Extra Large Breed Dogs
Big Dogs! Big Hugs! Big Shovel!
Extra large breed dogs often belie their size being mellow relaxed gentle giants and will repay the care you give them with 150lbs plus of pure doggy love.
What is an extra large breed dog?
Firstly, there is no standard and so you will find that people’s listings can vary from place to place according to which breed organisation you consult.
Some people will include very tall skinny dogs, but for our purposes if it can get blown over in the wind then it isn’t extra large. We are thinking really about dogs that pack in the mass.
Big, solid boned beasties that weigh in at over 100lbs in the adult male and feel as solid as a brick wall.
Breeds such as The
Anatolian Shepherd Dog,
Greater Swiss Mountain Dog,
and Saint Bernard
all qualify though this list is by no means exhaustive.
Owning A giant dog breed doesn’t mean you need to have lots of land and outdoor space to keep them happy.
For a start the bigger the dog the less exercise they normally require and they are not as active about the home.
There is a certain irony that these dogs are often more suitable to small living spaces than their diminutive cousins and don’t require the same level of exercise. This is because very large breeds are far less active and more inclined to be still indoors, rather than a maniac terrier that will bound from one end of the home to the other .
Big dogs might take up more floor space in themselves but they generally don’t dominate the home space.
Before you rush out and order two Irish Wolfhounds for your one room apartment, there is plenty to consider before you bring home any extra large breed dogs.
By definition these are strong, powerful and impressive beasts often used in the Guardian or Lifesaving role, but looks are sometimes deceptive and extra large breed dogs do suffer from their own range of particular problems, and misunderstandings.
For starters, just because the dog is enormous, it would be wrong to assume they require more physical handling or sterner correction to make up for it.
Giant breed dogs are often quite sensitive and rough handling or bullish training methods can frighten them.
Some guardian breeds can resent this sort of discipline and become obstinate and bad tempered. A bad tempered resentful 'Goliath' is not a good thing.
Extra large breed dogs need to be trained properly, they are usually quite intelligent and adapt well, but train them early while they are young before their size becomes overwhelming.
Special Considerations For very Large Dogs
The accelerated bone growth that these puppies go through combined with their adult size can mean aggravated bone and joint problems in adulthood. Very Large breeds are also prone to thyroid problems, heart problems, bloat (Torsion) and Hormone imbalances.
Very large dogs are not generally the best for small children, their sheer size and clumsiness means they can easily knock over or squash a toddler. They are not doing it on purpose it’s just that they are simply too big for the situation.
If you are a very petite tiny person taking a huge dog that is physically stronger than you for a walk, make sure you have the strength of personality to exert your control, there is nothing more humiliating than being taken for a walk by your dog.
Other Things To Consider:
They often have a shorter lifespan, generally only 6-10 years
Dog toys, baskets, blankets, crates are all more expensive for the extra large dog.
Giant dogs will probably eat at least twice as much as a smaller dog and might need a specialised diet to tackle weight and joint management.
Grooming and kennelling fees cost more for extra large breed dogs, so to do vet fees. Pharmaceuticals or anaesthetics that your dog is prescribed are charged by volume and therefore more expensive the bigger the dog .
Owning an extra large dog can be a joy, there is nothing like the comforting reassurance that their sheer prescence can bring, especially if you are looking for a dog with Guardian qualities. Just remember that they do have specific needs and you won't go too far wrong.
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