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Am I wrong to be annoyed/bothered by this?

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  • #61
    I've had Irish Wolfhounds for forty plus years...lots of them.

    My first IW, (I was twelve), and we had a five pound Toy Manchester Terrier who absolutely ruled the roost. All the IWs were extremely respectful. She could put them all in the laundry room and not let them out.

    A couple of subsequent generations of IWs were very cautious around tiny blacK dogs.

    I have always well socialized my IWs, taken them to puppy classes and later obedience and/or show handling classes. But, despite this, there have been a few over the years who have apparently been confused by little dogs vs prey items, in some situations. I have put obedience titles on IWs, yet there were a couple I trained but did not compete, because I did not like the way they looked at tiny dogs. They never did anything, I never gave them the opportunity. I would not have fully trusted them off lead on the sit and down stays, regardless of the amount of training they had.

    Some have said, "Oh, we'll socialized dogs would never be predatory towards small dogs, all dogs can always tell the difference and will refrain from killing small dogs".

    I beg to differ. Unless you actually have tiny dogs (and I have bred one who lived with and played safely with a THREE pound Yorkie- definitely guina pig if not hamster sized!), it can be difficult to overcome high prey drive in some dogs, even if socialized with non-household small dogs.

    I know of a case where a Borzoi grabbed and killed a toy dog at a dog show while he was in the arms of his owner. An IW killed a Schipperke at a dog show, and I know of one IW an obedience class who detoured over the high jump, went and killed a Westie, then completed the retrieve over the jump.

    I am acutely aware that owners of small dogs adore them as much as I do my IWs, therefore I try very hard to never put the little dogs in danger.

    IWs have the reputation of being "Gentle Giants", as do Danes, and many other giant breeds, so that some people lose all common sense around them. I have had parents thrust their newborn infants into my hounds' faces.

    Dog parks? You have got to be kidding. As an animal behaviorist, I do not recommend turning dogs loose together who have unknown behavior histories, especially if they are of very different sizes.

    Comment


    • #62
      Originally posted by Houndhill View Post
      I've had Irish Wolfhounds for forty plus years...lots of them.

      My first IW, (I was twelve), and we had a five pound Toy Manchester Terrier who absolutely ruled the roost. All the IWs were extremely respectful. She could put them all in the laundry room and not let them out.

      A couple of subsequent generations of IWs were very cautious around tiny blacK dogs.

      I have always well socialized my IWs, taken them to puppy classes and later obedience and/or show handling classes. But, despite this, there have been a few over the years who have apparently been confused by little dogs vs prey items, in some situations. I have put obedience titles on IWs, yet there were a couple I trained but did not compete, because I did not like the way they looked at tiny dogs. They never did anything, I never gave them the opportunity. I would not have fully trusted them off lead on the sit and down stays, regardless of the amount of training they had.

      Some have said, "Oh, we'll socialized dogs would never be predatory towards small dogs, all dogs can always tell the difference and will refrain from killing small dogs".

      I beg to differ. Unless you actually have tiny dogs (and I have bred one who lived with and played safely with a THREE pound Yorkie- definitely guina pig if not hamster sized!), it can be difficult to overcome high prey drive in some dogs, even if socialized with non-household small dogs.

      I know of a case where a Borzoi grabbed and killed a toy dog at a dog show while he was in the arms of his owner. An IW killed a Schipperke at a dog show, and I know of one IW an obedience class who detoured over the high jump, went and killed a Westie, then completed the retrieve over the jump.

      I am acutely aware that owners of small dogs adore them as much as I do my IWs, therefore I try very hard to never put the little dogs in danger.

      IWs have the reputation of being "Gentle Giants", as do Danes, and many other giant breeds, so that some people lose all common sense around them. I have had parents thrust their newborn infants into my hounds' faces.

      Dog parks? You have got to be kidding. As an animal behaviorist, I do not recommend turning dogs loose together who have unknown behavior histories, especially if they are of very different sizes.
      I can't tell you how much I agree with this post. I've had a dog that went to obedience classes constantly and everywhere else, and saw multiple little dogs. If they make a high pitched noise or yelped while running, there was just something in that dog that I didn't trust and so I never took her to an obedience show because I didn't trust her on the stays. I worked very hard to train her out of it and saw many trainers. They said it was an instinct rather than a socialization issue.
      I would never knowingly put someone else's dog in danger, but I believe a lot of people are truly not aware that this can be an issue - and because I've dealt with it I've heard quite a few stories about big dogs killing little bitty dogs as if they were a rabbit or squirrel. You can't be too careful.

      Comment


      • #63
        Big dog doesn't need to be aggressive and untrained to hurt Tiny Dog, it just neeeds to be momentarily clumsy or overenthusiastic. I commend th OP for protecting a dog not her own

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        • #64
          A friend of mine had an Irish Wolfhound. He was big, but not abnormally big but he was a WOLF HOUND and he saw little dogs and everything else as prey. And unfortunately even with a prong collar and a haltee he would just take off and pull her down. He'd either drag her or break away. He nearly killed the neighbor's dog who was just sitting on his porch minding his own business. Twice! Not to mention the injuries she got falling. He never got any better despite a LOT of work. Some dogs just have a very high prey drive and I'd never trust them off leash with other dogs. Esp. small ones.
          Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

          Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

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          • #65
            Haven't read the whole thread, but we have an 8lb yorkie mix (with a wardrobe!) and have had labs and foxhounds. We also have really good dog parks, and Ms Yorkie has learned that she's actually a dog and not a cat (she was a rescue...) by going to the dog park and learning some social skills, as taught by our older lab. That said --- we are hyper vigilant because we KNOW there are plenty of dogs who see her as a squeaky toy, and when she gets scared she absolutely loses it and squeaks and runs, making her even more vulnerable. Our code word when we see a potential problem is "tidbit" and that means "grab her now!" So I agree, the responsibility is shared - the small dog's owner needs to be sure it has doggy social skills and doggy body language, so the others recognize it as Dog and not something else, and the big dog people need to watch for whatever might set their dog off, whether that's a small squeaky dog or a person talking with a certain tone of voice. I would definitely worry about a tiny breed puppy who potentially hasn't developed dog social skills or body language yet.

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            • #66
              I applaud the OP for graciously accepting the many "You're overreacting" "You're wrong" responses. Bravo!

              I now have the teeny froufrou dog, and I was prejudiced against them/their owners.

              Thanks, OP, for being humbly gracious and cucumber cool.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #67
                Thanks Bicoastal. While I do love reading trainwrecks, I have no interest in actually starting one

                Also, as a complete aside, while probably not everyone will find this nearly as amusing as I do, I feel like the timing couldn't be more perfect and thus felt obligated to share http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/0...n_3037094.html
                Barn rat for life

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