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Today I had a terrible experience with a small dogs behavior and as much as I wanted to scream at the dog, it was very clear the behavior came directly from the owners.

Basically, we went to a family reunion today. The person we were visiting is my aunt, and she isn't much of a dog person and neither is her husband. They've never owned dogs and it was very nice of them to allow THREE people to bring their dogs. (Granted the smaller one is owned by her daughter so we were the only ones intruding with our two larger breeds)

Larger, however, does not mean more problematic.

My dog is an Australian Shepherd. He is 8 months and although we are still working hard on manners, he listens pretty well!

The other is a BC lab mix. She listens very well in social situations and it my grandpas dog (I trained her)

The last dog is an Italian greyhound mix. He's small and cute on the outside, but he is a darn nasty creature on the inside.

I can't even name the amount of times he randomly, with no warning, turned on my dog Cosmo. I have a feeling it's because they are both males (he was humping - or trying to hump - my grandpas female dog all day) however Cosmo showed no aggression back and instead shyed away with his butt low to the ground (he has no tail so I'm assuming it would be tucked if he had one)

It got to the point where Cosmo refused to even go near the dog because it was so aggressive and mean to him. But the worst part is the dog NEVER got in any real trouble! They joked about it even, saying it was because he had "little dog syndrome" and let him get away with bullying and torturing my dog. I know for a fact if my 51 pound Australian Shepherd was brutalizing any other dog, he'd be forced to sit by himself in the hotel immediately.

As we were leaving Cosmo refused to go inside because he was scared of the thing, and when I finally got him to go inside the Italian greyhound charged him and I had to carry him across the living room to the front so we could leave. And then get this - it JUMPED ONTO ME to bite at Cosmos legs and growl! Again, owners did nothing but give a stern voice. Which the dog dutifully ignored.

The dog jumped up onto the table to steal a piece of steak outside and the owners gave a stern calling of him name but NOTHING else! (Didn't even move towards him or anything to end the behavior) and then later it jumped onto the couch and stole my sisters cookie off of her plate - only this time the owners watched him do it. I tried to keep the dog from eating the cookie and all he said was "eh he's going to finish it id just let him" ??? My dog would get isolated outside for that!

What I'm saying is OWNERS OF SMALL DOGS! DO NOT AND I REPEAT PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW YOUR SMALL DOG TO BEHAVE THIS WAY! Even if it couldn't technically hurt Cosmo on the outside, he was obviously mentally damaged and fearful and this is not an ok thing to let a dog get away with! Train them manners just like you would a lab or an Aussie.

Small breeds are not pocket pets! Treat them like dogs or else you'll have a monster on your hands!
 

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Yeah! It was horrible and I'm not really excited to go back today :/ I have a friend who's mom has two little dogs and they're awful. They scream at anything outside for long periods of time and one has stolen food from my bowl twice, swallowing a whole bowl of mac and cheese as fast as she could on the table while I was grabbing a glass of water. :/
 

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Like you said, it's not that it's the fault of the small dog, it's the fault of the owner. Lots of things going on, lack of proper socialization so that the dog is fearful and/or defensive around those they do not know. Lack of management that allows the dog to practice bad behavior. Lack of taking behavioral problems seriously. They all contribute to badly behaved small dogs.

My boy is 10 lbs, he does not steal food, I can leave it on the table and it'll still be there when I get back. His begging is minimal and never from me, we're working on when I have a friend over, because he knows it'll get him set down on the floor or put from the room but good behavior is rewarded at the end of the meal.

He is reactive with strange people and large dogs, but I'm working on the problem. He does not get in "trouble" that's counter productive and will make him worse, it'll increase the fearfulness. Instead we do something called counter conditioning. I try my best to not put him into situations that he'll act like the Italian Greyhound did, and if he does act like that he's VERY quickly removed from the situation. Your dogs would have been left in peace, not pieces, if that had been my dog. It isn't fair to you to cause your dog to develop reactivity towards small dogs, it would have also been highly dangerous for my dog, if your dog had decided enough was enough, and attacked, my dog would have come out on the losing end and it would have been MY fault for letting it get to that point.
 

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By get in "trouble" I mean that as a vague and broad statement, not being punished or yelled at. I understand that it's counter productive and I meant it as literally any form of correction. (Placed in a quiet room isolated from the group for a bit, for example) but his owners did nothing. The dog is sweet to people and I like him, I just wish he was trained better. They've had him since a puppy so it's fully their responsibility as the owner to train him manners and yet failed to do so.

I agree, I see bad behaviors across the board as well, but I see very very often small dogs get away with things big dogs wouldn't be able to because they're not small. Bullying is a huge one, because it seems like every time we go to the dog park if there's a group of three little dogs at least one will be very aggressive and territorial. This also stems from insecurity and it's a stressor on the dog to always be so high strung. Another thing is food, and I see a lot that small dogs are allowed up on couches and thrown scraps and even on tables when people are eating. Obviously you can't have a 60 pound chocolate lab in your lap or on your table while you're eating, so it's less likely with larger dogs to be accepted and the behavior ignored.

Barking is a big one too, and the term "yipping" comes from small dogs being allowed to incessantly bark at strangers in the house. Although this is also a big dog problem, and my grandpas dog bays at people across the street. (If you haven't heard a dog bay it's horrible) and it's something we work on every day. It's more the ignoring of bad behaviors that I see in small dogs that bothers me, not the behavior itself. No dog is perfect, but when I see an owner blatantly ignore a horrible behavior it sets me off
 

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I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. I think it's totally fair of you to judge that dog and that owner. However, I don't think it's fair of you to:

1) Generalize small dogs.
2) Make assumptions about small dog owners.
3) Come on to a forum and rather than asking for advice for an experience you had, or ranting about a particular person in a particular situation, tell everyone else how to treat their dogs instead.

I mean, come on, this is a DOG forum, no one here is treating their dog like a "pocket pet." Most people here are very interested in training and behavior, so you're preaching to the choir.

I have two small dogs. One is the sweetest, friendliest, best behaved dog you could meet. The other is a yappy, reactive, resource guarding brat. The first one I've had for 11 years, got her as a puppy, spent a lot of time training and socializing her, but in the end she just has an incredible temperament. The second one I got about a month ago at about 6 months old. She's a rescue. She was a stray and then she was in a high kill shelter and then she was in a rescue. I don't know her history prior to being a stray. Long story short, she has a lot of problems from lack of socialization (which is important for any dog) and a turbulent past. I've been working very hard with her but she still has problems. If you saw me walking her down the street with her yapping and pulling on the leash, would you assume that I spoil her and let her on the table and let her get away with everything? That's not true at all. It's rude to make generalizations and assumptions about people when you don't know them or their dog. A lot of people know that I love dogs and know a lot about them and when I tell them I have two small dogs they get all pretentious and say "Oh, I didn't think you were a little dog person."

Honestly, I work with dogs and have probably met thousands over the past few years or so through several different jobs. I've met plenty of wonderful little dogs and plenty of horrid big dogs. It's not a size thing- I think it comes down to a lot of different variables- the dog's genetics, experiences, health, owner experience, training techniques, management, environment, etc. And sometimes there are variables outside of anyones control. You know, there are a lot of big dogs that like bullying little dogs- they'll poke at them or nip at them and when the little dog turns toward the big dog to snap at it the big dog will dart away and make a game out of it. And people will be like "He's just playing" or "look at that terrible little dog snapping at the friendly big dog." But I wouldn't think to make an angry post on a dog forum directed at big dog owners telling them how to treat their dogs based on this behavior I've observed. So yes, little dogs have problems, big dogs have problems, I don't think it's in your place to single out little dog owners and assume we're all spoiling our dogs and letting them get away with everything...
 

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Today I had a terrible experience with a small dogs behavior and as much as I wanted to scream at the dog, it was very clear the behavior came directly from the owners.

Basically, we went to a family reunion today. The person we were visiting is my aunt, and she isn't much of a dog person and neither is her husband. They've never owned dogs and it was very nice of them to allow THREE people to bring their dogs. (Granted the smaller one is owned by her daughter so we were the only ones intruding with our two larger breeds)

Larger, however, does not mean more problematic.

My dog is an Australian Shepherd. He is 8 months and although we are still working hard on manners, he listens pretty well!

The other is a BC lab mix. She listens very well in social situations and it my grandpas dog (I trained her)

The last dog is an Italian greyhound mix. He's small and cute on the outside, but he is a darn nasty creature on the inside.

I can't even name the amount of times he randomly, with no warning, turned on my dog Cosmo. I have a feeling it's because they are both males (he was humping - or trying to hump - my grandpas female dog all day) however Cosmo showed no aggression back and instead shyed away with his butt low to the ground (he has no tail so I'm assuming it would be tucked if he had one)

It got to the point where Cosmo refused to even go near the dog because it was so aggressive and mean to him. But the worst part is the dog NEVER got in any real trouble! They joked about it even, saying it was because he had "little dog syndrome" and let him get away with bullying and torturing my dog. I know for a fact if my 51 pound Australian Shepherd was brutalizing any other dog, he'd be forced to sit by himself in the hotel immediately.

As we were leaving Cosmo refused to go inside because he was scared of the thing, and when I finally got him to go inside the Italian greyhound charged him and I had to carry him across the living room to the front so we could leave. And then get this - it JUMPED ONTO ME to bite at Cosmos legs and growl! Again, owners did nothing but give a stern voice. Which the dog dutifully ignored.

The dog jumped up onto the table to steal a piece of steak outside and the owners gave a stern calling of him name but NOTHING else! (Didn't even move towards him or anything to end the behavior) and then later it jumped onto the couch and stole my sisters cookie off of her plate - only this time the owners watched him do it. I tried to keep the dog from eating the cookie and all he said was "eh he's going to finish it id just let him" ??? My dog would get isolated outside for that!

What I'm saying is OWNERS OF SMALL DOGS! DO NOT AND I REPEAT PLEASE DO NOT ALLOW YOUR SMALL DOG TO BEHAVE THIS WAY!

Even if it couldn't technically hurt Cosmo on the outside, he was obviously mentally damaged and fearful and this is not an ok thing to let a dog get away with! Train them manners just like you would a lab or an Aussie.

Small breeds are not pocket pets! Treat them like dogs or else you'll have a monster on your hands!
I'm sorry you had a horrible experience with this one small dog and the other small dogs at the dog park, BUT the above statement that I bolded and colored is an insult to me and others who have small dogs on this forum who work their butts off to not have a terror small dog. You have no right to assume we all are the same as those people who don't work with their dog no matter what size they are.

I had a problem earlier this year with two labs. All the labs here where I live are back yard bred. Most of the ones I've met have been problem dogs. I came on here ranting about the two labs, who got lose and charged full speed to Kuma, but were foiled when they saw a large malamute charge them. (And they got into a fight.) The Malamute belongs to my boss and we offered to walk his dog because we felt sorry for the dog who was tied up 24/7 to a chain. The malamute was on leash and hubby had to let go of the leash when the malamute charged to take on the two labs(hubby is 150 something and the malamute is well over 200 pounds). But I did not say all lab owners need to train their dogs better, because I know the people here work on their dogs no matter size, type, or breed.

It's true most small dogs are terrors, but there are a few of us who treat our small dogs like dogs. I have owned mostly medium sized dogs and they were all mutts. I have never treated Kuma my rescue and small dog any different then I did my other medium sized dogs and a lot of people who stay in this forum think the same as me. So please, be curdious next time you need to state something about owners on this forum because we work hard with our dogs no matter what size.
 
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That's great! I'm glad you don't do that! I'm so relieved that you don't allow your small dogs to behave that way! But in my original post I was very clear, in fact extremely clear, in stating that the owners of this particular dog were VERY negligent of ensuring their small dog was properly behaved. They did absolutely NOTHING to correct their dog and it was ENRAGING to me to have my dog bullied by a little brat who couldn't properly behave in any social situation and watch the owners do nothing. This post was about the particular owners that let it happen. Not you, not the dog, but these types of owners.

So, with that being said, I'm obviously NOT talking about you, the owners that have small dogs that work with them. And I even stated that a dog I am currently training (and have been since she was 2 months old) has horrible horrible problems with barking at strangers VERY loudly and obnoxiously and she is a large BC lab mix and I stated we work on it every day but she still behaves that way. So obviously I understand that and I wish you would have read my posts better. I am clearly not speaking to you, I'm speaking to the multiple people I've met that own small dogs and allow them to bully other dogs, ( INCLUDING OTHER WELL BEHAVED SMALL DOGS ) And behave wildly inappropriately and get away with it

I don't dislike small dogs, and I don't know why you're trying to make it out like that. I've owned and trained small dogs, but all too often I have seen people purchase chihuahuas and yorkies and pugs and poms and they're packed around and treated as toys or accessories, not pets. THAT is what I'm saying is wrong and I HOPE that no one disagrees with me. This creates so much stress on the dog, and creates a horribly insecure stressed out and confused dog.

Like I said, clearly I am not talking about you, the people who treat their small dogs like dogs and train them manners and work with them. This wasn't an attack on you. This thread was me ranting about my experiences with several owners of small dogs I've encountered that are ignoring bad behaviors because they are small and making a joke out of it and writing it off because they are small. There's a pug at my work who will all but bite your finger off for the treat in your hand, but she gets away with it because her face is flat and she can't actually hurt you. It's still annoying and scary and bad. My boyfriends moms dog is a hack Russell chihuahua mix and has lunged at my face before and bit my hand but her bite isn't strong enough to break skin and her daughter laughs about it because the dog makes a humorous sounding growl when she's angry. She's clearly stressed out for one, and for two if my 51 pound Aussie lunged at someone's face he'd be sent to get put down.

But the point is I am not talking about you, the owners that care for their dogs properly, and I assumed that you would get that. I apologize it didn't come across that way.

It angers me just as much when people who own big dogs allow their dog to jump up on people or bully small dogs or bark incessantly, but this was more of a matter of me being very upset about this experience I have and coming to a dog forum to rant about it. I didn't intend to offend and be attacked. This thread was supposed to be CLEARLY about the owners of small dogs who stick them in their purse or under their arm or even (yes I've seen this) between their boobs and never socialize them or teach them anything. I understand that MOST of you probably don't do this, and the intention was I guess to get some people to relate to my situation and discuss owners that aren't in dog forums who do this and maybe share experiences or something. This was not aimed at pretty much anyone on this forum because I know that you all are probably very responsible dog owners, as am I.

Sorry to offend.
 

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I get you Nadiaatalaya

Small dog owners on this site are nothing short of awesome but many small dog owners in general are pretty bad.

I'm sick of random small dogs attacking me and my pups and it also terrifies me because even a small correction from my dogs would seriously hurt a small dog and get my dogs labeled as dangerous and or put on the euth list.

Makes me paranoid to walk down some of my neighborhood streets.

If a large dogacted in the same way, they would usually be euthed or locked up.

It's a case of the small dog not being able to do as much damage so is allowed more lax judgement in society as a whole. Where people are quick to shoot larger dogs for even lesser issues because large dogs even accidentally can do much more massive damage in comparison.


Again small dog owners on this forum are the exception to the general public.
 

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That's great! I'm glad you don't do that! I'm so relieved that you don't allow your small dogs to behave that way! But in my original post I was very clear, in fact extremely clear, in stating that the owners of this particular dog were VERY negligent of ensuring their small dog was properly behaved. They did absolutely NOTHING to correct their dog and it was ENRAGING to me to have my dog bullied by a little brat who couldn't properly behave in any social situation and watch the owners do nothing. This post was about the particular owners that let it happen. Not you, not the dog, but these types of owners.

So, with that being said, I'm obviously NOT talking about you, the owners that have small dogs that work with them. And I even stated that a dog I am currently training (and have been since she was 2 months old) has horrible horrible problems with barking at strangers VERY loudly and obnoxiously and she is a large BC lab mix and I stated we work on it every day but she still behaves that way. So obviously I understand that and I wish you would have read my posts better. I am clearly not speaking to you, I'm speaking to the multiple people I've met that own small dogs and allow them to bully other dogs, ( INCLUDING OTHER WELL BEHAVED SMALL DOGS ) And behave wildly inappropriately and get away with it

I don't dislike small dogs, and I don't know why you're trying to make it out like that. I've owned and trained small dogs, but all too often I have seen people purchase chihuahuas and yorkies and pugs and poms and they're packed around and treated as toys or accessories, not pets. THAT is what I'm saying is wrong and I HOPE that no one disagrees with me. This creates so much stress on the dog, and creates a horribly insecure stressed out and confused dog.

Like I said, clearly I am not talking about you, the people who treat their small dogs like dogs and train them manners and work with them. This wasn't an attack on you. This thread was me ranting about my experiences with several owners of small dogs I've encountered that are ignoring bad behaviors because they are small and making a joke out of it and writing it off because they are small. There's a pug at my work who will all but bite your finger off for the treat in your hand, but she gets away with it because her face is flat and she can't actually hurt you. It's still annoying and scary and bad. My boyfriends moms dog is a hack Russell chihuahua mix and has lunged at my face before and bit my hand but her bite isn't strong enough to break skin and her daughter laughs about it because the dog makes a humorous sounding growl when she's angry. She's clearly stressed out for one, and for two if my 51 pound Aussie lunged at someone's face he'd be sent to get put down.

But the point is I am not talking about you, the owners that care for their dogs properly, and I assumed that you would get that. I apologize it didn't come across that way.

It angers me just as much when people who own big dogs allow their dog to jump up on people or bully small dogs or bark incessantly, but this was more of a matter of me being very upset about this experience I have and coming to a dog forum to rant about it. I didn't intend to offend and be attacked. This thread was supposed to be CLEARLY about the owners of small dogs who stick them in their purse or under their arm or even (yes I've seen this) between their boobs and never socialize them or teach them anything. I understand that MOST of you probably don't do this, and the intention was I guess to get some people to relate to my situation and discuss owners that aren't in dog forums who do this and maybe share experiences or something. This was not aimed at pretty much anyone on this forum because I know that you all are probably very responsible dog owners, as am I.

Sorry to offend.
I understand that you have seen and met so many problem 'small' dogs, but that last statement just sounded like it was directed to us small dog owners. Anyways, thanks, I wish there were more responsible small dog owners out there like us. My reason for wanting a small dog is because many times growing up, I couldn't have any of my mutts inside the house with me because they were 'too' big for the house. (Even though they were medium size usually weighted a little under 75 lbs.) And I had one small dog, (a pug) and I loved having him inside the house and that's what really made me want to own a small dog.

Plus if I were to travel, if they are under 15 lbs, they get to travel with you on the jet in a carrying case and could be placed under the seat in front of you. ^_^ (We bought a collapsable kennel?) It was approved by the airline and we bought it from there. It will make taking my rescue with us so much easier then carrying that heavy kennel with us.

Oh, and I do plan to own a few medium sized dogs and since I will be owning my own home, I can allow the dog to live inside with me ha ha ha ha....... Just have to work on hubby a bit first.

Anywyas, if I miss read your post, I'm sorry too.

I don't think anyone is angry at you personally, we just see a LOT of "control your dogs, small dog owners!" Posts that us small dog owners get a little jaded.
Yeah, unfortunately, it's not easy owning a small dog, but I would jump through many throats to prove that not all 'bad owners' of small dogs are out there. ^_^
 

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My only thought is, was this dog fixed? I feel like the aggression can be tied to that. Since a large percentage of dog bites are from unneutered males.

But you are right, they shouldn't let that dog get away with all that terrible behavior. I have a dachshund mix and I will admit I do let her get away with some things and that I do spoil her and give her the little dog treatment. But not to the extent I would let her get away with ANY of what you listed.

She knows that she has to be nice to other dogs, and have people manners. But she does get held more and baby talked to, but it's only because she is this little 12lb creature living amongst two 60lb dogs and a 20lb cat! Of course she is going to be able to get away with things the other dogs wouldn't.

But I feel like it's not just the owners fault, or the dogs fault. There is something else happening there that needs to be addressed and corrected.
 

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I'm just going to list all the things Manna has endured in the last 3 months on leashed walks in regards to small dogs.


Dog hanging off neck fur
Dog hanging off collar
Dog hanging off neck skin
Dog jumping into and biting face
Stomach biting (multiple times )

And the odd one. Tripping me up so that I land on Manna...but Manna is trained for me falling.


I'm surprised Manna hasn't snapped yet.

Again the dog owners here are awesome. The small dog general public are idiots.

I didn't count all the rushing but zero contacts.
 

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I'm really glad everything was cleared up! And a HUGE thank you so all of you responsible dog owners here, small and big. (No one who is an irresponsible owner and doesn't care would go through the trouble of making a dog forum account to help out other owners with issues and things.) I completely understand where everyone with small dogs is coming from, because I'm sure you hear that a lot about small dogs. And it's not "small dogs" or "small dog owners" that are the issue. It's simply "irresponsible small dog owners".

The dog was fixed, and has been since he was young (it wasn't a recent occurrence.) I'm concerned because the owner just had a baby, and if that dog decides he doesn't like a toddler pulling at his ears, this toddler/baby is going to end up with a nasty bite and the dog will end up in the pound or possible euth'd just because of a couple reckless and careless owners.
 

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You know...
a very large number of issues I've encountered out and about have been with medium and large dogs... most recent problems:
- a lady with 2 greyhounds allowing them to repeatedly walk up and stick their faces in my puppy's plate of food. We were at an event and they gave out a ton of samples. He guards from other dogs (also tends to be afraid of larger dogs) so had him to the side completely out of the way. First time moved my puppy and his plate a good 10 feet away. Second time I told her my guy wasn't willing to share while I blocked and backed her dogs up. Third time I again moved and told her to keep her dogs away as allowing them to do that could start a fight.
-off lead golden wanting "to play" with my girls. One is a blind min pin and the other a peke who recently had surgery. Both 9+ years old and not interested in play with unfamiliar dogs. I scooped the girls up and body blocked the best I could. Meanwhile the dog was ignoring recall while jumping and mouthing at me to get at the girls. Seemed like an eternity for the owner to get her dog. This is a repeat offender BTW and a dog and owner we avoid like the plague.

I've of course had issues with small as well. Had a doxie mix follow us most of the way home a couple months ago.

I just don't know I would be comfy saying the majority of small dog owners are irresponsible/allowing bad behavior. Same with medium and large dogs owners. I wouldn't say the majority are irresponsible.

I DO think there are a lot of not so dog savvy dog owners out there allowing their dogs to do a lot of things they shouldn't. Thinking of my past and present clients...

Many really just don't know that their dogs' behavior is problematic. Many know but don't know how to address it. And for a great many handling and management skills do not come naturally. It's something the need to learn.
 

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Honestly I feel like a lot of people just look for a reason to justify their dislike of small dogs and interpret a lot of the same behavior in larger dogs differently because they aren't looking for an excuse to stay "stupid big dogs".
 

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Our problems have all been medium to big dog related too recently (including poor Levi getting bit). Although that could have something to do with the fact that we don't really see very many little dogs out and about.
There are only little dogs on my street, and I swear it's like a carbon copy from house to house. Some small, white, curly haired little thing. They are almost never outside, and all just go crazy barking at their windows/doors whenever they see anyone, be it canine or person. The one exception is this absolutely fabulous Toy Poodle. She is so well trained to not go past her driveway, so she comes to the end, gives Levi a "This is my property" bark, and saunters back up to her garage. She is hilarious.
 

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@Shandula makes a good point. If you have mostly small dogs in your area, you're going to see more small dogs that aren't well behaved. If you have more big dogs, you'll see more misbehaving big dogs. I have more big dogs in my area and I'd say it's usually a 3:1 ratio of "bad" big/medium dogs to small dogs.
 

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I also work at a doggy daycare facility and I'd say the dogs on the big side have much more problems. Most of the problems on the small side are from puppies that are still learning. Sorry I keep posting, but I swear we get a post with attitude about small dogs every week.
 
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