A Big Dog in the Family

A Big Dog in the Family

When considering the possibility of adding a new canine member to your family, and a big dog at that, it is always important to do your research first. Don’t go looking at cute puppies. You are liable to make the wrong decision for your very unique family and circumstances.

Getting to know the history and function of the individual breeds will help you to choose the ideal big dog. You really need to know the personality traits and tendencies of the breed.

Eventually, you will need to choose a reputable breeder, if you are purchasing a purebred dog. A truly good breeder will refuse to match you with a dog that is not compatible with you.

If you decide to adopt one of the many puppies or dogs in need of a forever home, Shelters and Animal Protection Societies will be happy to find you and your family the right companion. There are more large dogs available for adoption than small dogs.

Pros and Cons

One of the most important things to know if you are wanting a big dog in the family is that you must have enough room to keep him and space for him to run and play. In most cases, bigger dogs are less expensive to buy than small dogs, unless it is a rarer breed. Food and veterinary costs will be higher than that of a small breed of dog.  There are size restrictions for dogs in apartments or condos and hotels and motels will generally not allow bigger breeds.

Exercise and Play

All puppies of every size are energetic and busy up to the age of about 18 months. Medium sized dogs like retrievers and herding dogs need much more exercise than larger breeds like Danes. Large-breed pups shouldn’t be excessively exercised, or they may injure their soft, still growing and developing limbs.

Big dogs are not as fragile as their miniature counterparts and can handle rougher treatment by children and roughhousing adults. That having been said, children should never be permitted to hit a dog or ride on his back, no matter how big he is.

Kindness and respect must always be taught to children in order that your big dog feel comfortable, safe and able to be his most lovable and happy self.


A larger sized dog can offer your family and property excellent security. Large adult dogs tend to be calm and cool-headed. They exhibit an even temperament and more confidence than small dogs do. Their size alone allows them to have a more relaxed nature.  They don’t have to throw their weight around or show aggression or get respect. However, when protecting loved ones they can become fearsome creatures.

Little dogs often act out aggressively by barking, jumping, and even biting. Giant-breed dogs seem to have far more self-control, possibly due to the fact that they don’t feel threatened all the time, as smaller breeds of dogs do. Danes and Mastiffs are known for calmly handling a snarly, yappy little dog with a Napoleon complex, by simply ignoring the raving little guy.


Big dogs are known for having incredible patience and being very protective of children. They are more quickly and easily trained than smaller breeds. They are usually eager to please and enjoy learning.

It is necessary to train larger dogs from an early age so that they will be well mannered and easier to control when they grow bigger. Proper training is crucial when you own a big dog. They can do damage to property and may injure a child or even an adult, if he jumps on them.

Canine Companionship

Canines have been known for their love and loyalty to humans for  centuries. Breeding them for domesticity, has taught them to love and protect their human families. Male Mastiffs are an extra large breed that can weigh upward of 200 pounds and have been bred to protect families.

Another XL breed, the Leonberger, has been bred for nearly 200 years to be gentle family companions. Newfoundlands are very focused and tolerant. They were bred to rescue drowning humans.

There is nothing quite like owning a great big, cuddly, lovable dog; and no better gift you could ever give your children. Dogs teach children about pure, unselfish love and loyalty. Besides– -your kids will spend much more time outdoors getting much needed exercise and fresh air!