Five things to love about large dogs

A white dog with black spots smiles at the camera

When it comes to the type of pet your family chooses to adopt, the decision is a personal one. Your pet should match your family’s lifestyle and needs, but having an open mind about the type of pet that could be your perfect fit is also important. 

Large dogs, those who are typically over 50 pounds, can be easily overlooked in the shelter because of assumptions that these breeds require more training, have more energy, and can generally be more work than a smaller breed. 

Whether you’re an active adventurer or a laid-back lounger, here are some reasons why large dogs could make a great addition to your family. 

1. Large dogs make versatile companions

If you're an avid hiker, runner, or outdoor enthusiast, many large dogs have the energy and stamina to keep up with your active lifestyle, whether it's going for long hikes or jogging through the neighborhood. Their size and strength can make them excellent running buddies if you’re looking for a dog to keep you motivated! 

Large dogs are also great for participating in dog sports, like skijoring in the winter, scent work, and other fun activities.

On the flip side, many large dogs are happy to be your couch companion. The size of a dog doesn’t necessarily indicate their energy levels, and there are many large dogs that are content with neighborhood walks and afternoons in front of the TV. 

2. Large dogs can be great family pets

A dad and his daughter look at a dog to adopt at Animal Humane Society

Having a pet as a child comes with so many benefits, and large dogs, though maybe intimidating in size, are often gentle and affectionate, making them wonderful companions for families. Many large breeds are known for their patience and tolerance, making them great playmates for children of all ages. 

If you’re unsure whether your family is ready to welcome a dog, or you’re looking for tips on having a large dog with children, attend our Kids and Canines webinar. Our trainers are happy to answer any questions you may have. 

3. Training your large dog can be so much fun

As with any type of dog, training requires patience and consistency, but it can be a fun challenge that brings you and your pup closer together. While every dog is unique, large breeds can be intelligent and eager to please, making them quick learners when it comes to obedience training and tricks. 

With dedication and plenty of positive reinforcement, you'll be amazed at how quickly your large pup picks up new skills. Plus, the bond you'll form through training sessions strengthens the relationship between you and your furry friend!

At Animal Humane Society, we offer a variety of training options to help meet you and your dog’s needs, no matter their size. Our Behavior and Training team is also here to answer any question you may have through our free Behavior Helpline

4. Large dogs make the perfect winter companions

dog laying on a couch

There's nothing quite like snuggling up with your furry friend on a chilly night, and large dogs excel in the cuddle department. Many large breeds actually consider themselves lap dogs (with no regard for the actual size of your lap). And their size and often thick coats make them the perfect bed warmers during the cold Minnesota winters.

Even if you prefer your pup in their own bed, having a pup that does well – even thrives – in the cold and snow can make life a little easier in the winter. 

5. Large dogs come with large personalities

One of the most endearing qualities of large dogs can be their larger-than-life personalities. There are a variety of breeds that live under the “large dog” umbrella, and each one comes with their own unique personality quirks that make them so much fun to be around. 

Whether they're bounding around the backyard with unbridled enthusiasm or taking up all the space on your couch, large dogs have a knack for bringing joy and laughter into our lives.

Could a large dog be right for you? 

The decision to adopt a large dog is a deeply personal one that should be based on your family's lifestyle and needs. However, if you're seeking a furry friend who embodies boundless energy, unwavering loyalty, and a heart as big as their size, a large dog might just be the perfect match for you. 

Visit one of our three adoption locations or view our adoptable dogs today, and consider making a large dog your new best friend. 

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