I sit here this morning surrounded by my small breed rescues. The house is quiet save for the sound of my downstairs shower as my daughter gets ready to go back to the city. The large breed dogs are napping in their den, and all is right with the world. I sip my coffee and stare out the window at the snow. I feel a nudge and when I look down my nine year old Dachshund is trying to climb into my lap. I pick him up give him a hug and settle him in so I can write the blog. Like all of my dogs he came to me because no one else could handle him. “But he’s a Dachshund!” I hear you say. “Who can’t handle a Dachshund? I mean it’s not as if we are talking about a “pit bull” or something!”
No you are right, we are not talking about a “pit bull”, but aggression is not exclusive to “pit bulls” in fact, I have met more gentle docile “pit bulls” in my rescue work than any other breed. But back to my killer Dachshund, Yoda. Okay so maybe he’s not a killer, but just try taking a chew bone or a toy he has claimed from him! Do you like your fingers? Because if you do I suggest you keep them very far away from Yoda’s mouth when he is being possessive over something!
“Oh come on!” I hear you exclaim. “It’s a Dachshund! What harm could a pint sized dog possibly do?” and therein lies the problem! People do not see small dogs as a threat. They think aggressive antics in a small breed dog are cute and funny. (They are not!) As a result, they encourage the behavior because it gives them a laugh, then they are surprised when their dog bites! Watch the following video clip, do you find this dog’s behavior funny?
I assure it isn’t and in fact these people are encouraging aggressive behavior in their small breed dog. NO dog behaving in this manner is funny, and this type of behavior should be addressed in the same manner regardless what breed the dog is!
The problem is many people feel that because it is just a small breed dog it can do no harm. I am sure that the parents of a newborn killed by an aggressive Pomeranian felt that way too, that is until their “cute” aggressive small breed dog became homicidal!
A dog, is a dog, is a dog. Sure some are bigger than others, and seem more dangerous because of it, but ANY size dog acting aggressively can be a lethal weapon. Small breed dogs must be treated like dogs despite their size. To all of you carrying your small breed dogs around in your purses dressed like human babies “WAKE UP!” I don’t care how tiny cute and innocent your dog looks, I don’t care what your dog’s breed is, TRAIN IT!
People with small breed dogs who yap and nip at the heels of other dogs they meet are always the first ones to call for the euthanization of a large breed dog who bites their “precious little angel.” Truth be told, it is usually that “precious little angel” of a dog who is responsible for the bite in the first place. I don’t know how many times my dogs and I have withdrawn to the side of the road when walking in order to avoid a frantically barking pint sized demon of a dog straining at it’s leash and snarling in an effort to get to my dog. Every time this happens the small dog’s owner usually says something ridiculous (while laughing) like “oh don’t worry about him he just likes to act tough.”
Did it ever occur to you that YOU might be the only one in that situation who finds your dog’s behavior funny? I KNOW my dogs certainly do not! I myself am mystified by how much you don’t “get it.”
I own an aggressive small dog, but he was MUCH more aggressive when he first came to me then he is now. I carry a muzzle when I walk him in public, and if he begins to exhibit aggressive behavior I use it! After all, better to muzzle the dog then to have someone bitten don’t you think?
When people see my twelve pound Dachshie wearing a muzzle while walking down the street they look at me funny, some laugh, others ask incredulously “why on earth is that tiny little dog wearing a muzzle?” When they laugh at me and ask me what damage a pint sized dog could possibly do that would warrant a muzzle, I tell them he is aggressive, then I tell them about the newborn and the Pomeranian. They usually leave our conversation with a whole new understanding of dog aggression, and after reading this I hope you do too!
Small dogs MUST be trained just like their larger counterparts. There is nothing funny about a dog “acting tough” and if you think there is, you have no business owning a dog large or small!
Until Next Time Remember
WE ARE THEIR VOICE!