To The Small Dog at the Dog Park (But Mostly to the Owner)

“My blood went hot and your owner laughed into the phone to her friend that you had just growled at this huge dog! I didn’t find it funny. She didn’t see you bite my Toby…”


11.4.15 - To the Small Dog (Owner)1


Dog aggression isn’t cute no matter who is being aggressive – not even the tiniest teacup pup.  Not only is it not cute, but it’s incredibly hypocritical.  Big dogs might be capable of doing more damage, but if it’s not ok for them to do it, it’s not ok for the little guys, either.


This comes from Kortney Chel Gembe (with original post below so it can continue being shared):


To the small dog at the dog park…

I don’t keep my 75-lb. pit away from you for your safety, I keep him away from you for his safety. Today at the dog park my big boy ran around with two other larger dogs; when they left there was only you left. You were a cute little fluff ball! You weren’t, however, in the section of the dog park that is for small dogs. You were on the wrong side of the fence.

We decided that it was time to go, and while I was getting Toby’s leash, he ran up to play with you. You had that little tennis ball. That is Toby’s favorite toy, too! You growled at him so he lay down on his front elbows and whined and sniffed at you, and then you bit his face. He looked taken aback and I called him over to go.

My blood went hot and your owner laughed into the phone to her friend that you had just growled at this huge dog! I didn’t find it funny. At all. She didn’t see you bite my Toby so I made sure she knew, because you see, a lot of people think that small dog syndrome is cute. That “I’m gonna growl and snap because I think I am as big as you” little attitude is adorable. I don’t.

See, if you do that to another small dog and it bites you back it is no big deal, but if my big dog tries to stand up for himself and bites you, he would be the one ridiculed. Your owner would have scooped you up in a panic and yelled at me or, God forbid, hit or kicked at my Toby. You would be babied and loved because you got bit, even though you were the one being a bully.

So, small dog at the dog park, please don’t bite at the big dogs, and to the owners of small dogs, please don’t condone small dog syndrome. If you wouldn’t want my big dog to do it to your small dog, don’t let your small dog do it to my big dog.






To the small dog at the dog park…I don’t keep my 75lb pit away from you for your safety, I keep him away from you…

Posted by Kortney Chel Gembe on Saturday, October 31, 2015




219 thoughts on “To The Small Dog at the Dog Park (But Mostly to the Owner)

  1. I have 3 Poms and a mini Dachsund, one of my Poms acts like an ass when around stranger dogs….it is embarrassing and not cool! I pick him up when he acts this way, because, like I said, it’s not cool…nor is it funny

    1. Actually picking up small dogs does not help stop aggression. In fact, picking up small dogs may CAUSE aggression. Especially if picked up while showing aggression. When you pick a dog up they think that they are bigger then they are and should be considered a reword because dogs like to be close to their humans. Picking up small dogs may cause behavioral issues.

  2. Sorry folks, I LOVE DOGS! Some times the small / miniature breeds- SPOILT BRATS- they Need a kick on their small butts! :-/

  3. I have a small Yorkie and when he sees a big dog he just want to run up and attack the poor dog. But I have him on a leash so he won’t think about doing anything. I think his bark is worse than his bite. But small dogs he’s ok.

  4. What’s annoying is when you have a little dog who isn’t the best with other dogs and you try your best on walks to keep him away and yet other dog owners think it’s totally fine to let their dogs come right up to him even when you tell them to keep away!

  5. I used to walk my small older dog and when I’d see people with their dogs I would take a different path. They would say something about their dog being nice, and I’d reply that mine wasn’t. She would try to pick a fight with any sized dog.

  6. I have a Lapso Apso , she is known as a small guard dog! And that she will always have in her. She was a rescue mother, who was found north of Edmonton , but Thanks to SCARS she’s the lady of the house , she will always have that on-guard radar on with anyone , but she is a good good girl!

  7. The worst behavior I’ve seen from dogs have been small dogs. Then if my large dog barks back (he’s loud but loves ALL dogs), I get dirty looks. I also rarely see any type of training or correction with small dogs while I’m walking my two boys. Not all small dogs or their owners are bad, but many need to focus more on training and less on coddling.

  8. Yes crystal, l had one also. I actually had two small darlings. One was sweet with everybody, the other was nasty with guests and all other
    other dogs and people. I loved them both and they me. I just had to be very careful for 15 years.

  9. Remember, dogs have no concept of size, and this is not agression, it’s the untrained pet and an uneducated, undisciplined human. These are the same people who wonder why their kids do stupid things, they have no boundries. As Forrest Gump would say, “Stupid is what stupid does”.

  10. What a shame hope he’s ok. I tell u as much as I love dogs the little ones u have to watch for. I’ve. Cocker spaniels and a few times they have had a wee nip from them hope his face heals soon poor boy p

    1. Actually the ones that zip into the handle are dangerous because it’s too easy for it to fly out of your hand. It’s better to just use a longer leash with a loop. You get used to reeling it in.

  11. Thank you for sharing this! I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve encountered the same situation with any one of my three large dogs. It seems that so many owners of toy breeds feel as though, because they are “small and cute”, that they don’t have to be trained. If their dog barks, growls or snaps at my dog(s), they laugh. If my dog(s) chooses to growl or bark (or even snap) back, then I’m the horrible dog owner and my dog is labeled as “vicious”. It’s incredibly aggravating. It doesn’t help that so many owners of toy breeds also treat their dog as more of an accessory than an animal.

  12. Big issue in my neighborhood!! Little yappy, aggressive ankle biters OFF leash. They run out of yards and away from their owners, growling and carrying on. But as soon as my dog pulls toward them, he’s a vicious pit bull and their owners act upset.

  13. PLEASE READ BELLA’S STORY. She has a stone in her urinary bladder and needs surgery in which we can’t afford at the moment. PLEASE share! Please :((( We really want to raise money for this surgery. I refuse to give up on her!!!! THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME!!! GOD BLESS.

  14. My family has always owned a mixture of small and large dogs, with a lot of chihuahuas in particular since chihuahuas rule. Small dogs absolutely need to be trained, consistently disciplined and exercised regularly. They really shouldn’t be treated any differently than big dogs, but a lot of goofballs don’t bother and end up with neurotic little butthole dogs who try to bite everybody.

  15. We’ve had retrievers for 35 yrs. All calm & easy going. Tiny dogs have always been the loud aggressive dogs. We had a neighbor with a pom who’d jump on and hang from one Golden ‘s neck! Our boy would just look at us for help!

  16. Lynsey Gee i always think of how that lil rat would go for tyson and he would never bite back.. yet if he even threatened to, then he would be labelled aggressive and no one would bat and eyelid at the lil rat that went for him. Makes me so sad because hes such a beautiful dog inside and out!

  17. My experience with dogs is that the little ones are the feisty ones! We have a little Min Pin called Cindy, she is by far the most aggro dog we have ever owned! She is extremely loving and a real cuddle bunny but when she gets started all the other dogs give way. She is the best watchdog (she gets then all started). Of course the problem is this, small dog gives a small bite which cannot be fatal…big dogs give big bites which can kill. Cindy is just so damn hyped up sometimes but we sure appreciate her alertness and her huge personality. Owners should never think it is cute when a small dog bites another large placid dog, it is not!

  18. Its not about The little dog, its always The human.
    Dont get a dog if u are not ready to train it, big or small.
    I hate when people are blaming the size….

  19. And if he defended himself he’d be put down. But the tiny dog that caused it would have just been ‘frightened’ A biting dog is a biting dog regardless of size

  20. We have a little dog, we take her to obedience classes and she has never shown aggression.

    What really annoys me is when other dog owners assume we treat her different, because she is a little dog, and that she’d be allowed to get away with anything.

    Don’t judge or assume all small dog owners are the same.

  21. I have had big dogs and small dogs in many years of rescue and it does work both ways. I keep my dogs on a lead if they show any signs of moodiness rather than aggression (dont like that word) Dogs are the same as us, we dont like everyone so why would they, if you walk into a place where other dogs are running free, check out how they get on first before letting them loose, easy really, a bit of politeness goes a long way and keep your dog close and under control at all times, easy answer. I do it so why cant everyone.

  22. This is the main reason why I no longer take my Jack Russell to the dog park. Owners of big dogs take over. Three of them had my dog upside down on the ground. The owners did nothing. I had to yell for them to call their dogs. A Jack Russell is not a small small dog, yet they told me my dog is too little for the park. There is no size rule to the park and there is only one park. I love dogs….but can not say the same for their cocky owners!

    1. You are the problem! A Jack Russell is most definitely a small feisty dog. You should not have put him in danger by letting him loose with large dogs. If there is no small and large dog division to the dog park you use, find another better one. I do not use dog parks at all because of people like you who think their little dogs are big.

  23. I have made the mistake of restraining my very calm pitbull when she gets attacked so she doesn’t defend herself and she has gotten very hurt instead. As she is not a fighter I will refrain from stopping her from defending herself again even if that means her natural strength can cause harm.

  24. The only problems I’ve ever had has always been from small dogs. And of course, mine attacked back and she was the bitch. Nothing happened though, it was all warning sounds.

  25. Small dogs are the instigators of the big dog aggressive or dominate behaviour. I worked in a animal hospital. I shoved pills down big dogs throats. I was never bitten by a big dog, whether it was a pit bull, german shepherd, great dane, huge mountain dogs…the times I was bitten was the ankle bitters..a highstrung miniature or toy breed. Big dogs that aggressively bit can do a lot of damage, but so can small breeds especially to small children. I have a policy: Don’t blame the dog; blame the pet parents …the dogs behaviour is only as good as the parenting/training, plus they type of energy you project to your dog. If you are hyper, your dog is going to be hyper, if you are laid back and calm; your dog is going to be laid back and calm. Like children..dogs needs training, discipline & love; don’t get it, they will do their own thing, and get into bad behaviour.

  26. I had a dog who was extremely aggressive with other dogs and no matter what I did nothing changed her behavior. She was attacked as a puppy and ever since she saw other dogs as bad and wanted to go after them. I was always very careful around other people and their dogs because I knew she would act that way. She loved people though and was a sweetheart.

  27. Some small dogs are extremely aggressive, my dog was twice by small dogs and he was 20 pounds!!! After being attacked twice I couldn’t take him around big dogs either because he was afraid! Even big dogs may have been attacked or abused. If your dog is aggressive leave him or her AT HOME. Poor little Toby might be big but he’s gentle, hope he’s ok, I’d sue for damages…you betcha

  28. dog parks are mostly a disaster…humans drinking coffee..not paying attention…cross contamination of diseases… If You Love Me, Put a Leash On Me

  29. My Jack Russell was muzzled as she was extremely aggressive to other dogs. I wouldn’t dream of letting her attack any other dog, regardless of their size. I think all dogs should be muzzled in public places anyway

    1. I would never muzzle my three little dogs. I keep them on leash always when out or they are in my fenced yard. They would try to take the largest dog possible if I let them. I keep my dogs safe from other dogs and other dogs safe from my dogs.

  30. All dogs need manners and for them to behave badly is a reflection of their owners behaviour. Wish there was a way of regulating who was allowed to be a dog owner. Or any pet for that matter. There should be some kind of test they have to pass before they’re allowed to own them!

  31. I wish people would get it in their head that it is not the dog that is at fault in any of these cases, The fault lies with the owners of both big and small dogs. If you dont want your dog bitten or to bite then keep them under control and always be on hand when they get close to other dogs. It is your responsibility to be that dogs boss, he should be trained to do what you say and if not keep him leashed. Do not let your dog bound up to other dogs and expect other dogs to just like it, some wont and some may bite so control your dog whatever it may be. Last but not least , you are the Boss so act like one.

  32. I don’t take mine to dog parks because of some idiots.I love my dogs too much to have any type of aggression,mine or theirs.I have 3 great loves and one will look after the other.Never allow aggressive behaviour.

  33. It took FOUR rounds of puppy socialisation classes to get my very small dog to a stage at which she could enjoy playing with other, bigger dogs. Imagine the fear aggression if this had not happened! Small dog owners beware!

  34. Definitely owners fault! We have large dogs, so we are conscient since day 1 that we have to raise them to be well trained and well behaved dogs. Of course when you have a small dog you don’t worry that much, they don’t harm you by jumping on you, by pulling the leash etc. but this is you! Our big dog gets bitten all the time by smaller dogs and the poor guy doesn’t react a bit, but guess what would happen if one day he would answer and kill the small one? Who would be put down or qualified as “dangerous”? Luckily I don’t think this will happen, I saw him looking at me last time a chihuahua bit him with his ears down and that expression in his eyes “why is he been mean to me?” lol =D

  35. Not all small dogs are the same just like people. Yes some breeds are more prone to aggression but it depends from dog to dog. I have two little ones, one loves kids and other dogs and the other does not. I never purposely take the aggressive one anywhere near kids but it cannot always be avoided. People need to train their kids to be careful around dogs they don’t know. My dog that doesn’t like kids will hide behind my legs or want picked up. I very nicely tell kids not to pet him and that he isn’t friendly.

  36. Poor doggie — the little ones are means as hell sometimes! I have a small dog I can’t allow near anyone or any animal bc he is a pure meany when he isn’t being totally lovable

  37. Is it allowed to tell the owners what to do? If you se someone struggelig with their dog, or just ignoring bad behavior, how would you talk to them? Yelling never does the trick in my opinion, but ppl often get angry or upset If you tell them that their dog is misbehaving.
    Dog owners need to help each other. (Some owners are young and have no eksperience)

  38. My small(ish) dog has issues, but so does our medium dog, I never let them off if there are other dogs around. I struggle with my small dog looking too cute and people trying to pet him even after I said he is nervous, can be nippy and doesn’t like strangers much.

  39. My small dog loves big dogs. She dislikes other small dogs. On the rare occasions she acts up I correct her immediately. Its embarrassing, NOT funny

  40. I have an enormous Bernese mountain dog as a neighbor, and also had a giant pit bull until they moved to get a bigger yard for him. Both those dogs are sweet, gentle giant cuddle buddies. The only neighbor dog who ever bit me? My downstairs neighbor’s long haired chihuahau. Her human was sure she was “just playing”. But playing does not break the skin. I was glad when that one moved away!

  41. So true. I don’t go to dog parks due to people just like that small dog owner, but i have many other options where I live. I have been bitten twice in my life both by small dog whose owners consoled their dog for biting me. They are dogs, big, or small treat them like dogs and not small children to coddle.

  42. Our 75 pound shelter dog has permanent scars on the tips of his ears that still break open and bleed sometimes. Because he was kennelled with a small dog who liked to nip at his ears and wouldn’t leave him alone. He is friendly as can be but still has a lot of apprehension around little dogs.

  43. I have a small dog that unfortunately has small dog syndrome due to the fact that she was attacked by a large dog. I don’t coddle her but I don’t let her get close to large dogs because her fear of them makes her large dog aggressive.

  44. Oh yeah that’s really fucking funny. Asshole owner. It’s NEVER the dog who is to be blamed-they aren’t ‘brats.” They have irresponsible owners who don’t make an effort to teach their dogs social skills. We need to stop humanizing dogs.

  45. F-ing A! Also people (some – not all) stop sipping ur coffee and gossiping and watch ur babies…always be on alert…never turn ur back.

  46. I love dogs and have one myself, but as a mailman I can tell you that the small dogs are the worst: they are simply spoiled. And no, its not fun to have 3 dashhounds biting your knee -.-

  47. The small ones generally act out of fear, not aggression. We are still having problems with one of our Chi’s and our Giant Schnauzer. The GS wants to play and the Chi is petrified. So she barks and snaps. Still w work in progress!!!

  48. I’ve been told I have one of the best behaved Poms some have ever seen. Still working with him, though, he gets really excited when he sees somebody and gets frustrated when he can’t say hello.

  49. Absolutely! The behavior standards should be the same, no matter the size. I would be arrested if my 90 pounder acted the way some of the little ones act.

  50. The majority of dogs my big Doberman has been snipped at has been dogs under 20 lbs. It astounds me the way their owners react, like it’s my dogs fault!

  51. This is precisely why I stopped taking my dog to the “dog park.” The vast majority of people there, IMHO, did not deserve to own a dog. When my black lab was, more often than not, attacked in one fashion or another, without any response from the owner of said dog(s) I decided that my dog and I were going to exercise elsewhere.

  52. Very true my small dog im ashamed to say grabed our mailmans pant leg spanked her but for it he actually told me not to be to hard on her i said no i wouldn’t of allowed my Rottweilers to act this way nor will she.

  53. Agh I hate this! My very large lab has been snapped at by many small dogs without them ever being corrected, the owners just laugh it off! Also as a community health worker I’m always warier of walking into a house with a small dog than a large one!

  54. Small dogs do not know they are small dogs. Some people ruin this little ones because they are so cute. I have two very little dogs, jack russell chihuahua mixes. They are adorable. And, dogs. I train them just as I train my Staffordshire terrier. There are no different rules because of their size, and they are happier for it. Okay, I’ll admit, it can get a bit challenging when all three dogs try to sit in my lap, though!

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