Prospective dog owners can choose their new furry friends from a wide variety of breeds – large and small. If a dog weighs over 56 pounds, it is considered large; those over 100 pounds may be classified as giant. There are numerous large dog breeds to consider while making a decision. Families with children might want to opt for the kind and loyal Alaskan Malamute, a sturdy and active dog that loves playing and picking up tricks. Family-oriented pooches also include the friendly Labrador Retriever and the energetic Bullmastiff. With the right training and early socialization, these dogs are great with kids and make an invaluable addition to the family unit. Another good choice is the Great Dane, also known as gentle giants, with a firm place in the popular imagination thanks to shows like Scooby Doo. Being naturally playful as well as protective, Great Danes can be trained either as gentle homebodies or as effective guard dogs. Other large dog breeds include the majestic Irish Wolfhound and the affectionate Bernese Mountain Dog.
Owners of large dogs need to keep a few things in mind while caring for their pets. The bigger the dog, the more it is at risk for joint and bone problems. This is especially relevant at the time when it is still growing – excessive weight can put unwanted pressure on the puppy’s growing frame, so large breed puppies should maintain a healthy body weight. A balanced diet with the right nutrients at each stage of life can help your dog live a healthy and long life. In addition, check with your vet about the appropriate amount of exercise for your large breed. In some cases, too much activity can actually prove detrimental! As regards temperament, although large dogs may look intimidating, many of them are actually sensitive and docile. Negative reinforcement, shouting, and harsh training tools can break their spirit and cause emotional suffering. Such methods may also backfire, making the dog stubborn and destructive rather than obedient. Thus, it is best to consistently use praise, treats, and a firm hand to train your canine companion.
Small dogs have a body weight of less than 22 pounds. Those who want a pint-sized pooch can choose from among various small dog breeds. One of the most popular small dogs is the Dachshund, a high-energy, smart, and sociable animal. Dachshund personalities are extremely varied; some are playful and friendly, while others can be resolute and fierce with strangers. These dogs require a lot of engagement and should not be left alone too long. Beagles, meanwhile, are calmer in comparison. Smart, independent, and adventurous, they make fantastic family pets if properly trained. Another beloved small dog breed is the Yorkshire Terrier, also known as the Yorkie. These tiny pooches are adaptable and great companions for owners who like to travel with their pets. Intelligent and energetic, they love activity as well as lazing around.
Owners of small breeds need to be on the lookout for some common health concerns. Toy dogs, for instance, are prone to developing skin allergies and dental problems. Allergies triggered by food or fleas can be prevented by careful monitoring of diet, while oral health can be maintained through regular brushing and rinsing. Small breed puppies are also at risk for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). If your dog has glassy eyes, a wobbly walk, and rigidity or limpness, you need to put some sugar in its mouth and get it to a vet right away. Some small dogs are also particularly vulnerable to urinary tract infections, pancreatitis, and degenerative disc disease.