Large dogs are patient
Courtesy Andy Seliverstoff/Revodana Publishing With great size comes great security, and that means large dogs are content and cool-headed. “Many big dogs tend to feel secure in their own position in the world—literally and figuratively—and they often don’t feel as compelled to prove themselves,” says Denise Flaim, a dog lover, breeder and the publisher of Little Kids and Their Big Dogs. “If they really wanted to, big dogs could be pretty fearsome bullies. But most abide by the philosophy that just because you can, doesn’t mean you should, and they know you don’t have to throw your weight around to be respected,” Flaim says. “Oftentimes, quiet dignity does just fine.” (These are the 50 secrets your pet wishes you knew.)
Most large-breed dogs don’t need as much exercise as you think
Courtesy Andy Seliverstoff/Revodana Publishing Many large and extra-large dogs, such as Great Danes, were bred to be guard dogs, which requires a whole lot of sitting around. Smaller dogs, on the other hand, may be hard-wired to move (a lot). “Size doesn’t correlate to energy level. I own and breed Rhodesian Ridgebacks, for example, and as long as they get a nice long walk and some mental stimulation during the day, most adults are happy to lounge around in the house or apartment,” says Denise Flaim. “Other breeds, like many herding or retrieving dogs, are smaller, but require way more exercise to burn off their energy.” The exception: puppies. Any puppy, no matter its breed or size, is usually in what Flaim calls “the zoomy stage” until it hits at least 18 months to two years old. But gangly, still-growing-into-their-limbs, large-breed pups shouldn’t be over-exercised, or they run the risk of injury.