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What's your beef with Sprinkles?

**Disclaimer – this is a rant rather than an educational training article!

I often hear people make comments to the effect of "I hate those fluffy, yappy little things – I like real dogs”.

For “real dogs” read “large dogs”.

As a dog lover, this baffles me. Here’s the thing; big or small, short haired or fluffy, dogs are dogs. Innocent, fantastic dogs. They don’t know what size they are or how white and fluffy their coat is. The smallies can be, and are, every bit as funny & playful, affectionate, clever & intuitive and as unfailingly enthusiastic as the big guys. They can be hopeless chancers, goofy messers and eager learners just like their larger counterparts. And they suffer when denied companionship just like their larger, often viewed as more “real” or ‘down to earth’, counterparts.

Some people go a step further and seem to hold a grudge against the “type of people” who own little, "fluffy, yappy” dogs. I have heard a number of people complain that when their large dog approaches these little guys in the park the owners often run over and pick up their small dog. Good! Big and small don’t always mix well at play. If / when play gets heated and boisterous, smallies can end up injured – usually entirely by accident – but injured all the same. The owners are right not to let a large dog, of unknown temperament, to run up to their dog. Don’t take it personally – just move along, keep walking, you’re sure to run into another dog ready and willing to play.

I've also heard variations of the following comment "....tells you something about a man who has a little dog like that". Yes, it does. It tells me that he likes dogs and doesn't have anything to prove. I believe that comment says a lot more about the person making it, don't you think? ;-)

As for the word "yappy" – in my line of work I can assure you I have come across just as many large dogs who bark incessantly. Trust me, nuisance barkers can come in all shapes and sizes.

Many people will have a loose preference on the type of dogs they prefer in terms of size, coat, body type, temperament and energy levels. That’s only natural. This rant is really aimed more at those who proudly declare that they hate small dogs as if that statement and sentiment somehow lends to it’s wearer a sort of macho, no-BS, personality trait. It doesn’t.

If you love the company of dogs but have let a bias creep in against little dogs, maybe because media often portrays them as pampered, silly, little things - or perhaps you somehow believe they aren't full of character and personality due to their physical size and hair poofyness, you’re truly missing out on some wonderful, colourful characters and for your own sake (not theirs, they’ll do just fine!) I’d urge you to consider that perhaps your stance needs an update....

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