With pets, it starts with trust
Paws for Thought with Kate Josephs
FOR a moment, imagine what it would be like if you were small.
I mean really, really small! Imagine if all the other people around you were so big that they could pick you up whenever they wanted and tuck you under their arm and make you do whatever they wanted you to do.
They might bathe you, play games with you that you didn't like so much, cut your hair, dress you up and allow strangers to pat and cuddle you.
Try to imagine what you might do if you were scared, stressed or feeling adamant that you didn't want to do those things...Now imagine that you are in fact, a small dog.
I don't believe in small dog syndrome.
I DO believe there are difficulties that come with being small which are rarely considered when managing a small breed dog or any small animal for that matter (cats, rats, rabbits etc).
Using the term 'small dog syndrome' allows us, as small dog owners (yes, I have a small fluffy too!) to excuse anti-social behaviour and allow our small breeds to live with more stress than necessary and there are double standards staring us in the face every day.
Current scientific research tells us that the strongest human-animal bonds are built on trust.
Besides providing the essential items like food, water and shelter, what could possibly build trust more than feeling safe and protected?
How do we encourage our small dogs to feel safe and protected? Through choice.
If your small dog is frightened, then protect it, if it is unsure of a situation, then teach it kindly how you would like it to behave.
Allow them to experience the world on their own terms.
Teach them to walk on a lead. Allow them to chose if they are patted or not by strangers and try, as much as possible, to keep your hands off, unless of course, it's at their request.