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Top 10 large dog breeds

Cecilia is a regular contributor to PetMD, the largest global source of pet health information. PetMD's content is created by veterinary professionals and covers 9 different species.

These big dogs show that bigger really is better when it comes to dog breeds

Most big dog owners agree on one thing: The bigger the dog, the more there is to love. Big dogs are fun, feisty and fiercely loyal — making them perfect exercise companions, guard dogs, cuddle buddies and even playmates for kids. If you have a big, dog-shaped hole in your life that needs filling, we've come up with our top 10 large dog breeds for you.

8. Mastiff

These big dogs show that bigger really is better when it comes to dog breeds
Image: Claudio Gennari/Flickr

If you've ever seen a mastiff, you'll agree that there is one word that can properly size up its appearance: powerful. No kidding, this dog is huge — not as tall as a Great Dane but probably twice as thick at between 2 and 3 feet tall with a weight of between 130 and 220 pounds.

Fittingly, these dogs make excellent guard dogs. Though the mastiff seems beast-like, it is surprisingly affectionate, gentle and extremely loyal. Their devotion to their owners and patience with children have secured their popularity for years, though they must be properly socialized to get along well with children and other pets, and it's best if you don't have them around very small children or adults who are frail as they can easily knock them over, causing serious injuries. Their life span is generally between 6 and 10 years, but some have lived as long as 18 years.

Next Up: More top 10 large dog breeds - Great Dane

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