It’s Not the Size that Matters

Residents of small apartments can adopt large dogs and live happily with them

Na’ama Rolnik, SPCA Adoption Counselor and dog trainer 

Size doesn’t count? At least not in this instance, when referring to the size of your apartment in relation to the size of dog that you wish to adopt.

For the past four years I have served as an adoption counselor in the Society for the Protection of Animals in Israel, in addition to being a dog trainer. Countless times I have heard the words: “I have a small apartment and so I am looking for a small dog.” Not that I have anything against small dogs, but sadly to say, there are numerous amazing, calm, gentle and loveable dogs whose only sin in life is having been born “the wrong size”.

It is true that dogs must be given ample opportunity to release their energy and it is also true that larger dogs do, as a rule, need to be taken on longer walks, but so long as all their needs are satisfied, large dogs can live happily even in a small studio apartment. A happy and well-balanced dog is one who vents enough energy, whose needs are provided through discipline and appropriate work. Even if you live in a small apartment, so long as these requisites are provided, you will be able to enjoy life with a happy dog, who is well-balanced and relaxed and who will have no reason to tear apart your home, feel imprisoned or miserable.

In addition, there are other factors that should be taken into consideration when adopting a large dog, such as greater financial demands, deriving from the amount of food needed, the price differentials for inoculations and preventative treatments against ticks and fleas.

In addition, one should take into consideration the dog’s high levels of energy and the amount of time one has to invest in training and exercising the dog. Needless to say, if there are small children in the family, they will not be able to take the dog out for walks on their own.

We have some amazing larger dogs here in the Society who have been in the shelter for a long time, mainly because people are hesitant about keeping them in apartments. I call upon all those dog lovers to come and adopt them, to take them out for walks and of course, to give them the warmth and love they so desperately need. In this way you will gain a faithful friend for life.