There comes a time for most families to add a four-legged friend to the household. This decision is not one to be taken lightly. Choosing the right breed of dog can be the difference between complete happiness and absolute terror in your home. Big dogs are one of those bets: some folks love ’em, some folks get overpowered by them!
Before getting a big dog, you need to figure out a few things:
How much dog hair you are willing to put up with.
Do you need a hypoallergenic dog?
How much time do you have as a family? Who is going to devote their time to daily walks and play time? A lot of big dog breeds require a great deal of daily exercise.
Choose a breed with an energy level that fits your family’s time commitment can avoid a lot of behavioral problems.
When considering the size of dog you must really think about the cost of maintaining the dog. It costs a great deal more to feed a St. Bernard than it does a Chihuahua.
Medical expenses requiring anesthesia will also be greater as physicians charge by weight.
Boarding kennels and groomers may charge by weight as well. The general rule is, the larger the dog, the more expensive it will be to care for him.
What type of temperament are you looking for? If you have kids, you will want to choose a breed that has a reputation for being good with children. If you want a good watch dog, choose a breed that has a natural guard instinct.
After answering these questions, you can look through any dog breed book and start comparing the qualities you’re looking for to the breeds listed. Write down at least 5 breeds that fit your criteria and catch your eye.
Please consider going through a breed rescue organization or your local animal shelter. There are many awesome dogs of all ages and breed type in desperate need of good homes.