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Why Small Dogs Have "Big Dog Syndrome" - Jessie T. Wolf
March 18th, 2009
10:53 am


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Why Small Dogs Have "Big Dog Syndrome"
I guess I can see why little dogs are always trying to act big, since owning a Chihuahua. I mean, besides the fact that most small dog owners don't take any kind of leadership role with their dogs more than half of the time, and think that it's "cute" when Fifi yaps and growls at the neighbor or at other dogs... Most small dogs are very insecure. If you ever look at a truly confident and relaxed dog, those are the ones who just hang back and chill out, because they don't have anything to prove to anyone else. But when you're tiny, sometimes your voice is all you really have.


I try to look at things from Penny's perspective, a lot of the time. She's been doing much better at Daycare, and has started becoming a bit more social and slowly pushing past her comfort zone, and actually tries to play with some of the dogs now (she kind of tried to play with our newest 11-month-old Rottie/Shepherd puppy, this morning). It's so funny watching this tiny little Chi in the mix with all of our big Daycare dogs. Penny certainly has no trouble telling the bigger dogs off when they get too much in her face, and surprisingly enough they all respect her personal space. I don't blame her. I'm sure it's rather unnerving to have so many big dogs around her, in one confined area. So I let her defend herself when she needs to, instead of her trying to run to "Mommy" and jump at my legs, in the hopes that I'll pick her up. I know she can handle herself (and she's under close supervision anyway, and if I ever thought she was truly in trouble I'd step in).

I'm glad she's building confidence, but at the same time I try not to let her ego get too inflated. This morning she got right pushy with a little Beagle/Boston Terrier mix we have here. Hackles up, and growling, and getting right into his face! I'm like, oh no you don't! I don't mind her defending herself, but I certainly don't want her feeling like she can start shit with other dogs now. On a normal basis, she's not the typical small yappy dog that goes charging at other dogs out of the blue, but recently (for who knows what reason) she's started to develop an intolerance for Beagles. O__o I have no idea why.

So, miss Diva is now upstairs in the main office for the rest of the day, chilling out with the smaller and older dogs. Even just having her in the upstairs office by herself once in a while has really started helping with her separation anxiety, too. She's screaming much less frequently now, and is getting used to spending time without me constantly being there. AND, she lasted from 9am until 2pm yesterday, *without* having an accident on the floor!! I was *so* thrilled! I think she's finally starting to get it. :D

Penny's health issues also seem to finally be getting better (at least, I hope so... I have to take her in for a follow-up urine test next week).

Owning a small dog has been a very interesting experience, so far. Now I just have to try to find a new place that will allow me to keep both Penny and Mojo. Going to be keeping my eyes peeled for a decent one-bedroom, or bachelor suite, as I'm moving out in four more months. For now though, I'll be taking a little break for a couple of weeks and staying at a friend's place, and bringing the dogs with me. Just need to get out of my place for a bit, to try to detox and clear my head of stressful matters.

Current Mood: busy

(6 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:March 18th, 2009 07:06 pm (UTC)
You need to move back to Toronto. Cos I'm gonna be there now. :)
[User Picture]
Date:March 18th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
To be honest, I've never managed to develop any sort of understanding or relationship with sub-25-pound dogs - except for Jack Russell Terriers / Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Both of these have attitude *and* the ability to prove it - they're born with twice the Original Sin™ of other dogs.

Generic small-dogs invariably have attitude problems. Yapping at me interminably will not make you my friend. Trying to bully me will not make you my friend - specially when you're so small I could sit on you and not notice.

"All mouth and no trousers" is a British expression for those people who sound-off about things but do not have the courage or strength to prove a point. I consider most small dogs to be perfect demonstrations of this.
[User Picture]
Date:March 18th, 2009 11:12 pm (UTC)
I never thought I'd ever own a small breed, until I rescued Penny. I've had a Staffie mix, and yeah, Zena definitely had that attitude you speak about. ;) But if I was going to have a dog like a Chihuahua, I'm going to damn well treat her like a *dog*, and not like an accessory. That's why most small dogs are such little shits, because people let them get away with everything. I make Penny work for everything, and as a result, she's actually balanced, and not annoying. Plus it's good to have a small demo dog for my obedience classes, to show people that small dogs are just as intelligent and able as big dogs are, if they're trained properly.

As for the all mouth and no trousers, (or all bark and no bite) I totally agree with you. Though I can also relate, in a way, because I often times have to depend on my big mouth and big attitude to get a point across, since I'm not exactly a large person. ;) Funny, when I think about it, because working with the large breeds I do, on a daily basis,(Rotts, Shepherds, Bulldogs, Ridgebacks...) I could easily get pretty seriously hurt by any of these dogs, if I showed any kind of weakness.

Small dogs are still not my cup of tea, but at least I have a better understanding of them now. Still can't beat a nice, buff, Rottweiler, tho. ;)
[User Picture]
Date:March 19th, 2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
I love that photo. ;)

I'm glad to hear Penny is doing better. I've been wondering about how she's been doing... given all the issues that popped up after you flew her out there.

Gonna find a new place finally? I'm kind of glad about that, you deserve a bigger place where you can have both the dogs without worrying. Good luck in that search!
[User Picture]
Date:March 20th, 2009 07:09 am (UTC)
I totally love the pics you took of Penny. ^^ Thanks, again. I had a lot of fun at your place, and taking Pen and Taff out for walks. :3 And yep, she finally seems to be doing a lot better. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that nothing else pops up!

Dunno how much of a bigger place I'll find, but I definitely need to be on my own for a bit. With no roomie, I can't afford more than $600 a month for a place, and I doubt I'll be able to find anything that big for such little rent. Hopefully I can find someplace decent and safe where I can keep both the dogs, until November finally moves out here permanently. Then I'll be moving again, and looking for a bigger place with her.

Yay for moving - and here I thought I was finally getting settled. :-P
[User Picture]
Date:March 23rd, 2009 03:58 am (UTC)
Sorry I missed the cut on this post......Nice looking kid...:-)
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