Tonka is a big dog who belongs to a client here at Aunt Faye’s Dog Training. He is a very big dog, a Newfoundland. He weighs about 175 lbs. It’s very impressive to see him, everyone he encounters usually say something along the lines of “Wow.” He is quite friendly with people. He does drool a bit. Sometimes he likes to get a biiiigggg drink of water and then he runs to you and wipes his face all over you to dry it off. We keep towels handy to dry him off. After he drinks he usually shakes his head so the goobers fly and land on his back, head, my head, your head, where ever. In fact, he has remnants of one in the photo above.
Big dogs are a lot of fun but there are things you might want to consider before you get one. The first is obvious, do you have room? They do take up a bit of space, a small upstairs apartment would probably be out of the question. Feeding is another, they eat a lot more than the average dog so you spend more feeding them. ( And then there is the clean up of the “by-products” of eating.) Transportation is a factor. I had to buy a ramp to get Tonka into and out of my Ford Exposition. He can’t jump that high so agility would not be an option for him, anyway. Grooming is more expensive if you take him to be groomed. It takes a lot more time to bathe, brush and dry a dog his size. Finding a groomer who can bathe him in a floor stall or have a heavy duty ramp to get him into the tub is something that has to be considered. Boarding costs more for large dogs. Medical costs can really get expensive. Tonka has to take 2 heartworm preventative pills each month because it is dosed by weight. Same for flea prevention formulas. Dental prophylaxis performed at the vet is usually charged according to the weight of the animal. And the hardest part for all big dog owners is that their life span is usually shorter than the average dog. The larger the dog, the shorter the life span.
But there are many good things about large dogs. They deter burglars better than those little foo-foo dogs. They can pull the kids aroud on a sled. They can probably pull you around in a sled, no need for a whole team of huskys. You don’t have to bend over to pet them. They don’t get on the furniture because either it won’t hold them, or their wouldn’t be any room for a human to join them, so what would be the point. They can look out the window just standing there, so they don’t scratch the woodwork all up from jumping up to look out the window. If they are out in the back field, you can still see them, they don’t get lost in the long grass like those Chihuahua’s can. And hawks and eagles never swoop down and carry them off.
I love big dogs. I also love small ones and the in betweens. There aren’t really very many ( if any) dogs on this earth that I don’t like.