Photo: Singapore Specials: Cass & Emma Oh by Sharon

There are approximately 60,000 registered dogs in Singapore, with another 120,000 possibly unregistered dogs for a total of 180,000 dogs (figs for 2019). Of these, only about 20 percent are big dogs –  taller than 50 cm at the shoulders and weighing more than 15 kg.

Pets Magazine's first-ever Big Breeds and Breakfast event on 27 July 2019, shared a list of the top big dog breeds in Singapore. Is yours on this list?

10.  Dobermann

Weight: 32 – 45 kg
Height: 61 – 72 cm
Temperament: Fearless, Intelligent, Obedient, Energetic, Loyal, Alert, Confident

These muscular-looking dogs are best known for playing guard dogs in Hollywood movies, where they play their roles with stereotypical fierceness and aggression. In real life, however, they tend to be calm, even-tempered, and sociable.

9.  Rottweiler 

Weight: 35 – 60 kg
Height: 56 – 69 cm
Temperament: Fearless, Steady, Good-natured, Devoted, Obedient, Self-assured, Alert, Confident, Courageous, Calm

Rotties are widely used as police and guard dogs. The breed is German in origin, and has a powerful, sturdy stance with well-developed genetic herding and guarding instincts.

8.  Samoyed

Weight: 16 –  30 kg
Height: 25 – 38 cm
Temperament: Stubborn, Lively, Sociable, Playful, Alert, Friendly

A pure white working dog that resembles a Japanese Spitz, the Samoyed is much larger, and bred to work. Its characteristic smile means it is a cheerful dog no matter what it is up to, and is always up for any spontaneous activities you happen to think of.

7.  Border Collie

Weight: 12 – 20 kg
Height: 46 – 56 cm
Temperament: Tenacious, Intelligent, Energetic, Responsive, Keen, Alert

This dog was born to herd sheep and is equipped with sharp intelligence, good size, and an intense stare to dominate sheep. If you’re not a sheep though, it makes for a  great companion to your family as it was specifically bred for obedience and intelligence.

6.  Alaskan Husky  

Weight: 16 – 27 kg
Height: 51 – 61 cm
Temperament: Gentle, Playful, Cheerful, Clever, Sociable, Loving, Easy-going, Docile, Intelligent,  Trainable

Not actually a pure breed, the Husky is a group of working dogs bred to pull sleds in the harsh winter environments of Alaska. That said, it does have a few defining characteristics – it most resembles the Siberian Husky, a working dog breed, as well as the Alaskan Malamute: thick double coat, spitz-like upright ears, and generally with brown eyes, although they can also have blue eyes.

5.  Chow Chow 

Weight: 20 – 32 kg
Height: 46 – 56 cm
Temperament: Aloof, Loyal, Independent, Quiet

Known in Singapore as the “lion dog”, this puffy huggable dog is a placid low-key dog that is an interesting contrast with its physical size and appearance.

4.  German Shepherd

Weight: 22 – 40 kg
Height: 55 – 65 cm
Temperament: Intelligent, Obedient, Loyal, Curious, Alert, Confident, Watchful, Courageous

Originating from Germany, this large working dog is used all over the world to help police, guard, and search and rescue teams. It is the 2nd most popular breed in the US.

3.  Labrador Retriever

Weight: 25 – 36 kg
Height: 55 – 62 cm
Temperament:  Intelligent, Even Tempered, Kind, Agile, Outgoing, Trusting, Gentle

Not to be confused with the Golden Retriever, the Labrador is a yellow or black coloured working dog with a much shorter coat than its Golden cousin. It is a highly intelligent dog, and is the most popular breed worldwide, serving various roles as a guide, therapy, or narcotics dog due to its trainability, or simply as a companion animal as a family dog.

2.  Golden Retriever

Weight: 25 – 34 kg
Height: 51 – 61 cm
Temperament:  Intelligent, Kind, Reliable, Trustworthy, Confident, Friendly

The Golden Retriever is America’s favourite dog breed, known for its intelligence, good personality as well as cute looks. So it’s no surprise that they’ve achieved the 2nd spot for large breeds in Singapore as well.

1.  Mixed (Singapore Special)  

Weight: varies
Height: varies 
Temperament: varies

Unsurprisingly, the most popular large breed dog isn’t actually a pure breed, but a variety of street dogs (pariahs) or a mix of two or more pure breeds. The Singapore Special is the name given to the local strays who are rescued from the streets and given up for adoption by animal shelters and are usually a range of medium to large sizes.