Chihuahuas are wonderfully spirited little dogs full of love and energy! Anyone who knows them can tell you how lively their personalities are. I have 5 chihuahuas, 3 of which are puppies. Susu, Ginger, Cori, Fen, & Cinna. I'll be sharing my thoughts here on everything from health issues, to food, to fashion and fun for the small dog.

I hope you enjoy the blog, leave me a comment and follow along!!

-- Michelle K.

While the main dog here is the Chihuahua, I believe the information here is valuable and entertaining to any small dog owner.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Stranger Safety Needed for Small Dogs!!

I ran across a news story this morning that really made me stop and think.  Do we need to teach our small dogs 'stranger safety' much as we do with our children?

I am constantly hearing about the importance of socializing our dogs to accept and be friendly towards strangers and I do believe that is a good thing.  But for those of us that have small animals, it may also be wise to teach our dogs not to approach a stranger without invitation.  And why should we assume that others will be kind to our animals?  While most people enjoy seeing small dogs and our cute little furbabies, the unfortunate reality is that some people are just mean and small dogs are fragile.

-- Case in point.. An 11 yr old boy was walking his chihuahua near him home when the 5 lb chi ran to 'say hello' to a stranger.  In the end, the woman grabbed the dogs leash and tossed the dog away from her breaking his neck and killing him in the process.  

Now, the woman charged claims the chihuahua was nipping and biting at her pants leg.  And I certainly think the force was excessive given the size of the dog but realistically we cannot always expect others who are unfamiliar with small dogs to understand how truly fragile they are.  And we certainly shouldn't assume that strangers on the street are 'dog friendly'.

This is such a heartbreaking story.  Ultimately it is our responsibility to ensure the safety of our beloved pets.  Whether it should be or not can be debated til the cows come home.  The truth is if this little chi had not approached this woman to begin with he would still be with his family. 

Asking permission before greeting someones dog AND before allowing your dog to greet a stranger is not only good manners but it's also a safety issue.  Simply approaching a dog without invitation is well known to be dangerous and can incite a dog to possibly bite but often little thought is given to the danger we may be putting our dogs in when we allow them to greet new people.

And I think its time we dog owners become more aware of these dangers when allowing our dogs to approach others without invitation.  Often owners of small dogs simply assume that others would never see their dogs as threatening or hostile because of their size.  Or we just cant see how someone could hurt something so small cute and innocent.  This is simply untrue.  Some people are afraid of small dogs too. And in the real world, animals and children are harmed everyday by people with ill intentions.  We must not assume that the lady on the street is nice and open to meeting our little angels.  We must stop and think about whether that man on the corner is someone we would want our dog to meet.  It's a tough line to walk balancing keeping our dogs people friendly and people safe but it is a line that must be walked.

Keep your dog on a leash or contained in some way when out and about so that you are in control of the situation at all times. Make it a practice to always go through the formality of asking if your dog may greet a new person.  This not only protects you from possible legal situations, it also protects your small dog from possible injury or emotional trauma from an encounter with someone who doesn't like dogs and just simply didn't want to meet yours.

Stay Safe and Have Fun!!

To read the full news article referenced above..


  1. Oh, what a sad story! I guess we never know who has a terrible dog phobia and will freak out. I always keep my two on leashes and now I know another good reason. Excellent post! Just found you on Chihuahua-People.

  2. oh that is a sad story!

    I sometimes forget I am a little dog because I was raised with a Black Lab!

    Mom is especially cautious when we are around crowds of people and other dogs at the dog parks...but luckily Montana has lots of free space without any others for off leash time!

  3. So sad about that boy and his dog. =0(

    I agree though, I know I don't want my dogs approaching people without permission, for a number of reasons. And they aren't nearly as small as a chihuahua.

    heck, I was nervous when kids were around my 70 lb border collie. she was a nice, patient dog, and I wasn't worried about her biting, but small kids and people without dogs sometimes don't know how to treat a dog properly. I guard my current two puppies in much the same way you'd guard a toddler.

  4. There is this assumption that dogs are supposed to be open to everyone.. and in today's world that just isn't safe anymore than you would want your child to just talk to anyone who approached them.


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