I have a Chihuahua. She thinks she’s a T-Rex. At the dog park, she teases Malamutes and German Shepherdstwelve times her size and she comes away unscathed because she can outrun them. She’s not doing it to be mean, she’s having fun. For safety reasons I watch her closely, but is this also a matter of etiquette? I’m getting looks from other dog owners. One even mumbled “Napoleon complex” under his breath. I laughed it off, but then I thought: Just because my dog is small and fearless doesn’t mean she has a personality disorder, does it?
Jaded and Unnecessarily Sad That Innocently Mischievous Pup Is Scaring Humans
Dear Jaded and Unnecessarily Sad That Innocently Mischievous Pup Is Scaring Humans,
As a big, goofy Lab, I’ve endured my own share of size stereotypes (not the least of which is constantly being referred to as “big, goofy Lab”). So, I’ve brought in my good friend – and small breed expert – to help answer the question. Here he is:
That’s right, Jack the JRT here, and I’m tellin’ ya: you got nothin’ to worry about. Us scrappy little guys can take care of ourselves pretty well. We speak Doglish, ya know? We got like a sixth sense that tells us when the Great Dane napping under the tree over there isn’t up for our antics.
What’s more, it sounds like your girl is smart, J.U.S.T. I.M.P.I.S.H., and knows when to hightail it outta the fray. Sure, keep an eye on her around other dogs. But your bigger issue? The people. Humans are always looking for somethin’ to make trouble about. If your dog is havin’ a good time at the park, and the other dogs are rollin’ with it, don’t the let two-leggers kill the party.