Six “Gentle Giant” dog breeds

For all the bad news about dogs lately – stolen pets, maligned pooches and a misguided call for a nationwide ban of pit bulls – it’s easy to pin the blame on certain breeds. Large, playful dogs tend to give people (and their pets) a level of anxiety that’s not always warranted.

The truth is, some of the biggest dogs are some of the most docile and friendly. The American Kennel Club has released its list of six deceptively docile pooches. Not only are they gentle family dogs, but they’re soooooooo adorable.

Great Dane

Great Dane

They’re huge and can be very strong, and thus intimidating to be around, but the AKC considers the Great Dane the “gentle giant” for its calm and affectionate disposition. They’re great family dogs – loving and very low maintenance. Very Little grooming or daily exercise required (though you might need a handkerchief on hand to deal with all their drool)


Irish Wolfhound

Irish Wolfhound


They can be absolutely intimidating at the dog park – they’re the tallest of all dog breeds – but the Irish Wolfhound is quiet, reserved and very easy going. They love children, tend to create a strong bond with their owners are rarely boisterous or destructive in the household. They shed like crazy though so regular brushing is required.




Lion-like and enormous, this breed is known first and foremost as a family dog. Leonbergers are highly trainable, submissive to their owners and very friendly with children. Aside from their size, their obliging nature ensures they can be taken anywhere without issue and can adjust easily to new circumstances.





Sure, they’re absolutely massive (“masstive”?) and as slobbery as they come, but all the Mastiff wants is to cuddle. They’re lap dogs in giants’ bodies. They’re gentle, loyal and require little daily exercise and minimal grooming.




They might resemble small black bears from a distance but they’re temperament couldn’t be further from. Legendary for their docile nature, Newfoundlands are very loyal and are ideal working dogs.


Saint Bernard

Saint Bernard

Don’t let that rambunctious pooch from Beethoven sell Saint Bernard’s short. They’re mellow, low maintenance and perfect family dogs. Though, yes, they are excessively slobbery.

(Images via ThinkStock)

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