Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Pooches:On Big-Dog, Small-Dog Breed Ambassadors

I've realized that sometimes there is a bit of an unspoken rivalry against "Big Dog People" and "Small Dog People".  
Even with our pups on their best behavior, or out at events like this, we still hear the occasional and cringeworthy "My dog would be an appetizer for your dog" type comment.
Though I too have been guilty of making remarks about small dogs.
But the truth is, we're all just Dog People.
And it doesn't help anyone to make blanket statements or discriminatory remarks about other breeds, sizes, or types of dogs.
While all of our other foster pups have been pitbull-type dogs who fit in so well with our own pups, realizing abuse and neglect can happen to all types of dogs we decided to take on Elder-Shi Jack Frost.
Just like our own big dogs he loves nothing more than going for walks and being with his people. He has become the first one to greet me at the door when I come home. Despite his size, we still uphold him to the same expectations as our own dogs.
But we've realized the most significant side-effect of having a small-dog foster is that they can both become breed-ambassadors by showing through example that size and breed don't matter and all dogs are individuals. Because really...they're just dogs.
The biggest difference between our little guy and our own dogs...Jack Frost has longer hair which is now growing in and making E very, very allergic and uncomfortable, so unfortunately our fostering of the little guy may be short-lived. 
We were hoping to see the little guy through to his adoption, but we would also like to see E not so sick.
 If anyone in the Chicago-area would like to foster Jack Frost please email the New Leash on Life Foster Coordinator sarah@nlolchicago.org.
Or for more information on adopting Jack Frost, contact New Leash on Life Chicago here. 



Rebelwerewolf said...

Since we have two medium-sized dogs, it's been interesting to people's differing reactions to them. "Small dog people" tend to love Mushroom but are a bit wary of Badger. "Big dog people" tend to see Mushroom as a cute little novelty and lavish attention upon Badger.

The difference between our dogs' weights? 7 or 8 lbs.

Kirsten (peacefuldog) said...

Good for you for trying a whole different breed/size/type of dog! Sorry about the allergies; I thought such dogs were hypo-allergenic? It should not be too hard to find a foster for the little tyke.

The best thing about fostering, I find, is that it gives me a chance to try out so many different types of dogs, even ones I would be unlikely to adopt myself.

Anonymous said...

Such a good post! We had always owned big dogs and Chick was the first small dog to come into our lives. But you are right, all dogs are individuals and should be treated as such!!

kasia077 said...

I never thought I was what I called a "small dog person" until I fostered a few small dogs. I came to the same realization, dogs are dogs whether they're 90 lbs. or 9 lbs. and I'm just a plain "dog person". But I do have a soft spot in my heart for the little ones who endure as much as dogs 10 times their size. The one similarity I have found is that no matter how big or small, they still end up taking all my covers at night.

Debra@Peaceabull said...

I've been so guilty of this, even going so far as to call small dogs "yappy dogs" as if that is their breed. :-( Volunteering has really helped change my way of viewing all dogs and seeing them as individuals.
Great post.

Miki said...

But but they are yappy! :) My rescue is very afraid of the little ones which leads to aggression. And after many many walks over the years, I can see why. I have never been chased by any kind of dog except the chi types. And the little ones are often not held to the same training standards as larger breeds so they "get away with it". I certainly don't hold the dogs responsible, I blame the people, but at the same time the little guys often come across to us as very aggressive and bold as hell considering their size. But as I said, in the end, I think it's mostly owner responsibility and not the dog.

Anonymous said...

Guilty...we joke about getting a small dog and naming it "Snack." :-)

Jenn said...

"Despite his size, we still uphold him to the same expectations as our own dogs."

This is the key. They are just dogs.

I have three that weigh in under 12 pound each. We hang out with the big dogs all the time (pibbles, boxers, a ginourmous doberman and a trio of bloodhounds) The contrast never fails to amuse.

I don't mind the 'not a snack' 'not a bunny' 'not a squeaky toy' comments. These are usually meant to be humorous and I take them as such myself. It's funny. I get it.

The guy that finally managed to offend me was being lead around by a husky in a service vest that called my dogs 'things'. And by 'lead around' I mean the dog was 7 feet in front of him, sniffing and pulling under the table to put his nose on my dog. Adult dog, not a puppy. They'd come in through the restaurant and then came out to the dog patio.

Things? THINGS?

Dude, get your fake service animal on a short lead so you at least look the part.

Grrrrr. Snarl.....

Pitlandia Pooch said...

I also think that you are doing great things by showing people that your two big pit bull type dogs are hanging out with a little dog and not trying to eat him! I feel like many of the small dog owners that we walk by and see out and about feel afraid that Athena is going to try to eat their dog or something. When actually, Athena likes small dogs better than big dogs. Whenever I pick her up from daycare I find her hanging out with little tiny Chihuahuas =)

I hope that you can quickly find another foster (or forever) home for Jack!

Anonymous said...

Our dogs have a difference of about 5 to 10 pounds between then but Boomer looks so much bigger because he's tall and Dottie is short and squat, it's something people comment on when they meet them.

I've always been a big dog person myself, nothing against small dogs other than the fact that I'm afraid I might hurt them if I play to rough. And, they are so much fun to hold and cuddle!

Kate said...

I think big dog + little dog pairs of dogs are adorable. Moe is on the small-ish side and it's always fun to see him next to one of the bigger dogs :)

Unknown said...

Pauley IS the small dog at our house:)

Fingers crossed that someone steps up to foster, or even better, ADOPT Jack Frost soon!

sweetemaline said...

We love small dog-big dog pairs at our house!

Emily @ Our Waldo Bungie

jet said...

I think I will have at least one small dog in the future - some kind of terrier type who would like to come kayaking and cycling with me. That is a long way into the future though!

Pocket Pittie in the City said...

That's so awesome that Jack Frost is getting along so well with the pooches!!! His before and after pictures are AMAZING. What a lucky guy to have landed such a foster fam!

Two French Bulldogs said...

Good post. That little guy might think he is big anyhow. Good luck Jack Frost
Benny & Lily

Jessy@FairytaleFrosting said...

Love this post! Its especially close to my heart, I own a pitmix and a yorkie. There is a 65 pound difference between them and they are best of friends. Its kind of hysterical to watch them sometimes.
Dogs are dogs, but I agree with other posters, small dog owners tend to let them get away with more. I too have only ever been chased down by small dogs. Not fun when it scares my pitbull.

Tanaya said...

I have to apologizes for this comment right off the bat because I am just venting.

You touched on exactly it,"Despite his size, we still uphold him to the same expectations as our own dogs." I believe that too many small dog owners don't understand that. It isn't small dogs, it is typically people who tend to own small breeds.

I see the problem almost every single day. Their tiny dog causes trouble and they just scoop them up and walk away. Either that or encourage them because it is cute.

Well, my pittie gets anxious around hyper little dogs. We are constantly working on this issue and it has improved a lot, but when we have little dogs flying at us at top wiggle speed because their owners think they are friendly and don't need to be on a leash well that becomes a problem for us. My Bella has the potential to kill someone's little dog, and she would be doing this out of some sort of fear response, not out of aggression. Dollars to donuts the other dog's owner wouldn't see it that way and I would be left feeling utterly responsible and desperately sad.

We have one neighbor who drives me crazy because her tiny dog charges at my Bella and she just laughs because she thinks it's funny to watch her dog "try to take" on such a big dog. But here I am working very hard to keep my dog calm. When you are just going out for a quick potty break this can get very stressful. I've talked to her about it but she doesn't see the problem because to her, Bella seems calm.

I have also been bitten by a small dog in my building. I try really really hard not to take out my frustration on small dog breeds. I know more than most that it is all about the owners, and maybe that's what makes me even more upset. I say if you couldn't own an 80 pound dog because you can't control it, you shouldn't own a 2 pound dog either.

All that being said, I have a friend with a small dog who she keeps really well trained. That dog and my Bella are actually really good friends.

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