Are small dogs more aggressive than large dogs?

Are small dogs more aggressive than large dogs?

Sometimes it seems that small dogs want to prove that they are as brave and strong as big dogs. But are Yorkshire Terriers, Dachshunds, Chihuahua and Co. really fundamentally more aggressive than Great Dane, St. Bernard or Leonberger? This little Jack Russell Terrier seems to want to show the big Vizsla dog where to go - Shutterstock / Fly_dragonfly

A connection between body size and aggressive demeanor is also being discussed among people. The so-called Napoleon complex, which was described by the psychologist Alfred Adler, comprises a number of supposedly typical behaviors of small men that are considered to be particularly aggressive, power-hungry, over-ambitious, dominant and jealous. Oddly enough, the syndrome doesn't refer to small women.

So far, however, there is no scientific evidence that small men are more aggressive than large men. Apart from that, Napoleon was rather large for his time. But do small dogs tend to have a kind of Napoleon complex or is it a prejudice? And if the little ones are more aggressive and "choleric" than big dogs, is it due to breed or upbringing?

Small dogs: more aggressive or less well-behaved?

Small dogs often struggle with unflattering prejudices. From "calf biter" to "trethupen" to "wool sausages", "carpet rats", "peckers" and "trip hazards", there are no limits to the meanness. The little ones would not be real dogs, people who only like big dogs often complain. In addition, the Miniwuffs are accused of being barkers, stubborn, biting, easily irritable and quarrelsome. Large dogs, on the other hand, are often referred to as "gentle giants" and are often considered good-natured, calm and patient. But is it because of the dog breeds themselves that small dogs are thought to be more aggressive?

For example, terriers and dachshunds are considered confident, brave and intelligent. They were originally bred to scare away foxes and badgers from their structures. Terriers were also used in rat hunting fields to drive away the pests. The dogs were on their own in these tasks - after all, they were small, agile, quick and attentive enough to fit into the buildings and to face the wild animals or chase away the rats. It was therefore very important for them to make their own decisions and to maintain a certain independence from their owners. This racial "stubbornness" can be misunderstood as a stubbornness.

However, there is still a difference between aggressive and headstrong behavior - and this is where education comes into play. Aggression usually only occurs in dogs when they see themselves, their pack or their resources under threat, i.e. out of uncertainty and fear. And these, in turn, are the consequences of inconsistent or lack of upbringing or inappropriate husbandry and employment. Other undesirable behavioral problems such as excessive barking ("yapping"), jumping on, begging, jealousy or constantly vying for attention are in any case due to educational errors and not a question of the dog breed.

"Curse of cuteness" in small dog breeds

Another reason why small dogs appear to be more aggressive than large dogs is that they are easily underestimated. Due to their small size, they look cute and cuddly, they fulfill the children's scheme and thus awaken the protective instinct in people. Especially dog ​​breeds, which were bred as companion dogs - also referred to as "lap dogs" - like the pug, chihuahua, Maltese, Shih Tzu or Havanese run the risk of being belittled and pampered by their owners.

Raising small dogs: special features

Small dogs are becoming more and more popular - no wonder, because in terms of size they even seem ...

However, living beings - both humans and dogs - who are spoiled too much often learn no tolerance for frustration and no impulse control, no patience and no manners. They don't learn that they sometimes have to pull themselves together, make an effort and make an effort to achieve their goals and believe that they should allow themselves everything because nobody has ever shown them any limits. Large dogs that are poorly behaved can seriously injure people, while naughty small dogs only pinch their calves a little when they snap shut. This "curse of cuteness" often prevents the little ones from being raised in a manner appropriate to their species, but this is not due to their fault and not race-related, but rather a misunderstanding between humans and animals.

Small dogs have the same needs as large dogs

Small dogs have exactly the same requirements and needs for species-appropriate husbandry and training as large dogs. They also need employment for body and mind, want to go to dog sports, to the dog school, to play with other people and to walk on a leash. They want to learn tricks and be assigned tasks, not to be carried in handbags and how soft toys are treated.

When small dogs really need your protection

However, there are exceptions where small dogs actually need more support and help than large dogs. In fact, the world seems more threatening to them, since they perceive everything from a "frog's perspective". For example, in crowds, it may make sense to hug the Miniwuff instead of leaving it on the ground so that it doesn't feel so cramped or accidentally kicked.

In addition, only let your little dog play with large companions under supervision. Then you can intervene immediately if the big one underestimates his strength and presses the little one too much, even accidentally endangering him. Some large dogs with a pronounced hunting instinct could also see prey in the small balls of fur - here, too, you must not hesitate and must bring your pet to safety.