In the canine world, there are several giants that would certainly give you a scare. Nonetheless, for most of these dogs such as the Mastiff, St Bernard, Newfoundland, and more, their large heads and overall body are just their distinctive feature.
Dogs that have big heads include American Staffordshire Bull Terrier, multiple breeds of the Mastiff, Rottweiler, Boerboel, Caucasian Shepherd, and more. Most of these breeds have an equally large body, but there are also breeds with tiny bodies yet large heads like the Chihuahua.
Let’s have a look at these dogs in the sections below. Kicking things off is the largest dog breed according to the American Kennel Club.
Also called the old English Mastiff, it’s the heaviest dog breed yet. Weighing a massive 120 to 200 pounds. The tag came up back in 1989 when Guinness world records book recorded the largest dog, Zorba, as the heaviest and tallest dog ever with a height of 8 feet and weight of 343 pounds.
On average, the English Mastiff has a height of 30 inches and a weight of 180 pounds. It’s a working dog mostly breed for blood sports and gladiator fights like baiting of bulls and lions.
Moreover, they are also therapy dogs, known to offer love, comfort, and tranquility. The huge headed Mastiff had also been known to be used in search and rescue missions, eight pulling, as well as tracking activities.
As for its temperament, is loyal, loving as any other family dog, mellow, and very energetic.
Popularly known as the American Staffordshire Terriers, it’s also a loving family dog with a knack for human interaction. It weighs between 40 to 60 pounds and has an average height of 16 to 19 inches.
They are bred as guard/ watchdogs trained to take care of family, livestock, and people generally.
As tough as they are, they are also very friendly, even with strangers. Being under the breed of the Pitbulls, they enjoy long walks, energetic activities as well as play sessions with the family.
Nothing screams big like the name bully. The American Bully is more of a medium head with a broad skull, high set ears, deep and pronounced chicks, and a distinct stop. They are very huge just like it’s another counterpart, but also has a glossy coating.
This canine has one broadhead but numerous other physical characteristics such as cropped or uncropped ears. Round or oval eyes. Medium or rounded nuzzles, and numerous coat colors.
In terms of its temperament, they are a happy breed, very loyal, loving, kind, obedient, and affectionate, especially to its owner. A very intelligent guard dog with similar attributes to the American pit bull terrier. Even with its large appearance, there’s nothing scary about this breed right down to its social attributes.
The Rottweilers are one of the earliest police dogs there have been. Since time immemorial, the have been leader dogs taking up tasks of driving cattle to the market and pulling of carts for butchers and other people. Later on, they were taken in to work in the military to serve with honor.
They weigh between 70 to 130 pounds depending on their gender as females are less heavier than the males. Their height also varies between 22 to 27 inches tall. They have a great temperament with excellent characteristics such as obedience, easy trainability, and agility.
Not to be confused with the American Bully, the American Bulldog is yet another large breed of utility dogs. They are descendants of the English Bulldog, which has since become an extinct dog breed.
Nonetheless, they have an equally large head and a relatively large body to go along with it. It weighs approximately 120 pounds, with a height of 28 inches.
This breed is very social, amiable, confident, and lively. They enjoy walks here and there, outdoor activities, and generally enjoying time out of the family. Despite being a utility dog, they can also be trained as guard dogs. This makes them very unfriendly with strangers.
The next Mastiff in line with the English Mastiff is the Neapolitan Mastiff. It’s not as huge and recognized as the former, but it’s still large-headed. Weighing between 130 to 155 pounds and a height of 31 inches, they fall right in place on this list.
Another distinctive feature in its face besides its huge head size is the facial wrinkles, which extend to the body as folds.
The Neapolitan Mastiff is a very intelligent dog that’s not only protective making them excellent guard dogs, but also very amiable making them perfect additions to the household.
They can be quite difficult to train hence, can’t be used as alarms, but with their discreteness, they can guard your home efficiently by creeping up on you rather than barking.
As calm and collected as they are, they may not be the best choice as a pet at home if you have small children as they have destructive behavior. Nonetheless, they are very sociable.
The Boerboel is a very large dog breed that originates from South Africa. The word Boerboel means form dog interpreted as watchdogs. They have a height of 27 inches and a weight of up to 220 pounds. Besides being excellent guard dogs, they are also pleasurable companions even for small children.
However, as with other large dogs, socialized training is important to keep the dog at bay as its socializing with small creatures like puppies. The Boerboel is particularly aggressive to strangers, therefore it’s important to care as you introduce them to new people.
Dogue de Bordeaux
This is the French Mastiff recognized as the oldest French canine. A very muscular and confident dog with a height of 37 inches and a weight of 150 pounds. In this line up on the dog’s other the biggest heads, this falls in second place after the English Mastiff.
For the longest time, the dog has been a watchdog as well as a pulling dog; aids with hauling and pulling of heavy objects.
Similar to other Mastiffs, they enjoy outdoors during their energetic being. They are also very calm and conserved. Unfortunately, they have one of the shortest lifespans, living only six years on average.
Yet another variation of the Mastiff is the Tibetan Mastiff. A guard dog native to nomadic areas of central Asia such as China, Tibet, and Nepal. They have an average weight of 150 pounds with a height of 33 inches tall.
From ancient times, they have been breed to protect livestock flocks, people, and families from predators like wolves. They are an unpredictable breed that may have a sweet temperament of being loving and kind, but they are very stubborn, and hard to train.
With its beautiful coat and tails, this big-headed dog can actually be very aggressive, even with children.
They are very possessive of their owners leaving them to act protective around strangers and people they aren’t familiar with. Lastly, they are very loud barkers and diggers. Don’t be surprised if you find your backyard with a few holes.
As the name suggests, the Caucasian shepherd dog is a guard dog bred entirely for its protective skills. Weighing over 130 pounds and a height of 30 inches tall, they are excellent dogs for watching over livestock, property, and even predators like bears.
They are very strong-boned and muscular with a bold and fierce personality. Nonetheless, they also have a sweet temperament; very loving, soft, and kind. There are several variations of this breed, including the Mountain type with a long coat, and the Steppe type, which have a smaller body mass and a short coat.
Last, but not least, the dog can be dangerous. If it’s not trained properly, they can easily attack people they aren’t familiar with. But with enough training, they can be the greatest addition to the family.
Dogs with Big Heads and Small Bodies
For a majority of dogs, the head size is relevant to the body size. as you can see from the examples above. Therefore, only a few dog breeds will have unequally large heads in relation to their small heads. Here are those dogs with big heads and a small body.
- Pomeranian – even with a small body, their puffy heads appear quite big compared to the rest of their body. They appear as a large puffball with an equally large and round-shaped head.
- Dachshunds – even with its drop ears and large eyes, you won’t miss noticing how large their head is. More so, with their long bodies and short legs, their heads may be the largest body part they have.
- Havanese – yet another fluffy dog with a lot of hair on its head. Their eyes tend to hide underneath their facial hair and hairy ears.
- Chihuahua – thanks to its very small body, you can easily see their big eyes and big head. What’s more, they have erect ears that make you focus more on their head.
Dogs and Head Size Facts
You already know that dogs have all sorts of head shapes, from long, small, flat heads, and many more. What you may not know is that for most of these dogs, their head size and shape are associated with something called the cephalic index.
The cephalic index is used to describe the shape of the dog’s head, which in turn scientists have used to investigate and ascertain that it does in fact affect a dog’s working and obedience intelligence.
Let’s understand this further. A dog is a group under either of these cephalic indexes (described below), after which, they’re behaviors and intelligence genes are analyzed and a result is reached.
To calculate the cephalic index, you start by measuring the skull at its widest point and dividing that by the length of the skull and then multiplying the result by 100.
Types of Cephalic Indexes
Dolichocephalic – long-headed dogs – they include Greyhounds and Borzois.
Brachycephalic – wide skulled dogs – the American Staffordshire Bull Terrier and the Mastiff.
Mesocephalic/Mesaticephalic – medium-skilled dogs – this includes the Labrador Retriever or Australian Cattle Dog.
An in-depth study, therefore, revealed these facts;
- Majority of brachycephalic dogs are specialized in guarding and fighting
- The majority of dolichocephalic dogs are breed for their speed.
- Mesocephalic dogs are more versatile and therefore no specialization. They are more flexible, easy to train, and more intelligent than the others.
Even with these facts above, there have been exceptions to the study, which means that the size of the head doesn’t necessarily mean a Mastiff or a Bull Terrier can’t easily be trained.