From the tiniest chihuahua to the tallest Great Dane, there are thousands of different sized dog breeds to choose from. While you may be tempted to pick a furry friend based on how cute they are, you should consider many other factors as well. Everything from the size of your house to how often you work can determine which dog breed size is best for you. Before you choose, take some time to consider your lifestyle and which dog might best match it.
How much space do you have?
The larger the dog, the more space they’ll need to run around and be comfortable. If you live in an apartment, a large dog may not be conducive to your living environment. Moreover, they probably won’t be very comfortable in such a small space. However, a small or medium-sized dog might be perfect, as they don’t take up much room and don’t need a large space to play or run.
In addition to a large indoor living space, larger dogs also require a big outdoor space, like an ample backyard or front lawn. Without adequate space, they’ll have no place to let out their pent up energy, which can lead to an energetic dog with behavioral problems.
Some medium-sized dogs, like Border Collies and labradors, also have high energy and will need more space to release it. Small dogs, however, typically don’t need a large yard to play in. If you have a big room or a large basement, it will likely function as a satisfactory play space.
How active are you?
You should also consider your activity levels when deciding which sized dog to get. As a rule of thumb, large dogs generally need more exercise than small dogs to stay healthy. If you’re an avid runner, larger dog breeds like Greyhounds or Siberian Huskies may fit your lifestyle better since they will be more apt to run with you. Likewise, some medium-sized dogs like labs and sheepdogs require long walks or runs.
If you’re more sedentary or engage in exercise that your pet can’t take part in, you’ll want to steer away from getting a big dog. Instead, opt for a small dog who is alright with staying inside your house or apartment for most of the day. Of course, you’ll want to walk them to let them go to the bathroom and exercise a bit. But generally, they won’t need as much time outside and can easily tire if you take them on a run. After all, their legs are a whole lot shorter than a big dog’s legs!
How busy are you?
Your activity level is likely determined by how full your schedule is, so it’s also essential to determine how often you would be home to let your dog out, love on him or take him on walks. For instance, if you have a full-time job and can let your dog out for only an hour or less each day, it may be best to stick with a smaller-sized pooch. And if you’re extremely busy, you may even be able to take your tiny friend along while you run errands.
If you have a part-time job or work flexible hours from home, you may opt for a larger friend. You’ll be home to spend more time with your fur baby and give them the regular exercise they need. Moreover, you’ll be there to let them out when they need to do their business.
Every dog is unique
When it comes to choosing, dog breed size matters. You’ll want to ensure that you can properly care for them based on their energy level and exercise needs. Additionally, you must choose a dog that fits into your lifestyle based on your activity and busyness levels. However, you must also consider the breed and personality of the dog before making a final decision, because all dogs are incredibly unique regardless of shape or size.
Some big dogs have a bad temper. Some tiny ones need tons of exercise. And medium-sized dogs’ needs and personalities can vary greatly depending on sex, breed, and environment, so you should meet your potential new best friend and spend a bit of time with them before deciding. That way, you’ll know you’re making the best possible choice — for both you and the dog.
Emily Folk is a pet blogger and avid dog lover. You can read more of her work on her blog, Conservation Folks.