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May 13, 2019 4 min read

Small dog versus big dogs. (Habits, diet, exercise etc.)

Some of us literally love large dogs more than the little ones and vice versa, but whether our best friends are the little cuties or the gentle giants, there are several pros and cons to parenting both.

Let’s get the stereotypes out of the way first:

Size – starting with the very obvious differences, size definitely plays a role on dog’s behavior, training, activity and lifestyle issues. There are some stereotypical “myths” that shadow breed sizes such as:
Large = lovable. Big dogs are gentle giants; they are lovable bears; small dogs are snobbish. But plenty of pet parents will also tell you that their lap dog is very affectionate, cuddly and friendly too.

Small = barks a lot. Napoleon syndrome or making up for their small size by overcompensating with their barks. But who can blame them for trying to make their small bark heard in a big world? All canines bark to communicate and while some smaller dogs are hyperactive, small dogs don’t generally bark any louder or more frequently than other breeds.

Small dogs = less exercise needed. No matter what size they are, all dogs require a daily walk and in addition, all breeds love playing outdoors. For optimal health, a brisk of 30 to 45 minutes daily walk is a must. There are small dogs that can have breathing problems that should be walked more slowly but they still need exercise.

One factor that helps shape your best friend temperament is their breed size. It also prominently affects their personality by how we treat and train them. So, it all comes down to teaching your pooch that you’re in charge.



Small breeds

Small dogs are more popular than large breeds according to the American Kennel Club (AKC) because most of the breeds registered each year are small breeds.

Small dogs can cost less and even caring for small dogs generally cost less as far as food and some veterinary costs go. Small dogs eat less, and they are easier to handle when it comes to spaying, neutering and some surgeries.

 It’s also easier and less costly to travel with a small dog because they take up less space especially on airplanes. They are also more flight-friendly and more accepted at hotels, stores and even some restaurants due to their diminutive stature.

Small dogs make great couch potatoes, hence they are called “lap dogs”. If your walk time is limited, smaller dogs may be best for your lifestyle as one good daily stride usually suffices.

Smaller dogs also mean better fit for urban life where apartment size is often limited.



What are the cons of training a small dog?

Small dogs maybe be at risk for injury by bigger dogs. Make sure your small dog is leashed when walking outside and supervise all playtime within a fenced-in area.

Small breeds have higher energy levels which may make them more wired and cause them to bark more at night. Proper training during their early puppy years can help remedy this. However, there are small dogs can be more difficult to train than large dogs. Some small dogs tend to be more territorial indoors than larger dogs who often view the great outdoors as their main turf.

Unfortunately, their smallness maybe be dangerous to their health, especially around kids. They can be bumped accidentally because it’s far too easy not to see them curled up between sofa cushions and other hideaways.

Smaller dogs can also be more aggressive when it comes to seeking attention, begging for food or urinating to mark their territory. 



Large breeds

More large breed puppies are available to adopt than small breeds which may be due to the fact that the little dogs have smaller litters than larger breeds. Small breeds are also more likely to deliver via Caesarean section which also comes with a higher breeding price tag.

If only due to their intimidating size, large breed dogs make a really good guard dogs. Just think of it, would you think of messing with a mastiff or leonberger?

Large breeds are also often good with kids because they are more laid back and more accepting than smaller breeds.

If you love to walk or run, then large dogs are the pals for you! They are the happy-go-lucky companions who are able to get along with everyone because enjoy getting plenty of outdoor time and exercise.

Many large breeds catch on training better than smaller breeds whether it’s their good nature or eagerness to please.



What are the disadvantages of owning a large dog?

Larger breed cost more because they eat more food and they even cost more at the veterinarian’s because of the extra time needed to handle them, sedate them, etc.

Due to their larger size, they also tend to shed more than small dogs. This can create problems inside the house where they take up more space.

Large dogs are not travel or store friendly. Large dogs cost more to travel with, and many hotels, restaurants and retail stores don’t allow dogs that weigh over 10 kilos. 

Large dogs can also keep people at bay, sending the signal that they are not the big, lovable bear they tend to be, and this is the same reason why they make good watchdogs.

 Larger dogs may eat more food but they have nutritional requirements, including ingredients that support joint health and overall movement. Natural dog treats are good for any size dog.

When choosing a dog companion, be sure it’s the right fit for your personality and lifestyle so you can enjoy a great life together.