5 Big Dog Breeds We Love

Have you ever wondered what are some of the biggest dog breeds in Australia?

Wonder no more – here are five large dog breeds who have stolen the hearts of Australians — including one breed which is also the biggest in the world! Find out which big dogs are family-friendly too.

Test yourself and see if you can guess any of our top 5. You may even own or know one of the below!



bernese mountain dog

Fun Bernese Mountain Dog Facts

• Weight: Female 36 – 48kg, Male 38 – 50kg
• Height: Female, 58 – 66cm, Male 64 – 70cm
• Lifespan: 6 – 8 years
• Coat: Thick, black, white and brown double coat.

The Bernese Mountain Dog is one of the biggest dog breeds, and reach their full adult height at about 15 months!


This breed dates back around 2,000 years to Rome and Switzerland. Their name is derived from their origin in Berne, Switzerland, a beautiful, mountainous area.

Due to their thick coat and bigger build, Bernese Mountain Dogs can withstand cold weather well.

Strong, and sturdy, they are part of the “working dog” classification. Over the years they were a popular choice as cattle drovers and guard dogs, thanks to their ability to be trained (and their loyalty).

Temperament & Traits

Bernese Mountain Dogs love the great outdoors and enjoy bouts of exercise. They can also be well-behaved inside – it all comes down to training, which most are highly receptive to.

In fact, we have a Bernese Mountain Dog who is an Assistance Dog, fittingly named “Bernie”!

bernese mountain assistance dog
Overall, these large dogs are intelligent, good-natured, well behaved – traits that make for wonderful companions. Their calm, patient and affectionate nature makes them highly suitable for an individual, couple or a family environment (they are great around children).



english mastiff

Fun English Mastiff Facts

• Weight: Female 54 – 77kg, Male 73 – 100kg
• Height: 70 – 91cm
• Lifespan: 6 – 12 years
• Coat: Smooth and short, generally beige with a black detailing around face.

Coming in at an impressive 70kg+ weight and potential 91cm height – the massive English Mastiff makes our list of Big Dog Breeds in Australia.


Before coming to Australian shores, English Mastiffs fought alongside British soldiers and were also a popular choice as a guard dog and protector from other predatory animals.

In present times, English Mastiff are still “employed” as watchdogs, favoured in police and military work and search and rescue missions.

Temperament & Traits

It goes without saying a dog of this size has impressive muscular strength and power; but do not be intimidated by the Mastiff’s size!

They are gentle giants; good-natured, affectionate, brave and protective – English Mastiffs possess all the qualities for an excellent companion or family pet.

They are protective and somewhat territorial, but are more of a silent guard dog rather than a “barking alarm”. They respond quite well to training, and regular exercise is the secret to keeping them happy and motivated!


GREAT DANE (also known as German Mastiff)

great dane

Fun Great Dane Facts

• Weight: Female 45 – 60kg, Male 54 – 90kg
• Height: 71 – 86cm
• Lifespan: 8 – 10 years
• Coat: Generally short, smooth golden brown.

The Great Dane is another of the Australia’s biggest dog breeds – after all, when they stand on their back feet and stretch upwards, they are taller than some adults!


The Great Dane has German heritage and descends from hunting dogs during the Middle Ages. They are officially classified as a “working dog”, and a preferred breed as a guard dog.

It is believed the original Mastiff type was crossed with a Greyhound, leading to the Great Dane breed.

Temperament & Traits

As their name suggest, this breed makes for great pets! They are smart, receptible to training, loving and affectionate – what more could one ask for?

They are an ideal choice for growing families, given their capability with children and natural protective nature.

Although they do not bark too much, Great Danes are sure to alert the family to potential danger given their guard dog instincts.

Despite their status as one of the biggest dog breeds in Australia, they are as happy inside on a blanket near the family, as they are playing or walking outside. Given their friendly and sociable nature, they tend to behave well around other dogs and pets.


SAINT BERNARD (Also Known as Alpine Mastiffs)

saint bernard

Fun Saint Bernard Facts

• Weight: Female 54 – 64kg, Male 64 – 82kg
• Height: Female, 65 – 80cm, Male 70 – 90cm
• Lifespan: 8 – 10 years
• Coat: Short double coat, generally white and brown.

Remember the popular 1992 American classic film “Beethoven”? The title character and star was none other than a St. Bernard!

Unlike Beethoven, with regular, consistent training from young, St. Bernards make for well-behaved pets!


They are only dog breed to have “Saint” (St) in their name! It comes from name of the hospice in the Western Alps where these dogs were bred by the monks who ran it.

The monks quickly realised the huge dogs had an instinctual sense of direction, great strength, and coped well in challenging weather conditions.

St Bernards are now infamous for helping with search and rescue for travellers who ran into danger or difficulties along the path of the Swiss mountains.

The modern St Bernard breed is believed to be a mix that includes Newfoundland, Great Pyrenees and even Great Dane heritage.

Temperament & Traits

Although considered a “giant dog breed”, St Bernards don’t need massive amounts of exercise. They enjoy a regular walk and playtime, but overall are placid, calm and docile dogs, who are also big fans of long naps!

Their temperament is excellent for households with children as they are loving and well-humoured pets who thrive in family life.




Fun Newfoundland Facts

• Weight: Female 45 – 55kg, Male 60 – 70kg
• Height: Female, 63 – 69cm, Male 69 – 74cm
• Lifespan: 8 – 10 years
• Coat: Medium, brown or black, sometimes grey.

Newfoundlands take their name from their origin in the most easterly island province in Canada (“Labrador” is part of that province too)!


Newfoundlands excel at swimming, and were originally bred as a companion and work dog for fisherman and similar water-related duties.

They were trained to jump into the water and rescue if someone went overboard, and are thought to be the best of all dog breeds at swimming.

This is due to their strength, muscular build, thick water-resistant double coat and webbed paws. They are also incredibly brave and loyal which are wonderful characteristics in any pet!

Temperament & Traits

Another “gentle-giant”, Newfoundlands are mild mannered, sweet-tempered and easily trained given their intelligence. They are often called “nannies” given their gentle, affectionate and playful temperament with children.


Thank you for taking the time to read all about 5 Big Dog Breeds We Love.

It’s clear to us that many of these breeds are affectionate, intelligent and protective with great natural instincts that are enhanced by training.

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