There are 197 dog breeds currently registered by the American Kennel Club, including the Great Pyrenees, known for their massive size and adorable, cuddly personalities.
While Great Pyrenees are one of the largest dog breeds out there, the Guinness Book of Records lists the English Mastiff as the world’s biggest dog.
Some Newfoundlands may weigh more than Great Pyrenees, too.
Keep reading to learn more about the Great Pyrenees and the other dog breeds that are bigger or similar in size.
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Great Pyrenees are giant, fluffy guard dogs popular with farmers and families. The breed originated in France, where it’s referred to as the Pyrenean Mountain Dog or the Patou, with the name coming from the Pyrenees Mountains running along the border of France and Spain.
Great Pyrenees are from the French side of the mountains, while another closely related breed called the Pyrenean Mastiff hails from Spain’s side.
These intelligent dogs guard livestock against bears and wolves in the harsh terrain of the Pyrenees and French Alps.
They are also used for protection against predators in the U.S., where they have become quite popular over the years.
As working dogs, Great Pyrenees are smart, patient, and calm with a lovey-dovey demeanor.
These gentle giants are generally good with young children and other dogs but may spring into action if a predator appears, making them dependable canine companions without any inherent aggression.
There’s a reason why Great Pyrenees are near the top of the list for the largest dog breeds in the world.
Great Pyrenees can reach shoulder heights of 32 inches, with males averaging at least 27 inches tall and females around 25-29 inches.
Adult Great Pyrenees weigh in around 85 pounds for females and 100 pounds for males, although they can weigh a fair bit more depending on their diet, lifestyle, and genetics, with many clocking in around 120 pounds.
As is common for larger dogs, Great Pyrenees have a shorter life expectancy around 10–12 years, compared to some smaller breeds that may live 15–17 years or even longer.
To give you a better idea of the sheer size and accelerated growth of this breed, Great Pyrenees puppies weigh around 1 pound at birth and soon begin doubling in size every week.
By the time they reach 12 weeks, these puppies weigh about 30–40 pounds and continue growing until they reach their full adult size around 18 months.
While Great Pyrenees are unmistakably large, one dog breed is certainly larger – the English Mastiff.
Just going off height alone, English Mastiffs have the advantage, maxing out around 36 inches compared to 32 inches for Great Pyrenees.
In terms of weight, English Mastiffs are even heftier than Great Pyrenees, tipping the scales around 120–170 pounds for females and 160–230 pounds for males.
So, although Great Pyrenees are large dogs, English Mastiffs can be double the size, which explains why they hold the world record.
Despite the difference in size, both breeds are popular with people who like larger dogs and have the strength to control these huge canines.
Mastiffs are known for their excessive slobber, while Pyrenees shed more, which are just a few other characteristics to consider in addition to their huge size.
The great Pyrenees may come second to English Mastiffs in the size department, but Pyrenees are taller than Newfoundlands, which share a similar furry look and sweet personality with.
Pyrenees have just a few inches on Newfoundlands, which average 25–29 inches compared to 26–32 inches for Pyrenees.
The two breeds are very similar in weight, although sometimes Newfoundlands may weigh more around 130–150 pounds, compared to 100–120 pounds for Great Pyrenees.
Although both these dogs are very tall and heavy, they can be quite calm and relaxed, apart from when it’s clearly time to play.
Great Pyrenees are even more relaxed than Newfoundlands, which have an average energy level, however, every dog is different, and some pups may be larger and more playful than others.
While the list of dogs larger than Great Pyrenees is quite short, mainly just English Mastiffs and Newfoundlands in some cases, nearly all other dog breeds are smaller than Great Pyrenees.
Even though their size may throw some people off, many Pyrenees owners say they are happier and friendlier than small dogs.
To compare, Great Pyrenees are usually twice the weight of some Golden Retrievers, another popular family dog.
Goldens top out around 20–24 inches and weigh 55–75 pounds, while larger Pyrenees stand 32 inches tall and weigh over 120 pounds.
What may seem even crazier is that Great Pyrenees are 10–12 times heavier than miniature dachshunds, which weigh around 10–12 pounds.
As you can imagine with such a short dog, you could stack 3–5 dachshunds on top of one another just to reach the shoulders of a Pyrenees.
Great Pyrenees may be huge, but they aren’t the largest dog on record. Instead, that title goes to Zorba, a gigantic English Mastiff that topped the scales at a whopping 343 pounds.
That’s about three times the weight of a standard Great Pyrenees!
When looking at the tallest dogs, Great Pyrenees don’t stand a chance against Great Danes, either.
Zeus the Great Dane was officially recognized as the world’s tallest dog in 2011, measuring 44 inches tall, giving him a foot over the tallest Great Pyrenees.
A few of the other large dog breeds that are similar in size to these record-holders and Great Pyrenees are the Irish Wolfhound, Saint Bernard, Leonberger, and Neapolitan Mastiff.
To put into perspective the size of Great Pyrenees and similarly large dogs, it helps to look at the smallest dog on record, too.
This would be Miracle Milly, a tiny female Chihuahua from Puerto Rico who measures just 3.8 inches tall and weighs around a pound.
While Milly would fit in the palm of your hand, a full-grown Great Pyrenees can jump up to nearly human height and weighs about the same as a small adult woman.
Even though Great Pyrenees are so much larger than most dog breeds, they are regarded as gentle and friendly to other canines, so it’s not uncommon to see families with a large Pyrenees and a smaller pooch at the same time.
Don’t let the size fool you – Great Pyrenees are much more than just guard dogs in today’s world.
These dogs are popular pets throughout the U.S., Europe, and beyond, as many families appreciate their fluffy, cuddly nature and sweet temperament.
The medium double coat is soft to the touch and weatherproof, so heavy rain, wind, or snow is no match for Great Pyrenees.
You will find them in all white or with stunning gray, tan, or red-brown markings, so they are as big and beautiful as they are playful and protective.
Although Great Pyrenees are friendly and easily adaptable, they are fierce protectors, which is why residents of rural areas often choose this breed or something similar for greater peace of mind and protection.