Tiny Body, Big Heart! Understanding What Owning Small Dog Breed Means
If you are choosing a small breed because you think they only require half the care or attention of a bigger dog then think again! Small dogs usually mean big character. Small dogs are those breeds which weigh in at under 25 lbs (11kg). They include all breeds from the Toy group and some from the Terrier, Non-
Not all small breeds are born equal. When it comes to choosing the best small dog breed for your own lifestyle, it is important to understand that they vary considerably in their temperaments and activity levels, depending on their breed background. This is because dogs that were bred to kill rats and hunt prey have very different characters to breeds which have been bred to sit on the laps of courtly ladies.
The Pro’s and Cons of Choosing A Small Dog Breed
Small breeds take up much less room in the house and car. This means they are more portable and make traveling easier. ( This may be offset by high activity levels)
- Small pooches are perfect for people with smaller homes or lack easy access to wide open spaces. They often require less exercise than larger dogs. This is especially true of the Toy breeds.
- The costs of owning a small dog are generally much less. This is because small breeds take much less of everything: Reduced food needs and cheaper vet bills ( medicines are prescribed by weight) can make a real difference on the household budget in the long term .
- Small breeds make less mess and are physically easier to control or manage. An angry Chihuahua is only a formidable guardian in his own eyes. To everyone else he’s just the subject of an amusing upload on ‘You Tube’
- For the senior dog owner, a small pooch is often just about manageable for them. Suitable dog breeds for seniors include the Maltese and Pomeranian. This is because they excel as companions and are easy to train. They can also be house trained to use a litter tray indoors.
Disadvantages Of Choosing A Smaller Breed Include:
- Some smaller breeds are extremely active and have the stamina of a yak. They can yap like lunatics and tear round the house in a whirlwind; Therefore offsetting any advantage bestowed by their diminutive stature in a small apartment.
- When it comes to training, some smaller breeds can be quite wilful. Terriers can be especially stubborn which makes training more difficult.
- Smaller dog breeds are more delicate than larger ones and small bones are easily broken. For this reason they don’t usually make the ideal dogs for young children In fact some of the smallest breeds can break bones just by jumping off the sofa onto a hard floor! Small dogs tend to get caught underfoot more often, making injury more likely. Those tiny bones can be easily broken if the dog is accidentally stepped on.
- Although small dogs are typically long-
lived; The effects of illness can be more severe when it comes to a small dog’s health. This is because opportunistic infections can overcome a smaller dog’s immune system more quickly than for a larger more robust dog.
Health Considerations For Smaller Breeds
In general, small dogs live longer than larger breeds. This is because their bodies don’t have to work as hard as to sustain and supprt them during their lives. Therefore their organs and physiological systems stay in better shape for longer. Like very large breeds ,small breeds can be prone to serious congenital conditions. Always research your chosen small breed carefully for known health problems..
- Only buy from a reputable breeder and make sure you have have adequate medical insurance.
- Breeds with squashed up faces (brachycephalic dogs) such as Pugs or Shih Tzus often have trouble breathing and frequently wheeze or snort. While this may seem cute, in reality it is a serious condition which is stressful for the dog and needs to be treated. Pug health problems are well known, and are due primarily to over breeding and breed miniaturisation.
- Other common problems found in small dogs include a collapsed trachea, where the cartilage rings in the dogs windpipe start to collapse severely restricting airflow into the lungs.
- Luxating patella is a condition when the kneecap is forced out of position. (This causes pain and occasionally lameness)
- Hypoglycaemia is a condition caused by low blood sugar levels. This is because smaller breeds have fast metabolisms. It can be quite serious, especially for puppy’s
There is no doubt that small breed dog ownership has been increasing in recent years, indeed the Yorkshire Terrier Dachsund Shih Tzu and Boston Terrier all show up in America’s top 20 most popular breeds, Perhaps more of us are living in cities where space is limited? Maybe our lives are too busy to accommodate heavy exercise routines? Possibly it’s because small dogs are more economic in these troubled times…or maybe it’s because we find smaller dogs much cuter than big ones. Whatever the reason there are so many types of small dogs that I’m positive you will find the perfect one for you.