Although there should be no discrimination between the heaven-sent dogs, there is no harm in wanting a big teddy bear instead of the smaller ones, right? Now, our bigger buddies are excellent cuddling partners as well as jogging partners! They are mostly lovable, familial dogs. Easy to train and protective.
Moreover, it’s easier to adjust for both the dog and your family, to have a breed that is more suitable to your family type. Financial stability, family members, types, the house you in and the climate are all factors that must be taken into consideration before getting yourself a buddy.
Some of the things to consider while choosing your dog are:
- Friendly & Affectionate – If you are a big family or have a lot of people coming and going, like friends and relatives, you need a dog that is friendly with people. Because if that’s not the case, it would end up in frustrating circumstances.
- Child-Friendly – If you have kids in your family, it is a must to check whether the breed is child-friendly.
- Maintenance – Before getting any dog, you must check whether you can maintain the dog as is needed.
- Activeness – If you get a dog that is hyperenergetic and you or any other person in the family is not; then that would again create a disbalance and deprive your dog of what he really needs.
- Climate – There are families that get a breed just because they like it; Huskies in India, per se. However, Huskies are not supposed to live in the Indian climate. Just like that, every breed, especially of bigger dogs, is suitable to a different climate. Since you cannot change your residence for getting a dog, one cannot expect a dog to adjust to a whole different climate that they are not genetically made for.
Here are 10 most popular breeds of bigger dogs to help you find your perfect match!
1. Labrador Retriever
This breed originates from the island of Newfoundland, Canada. A Labrador retriever is one of the most popular breeds of big dogs. rather dogs in general. They are equally competent as service dogs, emotional companion dogs and domestic pets!
Labrador Retrievers are loved and pampered by all for all the right reasons. They are extremely intelligent. They are people-oriented and fit for larger families; often working as therapy dogs. They are best suited for tropical climates. Although they can also survive in somewhat colder climates too due to their thick coat.
These dogs adapt well to different climate conditions. However, what they cannot tolerate as well is being alone! They can get fussy and very upset upon being left alone. They are high on energy and need exercising. Now, since your labrador retriever would be good with kids, strangers and other dogs, you don’t have to worry about the foregoing issue if you have a big family even though you work full time.
On the other hand, this breed sheds a lot but needs basic grooming only.
Trivia: Labrador-Retriever have been named as the number one in the American Kennel Club’s registration lists for eighteen consecutive years.
2. Golder Retriever
Golder Retrievers are, quintessential family dogs. They are extremely sociable, loving and intelligent enough. Goldens love to be surrounded by their family members and especially being included in family activities. Golden Retrievers stay true to the puppy spirit, until four years of age. Interestingly, some of them stay puppers at heart till late. Now, this might be adorable to some and can be bothersome to others. Thus, this is something that must be kept in mind while getting a golden boy or girl.
Golden Retrievers also shed a lot; especially during spring and fall seasons. Although combing through their coat once a day could prevent substantial amount of shedding on your clothes, sofas and carpets, et cetera. Nonetheless, you need to be prepared for dog hair all over the house anyway.
Coming to the energy level, Golden retrievers need 40-60 minutes of exercising every day. Exercising is also necessary for goldens, because they can get obese real quick. To talk about climates, they are quite adaptable just like Labrador-Retrievers for obvious reasons.
One important thing is that bigger Golden Retrievers can often walk over small babies accidentally; they are great with a little older children though! So, before getting one, consider that and the fact that they do not like being alone.
3. German Shepherd
The royals of the bigger breeds! German shepherds, also known as Alsatians, are one of the smartest breeds out there; the reason they are often seen with the police department, helping the cops. In fact, they are the third smartest breed of the dogs.
They are highly intelligent and understand a command only after 5 repetitions. This makes them extremely easy to train and highly adjustable around babies. In spite of their rather intimidating demeanour, Germans Shepherds are loving, fiercely loyal and thus protective of their “pack” when they come across strangers.
German Shepherds drool less and are extremely high on energy. So, they need exercising. German Shepherds are more adaptable to colder climates than warmer climates and aren’t very dog friendly. They don’t need much maintenance and have great general health. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about them getting obese.
However, bear in mind that German Shepherds are not for everyone. They are suspicious of strangers and hence don’t make guests feel very welcome. Additionally, they need intensive exercises / activities (both mental and physical) to keep them happy.
Contrary to assumptions, they cannot be left alone for too long as they get anxious and / or bored and would act out by chewing or barking. German Shepherds are can suffer from separation anxiety and one way of helping them to cope is to get crate training.
4. Standard Poodle
A standard poodle is a well-balanced dog with high intelligence. A standard poodle is elegant and proud. Bonus point: They shed very little!
What a poodle needs the most is proper training, otherwise you are in for a lot of trouble. Standard poodles need a lot of exercising and activities. They take more time to mature and are sensitive. Implying that you have to be patient with your Standard Poodle baby. However that does not mean they are not highly intelligent. Poodles are sharp as a knife and love getting all the attention! They are good with other dogs and children and love entertaining everyone.
On the maintenance parameter, they need proper training and need to be kept busy. Otherwise, they often find destructive ways to occupy themselves. Poodles are prone to bacterial and viral infections; even parasites. They can also become obese. Poodles tolerate warmer climates better.
The maintenance of a poodle is also high. They need regular hair cuts and grooming alongwith proper care and attention.
5. Great Dane
Gentle Giants or Apollo of Dogs, Great Danes are extremely gentle in spite of how they look like. They look intimidating, however, on the contrary they are one of the best natured dogs out there.
Great Danes are highly sensitive and are better adaptable to warmer climates. They are extremely friendly to children, other dogs and strangers. However, due to their size, they cannot thrive to the fullest in smaller spaces and can knock over things. They are quite calm and sweet. Although it is essential that they get proper training during childhood.
They are costlier to maintain and you have to be strict with their diets otherwise they develop orthopedic issues. However, they don’t need intensive exercises / activities. 20-40 minutes of exercising is enough.
Those of you who have seen 101 Dalmatians need no introduction to these adorable creatures! Dalmatians are substantially calm and are adaptable enough. They thrive in warm and tropical climates more than colder climates and are highly sensitive.
Dalmatians are very friendly. Moreover, they are children-friendly, and highly affectionate towards their family. However they are slightly less friendly towards strangers. Hence, they need considerable amount of proper socialization to be cordial with strangers.
Although Dalmatians shed a lot, they don’t drool too much or bark. They are highly energetic; so don’t get one if you cannot indulge your Dalmatian buddy in exercises, games or other activities. However, they are highly sensitive and do not respond well to harsh training techniques.
Dalmatians are also prone to going deaf genetically and thus need proper care. Due to special unitary systems, they require special care as well. Additionally, they need diets high in protein i.e. chicken and meat.
7. Basset Hound
They are one of the friendliest bigger dogs. Basset hounds are adaptable enough but face a lot of underlying health issues; often hereditary. They shed and drool a lot.
They are true family companions and highly adjustable. Basset Hounds can live in smaller homes and don’t require much grooming. They have a calm demeanour and can be called rather lazy. So, a Basset Hound is your lounge buddy.
Their adaptability to hotter and colder climate is okayish. They hate to be left alone and can get destructive if left alone for long periods of time; often acting out by howling.
They are highly enduring and thus need intensive exercising or long walks. However, it must be kept in mind that their strong scent-skills makes them susceptible to road accidents if left to follow a scent they caught on. They need to be kept on leash.
Now, House-training a basset hound is difficult; they need patience and persistence. It also must be noted that they need positive training techniques as they are quite sensitive.
Basset hounds are people oriented and very affectionate towards their family members. Bonus: they are highly patient with children. Moreover, they are slow walkers, so you don’t have to run after or walk faster while walking this breed and even your kids can walk them.
8. Doberman Pinscher
Also known as Guard Dogs, a Doberman Pinscher is a highly sensitive and a loyal breed. They are not really friendly with other dogs though but are good with kids and strangers.
Doberman Pinscher are very easy to groom. Nonetheless they drool and shed a lot. So, they cannot be kept in families with dog allergies. Dobermans are highly intelligent and thus easy to train! Moreover contrary to their appearance they do not bark or howl too much. They are extremely alert and that’s why are called guard dogs.
Dobermans are extremely protective of their loved ones and trustworthy. They need proper socialising and training as they are high on energy levels. This breed is also the alpha dog and often assumes control of the household naturally if they don’t have a strong leader.
A doberman cannot thrive in colder climates and need proper protection from winters. They love being included in family activities. Dobermans might appear to be intimidating but are extremely docile yet strangers and neighbours are often scared of them.
They are generally healthy but might suffer from some genetic issues like all other breeds. They are best suited to suburban homes.
Mastiffs, also known as English Mastiffs are extremely friendly dogs with the family and kids. They prefer colder climates and need bigger spaces to live properly owing to their large size. However, they can adjust to different environments. They are sensitive and require above-average grooming but drool a lot.
Mastiffs can be your biggest cuddling buddies and are extremely good-natured. They love people and children alike and grow into calm and quite dogs. A mastiff loves being home but that doesn’t mean they don’t need exercising.
Owing to their massive size, they need some exercise to keep them from being obese and to keep them busy. A 20-30 minute walk is sufficient. Besides the drooling and passing of gases, they are fairly clean. Their temperament, however, is not an issue. They are what you call a classy dog. They keep their calm and raise their voices as and when needed.
A Mastiff needs to be well-socialized to keep them from reacting in a destructive manner upon guests entering your home. Good news is that they are easy to train. Because of the massive size of the breed, their maintenance costs a lot.
Additionally, unlike a lot of breeds mentioned above, a Mastiff can be left alone as they are quite self-assured.
10. Leonberger (Leo)
This breed is highly intelligent, friendly and loyal. They are known to be intuitive and thus can sense the emotions of their human. They are a giant breed yet are extremely active and hardworking. A Leo forms strong bonds with their owners.
A Leo needs proper training and socialization and would greatly benefit from it. Because, the alternative would be a highly mysterious and destructive Leo. They are highly protective and helpful. Leonberger are adaptable to colder environments and should ideally not be kept in a warmer climate.
They get along with other dogs as well as other animals; like cats and horses. Since they are highly intuitive, fights in your home can upset him greatly. They also need atleast an hour of exercising or activities. The shedding is moderate but during certain periods of the year (twice yearly), they shed heavily.
One should consider getting a Leo only when you have a big house and an SUV car. They need more space and a proper diet to maintain their high bodily and mental energy.
These are only some of the hundreds of breeds of dogs around.
Now, since a big trend these days is to get exotic dogs or dogs from entirely different continents, this becomes a disclaimer that a dog should not be forced to adapt to an entirely different climate.
One must check the background and genetics of a breed before deciding to keep one. Moreover, one should also consider how much time and care can they devote since as mentioned, most of the dogs do not take being alone very well. Consequently suffering from separation anxiety.
So, if you work full time and are alone you should get a breed that is okay with being left alone. Similarly dogs that are not okay with too many people should not be kept with joint families.
Another thing that matters the most is, if you are financially and emotionally ready to raise a large breed of dog. Whichever dog you choose for your family, it is imperative to understand his / her needs and see if you are compatible with them. They need more care, more space and more love rather you at your best!