|Barked: Mon Aug 9, '10 12:01am PST |
|It's hard to come onto a 'size specific' forum and tell what you've personally experienced if it happens to be perceived as negative to that 'size' of dog. I don't think Laila's comments were to be mean or negative to small dogs as a generalization but just to say what he/she has personally experienced is that around them more small dogs are poorly trained and managed than larger ones. I have to say that, at least in my area, it also holds true that the small dogs are significantly more reactive (negatively) than the large dogs. Does that mean all small dogs are terrible and all large dogs are great? Absolutely not. But it IS to say that my personal experience has been the same as Laila's and that even the small dog owners I know personally (as opposed to the strangers I meet with little dogs barking incessantly at me and Mazzy, or nipping, or running at us, etc) tend to disregard those bad behaviors simply because the dog is small and "can't really do any harm".
Obviously there are good 'small dog' owners that DO train their little dogs proper commands and not to jump up, nip, etc, but I don't think it's a stretch of reality at all to say that, especially today with the popularity of small breeds, you find many owners who have this "it's small and can't hurt anyone so ~shrug~" attitude/laziness regarding their small pups.
Again, this is just what I personally experience on a regular basis, just as Laila seems (to me) to be saying. I have had two large dogs run at me in my lifetime: one when I was a kid riding my bike and a bully breed chased me down the street, and a second time while walking a poodle (a well behaved poodle ) and a Great Dane ran at us, snatched up the poodle, and did some serious damage to it requiring a body cast. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I have had more than I can count regarding small dogs running at me and Maz, barking at us, nipping at Mazzy's face, and trying to put their front paws on her back to show dominance (Mazzy's submissive so that's not a big deal, just annoying).
As for the reactions of owners to these situations, here is my personal experience: One large herding dog attacked Maz once and gave her a few puncture wounds in her face and the owner of that dog freaked and pulled their dog off her and corrected their dog, as SHOULD be the reaction if your dog attacks another. Mazzy has been nipped in the face by several little dogs and the owners always (that I have experienced) brush it off and do nothing about it as it's happening since their dog is "too small to hurt my large dog". I'm betting Mazzy doesn't like being bitten in the face regardless what size the dog is that does it.
Again, this is not at all to say that every small dog owner in the world doesn't take the time to train and/or correct negative behaviors, but I think what it really boils down to is that big dog owners have more to loose if their dog is "bad". If a large dog bites someone or another dog there is a decent possibility that that large dog owner will be sued and the dog possibly put to sleep. If a large dog lunges and runs at will there is a decent chance the owner will not be able to hold the leash. A small dog trying to run is easy to control on a leash and so the owner may not feel as great a need to correct the behavior since any jerk of the leash is going to stop a ten pound dog in it's tracks. A large dog barking incessantly scares people and is very VERY loud and so an owner might feel more of a need to correct that (or be pushed to do so by annoyed neighbors) where as a small dog barking scares no one - if worse came to worse, any human knows they could simply kick it, IF it came to that, to get the dog away - and so that small dog owner again might not feel as strong a need to correct the issue, or feel as pressured into doing so. If my dog attacks a little dog, the little dog owner may (and has every right to) take legal action because my dog WILL cause more damage to that small dog. If the opposite happens, Mazzy might be annoyed or even slightly hurt (by a well placed bite) but she's going to be fine and I certainly am not going to waste my time or that of the police to file a report about it. So for the simple fact that a large dog can do so much more damage and/or cause so much greater fear (in the case of chasing), I think it is just a natural reaction to feel more strongly about training your large dog than your small one (for the "lazy" owner - as someone else properly labeled them). The obvious down side of that 'disregard' concerning small dog behavior is that you can (and in my area DO) have many MANY poorly behaved small dogs.
Edited by author Tue Aug 17, '10 4:47pm PST
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