Trust me, I hug my dog every chance I get.

Turns out, our furry four-legged family members do not like this as much as we do. In fact, they consider an arm (or a leg for that matter) over their body, as a sign of dominance. Next time you go in for a hug, settle for an ear scratch and everyone will be happy.

…Speaking of dominance; Why do we like it (or tolerate I should say), when a small dog growls and barks vs. when a large dog growls and barks?

“It has become accepted that small dogs tend to bark, bite and jump. We let them be the dominant house-hold member.”

Scenario A: Tiny the Chihuahua meets mailman. Everyday around 2pm the mailman arrives in his mail truck, Tiny hears the truck, runs as fast as his little dog legs can carry him, jumps through his tiny dog door and tadaaaa. GRRrrRRrRRR, ‘yip!, yip!’’, jumps up and down, everyone laughs because hey, let’s be real, it’s kinda cute when a 5-pound dog thinks that he is scary.

Scenario B: Beefy the English mastiff meets mailman. It’s 2pm, mail time. Beefy hears something outside and growls, he forces his 200-pound body through the dog door (a different door is used in Scenario A!), runs to the fence, jumps up and his sudden massive presence cause the mailman to jump back as the fence sways under Beefy’s big-boned-body. All while you’re struggling to find shoes so you can run outside and stop Beefy from causing any more fence or psychological damage.

At the end of the day, all dogs are cute (obviously!!) but should we be a little bit more aware of the fact that the little ones use their cuteness against us?

While the barking may be tolerable, letting a dog be the dominant member in the house means training is going to be especially difficult. Be sure to establish yourself as the (kind) pack leader as soon as possible.

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