Dogs with short coats require virtually no grooming, just a brush and wipe down every so often. Pet dogs with long coats require either regular clipping every eight weeks or so (where their coats are clipped short) or there long coats need to be brushed practically every day. Show dogs, or dogs with long coats, require daily brushing or else there coat will become matted and tangled. Not only can it hurt your dog if he has tangled and matted hair, but it will also become dirty and he will look shaggy and ugly if you do not regularly brush his coat.
Some dogs will patiently put up with little children who pull their ears or accidentally poke them in the eyes, while others will not and map nip or bite back in defense. So if you want a dog who is excellent with children avoid breeds which may have a dominance streak or that have short tempers.
You do not have to have own a large house to own a large dog (although a tiny apartment is not going to be big enough for one of the giant breeds). If you can take him outside for a good hour of two of exercise every day... a large dog can live in a small house or apartment just fine.
Your dogs temperament should match yours. Do not choose a breed that is highly energetic if you are a couch potato. On the other hand, if you want a dog that will follow you everywhere around the house and who is always ready for a game of fetch or tug of war then you should consider a dog that is highly active and always has a lot of energy, instead of one of the lethargic breeds.
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