Big dogs vs little dogs

(48 Posts)
Marzipane Thu 19-Sep-19 16:04:43

Currently looking into adopting a dog, DH thinks a small dog will be much, much easier than a medium or large dog. So...a small staffie or terrier type rather than a lurcher, for example.

However I feel a dog is a dog no matter the size! Are little dogs easier to care for?

His thinking is that a small dog would have a reduced exercise need, can't get onto furniture or reach items to damage, would be easier to travel with/transport, are too small to steal food from kitchen counters.

Is he right or being or naive?

OP’s posts: |
Marzipane Thu 19-Sep-19 16:09:50

He just added smaller poos to pickup and less feeding costs!

OP’s posts: |
LochJessMonster Thu 19-Sep-19 16:12:21

A small dog is easier in the house. I love big dogs, had bog dogs growing up etc but wish I had got a smaller dog now.

He's mostly right, obviously there are exceptions, terriers need lots of exercise but in general a 30 minute walk with tire a terrier out more than a german shepherd for example.

Bigger dogs cost more, food, vets, some boarding kennels.

When you need to shut a dog away, when cleaning or people round etc, a smaller dog is easier (big dogs can jump gates, open doors)

When you have people round, a big dog is more 'noticeable' and 'in the way'

When a small dog jumps up it is annoying, when a big dog jumps up it can be dangerous!

Lots to consider, and really it depends on the breed and the individual of the dog, but in general, unless you have a huge house, lots of money and unlimited exercise time, a smaller breed is more sensible.

However, lurchers/greyhounds kinda are the exception in terms of exercise and space as they don't need a lot and curl up pretty small.
They will counter surf food though, their noses are always the exact height of the counter.

higgyhog Thu 19-Sep-19 16:14:03

I haven't met a Staffie that didn't need a lot of exercise! I can think of bigger dogs that need less walks ( retired Greyhound) and tiny onees that charge about all the time ( Jack Russell)

Kyvia Thu 19-Sep-19 16:16:27

can't get onto furniture
Hahahahaha. My teeny chihuahua is queen mountain goat of the sofa/table with the added bonus that she’s small enough to parade along windowsills to keep an eye out the street outside as well grin

Things that are directly related to size:
Poo
Food
Cost of (some) medicines (but vets are still expensive)
Ease of travel yes - if you have a big dog you need to have suitable transport for it really

Jumping up/stealing things from the side/damage is training and supervision really

I’d say size is one of many factors you need to consider when thinking about what kind of dog you are the right people for.

ChristineBaskets Thu 19-Sep-19 16:19:22

We've got a big dog and I would never choose to have another. They're expensive to feed and take to the vet, hard to transport, impossible to walk if they pull, they break things in the house because of their weight etc.

We love our big lad but he's a liability and I wish we could shrink him!

Windydaysuponus Thu 19-Sep-19 16:19:28

My Lurchers pinched dcats beds....
They curl up small.
Job done - no thanks needed.

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ThisIsNotAIBUPeople Thu 19-Sep-19 16:19:55

I have avoided little dogs in my search for a rescue dog to adopt, because I worry they will be yappy. That might just be me over generalising though.

Alwaysgrey Thu 19-Sep-19 16:23:18

We had a black lab years ago and he was big and used to pull like a train (we adopted him) and he did for my wrists. We now have a smaller toy and he’s brill. He’s not yappy, he’s happy at home though loves being out and about. Easy to take on days out.

PrincessHoneysuckle Thu 19-Sep-19 16:27:09

I have a very small dog.I have had much bigger dogs including staffie which are more "doggier" if that makes sense! My dogs poos are small and he doesnt eat a lot which are good pros.

Maneandfeathers Thu 19-Sep-19 16:28:42

I much prefer big dogs.

I tend to find people make less effort training small ones and so they are often much more badly behaved blush

Spanneroo Thu 19-Sep-19 16:33:18

We had a GSD x Great Dane. Such a lovely dog, but he was ridiculously big. Couldn't turn around in a standard sized hallway. Couldn't fit under stiles (live in the country) which was fine until he was too old to jump them. He weighed so much that all doses of all medications were estimates, and at least double the quantity of an average dog (costly). His poos were a two bag job. His bowls, toys, collars etc were enormous. Our car had to have some serious boot space for him. His bed was the size of a cotbed. People were often frightened of him, simply because his head was elbow-height.

I loved him dearly, and he was so soppy and lovely, but I will never ever have a large dog ever again. It's just horribly inconvenient! The only exception I'd make is a greyhound/lurcher. Yes they're big, but they don't take up room like most big dogs do, and they won't get too heavy for me to lift over a fence/into the car when they get old!

joystir59 Thu 19-Sep-19 16:35:25

Our JRT needs 2 hours exercise including playing football with his humans, playing with toys, hide and seek, intercepting mail, monitoring (barking at) everything that moves in the garden/street. In short when he is awake we know about it. I wouldn't say a JRT is easier because he is small. Someone forgot to tell him he is small.

Ohbuggerlugs Thu 19-Sep-19 16:39:13

@Maneandfeathers I’m with you on this. It boils my blood.

I personally prefer big breeds.

gemdrop84 Thu 19-Sep-19 16:40:14

We adopted two dogs last summer, dog1 (saluki lurcher) loves a good zoom on the beach then that's her for the day, she's very chilled in nature, loves cuddles and sleeps for England! Dog2 (Norfolk Terrier) would happily go out again 15 minutes after a long beach walk, she's bouncing around the garden as soon as we get in! Never stops! She's mischievous (loves stealing socks!) and a chronic chewer. She's also petrified of being in the car, hates it. So a smaller dog isn't necessarily easier. However, she's gorgeous and such a character!!

BigusBumus Thu 19-Sep-19 16:40:19

I have 2 Jack Russells and a black lab. I love that i can pick up the JRs and hold them like babies - they are small cat sized i suppose. One is a little barky and one isn't, but its just at people coming to the door and then they all join in. In terms of ease of looking after and softness though Black Labs are the easiest, loveliest pets for a novice dog owner as long as trained well, which is easy as they are food-driven.

Wolfiefan Thu 19-Sep-19 16:45:18

Haha. My mum has a terrier and I have a giant breed. Mine is much easier! Depends on the dog, the specific breed, their age etc.

missbattenburg Thu 19-Sep-19 16:53:49

ime smaller dogs are just as capable of getting on furniture as big ones, don't necessarily have reduced exercise needs and can cause as much damage to the house, should they wish.

However, there are some advantages to smaller dogs:
- whilst all dogs should be taught not to jump up, smaller dogs are less likely to hurt anyone while they are learning. A 6kg JRT jumping at your legs is a lot easier to ignore than a 20kg springer, for e.g.
- small, short haired dogs bring less mud in than their larger, hairier cousins; coat type is also playing a role here
- as the dog ages it is much easier to lift and carry a smaller dog, e.g. in and out of the car. Similarly, if injured on a walk a small dog is much easier to carry back to the car than a large one.
- other non-doggy people people tend to react better to smaller dogs; those on here with "scary" looking dogs such as GSD or Rotties will know this especially
- they fit on your lap, which can be nice if you want a lap dog and useful in some public places. Ditto their easy-to-carry format means you can lift them over obstacles, mud, etc. Some country paths have up and over stiles, for example.

Some disadvantages:
- Training using food can be easier in larger dogs for some behaviours, such as loose lead walking. This is because a larger dog's mouth is much closer to you your hand so you are not stooping down every 2 steps to treat them.
- Larger dogs are more robust but also easier to spot when they are under your feet etc. I am clumsy and live in fear of tripping and landing on one of our JRTs. The female had her leg broken when she was younger by someone who accidentally stepped on her as she darted under them to bring back a ball.
- I also personally enjoy the greater feeling of mutual trust that comes with a larger dog; it's a bit weird but there feels more of a power balance between us.
- Garden security needs to be extra tight with smaller dogs as ANY gap could be just what they need to escape.
- people are more likely to let their children run up and pet a smaller dog, uninvited. In fact, a young girl once tried to pick one of our JRTs up like a rag doll while her mum chuckled. This is less of an issue with a larger dog, about who parents tend to be more alert and wary.

NearlyNotYoung Thu 19-Sep-19 16:55:39

We have a 30kg rescue lurcher cross. She has an hour off-lead walk/run each day and costs around £60 per month to feed (with big poos) but has a wonderful temperament, rarely barks & she happily lays around the house most of the day.. Only regrets are that it's not easy to play with her in the house - excitement = flying furniture; her hair gets everywhere (but that's not a size issue necessarily) and she won't live as long as a smaller 🐕.

BigusBumus Thu 19-Sep-19 17:03:08

Yes NearlynotYoung makes a good point about how long they live. The big dogs die sooner, for example an Irish Wolfhound only lives to about 6 years and a Boxer about 8 years. A lab is about 12 years but a JRT can live to about 17 years!

Wolfiefan Thu 19-Sep-19 17:15:36

I wish people wouldn’t grab hold of my dog. They seem to think that because she’s big then she won’t mind @missbattenburg. She does.
@BigusBumus hoping my wolfhound lasts longer than that. I know 12 year old ones!

Maneandfeathers Thu 19-Sep-19 17:29:05

Having lost 3 dogs randomly of illnesses young (one 4 and two at 3 of various things) I wouldn’t really ever let life expectancy bother me again. Nothings guaranteed sadly.

Marzipane Thu 19-Sep-19 17:43:47

Thanks so much for the replies. Lots of food for thought!

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Bookworm4 Thu 19-Sep-19 17:46:42

I have bull breeds, including a smallish staffy girl, amazing loyal, loving and clever but they do love exercise, lots of staffies do agility and fly ball now.

missbattenburg Thu 19-Sep-19 17:53:31

That surprises me wolfie - but some people really are stupid!

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