Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Truth about Small Breed Dogs / Cricket Was Adopted

 I've never really thought of small breed dogs as actual dogs. They were a whole other species, somewhere between cats and real dogs (i.e. big dogs). Real dogs were at least the size of a beagle. All those little yappy dogs were more like noisy decorations. I've seldom fostered small dogs, since having a horse pony Great Dane in the house meant large playmates were needed. There have been a few exceptions - but even those didn't completely change my mind.

He's a Peanut.
 Now that I've fostered two adorable Chihuahua/Toy Fox Terrier puppies, I can tell you from personal experience, that I was right. Small dogs are a whole different species than real dogs. I'm sure the experts will tell you otherwise. They'll say small dogs are just like big dogs - only smaller. But I'm not convinced. Small dogs are not all yappy - Peanut and Cricket are some of the quietest puppies I've ever fostered. And small dogs are not just decorations - Peanut can play a rousing game of fetch or tug. But I'm still not convinced they're real dogs. Oh don't get me wrong, I love them very much. I could even see myself owning a small dog someday. I just don't think I would consider it a real dog. Peanut and Cricket seem more like toys than dogs. Adorable little stuffed toys that move and bark and give kisses. Stuffed toys that I can dress up (yes, I spent way too much money on a little hoodie to keep Cricket warm). Stuffed toys that I can carry around in my arms everywhere I go. They're absolutely wonderful - they're just not real dogs.

Peanut makes new friends at an adoption event.

Cricket finds a friend
Many trainers will tell you that if you have a small dog, you have to treat it like a regular dog. The reason some small dogs become yappy and high-strung is because they are treated like toys instead of like real dogs. This is very good advice. It is also a very good reason for me to never own a small dog. Because although I do my best to treat Peanut and Cricket like real dogs, it is not easy. I try hard. I walk them on leashes, and play games with them, and if they ever did anything wrong I'm sure I'd be able to manage a stern look. I even put them in their own little crate at the last adoption event.

Homeless puppies - will you take me home?
Fortunately Cricket was adopted before I had to issue any stern looks. Because seriously, how do you expect me to manage a stern look when faced with this?

Cricket went home with a wonderful family who has a Mastiff and another Chihuahua. Peanut, on the other hand, has not been adopted yet. Stern looks should be a bit easier to manage with Peanut. Until he looks at me with his big eyes and wrinkled forehead.

Then I'm done for.


Kari in WeHo said...

I am not a little dog person, my husband loves them. Hence Big Carl. But from all our experience he is not a typical little dog and has 8 times the personality of any other dog I have met so I love the little guy. Good thing hes not fluffy because no way could I do little and fluffy.


bbes tribe said...

We have dogs from big to small. They are all special but there is something about the little guys that tugs at out hearts.
Ernie,Sasha,Chica's Mom

giantspeckledchihuahua said...

I have to agree. I never thought of the tiny dogs as real dogs, either. At 30 pounds, Stumpy is the smallest dog I have ever owned. She is way more spoiled than any of the big dogs I have had. I was way worse when she came to me at 6 onths of age, 15 pounds and scared of her own shadow.

Happy tails, FUREVER!
Stumpy and her bean

brooke said...

Im with you, little dogs are toys not real dogs. But then again I have a Dane. I think the smallest dog I could see myself with is a French Bulldog.

Anonymous said...

Yay for Cricket! I sure hope Peanut finds his home soon.

My Auntie C has a chihuahua named Zero and he's just about the happiest little thing on the planet. She said she could never understand why anybuddy would want a chihuahua until she met Zero. But yeah, he doesn't seem like a real dog either. Although he'd prolly cut you in your sleep if you tried to dress him up.

Wiggles & Wags,

Erika and Blair,xoxo said...

We find the difference between big dogs and little dogs very funny how ever the dogs do tend to speak the same language with each other.

Anonymous said...

My little dogs are "real" dogs! Just ask them. My Bichon's best non-family friend is a rough and tough Blue Heeler, who doesn't like most other dogs! Blue and Emmie just like each other, and both go crazy when they see the other from far away! We have to hurry and greet our friends! Linda

Sue said...

I'm a big dog person and was disappointed when Rob brought Lucy home. She was a Chihuahua/Pomeranian mix and really tiny. But Lucy was a real dog and ran the household. She became Alpha dog and had the respect of all the big dogs. I learned to appreciate how difficult life is when you're only ten inches tall and 12 pounds. You have to always be aware of your surroundings, but Lucy did it all easily. I miss her.

Cupcake said...

YAY for Cricket!

I have a chihuahua who does not consider herself a D-O-G. Perish the thought! But she is very sweet and loving.


Cupcake's Mom

Two Pitties in the City said...

I am always a bit more nervous around the small dogs because compared to our guys they seem to fragile and breakable. That does make sense about why the trainer says they act differently.

Ann Dziemianowicz said...

Cricket and Peanut are adorable! Very funny post. I just found you at Dog Tipper when I was listing my blog! (:

Texas The Doxie said...

So cause I'm not 80lbs I'm not a REAL DOG!? Wells I gots a mouths full of teeths that will tell you different.
So Theres!

11liliya said...

We've always owned Newfoundlands and Persian cats and I thought life was good - never thought I'd have it any different and I also did not think of small dogs as real dogs, but toys rather. Now, I found myself being hunted by a desire to get a micro Maltese or Pom. But because we've never owned nor considered a small dog before I need some honest advice on a few things... We were told that small dogs are not like big dogs, which we all walk outside to relieve themselves. We're told that small dogs pee everywhere, even on a bed. Is that true??? I've personally seen training pads right in the middle of a living room of people that owned a tiny chihuahua, which would not be OK in our house. Is it really the best we would be able to do with a small dog? Please help - I'd really appreciate it!