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Don’t Believe These 3 Myths about Big Dogs

big dog hugging little dog blogIf you’re considering a new canine companion, you may be making your decision based on some misinformation. Below are three common misconceptions people have about big dogs:

1. Big Dogs are More Aggressive than Small Dogs

It’s natural to be more fearful of dogs with a commanding stature than littler canines, but this fear isn’t necessarily warranted. Many large breeds, like the Newfoundland or the Leonberger, are known to have exceedingly gentle temperaments. Any dog can be aggressive under the wrong circumstances, big dogs are no more guilty than their smaller counterparts.

2. Big Dogs Make the Best Running Partners

While it may be true that many bigger breeds need an outlet for their energy, running may not be the best choice. Running is a high-impact form of exercise that can worsen orthopedic conditions like hip dysplasia, which is most commonly seen in large and giant dog breeds. If you’re in the market for a serious jogging partner, a small dog (that carries a lot less weight to strain the joints) might actually be a better fit.

3. Big Dogs Don’t Do Well in Apartments

As long as exercise needs are met, many dogs (both big and small) can thrive in an apartment setting. If you’re looking for a big couch potato for a small space, you might consider a Greyhound or a Mastiff.

 

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Jana Rade January 15, 2015, 9:54 am

    Actually it is my observation that small dogs are generally more aggressive than large ones. And I know from experience that given enough exercise, large dogs do perfectly fine in a small apartment.

  • Christina Clark January 20, 2015, 4:56 am

    Good article!

  • Ed January 20, 2015, 5:33 am

    As in a plethora of dog behavior problems, aggression in small dogs seems to be rooted in lax discipline applied to small dogs. This is likely the result of owner self-deception, of smaller dogs, as “puppy-sized”, as ones that couldn’t be dangerous because “they’re so tiny and cute!” Those owners are too often less likely to train or discipline “their babies”, while owners of larger dogs assume that their own could be more vicious just because their pets are larger, and so are more aware of the need for training and dominance/leadership over their pets.

    Of course, there is always the possibility of genetic changes arising from selective breeding. Consider the chimpanzee’s lack of the compassion gene that is present in bonobos and humans (a result of genetic groups’ separation across geological features), and how that lack permits the aggression and violence of chimps to surface, often viciously…

  • Walter January 20, 2015, 7:39 am

    For obvious reasons breeders of large dogs focus on temperament. Larger dogs aren’t more likely to be aggressive, but they are of course far more dangerous when they are aggressive.

    I’ve been bitten a few times by toys and terriers, I never been bitten by a large dog. But obviously the smaller dogs did little damage so it’s not that big of deal.

    I’ve read that they now believe that temperament can be traced purely to genetics. That under stress any dog will revert to what his genetics have made him, no matter how he was raised.

  • Sheila Churchill January 20, 2015, 9:44 am

    We have always have big dogs: 1 St, # Gt Danes, 1 Newfie, ! golden retriever, and some lab sized mixed breeds. Big dogs are the BEST!

  • Debi January 20, 2015, 10:45 am

    I have done dog boarding for many years for many dogs. Of the small dogs only one did not growl, snap or potty in my house. She was a small Dachshund. The worst were a Papillon and a Terrier/Chihuahua mix. They were not well behaved and very naughty. I had to teach them to stay off my furniture, that was not their fault. They learned fast but have to be retrained every time they come here. They are fearful and I know they are treated well. They snap and growl all the time and like I said always potty in my house no matter how often you take them out. And they are 4 and 7 years old. I love dogs but would never have a small one if I had a choice. Give me a med to lg dog any day.
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