Thursdays with Jake… Small Dog Complex.

I’ve noticed something.  Oh sigh… rant ahead!

(Penny, this is not directed at Lucy the Wonder Weinie.)

Little dogs attack Jake.  A small man, uh, I mean small dog complex?

small dog big dog

The smallest dogs come after him.  Teacup chihuahuas.  They are the worst. They nip at him like mosquitoes.  Usually Jake ignores them unless they persist.  If pushed beyond endurance he will turn on them with a snarly face, although he doesn’t bite them.

The problem is once Jake lifts his lip the small dogs’ owners all throw a hissy fit.  So it’s okay for their dogs to bite my dog, but if my dog raises his lip at their dogs, he’s bad?  And I should get yelled at?  If Jake ever reacted and injured a small dog, even if Jake was on leash and the small dog was off leash and initiated the contact, who do you think would get the blame?  The big bad German shepherd, of course.

The fact is Jake is very polite and kind.  He has been known to bark at certain people and squirrels, but he’s nice to older dogs and little dogs. He won’t start a fight.  He minds his own business.  He can walk past leashed dogs on the sidewalk, greet them, no fuss.  If a dog is across the street he doesn’t pull me after the dog, we simply walk on.

He and I cut through a neighborhood park almost daily – it’s an on-leash park. I am usually the only dog owner there with my dog on-leash.  Many of the dogs mind their own business, but lately we’ve had some unpleasant encounters.

I love dogs.  Don’t misunderstand.  And I love open-space off-leash parks. Love to let my dog run and play.  Jake and I had a great time at the beach earlier this week.  A perfect time.  He played off leash with a bunch of other off leash dogs. But owning a large dog is challenging.  People are afraid of large dogs and they assume a German shepherd is dangerous.  I try to be a responsible dog owner. On the other hand, people think that because a dog is small it’s harmless.  Not so.  I’ve been bitten twice in my life, both times it was by a small dog – a chihuahua and a Sheltie and believe me, that Sheltie meant business.  This was not a herding-type playful nip on the ankle. This was a teeth sinking into my calf I’d kill you if I could bite.

Oh well, rant done.  I know the people who own small dogs love them every bit as much as I love Jake.  I just wish some people were more realistic about dog behavior.  Small dogs are still dogs.  Not children, dogs.

Saw the mountain lion again on Tuesday — We headed down a steep trail and Jake vanished.  I called and called and soon I saw a deer running up the far ridge, followed by the cougar, followed by Jake.  Ah well.  Took twenty minutes for him to make his way back to me.  It was a big wildlife day – since we had an unexpected rainstorm and Jake and I were the only two domestic creatures in the park.  (We did get soaked to the skin, both of us.  Eight hours later he was still wet.)  We spotted big flocks of wild turkeys with their babies, a pair of peregrine falcons, rabbits, lots of deer, and of course the cougar.


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18 Responses to Thursdays with Jake… Small Dog Complex.

  1. Jaye says:

    I know what you mean, Julia. I have two largish dogs. An 80 pound chow/Lab mix and an akita/malamute/somethin’/something’ that weighs 110 pounds and stands 32 inches at the shoulder. Walking them can be a real chore when the little dogs get all attitudinal. Dachshunds and terrier types are the worst. I don’t know why they can’t see they’d be little more than an snack (were my dogs aggressive, which they aren’t, thank goodness). But my bigger dog’s front paws are bigger than my hands and he could break a little dog with a swipe. Worse than the yipping and nipping are the owners, especially those with the extendible leashes that give their little dogs twenty feet or more of running around space. It isn’t cute at all for them to be out of control and in danger.

    Tell Jake to leave the damned cat alone!

  2. I try, Jaye – seems that cat is always on the trail we take and the other park is too full of foxtails so we can’t walk there. Huge numbers of deer this year.

    Yes, I find big dogs are usually pretty nice and little dogs have an attitude. Probably because of their size– the best defense is a good offense, or something like that. Jake just played at the beach with an enormous malamute/akita/something. He was the sweetest giant dog.

    I do get very nervous when people are walking pit bulls off leash. I know many pit bulls are nice but I still have a fear response to them.

  3. Amber Skyze says:

    Yup…being an owner of three large dogs we have the same issues. I’ve only been bite once and it was a toy poodle. A small dog!

    Okay, I’m nervous for you and Jake. You guys encounter that mountain lion too much.

  4. Tom Stronach says:

    Oh don’t get me started woman………

    That wee walk I go on though that wooded area, just across the road, remember, probably not , anyway I encounter many folk walking their dogs big and small and you know what most of them are of the leash but as soon as the owners of the big dogs see me or anyone else the big uns are brought to heel and leashed, usually, unless the dog is so laid back and the owners know it and you can tell from just looking at it that it probably isn’t going to give you a first glance, let alone a second or a third, but and you know where this is going, you do don’t you….. it’s the little dogs and their owners that are the problem they let them run wild they let them run at you barking and yelping and getting in between your legs and when you politely ask them to control it you get a mouthful of abuse … ‘It’s only a little thing, it’s doing what dogs do, don’t worry, don’t be such a miserable….’

    Excuse Fucking me SORRY, SORRY SORRY, No it’s not doing what dogs do, it’s doing what it’s anti fuckinmg social owners are allowing it to do without keeping it under control and on a leash when it needs to be on a leash and if it comes near my ankles again, it and you will fucking regret it

    and it did and he did too, it got a kick and he puffed out his chest but retreated behind his partner, the mutt ran of yelping and I continued with my walk being called a fat bastard

    Don’t get me started woman ……

    Sorry for swearing xxxxxxx

  5. Penelope says:

    I totally agree with you. I actually tell folks when they see Lucy, “She’s not friendly” and they back off. Sometimes she’s friendly, and sometimes (if she feels threatened, by a big dog or noisy children), she gets snarly. I never know what will happen. So I always keep her on leash, and I warn folks to back off. She is MY responsibility. I worry about her biting and hurting a larger dog, so I always warn the owners “I don’t want her to hurt your pet” and they laugh at me. Lucy might only be 8 pounds, but she still has sharp little teeth.

  6. Little dogs and their owners can be a real pain. Say it again, “Little dogs aren’t children, they’re dogs.” It seems like more and more people think dogs are kids.

  7. anny cook says:

    I’ve owned both large dogs (St. Bernard) and small dogs (Chihuahua). Give me a bigger dog. I have friends with snarly little yappers. Give me a big dog. Because you’re exactly right. Their owners don’t perceive them as a threat. ‘Nuff said. Stay away from the cougar, Jake!

  8. Yes, Anny, big dogs tend to be calmer – not always, of course. My daughter has a St. Bernard. :)

  9. Yes, Stephanie, it’s true. So many people think of their dogs as children. I love my dog, but he’s my dog. I never forget that.

  10. It’s cute, huh Steph! ;)

  11. See Penny, Lucy is like a big dog – she wants to be the approacher not the approachee. She wants the choice. Yes – 8 pounds with bite! People often assume little dogs won’t be aggressive and they get all up in the dog’s space.

  12. Uh-oh, Tom, got you started. Cuss away! You’re safe here. You know me… major potty mouth!

  13. Oooh, I think I was bitten by a toy poodle once too, Amber. Yeah, that lion is way too close. And Jake flushes him out. It’s just that one portion of the trail is so dangerous I can’t keep him on leash. I’ll end up falling over the edge.

  14. Roberta says:

    Love all animals. They love unconditionaly and are loyal. Have only had 1 dog when I was young. He was run over by a car.

    I get parakeets these days. They don’t chase cars.

    Wanted to let everyone here now that Julia is a Guest Poster/Cook over at my blog. We both invite you to come on over and see her wondeful Sun Dried Tomato Risotto recipe.

  15. Oh, so sorry, Roberta. I too have a parakeet – Little Girl – with my parrot. Thanks for hosting me! You have a fun fun un-PC blog!

  16. Little dogs like dachshunds, fox terriers, Jack Russells and the like were bred to go after rats, badgers etc, follow them into their burrows. A dog has to be a little bit mad to do that (IMO). I’ll take a big dog any day. And as for the owners – (nuff said).

  17. Yes, Greta, true. Gotta be tougher than your size indicates to take on vermin like that.