The littleness of my dog makes me live in fear every time we go outside. I fear hawks mistaking her for a rabbit. I fear her getting her tiny dog legs stuck in a sewer grate. But most of all, I fear giant dogs thinking she’s a chew toy.
Now, I didn’t get a little dog because I have a preference for little dogs. I got a little dog because I don’t have the time, energy and resources to care for a big dog. As a responsible pet owner, I think the first step to that responsibility is recognizing your limitations when it comes to buying a pet.
And there are a fuckton of people out there who don’t take that first step.
So, in my ongoing crusade to help everyone do everything better all of the time, here are some signs that you can’t handle a big dog.
You live in a one bedroom apartment
If your dog takes up more than 25% of the square footage of your living space, you’ve gone too big. No joke people, that’s like putting a yacht into a swimming pool. Of course shit is going to get ripped up! The solution is not to compact his space even further by leaving him on your fucking porch all day while you’re at work. That’s just a dick move, not just to the dog, but to the neighbor next door who has to listen to him whimper all day.
I can’t handle that. I’m one of those assholes who cries at those Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercials.
The dog outweighs you by 100 pounds or more
I have a rule that I never date or own anything capable of kicking my ass in a fight. That’s a good rule as it saves me from regularly getting my ass kicked.
What can I say? I’m very annoying.
This morning I saw a tiny Asian woman trying to walk something that looked like a hybrid between a sheepdog and a moose. Only it didn’t look like she was walking him. It looked like the dog was flying a kite shaped like a small Asian woman. This bitch was flapping in the breeze, clinging to the leash for dear life as her dog dragged her down the street, running faster than the top speed of your average Prius.
This is not a good way to show your pet who the alpha is.
You’ve never owned anything that actually requires training
If you’re upgrading from a turtle to a Leonberger, you’re doing it wrong.
Look, I’m going to openly admit that my little dog, she’s not trained. Sure, she’s housebroken, but she ignores anything I tell her to do, begs for food, watches me pee, and regularly tries to have sex with my pillow.
But that’s no big deal because she weighs 9 pounds. Even though plan A failed, and she’s completely untrainable, I still have a plan B.
Pick her up.
That’s it. All I have to do to get her to stop doing what she’s doing is pick her up. This strategy works whether she’s tossing licentious looks at my body pillow, all the way to if I think she’s about to bite someone.
You can’t do that with a big dog.
So when we’re at the dog park, and you, for some inexplicable reason, have decided to let your untrained 170 pound Siberian Fucking Moosehound run wild, all your assurances in the world that “he doesn’t always listen, but he’s friendly!” mean shit to me when he’s sizing up my Sophia like she’s a god damn chew toy.
In short, if your big dog does not immediately stop what it’s doing when you say the words ‘sit’ or ‘stay’ it is your responsibility to society to keep them away from other people (and adorable little dogs — especially mine) until they do.
Recognize the fact that there have been 325 dog related fatalities in the US in the last ten years, and 350,000 people visit emergency rooms for dog bites annually. My point is that the vast majority of those owners whose dog attacked someone probably thought their dog was friendly too.
But then it wasn’t.
If you must have a dog, but don’t have even a remote understanding of training, go small. You never hear of a five pound Yorkie ripping someone’s throat out. Sure, they might eat their owner’s face after they’re already dead, but there’s a difference.
But if you don’t want to go little, and choose to have a large dog, or a vicious breed, you have a responsibility to society to ensure that dog is trained. That is all there is to it.
I guess my point to this whole post is dogs aren’t god damn impulse buys. They’re not a keychain you can pick up at the convenience store and then return when they don’t suit you. They’re a major adjustment and that adjustment goes up with every single pound the dog gains. So before you head on out and get a giant dog, consider your limitations. Because that kind of responsibility weighs on you.