Survey Says: People Prefer Large Dogs

Results from a pet owner survey found—among other interesting facts—that larger dogs are considered more emotionally stable and trainable than toy breeds.
Amanda Carrozza
Published: September 25, 2018
Large DogDachshund or Dalmatian? Havanese or husky? When it comes to favored dog size, it seems larger breeds reign supreme. This is according to results from a recent international survey that found dog owners get more satisfaction from owning large dogs than small dogs.

The survey, by California-based pet care rating and recommendation website RightPet, was conducted online between 2010 and 2018, and examined 23,550 dog breed reviews from 12,167 pet owners from 106 countries. 

The authors found that respondents rated bigger dogs as more emotionally stable, child-safe, and trainable than small dogs; larger dogs also bark less. Some of the other findings about size preference included:
  • Both women and men are happier owning large dogs than small dogs.
  • Men and younger people are significantly are more satisfied with medium, large, and giant breeds, and less satisfied with toy and small dogs.
  • Older people (around age 70) are equally satisfied with any dog size.
  • Dog owners with experience owning multiple dogs of different sizes report the greatest satisfaction with large dogs.
“What our study has found is that large dogs score higher in traits that are really important to most dog owners,” Brett Hodges, owner/editor at RightPet, said. “People don't prefer large dogs per se—they like them because, in general, they’re more even-tempered, trainable, and quiet than small dogs, making them ‘best in home.’”

Other noteworthy facts from the survey:
  • Adult and children (aged 10–17) who own or have owned a pet rated their satisfaction with pet rats higher than for any other type of pet, including dogs and cats.
  • Of the 32 types of pet and livestock animals included in the survey, geese and scorpions are the least satisfying to own.
  • Pet owners who score high in the personality trait of “openness” tend to be more satisfied with dogs than cats.
  • Women show a clear preference for cats over dogs, but men like cats and dogs the same.

Click here for detailed survey results.

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