We've all experienced it, that instant "aww" factor when you see an adorable puppy. Bonham is a German Shepherd puppy and you couldn't resist taking him home with you. When you saw Bonham's face it was love at first site; his puppy fluff engulfing his face, gave him the appearance of a brown dust bunny.
When dogs are puppies people can't get enough of them. We love stroking their puppy fur and have no problem approaching them and nuzzling our faces against their warm puppy bellies. Now that Bonham is full grown he no longer attracts attention from people who meet him. His large stature and strong German Shepherd features lead people to believe that he is vicious. Mothers grab their children close when Bonham trots down the street wagging his bushy tail. Under this rough exterior however lurks the heart of a lover.
You were smart and took Bonham to simple puppy training when he was young, leaving him a very well behaved pooch. He now has no problem being around children, babies, cats or even other dogs, it's people that seem to have the problem with him. In today's society people have a tendency to take things at face value. This is very frustrating when your sister's Yorkie Shelby receives all the adulation when in fact she's the vicious one. Shelby proves that evil things can also come in small packages.
Shelby is a little dog with a nasty disposition. Under the angelic mask of her Yorkie face is one of the meanest dogs one would ever have the displeasure of meeting. Shelby spends her days as a pampered lap dog who barks and snaps at anyone who looks at her the wrong way. Yes, this is a dog we're talking about.
She clearly has an attitude problem yet people seem drawn to her cuteness factor. They constantly fawn over her adorable fuzzy face only to be greeted by the quick snap of her jaws. Shelby was never trained because she was small and easily maneuverable. For years people continued to buy into the fact that smaller dogs don't need training because lets be honest, most are purchased because of their cute pint sized bodies and inherent ability to fit in a trendy handbag. Buying into the fallacy that small dogs can be controlled by the confines of such a handbag results in a very ill mannered pooch. But who cares? She's so cute, right? Wrong, the cuteness factor should never outweigh a dog's nasty behavior.
Too Big to Ignore
It's a reality that a smaller dog's bad behavior is easier to ignore than that of larger dogs like Bonham. The fact that Shelby constantly snaps at people is seen as cute or not that big of a deal. If Bonham snaps at someone however, you could have a lawsuit on your hands. For Shelby, her bark is usually worse than her bite. However, this is not so in the case of a German Shepherd. It's obvious that smaller dogs are able get away with their bad behavior more than their larger counterparts. Bad behaviors such as jumping up on someone, growling or barking at other dogs seems less menacing coming from a 5-pound Yorkie than from an 80-pound German Shepherd. Still bad behavior from a pet is never OK, no matter the size.
Refusing to send small dogs to a trainer allows them to develop habits like biting young children, defecating where they please and being an overall ill-mannered, overprotective nuisance. Because small dogs are often not trained, many gain the reputation for being loud obnoxious yappers who might bite at you if you get too close. In essence small pet owners are perpetuating this yapper stereotype by neglecting to train their dogs.
If This Sounds Like You
If you own a dog, regardless of size, he or she must get trained. It's not cute when dogs bite and whether the teeth are small or large, they can hurt. Even if your "Shelby" never bites someone, there are myriad other extremely unattractive behaviors that are the consequence of not training that even you won't want to live with. Hey, maybe you have a sibling like Bonham's owner who would be happy to share how Bonham became such a well-mannered dog.