When you think of a dog, what do you think of? Do you imagine a giant Great Dane or a tiny little teacup chihuahua?
The truth is that dogs come in all shapes and sizes from the very little to the amazingly large. But if you’re considering buying a dog then you’ll want to make sure that you can provide the right level of care. The amount of exercise, food, and space that a dog needs will be impacted by its size so it’s important that you are able to meet these needs.
Understanding how big a dog will get will help you to make a more informed decision on which pet will be best for you.
In this guide, we will talk you through the various sizes of dogs, how big they get and give you some common examples of breeds within these ranges.
Teacup dog breeds are among the smallest canines on the planet. You might even have seen some of the very smallest teacup dogs actually sitting in a teacup posing for an Instagram story!
These dogs are purposefully bred using the smallest dogs in a litter to make the tiniest puppy possible. In order to be classed as a teacup breed, the dog must weigh no more than 5lbs.
There are risks for teacups which can include health problems such as respiratory issues, heart failure, and liver shunts, all of which are exacerbated because of their size. As such, these dogs may not live as long.
Teacup dogs can be bred from pretty much any breed but the most recognizable ones are usually from the toy category. These may include:
- Yorkshire terriers
- Shih tzu
The toy dog is another small dog but not quite as tiny as the teacup. There are several breeds within the toy category but what is most prominent about these dogs is that they are usually only bred as a companion. It is almost never seen that a toy dog would be bred to work.
That said, it doesn’t mean that the ancestors of toy dogs weren’t working animals. They don’t have an instinct to work so tend to be pretty laid back and happy to be with their owners most of the time.
To fall into this category a dog must weigh no more than 15lbs.
There are a lot of examples of toy dog breeds but one thing they all have in common is that they are very small, and usually incredibly cute!
- Cavalier King Charles spaniel
- English toy terrier
- Italian greyhound
Small dogs are common pets that are ideal for people with a studio, apartment or smaller sized house. One of the things that many people love about these dog breeds is that they are full of personality and so make wonderful and playful companions.
Across the small dog category, there are lots of different breeds but in terms of size, these dogs do not exceed 22lbs in weight.
There are some dogs that may fall between the small and toy categories so you might see them in both. However, here is a list of some of the most common types of small dogs that are kept as pets.
- Bichon frise
- French bulldog
- Tibetan terrier
- Peruvian Inca orchid
When we talk about medium sized dogs, we are referring to a very vast category as so many breeds fall into this range. What most people love about these dogs is that they’re not too big and not too small so make excellent family pets.
They also have many of the personality traits of their smaller and larger cousins so give owners the very best of everything.
Since small dogs tend to be under 22lbs and large dogs are usually over 55lbs, anything in between these figures would be considered to be a medium dog.
Medium dog breeds are among the most abundant. When you head to the local dog park, you’re likely to see a variety of these dogs including:
As dogs begin to get larger, they require a lot more care from their owners in terms of how much they eat and how much exercise they require.
Generally speaking, dogs must be at least 55lbs in order to be considered a large breed and if you want to go a step further then a lot of experts will tell you that they have to be at least 24 inches high. However, for the purposes of this article, let’s keep our focus on weight.
Large dogs are popular because they are energetic and fun loving but, owing to their size can also make effective guard dogs.
There are probably a lot more large dog breeds than you may first imagine. If you’re looking for a big buddy then you could choose one of the following popular breeds:
- Doberman pinscher
- Afghan hound
- Siberian husky
- German shepherd
The final, and largest category of dog is the giant breed. These enormous canines can grow to huge sizes but must be at least 100lbs in order to fall into this category.
While they may look intimidating, you will find that most giant dog breeds are incredibly gentle and affectionate. Although that doesn’t stop them being used as a guard dog because they will remain very loyal to their owners and often the mere sight of them is enough to deter anyone who may be a threat.
Of course, if you are thinking about adopting a giant dog, you will need to be prepared for the additional needs such as more exercise and food as well as plenty of space in the home and garden for your furry friend.
Anyone who is looking to take on a giant dog breed would do well to search for any of the following:
Choosing the right dog as a pet involves a lot of things but one of the first things you should consider is how large your new companion will get.
What are the sizes of dogs? There are six different categories of dog sizes: teacup, toy, small, medium, large, and giant, with each one getting progressively larger in terms of weight.