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8 Dog Breeds Bigger Than Wolves (With Pictures)

Written by: Patricia Dickson

Last Updated on April 11, 2024 by Dogster Team

Fawn Great Dane dog

8 Dog Breeds Bigger Than Wolves (With Pictures)

Most people know that wolves are dogs’ ancestors. However, few realize that there are some dog breeds that are bigger than wolves. The average gray wolf stands around 30 inches tall and tops out at about 100 pounds, but it can be larger depending on the region the wolf lives in. Female wolves tend to be 20% lighter than the males of the species.

The largest wolves are in Alaska, west-central Canada, and Northern Asia. The smaller species can be found in the Middle East, India, and Arabia. However, there are dogs that are bigger than your average gray wolf. We’ll list the largest in our guide below and examine a few that are almost as large as your average wolf, so join us!

The 8 Dog Breeds Bigger Than Wolves

1. St. Bernard

Saint Bernard sitting in meadow
Image by: rokopix, Shutterstock

Length 26 to 30 inches
Weight 120 to 180 pounds

The St. Bernard breed is a loyal, loving, protective breed that any pet owner would be lucky to have as a pet. However, they are massive canines. The St. Bernard tops out at 26 to 30 inches tall and weighs 120 to 180 pounds in adulthood.

St. Bernards were once used to rescue lost travelers in the Swiss Alps, so they had to be resilient and tough. In fact, the breed got larger over time and used to be the size of German Shepherds. If you’re looking for a dog that is larger than a wolf but still gentle and loves children, this is the best breed for you.

2. Great Dane

a great dane dog lying outdoor
Image by: Emma Forsyth 88, Shutterstock

Length 28 to 32 inches
Weight 110 to 175 pounds

Great Danes reach 28 to 32 inches in height and weigh 110 to 175 pounds when they reach adulthood. The Great Dane is a fraction taller than a wolf and weighs twice as much. They were originally bred to hunt boar and bears, but over time, the breed became less aggressive as breeders selected traits to make them companion animals.

A Great Dane will be just as happy curled up on the couch beside you watching TV as it would running around the yard or in the dog park. So, though they are larger than the Grey Wolf, a Great Dane is certainly less dangerous than a wolf can be.

3. Borzoi

Image by: Bob63, Pixabay

Length 26 inches and up
Weight 60 to 105 pounds

Right under the Great Dane in size is the Borzoi. This dog breed weighs between 60 and 105 pounds and stands 26 inches at adulthood. It is still bigger than the average gray wolf. The height is around the same, but it’s slightly heavier.

This dog originated in Russia and was a favorite among the nobles of Russia. The Borzoi is also called the Russian Wolfhound. The nickname came from the nobles seeing if the Borzoi was strong enough to kill a wolf. Luckily, this breed isn’t blood-thirsty and makes an excellent pet if you’re looking to give one a forever home.

Now that we know which breeds are larger than your average wolf, we’ll talk about a few that are only slightly smaller than that wolf in the section below.

4. Irish Wolfhound (Slightly Smaller)

irish wolfhound
Image by: DragoNika, Shutterstock

Length 30 inches and up
Weight 105 to 120 pounds

The Irish Wolfhound weighs between 105 to 120 pounds and stands around 30 inches in adulthood. It’s slightly smaller than the wolf but was bred to hunt wolves in Ireland. The last wolf to be killed in Ireland was in the late 18th century, and the instinct to hunt and kill has been bred out of this gorgeous dog breed.

After the wolves were gone, the Irish Wolfhound wasn’t as popular but saw a resurgence in the 19th century, when a new breed was created using Great Danes and Scottish Deerhounds. Irish Wolfhounds are a gentle breed, and they make great pets.

5. Anatolian Shepherd (Slightly Smaller)

anatolian shepherd dog standing
Image by: SusImage, Shutterstock

Length 27 to 29 inches
Weight 80 to 150 pounds

The Anatolian Shepherd is another slightly smaller breed than the average gray wolf. It originated in Turkey and is around the same size as the Irish Wolfhound. It stands between 27 and 29 inches tall and weighs between 80 and 150 pounds. However, the Anatolian Shepherd was bred to protect livestock from wild animals, such as bears and wolves, instead of being bred to hunt.

In its native country of Turkey, this dog is called a Kangal Shepherd; the Anatolian Shepherd’s name is only in America. Anatolian Shepherds are friendly dogs that are ideal for families with large properties.

6. Tibetan Mastiff (Slightly Smaller)

Mountain Mastiff tibetan
Image by: Tatyana Kuznetsova, Shutterstock

Length 24 to 26 inches
Weight 70 to 150 pounds

The Tibetan Mastiff is another breed that’s only a bit smaller than a wolf. This large dog tops out at 70 to 150 pounds and stands 24 to 26 inches when it is an adult. Believe it or not, this beast was bred to guard livestock in monasteries. However, their big bushy heads and fluffy coats do tend to make them look a whole lot larger than they actually are.

They’re shorter but heavier than wolves, and their barks will have you jumping out of your bed in the middle of the night. They are, however, lovable and gentle with their pet parents.

7. Komondor (Slightly Smaller)

Komondor playing
Image By: Ershov Andrey, Shutterstock

Length 25 to 27 inches
Weight 80 to 100 pounds

The Komondor is a gorgeous dog that honestly looks like a mop. It stands between 25 and 27 inches and weighs between 80 and 100 pounds, so it’s a pretty big mop that’s slightly smaller than a gray wolf.

The Komondor was bred for icy conditions, and its coat blends in with the sheep it was bred to herd and protect. Despite its protective, herding instinct, this dog is known for being sensitive and great with families and children.

8. Kuvasz (Slightly Smaller)

Kuvasz sitting in the snow
Image By: La Su, Shutterstock

Length 26 to 30 inches
Weight 70 to 115 pounds

The Kuvasz is also a slightly smaller version of the breeds above. It stands between 26 and 30 inches tall and weighs between 70 and 115 pounds, making it the smallest dog on our list, but it is still slightly smaller than the average wolf. It was bred to guard sheep in Hungary; they were great at their job but ended up on the point of extinction at one point because they were used as bodyguards in World War II.

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Which Breed Can Kill a Wolf?

Now that you know which breeds are larger than or even only just slightly smaller than your average wolf, you might be wondering which of these dog breeds could kill a wolf.

The answer is that probably every dog on our list could have killed a full-grown gray wolf in the past, but they are more domesticated today, and that might not still be the case. The only exception is the St. Bernard, which was never bred to hunt, kill, or guard anything.

Today, we wouldn’t put much stock in your dog protecting you from a wolf if you run into one when you’re out and about. It depends on the dog, how it was bred, and how fearless it can be when protecting its pet parents, though most of the dogs on our list certainly would give it the old college try. It’s probably best to keep your dog as a pet and not worry about it killing wolves.


Three dog breeds are larger than the average gray wolf, but a few are also pretty close to being the same size. Does this mean your dog can take down a full-grown wolf in a fight? That remains to be seen and depends on several factors.

Your best bet is to keep the dogs above as pets and not worry about going out and hunting down wolves. If you live in an area where wolves are commonly seen, you can probably train these dogs to protect you and your children, but that’s not the only precaution you should take.

Featured Image Credit: everydoghasastory, Shutterstock

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