I've been thinking about this a lot lately as Riley reaches her maximum size...What is my ideal SIZE of dog?  We want another dog in a few years once our son is a bit older and Riley is more settled so it's got me thinking.  

Forget for a minute about breeds, coat type, whatever... I've had 3 very different sizes of dogs - a 12 lb Bichon (Yoshi), 38 lb mini goldendoodle (Luna) and now a ~75 lb standard bernedoodle (Riley).

I think my ideal dog size falls somewhere between Luna and Riley, around the 50-60 lb range. 

Luna's size was good in many ways, mostly in terms of just physically being able to control and lift her more easily.  It was also nice that if I placed things about 6" away from the edge of the kitchen counter there's no way she could get them... (See also: Reasons I don't want a cat lol)

Riley is tall, big enough to put her nose up on a kitchen counter without her paws leaving the ground.  She's also VERY strong, stronger than I am and almost too heavy for me to lift (definitely too heavy to lift without potentially hurting myself).  DH thinks Riley is the perfect size (or possibly secretly he wishes she were larger), probably because he doesn't have the same physical struggles as I do with her.  

Things to consider when I go on my next breed hunt... though who am I kidding we are probably going to end up with another doodle lol.

What's your ideal dog size? 


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  • Big dogs are fabulous until you take their shortened life spans and needing assistance into consideration. Tiny dogs are just not my thing. I'm of the school that if it's under 15 pounds, like you said Stacy, in some people's minds they aren't a dog. We've tried to downsize when our 65 pound dog became ill and needed help and we realized picking him up could be an issue. PS we used a boogie board as a ramp (California people) on stairs. When we adopted Clancy, we thought he was smallish like Ned. He isn't and he does not like to be picked up.  We've gotten a ramp for the car and the RV.  While he's slowing down he seems okay using those things and has no trouble on our carpeted house stairs. Our Springer Spaniel was 42 lbs and with his body structure quite easy and cooperative to lift.  Charlie is also 42 pounds but more compact and harder to lift.  Ned is under 30 and pretty easy to manage. His size is manageable for us old folk.  My ideal dog would be a Springer, but talk about high energy!!!!  I'm too old and sedentary. Perhaps if I got an older puppy from an excellent show breeder, I could still manage?  Or perhaps an English cocker as they look like mini Springers. 
    And grooming a Springer is pretty easy. 

    • Picco doesn't like being picked up at all.  He's 62lbs when you put him on the scale but turns into 162 lbs when you try to pick him up!  He sits and stiffens and suctions himself to the ground!

      • Most dogs don't love being picked up or carried. They usually also don't like having their feet forced off the ground. I really think a lot of the problems that develop between kids and dogs starts with allowing the kids to carry the puppy around. 

        • Not much chance of carrying around here LOL.  Riley is 2x my 6 year old's weight and weighs almost 4x as much as the baby.

          My daughter has a healthy respect for dogs having grown up around Luna (she still talks about missing Luna all the time, breaks my heart).  

          My son (11 months old now and walking, almost running... I'm tired lol) will need to learn a little more caution around dogs as Riley is SUPER tolerant of him, more than most dogs would be.  We don't let him pull her hair or anything like that but he does sit in her "lap" (in between front paws) and climb over her like some kind of obstacle course sometimes.  She typically just lets him do whatever and often actually seeks him out and sits right by him, if she isn't in the mood she goes onto the couch or just gets up and walks away.

          I don't understand how people let their young kids and pets interact without boundaries though, I'm always watching to make sure they doesn't go too far and watch Riley for signs of stress to take baby away and redirect. 

          • We got very lucky that all our dogs have been very tolerant and unfazed by our kids.  Well, Cass probably wouldn't have been at her age, but my oldest was too young then to do much to interact.  Rosco was 3(?) when our first child was born and had done therapy dog stuff around kids. Boca was 3 or 4 months when we adopted her and my oldest child was 8 months old so they are essentially the same age. Lucky also that Boca's foster home had young kids but I'm pretty sure her early life did not involve much intentional socialization.  So lots of luck!

          • It's surprising how many people just don't understand that what looks like affection to us looks very different to a dog. Hugging and squeezing them around the neck, for example. Parents see their young child do that to a dog and they just think it's the cutest, sweetest thing, something to be praised rather than corrected. Look how much little Susie loves Fido! They would never dream of correcting or stopping a behavior which to them seems loving. Problem is, to a dog, it can look very threatening and dominant, and can trigger a fight or flight response. 
            years ago, we had a member who posted in the forum here that she was thinking of rehoming her 1.5 y.o. doodle because of aggressive behavior towards the kids. A little further research revealed that the kids laid on the dog, hugged the dog, etc. I actually found a photo on another website of the day the puppy came home, where the very young child had one arm around the puppy's neck in a choke hold while the other hand pulled a toy out of the puppy's mouth. You can see the stress and strain on the puppy's face. Yet this mother became very defensive about her children's "loving" behavior. 
            And every time any of us tries to have a discussion on any social media platform about dogs not liking to be hugged, some twit always comes in to protest "MY dog lets me hug her all the time. She LOVES to be hugged!" 
            No. Your dog loves YOU. And because she does, she tolerates it. 

            • Yes I'm always very clear with my instructions when kids ask to pet Riley because they just don't "get it" a lot of the time with how to approach a dog.  

              By the time baby got mobile Riley was about a year old and was used to the baby.  Luna however was 2 when our daughter arrived and was quite put out by the whole crawling thing, we had to do quite a bit of training for her to tolerate the baby.  In another house Luna may have been rehomed because she actually growled and snapped at (didn't bite, it was close though) our daughter.  We knew it was just her protecting her space and took steps to not let it happen again.

              • If more parents of kids and dogs were like you, there would be a lot fewer dogs losing their homes.

            • I had an incident - luckily nothing happened!- where during a festival a little boy came up and asked to pet Picco.  He seemed calm and Picco seemed amenable then the boy got aggressive and wanted to hug. I was frantically looking for some parent and trying to tell the boy no and pull him away all at the same time.  Luckily a person with a dog nearby got the boy to switch to his dog which seemed to have no problem at all with the kid climbing all over him.  I never did see any adult come after the kid.  I think he needs to be told by his parents that is NOT the thing to do!


              • Ya think, lol?
                Then when that child is bitten, which seems inevitable if that behavior continues, the poor dog will be blamed. 
                It's really safer just to be the mean person who says no. 

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