It’s safe to say that dogs are the most popular pet. Still, not everyone adopts a pup just to have a warm and fluffy companion; some people want them for protection, too! Thankfully, there are some breeds that were born to both act as man’s best friend and keep your house safe.
When Jared Howser and his family decided to adopt a pet, they searched for one that could act as more of a guardian and less of a lap dog. Jared was experienced with big breeds, but he wanted something no one had ever seen before… and the puppy he wound up adopting broke all sorts of wild records!
This puppy might just be nine months old, but she’s already breaking records. Standing six feet tall and weighing 180 pounds, Euphrates, as she’s called, is the world’s largest puppy—and she’s not done growing yet.
Euphrates is a relatively unheard-of breed of dog called the American Molossus. The breed itself might be new, but its closest genetic relative, the Mesopotamian Molossus, is certainly not. In fact, it died out more than 7,000 years ago!
That meant that Euphrates actually closely resembled a dog breed that was literally prehistoric! Owner Jared Howser, 41, said that people often mistook his giant puppy for a full-grown dog, for obvious reasons. Nothing about Euphrates’s unique looks screams “puppy!”
Euphrates was actually related to the ancient breed through two lines: the English and Neapolitan Mastiff. She was the largest puppy in her litter and cost Jared and his family about $5,000. It was a small price to pay for peace of mind, huh?
So, how did Euphrates make sure that she kept following in the footsteps of her ancestors? For starters, she ate more than eight cups of dog food a day! That was roughly more than four times the amount of the average dog.
Jared couldn’t stop raving about his super special—and super-sized—puppy. “At nine months there simply isn’t another dog 180 pounds and 31.5 inches to withers anywhere else in the world,” he said. “She is an anomaly.”
Euphrates was so special that Jared tried to make it official. “We’ve looked up online and called the Guinness World Records, reached out to hundreds of breeders to see if any dog comes closer to her size for this age,” he said. “And there’s nothing.”
In fact, if you wanted to see another dog whose looks came close to Euphrates, you’d have to go to a museum that features ancient Mesopotamian art. It was believed that Euphrates’s ancestral cousins were so big, they were used in battle to take down the horses of their enemies.
Even Jared had no clue that Euphrates would turn out to be as large as she was.” It’s unreal and unheard of, at nine months her size and strength is far beyond what I thought it would be,” he said.
If you’re having trouble imagining what it’d be like to live with a dog that huge, Jared could help. “If she was to stand she is big enough to look out of the peephole on our door,” he said. Woof!
For all of her size, Euphrates couldn’t be sweeter. Her nature really contrasted the stories of historians who talk about how these dogs were used in battle against enemy forces! It seemed as if she was nothing like her ancestors in temperament.
Apparently, the Mesopotamian Molossus breed wore leather harnesses that held sharp metallic spikes on their backs. The dogs were trained to run beneath their enemies’ horses, instantly gutting them.
Other historians believed that the dogs were more commonly used to guard homes and to help shepherd flocks of sheep. However they were used, their size was impossible to be ignored—and sweet Euphrates was no exception.
According to her owner, taking care of a dog the size of Euphrates wasn’t always easy! “I’m 260 pounds and six-foot-three,” said Jared, “but if she decided to run [and] I couldn’t hold her on the leash, she could drag me down the road with ease.”
Walking down the street with a dog like her tended to draw a lot of attention, too. “When people look at her, they are surprised and asked how I’ve been able to keep her under control, joking that I must be a lion tamer,” Jared laughed.
The hardest thing for people to understand was that the puppy wasn’t done growing yet! “Most people think she is a fully-grown dog when we take her out in public,” said Jared. “When we tell them she is a nine-month-old puppy their jaws hit the floor.”
While some people can’t imagine adopting such a big dog, Euphrates was exactly what Jared and his family were looking for. After witnessing a home invasion where a dog was thrown from a window and killed, Jared never wanted to see another dog put in harm’s way defending his or her family.
Jared actually consulted with a breeder about the largest dogs around, and that was how he heard about the American Molossus breeding program. He learned that he would be one of the first people alive to own one of this new breed.
It sounded like Jared’s instincts paid off. Euphrates was every bit as tough as her ancestors. Since Jared and his family adopted the pooch, their car was the only one on their block that wasn’t broken into! Sounds like Euphrates’s reputation preceded her…
Still, for all of her massive size, Euphrates was a real mush. She loved interacting with people—especially women and children—and she always greeted new friends with a wagging tail and cuddles.
Even if you decide this breed isn’t for you, you have to agree they’re pretty awesome all the same! There is one other ‘Superdog’ breed out there, however, that you may take an even bigger liking to…
Move over for the Caucasian mountain dog! These giant pooches were bred to hunt bears in the Caucasus region of Russia, and by the looks of them, it definitely seems that was a believable feat.
That’s right, these dogs were bred specifically so that they could be strong enough to take down a bear. Can your pitbull do that? Probably not! Even as puppies they look enormous— also adorable!
These big boys can weigh up to a whopping 200 pounds, and with their super-thick coats, you can bet that they shed almost their own body weight’s worth of hair every day. Woof!
Can you imagine how long it would take for the groomer to keep these doggos looking fresh? Just check out how much fur this dog shed during the spring. It’s almost the size of a whole other dog!
You certainly wouldn’t want to cross one of these dogs. Think about it: would you really want one of these big boys to come after you with all those sharp teeth, let alone their incredible strength?
Caucasian mountain dogs are naturally suspicious of strangers, which makes them great guard dogs. Still, that doesn’t mean they aren’t lovable and affectionate. In truth, they make for absolutely wonderful pets!
While they are capable of really scaring off thieves or strangers, Caucasian mountain dogs are known to develop close bonds with their immediate family members. When they’re with someone they love, they’re total pushovers.
Caucasian mountain dogs are some of the most loyal and protective breeds around, and they can even be trusted with newborns! Check out how content these two pups look while watching over their little brother. Full-time babysitters, at your service!
The Caucasian Ovcharka, as these dogs are also called, were actually first bred in the mountainous Caucasus region located between the Black and Caspian seas. How regal!
At that time, breeders weren’t raising these dogs for their looks; rather, they were breeding them purely for practical purposes. This helps to explain their massive frames and coarse coats.
This breed has been around for around 600 years. In addition to being bred to hunt bears, they also helped protect sheep flocks from predators, like wolves. These sheep don’t seem nervous in the least! Could it be that they think the dog is one of them?
It goes without saying that, if you made a living as a shepherd, you’d definitely want one of these dogs by your side. Just think about how much fun you would have raising a litter of these fluffy pups!
Caucasian mountain dogs are a hard-working breed and they like to stay busy, so if you aren’t home much or you don’t live a particularly active lifestyle, this breed of dog might not be an ideal pet for you.
It’s good to know what kind of life a breed needs in order to be happy and healthy before you adopt. You might think these dogs are perfect, but if you aren’t fond of the outdoors, you’ll all wind up miserable.
Caucasian mountain dogs are also described as some of the most fearless and loyal of all dogs, so if you’re looking for devotion and courage, you need not look further. They’re amazing canine companions!
It’s safe to say that this big fella won’t let anything hurt you… unless, of course, you happen to be a tennis ball that keeps getting lost in the snow. In that case, look out!
These types of dogs are huge, but they don’t start off that way—and that can be tricky when you don’t realize how much they’ll grow. In fact, these dogs will grow up to be larger than most small children—and then some.
No matter how much these adorable faces are calling out to you, it’s important to think about what kind of dog you’re adopting. When you adopt an animal, you become responsible for it for life—and you’ll certainly have your hands full with these pups!
Not every dog is suited for every setting—particularly bear-hunting dogs who surely become hot in climates that are too warm. You need to live in the right kind of environment for these pooches to be happy and comfortable.