Small dogs often get a bad rap. But hey, being adorably small isn’t (only) all about cookies and tummy rubs – it’s hard sometimes! Imagine if you were walking down the street, minding your own business, and a stranger, who was much larger than you, approached. Without saying anything in any language that you could understand, they just started sticking their hands in your face, trying to touch you, then grabbed you and picked you up. I know I would pretty frightened! I think it’d be understandable, even expected, for a human put in that situation to lash out. Yet, it’s rather common for people to expect dogs to tolerate this type of treatment. Have random people ever tried to pick up your small dog without asking?
Small dogs, especially, are often forced to deal with some unique situations.
While I’m, sadly, sure that it’s common for strangers to try manhandling dogs of all sizes, the number of times complete strangers have tried to randomly pick up my small dogs, without so much as asking me first, boggles my mind. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, considering my readers are animal lovers, but I just don’t understand why some people feel it’s okay to attempt to pick up unfamiliar dogs without even asking the dog’s owner first!
Dogs are dogs are dogs, no matter the size, and they should all be treated with respect.
If you wouldn’t try to scoop up a random Great Dane (lol) or German Shepherd, then you shouldn’t do it to a Chihuahua or Papillon either. How’s that old saying go…just because you can do something, doesn’t mean that you should.
Now that my Kitsune is older, I’m especially careful about keeping a close eye on how strangers interact with him. Kit is the sweetest dog ever, and he loves making new friends, but he’s also 12+ years old, with some of the aches and pains that come with ageing. It makes me nervous that if a stranger tried to pick him up and wasn’t careful enough they could hurt him.
It should be pretty common knowledge that a dog who is frightened, or in pain, can sometimes lash out at the cause of their fear/pain. But of course, these days, being anything less than completely placid can, at best, earn a dog a bad reputation.
Kitsune and Fenrir sometimes ask people they know really well to pick them up. Besides those rare occurrences, they both seem to very much prefer to keep interactions down on their own level. To be honest, except for when they ask me to pick them up, or in the rare case of an emergency, I rarely even pick up my own small dogs. I think I could count on one hand the number of times I’ve seen my partner, who lives with us, pick up Fen.
Small dogs are not toys!
If there’s something you wouldn’t do to a large dog, especially one you’re not familiar with, you shouldn’t do it to a small dog either. In the absolute very least, if you want to pick up someone’s dog, ask first! The person and the dog. Meaning that, even if an owner gives you permission to pick up their dog, pay close attention to the dog’s body language. If he/she signals in any way that they’re not comfortable in a situation, don’t force them into an interaction they’re not completely comfortable with.
/Rant. What do you think? If you have a smaller sized dog, have you had to deal with this issue too?
Post originally uploaded June 15th, 2015. Edited/reuploaded June 18th, 2021