In Praise of Big Dogs
There’s an old expression, “you can’t judge a book by its cover”, that certainly applies in the canine world, especially when it comes to the size of a dog.
Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. Many people prefer smaller dogs thinking they’re easier to handle. It’s easy to be seduced by those tiny, purse-sized, cute as a button lap dogs. And yes, big dogs can look imposing, however there is an awful lot to be said and to love about big dog breeds.
U.S. pet households increasingly prefer smaller dogs, according to a 2012 report on the pet industry*. Small dogs (under 25 lbs.) account for 48%, medium dogs (25-40 lbs.) 32%, with the large dog breeds (40+ lbs.) holding on in second place with 36%.
Misconceptions About Big Dogs
There’s a misconception that large breeds need more exercise. While many are great hiking and walking companions, the Great Dane, for example, is quite content to sit around for long periods without much activity. Some of the smaller breeds, in comparison, can be high strung and full of energy. Maybe it’s because smaller breeds are used for retrieving and herding and consequently often need more exercise to burn off their excess energy. Unlike their diminutive peers, larger dogs don’t have anything to prove. Most of them, especially the giant breeds are calmer, more self-aware and easier to train.
Real Show Stoppers
Because they are usually quite easy-going, most large breeds enjoy playing with children. They tend to be good natured and less snippy than smaller breeds. Most of all they are loyal, loving and extremely protective. There is also something wonderful about walking down the street with a ‘large’ dog. They look elegant with a powerful presence that just can’t be beat. Big breeds are real show stoppers.
There are over 60 breeds of big, large dogs. If you’re considering one as a pet, here’s a list of the biggest and the most popular dog breeds.
10 Most Popular Big Dog Breeds
Labrador Retriever, German Shepherd, Golden Retriever, Standard Poodle, Great Dane, Mastiff, Collie, German Shorthaired Pointer, St. Bernard and the Irish Wolfhound.
14 Largest Dog Breeds
Tibetan Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff, Cane Corso, The Bull Mastiff, Great Dane, Mastiff, Dogue de Bordeaux, Leonberger, Bernese Mountain Dog, Newfoundlander, Great Pyrenees, Black Russian Terrier, Irish Wolfhound and Scottish Deerhound.
Finding Cool Stuff for Big Dogs
There’s only one draw-back to having a big dog companion – it’s hard to find really great, big dog stuff. Most retail stores cater to smaller sizes. Big breeds have always found Muttluks a welcome place to shop. Muttluks has the biggest dog boots and coats on the market. Original Fleece-Lined or All-Weather Muttluks dog boots range in size from Itty Bitty to XXL in a variety of colours. Muttluks Belted Coat is available from size 8 to 38! That’s BIG! Most Great Danes will fit a 30, 34 or 38 coat. Muttluks has big dogs covered!
Sources: * APPA, **Modern Dog
I just love your piece on larger breeds. I have the most wonderful dog in the world (and the most popular) a black Labrador Retriever. He is a terrific combination of good looks, class and intelligence. I am fussy about animals on the furniture (or bed) and he stays on the floor without complaint. He has a really comfortable MONOGRAMMED bed and uses it every day (and night). He is 90 pounds of love and a happy boy. EVERYBODY (even the postman) loves him.
My advice? Always teach your dog good manners and socially acceptable behaviours regardless of their size. Properly educated dogs (large or small) are a joy to have and will never embarrass you. Invest the time to educate your pets (and your kids) and they will be a joy for as long as they live. Don’t, and they will make you sorry you didn’t.
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