Have you and your family been considering getting a dog? The most important first step in choosing the right dog for you is research. Take the time to find out which breed of dog is the best fit for you and your family. Most people make the mistake of running out and getting a dog on a whim. They pick a certain dog because they think it’s cute or because they thought it would be cool. I’ve made the mistake of just jumping into it without knowing anything about the breed I was bringing home. If you take the time to do a little research you will increase your chances of success and you might learn a few surprising things as well.

Many factors must be taken into consideration before you decide on a dog for your family. Many people believe that if they live in a small space or have a small yard they should go with a small dog. Some people also believe that small dogs are best if you have young children. It may be surprising to some to find out this isn’t necessarily the case.

Although small dogs may look cute and cuddly, they sometimes prove otherwise once you get them home. Many smaller breeds of dogs love to bark and they will do it all the time. You may also find that your small dog is not the best playmate for children. They may also be a little over protective if company comes to your house. Keep in mind there are exceptions, but it’s a good idea to explore other possible options.

Many people won’t even consider a large dog if they live in a small space or if they don’t have a very big yard. Parents are often wary of large dogs, especially if they have children under the age of five. If you research some of the large breeds of dogs you may discover that they fit your lifestyle better than you think. Here are a few large dog breeds you may want to consider if you have limited space.

Saint Bernards, as well as most other large breeds can be intimidating due to their large, muscular structure. In this case, looks can definitely be deceiving. These dogs are very gentle and friendly. They are great for families as they are extremely tolerant and patient, even with small children. The only risk to your children may be that of being accidentally knocked down due to their great size. On average, full grown Saint Bernards will weigh between 110 and 200 pounds.

They are very intelligent and easier to train than many large dogs as they are very eager to please their masters. Be firm in training, but do not over do it because they seem to get their feelings hurt easily. Saint Bernards also make good watchdogs. Their size alone is often a deterrent to would-be intruders.

Saint Bernards should do well in an apartment as they are relatively inactive and laid back indoors. A small yard is sufficient as long as they get to go for a walk a few times a week.

The only downsides to this breed are the fact that they do shed quite a bit and most will drool after they eat or drink. If these things don’t bother you then a Saint Bernard may be the ideal pet for you and your family.

The Mastiff is another large breed of dog that does well in small spaces. They too are very gentle and generally very good with children. They tend to be very protective of family and property which makes them great guard dogs. They will usually not permit strangers into their home until their they realize there is no threat. Their size is comparable with that of the Saint Bernard.

They are also very lazy and inactive indoors and do well with only a small yard if walked occasionally. You can expect some drooling with Mastiffs and they can be difficult to train at times. Mastiffs are easy to groom as their hair is smooth and short. Shedding is not as much of a problem as with the Saint Bernard. Generally, this breed makes a great family pet even if they don’t have much space.

Another gentle giant is the Great Dane. This breed is also very affectionate and playful with children. They do not bark unless it’s necessary but their size makes them great watchdogs. They can weigh up to 200 pounds but are usually taller and more slender than Saint Bernards and Mastiffs.

Great Danes do not require much living space but can be a little more active indoors than the other large breeds above. They may require a little more exercise than the others as well. They are intelligent and eager to please but can prove somewhat difficult to train. They love people and must be trained early not to lean on them. As with all large breeds, it’s important to begin obedience training early so that they will be easier to handle when they become adults.

These are just a few of the more popular large dog breeds out there. There are many more that might make good pets for you and you family. With so many choices out there, it’s hard to determine which dog is best for you. Take your time and research as many different breeds as you can. Don’t overlook the large dogs just because you are limited on space. They may prove to be the ideal family companion that you’ve been looking for.