<iframe src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/ns.html?id=GTM-KFNX8D" height="0" width="0" style="display:none;visibility:hidden" title="gtm-frame"></iframe>Behavioural Issues in Small dogs and What to Do | Agria Pet Insurance
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Something small dogs would like you to know

The small dogs of the world have an important message they would like to share. They want to be treated with the same respect as bigger breeds.
Something small dogs would like you to know

Aggression comes in all shapes and sizes

Dogs of all shapes and sizes can show signs of aggression. Whilst a large dog growling at you can be intimidating, our smaller companions are often laughed at. People often find it funny or cute when a tiny Dachshund or Chihuahua is trying to communicate their displeasure. But a small dog's emotions and feelings are just as valid as any others, and a dog should not be teased or laughed at when they are trying to communicate they are not happy.

What happens when we don’t listen?

Not paying attention to what a dog is trying to communicate is especially prevalent in small dogs. If we ignore their attempts to communicate, often they will try harder to explain their point. Their quieter yaps and futile lunging efforts can turn into bites and other injuries. And with small dogs who are picked up and cuddled, this can lead to bites to the face. This is more common with smaller breeds.

So how do we manage small dogs with big feelings?

Our expert, Sophie White, recommends you imagine your small dog is Great Dane. And not to do anything with your smaller dog that you wouldn’t do if they were larger.

Don’t move them or pick them up against their will, you couldn’t do that with a Great Dane. Instead ask them to move, or use food or treats to lure them out the way. Don’t ignore the growl, take it as a serious warning and move away giving them space.

Communication is key

It is our responsibility, as owners, to take the time to listen to our dogs, and understand what they are trying to communicate.

All dogs need to know that they can increase space from things that cause them fear or stress by using their body language. If growling or lip curling doesn’t work, they may well try biting, which tends to work very well! That isn’t something we want our dogs to learn. It is our responsibility to listen to all dogs, great and small.

If your dog is trying to repel you, or is showing signs of aggression, this needs to be taken seriously, no matter their size. Work with a professional to get to the bottom of your dog’s behaviour so your whole family can live safely together.

About the Author

Sophie White, BVetMed MSc MRCVS, is a Veterinary Surgeon with over a decade of experience. She is also a Dog Behaviourist specialising in human directed aggression, handling issues & cases with complex medical histories.

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