Small and big dogs together.

Large Or Small

When it comes to dog owners, there are generally two groups of people. You have large dog owners and small dog owners. Once a pet owner makes a choice as to the size of their dog, they usually stick with it for life, so this is a really big deal.

If you are new to pet ownership, you may not have made a choice as to which size of dog is your favorite. For these undecided, here are some of the benefits and negatives of both size dogs.

Large Dog

Large dogs are generally considered dogs greater than 50 pounds. This could be a German Shepherd, Golden Retriever or even a dog as big as a Mastif. Large dogs like this are striking and attention getters, but are they right for you? Let’s see.


Protection is one of the reasons that people choose a big dog over a small dog. That Pomeranian might not scare somebody, but a Great Dane sure will keep someone from breaking into your house or entering your yard.

Sport can also make a bigger dog appealing. If you want to hunt or hike, a bigger dog is generally a better choice. This is particularly important with hunters such as duck hunters who may need a bid dog to fetch for them.

Purchase price is a big benefit to larger dogs. They cost less because they are in demand less than small dogs. Small dogs are outselling larger dogs and because of this demand and the difficulties in breeding smaller dogs, the price for small dogs will always be more.


Food costs are going to be higher with a big dog, but this will not be the biggest expense with big dog ownership. For a larger breed, expect to spend 50 to 60 dollars a month on a quality dog food. Certainly more money than you would spend on a small breed, but for most, this will not be a deal breaker.

Vet bills, just like food will be higher for larger dogs. Most vets charge by the pound for operations and, if they need medication, they will need much more of it than a small dog. Flea and tick treatment, for example will be twice as much with a large dog like a Great Dane than it would be for a small breed.

Liability is something that you should also consider with larger dogs. Do small dogs also bite? Absolutely, but a larger dog is far more likely to cause major damage when they do. If you train and socialize your dog properly, this should not be an issue but this problem will always exist, and you may pay higher insurance because of it.

Life expectancy will be much shorter with a big dog. Big dogs have big hearts and often have more genetic issues than little dogs. Where a Great Dane might be expected to live 8 to 10 years, for example, a Chihuahua will easily reach 15 years or older.

Small Dogs

Small dogs are usually those under 50 pounds. This might be a Yorkie, French Bulldog or even something as small as a Teacup Chihuahua. These dogs are the ultimate in cute, but is a small dog right for you. Let’s see.


Portability is high on the mind of those with very small dogs. Being little makes it easier to take your dog on trips, car rides and even makes boarding less complicated.

Cost of ownership will generally be lower with a small dog, even if the initial purchase price is higher. Vet bills will be lower because of their size, they eat less and, in general, they live longer and healthier lives.

Cuteness is probably the benefit that most small dog owners would cite. If you want a cute, cuddly dog that never leaves your side, a small dog might just be the way to go. That German Shepherd puppy is never going to fit in your purse.

Lifespan is another big advantage of a little dog. Their smaller bodies just tend to hold up better than big dogs do and they can live as much as twice as long as a larger breed.


Vulnerability is one negative that you might consider. This will sound strange at first, but consider how much more vulnerable a small dog would be in defending itself against another dog. In addition, small dogs like French Bulldogs are more likely to be stolen.

Sociability is not a strong-suit of little dogs. Not necessarily on a genetic level, but often because of coddling. They become used to being pampered and mainly handled by a single owner. This can cause them to be distrustful of other people and dogs.

Yappiness is a made up word that often describes small dogs. They tend to be more vocal and will alert at nearly everything. If you want a dog that alerts you to danger, that is great, but small dogs can rarely differentiate danger from normal noises. There are a few exceptions to this like Bulldogs of course, but in general a small dog will be more vocal.

Making Your Decision

So, which size dog is it going to be, big or small?

No matter which sized dog you choose, just be sure to pick a reputable breeder.  A good breeder might cost a bit more, but you will get this money back in health and your ownership experience. Besides, we can always help you with financing.

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