You can find various breeds and sizes of dog. Although the choice of breed might depend solely on your preference, there are some important questions to consider when picking the desired size of your future pet friend. You might like seeing a giant-breed dog walking with their owner in the street, but are you aware of the responsibilities when living with a giant pooch? Here are five things that you need to consider before getting one.
Do You Have Enough Space?
Everything is super cool when they are puppies as you do not need a lot of room to accommodate them, but what will happen when they grow up? Did you know that an adult Great Dane may be over 40 inches tall and weigh up to 200 pounds? Large pooches need large dog houses, and that is something to keep in mind. And do you have the room to fit your giant-breed pet in your car when you are taking them to the vet?
It is interesting to note that giant dogs are often recommended for apartments because they are not as active as small breeds. However, we once again urge you to consider their size as they might break things just by making an unexpected turn in the wrong direction. You need to make the space you are living in as compatible as possible for a giant-breed dog. Make sure to constantly put away breakable things and ensure that the furniture pieces you use are not made of glass. Do not neglect the fact that a giant dog standing on their hind legs may be above seven feet tall, which means there is practically no place they can’t reach!
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Can You Afford the Cost of Food and Vet Bills?
We are sure that you have a large friend that can eat twice as much as you and spend double as much money on their food. It is the same with dogs – the larger the breed, the more food they will eat. The difference can be so significant that your pet’s water bowl may sometimes remind you of a small swimming pool!
While the last one may be an exaggeration, the truth is that giant breeds can and should eat a lot in their adult days, which begs the question if you can afford the dog food for your pet. Keep in mind that your large pet also needs high-quality meals to develop and remain in top shape properly. The good news is that they will probably eat less of the premium food, which means that your bills will end up being about the same as when buying cheap food.
The expenses you also need to count on our leashes and collars, as well as toys that your dog will play with. It is critical to take your giant-breed pooch regularly to the vet because they run a higher risk of potential health issues than regular-sized dogs. They are more prone to genetic disorders and conditions, including hip and elbow dysplasia, wobblers, bloating, and heart problems. Regular check-ups will cost some money, and the bills will additionally increase if you need to take your dog to treatments or constantly buy them medications.
Are You Aware of Their Longevity?
There is something unique and incredibly cute about giant dogs. If you make them their living companions, there is no doubt that you are going to love spending time with them and the very fact that they are around. Unfortunately, the harsh truth is that they might not be around as long as you would like. The American Kennel Club suggests that the average lifespan of giant dogs can vary from eight to ten years, which is considerably shorter than some other breeds.
This is a question that you need to consider carefully because both you and your family need to be ready to handle the grief. And while the grief period is normal for anyone that loses a pet, the problem is that you have less time to spend with your pooch and get ready for the inevitable. If there is something positive about this sad fact, it is that you might use it as motivation to spend plenty of amusing and memorable days with your giant pet friend.
Do You Like to Attract a Lot of Attention?
If you talk to an owner of a giant-breed dog, we are sure they will have plenty of stories to share related to people stopping them on the street to ask about their pet. The truth is that large dogs can attract huge attention wherever you go. You might take them to the nearby park for a stroll, and the children will curiously look at you and ask if they can pet your dog. Your neighbors might have all sorts of questions (including not so clever ones) about what it is like to live with a giant pooch. The same thing may happen on the street as random people may stop and ask about the size and weight of your companion. While you might be willing to share your experience with someone, who is interested in buying a giant themselves, answering a bunch of questions every day might become a hassle.
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Do You Have the Time and Willingness to Dedicate to Your Dog?
Giant-breed dogs are not that active, and they will be more than comfortable lying in their dog beds, but it is vital that they get enough exercise to stay in shape. The load on their joints is already huge, and extra pounds and obesity can lead to major issues. Although you are encouraged to play with your pet, make sure to consult with your vet about how much time your pet should spend jumping and run around. Large-breed puppies may develop slower than other breeds and, although they are attracted by games, you might need to limit playtime to take care of their joints.
You also need to ensure that your giant pet friend gets proper training. They might not do it on purpose because they are often unaware of their size, but giant dogs can inflict injuries to those in their surroundings. Fortunately, these breeds are often extremely intelligent, such as Great Danes, and they love when you mentally stimulate them. You need to find a way to wear them out to decrease the risk of behavioral problems.
When it comes to training, the crucial thing to keep in mind is to find a way to communicate with your dog. You need to establish a strong bond and teach your pet to lean on you in life, but also listen to your commands as basic obedience is critical.
What Are Some Most Popular Giant Breeds?
If your mind is set on purchasing a giant dog and you feel like you are ready for the challenge, here are some breeds that you can consider:
- Newfoundland – extremely heavy with their weight often going over 200 pounds, this breed is also loyal and calm
- Great Dane – this breed is known for their exceptional height, which can go to over 40 inches. They are gentle and friendly, and some owners even consider them to be lap dogs. Unfortunately, their average lifespan is only about eight years
- Caucasian Shepherd – they originate from the family of molossers, and you can often find them in Eastern Europe. They are extremely loyal and used to guard livestock and their owners
- Boerboel – they also belong to the molosser family, but this breed can weigh over 200 pounds, which combined with their height helps them to leave an intimidating first impression. However, they are gentle, loyal, and children-friendly as long as properly trained
- The Irish Wolfhound – their average height is 34 inches, which makes them the tallest on the list. However, they are slim in most cases, and their weight rarely goes over 120 pounds
Some of the other breeds worth thinking about include English Mastiff, Dogo Argentino, Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, St. Bernard, and Landseer.
Fun Everyday Issues That Giant Dog Owners Face
In the very end, let’s take a look at some fun everyday issues that you might expect once you purchase a giant breed:
- If the vet doesn’t clear your pet for jumping, you might have to find a way to get them in and out of your car by yourself. There is also the issue of stairs that you need to consider and, since they can weigh more than 200 pounds, this can be a better exercise than heading to the gym
- You are probably aware that your giant dog can reach kitchen counters and dining room tables, but did you know that the ceilings are in danger, too? While most of them can’t actually reach the ceiling, the chances are their saliva could end up there, which may mean that you need to get yourself ready for repainting!
- Make sure that you establish a routine and stick to it, especially if you are living in an apartment. That will make things a lot of easier when it comes to feeding and potty breaks
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