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Discussion Starter #1
So, I'm a somewhat petite woman at 5'3 and I have a 11 month old, 90 pd mastiff mix. I've put countless time into training him. He walks pretty well on a leash, although he can still get excited and pull if he sees another excited dog in our path who's egging him on to play.

Anyways, I'm not sure if any of you have had this happen to you before, but it's happened enough times to get me irritated. Passerby (always middle aged men) have commented when they see me with my dog "You dog is walking you, you are not walking the dog!" Then they smile and continue on their way. And it's always that same phrase they say! Why?!

There was one time when my dog was kinda pulling because he was anxious (so I can understand the comment then); but the other times, we were walking well or just sitting on a bench, so I don't understand why they would say that.

Maybe these men don't understand why it is insulting, but it is. Am I being sensitive? And by the way, a woman has never said that to me (I think they know better) I put so much time into training my dog, so I find the "Your dog is walking you......" deflating to the ego. I have never said anything back to any of them, but I think I will start to.
 

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I have a 120lb dane who should get a little bigger, I'm 5'2. I also normally walk both Vegas and Freyja. I hear that ALL the time, even when they are both walking nicely. Of course I've also had people complement me on how well they are walking. I also get the saddle comment, a lot. I smile and silently scream. The worst part is that it is the neighbor that lives behind me says something about a saddle every time I see him, which is almost every day.
 

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Easier said then done, but I wouldn't let it get to you. I don't think they're meaning it in the training sense (i.e. you're dog is poorly trained on the leash and is pulling YOU around) but instead are commenting on the size relationship. Usually the human is bigger then the dog, in this case the dog is much closer in size to you, they're commenting because it's out of the ordinary. It doesn't sound like they mean to insult or judge negatively, they're just seeing something "unusual".
 

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if it makes you happy... the "tall" ones also don't have it easy.
one of my aquaintances is pretty much a bear of man but he owns a tiny little chi-mix. when they seem him walking around with her they always assume its either his spouse's dog or that he's homosexual. :/

my dog is still medium size...there may be comment about his breed type (well he looks a bit like a bully breed) but not so much because of the size.

people will always talk. ignore and smile is the best you can do. :)
 

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There's a lady we run into periodically at one of the local parks, she'd be smaller than you are but has 2 great danes. It's pretty impressive to see her with the 2 dogs. I think many may be surprised in the choice of dog.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have a 120lb dane who should get a little bigger, I'm 5'2. I also normally walk both Vegas and Freyja. I hear that ALL the time, even when they are both walking nicely. Of course I've also had people complement me on how well they are walking. I also get the saddle comment, a lot. I smile and silently scream. The worst part is that it is the neighbor that lives behind me says something about a saddle every time I see him, which is almost every day.
I can understand the saddle comment would get tiring to hear. The most hilarious thing is that your neighbour still thinks it is funny to say, Lol.
 

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I am 5'3" with an almost 200 lb Mastiff, and yes I have had the "that dog's walking you" comment plenty of times, especially when he was a younger dog and a puller. My boy turns 6 in July and now I get comments on how well I handle him. Of course, we worked on it for many years until I found an almost instant way to get him to walk well on the leash.

I have also had the saddle comment and someone helpfully suggesting I transport Oscar in a horse trailer. He has plenty of room in the back of my Land Cruiser, thank you!
 

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I just smile and nod at the comments. People think they are so clever, I'm not going to burst their bubble. Now the people that think Freyja is aggressive because of her size and color, those people get to me. I've been judged my whole life, I had a very hard time growing up. I had hoped that adults would be more, well adult.

Anyway, I want to get this shirt. It would be great for our weekly trips to the flea market.
Great Dane Walking Answers Dark T-Shirt • Great Dane Walking Answers • Walking Gear • Great Danes • Danes-R-Us Duds T-Shirts Clothing Gifts @ Danes-R-Us Duds
 

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I think everyone gets certain comments over and over and over about their dogs, typically based on their looks. As you've seen here most big dog owners get comments like that, and the "saddle/horse" ones. People aren't original, and it's annoying when you hear things over and over. I get a lot of "Is that a Dalmatian?!" comments about Stella--one from a neighbor that asks every single time I see her.

In terms of femininity/masculinity, I do think there is a big stigma like that. Men might like they need to make comments like that because they're intimidated by a strong woman that can control a beast of a dog (that perhaps they couldn't handle or are afraid of). Then of course there's the other side of the coin like mathilda said, about men with small dogs or certain "frou frou" looking breeds being assumed gay or not manly. It's so juvenile and stupid. Dogs are dogs and sometimes their size or personality fits your life better, even if they don't look "tough" or cool. I'd also say I see a huge problem of men getting powerful or large breeds that look tough and not being able to control them, because they just got them like other men get muscle cars.

Unless someone says it in a really mean or condescending way, I think you need to let it go. Usually people don't mean any harm, even though they're being annoying--and many know they are being so!
 

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Why don't you ask them if they want to walk your dog and show their mastery. When they say "no", very quietly say "wuss" while you laugh a bit. Or maybe not but it would be tempting. Or maybe say " I have never heard that before in my life, did you just make that up?" I'd say the reason they are saying it is because it's a cheesy pick up line coming from a person who really lacks creativity.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you to all who responded. You're all right - I shouldn't take it so personally. I guess I had seen it as a jab at my dog handling skills and my small stature, but upon reflection, people says things a lot of the time to just 'talk' and think they're saying something witty or just making conversation. I'll just smile and nod in the future.

And speaking of the topic of big men with small dogs which a couple of you brought up - I lived in Germany for a brief stint. There were surprisingly lots of big muscle-y men with little frou-frou dogs - chihuahuas, little poodles, etc. The first time I saw all this, I was like, wow! It was cool to see confident men who didn't feel their dog needed to reflect an extension of their 'manliness'.
 
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