Small dogs playing with big dogs

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Sadie and- Oakley

Twice the dog ~- Twice the- trouble :p
Barked: Fri Nov 26, '10 6:00pm PST 
I bring this up because while visting relatives they have a park acroos the street which is basically a dog park between 4-6 pm there can be anywhere between 5-20 dogs playing on one night. We boarded our two little ones back home because

1) house is all carpeted and Sadie isnt completely potty trained
2) a lot of dogs are allowed free roam of the neighborhood and go to their house and to the park as much as they please and most people who walk their dogs are off leash so i wouldnt feel comfortable walking them and
3) along the lines of not walking i wouldnt find myself taking them to the park because the dogs range from small poodles to a great dane.

ANyway i bring this up because tonight there was a small wire fox terrier that we have seen other nights out there among some big dogs and one black lab kept rough housing with him and he would yelp/bark a little and bite back he was having fun because he was running around out running a lot of the dogs but did not want to rough house with them too much. At one point one of the bigger dogs (not the lab) pinned him down and attacked him. The owner of the big dog immediately took him apoligized and took him home and the owner of the small dog just shook it off and let him keep playing saying dogs will be dogs and later i realized the little terrier had a bit of a limp. I know it was the guys choice to let him play with the big dogs, usually there are at least 5 or 6 small dogs this little terrier plays with and the big dogs will play with each other but tonight her was the only one.

anyway back to my point, would you let your small dogs play with the big dogs (back at home our dog park is fenced off and divided into the two areas, small and big dogs)

Edited by author Fri Nov 26, '10 6:01pm PST


Im just a little- guy
Barked: Fri Nov 26, '10 6:12pm PST 
I let my dog interact and meet large dogs. I let him meet the obviously socialized dogs. I don't think dog parks are full of properly trained, exercised and socialized dogs. I think many of them are under-exercised and poorly socialized. This combination makes many of them over excited, lacking dog social skills and boisterous. Don't like that combination.

My dog lives in an area where large nordic breeds, retrievers, and pitbulls are common breeds. Small dogs are uncommon and most of the dogs my dog interacts with are much bigger than him.

I am lax with my dog. He is off leash often and so are other dogs. I let him interact with friendly dogs, especially the ones I know from walking my dog around the neighborhood. If a large dog comes up to Milton wagging his tail and in a calm manner, I am not worried. This seems to be the case most of the time, other wise I will block the dog from entering into our space.
Sadie and- Oakley

Twice the dog ~- Twice the- trouble :p
Barked: Fri Nov 26, '10 6:45pm PST 
i agree with you Milton

I would also like to add in that it is a small town so everyone knows each other and their dogs (in fact i even know a lot of the dogs that have visited over this week because they all are frequent visitors to the park and since everyone is a daily visitor to the park so there isnt much of a danger with unsocialized dogs at the park. Usually there are just small scuffles (which happened tonight) and all in al everything is fine

Edited by author Fri Nov 26, '10 6:46pm PST



My head is- broken, not my- heart!!
Barked: Fri Nov 26, '10 6:58pm PST 
Hee hee, I HAVE to let mine play! I have a 6lb Chihuahua and a soon-to-be-100lb Akita, and they romp around and LOVE each other.

However, even though I have taken my littles to big dog parks, it is usually just for socialization and I don't let them get too feisty BECAUSE they are Chihuahuas. Now, if I had a terrier, then I wouldn't be so protective because in all honesty the average terrier is much, much tougher than the average Chi. Or if Sas was at least over 10lbs. I guess I have a lot of factors that would have to fall into place either way.

Also, Tyson is very protective of Sas, and if another dog was playing too rough he would immediately fight it, no questions asked. So I try to avoid that situation too.
Sadie and- Oakley

Twice the dog ~- Twice the- trouble :p
Barked: Fri Nov 26, '10 7:46pm PST 
I wouldnt mind it if the dogs played well and if it it did get rough i would remove them from playing with them the only thing is im sure my two wouldnt even try to play with them, in fact they would run the other way because they were attacked a couple months back by two bull mastiffs and since then they have been very reactive towards them on walks (even when the dog is across the street) that it would be too much for them actually play with them. SO we stick to dogs the same size and they are as happy as the can belaugh out loud
Oliver- Lambchop- Loeser

Cuddle ME!!
Barked: Fri Nov 26, '10 8:21pm PST 
I know someone who has a small Poodle/Havanese mix & a Great Dane, and they get along great. I have no problem with little dogs and huge dogs playing together, as long as they get along, and don't get to rough with each other.
Addy, CGC

Let's go for a- walk!
Barked: Fri Nov 26, '10 8:34pm PST 
It's one thing to let large and small dogs who are part of the same family play together, and another thing entirely for large and small dogs who haven't even met before play together in the not-very-controlled setting of a dog park.

In the neighborhood the OP was visiting, probably the real situation at that afternoon dog park is somewhere in between--the dogs aren't family, but most of them have probably met and interacted with each other quite a lot. There's still a risk of completely accidental injury, or things getting out of hand--in which case the little dog will be on the losing end--but it's a significantly lower risk than with a completely random mix of dogs. And at that point, you have to make your decision individually for your own dog whether the risk level is acceptable vs. the benefits of off-leash playtime and socialization.

But as a visitor? No, I wouldn't do it, and I think you did the right thing in not bringing your own small dog into a situation where that would be their only real exercise option, and neither they nor you would know the other dogs well.
Sadie and- Oakley

Twice the dog ~- Twice the- trouble :p
Barked: Fri Nov 26, '10 10:35pm PST 
thanks addy that was really well put. What you said is exactly what i was trying to get across. Also i am glad that i didn't bring them as like i said these dogs play with each other on a daily routine. they all know each other well and when they come to the gate you can see who is really excited to have there best buddy be there as a some dogs will run over to greet them and then run off all silly. I think by being the brand new dogs i think its a 50/50 chance that they would be accepted at the park

Miss- Pig!
Barked: Sat Nov 27, '10 6:15am PST 
Yep. A small dog should learn that interactions with large dogs is normal. In most cases a large dog will adapt it's play style to that of a small dog.

Missy was running around the field, jumping up and on Labs, GSD's, Golden Rerievers and many other large crossbreeds from the age of 9 weeks old. She was about the size of a Rat and it was amazing to see her play with such large dogs. The Goldie in particular was very gentle with her, laying down and getting down to her level.

I do believe in some instances that dogs will be dogs and Missy as a 6 month old pup got pinned down by a Lab bitch who would growl over her etc. Missy didn't seem fazed by this at the time and it never concerned me.

Did the guy see his terrier limping? If dogs are appearing to be hurt that's when play should end.

Barked: Sat Nov 27, '10 6:56am PST 
My little 9lb "mini Aussie" plays with my brother's 50-60lb Husky mix. They chase each other around, "play bite" (open their mouth but don't bite or close their mouth), and jump on each other. Luka has only yelped once and I think Savvie (my brother's dog) just startled her. They are so great with each other!
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