Balancing power, agility, endurance, & heat tolerance.
Males ~25-28' at the withers & 85-130#, most are 90-110#.
Females ~24-27" at the withers & 75-110#, most are 80-100#.
The QUICKEST ways to ruin a dog's ability.
Do this and legendary dogs will soon be replaced by myth, slop, drool, health problems, and a lack of enthusiasm, and a short life span.
History has proven this not just once or twice, but time and time again, over and over. After solid working breeds have been produced by people that were dedicated to create legendary working stock, they ended up with dogs in the 80-110 pound range in almost every case. What happens soon there after is the general public becomes interested in the dogs, but lacking experience of working dogs they fail to understand the limitations and problems with larger animals. While some limitations can be overcome, they are very difficult to overcome, and even more difficult to overcome and sustain progress. What soon happens is a race to create larger and larger dogs, and the greatness is lost. If you are interested in a true working dog, I warn you to be suspect, and to not fall subject to the myth. Demand proof from those that claim they have it. One dog can be an anomaly. Look for consistency generation after generation. I doubt they can deliver, and if so, my next question would be...under what conditions?
Thorneywood's Terror - only 85-90# legend but undefeated.
If there is no furniture in the room...and the room isn't too big, and the decoy IS wearing a bite suit, AND you want the dog to basically anchor the man steady should it catch him...IF THAT IS YOUR GOAL...then the big 140-150# dog may have an advantage over 100#...but when does that happen in real protection situations? But if you think people are running around with a 100# determined gladiator type dog hanging on them without any protection equipment on, you are kidding yourself. It ain't happening. In terms of effectiveness, the additional alertness and enthusiasm to work that is seen in the 100# dogs prevents most people from even going in the home because intensity at the door and window works better than sleeping on the coach or looking for the shade tree/creek during the hunt.
Should an encounter actually occur with no bite suit (which means the man will have greater mobility and no protection, they can now move around inside a home quickly and use the furniture to dodge and weave around. Should an encounter occur outside, we now have even greater mobility, and the benefit of the 100# dog becomes even more pronounced. In both cases, without a bite suit, the 100# dog is way more capable than the quality big dog that unwilling (exhausted, hot) or unable to engage for whatever reason...meanwhile, the quality 100# agile dog will be on you like cat hair with static electricity...and you cannot get it off...and without a bite suit to protect you or a handler to assist you, if the dog is bred right, its power will be more than you can handle. These 100# dogs control 100-400# wild boars, and the man that has to fight such a dog is incapable of being a threat to anyone else as a result. The threat is stopped.
I understand there are trainer that have been bit with and without bite equipment on in a TRAINING situations where handlers helped get the dog off you OR that have gotten bit while doing kennel chores OR when working in obedience, but that is NOT the same as getting attacked by a protection dog that really has the intensity to protect against an intruder that has no equipment...so to comparing those experiences to protection engagement with no equipment against a 100# dog that can move like a mongoose...and has VERY significant power...many times 80-90% of the strength, but just less mass as the 140-150# dogs...but much more speed, agility, and stamina...well...it's a bad comparison really. How do I know this...simple. We have seen what happens when animals are in real combat. While size is a factor, intensity combined with determination is repeatedly the most important factor to depicting the outcome...be it with a man or a hog...or whatever. If all else was equal, the bigger animal may have an advantage, but the problem here is all else is never equal.
Throughout history, time and time again working mastiffs and working bandogs have been in the 80-110# range. Very few high stress working dogs have ever exceeded the 120# mark. There are a few anomalies here and there of course. I have seen a few, worked a few, and even owned a few, but they are VERY rare, but the problems with them are...
It has been said, it isn't the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. Truth is...it is both. The key here is finding the right balance for your personal task...and then being honest about it. If you like big dogs, that's cool...I have no problem with it, but to say they out-perform smaller 100# dogs, well, that just isn't true UNLESS you quantify the statement as I did in my opening statement.
As a person who produces dogs for sentry work, personal protection work, and also hog catch work, I cannot give up any significant amount of heat tolerance, agility, and/or stamina...especially considering that I live in the hot climate of Mississippi. A 100# dog that is in shape is a big dog, but overweight dogs should disqualified from this conversation. That is not what I am talking about here. I am talking about true 100# lean dogs. Even solid 85-90# dogs, like Thorneywood's Terror are more than sufficient if they are of good quality.