Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chicagoing: Little Girl, Big Dogs

A lot of people think when you live in the city, it's better to get a small dog. After all, most of us live in smaller apartments or condos which aren't conducive to large dogs. Plus, since we don't have backyards in the city, people think it's better to have a smaller dog that needs less exercise.
I actually thought the opposite.When I was looking to adopt a dog I wanted something huge. At the time I was a young, single girl living alone. I knew I would have to walk the dog in the dark, so I wanted a big enough dog to scare any potential perps. I also wanted a dog that would make me feel safe in the rare event someone did try to break into my home.
I didn't realize I would end up with a pitbull, or two, which has been even better at helping me feel safe. When I'm with the pooches, the people I'm scared of are actually scared of me. It's kind of a powerful feeling to see thugs, and other scary people, scuttle out of the way and run across the street when they see us coming. I guess it is kind of menacing when you see this face coming at you:
We have been quite successful having two large dogs in our smaller space, and it's unfortunate many apartments and condo associations limit how large a dog you can own. Do most people feel safer having large dogs? Or is just having a dog enough to make you feel safe?

25 comments:

Kari in WeHo said...

so rather than being scared I laughed at Miss M's face :) but I understand completely. I am not worried about walking the pups on my own in LA :)

mayziegal said...

Hi. Mayzie's mom here. To tell you the truth, I think I'd probably want to kiss that face rather than be scared of it. Ha!

We pretty much live in suburbia but my husband regularly travels for work so I walk the dogs alone pretty often. There are some great - but secluded - trails around here that we love to walk on. And even though Mayzie is only 38 pounds, enough people think "pit bull" when they see her that I definitely feel safer when I'm walking her than when it was only Ranger. Although, in reality, they have MUCH more to fear from Ranger than Mayzie.

Mack said...

When mom had her rottie she felt very safe. Little does she know I am the ultimate guard dog.

Nicole said...

Being a female who take my dog for walks alone quite frequently, I do enjoy him being a bigger dog. He's not huge, but big enough that I hopefully won't be messed with. (He's a 60lb. lab/ pit/ boxer/ shepherd mix)

Two Crazy Coaches said...

Miss M is cute, not scary! I had to smile and laugh when I saw that picture of her face.

I definitely feel safer at night with the dogs, but I wouldn't consider either of them scary or intimidating. I'm still not comfortable walking them in the dark though. They are way too friendly to strangers. Really, who would be scared by a basset hound?! :)

Mindful said...

I think her face is funny, not scary! :) And to be honest Mr B looks like a sweetheart. I guess if you are scared of pits though they would make you think twice. We have a collie cross who is daft so wouldn't be much help in any kind of attack! Thankfully there's not much worry about that where I am.

Shauna (Fido and Wino) said...

I remember the first time when I was walking my dogs and the guys walking towards me made a big circle for us. I loved it :)

Breakfast With the Bennetts said...

Having big dogs makes me feel safer. I have had Boxen stand up for me once before to someone that tried to come in our front door. It was very scary but to see Boxen go all mean on that person made me feel much better. I had no idea what he would do in a situation like that and now I do. We do not do a lot of walking because we have a very big back yard but when we do people move for us too.


Be sure and hug those pups, they sure are cute, uh I mean mean. LOL

Karen
Boxen and Bella's Mama

Mary said...

I'm actually more scared of someone trying to steal Levi than someone trying to mug me or something like that. I'm just paranoid like that because we've had many inquiries about whether we fight him (seriously?!?!). Levi would go ballistic if someone tried anything with me. Obviously if the person has a gun, there's not much I could do, but I'd like to think that person would target someone who's not walking a 70lb pit bull. And if someone broke in, I'm confident my irritating-as-hell cockatiel would make him beg for mercy.

Muchadoaboutnothing said...

I am an aunt to two pitbulls and a puggle and although I live in suburbia, I feel a lot safer with the pitties around. The puggle's feisty but he wouldn't scare anyone off.

brooke said...

I agree with you! We live in a tiny place so you'd think we'd have gotten a tiny dog, but I want a DOG not a toy.
I definitely feel safer walking Darwin, especially at night, since most people are intimidated by her size. I have to admit, I do giggle at big guys walking little chihuahuas. hehehe.

Mack and Mia said...

Momma said she wants to give Miss M's mug lots of BIG SMOOCHIES!

Mack and Mia's momma here..
I think having a big dog makes anyone feel safer. I know having 2 labs that wouldn't hurt a fly and probably would lick an intruder to death at first worried me, but I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised at exactly how protective they are over our home and family, especially our little boy. thats Mack's boy and everyone knows it. And, in the dark of night, without seeing Mack and Mia, I would SO TOTALLY be scared as to waht was behind that bark.

Wags and Woofs,
Mack and Mia

Pittie Rescue Family said...

We are such kindred spirits! That is exactly how I ended up with a pittie.
I was single and living by myself and wanted a dog that would eat someone if they tried to break into my house.
I was actually thinking about getting a german shepherd until I discovered pitties. (And my husband at the same time. Funny how that works.)
I read everything I could get my hands on about pit bulls before adopting one and knew that was the perfect dog for me.
Their loyalty, intelligence, strength, beauty, ability to love unabashedly and most importantly their goffiness made me fall in love with the breed.
I've not met one who disappointed me. They are the perfect dog.

But under that tough exterior they're just big babies. But shhh don't tell anyone that :)

HP said...

My fiance and I live near the U of I campus in a less than ideal area, but I enjoy walking our dogs (a Pit and a Beagle) around the neighborhood and watching people make way for us. We do get the occasional, "what are his bloodlines" yell from a neighbor, but we kindly tell them he was a pound dog and is neutered. If we take longer walks later in the day, having Ben makes me feel safer :)

Twinkietinydog said...

I feel very safe hiking with my sister, who is much bigger than I am. At home, even though my big sister, a Dalmatian mix is as gentle as a lamb, she barks loudly, making us feel that she would at least scare people away because if they somehow made it into our home, she'd probably lick them to death.
Twinkie

Luci's Mama said...

Most definitely, having Luci by my side helps me feel safe. In the end she's a huge love bug that would rather kiss people than scare them away, but it helps to have her nonetheless!

Pibble said...

I love the picture of Mr. B and Miss M together - they do look rather menacing.

I my house, you could walk right in and empty the place. If I were walking down the street, any of the dogs would gladly greet the thief and tell them where my money was.

With the exception of... Buster, the Parson Russell. He's a little b*stard. He bites just about everyone he meets. Well, not really, but it sure feels that way! He's definitely the tiniest AND mightiest of the crew (mini-Aussie, Border Collie, and Pit Bull/Shiba Inu mix)!

laura said...

While I find it insulting that people steer clear of me when I'm walking Duncan, I'm glad that people know a pit bull lives in my daughter's apartment.
The other day she had a stove delivered and Duncan was in his crate the whole time. One of the deliverymen was terrified of him and insisted that he growled. He most certainly did not and anyway he was wearing his bark collar at the time.
We had to laugh about it because like Vet Tech said, "Duncan would welcome any burglar and even help him carry stuff out of the apartment." And he would too!

Benny and Lily said...

you two are just perfect!
Benny & Lily

houndstooth said...

Well, my dogs are on the larger side, but the only danger is that they might wag someone to death!

You have one cute pair of dogs there!

Martine said...

When we had Sugar... I was NEVER nervous or scared. I could go on walk in the dark or go to take her potty in the dark and be totaly fine.

They say Chihuahuas are great watch dogs... this does not comfort me in the least. I sure do miss having a big bully to keep me "safe"!

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my little pups all 6 & 12 pounds of them... but I yearn for a day when I can have a big pup again!!!

xo martine & the kiddlets

PS: one great thing about little dogs... unless a place doesn't allow pets at all, we never have a problem finding an apartment with these little guys!

Daisy Dog said...

I feel safer having a larger dog, even though she would probably lick the person who broke in, Roscoe is more of the watch dog.

Dottie said...

That reasoning makes a lot of sense, especially for walking dogs alone in the dark. My cats are pretty much good for nothing, but at least I don't have to take them outside at night :)

susan said...

I've never been afraid to walk anywhere in Nashville but I am careful where I walk Stella. I guess that makes me her protector instead of the other way around :) Love those faces on the pups. We could use a few of those big rats to clean up the dog poo my neighbors don't tend to ha!

Doc Sinister said...

I definity feel less nervous walking on my own with Sugar, my pittie. Even so, I never expected her to be of any real use if someone bothered me. Then we took the ATTS test together. One of the tests is the way the dog reacts to an aggressive / scary stranger. The guy they had playing the part was VERY scary. Sugar stood right in front of me and barked and growled until the mean man left her mom alone. I was surprised by how protective she actually was (like most pits, she loves EVERYONE). She also passed the test ;) What a good girl!

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