malamute-de-l-alaskaIf you are thinking of brining a new canine friend home, one the questions that may be on your mind is: what is the right size and breed? To a great extent, a dog’s personality, behavior, and dietary and exercise requirements may be determined by its breed and size. Those who love the idea of a big, comforting pooch presence around the home can choose from a wide variety of large dog breeds. Large dogs are classified as those that weigh above 56 pounds; those with a body weight upwards of 100 pounds are also called giant dogs. Do keep in mind that regardless of the breed, the right training and early socialization will be a crucial part of helping your dog become a well-behaved and happy member of the family unit.

The majestic Alaskan Malamute is a great choice for a family with kids. Loyal, friendly, and active, these dogs love learning new tricks and tend to be wonderful with children. Alaskan Malamutes’ high-energy levels demand plenty of daily exercise. The Belgian Malinois is another large and active breed. It is reserved, intelligent, and loyal; its protective instincts make it an ideal guard dog candidate. The strong, dependable, and playful Bullmastiff is another firm family favorite.

It is commonly thought that large dogs require more exercise than smaller ones, which can deter families with small homes from choosing them. However, this is not true. All dogs – big or small – should get a minimum level of daily walking and play-time to ensure their health and happiness. It is the specific breed of the animal that determines its daily activity needs, not its size. Many big canines are even known as gentle giants because of their mature and docile personalities, which make them happy to laze and pass most of their time quietly in small spaces. Greyhounds and Bullmastiffs are examples of large dogs that do not require much exercise. In fact, many large breeds should not be subjected to excessive activity, especially during puppyhood, due to their vulnerability to joint and ligament issues. On the other hand, the medium-sized Border Collie and Weimaraner and small Fox Terrier and Miniature Pinscher are extremely lively dogs that thrive on lots of running and playing. Thus, all sizes of dogs – large, medium, and small – can be happy in an urban apartment, provided they receive adequate exercise and lots of love.

Those who are keen on a pooch with smarts can look at some of the smartest dog breeds in the world. Many people think that smaller dogs are more intelligent; again, this is not strictly true. Breed plays a much larger role than size! The large Labrador Retriever, for instance, is an intelligent and trainable breed, making it the ideal choice for police work and assisting the disabled. Law enforcement, security, and military agencies also work with German Shepherds, who are sharp, reliable, and adept at learning new tasks. This is not to say that smaller dogs are any less mentally capable. The popular Poodle is extremely smart, creative, and trainable; they learn new tricks rapidly and are happiest when engaged. The medium-sized Border Collie is another intelligent creature that does best when trained and kept occupied; in fact, a Border Collie has been dubbed the smartest dog in the world! While intelligent dogs are a delight for their loving owners, it is important to train them and channel their intelligence and energies continually since boredom can lead to destructive behaviors.

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