and yet …
We all make them
Even bright intelligent people I respect make them; heck, I’m pretty sure I make them.
One assumption in particular gets my goat every single time I hear it.
“I’m a big dog person.”
What the heck is a big dog person? A person who only likes big dogs I take it. Makes no sense to me. No sense at all. I’m not even a dog person really, I’m an all species kind of gal … but I can at least understand saying dogs are the animal you can relate best to (or horses, cats, rabbits, parrots – whatever!).
One recent blog looked at the poor training of small dogs. Lots of great writing as usual but it got me thinking. I wonder where the assumption that small dogs are more poorly trained than large dogs comes from? Measured perception in 2010 is not fact. I know dogs of all sizes that are poorly trained. In my experience at least little dogs get to live in houses more often than not so get to learn the most basic of house manners. Many a large dog begs blatantly at tables, or counter surfs, things small dogs simply can’t do.
I can actually more easily understand being a small dog person than a big dog person. Small dogs can hike miles and swim and play all kinds of sports but they can also be content to hang out at home on a windy gross day. Big dogs need exercise. Big dogs equal big poops to clean up in the yard. Small dogs are nearly always welcomed in houses that are dog friendly – large dogs may not be. Small dogs cost less to feed, and spay and provide chews for.
I was a self proclaimed “big dog person” until the fall of 2000 when a very endearing little Pomeranian and a TINY chihuahua entered our lives as foster dogs. At that point I realized small dogs were neat in and of themselves. Just a few months later Brody joined our family and I kept thinking – oh Brody is so special, he’s so smart, so active, so trainable , so much like a big dog. Then, after Joe, Petey (and his harem) Pompeii, Ibby, Fritz, Aldwin, and so many more small dogs (including Thea and Yen of course) I have really internalized and accepted that no, I was wrong, they are all wonderful dogs. End of story.
Except of course I fully expect we’ll always have dogs of all sizes living with us!
My preference is for moderately sized dogs, pretty much, under 50 pounds but over 15. And that is for pretty practical reasons. I've had to carry my 40 lb dog back to the car after she was cut by glass, and I never want to have to try that with a larger dog. And, I have to have animals that are large enough that they wouldn't die if I stepped on them…
Practical reasons i totally get – tho Thea has yet to die being sat upon! (And it's happened more than once)
I'm a person that loves well trained dogs. And so many are not these days.
I was guilty of this! When we rescued Gilda at 12 weeks, the vet said, "you'll be lucky if she reaches 20 lbs" and I thought, "I don't like small dogs". She is a 24 lb. adult and we love her. She brought us into the realm of "We are big and medium dog people".
We then rescued a tiny dog: Pico at 8.8lbs. Again, I was literally embarrassed to own him because "We weren't small dog people". Within 2 weeks, I was converted to an "All dog person" because he is operant, loves to work, loves to curl up with me and has become my Agility partner. He is a joy to have around and is more than capable of learning good dog manners. Live and Learn right?!