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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Small dogs vs. large dog, make the case?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26829points) December 21st, 2011

There are advantages to each of course, some more glaring than others. A big dog can protect but take up more space, eat more, etc. A small dog can share the bed, is easier in the vehicle, you can dress them up, etc. Making the case pro and con, large dog vs. small, how would you stack them up?

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45 Answers

jazmina88's avatar

I have a 45 lb dog. with a big bark, and loves a lap. I believe it is best of both worlds.
I tend to prefer bigger dogs, but I love cuddling with this bugger. Not the one in my profile. :(

creative1's avatar

I have had both and I suggest picking the breed of dog you prefer that has the characteristics you like in them. I choose the Labradoodle mini (weight to be 20–25lbs) because I wanted a smaller dog that wouldn’t over power my young children, a breed that trains well and I needed a dog that was hypo allergic for my daughter who has asthma, I am in the process of training him which he will become my youngest daughters special needs dog.

chyna's avatar

Small dogs tend to be yappers which drives me crazy. Larger dogs tend to just let out a few warning barks which will alert the owner that something is outside, but doesn’t drive you crazy.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I like to have both in the house at any given time Zuppy is so alone!. Small for intruder deterrent and lap; large for rough-housing and intimidation purposes.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Gotta go with big. Our Saint Bernard went 180 pounds of the most loveable guy ever. Just don’t put a cat near it.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Maybe I should get Zuppy a pup for Christmas… :-)

comity's avatar

I like ‘em all and have had Golden Retrievers in the past. When we RVd around the country, we started having smaller dogs as we could accomodate them better. My little dogs are yappy, but I talk too much too : ) Now that I’m older, I find it easier to handle a small dog. I have 3 of them.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JilltheTooth I had two dogs that were together their entire lives. I could not separate them ever. If one went to the vet, the other had to tag along. I would not have a single dog now. The only drawback was when one died the other gave up and joined the first within a month.

comity's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Same thing happened with my two Bijons!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@comity I didn’t want to say GA but we don’t have anything else. Yeah, they kept each other going for a good two years beyond normal life expectancy, but as soon as the first passed the other one said I’m done too.

basstrom188's avatar

Dunno don’t like dogs

JilltheTooth's avatar

@basstrom188 : So why did you post?

janbb's avatar

I’d “stack them up” with the big dogs on the bottom and the smaller dogs on the top.

SmashTheState's avatar

All of the “positives” for small dogs which you’ve listed are negatives as far as I’m concerned. Dressing dogs up and cuddling them in your lap is an affront to the basic dignity of a canine. Smaller (but not toy) dogs have a practical function for ratting or ferretting, but unless you spend your weekends hunting small game, there is no purpose to a small dog other than being a substitute baby for sad human beings. In addition to the unpleasant aesthetics of small dogs, they are also not evolved to be so small, so they suffer from a number of serious health problems. To top it all off, the tiny brainpan of small dog breeds makes them stupid.

When those first proud wolves slunk up to the cookfire and accepted burnt meat scraps from the filthy hands of our forebears, had they known that we’d turn their descendants into rat-like mockeries they would never have submitted their independence to us.

marinelife's avatar

I think that my 54 lb. dog (which is medium size) is perfect. His bark is deep enough that he has scared an intruder away from my house, but he’s small enough to get in bed with us or lie next to me on the couch.

comity's avatar

@SmashTheState Eww! That’s slang for….......

JilltheTooth's avatar

Point about small game taken, @SmashTheState , especially since my Westy managed to kill rats in my suburban home outside Seattle. Nice bonus that.

elbanditoroso's avatar

You need much less wood to make a case for a small dog.

GoldieAV16's avatar

Size doesn’t matter. Breeding, training and personality are everything, regardless of size.

I have a 5 lb Pomeranian who has a “big dog” attitude. She grew up with my 80 lb lab, so she’s comfortable around big dogs, and will approach a dog 20x’s her size with ease. She plays fetch like a big dog (with mini-tennis balls). She alerts me to all intruders on the patio, whether it’s a lizard, a bird, a rodent – or a human. She’s obedient and loves people, especially children. I don’t question her intelligence as compared to my big dog; if anything, her little brain is perhaps superior. She “reads” little signals exceptionally well, ie knows the sound of the various car keys as we get them out of the drawer – and knows that the truck keys means she’s going to the beach. She’s also exceptionally cute, and I do dress her up sometimes. It’s fun to be silly. I was always a big dog person, and I adore my lab, but having a small dog has really opened my eyes to the canine wonder to be found in these tiny packages – if raised well…but that is true of all dogs.

comity's avatar

@GoldieAV16 I agree wholeheartedly. I said I have 3 small dogs, but actually one of them is of medium size @22 lbs. Whatever the size, they all are a prize!!

elbanditoroso's avatar

Don’t get me started on Pomeranians. They look like hairy rats with long legs. And worse yet, they yap incessantly. I could easily throttle one with my bare hands.

In fact, I’m aware of one (distant) family member who had her Pomeranian’s throat cut (laryngectomy) because it was yapping so much that her landlord was going to throw her out of the building.

The best thing I can say on behalf of Pomeranians is – thank god there are so few of them.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Gee, what a lovely sentiment to extend to the people who just said they had Pomeranians. You must be a real hoot at parties.~

GoldieAV16's avatar

Hmmmm, @ebr, we’ll have to agree to disagree. But I would hardly describe this as a hairy rat with long legs.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@GoldieAV16 That’s a cutie. Nice!

elbanditoroso's avatar

@JilltheTooth – I have never been known for self-censorship

JilltheTooth's avatar

“self-censorship” equals self-righteous justification for rude.

JilltheTooth's avatar

* No “self-censorship” equals self-righteous justification for rude.
“Tis oft the littlest word that escapes.”

elbanditoroso's avatar

@JilltheTooth – that’s one opinion. I wouldn’t be closed-minded enough to say it is the only one.

comity's avatar

@elbanditoroso There’s only one because others want it done!

syz's avatar

I go for the middle. I prefer larger dogs, but I always consider whether I can carry it if it gets injured or has a health problem. (My dogs hike and camp with me.)

My golden retriever would charge full speed through the river after a thrown stick, and I always worried that he’d break a leg. He was 80 lbs, and I could’ve done it if I had to pack him out, but it would’ve been hard.

Now, I’m older and weaker, so my border collie is about 50 lbs.

(We see plenty of older dogs that have hip or neurologic issues, and taking them outside or upstairs is a lot more difficult when the dog weighs 100lbs.)

Dutchess_III's avatar

I prefer big dogs, but I’ve met a few little dogs that I really, really liked!

Ayesha's avatar

@GoldieAV16 So so cute!!! :)

comity's avatar

@GoldieAV16 Ditto! Beautiful dog!

GoldieAV16's avatar

Thanks everyone who had nice things to say. I’m not offended by EBR’s comments, because I know how easy it is to stereotype an animal. I feel that EVERY animal that is hated is simply an animal misunderstood – even yellow jackets. I was not really fond of bats until this. In fact I’m not always really fond of humans, either, but that same video convinces me I don’t always have that right. :-)

OpryLeigh's avatar

I was always a fan of the bigger breeds having been raised with Retrievers. However, when I got a dog of my own I chose a smaller breed because they fit better with my current lifestyle (I live in a flat for example). I still love the big breeds but I have a fondnes for the Terrier group, many of which are smaller.

Apart from the fact that currently choose to have a smaller dog, I don’t decide whether I like a dog based on it’s size but rather it’s nature.

Inh my experience, smaller dogs tend to live longer than big dogs, that’s a massive bonus.

WestRiverrat's avatar

My 75 lb lab fit comfortably on the foot of the bed. My 100lb golden has her head in my lap when I sit on the couch.

Get a dog that fits your current lifestyle.

jazmina88's avatar

@JilltheTooth Zuppy needs a puppy!!

Rescue dogs are the most grateful. No matter the size. <3 my Maynard.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@jazmina88 : He’d love the company, that’s for sure.
And sorry, but we already had the woldly contentious “rescue thread”...I’m not revisiting that here.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Thank you my fellow Flutheronians. However, if I were to expand on some of the observations you have made; if you hike and camp and are accosted by a mountain lion, who would help you out best, a small dog like a dachshund, etc, medium dog like a Collie or an Alaskan Malamute, or a large dog like Cane Corso, or Spanish Mastiff? What if it was a bear instead of a mountain loin, which dog would you want at your side? If you had a dog the size of a Bernese Mountain Dog, what would be the smallest vehicle you would try to cart the dog in functionally and safely? How much easier are small dogs on vehicle interior? How much less in vet bills do small dogs save over larger ones, if any? If you take away a dog’s bark, how do you find it if it gets lost, or hear it if it is injured or trapped, maybe right under your nose but out of sight?

JilltheTooth's avatar

Are you planning on getting a dog, @Hypocrisy_Central and looking for advice? There are actually quite a few of us here that are pretty knowledgeable and could give you some good suggestions based on what your parameters and needs are.

Taser the pumas.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Next year when I get a larger place, hopefully if the economy doesn’t take any major nosedives again, and I favor large dogs like the Cana Corso or the Doberman Pincher, but I love smaller cars, so that is not a good fit. I like hiking and camping but can’t see being surprised by a bear on the train with a small Shih Tzu, Border Terrier, or Keeshond. I certainly can’t see a dog the size of those incapacitating or distracting an intruder enough for me to get the advantage on them. Then there is the “fun factor”, as to which dog would be more fun to own in general, for parks, beaches, romping, etc.

WestRiverrat's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central When I am hiking in bear or Mtn Lion country I have my .44 with me. I want my dog to have enough hunting sense to let me know one was close by, size isn’t really an issue here. But it sounds like a midsized dog like a springer or a collie would be best suited to your needs.

JilltheTooth's avatar

No domestic dog will be really able to protect you from a wild feline predator, you want someone to warn you, and most predators are just as glad to stay away from noisy dogs and humans. I used to feel quite safe hiking in the Olympics and Cascades with my Chesapeake Bay Retriever. As an added bonus, ducks feared me. I drove small Hondas for awhile that he had no problem with and he was a lovely companion. Very strong willed and stubborn, there’s a saying: “You train a Golden with your voice, a Lab with your hands and your voice, and a Chessie with a 2X4 and a Jeep”. But damn, they are really good dogs.

jann's avatar

Our first dog was a husky/shep mix and he was great, luckily since I was young and impulsive and didn’t do any research. We’ve had four labbies since then, three of which died of cancer, one at only 7 yrs old. Now we have a shih tzu and a shih poo. I never thought I’d have small dogs, but I have some arthritis issues and labs can be exhausting to handle until you get them trained and even then they require lots of energy from their owners. The shih’s are happy just to lay next to us and relax but they also love to go for walks and romp and play with each other and chase anything we throw for them. I think the most important thing you have to do is research the different breeds and understand why you want a dog and what the breed needs. Size automatically fits into that understanding. If you live in an apartment you shouldn’t expect a Great Dane to be happy there unless you are willing to spend lots of time taking walks or at the dog park. Example: a friend worked at the humane society and had horror stories all the time. The one I remember the most was someone who surrendered a Great Dane and said they didn’t know he’d get “that big”! RESEARCH people. My daughter kept begging for a doxy when she was younger until we saw one with it’s owner at a pet store and it kept barking the whole time we were there and she said “I don’t want one of those”. All our dogs have been rescue dogs and I must say that looking back on it, except for the first who was only 8 wks old, I think they all picked us, not the other way around. Size is just one of the things you need to consider. A dog will love you just as much no matter his size.

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