Each and every variety of dog has its own particular quirks, but it’s always fascinating to compare small breeds against their larger counterparts. What are the pros and cons of each? What are some of the differences? If you’ve ever owned a Miniature Schnauzer, Shih Tzu, Pug or related dog, you’ll recognize the traits outlined directly below. By the same token, if you’ve ever rubbed shoulders with a St. Bernard, a Mastiff, Rottweiler or similar, you’ll be in familiar territory in the latter part of this article. So whether you’re thinking about adding a new breed to your home or acquiring a dog for the first time, here are some pros and cons of both.

Small breeds

Pro: they’re cheaper to look after

It’s not hard to work out why our pint-sized friends would be easier on the wallet. After all, they need less food to be happy and healthy for one. But veterinary bills tend to be lower too, so if your budget is tight and you’re adding to the brood, it might make sense to keep the smaller breeds in mind.

Con: Aggressiveness

Ironically, despite their size, small breeds are often more demanding and hot-headed than their bigger counterparts. Whether it’s warding off people they misconstrue as intruders or demanding endless attention, small dogs can be go-getters of note. Keep that in mind if you’re pressed for time and want to take a hands-off approach.

Pro: Small breeds are well suited to city life, including an office

Lucky enough to work a job where dogs are welcome? No matter how lax the company culture is, you’ll probably get a few stares if you walk in with a St. Bernard. Smaller breeds will be far more palatable and, with the right training, they’ll fit right in. The same goes for an apartment in the city. Big breeds need a garden to explore, whereas a miniature dog will be fine with the space afforded to it – provided you take it on walks too.

Con: Some people don’t like the bark

All dogs can be noisy, but some people don’t like the way a chihuahua sounds in the middle of a long rant, for instance. And while bigger dogs bark plenty, it is true that the smaller breeds emit a sound that’s often closer to a yap. This is no big deal in our eyes, but if you’ve got something against that yapping sound, it’s worth keeping in mind.

Big breeds

Big breed pro: they’re great guard dogs

Through sheer size alone, big dogs are good for guarding your property, and many of them are used in the police force and military for this very reason. As a homeowner, if you’re at all worried about your security and want an animal to give you peace of mind, look no further than a German Shepherd or Rottweiler.
Con: they’re prone to health conditions
Large breeds tend to inherit joint issues, an hereditary condition hardwired into their DNA. The upshot is there’s nothing you can do about it, and the reality is that bigger dogs tend to live shorter lives. All that size takes a toll on the body after a while, and physical ailments will only get worse as the dog gets older.

Con: their weight can be hard to control

You need to be strict with the diet, because large breeds can balloon into obesity in later life. Make exercise a priority and watch those portions.

Pro: They’re great fun

Big breeds tend to be very good-natured, making them great around kids. They’re also particularly good fun if you enjoy long, extended walks.

No matter which breed you go for, remember that all dogs need love, attention and plenty of exercise. In the end, there might be subtle differences between the two, but dogs of all shapes and sizes need proper looking after.