Monday, March 18, 2013

Dogs: Big vs Little

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I have lots of friends with pups and they are all different shapes and sizes. Some are small, some are miniature, some are medium, some are large and some are extra large - like my sweet Kimber (of which this post will be riddled with pictures). 

All dog types have their advantages and disadvantages, but I'm here to advocate the big dogs! Team big dog!

(DISCLAIMER: I'm not saying that all dogs are like the ones I will describe, but in my experience, this is how my opinions have formed of each.) 

The dogs that sometimes don't get as much love as the small dogs. It seems like everyone wants a small dog. Every time a small dog is up for adoption at the shelter, they are the first ones out and the bigger dogs sit and wait for their turn to be adopted, most of the time, sadly, never comes. Lord help them if they are more than a year old, poor things. Small dogs may seem like the "easier" dogs to take car of with less maintenance, but I just haven't seen any evidence of that in the past few years since we've had Kimber. 

For those of you who didn't know, Hubs and I have actually owned a small dog. We ended up giving it away because it wasn't right for us. We wanted a calm, playful dog with the same personality as us. This dog was rambunctious, never listened, always barked (ALWAYS) and super needy. Not good for us. We decided to lay off the dogs for a while and got a cat. I wanted a dog like our cat. Relaxed, never made a noise, easy to take care of, perfect in every way. :) Then, it happened - we found Kimber. 

The day we got her, she literally laid in the grass outside the house all day. Didn't move. We took  her inside and she just stayed in her kennel. She met the cat and didn't even flip out. Today, they are soooo good together. Immediately we started teacher her tricks and kennel training her. I can not stress enough the importance of training your puppies. It makes such a difference. But, don't be alarmed when they have an accident or do something bad - they're still just puppies! 

I have friends with small dogs. They aren't for me. I thought I wanted a small dog. Hubs practically made me get a big dog. I wasn't exactly all for it. I thought it would be so much more work than it actually would be. Now, I will always choose big over little. We never had to teach Kimber to be protective. Never. She just did it. And she only does it at the appropriate times. She doesn't bark at people who come to the house. She doesn't bark at geese or other animals. She barks at people she doesn't recognize who are "threatening" our home. I have no idea how she learned that. But, I will tell you, I LOVE that she basically never barks. She literally NEVER barks in the house. Only once - when the door chime went off and no one came into the living room for her to see. She was alerting me that the chime went off! I can not say the same for the small dogs that I know. 

Another thing about big dogs is that they can hold pee and poo for HOURS. Seriously. Kimber goes at least 12 hours and more if she has to without going potty. Big dog - big bladder. Thank goodness. I would HATE - I repeat HATE - taking a dog out to potty more than 2-3 times a day. Obviously we had to do just that when she was a puppy, but not anymore! It's fantastic! 

Another thing I've heard is that bigger dogs are better family dogs. I can not attest to this first hand because I don't have a family with kids yet, but I have a friend who has a big dog with small kids and her dog is sooo good with the kids! The kids basically torture the poor dog and she just takes it. I've got another friend who has an even bigger dog who has an even smaller child and he basically just rolls over and lets her do whatever with him. It's the most adorable thing I've ever seen. Literally. I feel like smaller dogs would not like having a kid in the house terrorizing it constantly. I know I wouldn't like it if a little human was bothering me all the time. Especially with it being bigger than me already. Know what I mean? 

Another good thing about big dogs? Trespassers won't know if they're friendly or not. If a dog is big enough to pop his head over the fence like that and has enough teeth to tear someone to shreds (even though all she really wants to do is play...) they aren't coming into your yard. No way. Would you? 

Also, many people I know who have small dogs are constantly having to get something fixed, or taking them to the vet. We take Kimber to the vet to get her meds, get her yearly physical (shots, etc.) and never have to go back. Nothing is ever wrong with her. I don't know what the problem with small dogs is, and I'm sure that one day we MAY have hip dysplasia problems (which small dogs have too!) but there's no sign of them now. 

The one thing that I don't necessarily like about my Kimber is that she sheds.. A LOT. But, it's because she's a GSD. We knew that when we got her, and I mentally prepared myself for it. Now that I'm knee deep into to - it's not that bad. A small price to pay for the best dog I've ever owned. 

Does anyone else own a dog? Small? Big? Thoughts? I always wanted a dog that I could just carry around in a bag or pick  up with one arm, but ever since getting Kimber I will forever be a big dog advocate! How do you feel about it? 


  1. We have small (8 pounds), medium (50 pounds) and large (80 pounds). We are just dog people in general. I have to admit I prefer the medium one but she was our first baby which is probably why. I can attest though that the large ones do have the best calm chill personalities and are just big cuddlers which I love. Coming from a family that just had a chihuahua, I am definitely on team bigGER dog =)

    1. I totally forgot about your chihuahua! I do love my big dog, but I told George that I don't think I can have 2 her size. If we get another one it will be in the lab-size rang

  2. I've always thought the same thing. Generally (of course, not always, but usually), smaller dogs are "yippier." I have several friends with terriers, and they are sooo loud. I've always heard that they are more common nippers than larger dogs. Right now, I have two medium sized dogs, and I love them but they are far from perfect. :) My next dog will probably be big.

    1. Oh, the yippy dogs. I really don't like yippy dogs! Kimber is literally like another person living in our house. She will be the first to greet you when you walk through the door too. It's frightening if you've never met her before, but after once or twice you just learn that it's her normal -I'm-gonna-jump-on-you-because-I-think-you're-here-to-play-with-me- greeting. I love it!

  3. Nothing against the small doggies, but I love BIG DOGS! We have a lab and recently rescued a boxer-pit mix. You are so right about the smaller dogs getting picked first. There were so many big dogs at the shelter. I guess people think smaller dog means less hair, less poop and so on. Dogs will be dogs no matter the size.