My wife and I are currently house sitting for Baron - Australia's largest dog! Ask us anything!
Baron is an Olde English Mastiff, and weighs 122KG! (269 pounds!) He's only four years old and still growing, so may end up the largest dog in the world. He's also a registered therapy dog and helps kids with reading.
Baron just posed for this pic (and banana for scale) for me but check out some pictures of Baron and his adventures in this album I made, or at his Facebook page. There are also various news articles about him, and he has been on TV.
Baron is a big friendly boofhead, who still thinks he is a lapdog. It can get intense when he sits on you! He and his mate Chelsea (a French Mastiff) are snoring at our feet right now, but love nothing more than heading out for walks and meeting new people and dogs.
My wife is a teacher, so we got to know him through her school, and as lovers of big dogs, we could not turn down the chance to hang out with Baron and Chelsea for a few weeks!
Baron and his owners volunteer for a fantastic Aussie charity literacy program called Story Dogs, where kids can build their confidence with reading in a relaxed yet fun setting. It's based on an American program called READ, for those in the USA who wants to get involved.
He's also the brand ambassador for Pawssum - a Aussie vet service that will come to you.
So reddit, ask us anything!
He's a very good boy! Even right now, despite the fact he farted and we had to open the windows because it's so bad.
"Yeah honey that Baron boy it's very smelly ugh"
Yes that is very handy :D
How much does this good boy eat in a day?
This is the question we get asked the most, and while he eats a lot, it's not as much as you might think! He spends a lot of time snoozing, and it's important that he does not get overweight.
I weighed his breakfast and dinner, and it's around 2.5KG a day of dry and wet food, plus of course snacks!
There's no way this is asked more than "How big are his poops?"
That' the second most popular!
how big are his poos (v important pls answer)?
My wife wanted to post photos of his poop, but I didn't want to spoil anyone's breakfast!
They are sizeable though. When out on a walk, picking up his poo with a bag is a two handed job...
I came here solely for a poop pic. Please deliver OP!
We cleaned up outside this morning, but next steamer he drops I will report back with a pic, just for you...
It's been an hour, are you ok? Did the poop swallow you up
He pooped on his walk this morning, so it might take a while... I am feeding him more snacks to speed up the process and will report back eventually!
How does the two handed thing work? Do you double bag your hands?
Single bag (heavy duty though) with both hands inside, and scooping underneath, then flipping the bag inside out, tying it off and then finding the nearest bin ASAP!
He's very large does he have any joint problems? What are people's reaction when they see you walking him? How often do you guys sit for him?
Generally he is in great health with no ongoing joint issues, but can very easily strain himself - especially his back legs.
When kids see him they always want to come and give him a hug! But reactions from adults range for people who don't even seem to see him at all, to those who can't help but come and say hi (that was us the first time seeing him!). Walks can take a long time if the park is busy because of all the attention he gets!
This is our first time sitting for him, and we got lucky because his usual sitter was not available.
Whats it like taking him for a walk? Pulling a horse?
Fortunately he is very well behaved, and doesn't tend to pull. If he stops to sniff something though, then there is no continuing until he is ready to go again!
Baron met lil Sebastian?!
What kinds of exercises he practice? He can run fast like others dog or his size limits him?
Just like any dog, he gets the zoomies and likes to bound around. But because he is so large we have to be really careful not to let him get too crazy or he can easily strain his knees.
Normally he very relaxed when walking and plods along, sniffing everything. But he likes to run a bit faster too, but can't go as fast as smaller dogs.
Do you read him the Clifford the big red dog books?
I'm sure you and your wife feel like Emily Elizabeth!
If love could cause Baron to grow larger then I am sure he would be as big as Clifford!
I like to read him Sci-Fi, but Baron appears to love all books equally.
Except a book we had of dog selfies, which he chewed to pieces!
Any plans to get him a saddle?
Also if the apocalypse comes, will you put a big Lazer on him so he can zap people?
We could make some money on the side at the local park with Baron rides! The danger would be children getting covered in slobber...
I am currently looking on eBay for lasers for the apocalypse / Emu uprising...
He could shoot UFOs out of the Sky. What a hero.
You probably won't know it, but I imagine him to look like an Elcor from Mass effect
My wife says Baron is much more handsome than an Elcor!
Can you tell him we love him?
I just told him, and he looked at me confused because I should be making him breakfast! I will tell him you all love him all day though.
Do the owners know you are pimping their dog for sweet karma?
I promised them I would give Baron one extra pat for every upvote!
Then I'm upvoting all your comments. Tell Baron all those pats are from me, okay?
He's loving all the extra attention :)
How on earth did Baron secure a Mortgage?
Baron doesn't need a mortgage - if the largest dog in Australia wants to take over your house, what can you do??
What breed is it?
He's a brindle olde English Mastiff - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_Mastiff
Is his size abnormal for that breed?
No. Most English Mastiffs are the largest dog in Australia
That is how we do it in Australia!
Yep - usually they are around the 80KG mark.
What does this good boy diet consist of?
Breakfast and dinner is meat and biscuits, but he also gets a big selection of extras, such as sardines, eggs, chicken necks, veges and of course plenty of snacks!
Has he ever chewed up a baseball signed by Babe Ruth?
Not yet! He did chew up a dog selfie book a friend gave my wife...
house sitting or sitting on your house?
How loud is the bark? (or does he?)
We are looking after Baron in his house, so while he misses his owners very much, at least he is in his normal environment.
He does not bark a lot - only when someone knocks on the door and he wants them to come give him pats! His bark is loud but very deep, so if you are standing next to him you feel it in your bones!
If I were ever lucky enough to meet this dog could he be persuaded to sit on my lap?
It would not take much persuading! If you sit down next to him he loves to try and sit on you.
Mastiffs don't think they are lapdogs they KNOW they are lapdogs!
And that's why we love them so much!!
Here's a pic!
I think I need to hangout with this dog asap for real.
My wife and I love going to zoo's where we can do behind the scenes animal encounters.
I feel like you could open a zoo with just Baron hugs and it would be super popular.
That's everything I want out of a dog. I'm jealous
Here is another with his owner, and a much too small couch!
Why have you not shown a banana for scale?
Because I am a bad redditor! I will procure a banana and take the obligatory pic, just for you!
It’s been 3 hours, Baron ate the banana
It's been three hours, and Baron ate his sitters!
Banana acquired, and picture coming shortly!
Banana for scale!
Are Aussie Brunettes prettier than Aussie Blondes ?
Baron's mate Chelsea is a blonde (fawn) but they seem to have the same amount of fun!
For humans, Aussie redheads are where it's at!
Does his size come with any sort of health problems or special considerations that need to be made?
He's very healthy right now, but it's easy for him to strain his legs if he slips, so we have to be fairly careful. He also has a special ramp for getting in and out of his van and we avoid big stairs.
How does he help kids read?
(This is the wife here!) The theory behind it is to offer students a non judgmental environment to take risks, which for many students reading out loud is a huge risk. It has also been amazing to build the social standing of some of the students who have been reading to him. They are allowed to bring someone with them if they choose and they are the 'experts' on Baron. They've become more confident in class and with their writing as they suddenly have something that they are excited to write and talk about. And just as a bit of a plug, story dogs are always looking for volunteers if you are in Australia or donations to keep the program going!
Hey, I also have a dog named Baron, just that he weighs about half as much as yours! Are Mastiffs usually that large?
Post pics of your Baron! :)
The largest dog ever was a 155 KG English Mastiff, but usually they are around the 80KG mark.
Was he bred to be this big? How is he so large? 😶
Nope, no special breeding. English Mastiffs are not usually so big, but he has just kept growing!
Is he still growing?
Yep, but only quite slowly now.
Is everything bigger in Australia?
Well, I am 6'7", so I would say yes!
Are the owners at all interested in breeding him?
They would love some Baron puppies (and we would too!) and it's something that could well happen in the future, but will require some careful planning!
That’s awesome! (I think everybody would like Baron puppies lol). What dog(s) is currently larger than Baron? And do you know how much he’s grown say in the last year?
There is a US based Mastiff who is 127.5 KG (last they knew anyway) bu I am sure there are some other unknowns out there!
He's growing quite slowly now, and did most of his growing before he was 2 years old. He weighed around 115KG a year ago.
How bad do his farts smell?
Really bad! Sometimes it can stink out entire parts of the house and we have to hide in other rooms.
Apparently they have to open windows in the home.
Doors, windows - everything!
I have an English mastiff at home. How often do you see Barons ...Red Rocket? I swear my dogs is just hanging out All The Time!
Haha, yeah often when he sits down he lipsticks.
We like to tease him and call him a doodle dog!
How do you transport Baron? Mini-van, regular van, flat-bed truck? Or do you put a leash on him and let him run along side the car?
He has his own Ford Transit van for transport, and a special ramp for getting in and out.
I am still working on hitching him up to a buggy so he can transport us...
What is the expected life span of this boy? I see it doesn't take much to fall in love with him. It would hurt to see him leave too soon.
7-10 years, which is way too short :(
My wife and I love big dogs (and had a great dane) so know the pain, but even so it's worth it.
Is he an absolute unit?
He really is! He loves to play tug of war with a towel, but fortunately does not know his own strength...
How do you feel about the ethics of breeding dogs into abnormally sized, fragile, short-lived creatures, for the sole purpose of aesthetics? How do you feel about publicizing and perpetuating this practice?
PS: he's adorable.
I love big dogs, but I don't support breeding for aesthetics at all. Baron was actually taken in from a family who could no longer look after him, and our great dane was a rescue. So I'd love to see breeding programs that helped reduce issues, but would of course always want to support the dogs (big or small) that are already out there. That said, I don't know if I could refuse a Baron puppy...
The publicizing it is an issue that honestly I have not given the appropriate thought. I think there are advantages in support programs such as story dogs, but you are right that it is an important issue that I am not really sure how to properly address.
Are his poops massive or what?
Picking up after him on a walk with a doggy bog is a two handed operation :(
how come you are doing an AMA on behalf of a dog that you don't own? do the owners know you are doing this ? just wondering.
Because reddit deserves to see Baron! We thought it was an interesting perspective to have an AMA from people with an outsiders perspective into his life. Plus we are a bit more familiar with Reddit, but we will be sure to have an AMA with his owners if he grows big enough to be the largest dog in the world!
If I flew in from Canada, Can I meet Baron? LOL
For a modest fee, he will even meet you at the airport!
How'd you get the opportunity to sit for him?
My wife actually organised for him to come to her school as part f the Story Dogs program and got to know his owners through there.
We then run into them at a park and they mentioned they were going away but their normal house sitter was not available, and we offered! We don't have any kids, and are familiar with large dogs (we had a gorgeous great dane who passed away a while back) so it easy for us to do, and we loved the chance to spend more time with the dogs.
How did he make enough money to buy his own house in this economy? Don’t tell me he got that size without eating his avocado toast
He's a sardines on toast kinda dog, and doesn't seem to like avocado, smashed or otherwise!
I haven't seen any ownership papers for the house, so he might have just eaten the previous occupants...
Is he neutered? I saw the album pic of him upside down, but I can't tell if there are balls there or not
They blend in and are, I would say, small for his size! So not neutered.
In another response they mentioned his owner possibly breeding him in the future.
We would love a Baron puppy :)
Has he broken any furniture yet?
Fortunately his house is very spacious, so he has plenty of room. So no breakages on our watch, but there are quite a few knick nacks around that are glued back together...
When he is excited though his tail can give a massive wallop!
How does he behave when in the vicinity of other dogs, especially smaller aggressively nervous breeds like Chihuahuas?
He is incredibly chill. We meet a lot of dogs while walking him, and none have ever phased him - even the small excitable ones!
Mostly he just wants pats from humans!
What's the lifespan of these monsters?
Sadly big dogs don't tend to live as long, but he should have around 7 to 10 years.
Did we have a largest dog competition or something? How do you know he's Australia's largest?
Good question, because there is no 'official' recognition here in Australia. Baron and his owners are very active in the doggy community, and go to a lot of shows etc, and they have yet to find a bigger dog.
A lot of people asked you his weight, but I'm curious about his height! How high are the withers? Does the head add a lot to the height? I need answers 😭
Took me a while and he tried to eat the tape measure, but we got his measurements.
He is 85cm (2' 9.5") high at the withers, and 35cm (1' 2") wide at the shoulder blades. 90cm (3') high at the bum. Generally the top of his head is about 15cm (6") higher than his withers, so he stands 100cm (3' 3.5") tall on all fours. If he stretched up then it can be a lot higher.
His head is pretty much a 30cm (1') ball with 13cm (5") nose attached. His tail is 55cm (1' 10") long, and 17cm (6.5") wide at the base.
Overall he is 205 cm (6' 9") long, including the tail.
Sitting with his front legs straight and bum on the ground, the top of his head is at 110cm (3' 7").
Can we get a banana for scale?
I neglected this, but will make it happen asap!
Would you agree that it's a dog-eat-dog world out there?
If it is, then luckily Baron is well fed at home!
Why is the dog so big?
Speaking scientifically, I think it is from having so much love (and slobber) inside of him that it made him grow...
If I was going to attempt to steal this dog how many of my crooked dog loving buddies do you think I would need to haul it into the back of a Bedford rascal?
Haha, I think you should hire a heavy lift helicopter!
How does he feel about being used as a pillow? because I really want to take a nap with this dog. Lately my default state has been "want to take a nap" but a giant sleeping dog sounds like an opportunity not to be missed.
He is an excellent pillow! My wife has napped many times leaning on him. The danger is all the slobber...
How many baseballs has he kept in his dog house from the sandlot kids?
All of them. And the kids!
Please ask Baron for me: Who's a good boy? Who's a good boy? That's right, you are!
I asked, and he look at me funny, then went back to destroying his favourite toy...
How did he sign the rental agreement or mortgage?
Where did he go on vacation?
With a very large pen! He is actually just vacationing in the garden, but wanted someone else to come water the plants...
I don't have any proper questions, but can you please give that big cutie a scritch behind the ears for me?
Could you say no to this face?
Is he a good dancer or does he have two left feet?
Foolishly I have not tried dancing with him. My wife is a better dancer so we will find out and report back!
How big is his penis? Asking for a friend
Maybe it's maybelline!
What is a dog?
It's just god backwards!
How much does he eats and.. how big does his poop is??
He eats about 2.5KG a day, but it's not as much as you think because he spends a lot of time snoozing!
His poop is rather sizeable... Picking up after him is not our favourite part of looking after him!
Is he a good boy?
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