When we did our puppy survey, the size of breed was your biggest concern when it came to choosing the right dog for you.
And that’s no surprise. The size of your home, amount of exercise, and potential extra training a bigger pooch may need will all come into consideration when you’re looking for your paw-fect puppy match.
Does it take that much more time and perseverance when it comes to training a large breed dog though? What’s different to teaching their smaller canine cousins how to behave?
Read on to find out, in our latest post for How to Train Your Dog Month.
Consistency is key
Consistency in training for any dog is hugely important. But there are reasons it’s vital to commit to training your bigger pooch until they are confident with all basic commands.
Imagine a small breed dog who misbehaves - they jump up, bark non-stop, try to chew everything, and constantly yank on their lead. You’re probably thinking, they’re a nuisance but their bad behaviour isn’t a huge risk to anyone.
Now, imagine the same behaviours with a big dog. They have more potential to be risky, maybe unintentionally dangerous - even if your hound is the friendliest dog you know!
Keeping up training is a must, so make sure you have the time to dedicate to your dog if your heart is set on a large breed companion.
Three of the most important things to teach a large or giant breed:
Not to jump up
Even if you don’t mind your Great Dane greeting you with a hug, not everyone who walks through your front door is going to feel the same.
Remember, your dog isn’t going to differentiate between a 6-feet tall adult and a tiny tot, so it really is important to teach them jumping up at their human friends is a no-no.
Walking on a lead without pulling
If you’ve ever had the experience of walking a large breed dog who pulls on their lead, you’ll understand why this makes the list. There are some breeds big and strong enough to easily topple their human over, should they not understand and respond to heel commands.
It’s instinct for a dog to pull, so this can take some time for any hound to get the hang of. As mentioned above, consistency is key!
You’ll need lots of tasty treats to hand on walks, to reward your dog whenever they are walking nicely alongside you. Try keeping them in the same hand and your pooch on the same side each time you practice doing heel.
What’s theirs to chew - and what’s not!
Certain breeds are known for their tendencies to chew anything and everything, including some large breed dogs like Siberian Huskies and German Shepherds.
You’ll want to put a stop to any destructive chewing quickly, as a big dog could easily get their teeth into lots of things they shouldn’t!
Most importantly, consider reasons they may be chewing - are they stressed or frustrated? Could they use an extra walk each day?
Next, do some dog proofing. Keep any tempting items stored away, like slippers, shoes and children’s toys. In their place, keep plenty of items they are allowed to chew to their heart’s content out for your dog.
See which toys and treats they most enjoy so you can offer them more of the same, changing them up from time to time so they don’t get bored.
For those of you who have trained large breed dogs, what other training would you say is most important? Join in the conversation on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.