5 Suggestions for Small Dog Owners
I am tired of people hating on big dogs. Of course, I am completely biased, as my smallest dog weighs 88 pounds (you can see their adorable faces on my about page). I understand that their teeth are big; I’ve brushed them. I know their paws are huge; I have wiped them a million times over before they are allowed in the house. I know they have the capability to harm others. However, they are big marshmallows, and I have something to say to all owners of aggressive small dogs: “Get control of your dog, Cupcake!”
Let’s all own our cupcake here, shall we? Any dog can harm another. For that matter, any animal with teeth and claws or any other means of self-defense can cause injury. It is our job as responsible owners to keep our dogs safe. It is also our job to keep others safe, as well.
Last night my malamute was attacked by a damn rat terrier. At one point, my lab went into kill mode as well, and I was forced to control two dogs that weighed a total of 250 pounds. My husband couldn’t help because he held our “injured” golden at a distance to keep the situation from getting worse. And as I pulled my malamute back, the freaking terrier came in and bit the back of my dog’s leg.
And the owner just WALKED over to get her dog.
I won’t lie. I lost it. Especially since this is this is the second confrontation I have had with this dog. And I wasn’t really mad at the terrier (OK, I was a little mad), but I was absolutely furious at the owner. Even though I was aware of this, I still lost my temper.
However, in the spirit of my blog site, I have decided not to go ballistic and all righteous. Instead, I have decided that it might be more productive if I give some constructive advice for small dog owners.Constructive advice for small dog owners to keep the peace Click To Tweet
5 Suggestions for Small Dog Owners
1. All dogs have the capacity to bite, unless they do not have teeth. The size of the dog does not matter. All bites have the capacity to do harm; if your dog bites someone, it will be turned into animal services.
2. It is absolutely NOT cute when your dog acts aggressively towards other dogs. If you truly want everyone to get along, you need to discipline this behavior, just as big dog owners have to curb their canines when they misbehave.
3. If you allow your dog’s aggressive behavior to continue, please prepare yourself for the moment when you meet a dog that will retaliate. It is not a matter of “if” this will happen, as people say; it is a matter of “when” this will happen.
4. When your dog starts a confrontation, you actually intensify the situation when you pick your small dog up and hold it. You are giving it a dominant position over the other dog, and you are encouraging your dog’s behavior. Think of it this way: the small dog is like the kid hiding behind the teacher, sticking his tongue out as the other kid gets in trouble.
5. Keep your dog on a leash when you are out in public. If you let your dog off leash in your front yard, and you know it is aggressive toward other dogs, you should be prepared for all kinds of bad things. Start saving your money now.
Since #4 may make some of you readers angry, let me use last night’s encounter for an example. When my dog was attacked, I had three choices:
1) I could have kicked or stomped on the terrier, which would have resulted in the terrier being injured. I chose not to because I did not want to hurt the dog, even though it was in full-attack mode. I also thought the dog’s owner would get her dog as soon as possible (I was wrong).
2) I could have released my leashes, and let my malamute and lab defend “the pack,” which would have resulted in the terrier’s death or serious injuries.
3) I could have called animal control on the terrier and owner. Since this was a repeat offense, this would have resulted in a ticket for the owner, or maybe even euthanasia of the terrier if there had been multiple complaints from other neighbors.
All pet owners love their pets, and none of us want to see our pet or another pet injured. We are each responsible for our pet’s safety, and we should honor our responsibilities. The owner did not apologize to me that night (not even after I informed her that if I found “so much as one (beeping) drop of blood on my dog,” she would “be paying every (beeping) penny for the vet bill.” Maybe she is embarrassed. Maybe she is in denial. Maybe she is secretly plotting another attack on my dogs. My attempt at creating peace comes in the form of this blog, since I just cannot seem to bring myself to bake her cupcakes.
So, what advice would you give to small dog owners that would help keep the peace with big dogs and their owners? Feel free to share, as you are providing a service to others reading this blog and giving yourself a karmic boomerang.