Are you planning to bring home a big dog or a small one? Should the dog’s size dominate the kind of breed you bring home? Yes, size should influence your choice, but it should not dictate it. To help you decide, we thought of listing a few things you should expect from a big dog and a small dog.
There are a few exceptions like the poodle, listed among the most intelligent dogs, generally bigger dogs are more intelligent. The most intelligent dog in the world is the medium sized boarder colie. Other dogs like the Labrador Retriever, Siberian Husky, Golden Retriever, Doberman and Rottweilers are amongst the most intelligent breeds. Now, depending on your convenience, this can be a good thing and a bad thing. The good thing is, it’s easier to train them (which have to do with bigger dogs if you don’t want them to pounce on everyone all the time).
You should think twice before getting home a very intelligent dog because they do tend to keep you on your toes. Sometimes they outsmart you and find exactly where you hide those tasty treats! You must keep intelligent dogs busy till they tire out because a bored, energetic smarty pants can lead to a very messy house. Some dogs like the boarder colie and the Siberian Husky are strictly for experienced owners. With the right owner they can be excellent canine citizens and with a novice owner they can be out of control. So, choose according to your own experience with dogs and start to train them early on in life.
Some food items are harmful for your dog, which is why you have to keep it away from them at all costs. This becomes difficult when you try to find a place that is out of reach for a big dog. They can easily stand on their twos and get their food. Small dogs are at a disadvantage because they can’t climb counters and you can easily keep harmful food away from them. This being said, we should specify that harmful food items have worse effects on small dogs than big dogs. Even a tiny amount of dark chocolate can be fatal for a small dog!
The basic rule is- small house small dog and big house big dog. Right? Well not necessarily. Rather than their size, it is their energy that you should take to consideration. Of course, a small dog can easily burn their energy in a small apartment than a big dog, but sometimes you need to take them out for walks more than once to keep them happy. There are some big dogs who are complete couch potatoes and will be perfect for an apartment.
If you do plan to keep a big active dog in an apartment, be prepared for long walks, jogs and sometimes even runs to keep them healthy and happy.
Infants/Elderly/Disabled People In The House
If you live with infants, elderly or disabled people in the house, most will suggest a small dog because there are less chances for it to pounce on or unintentionally hurt other members of the family. However, any dog or human can accidently hurt each other while playing together. Of course picking a small dog is a safe choice in this case but remember a big dog can be trained to behave around the young and the old. So, if you are willing to invest the time in training size shouldn’t matter.
This is where larger dogs at a disadvantage. Great Danes are amongst the shortest life span of around 8 years. Smaller to medium sized dogs live for more than 10 years. A beagle held the record for the oldest dog for a long time and was later succeeded by an Australian Kelpie (a medium sized dog) that lived for thirty years.
As the years wear them down, bigger dogs are prone to issues like hip dysplasia and arthritis. After all they do carry more weight than their smaller counterparts. Though smaller dogs are also affected with issues that come with age, be prepared to visit the vet more often if you have a big senior dog.
Dogs Are Versatile!
We cannot confine a dog to its size. All dogs are different, and their personality depends largely on their upbringing, not on their size. A Doberman can adjust perfectly in an apartment with sufficient training and workout. A chihuahua, on the other hand, might knock over tables and chairs if it doesn’t get the required energy outlet. So their size really doesn’t matter in most things. What matters is the amount of time you are willing to invest for their care, grooming and training once you bring home a dog. All the best!