Small Dog Or Big Dog

Small Dog Or Big Dog?

On the fence as to what size of dog to get? It can be a tough decision, especially if you are a first-time dog owner. The range of dog sizes is actually quite staggering when you think about it.

You can get a Teacup Chihuahua with an adult weight of 3 pounds, an English Mastiff weighing as much as 250 pounds, or anything in between.

With the huge range of dog sizes, let’s set some ground rules. For the purpose of this article, we will consider a small dog to be anything under 50 pounds and a big dog to be anything over 100.

If you are a first-time dog owner, it is probably wise to start out with a small or medium breed. These dogs can still grow quite large when full grown – think 45+ pounds – but much of their growth will have been done by the time they are fully matured.

Large dogs require a great deal more care, particularly in regards to exercise and feeding. Also, some breeds of large dogs are so powerful they can easily knock over small children who do not understand how to interact with them.

Remember as well that the cost of veterinary visits for small and medium-sized dogs is going to be much less expensive than for big dogs. Ask yourself, “How much is my time worth?” If you want a dog that requires more than just the occasional walk and that needs veterinary attention once or twice a year, go for one of the large breeds.

If you are looking for something in between, say 40-60 pounds, keep an eye out for breeds that are classified as “designer dogs”. Breeds like the Labradoodle, Goldendoodle, Puggle, and Rat-Terrier are all small to medium sized dogs that were raised by crossing a pure breed with a smaller dog or even a toy breed.

The same characteristics apply here as above – be aware of how much care your new dog will require. If all you want is a lap-warmer then these designer breeds are for you.

The best advice we can offer is to look at the options and choose something that fits into your life style and requirements as exactly as possible. Do your research, ask questions about how big they will get, and be realistic about how much time and money you can devote to your new canine companion.


Let’s help you make this decision!

Small Dog Advantages

Small Dog Or Big Dog

Statistically, small dogs are more popular than large dogs in this country. Here are some reasons why this might be.

  • Small dogs are cheaper to care for.
    After the purchase price, the lifetime cost of small dog ownership is much less. They eat less, have lower medication costs, and have cheaper veterinary bills.
  • They fit comfortably on your lap.
    A small dog is not going to crush you when they try to sit on your lap.
  • They take up less space.
    Space is a consideration in many ways, not just where you live. Sure, a small dog might be more appropriate for a tiny apartment but their size also makes them easier to travel with and cheaper to board.

Small Dog Disadvantages

Of course, it is not all roses with small dogs. Here are some things that you might not like.

  • They can be high-strung.
    Yappy, is a word that many uses to describe small dogs. While not all little dogs are Yappy, they are often hyper and hard to settle.
  • They are harder to train.
    Headstrong and often coddled, they can be harder to train. This can be a big issue with potty training.
  • Easier to hurt on accident.
    If you get a very small dog, you will likely step on it at some point. It is just a fact.

Big Dog Advantages

While not as popular as many of the smaller breed dogs, there are definitely some advantages to owning a bigger canine.

  • They can protect you.
    While little dogs might bark, big dogs have some impact behind their voice. Even if they are not aggressive, shear size will often make criminals think twice.
  • Big dogs are better with kids.
    Often much more lovable, a big dog is generally more accepting of small children. They are also much harder to hurt, unlike small dogs that can easily be stepped on.
  • Great for exercise.
    A larger dog can generally handle more exercise. If you are looking for longer walks and long games of fetch, they are a good choice.

Big Dog Disadvantages

Just like with small dogs, there are some downsides to owning a big breed.

  • Vet bills will be higher.
    Bigger animals are harder to operate on and your veterinarian will charge accordingly. More weight also means that they will need more medicine which will increase costs.
  • They are intimidating.
    While this is a good thing for a guard dog, you will find that many people will be scared of your dog when you do not want them to be. Some breeds will even be unfairly labeled as aggressive and banned from places. If you rent, this is a concern.
  • Shorter lives in comparison.
    Overall, a larger dog will live a shorter life. Those big hearts can only keep going for so long. Expect your big dog to live about 5 years less than a small dog.
  • Space is an issue.
    When you have a big dog, especially a giant breed, space can be a problem. The size of your dog will often dictate what you drive and even where you live.


Conclusion: When it comes to picking the right size of dog for your home, remember that there is no “perfect” fit. The perfect fit only exists in our minds because we are comparing one breed with another.

If you want a small dog make sure they have enough room to run around and exercise outside if necessary, but keep them away from spaces where they could be injured by something on the floor or furniture.

For big dogs, ensure they have plenty of space indoors so that they can move around freely without bumping into things too often. It’s important to note that any size of dog may need more maintenance depending on how active it is – even little guys who think nothing of running 10 miles per day! Regardless of what type.

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