GO!

Do big dogs really not see little dogs as "dogs?"

This is a place to gain some understanding of dog behavior and to assist people in training their dogs and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. This can cover the spectrum from non-aversive to traditional methods of dog training. There are many ways to train a dog. Please avoid aggressive responses, and counter ideas and opinions with which you don't agree with friendly and helpful advice. Please refrain from submitting posts that promote off-topic discussions. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other dog owners and lovers... not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

  
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Gunner

Gunna get \'em!
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 22, '12 3:38pm PST 
I also have to add this, I wouldn't trust Paisley at a dog park. In fact, I was talking to my hubs about this the other day. When she is around small dogs she just wants to chase them, and though I've never seen her shake them (never given her the chance), she is anything but gentle with them.

I'm not sure how to change that behavior, try as I might. She has successfully had a wondrous time with some squeaker toys I like to call "live chickens" once. I don't think she ever forgot how much fun she had.
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Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 22, '12 3:54pm PST 
This kinda goes to my knee jerk reaction to when people express surprise about "dogs remembering them, knowing the difference between this and that," etc.--They're dogs, not mentally challenged humans! . . . . and I'm somewhat joking when I say that, but sometimes dogs get so much human view point put upon them.

In other words--we tend to assume the vast array of dog appearances and sizes is quite shocking or confusing to dogs--maybe because we're so visual. But I think to dogs, smell trumps so much--which is why my dog recognized my friend's car and wagged at it on a street where I didn't expect it to be. (She knew it by smell, I had to walk around to the other side and see the mismatched door to figure out why she "liked" the car!) Although, even regardless of the difference in sensory focus---"we" can somehow tell dogs from rabbits, despite the variety . . . why shouldn't dogs be able to. Besides who's to say even in instance of predatory drift that species is relevant? Maybe a hungry dog in the wild doesn't care if he's about to eat a smaller kinsman . . .

But the other angle I'd throw in for thought is, even big dogs started life as puppies . . . . . their sibs when born might not have been as big as an adult Yorkie . . .


Now some dogs do quite well with pups and some find them annoying, but rarely do you hear people wonder if their adult dog recognizes a puppy as a dog . . . . so I wouldn't think size would be much of a deal, unless a particular dog had led a fairly sheltered life . . .. shrug
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Augusta,- CGC, RN

Such a Good Dog!
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 22, '12 3:54pm PST 
....eats doppelganger!

Edited by author Wed Aug 22, '12 3:55pm PST

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y

dog-sitter in- charge.
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 22, '12 4:34pm PST 
but even being dog selective/aggressive to 'normal' sized dogs is not abnormal, either. simply that most people dislike it as it's inconvenient, or perhaps it's against breed standard, but quite a few breeds are within standard to have aggression towards other dogs, too.
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Gunner

Gunna get \'em!
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 22, '12 4:47pm PST 
Good point Lillith!

So do you think certain large dogs are afraid of/aggressive towards smaller guys?

I think when something runs--many dogs give chase, heedless of size.

The smaller ones are more likely to put off fear and run faster. Fight or flight?
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Bruno CGC

Honorary Kelpie
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 22, '12 6:03pm PST 
So here's my take- as owner of a dog who is both DA AND predatory.

His usual reaction to small dogs is exactly like his reaction to big dogs. Hackling, growling, lunging (which are clearly canine-to-canine communication) if they get too close, total disinterest otherwise. He knows they're dogs, full-stop. The only time it might have been a predatory reaction was once when we were walking off-leash, in an area he has hunted rabbits in many times (so his brain was primed to see rabbits and chase them.) Off in the distance, a man had a Yorkie off-leash, and it started running. Bruno saw the motion, took off after it in predatory mode, but as soon as he got a clear view, he slowed down dramatically and came back to me- that to me says that he recognized it was a dog after all, and was able to break out of prey mode quite easily.

I can see this possibly being different with a sighthound though, because they are SO fast they might actually be able to "outrun their brain" and grab the small dog before they know what it is.

Bruno has a very interesting reaction to coyotes, by the way (thinking of Lillith's comment about wolves killing 'yotes)... I really can't say if he recognizes them as dogs. The one time he saw one in daylight, he took off after it in prey mode, no communication behaviors offered. But when he smells fresh coyote pee in "his" yard, he overmarks it and then scratches very vigorously (much more than normally) which he wouldn't do for a non-dog. He also gets upset (growling, hackles) and wants to go outside when he hears them at night, which he doesn't do for dogs barking at night.
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Sanka- I'll Miss- You

The ground is my- newspaper.
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 22, '12 6:10pm PST 
Interesting discussion. Yay!dancing

Bruno, that's exactly what Kato does. He knows the usual spots where the critters good for chasing are and gets himself primed to have some fun.

As for coyotes, Kato has chased them, but I'm not sure if he quite thinks them as a dog.thinking When he has spotted them at a distance, he never just straight up chases him like he would a bird or rabbit. He stares at them, studies them. The only time he's chased was when they actually ran off. Even then, I'm not so sure as he does join in a good game of chase the running dogs at the dog park too.

Sanka has tried to eat a dead coyote before. Not sure what that means though.shrug
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Duppy

I'm luv-a-bull
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 22, '12 6:23pm PST 
Depends on the dog and the situation I think. Blue gets confused from a distance, but when up close and personal, she definitely knows it's a dog and it's a little dog. It's cute to see her try to figure out how to play with it, because she knows she can't really wrestle with it. Duppy loves little dogs and puppies, but I watch him because he's solid and heavy and likes to play rough, and could hurt one by accident.
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Moose

I love sitting- in laps
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 22, '12 6:35pm PST 
About a year ago I watched someone's Whippet chase a small dog and when he caught it, he put his mouth around the back of the small dogs neck and pinned it. He didn't shake it, but he didn't let it go quickly.
Once the dog was able to get up and run, the Whippet would catch it and the same scene would play out. It looked like he was chasing a bunny, not playing with a dog.
I looked very prey driven to me.
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Zoey

oops theres a- wall there!
 
 
Barked: Wed Aug 22, '12 6:59pm PST 
Zoey loves to run, so if someone or something is running she's running to. I don't think she sees little dogs as prey, she's only 6 months so she's not "huge" but would I let her play with a small dog, prob not. My dad goes out of town sometimes and I have to go and let his dogs out so I usually take Zoey with me to burn off some of their energy due to being inside all day. He has a yorkie and brittany spaniel. So small and med size dog. Zoey has never even been interested in the yorkie but he's not interested in her either. My mom on the other hand took in a stray... it's some sort of little thing maybe 5 lbs. The first time I introduced them zoey was on a leash little dog was loose and running. Zoey is very loud when she plays so I don't know how the little one saw this but the little one started growling and yapping so my mom got nervous and picked up the little one. Zoey kept breaking her collar and jumping on whoever was holding the little one, but she(zoey) WAS'NT aggressive, I think it was just to try to get a closer smell cause the little one wouldnt let her get close enough. Once Zoey ran it out a bit in the yard and was calm she forgot about the other dog (even though they werent both on the ground)

would I trust her around a little dog that we don't know? no, not because of prey drive though, just that she can play alittle rough and I would be worried about the play...

Other than that I only know of one story from my aunt, she had two little chi's and I think they were in the front yard with her and two loose pits ran up and instantly killed them, no play in that, it was grusome. Wasn't even a "shaking" it was a brutal ripping apart ordeal.

Edited by author Wed Aug 22, '12 7:01pm PST

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