Once a brave warrior who pulled gladiators from chariots, I’ve mellowed with time and am now known as a gentle giant. I’m the tallest of all dogs, standing 30 to 35 inches, with females weighing 105 to 140 pounds and males tipping the scales at 120 to 180 pounds. Luckily my demeanor is sweet, easygoing, and not rambunctious. Friendly and fairly affectionate, I’m good with children—and even cats! I’m alert yet not at all aggressive; don’t count on me as a guard dog.
An animal my size does require responsible training—cute puppy behaviors can become destructive and even dangerous as I grow. Surprisingly, I do well with new pet owners. I need room to stretch out and soft surfaces for reclining, and I am generally not well suited for apartment life. A long walk and occasional loping run will meet my daily activity needs, though I don’t take well to hot weather.
My coat may be rough or soft with gray, brindle, red, black, white, or fawn coloring, shaggy eyebrows, and a soft, inquisitive expression. I shed continually and should be brushed once a week, with occasional stripping of dead hairs to accentuate my crisp lines and sturdy physique. Bathing is necessary only once or twice a year.
Like most giant dog breeds I have a relatively short life span of only 5 to 8 years. One major health issue to watch for is gastric bloat, with a lower risk for cardiomyopathy, joint lameness, bone cancer, and hip dysplasia.