Second Chance: Busting Big Dog Myth

Second Chance: Busting Big Dog Myth

What do you get when you cross a Great Pyrenees with a Heeler? About 100 pounds of warm cuddly deliciousness. That’s right – you get me – the Love Doctor. (My friends just call me Doc.) 

How come I haven’t been adopted yet? 

Too big? 

Well then, let me take a few moments to dispel some of the rumors that give large dogs such a bad rep.


Fear of large dogs is very common. Our size makes us intimidating, but it is not generally true that large dogs are more aggressive than our smaller counterparts. Spend an hour with me and you will undoubtedly see that many large and giant breeds are softies.

The next concern is about our health. 

It is true that big dogs are predisposed to orthopedic conditions. Hip dysplasia is most common in large and giant breeds, so it is important to keep that in mind when deciding how much to exercise your pet. If you’re searching for a running partner, smaller dogs may have an edge, because they carry less weight and therefore experience less stress on their joints. So if you are not an exercise junky, I could be the right pet for you.

Some folks think big dogs need big space. The truth is almost any dog, regardless of size, can be happy anywhere if the owner is willing to satisfy its need for at least some exercise. That means a minimum of half an hour of aerobic exercise each day. Allow me that and then really the biggest space I need is in your heart.

Parents may feel that big dogs are not safe for small children.  When looking for a dog to get along well with kids, consider that personality may carry more weight than my physical size.

It is true that some of the more massive breeds can clear a Candy Land board with a swipe of a tail or accidentally knock over small children during rambunctious play, but that concern goes both ways: some children play too rough for small, fragile breeds. 

Big dogs can be fantastic playmates and lifelong best friends for children – as long as both species are taught to interact safely and play is always supervised.

A final “Big Dog Myth” is that we can’t be lap dogs. 

Come meet me today and I will let you decide about that…

Enough said.

Want to learn more about me? 

At six-years-young, my interests are fetch with different kinds of toys; running in the big yard here at the shelter; and lounging about contemplating physics problems. I enjoy walks and spending time with people. I get along okay with other dogs, but prefer being the only dog in a home. I am getting better everyday with my basic training. My favorite cartoon character is Bugs Bunny –cuz he is always asking me “what’s up Doc?”.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about larger breeds and I hope to meet you soon. 

If you are looking for a smaller pet with slightly less slobber, I would recommend the Shelter Cat of the Week: Bear.


Bear is a two-year-young, handsome, longhair tabby. He has is sweet and gentle and, although he gets along well with other cats, he prefers doing his own thing. Bear is a little shy and timid at first, so he will need time to get comfortable with new people. But I have a feeling he will bond like a champ given an opportunity.

Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue. Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles at least one, generally two of the many animals now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent homes. The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.

Ted Hoff with Cabella & Wilbur

By the by, there is no better place to park your pup or get your pup (or adult dog) trained than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway, but service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View the shelter pets and services online:

Vetting the Vet: Dr. Michelle Dally, DVM, J.D. is Medical Director of Second Chance Humane Society. She also has a private practice, Dally Veterinary Medicine, 333 S. Elizabeth Street, Ridgway, Colorado. Her service area is  San Miguel Mesas, Placerville, Ridgway, Ouray, and Montrose. For more on Dr. Dally, go here.

Michelle & Wallowby

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