I Like Big Mutts and I Cannot Lie!

Great Dane. Mastiff. Newfoundland, Dogue de Bordeaux. Great Pyrenees. Bernese Mountain Dog. Tibetan Mastiff. Leonberger. St. Bernard and the list can go on.

Most large dog breeds were bred for a purpose or function. Some breeds were meant to be hunters, others guard dogs. Dogs with great endurance brought livestock or produce to market or protected the farmer’s animals. So which ones make good pets?

Great Danes: One might argue that this huge and majestic creature more closely resembles a small horse than a dog. Either way, the beautiful Great Dane is sure to stand out in a crowd. But it is more than appearance that makes this breed stand out. The personality of the Great Dane is unforgettable. These dogs are gentle, playful, friendly and incredibly loyal. The Great Dane is a native of Germany that was developed as a boar hunter and, later, a watchdog. Great Danes weigh anywhere from 100-200 pounds and about 28-30 (or more) inches tall.

 

Mastiff: Considered the largest of all dog breeds, the English Mastiff’s name seems to fit its best descriptions: massive. This giant dog breed is all brawn and power on the outside, but deep down it is a lovable, mushy companion–and often a bit of a couch potato! These dogs can top the scales at 220 pounds and be 30 or more inches tall. However, it looks like a large percentage of the weight is in their huge heads. Some considerations if you are thinking about getting a Mastiff: You’ll likely need to carry around a “drool-rag” and duck when a head shake comes on. You’ll need to protect people and objects from that massive tail (and protect the tail itself from damage).

 

Leonberger: The Leonberger is a beautiful, massive working dog with a kind and gentle disposition. Though it is not an extremely common breed, the Leo has its own following, and for good reason. This breed is known to bond closely with its family and seems to have a kind of intuition when it comes to human emotions. Because of this, they make excellent family members and also superb therapy dogs. They are gigantic yet gentle with incredibly soft coats. If you love giant dogs with even bigger hearts, have the room for a 120- to 170-pound dog, and can exercise him daily, then you might have found your match. The Leonberger originates from Leonberg, Germany.

 

Bullmastiff: The Bullmastiff is a powerhouse that was originally developed for protection. English gamekeepers in the mid-19th century crossed the Mastiff and the Bulldog. The result was a powerful, fearless dog that could stop poachers in their tracks. Today’s Bullmastiff is still a highly capable guard dog, but the breed is most treasured as a companion. Despite a powerful and somewhat intimidating appearance, this is a gentle and affectionate dog that forms a solid bond with its family members. However, the Bullmastiff’s tough side does instinctively comes out when necessary. Like its cousin, the Mastiff, be prepared for slobber. Weighing from 100-130 pounds and 24 to 27 inches tall, there’s plenty to love about these big sweeties.

 

Do you have a favorite Giant Breed?

See how many large breed dogs you can find on my website! Go!

*Photo of the Wright Brothers St. Bernard

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Three Great Dane Puppies, One Darn Good Dog Photographer

July 30, 2016

Ok, all kidding aside, I do not boast about my work or talents.

As a Dog Photographer we meet all kinds of people and dogs. This particular day I was about to meet three 4 1/2 week old Great Dane Puppies. Oh. My. Goodness! I could not wait! As you may have seen Wilson was in a few days before for his fine art dog portrait. He was to be the first of our newly announced 4 Legged Newborn Sessions. Wilson as you may recall was 8 weeks old, well these amazing Great Danes walk in at 4 1/2 weeks and are the same size as Wilson! A Dog Photographers dream challenge.

For me, I form a concept (thank you Bud Thorpe for driving this home) before the shoot. My concept was for these three puppies all sleeping nicely in a dresser draw I brought to the studio from home. It was silver so I knew it would work well with their coloring. It helps to get a picture of your subject before they are in your studio.

I started, one puppy at a time. They were wiggly, squirmy and full of life! A challenge indeed. Sit, Stay, recite the Battle Hymn of the Republic all meant the same to them, remember they were 4 1/2 week old puppies. Not much time to lean anything, they just opened their eyes 3 weeks ago. But it was great fun. Their human mom’s were fantastic to work with. We made some adorable photos in the first concept I had. Here is Spree in here pink basket.
Kimberly Sarah Photography - Great Dane Newborn-BG1

Now comes the challenge – Three sleeping dogs…

It took time, talent and lots of hugging and whispering to each puppy. First JuJu, just the sweetest, blue eyed puppy. She was on her way to tired so that seemed easy. Next was Pixie, the runt of the litter and most curious. She took a bit longer to get to sleep, holding her like a newborn baby, she eventually feel asleep too. Phew! Ok, now for Spree, she was all the way awake. Was not at all interested in slowing down. However, time and talent was at play and asleep she went. Each puppy, one by one was placed in the draw. One waking while the others sleep. On and on it went. Until, our serendipitous moment….

Kimberly Sarah Photography - Great Dane Newborn-6230

All three sleeping like the adorable puppies they are! Oh the joy!

You can see more images on my website or Facebook page

Learn more about SOPHA! The Studio of Photographic Arts