Protecting customers with insurance since 2001

Protecting customers with insurance since 2001

Large dog breeds in the UK

  • 2, May 2023
  • Read time: 5 mins

From sleek and shiny to big and bouncy; if you’re considering bringing a dog into your home, it’s likely you’re reading this as you have an interest in the larger variety. This guide provides an insight to the different types of big dogs, their personalities and how they might fit into your lifestyle.

Dalmation running through grass

What is a large dog breed?

A dog is generally considered large when they are 20kg or above in weight and 25 inches or over in height when fully grown. If you’re considering bringing a large dog into your home, you should be realistic about whether you have enough space for them, as they take up a lot of room.

For example, one of the largest dog breeds is generally thought to be the Great Dane or the English Mastiff. Both are powerful in body but gentle in nature. From there down there are plenty of other large dog breeds to consider, all with their own unique needs.

Large dogs for families

Before welcoming a large dog breed into a family setting, it’s worth taking a few things into consideration. Some are well known for being super calm around children, while others may need a little more training before introducing them to each other. If you’re looking for the easiest big dog to introduce to your family, take a look at the below:

  • Labrador Retrievers popular with families due to their docile nature, Labradors are particularly good around infants and young children. They can vary in size and can be considered either large or medium dogs because of this. They’re often used as therapy dogs because of their innate ability to learn combined with a loving disposition which children respond well too. They also rub along with other pets quite happily, perfect if you’ve a busy household of animals
  • Dalmatian – forever immortalised by Disney, the dalmatian dog has secured its place firmly as a family favourite and for good reason. Loyal, social and low maintenance when it comes to grooming, these spotty sweethearts will quickly settle into a loving home. They’re best suited to a family who love being outdoors as they need lots of exercise to stay healthy

Big, fluffy dog breeds

Who doesn’t love the idea of owning a giant teddy bear? There are a few breeds which have become infamous for their fluffiness:

  • Samoyed – no, it’s not a giant snowball, it’s a Samoyed. Their ice-white coats and smiling mouth has put them firmly on our list of cutest dogs. They are head-turners so expect them to get a lot of attention when you take them out and about
  • Chow Chow – if you know what these bear-dogs look like, you’ll understand the need for grooming. Their long, thick fur needs daily attention, so only consider getting one if you’re sure you can commit to a regular haircare routine. But don’t worry, it won’t be a one-way relationship. The upkeep they need from a comb is paid back in kind with a loyal, protective nature. You’ll be best friends in no time
  • Giant Schnauzer – the clue is in the name which means “whiskered snout”. Whilst not fluffy everywhere, Schnauzer’s do require a regular brush, and of course their wiry “beards” keeping clean. They’re intelligent and athletic – but make sure you start the training straight away. As quick learners they can also pick up bad habits just as quickly as good ones

Big dogs that don't shed

For owners or family members who suffer from allergies, it’s worth considering bringing a dog that doesn’t shed into the household. This will make for everyone’s experience of owning a dog more enjoyable.

Here are some large dog breeds that are known for not shedding:

  • Standard Poodle - slipping into the hypoallergenic category, Poodles are known for not shedding, even though they have gorgeous, curly hair. It’s this hair in fact which keeps hold of the hair that has shed on the coat - meaning there’s very little, if any, being left loose around the house
  • Labradoodle – again, don’t let the long curly hair trick you. They’re a cross between the poodle and a Labrador, who are already known as dogs that don’t shed. They’ve increased in popularity over the last ten years as family pets, due to their friendly temperament and sweet face
  • Greyhounds – this sleek and lithe breed do shed, but infrequently and only lightly when they do. Sadly, there are lots of greyhounds who need adopting, as they are often bred as racing dogs who then require a new home once their running career has come to an end. But this is a positive for anyone looking to bring a gentle, loving and highly intelligent dog into their home who may need a new start in life.
On the flip side, owning a large, furry dog need not be daunting. There are ways in which a regular grooming routine can help with keeping those loose, stray hairs to minimum.

Travelling with large dog breeds

If you'll be taking your dog with you on your travels, make sure you know how to keep them safe in your car. Find out what size seat, crate or harness you need, which may depend on your dog's size. Don't assume that you'll be able to use the same safety restraint that you've used with another dog, especially if they are different sizes.

If you have any questions or worries about travelling with your dog, speak to your vet for advice.

Is pet insurance more expensive for bigger dogs?

"It’s easy to assume that bigger dogs are more prone to health issues or accidents. Small or large, each dog breed is different and has its own set of needs to stay happy and healthy." - Luke, More Than's in-house vet.

The cost of pet insurance is more determined by breed, age, claims made and the type of insurance you decide to take out.

Start a pet insurance quote