The Behavior Department: Dealing with a Small Problem
Little dogs in shelters can present big behavior issues
People who’ve met the occupants of my household are always surprised when I tell them that I am not really a small-dog person. With the smallest of my six dogs weighing in at 3 pounds, and my current “giant” topping out at 26, I seem like the epitome of a little-dog guy. But once upon a time, I was a big-dog person—not so much into Labs or golden retrievers, but more independent dogs. My last big dogs were a 90-pound husky and a wolf mix.
So how did I go from that to having six munchkins in my home?
I blame it on working at animal shelters. In my first job as an animal control officer, my boss—one of my most influential mentors—had a thing for little old dogs who came into the shelter. At the time, these dogs seemed like aliens to me; everything I knew about dogs and dog behavior did not seem to translate into these little creatures. I found them baffling to read.