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Tell me about your large dog?(3 Posts)
I should say first that this is advance planning - i’ve still got young children and i don’t fancy being pulled off my feet by a large training puppy whilst still having to hold hands.
But...in a couple of years time i would like to get a big dog. It would have to be a puppy because of children and preexisting cats, so any rescue would probably be refused. I grew up with a mastiff and a boxer and enjoyed them both immensely, although obviously very different temperaments.
I am aware of the shorter life spans in general of the bigger breeds, and obviously each breed has it’s own genetic issues, but hopefully finding a good breeder could circumvent some of those concern. I have been looking wistfully at Great Danes, but my DH is trying to steer the conversation toward Newfoundlanders. Can anyone who has one of these (or any other large dog) tell me what’s good or bad about owning them, and what their personalities are like? Thank you!
I have a Spanish Podenco (I have a large one - bit like a large greyhound). Wonderful boy but he is over 5 stone of solid muscle and in the early days pulled me over when he has been excited by something. He was a rescue and that is the way to go in my opinion - you are rescuing a dog who will have had a shit life if you dont. Training has been the key for us - he is brilliant now with other people and other dogs, I cant believe the difference.
I had a Newfie X German Shepherd. He was absolutely gorgeous, very intelligent and loyal, great with kids and loved a tennis ball. He wasn't great with strange dogs, but I suspect that's because he was attacked as a puppy. He was quite aloof with strangers, but devoted to those he knew. Oh and he LOVED water! Any puddle, pond, stream, whatever, he was in it.
His coat took a lot of brushing and would matt easily so had to be kept on top of. He wasn't fussy with his food but wasn't greedy either. He weighed about 50kg (and I'm sure a pure bred Newfie would be larger), so you need to bare that in mind when costing things up, everything will be more expensive - food, insurance, bigger bed, bigger car, bigger collar, flea and worming treatment, grooming etc. When he was diagnosed with cancer, one of the injections he needed was around £800, except he needed two because be was so big. So don't underestimate the cost!
Oh and everyone will want to stop you in the street for Newfie cuddles
You're right that sadly a lot of them don't live long. My boy was only 8 when he died. He was still super fit and hadn't even started to go grey yet, and he was still bouncing around like a puppy until he got diagnosed with cancer and then he went rapidly downhill. He died just two weeks after diagnosis
To sum up, I would absolutely have one again, they are amazing dogs, just be prepared!