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By freely offering everything from affection to protection, it is little wonder that dogs are the favorite species to keep as pets and companions. In America alone over half the population has a pet of some sort with dogs being the number one choice. Adding to the appeal of these naturally devoted animals is the fact that you can choose among the wide variety of breeds and types for specific traits.
Large dogs especially can present a multitude of services. In return they do require some consideration from their human companions. It is not fair to you or the dog to try and keep a large dog in a small apartment or dwelling unless they are provided with something like a fenced-in yard or other space to be able to run and get adequate exercise. A large dog will require a larger portion of food every day as well, so their humans must be willing and able to provide the proper amount of nourishment both physically and mentally.
The majority of large dog owners tend to include protection as the main reason for having the size dog they do. Some of the breeds that make excellent guardians include the German Shepherd although this breed is often very strong-willed and requires a firm hand at the controls. As a guardian pet, the highly intelligent Doberman Pinscher is extremely loyal to the family or person they know and can be very responsive to their owner's wishes. The mostly undeserved reputation for violence this breed has been given is due to their nature of being quite willing to protect their home and territory. That they are reserved and somewhat untrusting of strangers as well as the territorial aggressiveness against strange dogs is why you need to provide a Doberman with an equally secure area to protect.
As companions for children, bulldogs are among the best breeds. These easy going and usually very laid-back dogs are almost always eager to please. The bulldog is a jovial and docile friend for small children and is usually quite forgiving of the occasional roughhousing by the human pups. The only real drawback to a bulldog is that their nearly nonexistent snout causes them to wheeze and snore a lot and most of them do drool. The mastiff, despite being one of the largest of the dog breeds, has a very calm and good-natured personality. They are quite loyal and amazingly docile. The biggest danger from a mastiff is merely that, due to his large size, he may accidentally knock over a toddler-sized child.
For general adult companionship the Boxer, being inquisitive, playful and very emotive, is a wonderfully loyal friend to share your life with. Despite the large size, the Great Pyrenees is highly affectionate. They are very gentle and quite devoted although, with their great intelligence, they can be somewhat stubborn at times. They are best in colder climates as hot weather can be debilitating on them.
Large dogs can also make excellent hunting companions and travel mates. With so many types to select from, a bit of research can help you match your desires with a large dog that will truly become your best friend.