When Chiky gets up he measures almost two meters and on four legs his height reaches 85 centimeters. This 9-year-old San Bernardo dog weighs 70 kilos and is the enormous mascot of the Palacio Pareja family since she was born.
“Having a giant breed dog has been an experience that has brought many ups and downs to the family, although if you ask me, they have been higher than low,” says owner Viviana, who says that keeping a big dog is not so difficult as you can think.
With this assessment, the veterinary ethologist Carolina Alaguna agrees, who says that people usually do not adopt large dogs because they are afraid of what might happen to them. First, you think “that the apartment is very small, that you run with very high expenses … But in many cases they are quiet animals, not so active, who usually prefer to be accompanying the human being than playing,” he says.
There are several factors that must be taken into account to give these animals quality of life. According to veterinarian Daniel Bohorquez, they may suffer from some diseases that small breeds do not have.
“Some have genetic problems such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia; problems of gastric torsion that is not so common in the small ones, but in the giants. And they are dogs that have a lower life expectancy than the small ones: between 10 and 14 years old, according to the breed, “explains Bohórquez.
Contrary to popular belief, large animal breeds are usually peaceful and obedient. Of course, everything depends on the type of education that the owners give them. Angélica Álvarez attests to this experience: she has a San Bernardo and a bulldog and the personalities of her pets are very different:
“Bruno (San Bernardo) only barks because someone who does not like him or because a dog passes by, but it does not bark without reason. Jack (the bulldog) is more scandalous. “
There are several things to consider when it comes to maintaining and caring for a large breed dog, such as space, food, physical activity and walks.
First of all, it is necessary to take into account the space in which you have the pet. In fact, this is the first thing that Angelica, the owner of Bruno, says. But according to the ethologist Alaguna, everything depends on the personality of the owner and the needs of the furry. If your desire is to have a giant dog and live in a minimal place, you should get it out at least three times a day. But keep in mind that, even if you have a yard inside your house, you should take it out at least twice a day.
“If we are talking about a Great Dane or a Newfoundland, we can not put them in an apartment studio and much less if we are going to have them all day at home. If we live in a small space, we have to think about the option of paying them a school or daycare center where they can go every day to play and socialize “, explains the expert.
That’s exactly what Viviana has done with her pet. Chiky has lived much of his life in an apartment and, according to the owner, has never been a problem: “The usual thing is to take it twice a day, but the more, the better. As she is not an active bitch she likes to go out to smell and walk. Socialize little with other dogs. “
When dealing with large breeds it is necessary to take into account that their size is proportional to the amount of food they consume.But beyond that, like any other dog experts recommend giving them a high quality and balanced feed.