The only real dogs are big dogs. Perhaps only a large dog could have made the incredible journey from Scotland to Yorkshire that Lassie undertook in “Lassie Come Home.” The original Lassie movie was not only Lassie’s best movie, but one of the best kids movies ever made. It starred a very young Elizabeth Taylor and Roddy McDowall. The faithful and determined Lassie was played by a Rough Collie named Pal. If you are considering buying or adopting a large dog, it is important to research the different dog breeds beforehand. Each breed of dog has different characteristics and only the correct ones will be suitable for your family and home.
Labrador Retrievers – These wonderful family and sporting dogs can be yellow, black, or chocolate in color. Labs are smart, versatile, and friendly dogs. They are good with children and other dogs. Their coat is not long, but it is a double coat, so they require regular grooming. Labs are large, active dogs, so a yard would be preferable.
German Shepherd – The famous Rin Tin Tin was rescued from the First World War in France and brought to the United States, where he starred in many films. Later, Rin Tin Tin IV starred in the 1950s television series “The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin”. Today this breed is often employed as police, guardian and service dogs, although they can also be loyal family dogs. These dogs are large and strong and possess a herding instinct, so good training is essential. This highly trainable and dependable breed requires regular grooming and exercise.
Collie – Rough Collies and Smooth Collies are considered varieties of the same breed in the US and Canada, while in the UK they are considered separate breeds. Other breeds of collie include the medium-sized Border Collie and the Bearded Collie (the fifteenth breed below). Smooth Collies have short hair, while Rough Collies have a beautiful full coat. Today, Rough and Smooth Collies are primarily family and show dogs, unlike their herding ancestors. With training, they can be excellent with children and other pets. These friendly and intelligent dogs require regular exercise and grooming. The Smooth Collie actually requires more grooming even though it has shorter hair.
Golden Retrievers – Like Labs, Goldens make excellent family dogs, hunting retrievers, and versatile service dogs. Golds have longer hair, with a beautiful double coat that can be various shades of gold. They require more regular grooming. Highly intelligent, gentle and friendly, this breed makes an ideal family pet. These dogs are very good with children and with other dogs and pets. This is an active breed that likes company and regular exercise. It is preferable to have a patio.
Rottweiler – When you hear a ‘chirp’ or ‘bark’ behind you, rest assured that it is not a Rottweiler; this breed is only capable of saying ‘wow’. The Chunky Rottweiler is not the largest breed, but it can be the most powerful. These dogs are versatile working dogs and excellent watchdogs. However, this breed has a much calmer demeanor than the Doberman Pinscher. Rottweilers can be family dogs, but good training is essential. These protective dogs require regular exercise, but grooming requirements are minimal.
Doberman Pinscher – Like the Rottweiler, the Doberman generally has a black coat with tan markings. Dobermans also make excellent watchdogs. The muscular Doberman is smaller than the Rottweiler, but is faster and more active. Doberman Pinschers are a very aggressive breed, so having experience in handling dogs is very important when acquiring one. They are not good with young children and other pets. It is an active breed that needs regular exercise and has a high training capacity. Grooming requirements are minimal.
Boxer – The square-faced boxer is a solid working and service dog. These dogs are loyal and protective companions, making them good watchdogs. With training, they are good with children and other pets. They like companionship and regular exercise. Only minimal care is required. Like all previous breeds, a fenced yard would be preferable. An apartment is possible with daily walks or exercise in the fresh air.
Saint Bernard – The famous rescue dog of the Swiss Alps, the Saint Bernard is one of the largest breeds by weight. These large dogs are intelligent, loyal, and protective, making them excellent family dogs. They are good with children and other pets. Holding a little drool and grooming regularly are downsides. These dogs should be exercised regularly and a garden is preferable. Saint Bernard should not be placed in hot weather.
Siberian Husky – Siberians are the most popular breed in the Iditarod Trail sled dog race. They have great stamina and like to work. These dogs are good with children and large dogs, but not with smaller pets. Siberians need to be in a cool climate and can tolerate extremely cold temperatures. These dogs require regular grooming and exercise. They are not apartment dogs.
Great Dane – The gentle giant is one of the tallest dogs in the world and the world record for dog height belongs to a Great Dane named Gibson. These dogs are usually watchdogs, but they also make good family pets. With training, these gentle dogs are good with children and other dogs. They need regular exercise and having a garden is essential. Grooming requirements are minimal.
German Shorthaired Pointer – This smart and active breed has a liver (brown) or liver and white coat. These dogs are tireless and versatile hunting and hunting dogs. They are good for an active family and do well with children. With training, they can get along well with other dogs. The GSP is a loyal watchdog that needs regular exercise and minimal grooming. This is not an apartment dog.
Greyhound – The distinctively shaped greyhound is the fastest breed of dog in the world. These dogs can have coats of almost any color. They are versatile hunting dogs that make good family pets. With training, they do well with children and other dogs. Smaller pets are a bad idea and a fenced yard is a must. Greyhounds need regular exercise, but only minimal care.
Mastiff – One of the largest dog breeds in the world is the Mastiff. There are many types of Mastiffs, such as the English Mastiff, the Bullmastiff, and the Tibetan Mastiff. This loyal and protective breed is often used as a guard dog. Despite their massive appearance, these dogs are known to be gentle family companions. They are not recommended around small children and other pets. Regular exercise is a good idea, while only minimal care is needed.
English Setter, Irish Setter, Gordon Setter – These beautiful, graceful dog breeds were originally hunting companions. English and Irish setters were bird dogs that became pointers. The Gordon Setter can be used as a personal bird dog. Today these dogs make wonderful family pets. Shipowners require a lot of exercise and attention. They require regular grooming and a garden is recommended.
Bearded Collie – This shaggy, long-haired dog is almost a medium-sized dog. This herding breed is related to the Old English Sheepdog. These active and playful dogs make good family pets. They are good with children and other pets. These dogs require regular exercise and grooming. A patio is recommended.
Old English Sheepdog – Their hair tends to cover their eyes. This shaggy dog is larger than the Bearded Collie. These cheerful dogs make wonderful family pets. They are affectionate and good with children. They can also be a bit clumsy and may try to herd things. They require regular exercise and grooming, as they will shed during the warmer months.