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Toy/Small Dogs [What's Your Opinion?]

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Toy/Small Dogs [What's Your Opinion?]
  • Why do you care?

    Some small dogs REQUIRE extra warmth.  My Chihuahuas have virtually no hair on their entire underbelly.  In addition they weigh 3 and 6 lbs.  Barely enough to keep warm.  They wear sweaters, tshirts, jackets. 



    There is one thing that in my opinion doesn't help the cause of the small/toy dog and that is the high number of people who dress them up.  And treat them like babies or dolls.  I don't think I have ever seen a GSD or a Rottie wearing some cutsey little outfit.

    One of my puppy owners dresses up her dog, he is a dog that was bred to be a working terrier and/or a performance dog.  He is a very Titled Performance dog in flyball and agility.

    Yet she puts these clothes on him, but I have to give her credit she doesn't when I am training them or when I am at a trial with them, because she knows it makes me cringe.

    Well folks can start flaming me now, but I wont change those opinions, it sure is hard to take a dog seriously when it is dressed up like a doll.  And it sure doesn't help the small dog imagine.

     Maybe not a rottie or a GSD but uh...


     I honestly don't see why dressing up your dog is such a big deal.  I think it's funny. 


  • I can see a coat or something for warmth.  And, a costume if it's a Halloween party or something like that.  But, to just sit around dressing the dog up???  There are many other more productive things one can do with their dog other than that. 

  •  I don't really see the point in dressing up a dog either. Except for coats and shoes, some dogs really need to keep warm. But I don't understand putting clothes on them any other time...

  • Wow.

    While I highly doubt that the original intent of this thread was to be divisive, it's sure had that affect.  I see folks lining up to take sides and it's pretty sad.

    I don't think you NEED to justify your love or dislove for any size, any breed dog  We all should just be sharing our opinions and not getting cranky.

    On the subject of dressing dogs up....well, I'll only say that some of the little dogs I see look pretty darned cute in some of the stuff folks put on them to keep them warm.  And some of the big dogs look pretty silly, but, that's JMHO.

  • I've enjoyed reading what all the members have posted during this thread; it really shows obvious influences on why people prejudge small dogs; and typically it comes from never owning a small dog. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion; but hopefully we can all keep an open mind.

    For those that have ever owned a small dog (like myself) you understand the dedication, affection, and patience you must provide for these breeds. All though no one wants to "humanize" their dogs; toy dogs should deff be treated like small children/babies at times. Toy dogs need extreme socialization, affection, dicipline, and exercise to become balanced companions; many people can't provide this or think toy dogs don't require any particular lifestyle needs, hense the wild obnoxious barking ankle biters you may see today.

    If I am home, my dog is on my lap or right next to me (by her choice). She follows me from room to room and is involved in all of our activities. She goes everywhere in the car with me, to the store, to the bank... she's a total side kick.

    She also has a whole entire mini closet with mini hangers with well over 30 mini dog outfits. And guess what? She lo0o0oves it. If you say the word "clothes", "sweater", "jacket", "dress" she gets all excited as if you said "treat" or "bone" or "outside".

    She is also no sissy dog either. She's taken on many dogs twice her size during play. So her small size, obsession with fashion, and stalker habbits mask her "big dog" personality at times.

    And if she doesn't get her hour of exercise a day she'll drive you nuts. People can abuse these small dogs and keep them inside all day long or carry them everywhere. Ahhh put them on the ground! These dogs need to be walked just like any other dog. And if not, don't be surprised if they destroy your home or bark non-stop.

    If you don't like attention 24-7, high-energy, pampering, or playing dress up then yes a small dog is deff not for you. And that's okay! As long as you understand and respect this breed because there are people who do enjoy them.

    Are there toy dogs that don't dress up? Yeah of course. But ask my dog what she thinks about clothes? I think it would change all negative opinions on dressing up dogs significantly. Actually I think my dog would change anyone's negative opinions about small dogs period; she has all ready to so many people.

  • I like many small breeds, but I do have some prejudices (for and against). For example, I have met so many unpleasant Yorkies that I can't say I would go out of the way to pet one. The last "friendly" Yorkie I was invited to pet was really very UNfriendly.

    The question is "why?" and I think it is because:

    1) while not every Yorkie owner is a bubble-head who wanted a fashion accessory there are proportionately more bubble-headed Yorkie owners than (for example) Brittany owners. Yorkies and many small breeds suffer from the SAME problem as Pits---they attract owners who are interested in looks and don't put much emphasis on training. The Yorkie attracts the kid who wants to look cute, the pibble attracts the guy who wants to look tough.

    NB: I am NOT saying all Yorkie owners are superficial or all pibble owners are toughies...

    2) Yorkie and other toy breeds are small and marketable, and therefore more attractive to puppy millers and pet stores which means you see a higher number of poorly bred dogs that will be inclined to have temperment issues. 

    I think labs and goldens have also suffered from this popularity problem, but right now "purse pooches" are so popular I think it is bad for the breeds.

    Now some other prejudices,  I have never met a Bichon Frise or Papillion that didn't make me smile or a Cairn that I didn't secretly want to steal :) Westies are another favorite. I am a "large" dog owner right now, but I could see myself with a smaller dog someday.

  • Pomeranian <3

    If I am home, my dog is on my lap or right next to me (by her choice). She follows me from room to room and is involved in all of our activities.

    Sounds like my dog---well, not ON my lap because he's 70 pounds LOL

  • My reason for preferring large dogs has nothing to do with personality. There are plenty of large dogs who have personality traits that don't float my boat. I don't want to own a dog that is fragile and can't keep itself warm, and I don't want a dog that can be hurt easily by fast moving me, children, or other dogs.

    I like dogs. Unless the dog in question has a nasty personality, I tend to like all dogs I meet. But liking them does not mean wanting to own one.

    Sasha can be reactive, so I pay attention to how other dogs interact with her. We do run into more lunging & posturing small dogs than big ones. We run into big ones too, just not as many. A dog throwing out gang signs is not protecting itself. It is starting a fight, which is unwise when you are 8 lbs and harassing 60 lbs of leave me alone or else.  

  • kelliope

    Why do you care?

    Some small dogs REQUIRE extra warmth.  My Chihuahuas have virtually no hair on their entire underbelly.  In addition they weigh 3 and 6 lbs.  Barely enough to keep warm.  They wear sweaters, tshirts, jackets. 

    I didn't say anything about clothing/coats for warmth,  I am talking about all those cutsy little outfits that serve no practical purpose.  When people dress them up, just to dress them up.

    I have small dogs, I live in a very cold climate and they have coats for when it is extremely cold out or if they are going to be out for a long period of time.  My dogs that compete have cool down coats that can be soaked to keep them cool especially after a run, they also have a mesh coat for cooling as well.........practical.

    I was at an agility trial early in the season once and it turned incrediably hot and humid.  I didn't have my cool down coats with me (last time I don't pack them) and I went to a vendor to purchase one.  The only thing she had was this terry cloth robe with a plastic duck on the back.  She showed it to me and I told her that it couldn't possibly for a dog that it had to be for a doll.  Nope how silly of me, the packaging showed a dog wearing it.  I had no choice, I puchased it......cut the arms and the hood off of it, lol couldn't get the duck off, soaked it and took care of my dog.  And threw it out after we came home.

    And why do I care, I guess I really don't, but I do believe from other people have told them that many people have a hard time taking a little seriously when its turned into a doll.

  • Laurelin_429
    Just a warning- papillons are notorious for winning over big dog/non toy dog people.  I'd know, I used to be one and look at me now- I've had 3 papillons, currently have 2, and I'm looking to add another.  They're a lot different than other toy breeds, though.  ;)

     So true! I was never much of a small dog wanting person. I thought they were cute but except for a few breif times in my childhood (my fave breed had always been GSDs though), I couldn't see having one. That is until the breeder of a couple of my Belgians got a finished adult Pap for her kid to show in juniors...

     I totally feel in love with this little dog! He is adorable, smart, playful and the best little dog ever. I will have a Pap someday because of this dog - that is how much I like him!

  • Oh yeah and I would totally buy clothes for a little dog LOL I am a dog trainer and you can bet the dog will be well behaved but I see nothing wrong with putting coats/clothes on toys.

  • I think part of what is contributing to the "yappy untrained dog" image is the fact that toy dogs are the latest and greatest accessory.  So many people are out getting teacup yorkies, chorkies, etc, because they want to be able to have a living doll to tote around.  And because these people are choosing to add a dog to their lives motivated by fashion or status, they probably aren't considering all the quintessential elements in dog care.  They aren't as focused on encouraging socialization or training, which creates a ill-behaved dog.  Thus perpetuating the idea that toys are irritable and unpredictable.  

    Many people don't expend the proper amount of energy training a toy dog, mainly because toys are easy to haul out of a fight or control on a leash.  There isn't the risk involved to yourself or others if you have an out-of-control small breed versus a large breed.  Because you can scoop up an angry little dog and walk away, it gives the inexperienced toy dog owner the idea that they can correct any misbehavior by coddling their dog.  In short, I believe that people think it is easier to live with an untrained toy than an untrained large breed. (And by "people" I mean JQP, not members of iDog).


    Having said that, I loathe that attitude.  Any dog regardless of size necessitates good training, education, and socialization.   Toy dogs can be excellent, well-mannered companions.  It is just unfortunate that sheer size dictates how the public deals with AND sees an aggressive untrained dog.  As others have said, toys can make gusty and athletic companions.  Honor is only 8 pounds, but exhibits the drive and athleticism of a much larger dog.  And with respect to that, she's received the same training (if not more) as my previous large dogs.