When selecting a breed of dog, particularly for the first time, it is important to do some research into the breed of dog that is suitable for you, your family and your home.
There are hundreds of different breeds of dogs, each with their own temperament, characters and needs. With more and more people leading very busy lives and becoming city dwellers with small homes, small dog breeds have become very popular.
Small Dog Advantages
There are many advantages to small dog breeds. For instance they make very good watchdogs and can make quite a noise when strangers are around. They are easy to transport and fit easily into pet carriers or baskets. They also make great lap dogs and of course take up very little space in your home.
For those who are out at work they need less space to exercise than a large dog. And because of their size, most small dogs will easily fit through an average sized cat flap into your garden or yard, a bonus if you are out all day and wish to avoid ‘little accidents’.
Small dog breeds or teacup dogs as they are sometimes known generally weigh less than 22lbs or shorter than 16 inches. Some are much smaller and lighter than this and there is a wide list of small dog breeds for sale. Here I have identified five of the top small dog breeds available.
The Chihuahua is one of the world’s tiniest dogs, but don’t be deceived, they have very big personalities. This small dog breed is famous for being shown off by celebrities. They weigh between 2-6 pounds, are about 5-9 inches and can live from 15-18 years old.
Chihuahuas can be hard to train and must be heavily socialized from birth. They make very good watchdogs and are fairly affectionate. Although they are not very good with children, they are make loyal and lovable companions.
This tiny lion look alike has a distinct long, fluffy coat and a very bright personality. It weighs between 3-7 pounds, height 8-11 inches and lives 12-15 years. Pomeranian dogs are playful, curious and self-confident.
They love long walks, but do not mix well with other dogs or children. They can be devoted to their immediate family and make excellent watchdogs.
The Pug is a cute button nosed short haired small dog. It weighs 14-20 pounds, grows to a height of 9-11 inches and lives 12-16 years. Pugs are friendly and playful. They make delightful pets as they are energetic, affectionate and very even-tempered and make a good match for nearly everyone. They are fairly tolerant of children and make a good family pet.
The Maltese is a soft, white, long haired small breed dog with a very gentle disposition. It weighs only 4-6 pounds, grows to a height of 9-10 inches and lives 14-16 years. The Maltese dog is a loyal family pet and this toy breed is often seen as a ‘purse pooch’. They bond closely with their owners, are playful and affectionate. They are a brave breed of small dog, but are again not particularly suited to children.
5. Shih Tzu
The Shih Tzu weighs 9-16 pounds, grows to 8-11 inches high and lives for 14-16 years. This has become one of the most popular small dog breeds. It has a sweet, gentle, playful nature and is very affectionate. It can however be a bit stubborn and difficult to train.
Shih Tzu mixes fairly well with other dogs and is suitable to get along with older children. As the coat of a Shih Tzu is fairly long some owners prefer to keep this kept clipped for easier grooming.
When asking yourself, what kind of dog should I get? Your first step should be to do your research. If selecting a small dog breed, as with all other types of dogs you can find lists of dogs and dog breed pictures on line or through a kennel club such as the AKC. It is well worth looking at the characters and needs of the dog such as any health issues and temperament of the small dog.
Many small dogs are not suitable to have around children. However, their size makes them ideal pets for small homes or for those who want more in the way of a lap dog.
Top 5 Medium Dog Breeds
Dogs come in many different breeds, in many different sizes, weights, shapes and temperaments. Dog breeds are generally split into three categories; small dog breeds, such as the Shih Tzu, pug, and Chihuahua, medium dog breeds such as the English Bull Terrier and large dog breeds such as The German Shepherd dog or Rottweiler.
Deciding on what breed of dog is right for you, usually comes down to size. Many medium dog breeds make excellent family pets that are not only affectionate and loyal towards their family, but often the easiest to train. Here I have identified the top five medium dog breeds.
1. Chinese Shar Pei
As the name suggests, the Shar Pei was originally from China. It has a wrinkled, sand colored coat which covers his entire body. A popular belief is that the bear like coat is a ‘throw-back’ to the chow-chow and is often up to an inch thick. It also has an unusual blue, black tongue. The Shar Pei needs constant training and exercising and prefer a home with a yard or garden. They are very intelligent and loyal to their owners.
2. Boxer Dogs
Boxer dogs fit the medium dog breed class. They are very intelligent and affectionate. They are a member of the Mastiff family. Boxer dogs love people, especially children, which makes them great family pets. Boxers are classified as working dogs and make excellent watchdogs. They need plenty of exercise as they are hard-working dogs.
3. English bull dog
Bull dogs make excellent family pets due to their reputation of forming strong bonds with people. They don’t need a great deal of exercise and are usually fairly easy to train. Because of their short compressed noses, Bulldogs can easily overheat. For this reason they should not be left in cars or homes without air conditioning or somewhere cool to rest.
4. Standard Schnauzer
This is a medium sized sturdy dog with the distinctive Schnauzer beard and wiry coat. The coat may be black, black and silver or salt and pepper in color. Their bushy eyebrows can often give the impression of being grumpy, which just adds to their character.
Schnauzers do require a certain amount of commitment from their owners to train them properly from an early age. They make good family pets and are reliable with children. As they are classified as a working dog, they are extremely intelligent and active.
5. Siberian Husky
This beautiful dog has been linked to pulling sledges for centuries. It came to America in the early 1900’s and quickly became one of the most popular breeds among Alaskan dog mushers. It is an artic breed with striking blue or brown eyes or often one eye of each color.
Their wolf-like appearance makes Huskies appealing to many people. They are even tempered, love other dogs and have an indifference to strangers. This makes them an ideal family pet. They do need plenty of exercise and love to be outdoors, so the Husky might not be for everyone.
Therefore if you are looking for a breed of dog that is not too big and not too small, the category of medium dog breed is the one you need. To find out about more medium dog breeds you can find lists of dog breeds with pictures on line or from your local kennel club such as the AKC. You should carefully do before you buy a dog to ensure it is the right size and temperament for your lifestyle and home.
Top 5 Large Dog Breeds
When it comes to choosing a breed of dog, large dog breeds are one of the top choices. Despite their often intimidating appearance, the cost of feeding and needing more room, large dog breeds can be among the most affectionate, gentle and loyal type of dog breed.
There is a long list of large dog breeds. What differentiates large dog breeds from other dogs is their weight, height, strength and size. Here I have identified some top 5 large dog breeds.
1. Bernese Mountain dog
The Bernese Mountain dog has grown in popularity over the last few years. It is a ‘gentle giant’. It is extremely affectionate and very intelligent. This breed of dog can weigh from between 80- 120 pounds, with tri-colored, silky fur. This is very much an outdoor dog and is well used to cold weather as it was traditionally used to pull carts in Switzerland.
The Bernese Mountain dog is very trainable and stable, but requires a firm hand. They make excellent companions and are especially good with children and other pets. They make a very good addition to the family.
This may be a surprising choice of top 5 large dog breeds due to it’s negative press attention. People mostly see them as a mean and dangerous dog, but is actually a very popular large dog breed. This is because it is a highly intelligent dog and good natured if trained properly.
The Rottweiler can be very loyal to it’s family and very obedient, which makes it adaptable to several roles. The Rottweiler is just as capable of being a guard dog and can make a loving family pet.
3. German Shepherd
German Shepherd dogs were originally breed as working dogs, mainly for herding sheep. They have both strength and intelligence and can be very obedient. This is the reason police force and military frequently use them. They make for a loving family member as well as a trusted guard dog. They bond well with people they know, however they can become over-protective if not socialized properly.
4. Golden Retriever
This breed of dog is probably one of the best loved and well known in the category of large dog breed. They are popular for their intelligence and versatility. Golden Retrievers are extremely friendly and wanting to please their owners. They have a patient demeanor, which has made them one of the most popular family dogs.
The Golden Retriever is highly compatible with children as well as other dogs, cats and livestock. They have a high level of sociability towards people, with a calmness and ability to learn. Because of these positive attributes, they are one of the breeds of guide dogs for the blind and mobility assistance dogs as well as search and rescue dogs.
Probably well known for it’s role as Lassie and often referred to as a Lassie dog. Originally bred as herding dogs, this attribute is probably why they have a constant desire to keep an eye on their family. It is one of the most popular family dogs. The Collie is friendly and alert and very protective to it’s owners. Collies are gentle dogs, with a sweet personality. They are very easy to train, but do need constant discipline.
If choosing a large dog breed, it is worth doing some research first. You can find lists of dog breeds with photographs on line or from your kennel club. If selecting a large breed dog you should remember that they require abundant space and lots of healthy exercise.
People who choose a large dog breed should be able to provide a fair amount of time, money and devotion to their dog. Most large breed dogs are highly affectionate and thrive in a family atmosphere. They can be highly sociable, intelligent and even tempered.
Whatever choice of the dog breed you make, they canbecome a good source of security if trained properly, and definitely ‘man’s best friend’.