Most of the size variation of dogs is due to the breed's original occupation. Dogs required to protect flocks of sheep had to be formidable enough to scare off predators, have the protective temperament and drive to battle predators, and be tough enough to survive the fight. Herding dogs needed to be agile enough to work the stock and small enough to have the stamina to work all day. Property guardian dogs had to be large enough to be intimidating to trespassers and formidable enough to ensure the trespassers left the property. Dogs bred to hunt vermin had to be small enough to fit into tight places or burrows after the vermin, yet tough enough to make the kill.
Body shape was also originally related to the dog's job. The Dachshund's long, low body shape allowed the dog to go down burrows after her prey. The Greyhound's sleek body shape made the breed able to run fast, while the deep chest provided room for a large heart and lungs—all so the dog could run more efficiently.
For you, as a dog owner, size and body shape are usually a personal preference. Many people love the look of the giant breeds and the reaction these dogs instill in other people. Other people like much smaller dogs, especially the toys, because they can snuggle on the lap, fit into smaller places (such as a carrier under the seat of an airplane), or simply because they are so cute.
Was this article helpful?
Are You Under The Negative Influence Of Hyped Media Stereotypes When It Comes To Your Knowledge Of Pit Bulls? What is the image that immediately comes into your mind when you think of the words Pit Bull? I can almost guarantee that they would be somewhere close to fierce, ferouscious, vicious, killer, unstoppable, uncontrollable, or locking jawed man-eaters.