It’s Always the Big Dog’s Fault?

October 16, 2018

I was re-reading the August Your Dog newsletter published by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, and stumbled across the following sentence in an article titled When a Big Dog Attacks a Little Dog: “It is never your fault if a larger dog attacks your little one.”

Big Dogs vs. Little Dogs: Why is it always the big dog’s fault?

Now I know that I may be burdened by my personal experience and my predilection to dogs over 125 pounds, but how can fault always be ascribed to the large dog and by the transitive theory of blaming a dog, the large dog’s owner, me?

Small dogs start things

I have walked my dogs around San Francisco for years (always on leash I might add) and countless times a small dog, often off leash or 20 feet away from its pet parent on a retractable one, has run over to my dog barking and snarling.  

Thankfully, the vast majority of the time my dog has looked at me sheepishly and backed up wondering why a dog the size of its head would bark at us.  

But occasionally, and I don’t know why, my dog will bark back.  

And just that bark will cause the small dog’s parent to swoop in, grab their dog, pick them up (so now there is a dog flying above my dog’s head continuing to bark), and then proceed to yell at me to control my dog!  

So who really started it?

I’ve been around enough dogs at dog parks and on the streets of San Francisco to know that there is no upside to me explaining that my dog didn’t do anything and that it was their dog that “started it.”

While I would never condone my dogs attacking any other dog (or anything else for that matter), I’m also not convinced that the smaller dog could never be at fault.  

Am I just too biased it see it as it is?  What do you think?

Thanks for reading.

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