Our smaller ones!

Are smaller dogs more difficult to care for?

Of the nine dogs that we have here at home two would be classified as small dogs: Sweeny and Pedy.

To my mind they are no more different from the other dogs than are our two German Shepherds; Pharaoh and Cleo.

But that still didn’t stop me from noting a recent article over on the Care2 site under the heading of Everyday Issues for People With Small Dog Breeds. Here it is for you good people.

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Everyday Issues for People With Small Dog Breeds

1391153-largeBy: Vetstreet.com October 10, 2016

About Vetstreet.com

I never thought of myself as a small-dog person. When I was growing up, I much preferred my dad’s German Shepherds to my stepmom’s Toy Poodles. The first dog I acquired as an adult was a retired racing Greyhound. But although Greyhounds are wonderful apartment and condo dogs, we have stairs, and it became difficult to get Savanna up and down them after she lost a leg to bone cancer.

The next dog, we decided, would be smaller. That’s how we ended up with Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (and one Chihuahua mix). But although they are more portable, small dogs come with their own set of issues. If you are considering acquiring a small-breed dog because you think one will be easier to live with, here’s what you should know.

It Ain’t Easy Being Small

Small dogs are, well, small. It’s easy to step on them, no matter how careful you try to be. It’s not so bad with the larger Toy breeds such as Pugs and Cavaliers — at least, not once they reach adult size — but smaller dogs such as Chihuahuas, Papillons and Yorkies run the risk of getting stepped on or kicked not just by the humans in the home but also by other pets. We frequently joke about attaching a balloon on a long string to the collar of our Chihuahua mix so we’ll be more likely to notice where she is.

Other pets may bully them. Lots of small dogs rule the roost, but when they have a gentle personality, their size can work against them. Esmeralda, a Papillon, was stalked by her owner’s much larger cat, who seemed to view the small, fluffy dog as a toy at best, potential dinner at worst. It was a painful dilemma for the owner, who finally ended up placing her cat in a new home to save her dog’s life.

Little dogs can hurt themselves jumping on and off furniture. It’s an especially common problem with breeds such as Italian Greyhounds, who have long, thin legs, or Japanese Chin, who often enjoy being on high places such as the back of the sofa. This is more common in young dogs, who are not only still growing but also tend to be fearless, but any small dog can suffer a broken bone if he lands the wrong way jumping off the furniture, is stepped on by an errant guest or is dropped to the floor by a child.

For this reason, it is often necessary to buy steps so small dogs can get off furniture safely and easily (getting up on their own can be an issue, too). It’s better to teach them this habit at an early age than to risk a broken bone.

Tiny dogs often think they’re bigger than they actually are. In their head, they’re just as big and badass as that Rottweiler down the street. It’s not uncommon to see a Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua or Miniature Pinscher take his life in his hands by challenging a bigger dog. Owners must always be prepared to keep their small dogs out of harm’s way — especially when their dogs try to bring it on themselves.

Too Cute To Train?

Little dogs can be just as smart as big ones — sometimes more so. But people often don’t make the effort to train them. That’s a shame, because small dogs are just as much in need of manners as large ones.

There are a couple of issues with training small dogs. One is that they’re so low to the ground it can be difficult to get their attention or to reach down and reward them with treats.

Another is that some can be slow to learn house training. But it doesn’t have to be that way. As with any other dog, perseverance and consistency win the day.

By Kim Campbell Thornton | Vetstreet.com

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I’m not completely sure whether I totally agree with everything that Kim writes about: what do you think?

So far as me and Jean are concerned our Sweeny and Pedy are adorable and at this time of the year are most welcome as all-night sleepers on our bed!

Pedy in front of Sweeny. Picture taken yesterday afternoon.
Pedy in front of Sweeny. Picture taken yesterday afternoon.

12 thoughts on “Our smaller ones!

  1. As you know Paul, the intrepid Mags is a smaller breed. However, don’t tell her that. She gave our 2 big gals a run for their money. We have never stepped on her & she still goes up stairs, leaps onto the bed & runs about the yard like a possessed sprite. Much like people, I think it depends on the dog & whether they are fragile or not.

  2. A pack of dogs is not complete unless you’ve got at least 2-3 smaller dogs to balance out the group. I have one 17 pounder, another one (my sis’s dog that is about 15 pounds) and one that is about 25-27 pounds. I think a good diversified pack is just more fun but all my little ones that I’ve always had have lived long lives

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