How many times have you come across a yard gate with a big dog sign, only to be met with a huge puppy happily wagging their tail at you?
Similarly, how many times have you come across a cute little Chihuahua, only to see them baring their teeth at you and looking like they want to bite you into tomorrow?
We see many people saying that little dogs are more aggressive than big dogs, but how true is that actually? Is it true that they bark more than bigger dogs? If so, why is that? Well, we’ll take a deeper look at the psychology of small dog behavior.
Fact Or Myth: Are Little Dogs More Aggressive and Yappy Than Big Dogs?
Dog Size Matters
Studies show that there are some notable differences between the two, particularly in their behavior. Small dogs tend to be more anxious, which rather proves the stereotype. They are often less obedient, are more excitable, and are also slightly more fearful.
To them, barking is a form of protection. Unlike bigger dogs, they do not have their size to help them out in case they are attacked by a predator. Also, they do not have fangs as big or any other skill that can help them survive in this dog-eat-dog world.
So what do they do? They start yapping. It’s in their instinct, to create enough noise so that they seem more dangerous to their enemy.
Even if the dog is safely tucked in its home, it can’t help but occasionally let that instinct out.
Fear Levels and Small Dogs
Small dogs are also bigger yappers simply because they are much more fearful. The smaller they are, the scarier the room will look to them. Something that seems insignificant to you may seem like a big threat to your small doggy.
So, if you see your little Chihuahua or Pomeranian yapping at your vacuum cleaner, it might be because it is so big and noisy, they see it as a threat that has come to end them and their family.
People often joke that “they’re packed with more evil because they are lower on the ground and closer to hell” – but in fact, they are just scared.
Smaller dogs may yap more also because they were coddled as puppies. As a result, they get used to the protection, and when they no longer feel like you are around, they start feeling helpless. While they love your attention, it also deprives them of the social skills they need to get out in the world – and therefore, get past their fear.
Inconsistent Training and Yapping
Big dogs are considered more dangerous because they have a much stronger bite. The majority of the dog bites in areas such as Monterey, California are caused by bigger dogs – and if a smaller dog bites, it is usually not bad enough to press charges.
Most Monterey dog bite lawyers say that most dog bite reports are caused by bigger breeds.
As a result, since small dogs do not deal as much damage when they snap or bite, breeders and trainers don’t make that big of an effort to pull that aggressive trait out of them.
Owners don’t see it as much of a problem either. This can lead to inconsistent training – and ergo, a much more yappy and aggressive dog.
Since small dogs do not spend enough time training, they might not know how to respond to certain triggers, such as an interaction with a bigger dog or a child. They do not know what the commands are, except for perhaps a leash jerk or scolding – which can lead to an even bigger anxiety build-up. This anxiety is often greater in smaller dogs, due to their inborn fear, which can cause them to lash out.
Overall Health Level and Genes
Lastly, smaller dogs tend to be noisier and yappy simply because they were born that way. The genes of small dogs are often less desirable, which adds to their poor health. This can cause them to act very grumpy and feel overall unwell, leading to modification in the psychological area.
Evidently, not every dog receives this kind of bad gene, which is why not all small dogs are ferocious yappers. That being said, some are more predisposed to these poor health conditions, which can cause them to take their anger on the outside world.
The Bottom Line
In the end, it seems to be a fact: smaller dogs are more aggressive than bigger dogs. That being said, the rule is not set in stone.
A big dog can be a sweetheart compared to a smaller dog down the block, but there are also smaller dogs that are furballs or cuteness overload compared to other bigger, aggressive dogs. This can depend on the training that the dog receives.