5 Small Dog Myths That Deserve Busting

There’s lots of information floating around about the temperament and personality of small dogs. Not only do they miss the mark in many cases, they can also be harmful to your pet.

You know that little dogs are cute, but you’ve probably also heard a lot of things about them that simply aren’t true.

Don’t worry, we are going to dispel common myths and misconceptions about small dog breeds. Whether you own a small dog or not, these are five myths that deserve to be exposed.

1. Small dogs are easier to care for than big dogs

Not so fast! While it’s easier to pick up a small dog and cart him around, and pet food bills for a small dog won’t break the bank, the little guys often come with their own set of baggage.

Many small dogs – think Yorkshire Terrier or Maltese – have significant grooming requirements. Their teeth also tend to get dirtier quicker due to crowding and congenital enamel defects, requiring daily brushing, regardless of the diet she’s eating and bones she’s gnawing on. 

And some little dogs also seem to be more difficult to house train than bigger breeds.

2. Small dogs get all the exercise they need running around the house

Wrong! Even if your small dog isn’t athletic or even particularly energetic, she still needs regular physical exercise to maintain her muscles and joints. Running back and forth from the living room to the kitchen in search of snacks or a toy doesn’t count.

Exercise is not only necessary to maintain your dog physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Like larger breeds, small dogs need to burn off energy to prevent boredom and behavior problems.

3. Small dogs are yappy

Yes, there are certain breeds whose barks are high and loud. But that doesn’t mean that all little breeds are barkers. In fact, some small dogs, like Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and Italian Greyhounds, made the list of the 15 quietest dog breeds. Other small breeds that generally don’t bark much include Chinese Cresteds, Boston Terriers, Japanese Chins and Shiba Inus.

It’s important to keep in mind that we pet owners are sometimes to blame for a dog’s barking behavior. Dog owners may accidentally encourage their pups to bark by giving them attention when they make noise.

An excessive barking dog is never fun. Now it’s completely normal for a dog to bark when the doorbell rings or there’s a commotion at the house. This is just the dog utilizing its natural protective instincts. But there’s a way to instantly get them to stop on command. Instead of yelling at or picking up a barking dog, a pet owner should teach him the "quiet command".

4. Small dogs are lap dogs

Again, some are and some aren’t. And often lap-sitting behavior is situational. For example, a small shivery dog might sit in your lap just until he warms up. A little fellow with a protective or territorial bent will quickly land in your lap if another pet approaches you.

5. Small dogs need babying

They really don’t, but their owners tend to think they do. They don’t necessarily need to be fussed over… but they do need protecting. Small dogs, especially really tiny breeds, are more vulnerable in many situations than their larger counterparts. Your 5-pound Yorkie is easy prey for a coyote wandering the neighborhood. She’s also more likely to be stepped on in your kitchen than a larger dog.

Do You Believe That Small Dogs Are “Less Manly”?

It may seem crazy, but there are still some people who believe small dogs aren’t a good fit for tough guys, even though many excel at sports, make good watchdogs and are incredibly loyal. If you are one of those naysayers, its time to start showing the little dogs - and the men who adore them - the respect they deserve. 
Jonathan Scott on HGTV'S "Property Brothers"