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Most Popular Large Dog Breeds

Written by aslmad.yaz

Large breed dogs have a storied history as working, herding, and hunting companions. In addition, these popular large dog breeds also make great family pets, happy to share a couch or go for a jog. The big dogs in the large breed category weigh 50 to 100 pounds and have an average height of 24 inches at the shoulder.

Labrador Retriever

A yellow Labrador Retriever sitting on a park bench.
(Photo credit: Purple Collar Pet / Getty Images)

One of the most popular dog breeds, and the iconic family companion, the Labrador Retriever holds the top spot for the most popular large dog breed. These dogs have a history as hunting dogs, helping to retrieve waterfowl. Today, they are equally loved for their loyalty and gentle nature.

German Shepherd

A German Shepherd lying down in a forest.
(Photo credit: Eudyptula / Getty Images)

Popularized by The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, the German Shepherd has long been a steadfast companion. These intelligent dogs work well at any task they’re given, whether it’s assisting armies in war, helping police forces, or guarding a family. That said, they’re not just good working dogs. Their protective nature also makes them great family pets.


A Boxer standing in a grassy forested area.
(Photo credit: Purple Collar Pet / Getty Images)

The Boxer is a breed that originated in Germany, originally the companions of butchers in slaughterhouses. However, their genetics go back much further, tracing back to the war dogs of the Assyrian Empire. Today, the Boxer is a courageous, curious, and loving companion, perfect for families and active households. Their playful, but gentle nature makes them especially well-suited for being around young children.

Doberman Pinscher

The Doberman Pinscher sitting in a grassy park.
(Photo credit: Tatyana Consaul / Getty Images)

A newer breed, at least in their current form, the Doberman Pinscher excels at its role as a guard dog. They were created from a variety of other dog breeds specifically selected to be steadfast, calm, and collected, resulting in a loyal and intelligent breed. Today, the breed is as equally at home with a family as they are at work. They are also one of the most recognizable large dogs seen in the show ring.

Standard Poodle

The Standard Poodle standing on a grassy lawn.
(Photo credit: dageldog / Getty Images)

While this breed has gained popularity due to its mixing with other breeds, such as the Labrador Retriever, the Standard Poodle remains strong as a popular large breed dog all on its own. The Poodle is an intelligent, hard-working breed. They’ve also seen a rise in popularity with their reputation as service dogs, able to quickly respond to the needs of their owners.

Golden Retriever

A Golden Retriever standing on a dirt path in a grassy area.
(Photo credit: Holger Leue / Getty Images)

Another iconic breed second only to the Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever lives up to the reputation of “man’s best friend.” These companionable dogs got their start as waterfowl retrievers, but quickly made a name for themselves as family pets. Their gentle nature, easy trainability, and sweet looks make the breed an excellent best friend.

Australian Shepherd

Close up of an Australian Shepherd on a park table.
(Photo credit: Lee Jeffryes / Getty Images)

Intelligent, hard-working, and always eager to please, the Australian Shepherd is one of the top working breeds. These dogs excel at any task given to them, whether they’re herding sheep on a farm, assisting as service dogs, or simply working as a family pet. Their high drive and equally high energy also make them a popular choice for canine sports such as agility and flyball.


The Rottweiler looking majestic in a grassy area in autumn.
(Photo credit: Ahmad M. K / 500px / Getty Images)

Rottweilers have a long breed history dating back to the Roman Empire. They are descended from drover dogs used in Rottweil, Germany, where the breed gets its name. Historically, Rottweilers were used as working dogs, helping to pull carts and herd livestock. Today, these stocky, lovable dogs are popular family companions.

German Shorthaired Pointer

The German Shorthaired Pointer lying down in a field of grass.
(Photo credit: Evgenia Glinskaia / Getty Images)

The German Shorthaired Pointer earns a top spot as an excellent hunting companion. This breed is recognizable due to their iconic “point” when flushing out prey, often depicted in landscape or hunting paintings. At home, their friendly nature and energetic spirit makes for a great jogging partner. 

Siberian Husky

The Siberian Husky is sitting in a forest with purple flowers blurred in the foreground of the image.
(Photo credit: Alexandra Robins / Getty Images)

Born to run, the Siberian Husky is one of the most popular large dog breeds around. These dogs are happy as long as they get a chance to exercise often — whether in front of a sled or as a steadfast running companion. Their playful, friendly nature also makes them great family pets, able to keep up with even the most energetic children.

Now that you’ve seen some of the most popular large dog breeds, learn more about them, such as their differences in nutritional needs compared to smaller breeds. Or, take a look at the best large dog breeds for apartments to see which best fits your lifestyle.

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