Big Dog Britain: the largest dog breeds and how they size up to their puppy peers

A documentary about some of Britain’s biggest dogs – aptly called Big Dog Britain – launches tonight. And it got us thinking how big is big when it comes to our four-legged friends.

The Channel 4 show, which kicks off at 10 p.m. tonight, features breeds like Irish Wolfhounds, Great Danes, Newfoundlands and St. Bernard dogs, as well as a six-foot Pyrenean mountain dog eating at the dining table.

In the run-up to the show, TeamDogs did the math and found the biggest, biggest and heaviest puppies from all over the world.

According to Guinness World Records, the largest dog ever was a Great Dane named Zeus who lived in Michigan, USA. He measured 44 inches (111.8 cm) from foot to withers (the area over the shoulder) in 2011. This is the standard measure for dog size.

A Great Dane and a Chihuahua

On average, however, the Irish Wolfhound is considered the largest breed of dog, typically measuring 30 to 35 inches (76 to 89 cm) from foot to withers – with males larger than females. They typically weigh 47 to 54 kg (up to 8st 7 lb).

Great Danes typically have a standing height of about 112 cm (44 inches) while males have a shoulder height of 76 to 81 cm (30 to 32 inches). On average, they weigh 50 to 79 kg.

Saint Bernard dogs aren’t that tall, usually measuring 66 to 76 cm (26 to 30 inches), but on average they weigh 63 to 83 kg (up to 13st 1lb).

An English mastiff weighs up to 36 Chihuahuas

An English mastiff weighs up to 36 Chihuahuas

But if you think this is tough for a dog, a typical male English mastiff – who can grow up to 36 inches (91 cm) – weighs a whopping 68 to 113 kg.

Guinness World Records no longer monitors individual heaviest pets, but in 1989 an English mastiff named Zorba weighed a whopping 150 pounds. Zorba was standing 94 cm (37 in) on the shoulder.

In contrast, the average Chihuahua is 15 to 23 cm tall and weighs 1 to 4 kg.

That means an Irish Wolfhound is four to six times larger than a Chihuahua and about 25 times as heavy … but the average male English Mastiff weighs about as much as about 36 Chihuahuas!

Big Dog Britain will air on Channel 4 on Thursday July 1st at 9pm.

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