Size can be important
Different size dogs fit different lifestyles—but there are gray areas in these guidelines. If you live in an apartment, for example, you would suppose a smaller dog fits better into your small space. But, certain small breeds such as terriers are so full of energy they might be less adaptable to your lifestyle than one of the large breeds that has a reputation for mellowing as it gets older.
If you want to enjoy the great outdoors with your doggie companion, then one of the medium to large sized “sporting” breeds could be appropriate. But if your lifestyle is more sedentary, these dogs can get bored from lack of activity sometimes resulting in destructive behavior. Small breeds are easier to transport or pick up, so for elderly people, these can be ideal. On the other hand, small dogs can be injured by exuberant children who handle them roughly, or from a child falling on them.
The size of the dog has an effect on the training required. It may be cute when a tiny Yorkshire Terrier tries to jump in your lap, but not so cute when your Labrador Retriever jumps up on guests when they walk in the door and inadvertently claw them in an effort to say hello. Larger dogs can get into more mischief such as stealing food from the kitchen counters. Dogs can learn how to open kitchen drawers or cabinets as well.
If you plan on traveling with your dog, bear in mind that although more and more lodging establishments are “dog-friendly,” many have strict rules regarding the size of dog they will accept, and sometimes do not allow certain breeds that have a reputation for aggressiveness.
You should always know the height and weight your puppy will reach when he grows into an adult. Large dogs consume more food (greater expense), produce more waste, and in general need more space to roam.
However, the really giant breeds are often more docile and require less exercise than smaller dogs.
One last piece of advice, as a rule, smaller dogs live longer than bigger breeds. For example, the Irish wolfhound only has an average lifespan of 6 to 10 years compared to a toy poodle whose average lifespan is 12 to 15 years.
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