Some dog breeds have been around since ancient times. It's amazing to see how dog breeds have changed over the last 100 years.
Most dogs are bred for a lot of different purposes, from protecting livestock and their owners as guard dogs, to being faithful and loyal companions.
But in order for a dog to be protective, it should be bred with the size it needs to be effective.
Take a look at 10 of the abnormally large dogs in the world below!
Hulk, the Pit Bull
The name ‘Hulk’ fits this pit bull dog perfectly because he is a giant 175lbs, and stands on his hind legs almost 5 feet tall.
And while he might seem big and scary, his owners say that he is very gentle and is even trusted around their young son.
His owners train guard dogs professionally and even Hulk is a trained professional guard dog who will heed his owner's every command and protect them with his life.
A dog this size needs to eat, and eat a LOT. Every day, he is fed 4lbs of raw ground beef mixed with his special supplements. This along with his regular dog food and dog treats that he gets on the side. Wow!
He recently was the proud father of adorable puppies of which some are likely to be his size or maybe even rival their father's size!
Freddy, the Great Dane
It's probably no surprise to many that the Great Dane is one of the largest breeds of dog in the world, but Freddy takes the breed to a whole new level of big.
He stands 7ft 6 inches on his hind legs, 2 feet taller than his owner, and weighs 200lbs!
Freddy's owner, ex-Glamour model Claire Stoneman is entirely devoted to her Guinness World Record holder and his sister, Fleur.
But, having big dogs also means having big expenses. Clare spends about $16,500 a year to feed and take care of these big Great Danes.
With a dog this size, it's hard to argue with it. For more adorable pics and video of Freddy, go HERE.
Zorba, the English Mastiff
This English Mastiff was a legend when it comes to some of the world’s biggest dogs.
You may know that when it comes to the combination of weight and height, nothing can beat this breed of canine.
Many Mastiffs average up to 190 pounds, but it's not unusual for these giants to weigh around 225 pounds at full maturity.
However, a dog comes along once in a while that amazes even the most seasoned big dog enthusiasts.
That's where Zorba came in. Zorba the English Mastiff was so massive that he easily earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records in September of 1987 as the heaviest dog.
But, shortly in November, Zorba weighed a hefty 343 pounds with a height of 37 inches at the shoulder and was measured at 8 feet 3 inches from the tip of his nose to his tail, and earned the title as the heaviest AND longest dog in the world!
No one is sure what happened to Zorba but one thing is sure that he will always be a legend among the world's biggest dogs.
CH Samson, the Neapolitan Mastiff
This breed of Mastiff, called ‘Mastino Napolitano’ is actually an ancient dog breed, and that might explain the size of this rare dog.
CH Samson was one of the largest and heaviest Mastiffs and weighed a whopping 225 pounds at just two and a half years old.
His size, health and strength of his breed was rare so no other Mastiffs like him have been found since.
Samson was so big he could easily fetch a small car tire and and carry it around.
There is not much more known about Samson except that he won a lot of titles and Best in Show awards.
But this Neapolitan Mastiff will remain a legend until another bigger dog comes along to take his place. That is, if that ever happens…
Zeus the Great Dane
Zeus, who lived in Otsego, Michigan, was named the world's tallest dog by the Guinness World Records in 2012.
He measured an incredible 44 inches from his feet to the middle of his shoulder blades. Standing on his hind legs, he stretched a towering 7 feet 4 inches over his owner.
He ate 30 pounds of dog food every day and could easily get a fresh running water drink from the kitchen sink without having to jump up to reach.
In addition to his international fame, Zeus was well known throughout the Kalamazoo area due to frequent trips to area schools and hospitals where he served as a therapy dog.
Sadly, he only lived five years which is actually the average old age for a dog of this size.
He is still a legend among big dogs to this day.
Unlike many larger breeds, the Newfoundland wasn't bred to be a guard dog. Instead, it was bred to help fishermen.
These big, muscular dogs are able to haul nets and lines from boats, pull carts and, most importantly, fetch anything that falls overboard into the water, including people.
The Newfoundland is an exceptional water dog and a strong swimmer. And there have been many rescues of people out at sea credited to these gentle-natured dogs.
Newfoundland dogs stand between 27 to 30 inches tall and weigh as much as 150 pounds. They look even bigger because of their thick double coat which keeps them warm even in icy water.
The Irish Wolfhound
Like the Scottish deerhound, the Irish wolfhound, as its name implies, was bred to chase down wolves.
Developed from war hounds into a dog that was used for hunting and guarding, the Irish wolfhound is ancient breed of canine, and may have been brought to Ireland as far back as 7000 B.C.
Though their primary use was hunting, today's breed of Irish Wolfhound are fairly quiet, reserved, intelligent and easy-going.
This breed is the tallest of all dogs, even taller than the Great Dane.
Males often stand as tall as 34 to 35 inches from foot to shoulder blade and stand over 7 feet tall on their hind legs.
They can weigh upwards of 140 pounds, and although the English Mastiff is as tall as a miniature horse, the Irish Wolfhound is equal to a donkey.
In the mid-1840s, Heinrich Essig of Leonberg, Germany, crossed a Newfoundland with a Saint Bernard for four generations, then added in a Pyrenean Mountain Dog to the mix.
The result of these several generations of breeding is the Leonberger. This breed stands between 27 to 31 inches tall and can weigh as much as 170 pounds.
But, despite their size, they are simply giant family dogs. Though their main purpose is as a companion animal, the breed does very well in everything from water rescue, to tracking, to hunting.
If it is an activity that requires both strength and smarts, the Leonberger is probably going to be good at it.
This big dog was bred to do one thing only, and that is to protect sheep from wolves, and any other predator that dares attack a shepherd’s flock.
However, these dogs can and have been used to protect other livestock.
The Caucasian Shepherd is extremely popular in Georgia which has always been the principal region of penetration of Caucasian Shepherd dogs.
Also known as Caucasian Ovcharka, Caucasian Sheepdog, Kawkasky Owtscharka, or Kaukasische Schaferhund, Caucasian Shepherd dogs are strongly boned, muscular and even-tempered.
They are big enough that wolves most of the time will dare not attack the flock they are guarding.
But these dogs are very territorial and will even attack other strange dogs or their same breed.
The Anatolian Shepherd
Source: Wikimedia Commons
This canine was bred to be a shepherd’s companion and livestock guardian.
The interesting thing about them is that they were bred for their size and color so that they matched the livestock that they were protecting.
The breed was developed to withstand harsh climatic conditions and thrive in the lifestyle of nomadic shepherds by guarding their flocks of sheep and herds of goats.
Loyalty, hardiness and independence are the most valued characteristics of this breed.
These dogs should be kept in a pair at minimum. If not properly socialized and trained, Anatolians can become unmanageable with strangers, and sometimes with their owners.
So, there you have it. These were the 10 of the abnormally large dogs in the world!
Were you surprised with the sheer size and weight of these dogs? Do you have any favorites? Leave us a comment in the section below!