The joys and challenges of living with large dogs

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The joys and challenges of living with large dogs - The Hot Mess Press

Dogs are loyal, loving, and they make your home a happier place. But they can also be messy, destructive, and unruly. When you have large dogs, these negative qualities are amplified even more. Anyone who has a large-breed dog has probably dealt with some of these issues. I love our dogs and I couldn’t imagine our house without them. But sometimes I feel like I’m running in circles trying to keep up with the messes they make. All those messes are easier to deal with when I think about the goofy antics that make me laugh every day. We have 3 German shepherds and a senior pit bull terrier. Keeping up with them every day is a lot of work, but they are part of the family and our home wouldn’t be the same without them. If you’re considering bringing a large dog into your home, don’t let me discourage you. Just prepare yourself for what goes along with living with large dogs.

Mud and messes

Winter is upon us. In our house, the fall and winter seasons equal mud. When I think about it, even spring equals mud. We have a fairly large fenced-in backyard that used to be covered with lush green grass. Now it’s a mud pit. Summer does offer some relief when the grass is able to grow and the sun keeps the mud mostly dried up. I’m currently wiping muddy paws many times a day. Fortunately, we have hard floors, even though they never actually look clean enough for my standards. Dog hair “tumbleweeds” are also a problem. I don’t know where all the hair comes from. You would think our dogs would be bald with all the hair I sweep and vacuum off the floors. This only applies to the shepherds. The “Old Man”, as we affectionately call our pitbull, doesn’t really shed at all. Here’s a picture of him in his chair. And yes, he is wearing a bow tie.

The joys and challenges of living with large dogs - The Hot Mess Press


Affectionate goofballs

Large dogs can be just as clingy as small ones. There is a reason that German shepherds are called “Velcro dogs.” These 3 are constantly at my side, especially when I’m in the kitchen. They have to know what I’m doing all the time. Our almost 14-year old pittie seems to think he’s a lap dog. He has a recliner of his own, but he prefers to be right on top of someone when we’re watching TV in the evening. When you picture a German shepherd, you may think of a serious police dog. Pitbull terriers can have a bad reputation but they are simply misunderstood.  Trust me, they are just as ridiculously goofy as other dog breeds. The picture below is a perfect example of some of their antics. That’s Luna. She managed to get the bathroom trashcan lid stuck on her head.

The joys and challenges of living with large dogs - The Hot Mess Press

I don’t want to discourage anyone from getting a large dog. My intention was just the opposite. If you’re considering a large dog, just be sure you’re prepared. Most large dogs need a lot of space to run and play. They eat a lot and they can make a lot of messes. Plus, if not properly trained they can be destructive. But if you want a lovable companion to bring joy to your house, you can’t go wrong with a large breed like a German shepherd or pit bull. They are loyal, affectionate, and they make great family dogs. Plus, large dogs are a great deterrent to anyone who tries to come into your house uninvited. While living with large dogs can be challenging at times, the love you get from them greatly outweighs the negatives.

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