An open letter….

23 Feb

Dear People who tell their ill-behaved small dog,  “Oh, don’t mess with that dog, he will eat you alive !” when you pass by us on a walk,

I’m afraid that one more comment or joke about how my dog could eat/kill/maim your dog will send me over the edge.  Truly, I might lose my shit.  You know who you are–that  person who with a yappy out-of-control little dog lunging at the end of his leash and barking frenetically at us while my dog walks calmly by.   I’m not quite sure what about my chill dog who literally hasn’t even acknowledged your dog’s existence screams “I’m gonna eatcha!”, but alas, the words seem to spew of your mouth with some regularity.

I’m pretty sure my dog hasn’t gotten into them.


Just because my dog is large, or of a certain breed, does not mean that he is looking at your precious pup like a slab of delicious bacon.  In fact, I’m actually the one trying to get away from your miniature hell-beast before it nips my big guy’s ankles.   Here’s the thing–my dog really doesn’t care about your dog, and frankly, even if he did, I’m responsible enough to make sure he doesn’t defend himself from your dog’s frantic behavior.

Maybe you should try it.


Look, I am sure some of you are joking when you say such things, but I’m pretty sure many of you aren’t.  Either way, it is super annoying and really not that funny.  If it were my dog misbehaving on the end of the leash and releasing the kraken on your dog, I am pretty sure you would be upset and wouldn’t find it funny, so I’m not entirely sure why I am supposed to laugh at your lame joke.


If you are someone who has said something like this before, please just stop.  Instead of laughing at the situation or making some lame comment, might I suggest (gasp) actually working with your dog to curb him of his bad behavior?  Ill-behaved dogs of any size are not cute, and neither are their owners who make light of it.

Even Grumpy Cat agrees.






57 Responses to “An open letter….”

  1. Ashley February 23, 2015 at 9:38 pm #

    This one dude in our neighborhood has a yorkie I think. EVERY time, even from all the way across the street, he will YELL stupid stuff like mentioned. “That dog will eat you! That dog would kill you!” As my newf is sniffing and ignoring and I am giving my disgusted face. He also always swings his dog up in the air to pick it up and then carry it bc it wears a harness. I can’t even. Ever. I just look on in disgust.

  2. Amanda Rizner February 23, 2015 at 9:41 pm #

    Can I marry you? I have smaller dogs–Pembrokes, but when I walk in the city park near work I am forever safeguarding the girls from small, yappy, ill-mannered dogs. I’m scared of most chihuahuas I meet

  3. Kat Farres February 23, 2015 at 9:41 pm #

    I like to say things to my 3 dogs like : good thing you aren’t hungry, you *just* ate dinner/had a snack, etc. Or things like good thing you dogs have *manners* LOL

  4. Benny's driver February 23, 2015 at 9:42 pm #

    Oops. I might be that person. I’m just trying to defuse my acute embarrassment at my dog’s assholic behavior. He is poorly socialized (can I play the rescue card here?) and although “trained”, is poorly behaved when leash walking close to other dogs. I’m also the one crossing the street when I see you coming, not because of your dog’s breed, but because I know my dog can be a jerk. I promise, I am working on it. My dog is in that grey area between the Group W Bench of “reactive dogs” and regular normal dogs. I will defuse my embarrassment with another remark in the future.

    • Dorothy Pohorelow February 23, 2015 at 10:02 pm #

      BUT you aren’t saying the the lame things like that dog will eat you… and I doubt you are laughing at yours dogs behavior. Good luck with your retraining.

  5. colinandray February 23, 2015 at 9:51 pm #

    I feel sorry for the poor dog that finds it necessary to bark at Ray when we approach. Why doesn’t the owner try and determine why the pooch is barking ….. and then deal with it? Ray used to be a barker. It was his way of trying to resolve an uncomfortable situation …. typically a person or dog was approaching (who knows what was in his earlier life!). The solution was to show him that people and other dogs were no threat, and in fact were good because he got treats. It is ironic that considering his past apparent neglect, he is now one of the most well behaved dogs I have known. 🙂

  6. moosecatel February 23, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

    Thank you! I got chewed out by a lady with a cocker spaniel going ape-shit while on a walk with my decently behaving deaf pittie. She was telling me that my dog was a vicious monster and that I should put him down before he hurt someone. Never mind that he was sitting at attention, quietly and getting treats for being good. I thanked her for her opinion and went on my way.

    • Jennifer February 23, 2015 at 11:13 pm #

      I once had one of those lectures (I had my 80lb mixed breed heart dog sitting calmly, if a little whine-ily in a heel while her 10-lb long haired whatever yapped uncontrollably at the end of a leash) end with the lady’s own insane tiny shi-… Tzu-or-something mix lifting a leg and peeing on her leg. I literally followed her retreat with gales of laughter. Probably the least professional thing I’ve ever done, but instant karma is a beautiful and precious thing.

  7. columbusrat February 23, 2015 at 9:56 pm #

    No, my lurcher does NOT think your little Fluffypoo is a rabbit. Believe it or not, my lurcher thinks your little Fluffypoo is a dog. But he may think that it might be fun to bounce up and down on your little Fluffypoo and play I’m The Big Bad Monster, and THAT is why I’ve put him on lead and led him to the side of the path. Now can you please stop your little Fluffypoo from sniffing his genitals…

  8. wkmtca February 23, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

    all my dogs have obedience titles and yet all are total asshats when out walking. i always cross the street when i see anyone or any thing coming to prevent even worse behavior. one i make wear a bark collar because that is the only thing that stops that crap behavior.

  9. Mountain Poodle February 23, 2015 at 10:00 pm #

    Fair enough. My Mini Poodle is very well behaved. The only thing you will hear from me as we pass is, “Heel!”

    Conversely, however, I’d like to not be seen as a fussy, little dog owner if I scoop up my dog when I see your off-leash sight hound or Bully-Breed bounding my way.

    Little dogs can trigger prey drive in larger dogs. Better safe than sorry.

    • AD February 23, 2015 at 10:20 pm #

      Fair enough but don’t be surprised when your or anyone else’s fluffy dog comes bounding towards my pit bull and I give it a swift kick and say “your welcome for saving your dogs life”

      • Mountain Poodle February 24, 2015 at 3:10 pm #

        I don’t let my fluffy dog bound up to anyone. But, just so we are clear, you do think your dog is a danger to small dogs.

      • Heather E. L. Gerquest February 24, 2015 at 3:50 pm #

        I was more getting that since we do not know every small dog, as larger dog owners, we do not know which small dogs are going to run at an actually bite or attack our larger dog, or if it will stop and want to play. I will not chance that with my dog (a service dog who I do walk out of vest a lot) and previous attacks by small dogs have caused problems with my service dog that I have had to deal with. One too many dog attacks could ruin her ability to be a service dog.

    • dorannadurgin February 23, 2015 at 10:47 pm #

      You better believe it.

      Shoot, I have a robust 24lb target dog and I run serious intervention for him after a very steep learning curve. If I can’t maintain a comfortable buffer, I pick him up in a heartbeat. Overprotective, no. Scarred (literally), yes.

      Totally better safe than sorry. Not a lot of leeway with those little dogs.

      (And yeah, I do also use an intervening foot with uncontrolled wee dogs if they take a strafing run at us, and throw shade at the frenzied ones who curse and fling themselves around from a distance. Because, you know… Do not want.)

    • Sandra Martin February 23, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

      I don’t blame you Mtn Poodle; my best show dog has been attacked by a bully breed and do you think I’d ever trust one again? We also have an ill-mannered and aggressive black Lab next door who is infamous in the neighborhood. I WILL protect my dog if I see something I’m wary of

      And no, my fluffy dog is better behaved and won’t go bounding up to any pittie…. sorry he’s bought that T-shirt… the pittie bounded up to HIM.

    • pommom101690 February 24, 2015 at 3:08 pm #

      I agree 100%.

      I don’t know the dogs at the other end of the leash, and I don’t know the person walking them. I have no reason to trust that they are going to control their dog.

      I also have a Chi who isn’t always nice with other dogs. I pick him up so he does NOT cause any problems. He talks a big game, but I know all it would take it for him to piss off a big dog, and he would be dead.

    • AD February 24, 2015 at 4:04 pm #

      I KNOW my dog is a powerful dog, friendly but powerful and I will not take any chances. and I’m sorry for targeting small dogs, I use a dog repellant (or my foot) for any dog big or small. I just can not believe the number of dog owners that allow their small dog to come bounding up to mine because if any thing were to happen it would be their dog that would be dead. If another dog comes up and either deliberately or non-deliberately starts something with my dog and my dog does any sort of damage, #1 if its a small dog it will be dead, #2 my dog will be plastered all over the news and euthanized. So kudos to you for being responsible and keeping your small dog from approaching strange dogs. Every person with ANY dog should do the same.

  10. Diane February 23, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    I should have a piece of freeze-dried liver for each time I’ve heard “That dog could eat you.” The only thing I’ve heard more is, “Where’s his saddle.” I usually just smile and try to remember that each person thinks that they are the only one to have ever said that clever thing. If I’m feeling particularly snarky after one of those “he can eat you” comments, I’ll tell them that I’ve seen wolfhounds killed by chihuahuas. Mumbling “yeah, it got stuck in his throat.” Sure, he could kill your dog, probably even your very large dog. He’s big, he’s got teeth, he’s been bred to kill wolves – but he’s not going to. Because he’s also been bred for temperament, and raised to be gentle.(If you’re a wolf or a deer, all bets are off.)

  11. Will February 23, 2015 at 10:21 pm #

    I am the person at the other end of the (very short) leash from a smallish, yoddely, crazy dog. But my embarrassed monologue to my dog tends to run more along the lines of “no, you do not get to bite that dog’s face. That dog is being very nice and you are being very rude.” while walking swiftly the other direction.

    • seabrooksr March 4, 2015 at 2:46 pm #

      OH, oh, I like that! Your monologue is perfect.

      I am one of those people who may have uttered the dreaded above phrase, you know, as Benny’s driver above said, just trying to defuse my acute embarrassment at my dog’s assholic behavior. Admittedly my mouth runs more than my brain does when I’m trying to correct my dog and re-engage his focus while simultaniously evaluating escape routes and trying not to curl up and die of shame.

      Perhaps we need a list; great phrases for the dedicated owners of dickish dogs. “I’m sorry, we are working on his behaviour,” is my number one go to, everything that comes out of my mouth after that tends to be dumb and lame.

  12. Amy February 23, 2015 at 10:24 pm #

    AMEN! I have a very nice, very huge GSD. If he ever even thought about being such an asshat in public, I’d have Animal Control down on me in a second for having a dangerous dog. Oh, and he’s intact. So naturally that makes him unstable and unpredictable. And did you know that having an intact GSD also makes me the Devil’s sister? Yup.

    • Sol January 20, 2016 at 3:50 am #

      Intact 135-lb. BRT. So, yeah, I’m Satan and everything is his fault no matter what. Everywhere we go, he’s leashed and muzzled, and we stay in on-leash areas, but when off-leash dogs come running up to get in his face and I object, *I’m* the asshole.

  13. Darcy Dorwart February 23, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

    I have 2 Welsh Terriers. The 8 1/2 year old is chill and mannerly, but on the rarest of occasions he turns himself inside out barking crazily at a dog who seems to me to be doing nothing at all. Mostly black, older, slow-moving Labradors. Go figure. I have never made any of those comments, but I will cross the street if I see a dog that looks like the dogs that upset him, only for the sake of the old dog who is doing nothing. I carry treats to give him if he turns away from said dog… I am working on it…must say, however… There are “stereotypical” comments made frequently about my dogs… (Because they are terriers) and of course, ALL terriers are assumed to yap and chase. People pass me on the sidewalk and shield their small dogs from my “vicious” terriorists. (They aren’t)

  14. Lory February 23, 2015 at 10:30 pm #

    I am the proud owner of a very well behaved Chihuahua. My dog has earned her CGC, she’s a certified therapy dog, and yes, she has a CD, and RAE2 and is working on her Open title as we speak. She will very calmly approach any dog and just as easily ignore them. As someone on the other side of this fence I can’t tell you how irritating it is to have other owners tell me how ‘friendly’ their dog is when it is clearly not used to seeing something that small. When I step in on my dog’s behalf, I am told she is a yappie ankle biter. Really? She hasn’t made a sound and everyone’s ankles seem to be in tact. So when I cross the street, it is not because my very tiny dog is rude, but because we usually encounter a dog/owner that is rude or some kind of unjustified comment.

  15. Anni February 23, 2015 at 10:37 pm #

    It’s not just snarly, bratty wigs on leads that I have to contend with while walking my dogs (2 GSDs & 1 Dutch Herder) but moms of small humans. The other day a mother picked up her young child seeing me approach. Contrary to popular belief my dogs were not displaying Cujo man-eating behaviours.. but were on-lead, heeling & quite uninterested as mom scooped her daughter into her arms and gave me ‘that look’. Really?? Felt like saying, “Keep calm love, it’s a dog not a freakin shark!”

    • AD February 23, 2015 at 10:57 pm #

      Hehe I just say “run its a vicious pit bull run!” As my pit bull is calmly walking by my side. I’m a bit evil I know:) …..though I must say I have to prefer that over parents having their kids off leash (yes I think there should be a leash law for kids) and letting them run up to my dog and trying to hug him.

  16. Ruth Nielsen February 23, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

    My favorite was the time I had my two well-behaved 100 pound male dogs quietly on leash at my side as I reached for my keys to open the door to my building when along comes Mr. Jovial Asshat with his small dog and literally marches up to my two boys and thrusts his poor dog under their noses and says “have you guys had breakfast yet”? Of course I practically drop my keys at this phenomenally rude and stupid behavior, and I can’t get the door open and I have no where to go because Dumbass is blocking my path and his poor dog is wide eyed with shock at being offered up as a snack to my two. The little dog stands frozen in place as my two sniff him over because he is forced under their noses and my guys are just doing what they’ve been invited to do. At this point I”m so flabbergasted and flustered that I’m torn between continuing my increasingly frustrated efforts to unlock the door and just letting go of everything in my hands (including my keys) to focus on praising my dogs as they politely sniff and turn back to me for approval. Joe Asshat continues to snicker at his little dog’s discomfort until I finally get the door open and usher my guys inside. What I really wanted to do was get in this guy’s face and scream WHAT ARE YOU THINKING??? My dogs are nice, but he doesn’t know that – and having pushed his dog under their noses and blocked any avenue of escape for either his dog or mine – if there was a confrontation his dog could have indeed been breakfast. I’m sure he thought he was hysterically funny. I wanted to strangle him and take his poor dog away because no dog deserves to be treated that way.

  17. Kitdragon2000 February 23, 2015 at 10:45 pm #


    I love you! I hear it a lot when i walk the big dog. but i have to admit, i do say it to one set of dogs i walk, they are little twirps who i am working on the behavior, but at times im just exhosted and im like “Enough. if they wanted to they could eat you, but see look they arnt! Now leave them Be.” X.X i hate walking them sometimes. but yeah. wayyyyy to many people dont think.

  18. Kitten February 23, 2015 at 10:54 pm #

    Can we please talk next about people with large aggressive untrained dogs that run to the end of the leash and bite whatever’s closest? The morons across the street were regularly walked by 2 untrained Rotties. One bit my daughter while we were out walking at night, we didn’t see them in the dark until it was too late. The morons laughed about it and made some stupid comment. They thought it was no big deal.

  19. dawn February 23, 2015 at 10:59 pm #

    Boohoo. Jesus. I’ve owned big and small dogs. Why would you even let it bother you. Enjoy your time with your dog and stop inventing things to be upset about. if this is what you’re writing and publishing on the internet you really don’t have a lot of problems and you should be happy that you have the life that you do.

  20. Cathy February 23, 2015 at 11:22 pm #

    And why did you not report them immediately? They wouldn’t be laughing when Animal Control came and took them away.

    • Kitten February 24, 2015 at 12:22 am #

      Because I have to live here after animal control leaves.

      • AD February 24, 2015 at 1:47 am #

        Kitten, Rottweilers running loose and you don’t call the cops!? I can sort of understand not causing neighborhood friction but seriously people and pets lives are in danger! At the very least carry something with you at all times. An air horn, bear spray, stun gun or pack some “heat” depending on your areas laws. The neighbors don’t like you defending yourself call the cops. I got into a very heated argument with someone in my neighborhood about their off leash dogs. I called the cops and after was very stressed about crossing these people again but guess what, I haven’t seen their dogs outside once since then.

      • Cathy February 24, 2015 at 2:46 am #

        Dog bites are NOT funny and not to be messed around with. In most places dogs that have bitten someone have to put in quarantine for at least 30 days. On top of that they have to keep records that the dog has bitten someone so it will be known if it happens again. Yes, you have to live there but you should NOT be living in fear in your own neighborhood. I understand the insect spray for hornets and such can be quite effective and shoots up to 10 feet of more. Hit them in the face if they come after anyone and call the cops or animal control depending on who actually handles vicious dogs in your area.

      • Kitten February 23, 2016 at 3:10 pm #

        Since people asked and I just saw the replies…

        AD: Dogs on leash are also capable of biting people! The Rotties were at the end of very long leashes when they accosted us… almost pulled the morons down because they were not paying any attention. When I went over the next day to speak nicely to them, I told them that someone who did not like dogs (say, my next door neighbor) would take a much different approach… say, calling animal control. They were openly hostile even though I was very polite and nice about it.

        Cathy: There are some vefry vindictive people here and lying is not outside the scope of their vindictiveness. I am not going to risk having MY dogs taken away by reporting someone else’s dog. I love your idea of hornet spray, though. That would have gotten all 3 dogs AND their stupid owners.

        Fortunately, the jerks moved.

  21. Cathy February 23, 2015 at 11:26 pm #

    I agree! Though now I’ve reached the point that if they make a comment like that I tell them my dog doesn’t bite but if yhey let their little terror anywhere near mine I will.

  22. Ailasundelin February 23, 2015 at 11:34 pm #

    The first dog I ever got bitten by was a chihuahua

  23. Janet Ledford February 24, 2015 at 12:36 am #

    Good read 🙂 I have small dogs which are well behaved. I have trained them as I would train any dog and ~expect~
    them to behave. Being tiny is not a license to be a ass. I love dogs of all sizes that are well behaved!

  24. BigWhiteDog February 24, 2015 at 1:33 am #

    In the case of my dog, she does look at little dogs as food as she supported some pups on her own for at least two months by hunting in a suburban neighborhood. However, I’ve had giant breed dogs all my life and that comment is a pretty rare one. I can’t remember the last time I heard it. The saddle one or “That’s not a dog, that’s a bear!” are very common and so not original.

  25. Juli Goodrich February 24, 2015 at 1:49 am #

    My 13 year old pit bull is crazy terrified of Yorkies. I’m talking screaming hysterics, running into traffic to escape, stupid level of fear. She has a history of being attacked by toy dogs and tends to give them all the hairy eyeball until she realizes I won’t let THEM eat HER. She’s a peach, love her to bits, but it’s kind of humiliating to be reassuring my brawny old lady that 1/2# of fur is no danger to her. Yorkie people feel bad for her, bless them, most of them pick their fluff up, and get to watch her find a little sanity, and stop screaming and fighting to flee.

  26. Ms. Fuentes February 24, 2015 at 2:38 am #

    I have a 90 lb GSD and I hear some version of “OMG that dog will eat you” and get the accompanying scoop up and scurry away thing a lot. From small dog owners and parents of small children. It is annoying for sure. More annoying, however, is the obviously proud statement, “Oh, he thinks he’s a Rottweiler” or “he thinks he’s a big dog” when some six-pound mite is snarling and barking at my dog in PetCo or on the sidewalk. HELLO! If my *actual* big dog acted like that do you think I would be proud of him? That is not cute. Or funny. I don’t actually think your dog is being “brave” either. He’s upset, clearly.

    This is not to bash little dogs. I actually like them very much. My DOG likes small dogs (mostly what he meets at daycare are small dogs) and is very sweet with them. I also understand caution, because you never know what personality a strange dog has. But it isn’t cool for small dog owners to say crappy things about big dogs who aren’t misbehaving. Casual comments about how vicious my dog probably is, or that somehow your misbehaving small dog is “tough” like a big dog, are just plain weird. I have a dog because I love him (just like you have yours because you love him) not because he’s really fucking tough or whatever. Sorry, but if anyone has a dog just to be seen as tough, that person is an idiot.

    The bottom line is people need to train their dogs, big or small. If your dog is leash reactive, or aggressive in public, no need to blame the other dog. Just own that your dog is being a dick, or having a bad day, and move along. No need to make conjectures about someone else’s pet.

    I guess I would just end with this–whatever dog you have, if you want to fight against stereotypes of that breed/size/whatever, train your dog and help him be a great example. I have had a lot of people remark that they’ve had a fear of GSDs, or heard XYZ thing about them, but my dog is “not like that.” (He has the personality of “The Dude” from the Big Lebowski). Train your dog to be the best he can and he’ll probably change someone’s mind more effectively than you will.

    • Marci Jameson February 24, 2015 at 2:59 pm #

      Ms fuentes you make a lot of sense. Good on ya…

  27. Mary Ann February 24, 2015 at 10:43 am #

    I was walking my dog through the wealthy neighborhood near our middle-class hovel one day when an older lady with a small, leash-lunger complemented my dog’s good behavior and said she wished her dog were well-behaved. I assured her it took a lot of training and told her about the trainer we used along with other training resources she could use. She just looked at me and repeated what she had said before. Training would be easily afforded for her, so money wasn’t the issue. For some reason too many people can’t wrap their minds around training their dogs! It was like she couldn’t process that my rescue Border Collie, dumped at the shelter at 5 weeks old, and literally born to run, needed training and lots of work, to be a good dog.

  28. Marci Jameson February 24, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

    so true – just because it’s a little dog, people think anything it does is cute, even when it’s obnoxious or dangerous.

  29. rontuaru February 24, 2015 at 5:45 pm #

    I can better than. I hear it from my horse’s back. And it’s not limited to little dogs. “Oh Fe-Fe (Bruiser), settle down! That horsey is MUCH bigger than you and it might stomp you.” Yes, yes she might. Especially since you can’t bother to leash your dog while hiking the trails that bikers and equestrians also use. (Legally, I might add) I also love it when I’m riding and I have to yell ahead to hikers with loose dogs to please grab their (damn) dog and leash it. As I pass them they usually utter something equally stupid like, “I don’t see what your big problem is. My dog can’t hurt you. Your horse is MUCH bigger than him/her/us) Well, yes. Yes we are. And the minute your mid-to-medium sized monster lunges from your precarious grasp it will be all over but the crying. For you. And your dog. And that’s a promise. Because like Viggo said, “Nobody hurts my horse.”

    • AD February 24, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

      There are A LOT of dumb dog owners out there! Makes me really dislike them. My biggest concern with my dog around a horse is if my dog spooked a horse with a rider on it and the human got hurt! And of course the obvious of one swift kick to the head would kill my dog. And of course my dog can still bite a horse and the rider could go after me for astronomical horse vet fees for a little stitch.

      • rontuaru February 24, 2015 at 7:17 pm #

        The fact that you’ve even thought this through sets you apart from the vast majority who have not, and never will. I’ve had one serious dog/horse altercation in my 45 years of riding and believe me, the horse needed far more than a little stitch. It’s sickening, the damage that can be done to the underbelly of a horse by one medium-sized, tenacious dog. And I’ve also watched a horse break a dog’s jaw with a single well-placed kick. (Not my horse or dog) So yes, Fido takes one step too many toward us and it’s going to get ugly fast. I don’t care a whit if I come off looking like a jerk or a hardass, that’s a promise I will keep … for everyone’s sake.

    • Sarah Hindmarsh (@Creating_Kohla) February 24, 2015 at 8:27 pm #

      I totally feel you on this one. I was out riding one day and two completely out of control boxers came charging up to us (and they were attacking not playing) on a very narrow path with a steep drop to the river. I was VERY glad I was riding a stroppy chestnut mare that day. Most horses would have turned tail and run – the mare charged forwards grabbed one with her teeth and struck out at the other with her front feet. The owner leashed them after that.

  30. Caryl Ricca February 24, 2015 at 6:51 pm #

    My usual comment is, “Your schnoodle is scaring my pit bull.”

  31. RaeHughes February 24, 2015 at 8:31 pm #

    I firmly believe that ill mannered dogs of any size are a nuisance – more than a nuisance,- a danger to themselves and others. I really love it when their ill-mannered off-lead dog is charging towards my four leashed dogs. I sometimes walk all 4 together – but usually when I think that we are most likely to be alone or others will be walking there who also want to be around well mannered leashed dogs.

    Having 2 big male Labradors (40kg+ lean), a over-breed standard Border Collie bitch and a “special needs” little BC bitch, you can imagine the power that is leashed and walking quietly at my sides (2 on each). They are all really good on their own or in pairs (and it doesn’t matter how you mix the pairs up). But walking 4 together has taking a lot of training over a lot of years and a lot of confidence in my training – having face-planted a couple of times when the pack has gone to defend a pack-member. Yes, a little @@$&*^@$^(@! unleashed Chihuahua attacked my on-leash “special needs” BC (think autistic according to the behavioural experts). She is bottom of the pack and the others turned to defend her. Apparently that was my little girl’s fault for having pricked ears and being black and white and inciting the Chi to attack … I have asked behavioural experts how to train a pack not to defend a pack member but. apparently, I am on a hiding for nothing with that.

    Now, if I have all 4 out together, I sit the dogs when I see people coming – with or without dogs – off the track. The compliments about their training are nice to receive. And the surprise when I explain why I do it – probably shocks a few people walking their ill-mannered dogs. I don’t know how well my comment goes down tho “IF I can do it with a large Labrador why cant you do it with your small Chi? After all, there is a lot more energy to contain in a Lab.”

  32. Sarah Hindmarsh (@Creating_Kohla) February 24, 2015 at 8:33 pm #

    On the flip side if I have put my small dog on a lead for goodness sake do NOT let your dog (big or small) come running up to her. My dog does not like big dogs, she is not aggressive towards them, but she is terrified because she is petite and even when they play gently big dogs tend to hurt her. I don’t care if your dog likes little dogs or only wants to play – if someone puts their dog on a lead you never ever let your dog approach them. There is usually a very good reason they have been put on the lead.

  33. Tern February 24, 2015 at 9:01 pm #

    I might be guilty of something like this, though I don’t mean to imply the other dog is aggressive. As another responder said, I am trying to defuse my embarrassment and irritation at my own dog’s bad behavior when he provokes someone ten times his size. One of my small dogs has perfect leash manners, the second is passable, and the third, well, we’re working on it. I do cross the street and not let my badly-behaved one get in anyone’s way.

  34. AD February 24, 2015 at 9:25 pm #

    MY G-D! I unfortunately got into a very heated argument walking my dog in my neighborhood with these people who routinely let their dogs out off leash in their unfenced front yard and of course the dogs go beyond the yard. At one point as I was riding my bike with my dog jogging next to me one of their dogs came running across the street at us. I yelled and owner yelled at dog and I “politely” told her to put her dog on a f***ing leash (I’m not as polite as the dog snobs). The next time I encountered their off leash dog I had a dog repellant I used on their precious dog (something to scare but not harm the dog). The owners flabbergasted why I would not want their “wonderful precious” dog to approach me and my dog exclaimed “your dog can eat my dog”! REALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EXACTLY, my dog CAN eat your dog so be thankful I am the one keeping your untrained dog away since you are too incompetent to do it yourself! All in all the cops were called. Cops gave a good talkin to the people about the leash law and I haven’t seen their dogs outside since.

  35. Nora Merhar February 26, 2015 at 4:41 pm #

    I think sometimes people are embarrassed that their little dog is pitching a fit, and they cover with that. Either way, it’s hardly the most offensive thing I’ve seen while dog walking.

  36. loveabull March 2, 2015 at 6:29 pm #

    It IS irresponsible to bring your little ill behaved beast into stores and smile as Bitsy bares her teeth and growls at everyone. Just because your pup weighs ten pounds it’s still obnoxious behavior. My dogs are big and imposing looking even when they are relaxed. You wouldn’t smile if you saw them acting like your pint sized monster.

  37. ceilh March 3, 2015 at 12:22 pm #

    My mini poodle is trained to sit when we go by “real dogs”…she has no concept of her size. My pug is also trained to sit because he has no concept of personal space. Every dog is his best friend. I know my little guys are socially awkward, and I make sure to have them under control when we pass other dogs.

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