Large Dogs

There is something very comforting about owning a big dog.

If you already own a large four legged friend then I'm sure you already know the joy of owning a big loveable dog.Perhaps you will feel safe and protected, maybe you just like the thought of wrapping your arms around a substantial body, but whatever the reasons, you are thinking about getting a big dog. Before you proceed to this it is important that you consider all the facts, because a big dog also means a big commitment!

Firstly, big dogs eat a big amount of food and they are big enough to self -serve from the barbie. They may also need high protein food if they are high energy dogs, or low kilojoule food if they are giant couch potatoes. They'll want big bones to chew on so be prepared to bring home a femur or two. Whatever the food, there's no escaping the big dog poos you'll need to clean up and if you don't clean up regularly, your yard will look like a sewerage treatment plant.

Of course, big dogs need to dig big holes to bury their big bones, so you might want to consider whether your yard is ready for a makeover, doggy style. Not all big dogs dig, of course, but most have the potential, particularly if they get bored, and they are not going to dig a few centimetres of dirt, they are going to head for China. Some big dogs even like to dig swimming pool sized holes to lie in during the heat of the day. Bored big dogs can also effect some major demolition work and won't take a nip out of a cushion - they'll take the whole arm off the chair.

Exercise is likely to be another huge requirement of a big dog. They need to run a lot, and they are happy to drag you along. If you are lightly built, or not that strong, your large canine companion may decide that the 'heel' command you are screaming as you are towed down the road is a synonym for 'go faster'. And you had better be able to go fast if they slip their lead, because most big dogs will out run all but Olympic marathon men.

Of course the key to most big dog issues is training. They need considerable obedience training to make them great companions. They need to learn to heel and to come back when called if allowed off lead. They need to learn not to jump up. A 50kg dog leaping at you with devotion will not end well for you. They need to learn to fetch, because throwing a ball might be the only way you can wear them out. Most of all, they need to learn to be social with other dogs and people, especially children. If a Chihuahua nips a child it might draw a little blood; if a big dog nips a child it might remove a few fingers! Anti - social big dogs are dangerous.

So, if you are considering a big dog, think about how much effort you will need to put in, and whether you have the time, energy and money to make big dog ownership a wonderful experience.

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