondor is not only one of the largest, but also one of the heaviest dog breeds. Her trademark is her ivory colored, matted and shaggy hair.
Despite their solid build, with well-developed muscles and heavy bones, they are light-footed and agile. Since neither eyes nor ears are visible, their state of mind is often difficult to assess.
This dog breed is used for guarding and defending flocks and shows a strong territorial behavior.
Quick Facts: Komondor males weigh 45+kg.
The Cane Corso Italiano can seem very intimidating at first glance. Its large head and muscular build make it one of the heaviest dog breeds.
With their looks, they easily pass for professional bodyguards and are also intelligent, strong-willed and very loyal.
As with most large guard dogs, responsible breeding and early socialization with people and other dogs is essential.
Quick Facts: The Cane Corso Italiano is one of the heaviest dog breeds in the world. Male Cane Corso Italiano weigh 45+ kg.
Kangal Shepherd Dog
These gentle giants from the mountainous regions of Turkey are among the largest dog breeds in the world. The original name of the breed, “Karabaş”, means something like “Black Head” and describes the typical black mask of the Kangal Shepherd Dog. While they are bred slightly smaller and lighter within their home country, typically weighing between 40 and 50 kilograms, outside of Turkey they can weigh up to 70 kilograms, putting them twice on the list of the largest and heaviest dog breeds.
Caucasian Shepherd Dog
Up to 100 kilograms
The Caucasian Ovcharka (Russian: Кавказская овчарка) is a particularly resilient livestock guardian dog. That’s why these robust dogs need a lot of exercise in the great outdoors, even in wind and weather. Adult males can weigh up to 100 kilograms.
Caucasian Shepherd Dogs are medium to large-sized dogs with a strong to coarse build; they are sharp by nature and suspicious of strangers. These features, plus their endurance, undemanding nature and ability to adapt to a wide variety of weather conditions, give the opportunity to use Caucasian Shepherd Dogs in almost all climatic regions of the Soviet Union.
Caucasian shepherds are most widespread in the Georgian, Armenian, and Azerbaijan Union Republics, in the autonomous republics of Kabardino-Balkaria, Dagestan, and Kalmykia, as well as in the steppes of the North Caucasus, and in the Astrakhan region.
In the Transcaucasian areas, the dogs are usually more massive, in the steppe areas, on the other hand, they are lighter, longer-legged, and often even short-haired. Strong, well-balanced, calm personality with a well-developed defensive response that is expressed in an active form.
The Caucasian Ovcharka is typically characterized by both loyalty to family and fearlessness and intrepidity towards strangers.
Within the family, the Caucasian Ovcharka is extremely affectionate and sensitive. This behavior changes abruptly towards unknown persons, especially when threatened. Since the Caucasian Ovcharka has an innate sharpness, he is reserved and suspicious of strangers. This innate guarding and protective instinct can quickly get out of control if the owner deliberately encourages the protective instinct, e.g. at a dog park. Then a Caucasian can become a danger to humans.
Since the Caucasian Ovcharka are not generally barkers but are alert guards, they will reliably bark if anything is noticed at the door or on the property. One should accept this trait, since the dog was bred for this purpose, among other things.
The property should be fenced in, as the Caucasian Ovcharka also considers the adjacent area to be its territory and therefore also guards it.
In the family, the Caucasian Ovcharka is nice and has a pleasant personality. He is a strong, balanced and calm dog. A Caucasian Ovcharka wants and should be a friend and family member in equal measure, which of course does not exclude a loving, consistent upbringing, but rather requires it. However, its independent nature should never be restricted too much.
The urge to move of a Caucasian Ovcharka is to be regarded as rather low in relation to other “typical” working dogs. According to the breed description in the breed standard, his typical gait is a short trot, which turns into a somewhat clumsy gallop when he accelerates. In connection with the family, he likes to exercise, but is not suitable for hours of cycling training, for example.
Up to 100 kilograms
Despite its imposing appearance, this dog breed is the epitome of a gentle giant. In their nature, English Mastiffs are well-balanced resting poles that usually tend to shy away from excitement and action. While the females of the English Mastiff weigh a relatively “slender” 55 to 75 kilograms, males even reach up to 100 kilograms. Both are between 70 and 91 centimeters high.
The Mastiff – also known as the Old English Mastiff or Great Dane – originated in England and is one of the largest dogs of all.
It is considered the original breed of many large dog breeds, such as St. Bernard, the Newfoundland or the Great Dane. Today, this breed is rarely seen except in England.
Mastiffs are by no means as dangerous as they look, even though they are listed dogs in many federal states. They were once kept as war dogs or used to hunt bears. As a result, they used to have a stronger aggressive potential. Today, on the other hand, the mastiff has a particularly high stimulus threshold and hardly shows any combative traits.
In ancient times, imposing animals were mainly used as war and protection dogs. From the Middle Ages, their purpose was to be companion and protection dogs, as well as a hunting dog on big game hunts for the nobility. However, the origin of the Mastiff cannot be clarified with absolute certainty. There are several theories: Shaw and Beckmann, for example, claimed at the end of the 19th century that the English mastiff descended from the Tibetan mastiff, the Do Khyi, while others put forward the thesis that the mastiff developed completely naturally, i.e. without further crossbreeding.
Then there are hypotheses that he is a descendant of the Molosser dogs from Epirus and Macedonia who came to England on merchant ships. The name “mastiff” first appeared in the late 14th century. There is evidence that Mastiffs were used in a variety of ways: the first reports of their use to hunt bulls, wild boar and bears go back as far as the year 1050. Here, for example, there is talk of “a fight between a bear and six bear dogs”.
In general, fights between captured large animals and massive dogs for the amusement and entertainment of the nobility were the order of the day. In the 16th century, a purpose-built arena was built near London, where the popular “Bear and Bullbaiting” took place. The brutal fighting was also supported and financed by the British royal family.
The first solid evidence that the massive dog was also bred and used as a “war dog” dates back to the late Middle Ages. One of the lore tells of the Battle of Azincourt in 1415, where one of the massive dogs on the battlefield protected his wounded master.
Official pure breeding of the dog only began between 1820 and 1835.