Big dog or small dog – what’s best for me?

Considering getting a new dog is an exciting time that comes with some big changes.
If you are a first-time pup parent or thinking of adding to the troop, read our pointers from big to small, and let us help guide which is right for you.

 

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Size of your Home

Having a large home doesn’t mean you should have a large dog, and similarly having a small home shouldn’t restrict you to a small dog. Any space can hold any dog, but for it to be successful it relies on a good temperament and training. Some large dogs are couch potatoes but their size can make them clumsy. Some small dogs are very excitable and can jump great heights and occupy a lot of space.

If there is a lack of outside space, a large dog will need multiple walks a day which is more time consuming so if you can’t commit to that time, reconsider to homing a smaller breed which can find exercise space inside.

As well as exercise space, it is important to consider general living space available- for food, sleeping space, and floor space. A cluttered home with expensive ornaments, narrow corridors and frail family members won’t suit a large dog or an energetic small one.

 

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Energy Levels & Walkies

It’s no secret that certain breeds of dogs have more energy than others. To have the best relationship with your furry friend, it’s important to realistically identify how much time and energy you are willing to put into exercising your dog.

When finding out whether you will be able to give your dog enough exercise, follow our guide to how much each breed type needs:

  • Gundog – Retriever, Spaniel, Pointers and Setters need more than two hours exercise daily
  • Terrier- Jack Russell, Border Terrier and Welsh Terrier need at least one hour daily
  • Toy- Chihuahua, Pug, Bichon Frise need up to 30 minutes daily
  • Utility- Dalmatian, Shih Tzu, Bulldog need up to one hour daily
  • Working- Doberman, Boxer, Siberian Husky need over two hours daily

For more about how much time your dog needs outside, read ‘Is my dog getting outside enough?’

 

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Training & Behavior

Training is important whatever breed of dog you have, they will look to you as their constant and their leader so a consistent approach is essential.

Training a big dog is more of a physical challenge, especially when discouraging jumping behaviours, whereas small dogs are more likely to get away with a more jealous and yappy behaviour.

When training a small dog it is common that the owner will be more lenient with undesirable behaviour due to their size, many are over-protected and given less strict and less consistent guidelines as a result which can reduce effectiveness of training methods.

 

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Food & Appearance

If there is a finance aspect which may sway your decision, keep in mind how much food you will need to provide your pet with. Always check with your vet how much food is suggested for your pet. Big dogs need more to eat and if they become ill they need more medication all of which makes them more expensive to keep.

Bigger dogs are generally a lot more effort to keep looking clean and tidy. It takes longer and more effort to wash and dry, and brush, a larger dog, whereas it is much easier and quicker to keep a small dog in one place whilst brushing and washing.

In order to be a responsible dog owner and do the best for your companion, take our tips into account when choosing your new dog, and even if you’ve had your heart set on one breed it may be that they a different breed is more suited to you and your lifestyle.

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