Big, Medium, or Small: What Dog Size Is Right For You?

Los Angeles is a big city where you will find dogs of all sizes. With that said, Wags and Walks rescues range anywhere from large to tiny and all those in-between. To give you an example of our breed variety, meet two Wags and Walks dogs available for adoption who couldn’t be more different.

Greta is an 82-pound big, beautiful care bear; whereas, Tiny Tim weighs only 4.5 pounds but is full of a whole lot of love! Both of these pups are in search of their furever homes, but their size difference means their needs are also different.

You might be thinking, “well, I love all dogs!” We do too, but when it comes to adding a dog to your family, it’s important to think about your lifestyle and what size dog would be the best fit. When considering adopting your next (or first) dog, these 5 questions are a great place to start:


What size home do you live in?

It is no secret that the larger the dog, the more space he/she needs to roam around and feel comfortable. This is why you find more small to medium sized dogs in big cities, as they are better suited for small-medium sized apartments. Large dogs need an easily accessible yard and preferably enough space for them to spread out! If you are very active, though, and are able to take your dog outside and to dog parks a lot, then it is possible for you to have a larger dog in a yardless city apartment.


Are you an avid jogger, walker or neither?

All dogs need a healthy amount of exercise, but large dogs need a lot more exercise to stay healthy than small dogs do. So, if you are someone who prefers hanging out around the house to going outside, a smaller dog may be better for you. If the great outdoors is always calling your name - and there is plenty to do outside in Los Angeles - then a bigger dog can be perfect for you too!

This playful guy is Danny - a 1-year old, 70 pound Pit Bull mix. Danny loves hikes and walks and is a great example of a dog eager to join a loving family that is ready for an active dog.


How busy are you?

Most people in Los Angeles with dogs also have full-time jobs. Your schedule is a big influence on what type of dog you should adopt. Medium - large breed dogs take up a full seat in your car and are harder to take with you to run errands. Some small dogs, though, can fit in your tote, like little Franklin here. Franklin is a tiny 5-year old, 9-pound pup.

So, if you want a dog you can easily take with you on the go, you may consider a small to medium sized dog to fit your needs. However, if you are a busy bee living in a very dog-friendly area and/or you have the time to pop by the house to take your dog out for walks, then a big dog may be in your future!


What is your previous experience with dogs of various sizes?

While temperament varies heavily across dogs, the training of large vs medium vs small dogs can be quite different. Training bigger dogs often relies very heavily on voice commands, as it can be harder to physically handle them. Also, socializing small dogs vs large or medium dogs is different based on the physical size of the dog in comparison to other dogs and humans. Luckily, there are many resources to help you learn the best way to train your dog according to its size!

What kinds of dogs do you prefer?

Some people have preferences for big, small or medium sized dogs and others have no preference at all. For others, their preference aligns with certain breed types instead of dog size. Thankfully, Wags and Walks is able to rescue a wide array of dogs due to the loving help of our generous foster parents.

All of the dogs we rescue, regardless of size, are wonderful. When they are still growing, that means that sometimes it can be hard to estimate their adult size. Take the cutie above, for example. Buster is a playful Border Collie/Shepherd mix puppy who we estimate will grow to be at least 60 pounds, even if he’s just a little tike right now.

Every dog and person is unique, and there are many factors that go into picking the right dog for you. Wags and Walks is dedicated to ensuring our dogs find their perfect match in their forever home.  To do so, we observe every dog before making him/her available for adoption and also conduct in-depth interviews with both potential fosters and adopters.


To find more about the dogs featured in today’s blog, visit our Adoptable Dogs Page. To stay updated on what’s new at Wags and Walks, please follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Also, don’t forget to sign up for our e-mail newsletter. Who doesn’t love cute animal pupdates?


Team Wags