Everyone can see the obvious difference between big dogs and small dogs: their size. But according to those who have owned both, the difference between big dogs and small dogs is more than size. Physical needs, personality and temperament all set little dogs apart from their hulking cousins.
Although no expert, I rely on what I’ve observed from close to a thousand different guests who have vacationed at Little Pup Lodge. My little guys don’t require the amount of exercise your basic Boxer or Labrador Retriever does. Most large dogs need room to run or plenty of long walks to stay healthy and sane. It especially saddens me to hear of owners who own working dogs like Border Collies and Australian shepherds, then leave them home all day. As my brother once said, “You need to give a working dog a job to do. Otherwise, they’ll create their own.” Like repurposing your drapes and pillows for chew toys.
Little Pup Lodge has a huge fenced yard for our guests to play in to their hearts’ content. We also include one or two walks a day whenever possible. For the most part however, they’re contented with being lapdogs, cuddling and begging for tummy rubs.
A difficult reality for many big dog owners is to accept that their companion will likely have a shorter life span than small dogs. Bull Mastiffs have an average lifespan of eight years and bulldogs only six, whereas a Chihuahua can live from 16 to 20 years. Fortunately, mixed-breeds large and small can be expected to live longer.
Stereotypes about small dogs’ behavior has been the subject of research studies and confirm what we already know. They’re generally more excitable, fearful, anxious, aggressive and harder to train than the big ones. I personally believe most of those qualities are because everyone and everything looks like a skyscraper or predator to them. As far as harder to train, do you really care if your Yorkie-poo pulls ahead of you? She or he is probably eight or nine pounds, not 80 or 90. We believe dog walks should be where they can stop and smell the roses, not dragged behind. Otherwise, it’s a people-walk, determined by what the human wants.
And, yeah, they’re probably going to bark at big dogs that walk by. Remember, big guy predator, tiny guy prey. Given all that, we still know one thing for sure: Little Dogs Rock!