First-Time Dog Owners Should Start Small
Owning a dog is one of the first forms of real responsibility for another being that many get to experience. Like most forms of responsibility, sometimes it is best to start small. While medium and larger breeds of dog provide unique benefits, smaller dogs tend to be a bit more controllable, and everything they do is on a smaller scale. From their bites to their belongings, to the potential damage they pose to property, the more diminutive dog breeds can be an ideal starter-kit for first-time owners. The Biewer Terrier standard size ranges from 4-8 lb.
Why Go Small?
In life, many of us are conditioned to the idea that bigger is better. From jacked-up pickup trucks to mega-mansions, much of what we long for and aspire to be is larger than life. Well, if you’ve ever paid to fill up those trucks or laid down your own cash to maintain the energy costs in a mega-mansion, you understand that bigger is decidedly not always better.
All of these metaphors are meant to say this: when you are a first-time dog owner, consider the pros of going small. Whether you are a parent who wants to teach a child the responsibilities that come with pet ownership or a single person looking for a furry companion, small dogs like Biewer Terriers carry many advantages to their larger brethren. Pet Helpful correctly informs us that smaller dogs can be much easier, from shorter walks to their portability and ease of snuggle, a little Biewer Terrier can be the perfect dog.
Biewer Puppy Basics details succinctly the perks of small dog ownership. They include fewer joint issues, less food costs, being easier to bathe, causing and leaving smaller messes, and being easy to handle. But, they are not all quite the same.
The Diversity of Small Breeds
The American Kennel Club lists the smallest of small dogs as ‘Toy Breeds’. These dogs tend to be the definition of cute, and all breeds in this classification weigh less than 10 pounds. Hill’s Pet notes, however, that the ‘small breed’ category tends to include dogs up to the 21-pound weight class. While these dogs range in personality, small dogs tend to share many characteristics. Their owners must understand what they are getting into when purchasing a small dog breed.
Consider the Downsides
The benefits of small dogs are very real. From damage to the reduced risk they pose to children, strangers, and other dogs, a small breed can be a perfect choice. But, like anything, they are not perfect.
Smaller dogs are more delicate, and therefore prone to spontaneous injury than larger breeds. So, while small breeds can be good for children of a certain age, consider whether your child’s definition of ‘rough-housing’ suits a small breed.
Smaller breeds are also thought to be more prone to a condition called patellar luxation, a condition of the kneecap which affects approximately 7% of puppies, according to the American College of Veterinary Surgeons. Certain owners will also look for a dog they can jostle around with, take on long, exercise-heavy excursions, or a larger breed that is better as a guard dog. While small breeds are not for everyone, they have pros and cons that must be considered, just as any breed does.
Prepare Your Home and Your Routine
While small dogs tend to pose a lesser threat of property damage, they are still dogs. Before bringing your small breed home, protect any surfaces you think they may relieve themselves on or chew up. Like any dog, they will need to be taught where to go to the bathroom and where not to, what to chew on and what not to, etc.
But also don’t forget to have some fun as soon as possible. Biewer Terriers are loyal to their owners, but a bond should be formed as soon as you get home. Break out the toys, have their food and water prepared, and show the dog the love it deserves by playing games like fetch. Remember, smaller dogs mean smaller toys, too.
If you are going to be working long hours as a single person, consider hiring someone to help out with dog walking. While small dogs need less exercise than larger breeds, they still need a certain amount of leg-stretching to remain healthy. Dog walkers can be well worth the financial investment for your dog’s emotional and physical stimulation.
Too often it seems that small dog breeds are dismissed as ‘yappers’ or ‘for chicks.’ Yes, they tend to have higher-pitched barks but calling them ‘yappers’ is downright degrading. In fact, Biewer Terriers are very calm and even-tempered dogs. They are not yappy or hyper like some other Toy Terrier Breeds. Smaller dog breeds have many well-noted benefits, and they should be considered by first-time owners for their ease of care and the other benefits that their diminutive size provides.
Author: Jessica Brody