Dog Breeds Size
People often have distinct ideas about the type of dog they want before they start looking for one. You might want a dog who is large, small, or somewhere in between. Although every dog requires much the same care, there are distinctions among sizes that will affect you life together.
Large dogs sometimes get a bad rap. Although we think of them as having high energy and even being destructive, this is only sometimes correct. In reality many large dogs, especially the giant breeds, are among the mellowest dogs. Like any dog, they can be a handful during puppydom, but very large dogs such as Newfoundlands, Mastiffs, and Saint Bernards tend to mellow once they hit adulthood.
As far as energy level, some of the giant dogs are more appropriate for apartment life than small spunky terriers. These large dogs are generally happy with a daily walk and maybe a couple games of fetch. Most are content to hang out by your feet while you watch TV and are always quick to accept a cuddle session. In fact, despite their size, they are the want to be lap dogs, content to while away their days with a head on your lap, snoring contentedly.
That said, giant breeds aren’t always easy. They tend to slobber (think Saint Bernards, Great Danes, and blood hounds) and they’re big, so they have big needs. Food must be plentiful and the expense can add up quickly. And as size increases, so do the prices of accessories, crates, beds, treat, toys, grooming, and kenneling.
Large Dog Health Problems
These dogs are also likely to have more health problems that most other breeds. Hip dysplasia and other joint and arthritic disorders are common. Giant breeds carry a great deal of weight, which can be a liability if they are not bred carefully. They are also the shortest lived dogs, many dogs enter old age at six or seven years. Advances in veterinary science, however, are increasing their life span and many fanciers say that with a good diet, regular eercis, and beterinary care, large dogs can live much longer than they have in the past. Many are now breaking the 10 year mark, even living for a few years beyond it.
More Giant Dog Issues
Giant breeds also have space needs that you should consider. Although most giant breeds are somewhat sedentary, you need to determine if your home is conducive to having a large dog. If you live in a studio apartment, chances are that a large dog is going to take up a big portion of that space and you’ll be tripping over him more than you’d like. And even a mellow giant breed dog can cause havoc with just a few swishes of is tail.
With giant dogs and giant amounts of food comes giant waste. These dogs produce a lot of waste so daily scooping is a must. You might also find it’s difficult to maintain a giant dog in an apartment because of this.
Medium To Large Dogs
Medium to large dogs have some of the disadvantages and advantages of giant dogs, but also some characteristics of their own. Medium to large dogs, such as German Shepherd dogs, Labrador Retrievers, Australian Cattle Dogs, Standard Poodles, Border Collies, and goldent reterievers, share similar qualities. Most are active dogs: they enjoy running, jumping, swimming, fetching, and a lot of other canine games.
For someone with an interest in canine sports and a vigorous recreational life, these are the dogs to choose. While they vary in individual temperment and energy level, most dogs this size make great hiking and sporting companions. After a couple years, most mellow out and become good house buddies; they are up for a cuddle as well as a walk.
Exercise, Health And Grooming For Large To Medium Dogs
There’s a wide range in grooming and exercise needs, as well as common veterinary ailments and longevity among dogs of this size. In general, medium and large dogs have fewer hip and joint problems than giant breeds, but they have more than the small breeds do. Most, if not all, need more exercise than both giant and small breeds.
Depending on the individual dog, these breeds can fit into urban, suburban, and rural lifestyles. As long as their excise needs are met, they don’t share the space issues of the giant breeds, although they may prefer a house with a yard. Medium to large dogs are routinely kept in apartments in large cities such as New York and Chicago without much difficulty. They usually live longer than the giant breeds, but not as long as small breeds. They’re also easier to transport than giant breeds.
Medium and large dogs fit easily into a car and can fit into the lifestyle of a family that goes boating or travels by RV-something that’s difficult for 150 pound mastiff. Their food, crate, bedding, kenneling, and grooming needs fall into the medium range of cost. This is the size that fits best into most people’s lifestyles and expectations.
It’s said that small breeds are the ultimate travel companions. They’re small enough to fit into any car and boat and have the added bonus of being able to ride with their owners in the passenger cabin of most airlings-at least if they’re small enough for their travel crate to fit under the seat. For this reason, many frequent fliers favor small dogs. In general, small dogs are the most convenient of dogs, they can be picked up and moved, tucked into a portable cog carrier, or simply held in a person’s arms when out and about.
At the same time, their small size leaves them vulnerable to people and other animals. While an errant step would bare cause a Newfoundland to budge, it could kill a 4 pound Chihuahua.
Small dogs are often purported to be excellent apartment dogs and ideal companions for the elderly. This is often true but must be tempered with reality: many of the small breeds are big dogs in small bodies. For example, a dog like the Norwich Terrier requires an owner as active and invloved as that of most energetic Border Collie.
The same goes for the intelligent Corgi. Terriers are usually small, but they are intelligent, active, and headstrong dogs with strong predator drives. These aren’t the right dogs for people who want an easy to raise, instant counch potato.
The Benefits Of Having A Small Dog.
On the plus side, many small breeds do fit well into apartments and into senior-paced lives. The exercise needs for many are minimal-a walk or two a day is ample. The small companion dogs are especially well suited for a sedentary lifesyle. They;ve been bred for centuries to fit into just such an environment.
Their small size means they need less room; their beds, crates, and food bowls take up but a fraction of your space, and the limited amount of waste they produce means low hassle cleanup. Accordingly, their supplies are less expensive than larger dogs: less food, cheaper accessories, as well as less expensive grooming and kenneling costs. On the other hand, small dogs have veterinary problems their larger brethren don’t: dental, anal sac, and eye problems among them. They’re also more sensitive to anesthesia, so treatment can be a bigger risk.
If you start looking for a Miniature Poodle, don’t be surprised if you find yourself drawn to a standard. Most dogs of any size can be accommodated. Think about the differences the size will entail, but don’t let it scare you. Many a shelter puppy adopter had thought she was adopting a cockapoo but ended up with a Newfi Lab, or vice-versa. Either way, you’ll love your pet and accommodate his growing, or diminishing, needs.
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