Sadly small dogs are often associated with being temperamental, disobedient, bad with strangers, and downright irritating.
Not only that but also they often have a high-pitched bark that can be enough to drive a person mad.
So, what is it exactly that makes small dogs so annoying?
Why Are Little Dogs So Annoying Compared to Big Dogs?
Research shows that human owners are mostly to blame for small dogs being more annoying than large dogs.
Reasons for these behavioral issues include inconsistent training, lack of appropriate attention, and improper socialization.
Before we continue, let’s be clear that we love our four-legged companions, no matter their size, and not all small dogs are annoying.
In fact, most small dogs are lovely most of the time. It’s just some of them can be a nuisance some of the time.
The purpose of this article is not to make small dogs look bad. Instead, it is to help us better understand their behavior which can be perceived as annoying.
Small Dog Breeds Defined
We should probably begin by clarifying what we mean by “small dogs.” After all, the World Canine Organization officially recognizes 360 different dog breeds around the globe.
These breeds come in all colors, shapes, and sizes.
Here are some of the more common small breeds:
- Jack Russell Terrier
- Shih Tzu
- Yorkshire Terrier
Keep in mind that countless breeds come in miniature, teacup, and toy sizes, and also they are also many different small mixed breeds.
WAIT – Before you read on, you might find this short video interesting to watch. It explains why some little dogs can be annoying.
Just click the image to play:
NOTE – Click here to read our post looking at: why can’t dogs talk like humans?
Small Dog Syndrome – It’s Not Easy Being TINY in a BIG World!
Put yourself into the mind of a tiny little Chihuahua like the adorable pup in this photo.
Pretty much EVERYTHING apart from insects would feel big and scary to you. 99% of other dogs would be much bigger than you.
Most cats would make you feel small. Humans would seem like giants. Even young children would appear massive!
You might spend all of your time feeling intimidated and scared, and your response to this might be to be aggressive and yappy in the hope of protecting yourself.
Some Ways Small Dogs Can be Annoying
So, we keep talking about how small dogs are annoying.
This annoying behavior comes in many forms, but you can probably imagine what we are talking about if you’ve been around dogs enough.
Incessant high-pitched barking, chewing, biting, poor social skills, and aggression towards people and dogs are common issues that come to mind.
Many people would probably agree that small dogs exhibit those types of irritating behaviors far more than large dogs, but is there any merit to this claim?
Numerous studies have been done over the years to investigate the notion that small dogs are more annoying than larger dogs.
Let’s take a look at some of these studies.
The Canine Behavioral Assessment and Research Questionnaire (C-BARQ) is a standardized survey used to evaluate dogs’ behavior.
Numerous studies have used C-BARQ as a means to help answer the question at hand; why are small dogs often so annoying?
One study used C-BARQ responses to examine aggression levels in dogs. Over 30 common breeds were assessed.
This study defines aggressive behavior as biting or attempted biting of humans or other dogs. Here are the results:
- Most aggressive. The breeds that presented with the most aggressive behavior were Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, and Jack Russell Terriers. All are small breeds.
- Least aggressive. The breeds with the least aggressive behavior were Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Bernese Mountain Dogs, Brittany Spaniels, Greyhounds, and Whippets. All are large breeds.
According to this study, small dogs are more aggressive than large dogs.
NOTE – Click here if you want to read this post asking: do dogs know when they hurt you?
A study from the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna took a closer look at behavioral differences between small and large dogs.
This study surveyed 1,276 dog owners of various sizes and breeds.
It’s important to note that this study categorized large dogs as weighing over 44 pounds (19.95kg) and small dogs as weighing less than this.
After compiling the surveys, the evidence showed the following about small dogs:
- They are generally less obedient than large dogs in following their owners’ commands.
- Compared to large dogs, they exhibit more aggressive behavior toward strange people and other dogs.
- They are less adaptable in unfamiliar situations and show higher anxiety levels than large dogs. Loud noises, new people, and new places tend to induce more fear in small dogs than in large dogs.
Evidence from this study suggests that, in addition to being aggressive, small dogs don’t like to listen and generally have a much more difficult time going with the flow than large dogs.
Annoying Little Dogs – The Heart of the Matter
So it seems the stereotypical notion that small dogs are annoying can be backed up by behavioral research.
If we weren’t dog people, we would accept this reality and conclude our article here.
Small dogs are annoying; case is closed.
However, if you are a true dog lover, you know we can’t end like this.
We must get to the heart of the matter and explore why small dogs have so many behavioral problems.
Most experts agree that ownership is to blame for small dogs acting out.
The reasons can be broken down this way:
1. Inconsistent Training
Disobedient behaviors are much easier to overlook with small dogs because they typically appear to be less severe.
Consider a dog that likes to chew things; the damage that a Mastiff is capable of is far greater than what a Yorkshire Terrier can do.
Therefore, the owner of the Yorkie is much more likely to ignore the behavior.
Unfortunately, inconsistent training welcomes a lifetime of annoying behaviors.
2. Lack of Appropriate Attention
Dogs are innately pack animals; they need a strong leader.
Unfortunately, small dogs are often treated like perpetual puppies because of their small size (cue the cuteness factor).
When dogs fail to sense that their owner is in charge, they instinctively try to lead the pack, thus becoming aggressive.
3. Improper Socialization
Dogs should engage in various activities with their owners inside and outside the home.
Unfortunately, due to their size, many small dogs are destined to be lap dogs within the comforts of a house.
This lack of activity with their owner, other dogs, other people, and unfamiliar places makes the world a difficult and downright scary place for a dog.
It turns out the problem with small dogs’ behavior is actually people.
This is why there are many well-behaved little dogs that are not annoying.
Caring, responsible dog owners raise their dogs (big and small) to be well-socialized.
It’s never the dog’s fault. It’s always a human’s fault.
Final Thoughts On Why Small Dogs Are So Annoying
We hope you haven’t lost heart if you’re a small dog owner.
Your smaller breed is not predestined to be annoying.
Rest assured that if you provide your dog with consistent training, appropriate attention, and lots of socialization outside the home, they’ll turn out just fine.
At the end of the day, all dogs are awesome!
No matter the size or breed, dogs genuinely make the world a better place.
Well, we have come to the end of this post looking at the question: why are small dogs so annoying?
Thanks for stopping by to visit The Factual Doggo.
Tim is a proud, vetted, and experienced dog foster carer for a charity helping dog owners escape domestic abuse.
He has years of experience training and caring for dogs, both his own and other people’s.
He is an expert in canine behavior and is highly skilled in dealing with all dogs but specializes in the difficult ones that other people may struggle with.
When he isn’t fostering dogs, he is making friends with other people’s pups!