Choosing a new pet is an important decision, and researching your options before you choose will help things go more smoothly. Every breed of dog has unique quirks and needs, and choosing a breed that suits your personality is the first step to ensuring you’ll have a happy relationship with your new furry friend. To narrow down the search for the right dog, it can be helpful to decide on what size of dog you’re looking for. Both large and small breeds can be excellent companions, but their needs are different. A dog that’s perfect for your neighbor may be the wrong choice for you. This is why it’s so important to do your own research in advance.
Large dogs are usually in the 30 to 100 pound range. Shepherds, retrievers and bully breeds are all common examples of large dogs. They tend to have higher energy levels than smaller dogs and require more exercise to stay healthy. They can also become destructive due to boredom if left at home for long periods during the day.
Pros of Large Dogs:
— Large dogs are sturdy and energetic, making them good companions for active people
— Large dogs can be imposing, which makes then good guard dogs
— Many of the large breeds are very smart and willing to please, so they’re more trainable
Cons of Large Dogs:
— It’s hard to find an apartment that will allow large dogs
— You’ll need to provide an adequately sized dog bed or kennel if the pet is not allowed on furniture
— Large dogs eat a lot, so food costs are higher
It’s also important to note that large dogs tend to have shorter lifespans than smaller breeds. The largest breeds have the shortest lifespans. Great Danes, for example, may live just seven to nine years; a collie or retriever could live to be 10 or 12.
Any dog under 30 pounds can be considered small, but most small breeds weigh less than 15 pounds. Most terriers and “toy” breeds fall into this category. Although these dogs can be excellent companions, they’re not as sturdy as larger breeds and may not be the best choice for some families.
Small Dog Pros:
— They’re easier to travel with, and most apartments will allow small pets
— They make good quiet companions or “lap dogs” for people with less active lifestyles
— They require shorter walks and less overall activity
Small Dog Cons:
— Small dogs are difficult to house train and may continue having accidents in the house throughout their lives
— They are often snappish or impatient with children
— They’re delicate and easily injured by small things, like a fall from the couch
Small dogs also tend to live longer than larger breeds. Some Chihuahuas, for example, can live to be 15 to 20 years old. Because these dogs live a long time, they can be prone to a wide range of health problems in their senior years, so you need to prepare for veterinary costs.
Which is Right for You?
Different people have different needs, so no single type of dog is best for everyone. A family with small children will need something different from a young, athletic bachelor. No matter what type of dog you choose, be sure that you train it properly and continue enforcing good behavior throughout its life. A well-trained dog will be happier and better adjusted within its family, and training can reduce many of the problems associated with any breed.
Lauren Colman serves as the digital marketer for the dog boarding and dog sitting community at Rover.com and is a true dog lover at heart. Lauren spends her days at the office with her dogs Squish and Brando by her side.