Large fluffy dogs can be amazing and beautiful companions, but dealing with a large dog with a long coat can be quite a handful. The reason is that most of them shed a lot, and some large-sized pups drool quite a lot too.
Overall, it will take more time to brush your pup and clean up after it, and it will cost you more to pay for professional grooming the larger it is.
Plus, if you have a dog allergy, chances are that it can be triggered by long-coated dogs more than short-coated ones.
So, a better alternative is to look for a large, short-haired dog instead. They, too, will shed, but usually not as much as the long-coated pups.
And shorter-hair pups are easy to bathe, dry, and keep clean than those with long hair.
Read on for a list of some of the most popular big short-haired dog breeds in the USA, as well as some more ideas for your perfect large-sized but short-coated pup.
What to Look For When Choosing The Best Short Hair Big Dog Breed
Adopting or buying a dog is not a decision that should take lightly. Keep in mind that there are several things to consider before adding a new four-legged friend to your family. There are even more concerns if the dog is from a large-sized breed.
First of all, not all large dog breeds are suitable for new or timid dog owners. In fact, without the proper training, socialization, and care, a big dog can become a menace and be dangerous.
Also, a large pup will cost you more in the long run because they eat more dog food, and the regular vaccines and flea and tick treatments, as well as other veterinary interventions, will cost more than for a small pup.
Large dogs need more space to live comfortably, and many of them require more vigorous exercise than some smaller companion dogs. So make sure that you have enough space and the time and energy to walk, exercise, train, and play with your furbaby.
Some dog breeds are more outdoorsy than others. And some are more suitable for family pets than others.
The typical concerns regarding most large dog breeds include – more difficult and expensive grooming and maintenance, excessive shedding and drooling, large foot and veterinary costs, high energy levels, a short lifespan, and potential health problems.
So, do your research carefully before taking the big step and buying or adopting a big dog.
German Shorthaired Pointer
The German Short-haired Pointer was bred in the 19th century for pointing and retrieving during hunting.
The dogs of this intelligent breed reach a height at the shoulder of up to 24 inches and a weight of up to 70 lbs.
They are robust and bold dogs that are cooperative and hardworking but can be overwhelming to small kids and toddlers.
Apart from being excellent hunting partners, the German Short-haired Pointers are also wonderful companions for active people.
They are very energetic and will need long walks and at least 1-2 hours of intensive exercise on a daily basis, or they will easily become bored and destructive. The dogs from this large, short-haired breed are also prone to separation anxiety, so only add a pup of this breed if you are ready to spend a lot of time exercising it and if there is somebody home at almost all times.
The Labrador Retriever has been the most popular dog breed in the USA for almost 30 years. The dogs from this breed are preferred because of their friendliness and gentle and sweet temperaments.
Dogs from this large breed are eager to please and make perfect pets for single owners and whole families.
The problem is that the Lab has a longer coat than many of the other dogs in this category and will shed quite a lot all year round, so it will require a lot of grooming and cleaning.
Plus, Labs do have significant exercise needs and can quickly become overweight or obese if overfed and not exercised enough.
If fed and cared for properly and healthily, the Labrador can reach an age of 10 or more years.
The Great Dane is the most recognizable and the most regal of all dog breeds. The tallest dog breed may look big and threatening, but these pups are actually very friendly. In fact, they are often called “gentle giants.”
Still, they can reach a height of 32 inches and a weight of up to 200 lbs. so they are not the best option if you have toddlers at home or a small house and a lot of stuff on your countertops and tables.
Like all dogs, especially giant ones, they need proper and timely socialization and training.
The Great Danes are loving and devoted dogs, which do not have such high energy requirements as other large-sized dogs. So they can do with long walks and not so much playtime.
Unfortunately, they have relatively short lifespans and are prone to health issues such as joint problems, hip dysplasia, and bloat.
Rotties are strong and devoted dogs, which do require consistent positive reinforcement training and socializing by a firm owner. Otherwise, they can easily turn into menacing and even dangerous animals, not only to strangers but to family members.
When trained and cared for properly, Rottweilers can be excellent, calm, and loyal family pets.
The dogs from this German breed will feel at their best in homes that have yards to roam and spend time outdoors instead of playing with pups they do not know at the dog park.
Even though they are short-coated, Rotties are prone to drooling and shedding.
Boxers are another popular German dog breed loved for their energetic and playful personalities and notorious bravery and confidence.
They can grow to a height of 23.5 inches and reach a weight of 65 lbs. and most of them retain their puppy-like demeanor until the age of three, so they can be a danger to young toddlers due to their bounciness.
Like other pups with shortened noses, Boxers can have problems with breathing, are prone to heat stroke, and are not suitable for freezing weather.
The pups from this large, short-haired breed are highly energetic, so be ready to spend a lot of time exercising your dog daily to keep it happy and prevent it from being destructive.
Related: Large German Dog Breeds
Although movies and books have given them a bad reputation for being fierce guards, Doberman Pinschers can be great family pets with the proper care, training, and socializing from an early age.
They are naturally smart, confident, and fearless and are excellent guard dogs. Dobies are also highly energetic, so they are suitable for active, outdoorsy owners who have experience and can provide firm and confident training.
It is dangerous to let a dog of this size and breed think it is your home’s alpha leader.
When trained well, they will gladly guard your home and family but without being dangerous or aggressive to strangers.
These beautiful and highly recognizable dogs are best known from Disney’s franchise “101 Dalmatians” and for being the US “fire dogs.” Due to their lack of fear of horses, they were bred as stable dogs and used to lead and guard the horse-run fire trucks.
Today, the Dalmatian is still the mascot of most fire departments in the country.
But they can be superb companion dogs and pets as well.
They are naturally smart, obedient, and easy to train. But they are high in energy, so they need a lot of daily exercises.
The best part is that they do not shed a lot, so you won’t need to worry about brushing them and cleaning up after them as much as you would after other longer-haired pups.
This Hungarian dog breed is preferred for its medium to large size and its thin, glossy brown hair, which does not shed so much.
The Vizslas are superb and strong sporting dogs and are often winners in various dog sports and events.
They are also exceptionally intelligent, loyal, and among the most reliable protection dogs for all kinds of owners and for families with children.
Although they may look alike, the English Pointer and the German Short-haired Pointer are two different dog breeds.
The Pointer is typically larger and will reach a height at the shoulder of up to 28 inches.
Also, the English Pointer, while still needing daily exercise, doesn’t have such extremely high energy needs as the German Short-haired Pointer.
Plus, the English Pointer is a moderate shedder, while its German cousin will shed a lot all year round.
Last but not least, the average lifespan of the English Pointer is significantly longer (12 to 17 years) than that of the German Short-haired Pointer (10 to 12 years).
Dog parents claim that the English Pointer is more suitable for a companion and family dog, while the German Short-haired Pointer is better for hunting and sports.
These swift and sleek large dogs with short coats in blue, gray, or silver-gray color are often called “Gray Ghosts.” There are incredibly elegant pups, and they are preferred for their looks, their obedience, and friendliness.
Weimaraners are friendly to people and love interacting with their humans. They are good pets for families with children as long as they are tended to, trained, and appropriately socialized. Luckily they are eager to please and easy to train.
The height of an adult male at the shoulder is usually 25 to 27 inches.
The pups from this breed have high energy requirements, so you should be ready to spend a lot of time jogging, cycling, or walking your dog and playing with it.
They are not heavy shedders but require regular brushing and nail clipping.
German Shepherds are widely considered the best all-purpose dogs in the world. They are also among the most popular and recognizable pups.
Even though they are not as short-haired as other pups on this list, the German Shepherds require moderate grooming, including brushing the dead hairs off several times a week. But during the shedding seasons, you may need to do some daily vacuuming to keep your home clean.
The dogs from this breed are strong, large, and agile. They are very intelligent and hardworking, and easy to train and learn different commands.
Their loyalty to their humans is famous, and it can be expected that they will do anything and even risk their lives for their people if needed.
Overall, the German Shepherd is an excellent dog for owners who have the confidence and experience as well as the time to train, socialize and keep them physically and mentally active.
Other Short-Hair Big Dog Breeds
If you are interested in other possibilities when it comes to large dogs with short coats, then here are some other examples to consider:
- Belgian Malinois
- Bull Mastiff
- Neapolitan Mastiff
- Pit Bull
- Cane Corso
- Chesapeake Bay Retriever
- Irish Greyhound
- Dog de Bordeaux
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Anatolian Shepherd Dog
Final Words – Which Short-Haired Big Dog Breed is Best For You?
As you can see from this list, there are various large dog breeds that have short coats to choose from.
Since adopting or buying a dog is a significant decision, we recommend that you weigh out all the pros and cons of each breed to find the perfect match for you and your family.
Some large dogs are exceptionally energetic and will fit better in a home where the people are active, spend a lot of time outdoors, practice sports, and have time for their pup.
Others are not so pretentious and would love spending more time snoozing on the sofa with you than running around and catching the ball.
Also, some large dogs can be a hazard for very young children and small and cluttered homes, even if they are perfectly trained and socialized.
Plus, remember that larger dogs can be more expensive to care for because they need more food and due to the higher costs for veterinary care and grooming, and others.
It is essential to consider whether you have the time, patience, and money to care for a pup that will become a large dog and live with you for ten or more years.
Of course, as always, we recommend checking local animal shelters for dogs looking for new homes before buying one!