In many cases, size is one of the first things people consider when thinking about buying or adopting a dog. In some case, it will even trump preferences for a particular breed. It’s interesting to note that just like there are advantages, disadvantages, and precautions within various breeds, there are also advantages, disadvantages, and precautions within different sized dogs. Here’s what to expect if you choose a dog by size.
People have probably always thought of large dogs as wild, carefree, and sometimes hard-to-handle creatures when the majority of them are quite disciplined, graceful, and loving. In fact, large dogs are some of the most laid back dogs out of the entire bunch. Sure they may start out as the bouncy pup, but over time, large dogs become calmer as they age. This is part of their appeal, especially when compared to the non-stop behavior of some adult smaller canines. Once large dogs reach a certain age, they’re quite satisfied with a daily walk or game of fetch. It’s as if they form the most intimacy with their owners as they mature and if you’re the type who wants to cuddle with a big beast, a large dog is definitely for you. That is if you don’t mind a few trying habits.
In addition to becoming a little cuddlier as they age, larger dogs also slobber a lot. They eat a lot, they poop a lot, and they take up a lot of room. Almost every aspect of the average dog is increased 2-fold or 3-fold with the larger dog, and health problems aren’t exempt. Large dogs, unfortunately, suffer from more illness than smaller dogs, which lends to their short 6-7 year life spans. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and medical advances may increase this lifespan to 10 years or more.
Example large dogs: Mastiffs, Newfoundlands, Saint Bernards, Grad Danes, Bloodhounds
Most of the medium-sized dogs that you see are quite active. If you can imagine dogs that like to run, jump, swim, or fetch, then you’re probably thinking about a medium-sized dog. The vigorous inclination of these canines is what makes them so appealing to people who jog, hike, and swim. In fact, almost any type of vigorous human activity is well accompanied by a medium sized dog, but like with their larger sized counterparts, these dogs mellow out as they age as well (even though they live a bit longer).
Another aspect that makes medium sized dogs unique is their physical need to exercise. A lot of larger dogs require less activity while many smaller dogs hardly exercise at all. This puts medium sized dogs in a class of their own.
The fact that they can thrive in rural, suburban, or city environments is an added bonus since available space can often limit the pet choices we have. In rural and suburban areas, medium-sized dogs are comfortable running about in a large pen or within a fenced yard. In the city, they’re equally comfortable exercising at the local dog park.
Example medium dogs: German Shepherds, Labrador retrievers, Standard Poodles, Border Collies.
No dog makes a better travel buddy than the small dog. Small dogs can not only travel in a passenger seat of a car, they can travel in the arms or laps of their owners if they’re tiny enough! Be aware however that such a small size makes them especially vulnerable to careless injury.
What makes them an ironic enjoyment is that many small dogs don’t believe they’re small at all! They can have just as much energy and gumption as a large or medium-sized dog. But that doesn’t mean this group is full of never-ending wind-up toys. Compared to the medium-sized and larger-sized dogs, their need for constant activity is surprisingly low.
Now even though the smaller dogs are the longest living canines, they’re more vulnerable to illnesses and their treatments or treatment processes (like anesthesia for example).
Example small dogs: Chihuahuas, Norwich Terriers, Miniature Poodles