My relatives all know how passionate we are about dogs, so they turn to for us for advice no what type of dog to get. Their first question is usually whether they should get a small dog or a big dog. That question is harder to answer than they think. As an example, my aunt asked us what type of dog she should buy. She lives on a farm with her husband right now, but they are moving to a retirement complex in a few months. If they were staying on the farm, I would have told them a big dog. I worry about small dogs on a farm because of the risk from racoons, wild dogs, cats, and other critters roaming around. A big dog is usually the most intimidating creature on the farm. On the opposite side of that argument is the fact they are moving to a smaller home in a tightly space retirement complex in a few months. A big dog might be OK there, but not if it has been given a taste of the freedom of a farm first. We finally recommended they go with a smaller dog, but to plan on keeping it inside their home. I think our strangest question came from a niece who was getting ready to move into a â€œpets optionalâ€ apartment complex. She called asking our opinion about choosing between a toy poodle, or a miniature dachsund. My wife's response shook her up. My wife suggested she switch from a small dog to a doberman. At first I was surprised, but when I though about it, she was right. Our niece is cute and single. She will be living alone. A doberman, if trained properly, can provide her protection and friendship. The small poodle or dachsund might give a nip or two, but would never intimidate an intruder. She took our advice and got the doberman. Those two are inseperable. As we point out to our friends and family, choosing a dog is not only about size, it is about your lifestyle and needs, too. Choosing the right dog is what makes the relationship work, not the size of the dog.