Dog Breeds by Size
Selecting the Right-Sized Dog for Your Home and Family
Choosing the right four-legged addition to your family requires a little advance research to ensure that your new pet is well suited to your available space and to your lifestyle.
Smaller dogs can often thrive in much smaller environments than their giant-sized counterparts, which often require vigorous exercise and room to run to stay happy and healthy.
Temperament plays a significant role as well; active puppies and dogs need plenty of exercise inside and out, regardless of their breed.
Calm and relaxed dogs, by contrast, may only require a walk once or twice daily.
Finally, training and working with your new pet can help you reduce less desirable traits while ensuring the most positive interactions with you, your family and your guests.
By considering the size, space requirements and temperaments of various dog breeds, you can find the perfect pet for your family and ensure the most successful integration of your new four-legged companion into your home.
Small Dog Breeds
Small dogs are well suited to apartment living and smaller homes.
Lovable lapdogs, these pets include lively and personable pugs, beagles, Pomeranians and Pekingese dogs.
Chihuahuas are one of the most popular small dog breeds and can weigh under two pounds.
Although no dog is completely free from shedding and pet dander, hypoallergenic breeds like the wire fox terrier, Bedlington terrier, Maltese and Australian silky terrier can provide welcome relief from the sniffles for allergy sufferers.
Miniature and toy poodles are also relatively hypoallergenic and can adjust easily to smaller home environments.
Yorkshire terriers are both hypoallergenic and easy to train; their cute and cuddly appearance makes them a popular choice for many apartment dwellers.
The most important consideration when choosing a small dog is to find a pet that suits your lifestyle and your personality.
The right puppy or dog can offer a lifetime of love and companionship for you and your family.
Medium Dog Breeds
Most medium-sized dogs weigh between 35 and 65 pounds and require more room to run and play than smaller breeds.
Australian shepherds, Siberian huskies, and standard schnauzers are among the most popular medium dog breeds.
These dogs are well-suited to families with children and enjoy active play with balls, flying discs and other toys.
Labrador retrievers and Australian shepherds are known for their gentle dispositions and are ideal companions for babies and younger children.
Border collies are among the most intelligent dog breeds and can easily learn to do tricks and to obey commands.
While some medium-sized dogs can adjust to smaller apartments or homes without fenced yards, these pets typically need regular exercise and can benefit from regular visits to off-leash dog parks and vigorous runs or long walks with their owners.
Soft-coated wheaten terriers, Portuguese water dogs, Tibetan terriers and Samoyeds are relatively hypoallergenic and are good choices for allergy-prone individuals.
Large Dog Breeds
German shepherds, golden retrievers and Irish setters are among the most beloved family pets.
Most large dogs were originally bred for working; herding and retrieving instincts can be strong in these pets.
As a result, these dogs typically require task-driven exercise that can include chasing and retrieving balls and flying discs, pulling small wagons and runs alongside a bike-riding owner.
Asserting control over dominant instincts can help you integrate larger dogs into your home safely and can promote better interactions with family members and strangers alike.
Providing ample exercise for these pets can help them stay healthy and can reduce hyperactivity at home.
Frequent family trips to dog parks can offer added opportunities for running and playing outside, especially for dogs in smaller homes or apartments without fenced yards or dog runs.
Although few large dogs are hypoallergenic, Bouvier des Flandres dogs and Afghan hounds are among the exceptions to this rule.
Giant Dog Breeds
Primarily bred as guard dogs and working dogs, most of the giant dog breeds require firm guidance to curb dominant tendencies and ensure a good fit with your family.
St. Bernard, Irish wolfhound, Great Pyrenees and Newfoundland breeds typically have gentle and affectionate temperaments and can be quite protective of their adoptive family.
Maintaining a dominant position with these pets is necessary due to their size and weight.
Mastiffs can weigh in at over 200 pounds and can present a real threat to intruders, making them a popular choice for home protection and guard dog duty.
For most giant-sized dogs, however, providing regular exercise and plenty of room to run can ensure a sweeter disposition and a more well-balanced pet for your family.
Sadly, giant dogs have a shorter average lifespan than their smaller compatriots.
These pets require regular veterinary visits to address any health issues that may arise due to the weight and size of these companion animals.