Size Matters: the Differences Between Big and Small Dogs

One of the many questions that comes up when deciding on a dog to adopt is size. There are a number of stereotypes about the differences between small and large dog breeds. However, there are also some real differences in their needs which are important to think about.

Here’s our breakdown of the pros and cons of large vs. small dogs.

But first, let’s break down some of those stereotypes.

Big vs. Small Dogs Myths

One common stereotype is that small dogs are hyper, anxious, and excitable while big dogs are calm and laid-back. While there may be some truth to this stereotype, not everything is as it seems. Research has shown owners of small dogs tend to be more inconsistent in their training. That may be because certain behaviors which are cute in a small dog (like jumping) can be destructive from a large one. The more consistent training that large dogs receive tends to make them more well-behaved.

It’s also a myth that small dogs need less exercise and activity than large dogs. Though this depends somewhat on the breed, it’s important to remember that small dogs still need plenty of attention and exercise. 

Now that we got the myths out of the way, let’s move on to the real differences.

Health Issues

It’s well-known that large dogs have a longer lifespan than small dogs. Their large size makes them prone to lots of health issues such as hip dysplasia and arthritis. Though small dogs live longer, it’s important to note that they have some health risks too, such as hypoglycemia and dehydration.

Nutritional Needs

Because of their larger body mass, a big dog needs to consume more food on a daily basis than do their smaller counterparts. Of course, this also means spending more money, a small price to pay for the companionship your large dog can give.

Trainability

Smaller dogs can be more difficult to train. They are territorial in their indoor space and seem to have minds of their own. Most large breeds seem to take to training much more easily. Again, this depends on the breed.

Travel

Small dogs travel much better. They can easily accompany you on a train or in a small car. If you’re going on a long trip, just be sure to pack your SlumberPod so your small dog has a familiar place to sleep.

Stamina

If you’re the adventurous type and dream of having a dog to take along on long hiking trips, a large breed is more likely to have the stamina for that. Sometimes, they can even carry their own hiking pack along with them.

 

Whether you opt for a toy poodle or a German shepherd, you can be sure of one thing: your new dog will have lots of love to give.