3 Dog Breeds That Are Bigger Than Wolves And 5 That Nearly Are

3 Dog Breeds That Are Bigger Than Wolves And 5 That Nearly Are

Last Updated: August 18, 2023

In this article you will know the answer to the query “3 Dog Breeds That Are Bigger Than Wolves- And 5 That Nearly Are“.

All dogs are descended from wolves as most of us know.

Many dog owners are fascinated by some of the comparisons between modern-day wolves and modern-day dogs including myself.

3 Dog Breeds That Are Bigger Than Wolves And 5 That Nearly Are

Another question is “What breeds of dogs are bigger than wolves?”

I provide an answer to this question in this article.

There are only three breeds of dogs that are taller than wolves according to my research.

Although some dog breeds are heavier than wolves there are many others. 

This is where I will attempt to define what we mean by a wolf.

What is a wolf?

Grey wolves inhabit parts of North America so when most of us think of wolves we tend to picture them.

It is these wolves that are the biggest and most impressive.

The average male stands at 85 cm tall and weighs around 40 kg

There are however smaller species of the grey wolf.

It is only 70 cm high and weighs 35 kg when an Italian wolf is present

Indian wolves are about 72 cm tall and 25 kg in weight. 

How big is a wolf?

The numbers relating to the size and weight of a wolf or a breed of dog can also be blurred.

My statistics come from Wikipedia in order to keep things simple and consistent.

The height and weight I have used are those of a male adult wolf or male adult dog respectively.

It makes writing and comparing much easier.

This would make the article much harder to read if I had to constantly mention a range of heights or a minimum and maximum weight of a dog.

You’d be spinning in your head with all those numbers. 

I’d like to move on to the definition of the term “bigger” after clearing up that confusion. 

What do I mean by bigger than a wolf?

Its a little difficult to define bigger.

How much taller am I or how much heavier am I?

I have found some dog breeds that are taller than wolves to make things a bit more interesting. 

The number of breeds is also surprising.

It took me a long time to find those three (and there may be more) but I have found three.

It is much easier to find heavy breeds of dogs since most big dogs are actually heavier than grey wolves.

Therefore in my hunt I have discovered three breeds of dogs that are taller than the grey wolf as well as seven breeds that are about the same height as the grey wolf.

Three dogs that are bigger than a grey wolf

In the following paragraphs I will describe three breeds that are taller than wolves.

There is a table with the most important information included to make things easier.

Height (cm)Weight (kg)
Grey Wolf8540
St Bernard90120
Great Dane8690

St Bernard

The tallest dog breed is the Great Dane. 

Originating in the seventeenth century St. Bernard has a long and distinguished history.

St. Bernards were originally bred to rescue lost and weary travelers in the Swiss alps measuring up to 5 cm taller and weighing three times as much (120 vs 40 kg) than grey wolves.

Up to 100 people have been rescued by Barry the most famous of them all.

It has been said that none of these dogs received any training on rescuing people they simply learned how to do it by watching older dogs. 

In addition the breed has grown in size over time.

Originally rescue dogs were only about the size of German Shepherds

Great Dane

St. Bernards are followed closely by Great Danes.

An interesting fact is that the current holder of the worlds biggest dog is a Great Dane named Zeus. 

A large male wolf is 25 cm shorter than Zeus who stands 112 cm tall.

However the tallest Great Danes typically stand around 86 cm tall which is a fraction taller than a wolf. 

Despite weighing 90 kg they are over twice the size of wolves. 

Rather than rescue people Great Danes were bred to hunt boars and bears. 

A similar situation can be found in the seventeenth century. 

Additionally they originate in Germany not Denmark!

Due to breeding they have lost any hunting instinct and are now regarded as being very affectionate and laid-back dogs.

As long as you have a large enough sofa for them to lie back on.


My surprise at the height of Borzois was that I had expected other breeds to be taller.

Compared to Great Danes and St Bernards Borzoi is more compact than the other two breeds.

As far as height is concerned it is the same as a wolf at 85 cm. 

A wolf weighs 40 kg less than this animal.

To compare 47 kg is quite light when compared to a Great Dane or St Bernard. 

The ultimate test for a Borzoi native to Russia and popular with the tsars and the Russian aristocracy was whether it was agile enough and fearless enough to catch and kill a wolf.  

Thats why the Borzoi is also known as a Russian Wolfhound. 

As we have already looked at three breeds as big as grey wolves it is time to take a look at dog breeds that are nearly as big as wolves. 

7 dog breeds that are slightly smaller than a wolf

Due to the nature of this article it involves a lot of numbers so I have created a table that displays these seven breeds in order of size. 

Height (cm)Weight (kg)
Irish Wolfhound81 70 
Anatolian Shepherd8165 
Tibetian Mastiff7673
Komondor 7660

Irish wolfhound

Russian wolfhounds to Irish wolfhounds.

We know almost everything about this dog from its name.

Irish wolves were hunted with this breed.

Due to the last wolf in Ireland being killed in the late eighteenth century the breed hasnot done that for centuries now. 

Irish Wolfhounds are only a few centimeters shorter than wolves (81 vs 85 cm) but nearly twice as heavy as grey wolves (70 vs 40 kg).

It isnot surprising that the original Irish Wolfhound fell out of favor when there were no wolves to catch (which is not surprising since there were no wolves to catch).

Consequently a new strain of Irish Wolfhounds was developed in the middle of the nineteenth century.

Scottish Deerhounds were used to breed these and Great Danes to bred these 

Anatolian Shepherd

Originally from Turkey and measuring the same height as an Irish Wolfhound (meaning its a couple of centimeters shorter than a wolf) the breed weighs up to 65 kgs which is more than a wolf.

Hunting wasnot the breeds purpose.

The dog was bred instead as a protector of livestock against predators such as wolves and bears.

In Turkey the breed is more commonly known as the Kangal Shepherd while the Anatolian Shepherd is the preferred name in America. 

Only two dogs are believed to be responsible for the breeds stock in the US and they were bred in 1967. 

Tibetan Mastiff

Tibetan Mastiffs are bred as livestock guard dogs or as guard dogs for monasteries and because of their huge heads and fluffy coats they appear bigger than they are. 

Mastiffs can grow up to 76 cm tall and weigh 70 kgs making them shorter than wolves (85 cm vs 76 cm) but heavier (70 kg vs 40 kg).

Some interesting breed traits that might deter some potential owners are that they can have a really fluffy coat that smells awfully bad and that they tend to be more active at night than during the day.

It will surely make you jump out of your skin when you hear that bark in the middle of the night!


One of the best-looking dog breeds in the world in my opinion is this breed.

Is there any mop that looks better than this one?

Tibetan Mastiffs are the same height as this dogs-76 cm which is about 9 cm shorter than a wolf.

However a wolf weighs 45 kilograms more than a wolf (60 kilograms vs 40 kilograms).

This isnot surprising when you look at the coat. 

This coat is perfect for the breed.

First the coat helps camouflage the dog in a herd of sheep and second it keeps the dog warm and dry in the ice-cold temperatures of Hungary. 

It is also known to be very sensitive around people and young children despite being very athletic and brave when fighting predators.


Another Hungarian breed the Kuvasz is another breed that is almost as big as a wolf but not quite.

Rather than looking like the Komondor it resembles the Anatolian Shepherd dog.

The height however is the same- 76 cm.

Nine centimeters shorter than a grey wolf.

Among the breeds we have studied it is the one nearest to the wolf in weight at 52 kg. 

Horses were originally bred by nomadic tribes in Hungary to guard livestock like sheep.

Wow were they ever good?

As skilled as they were and as effective as bodyguards they were tragically lost during the second world war.

Due to their reputation they were legitimate targets for both the Soviet and German armies which killed so many that the breed was on the verge of extinction. 

Which breed of dog can kill a wolf?

The question “which dog breeds are bigger than wolves?” is at the back of many peoples minds when they ask “what dog breeds are bigger than wolves?

What dog breeds are capable of killing wolves?

Basically the answer is that most of the breeds I have mentioned today (at some point in their histories) could kill a wolf under certain circumstances.

A St. Bernard is the only exception which has never been bred to attack or defend anything.

It is likely that other breeds that I have discussed in this article once were capable of killing wolves but that ability has long since been lost to them. 

The Great Dane comes to mind here.

Other breeds depend on whether they have any “working strains” – specific dogs that are still working most likely guarding livestock and breeding.

Those particular groups of dogs are capable of killing wolves. 

There is a mop dog that is currently a massively popular breed in the US because it can protect livestock. 

It is likely that strains of the same breed that were bred to be show dogs or to be family pets will not have the same ability. 

When we are discussing a dogs ability to kill a wolf we should also consider that many of these dogs worked with other dogs.

Therefore they would have attacked intruders as a pack.

Wolf packs hunt together too so they are social animals as well.

Where do we end up? 

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Amanda Dogs Trainer

Amanda (Author)

With over a decade of experience, Amanda is a distinguished dog trainer. Her expertise in canine behavior has transformed countless lives, fostering harmonious human-canine connections. Through compassionate and personalized approaches, she empowers owners to understand and connect with their furry companions, creating a legacy of joyful tails and transformed lives.

Osvaldo Maciel Dogs Trainer

Osvaldo Maciel (Content Reviewer)

Osvaldo Maciel, a stalwart in the field with 14 years of experience, is a revered dog trainer. His journey is defined by a profound understanding of canine behavior, shaping unbreakable human-canine bonds. Osvaldo guides owners to connect with their beloved pets, leaving an indelible mark of happiness and transformation. His legacy shines through the countless lives he has touched.

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