Does the Size of Your Dog Matter?

Do you consider yourself a “Big Dog” person, or a “Little Dog” person?

Is there such a thing?

Does the size of your dog matter?

When growing up all the dogs in my life happened to be large dogs. I don’t think it was a conscience decision; it just seemed to happen that way. Living on a farm for several years the dogs we had there were always large. We didn’t exactly choose these dogs, many came from people that lived in the city and found the dog too big to live the city life. Yes, some dogs do end up on farms!

We had a Husky, a St. Bernard, a German Shepherd, a Doberman, Hounds and several mutts.

When I moved to the city and started my family, cats were the pet in our home. But as my children became older we decided to include a dog into our family. I continued to gravitate toward larger dogs. I didn’t think I wanted a small dog – too nippy with small children I thought, too yappy I was meant to believe.

Being a parent of small children you want to be sure your choice of pet is the right one. You worry about your children, you wonder if the dog you choose will be calm and gentle around small children. You wonder if the dog you choose will be able to put up with the noise and constant activity of small children.

Our choice was Winnie, a Golden Retriever.

Are you a Big Dog or Little Dog Person

Winnie

We couldn’t have asked for a better dog. Winnie was sweet and gentle, but like any puppy, she had her challenges. Maybe I didn’t notice Winnie’s puppy stage as much because when you have small children, really what’s one more 😉

When we had to make the heartbreaking decision for Winnie to leave us and go over that rainbow bridge, I said I would never bring another dog into our home. Too heartbreaking I said; I couldn’t go through it again. But as the months past the house seemed empty and too quiet, I no longer had my shadow.

Maybe, just maybe, my heart could find room for another dog.

My family life was different now. My children were grown so there was not the concern about choosing a dog that would do well around small children. Yet I still gravitated to large dogs – briefly.

It was then decided our next dog would be a small dog. A dog that when it became older, arthritic, or a dog for what ever reason could no longer navigate stairs, I could pick up and easily carry up and down stairs. This was something I could not help Winnie with and it saddened me.

Never having had a small dog before, I really didn’t know what to expect. Were they as some portrayed them to be; snappy and yappy?

After much research and many discussions with other small dog owners, I kept being brought back to the pug. Pugs; referred to as clowns at heart, and those faces that let them get away with so much! Of course like any dog breed, each have their own health issues and personality traits that you must have an understanding of, and these dogs should be the right fit for you, your family and activity level.

Edie, or as she is well known to many: Miss Edie The Pug; came into our lives and changed my title of “Large Dog Person” to an “Every Dog Person”.

Does the Size of Your Dog Matter?

Puppy Edie

Is Edie that yappy, snappy little dog I was lead to believe little dogs could be? No.

Does the Size of Your Dog Matter?

Pugs – Clown personality, and oh those faces!

Did Edie replace my beloved Winnie? No.

Edie taught me that there is always room in your heart for more love. Edie taught me that each dog, no matter the breed or size, comes into our life at the right time for the right reason.

Have you ever thought of yourself as a big dog or small dog person?

Do you think there is such a thing?

Does the size of your dog really matter?

Author: Kelly Harding with Edie The Pug

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40 Comments

  1. I love all dogs. Had Belgian Bouvier before…. Now? A long hair Chi. I travel internationally and knew in-cabin size was what I wanted. So in THAT sense I am a small dog person.

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  2. What a beautiful story! Winnie was so gorgeous, my childhood dog was a Golden (mix) as well and she was just the best. I’m so happy to hear that there is some truth in “legends” of people in cities or the ‘burgs giving dogs they can’t handle away to someone with a farm – I always thought that was BS and the person really brought their dog to a shelter but didn’t want to admit it. I’m an Everydog Person too, big or small I love them all! Miss Edie has to be the cutest pug puppy every, love her puppy photo!
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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    • The dogs that came to us while on the farm ended up living a very good life. However, I too wonder just how many dogs really end up on farms 🙁
      Miss Edie says thanks!

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  3. My first dog was a Collie and I loved him. He was bigger than me because I was only about 6 years old when we got him. Our later dogs were smaller. I do tend to love both sides, but I like dogs with the longer fur.

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    • I’ve not thought about if people choose dogs based on the length of their coat! I guess that’s a post for another day 😉

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  4. Oh, Edie is so adorable. Winne was so sweet. What a thought-provoking post. Even though my Mom had Poodles who I have loved, we also always had Collies and German Shepherds, and Spitz, and mixes…I guess I’ve always thought of myself as a “big dog” person gravitating to German Shepherds and Shepherd mixes…and then Siberian Huskies. We just recently had this conversation about in the future…my Gibson who crossed the Rainbow Bridge this past December, was a large wooly Husky weighing in at 98 lbs. He had lots of hind end weakness and was in a lift harness quite often. Thankfully, I had been able to assist him with it, but it was not easy with a dog of that size, and with my RA limiting me on what I could do. I guess one day I will have to think about the possibility of a “smaller” dog…but for now, I am so thankful to have my four Huskies still with me (weighing in at 48, 58, 67 and 74 pounds – not easy weights to lift either) and hope I do have them for many more years. I guess, in actuality, I was always open to whichever dog/s chose me…they just mostly happen to be bigger than small dogs!

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    • It’s all about the dog that chooses us!

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  5. What a lovely post! I’m actually an everything furry kind of person. I love all dogs, cats, rabbits, etc.

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    • I’m a softie for all animals too.

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  6. Rosa is my first smallish dog. She is 35 lbs. I love her size! In the past we’ve always had large dogs.

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  7. I grew up with dogs of all sizes. We had a Bullmastiff, several Yorkies, as well as a Beagle and a Poodle and all too briefly, a Dalmatian puppy. My first dog (of my own) was a spaniel mix, quickly joined by a large mutt of unknown heritage, I consider myself just a dog person. For many years I wanted a Newfoundland. However, my husband prefers small dogs. After my sister’s black Lab had arthritis, she commented that she would always get a dog small enough that she could carry if necessary. It makes a lot of sense to me. I think we will probably have small or medium sized dogs, but I know myself better than to say “absolutely!”

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    • I’ve learned that we can never say “absolutely” when it comes to the pets we bring into our lives. My husband has mentioned numerous times that he would like a great dane! I like the idea of knowing that as the dog ages, I can help it as much as I can, and part of that means being able to carry it if needed.

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  8. I love all dogs don’t get me wrong BUT as a shortie its easier for me to handle a smaller dog and I am just being practical with that – Layla weighs 15 lbs which is perfect for lil old me

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    • As a fellow “shortie” I know what you mean 😉
      But having said that, I’m like the little dog that doesn’t know its little 🙂

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  9. Great post. Yes, size matters. I wish a lot of people downsized their dogs when they matured or increased the age of their new pet. And Edie is amazing.

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    • Thank you! And Edie says thanks 🙂

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  10. Size of a dog definitely doesn’t matter in my opinion! We always had large dogs growing up, and now I have 3 small Jack Russells, an Aussie and a Mastiff/St Bernard mix. I have all sizes haha. My big guy thinks he is a small dog and will try and climb in your lap and my little guys want to be sprawled out on the floor.

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    • You certainly have quite the variety of sizes! I don’t think dogs realize how big or little they are. It’s funny when the big guys want to sit on your lap and cuddle, or the little dog tries to stand up to dogs much larger.

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  11. I don’t think that size matters but personality does and you have to match the dog to your family and lifestyle. I had a St Bernard too – such a magnificent breed. I’ve been considering another dog and am leaning towards something smaller such as a mini schnauzer, daschund or pug.

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    • Having been exposed to various breeds of dogs, I believe each have their own distinct personality. Pugs are known as being silly – clown like, and she fits in just perfect with our family lol!

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  12. Such an awesome post! I had always gravitated towards larger dogs until Bean became a part of our family. Now, I am in love with dogs of all sizes. It’s amazing how our perspective can change with time. Sending you and Edie love! Thanks for sharing.

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    • Thank you! It is amazing how a dog can change your perspective.

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  13. I used to always think of myself as a big dog person… until we started fostering smaller dogs and I fell head over heals for a tiny little beagle/chi mix. 🙂 I love dogs of all shapes & sizes………

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  14. I prefer little dogs personally. They’re portable and I can carry them in an emergency! We were hiking with a friend and both dogs had issues (Mr. N was limping, her dog had heat exhaustion). I could carry Mr. N and did but we just had to walk very slowly with her dog because we couldn’t carry her out.

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    • Yes, there are advantages to having a small dog – like being able to carry them as they age or in an emergency. I hope your friends dog was alright!

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  15. I think I used to have a big dog/small dog lifestyle ideology, but that changed over time after getting to know some of the larger breeds I worked with regularly. Right now we have a small/medium dog and are looking to bring on a second but we don’t have any weight or body type requirements. I’m eager to see who comes home with us!

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    • I can’t wait to hear about what your new addition will be! I believe the dog picks us, not us pick the dog.

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  16. I’m more of a “No Dog” cat but that’s just me. Since we’ve moved to the condo, the peeps have learned to like most of the dogs here. There are a lot of BIG dogs on this floor and TW thinks big dogs shouldn’t be in small apartments. They should have large yards to run around in but someone once told her that big dogs do better in small apartments because they tend not to run around as much. Anyway, there’s a dog as big as a horse next door and TW can hear her throwing herself against the door during the day when her family is at work. She is deathly afraid of that dog.

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    • I have heard of large dogs living in apartments and doing well, but I think its important that they are exercised regularly so as not to become bored. It’s sad to think of any dog, whether living in an apartment or house, that is not getting out during the day to go for a walk or run and they feel the need to throw themselves against a door because they are bored, lonely, need to get out to do their business or get much needed exercise.

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  17. My first dog was a red Doberman named Winnie and I know own a Golden Retriever (and another Doberman). I consider myself a big dog person, but as my husband says (when our dogs are racing through the house in play and come too close to knocking us over if we’re not vigilant), “There’s a reason old people have small dogs.”

    BTW. . . I would take my Dobie Winnie to the dog park and she was in love with every Pug she met. Did not like German Shepherds, but LOVED small dogs in general, especially Pugs.

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    • LOL! Yes I can appreciated what its like when the dogs get a burst of energy and run through the house knocking into everything and everyone in their paths.
      I bet Edie and Winnie would get along famously!

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  18. It’s not the size of the dog, but the size of the love–and all dogs carry and extra-ginormous dose of love to share!

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    • You are so right! All dogs no matter the size have an enormous amount of love to give!

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  19. Miss Edie The Pug is so adorable! Our Eddie is a smaller medium sized dog. Our size constraint was that we don’t have a big backyard, so we did make the choice for a smallerish size dog. All of my family members have big or really big dogs. And whenever we petsit, it just confirms that we made the right choice in size of dog. But if we had a big backyard, we would definitely open our homes to a bigger dog. We love dogs of all sizes!

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    • Yes, it’s important when choosing your dog to take into consideration the amount of space they will need.

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  20. I always thought of myself as a large dog person as did my husband – and now we have two little dogs and one medium sized dog! I’m not sure what will happen in the future but I think I’ll always have small dogs in the mix!!

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  21. Awww, I love how Edie changed your mind about small dogs. I grew up with a westie, got Matilda my chi-mix as my first dog as an “adult” – at the same time, my former landlord got Cow, didn’t take care of her, yadda yadda yadda… now Cow is my first “big dog.” She’s only 30 pounds, though, but she feels big to me, and she’s more docile than smaller dogs seem to be. All dogs are so special. I’ve always wanted a Saint bernard like Beethoven!

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