I had a Chihuahua take a chunk out of my shin once.
Though their jaws and teeth may be small, they certainly still pack a punch. I had a goose egg rise up on my shin, bloody and bruised, about four inches long and two inches wide.
It was horrible. For months the bite left a bruise and a welt, the bruise changing from purple to green before finally leaving behind little scars where the teeth punctured the skin.
If anyone dares to believe that it is OK for their dog to bite because it is little, you’re wrong.
There is one main problem that plagues little-dog owners — they fear for their dog’s safety because it is small.
When a bigger dog approaches, they pick up their dog. When the little dog is playing with other dogs and the play gets noisy, they pick up their dog.
When a new person approaches and their little dog starts barking at the stranger, they pick up the dog.
Whenever the dog barks, they pick up the dog.
This sends a very explicit message to the little dog:
“Whenever you’re afraid, and sometimes when you’re not, I’m going to praise your aggressive behaviors by picking you up. Because I will always pick you up, you should know you are more powerful and higher-ranking than all other dogs and people.”
So what is the little dog learning?
It’s good to bark and growl and be aggressive. If push comes to shove, I should bite. And I’ll be rewarded for this behavior because my owner will pick me up.
Meanwhile, spending all of its time in it’s owners arms prevents the little dog from learning and experiencing much of the world it lives in.
By not successfully meeting other dogs and experiencing the myriad of situations that make dogs socially versatile in the human world, the world becomes a scary place to little dogs.
Every person, every dog, every new environment and situation fills the little guy with anxiety and fear.
These two moods lead quickly into aggression, and its horrible way for a dog to go through life.
How would you like to live every day in a state of anxiety and fear?
We can learn a lot from dogs. They treat each other the same, regardless of size and breed. If we practiced that, we’d have dogs that are a lot more healthy, happy and well-behaved.