Many people have a dog-size preference. Typically, you are either partial to large breeds or small. Both have their good qualities and it all depends on what you are looking for, and want in a companion. Large dogs are definitely a lot more dog to handle, but if you think can handle one, you would see that they can bring you a lot of love and joy. Of course, there is a lot to know about being the owner of a big dog that you’ll want to be prepared for. Those who already own a large breed of dog will tell you, it is a lot different than having a small dog in your home. They are acquainted with all the good, the bad, and the ugly, that comes along with being a big dog owner and nothing surprises them anymore. Keep reading to see 20 things only large dog owners understand.
1. They don’t realize how big they really are
Big dogs don’t realize how big they really are. Some large breeds love to be cuddled and loved on just like small dogs, so when you curl up on the couch, they want to be right there with you. And not just beside you, but in your lap. They don’t care that they may not fit completely on the couch, or that they can’t curl up in a neat little ball in the middle of your lap, they are going to try anyway. They can also do other silly things that let you know that they truly don’t get how big they really are.
2. Large appetites, large food bills
Large breeds of dogs can have an enormous appetite. If you have never fed a large breed of dog, then you may not realize the size of their appetite. When you go to the pet store, you will need to walk right past all the small bags of dog food and get to the big bags that may take more than one person to lift into your cart. Their big appetites will mean a bigger food tab each month, but just be sure you don’t overfeed your big dog because large breeds are more prone to a condition known as bloat, which can be very dangerous for dogs.
3. Bigger yard clean ups
Owners of large breeds of dogs know all too well what the backyard can quickly look like after just a day or two of bathroom breaks – a little minefield, and a, step-at-your-own-risk situation. There is no such thing as a little poo when you own a large breed of dog, so be prepared to have quite a lot of poo to pick up, and you should do it often if you want to make sure you or your kids don’t track in the house.
4. Personal foot warmers
Big dogs make the best foot warmers. There’s nothing better than stuffing your feet under your personal foot warmer who just happens to be your best friend, and he’s laying right at your feet ready for service. Big dog owners know how warm and fuzzy a big dog can feel on the feet, especially in the cold of winter. So if you’re all about warm feet, good news, you will have your own personal foot warmer when you own a big dog.
5. Clear your counters
Big dog’s are taller and have the ability to sniff out food on the counters better than small dogs for obvious reasons, they stand taller and their noses are in closer proximity to it. Owners of big dogs know that if they aren’t careful, their big canine might take advantage of their tall stature and be tempted to stand up and clear the counters of any food sitting on them. Training is important to teach him not to act on this impulse, but be aware that if food goes missing, it could be your big dog.
6. Shedding pounds of fur
Big dog owners know how important a lint roller, dust buster and broom are when you have a big dog that sheds. The amount of fur they drop can seem overwhelming, and it can pile up in no time. Some owners feel like all they do is sweep and vacuum up piles of hair, and from places they probably never imagine fur could get. If you go to someone’s house and see a lint roller sitting by the couch, chances are, there’s a big dog around somewhere.
7. Bath time
Bathing time for a big dog is most often, bathing time for you,too. Only a big dog owner knows the drama involved with getting their big baby to either sit still long enough for a bath outside in the hose, or getting him to climb in the tub. Either way you do it, more than likely you are going to end up as wet as he does. And when it comes to sudsing up your big pooch, it’s not surprising to an owner that it can take the better part of a bottle of shampoo for just for one bath.
8. Leash training is critical
One minute you’re walking happily along with your big dog on his leash, and all is serene. The next thing you know, you’re getting drug down the sidewalk, hanging on to the leash for dear life because your big dog spotted a squirrel. Owners of big dogs know the risks of walking a large breed of dog, especially if the dog isn’t well trained on the leash. It’s critical to make sure your big dog is leash trained to help prevent walking mishaps, and encourage good leash behavior.
9. Health issues
Every dog is prone to health issues, but big dogs come with their own set of health issues that must be watched for. For instance, did you know that big dogs can develop something called bloat? Bloat is a word that many big dog owners are familiar with and it has to do with eating and digestion. If a big dog eats too much, they can bloat and cause major intestinal problems that can turn fatal. Another familiar large breed issue is hip dysplasia.
10. Vet and boarding bills
Bigger dogs can increase your costs in boarding and vet bills due to their size and care required. Boarding a large dog is more expensive than boarding a small breed, so if you travel often and need to board your dog, be prepared for higher fees than you’d spend for a smaller dog. Vet bills can also be higher due to their size. Vets often charge more for some of the same treatments little dogs get, simply due to the dog’s weight and size. Flea and tick preventatives, as well as heart worm preventatives are more expensive, just for one example.
11. Put away things you don’t want broke
Only a big dog owner understands the power behind the tail of St. Bernard or even a Golden Retriever. One swoosh of the tail and things anywhere around, are toppling over. If your big dog spends anytime indoors, putting your breakables and most prized possessions up and out of the way is key to preserving your breakables and preventing aggravation.
12. Prepare to lose your spot in bed
Some owners can’t resist snuggling up to their dog on the bed. No matter how big their dog is, they think he should be allowed to share the comforts of a bed and pillow. If you start this behavior at a young age, prepare to always have to share your bed and not just a part of the bed, but most of the bed. Big breeds tend to sprawl out and hog the bed with no cares to how much space you are left with for the night.
13. No ‘cutesie’ little dog outfits for your German Shepherd?
When you look on the internet and see all those cute little Chihuahuas in adorable little dog outfits and costumes and you think you’d like to dress your Germen Shepherd up, too, then you realize there aren’t any cute little dog outfits for a big dog. There’s something about a small breed dressed in a cute Halloween costume or a warm, fuzzy winter sweater, but big breeds somehow always seem to look a bit awkward in clothes and costumes, nor do they seem as accepting to wear them.
14. With dog kisses comes dog slobber….
And lots of it. There’s no doubt your dog loves you and wants to show his affection, but what he doesn’t get, is how to show you he loves you without drenching you in his wet kisses. Just when you least expect it, there comes the big, wet tongue across your face, leg or arm and next thing you know, you’re covered in dog slobber, but you wouldn’t have it any other way.
15. Car rides with a big dog
Most dogs love a car ride and are quick to jump in the minute the door opens. Your car will never be the same again with your furry passenger next to you. Big dogs take up a lot of space and don’t realize their size. They can easily take over a car, especially a small car, so restraining your big dog while moving is important or car riding training to teach him proper car ride behavior. If you have cloth seats, de-furring them may be necessary after the ride, as well as protecting your leather from scratches and tears.
16. Watch out, I’m coming
It seems every time you turn around, your big furry friend is right under foot, and just when you least expect it, they’re bumping into you or rubbing up against you. They don’t realize their own strength so their idea of playing or showing affection can quickly turn into a knock down or push over. Little kids and the elderly are even more susceptible to large breed accidents.
17. Always ready for exercise and play
Many breeds of large dogs are just full of energy and ready to play. They seem to always be waiting at the door, a ball in their mouth, and ready for a game of catch, a walk, or anything that gets their energy out. Big dogs need to get out and play, walk, run or have some form of exercise and owners of big dog breeds know how it always seems to be at the times you are the most tired that they have the most energy.
18. Big dog, big destruction
Big dogs are capable of big destruction in and outside of your home. Any owner of a big furbaby will tell you that finding a torn up pillow, shoes, water hoses, anything imaginable, when you get home from work, is possible. Training is critical, starting at a young age, but even so, when they get upset or have separation anxiety, tempers and emotions may get taken out on your personal belongings.
19. Caught in funny situations
All dogs have personality and character, but it seems like the bigger breeds are always finding a way to get themselves into some kind of trouble and it usually means an awkward or funny situation. You may get a laugh or two at some situations you find your big canine in, while other times, it may be down right frustrating.
20. I may be big, but I’m a baby
Big dogs tend to be the biggest babies of the larger and smaller breeds. It seems like the smaller breeds can have no fear, while the bigger breeds are needy, more scared and timid. Be prepared to have to caudle your big baby during all kinds of different situations, and if you’d let him, he prefer to be carried wherever he goes.