On the fence as to what size of dog to get? It can be a tough decision, especially if you are a first time dog owner. The range of dog sizes is actually quite staggering when you think about it. You can get a Teacup Chihuahua with an adult weight of 3 pounds, an English Mastiff weighing as much as 250 pounds or anything in between.
With the huge range of dog sizes, let’s set some ground rules. For the purpose of this article we will consider a small dog to be anything under 50 pounds and a big dog to be anything over that weight. Let’s help you make this decision.
Small Dog Advantages
Statistically, small dogs are more popular than large dogs in this country. Here are some reasons why this might be.
- Small dogs are cheaper to care for.
After the purchase price, the lifetime cost of small dog ownership is much less. They eat less, have lower medication costs and they have cheaper veterinary bills.
- They fit comfortably on your lap.
A small dog is not going to crush you when they try to sit on your lap.
- They take up less space.
Space is a consideration in many ways, not just where you live. Sure, a small dog might be more appropriate for a tiny apartment but their size also makes them easier to travel with and cheaper to board.
Small Dog Disadvantages
Of course, it is not all roses with small dogs. Here are some things that you might not like.
- They can be high strung.
Yappy, is a word that many use to describe small dogs. While not all little dogs are Yappy, they are often hyper and hard to settle.
- They are harder to train.
Head strong and often coddled, they can be harder to train. This can be a big issue with potty training.
- Easier to hurt on accident.
If you get a very small dog, you will likely step on it at some point. It is just a fact.
Big Dog Advantages
While not as popular as many of the smaller breed dogs, there are definitely some advantages to owning a bigger canine.
- They can protect you.
While little dogs might bark, big dogs have some impact behind their voice. Even if they are not aggressive, shear size will often make criminals think twice.
- Big dogs are better with kids.
Often much more lovable, a big dog is generally more accepting of small children. They are also much harder to hurt unlike small dogs that can easily be stepped on.
- Great for exercise.
A larger dog can generally handle more exercise. If you are looking for longer walks and long games of fetch, they are a good choice.
Big Dog Disadvantages
Just like with small dogs, there are some downsides to owning a big breed.
- Vet bills will be higher.
Bigger animals are harder to operate on and your veterinarian will charge accordingly. More weight also means that they will need more medicine which will increase costs.
- They are intimidating.
While this is a good thing for a guard dog, you will find that many people will be scared of your dog when you do not want them to be. Some breeds will even be unfairly labeled as aggressive and banned from places. If you rent, this is a concern.
- Shorter lives in comparison.
Overall, a larger dog will live a shorter life. Those big hearts can only keep going for so long. Expect your big dog to live about 5 years less than a small dog.
- Space is an issue.
When you have a big dog, especially a giant breed, space can be a problem. The size of your dog will often dictate what you drive and even where you live.