<iframe src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-PK9D66" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden" title="gtm-frame"></iframe>A Big Problem for Small Dogs | Agria Pet Insurance Blog
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A big problem for small dogs

There’s something important that small dogs would like you to know; they are fed up with not being taken seriously.
A big problem for small dogs

I deal with lots of dogs who show aggressive behaviours. These dogs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but there is often a common theme for the smallest among them. Many little dogs get ignored, laughed at or teased when they try to communicate their displeasure at what is going on around them. People may think it is funny or cute that a Chihuahua is growling or lunging at them or their dog. I doubt they’d find it funny if that were a large breed dog though.

If we don’t listen to our dogs’ attempts to communicate with us, the chances are they are going to try even harder to get their point across. Small dogs ‘kicking off’ suddenly becomes far less funny when they are biting people and causing injuries. This is especially problematic when we have little dogs who are also being picked up, cuddled and kissed, meaning bites to the face are far more common than in bigger dogs.

As a general rule I ask all my small dog clients to imagine their dog is a Great Dane. Don’t move them or pick them up against their will, you couldn’t do that with a Great Dane. Instead ask them to move, or use food or treats to lure them out the way. Don’t ignore the growl, take it as a serious warning and move away giving them space.

All dogs need to know that they can increase space from things that cause them fear or stress by using their body language. If growling or lip curling doesn’t work, they may well try biting, which tends to work very well! That isn’t something we want our dogs to learn. It is our responsibility to listen to all dogs, great and small. Take time to understand what they are trying to communicate and then work with a professional to learn why they feel the need to repel us or use aggression in the first place so we can live safely together. 



About the Author

Sophie White, BVetMed MSc MRCVS, is a veterinary surgeon with over a decade of experience. She is also a Dog Behaviourist, specialising in human directed aggression, handling issues & cases with complex medical histories.

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