Small dogs rule! Pound for pound, they pack in more personality and performance than their big cousins. If you own one or want one, check out this list of great things about small dogs.
Why Small Dogs Rule
Let’s get straight into what makes small dogs so great. If you have other ideas we should mention, let us know in the comments.
1. They Live Longer
That’s right. The small dog breeds generally live for 12 – 14 years, while the monster breeds at the other end of the scale only last for about half that time. In the middle of the pack, large dogs will average 8 – 10 years.
Did you know that it’s not uncommon for Yorkies and Dachshunds to top the 20 year mark. How great is that?
2. Small Dogs Suffer Less From Arthritis
While we’re on the topic of age, those older small dogs are less likely to suffer the pain of arthritis. This seems to make sense from a wear-and-tear perspective – their little legs carrying less weight around.
So small dogs live longer and suffer less. Great!
3. Smaller Dogs Eat Less
Again, this makes sense. The smaller dog breeds need fewer calories, but more than you might think. For their size, they actually eat a bit more than large dogs on a weight for weight basis. It’s probably something to do with all that energy.
You also need to be aware that those small tummies fill quickly but they also empty quickly, so small dogs need to eat more often. And small breed puppies have smaller tummies again, so they need frequent filling to make sure puppy grows up healthy. Make sure you get feeding advice that is specific to your dog’s breed.
And we recommend that you get the Best Dog Food (click the link to see what that really means).
So… Less food = less cost = great!
Check the Nutritional Labels on these and other Dog Food’s available by ordering on-line.
4. Smaller Dogs Need Less Room
When you look at our list of The Best Apartment Dogs, there’s no surprise most of them come from the smaller breeds. Again, there’s no rocket science here, but we do need to break it down a little. Not every small dog breed is like the other.
Companion Dog or Hunter?
We need to look back to breeding for this one. Terriers, Rat Dogs, Squirrel Dogs, etc were specifically bred for traits like being energetic and fearless. They were used to hunt or control pest animals.
Other small dog breeds were instead selected for companionship. They bred in traits like pleasant (or interesting) appearance and similar other ‘cuddly’ factors.
So, energetic small dogs will naturally appreciate more room to exercise than their more lazy, cuddly counterparts. It’s not just size that matters – breed plays a part.
And that brings us to our final item:
5. Small Dogs Have Big Personalities!
Whether you have a willful West Highland Terrier or a mellow Miniature Schnauzer , the small dog breeds have wonderful variety when it comes to personality. It’s a lot of character in a small package!
Part of this again hails back to the breed origins – hunter or companion. The companion breeds like Shih Tsu, Pug and Papillon will tend to be friendly, cuddly and placid. Hunters like the Jack Russell, Cairn Terrier (think Toto) and Scottish Terrier tend toward the more boisterous and territorial.
Just because a dog is small doesn’t mean they are easy to control! With any breed, and especially a hunting breed, you need to set the relationship correctly. Otherwise you can end up with an Aggressive Dog, and those little teeth can hurt.
So, set yourself up properly as the pack leader, and enjoy the great pleasure of small dog ownership.
What do You Think is the Best Thing About Small Dogs?
That’s our list of best things complete (for now). Is your ‘best thing’ covered above, or did we miss it? Feel free to let us know via the comments box below so we can improve the list over time.