I am getting a bit fed up with the "if I had a dog, I'd get a REAL one" comments

(56 Posts)

I know it doesn't matter, I know it's stupid, but I am going to snap at the next person who makes a degoratory comment about the size of my dogs.
We have a 7yo parson russell terrier and a week ago we got a 7month old rescue pup who is a border terrier cross. So yes, they are small dogs.

This weekend just seemed to be really bad for it. We were at a thing on Friday and someone was congratulating us on our new dog, asking what kind it was etc and immediately there comments of "oh if I got a dog I'd get a real one" and "nothing under my knee height counts as a dog" etc etc.

Then yesterday at a bbq my friend was talking about her old dog (passed away years ago) and made the same sort of comments, how if they got another one it'd have to be "proper" dog etc. Both mine were there, and were not being in any way anything unlike dogs, so I really don't understand it.

I get that people like different breeds and looks of dog, and some prefer large dogs, I really do understand that. But it is beginning to piss me off that anything under eg labrador size is not considered a "proper" dog! And even if you think it, WHY would you say it to someone who has TWO SMALL DOGS??

I am tempted to come back with "Oh I'm the same about husbands, I wouldn't want one under 6' 2", he's not really a proper man otherwise, imo" grin grin

Dumpylump Mon 15-Jul-13 09:17:37

I had a thread about exactly this a while ago - possibly under my old name - I am the proud owner of a cairn terrier and a chihuahua, so you can imagine the sort of comments I get!
I try and let it wash over me, and tbh, my dogs are so fab that actually, I don't really care what other people think! grin

Trills Mon 15-Jul-13 09:22:00

What do you think this is, a robot dog?

cherryflip Mon 15-Jul-13 09:26:32

I am a proud owner of Toy poodle and he rocks . I get fed up with being asked what he is crossed with , oh hes just a poodle not a jackapoo or yorkiepoo or any other poo grrrr.

GrimmaTheNome Mon 15-Jul-13 09:36:41

Oddly enough I've never had anyone say that about our dog, who is a standard dachshund. Possibly because they've heard his bark! And while this one is a softy, our last one used to regularly intimidate larger dogs.

We do get a lot of 'you've worn his legs off' or 'was he a Doberman when you started' when people see him at the top of a mountain or suchlike. If I had a pound for ever time I've heard that one...grin

Of course they are all 'proper dogs'. Its great, a whole dog in a smaller package.

Leafleaflea Mon 15-Jul-13 09:40:08

"Yes but these holographic ones are SO low maintenance".

Your line about husbands is BRILLIANT. Use that. Especially if the husband is a shortarse grin

ajandjjmum Mon 15-Jul-13 09:41:17

Love your husband comment OP - that said with a smile your face would soon shut people up!

The Husband retort is a great one! grin

I do prefer larger dogs but I'd never say get a 'real' one to anyone. How rude about a choice that depends on preference, lifestyle, space etc.

Not treating dogs like real dog is a bugbear of mine, though. All bouffed up and not allowed to run around and get messy.

NandH Mon 15-Jul-13 09:46:05

I know what you mean! I'm currently looking after my parents papion (think that's how you spell you) it's basically a long haired slighty bigger chuwawa (can't spell sorry haa). Everywhere I've taken the dog I get comments from people saying 'you can't walk cats', 'is that really a dog' ....from complete strangers! Odd, personally I like the dog smile

flowery Mon 15-Jul-13 09:49:01

How weird. We have a springer spaniel now but used to have a Cavalier and not once did we get any comments like that.

LEMisdisappointed Mon 15-Jul-13 09:54:12

LMAO at those who don't think terriers are real dogs - let him look after your pair for a week and see what they say then!

I have had rotweillers - i guess it doesn't get more "real" than that, and now have two small terriers - believe me they are ALL dog. I have also had a chihuahua and that was a real dog too! vicious little fecker

colditz Mon 15-Jul-13 09:54:54

I don't know, it's a lack of imagination on their part, I think.

I have a very tiny jack russell terrier, she is five and she is a fucking dog. She does doggy things in a doggy way. Want a cold nose in your bum crack at five am? She's on it for ya. Sick of having a tidy garden? Well, she's gonna poop and dig all over that for ya, because she loves you. Not enough smelly meat based chewy things down the side of the sofa? That's right on her to do list!

She's a dog, I don't know what to say to people who declare that they'd rather have a "real" one.

I get preference, I really do. But there seems to be this perception that the smaller dogs aren't "real" or "proper" dog. Sort of like "DogLite".
And LEM yes, they are saying this about terriers!

And while I could possibly sort of understand why you might think that about something poor little thing that's been blowdried and had diamonds plaited into its fur and is being clutched in a gold handbag under Paris Hilton's arm, I still don't see how you could actually say it to someone! And even in my example, I'd be more likely to think something about letting it be a real dog iyswim, because THEY ARE ALL DOGS.

Not sure I have the balls to actually say the husband comment, but you can be sure I'll be thinking it! :O

Abra1d Mon 15-Jul-13 10:32:03

If people think my terrier is not a real dog they can try distracting her away from potential prey. She is also incredibly plucky and will not take any nonsense from any other dog of any other size. She also acts as a great burglar deterrent. With her teeth--designed to crack the spine of a rat or larger animal--she could be dangerous to humans, too, but we have spent a lot of time training her to be sweet and loving with human beings, even those outside her family pack. I hope the owners of 'real' dogs can say the same

stooshe Mon 15-Jul-13 10:41:32

Oh, the fetish for ugly, large dogs. I say fetish, because when I was younger, just on my road we had a mixed bag of dogs. Doberman ( regal looking and just as "butch" as an ugly bull terrier dog or whatever those common dogs are called), labrador,mongrels. The dogs were more representative of the owners and what their kids liked, now it's all a bit homogenous with mainly those bull dog looking dogs. Even the guy who used to have one of those back in the day hasn't insisted on getting another one. When that dog left this mortal coil, he got something prettier. I do notice that (especially in London) that a lot of people who previously never came from a dog owning family went out and bought one of those ugly assed "status" dogs as soon as they became very popular in the working class "endz". Nothing wrong with your dog. At least you haven't got two status dogs in a one bedroom flat shitting up the whole balcony ( yes, I had a lovely ex neighbour).

LEMisdisappointed Mon 15-Jul-13 10:47:37

See, Stooshe, your attitude is equally as ridiculous

GrimmaTheNome Mon 15-Jul-13 10:50:07

I wonder if there's a difference in attitude in urban vs countryside areas?

In the countryside, there's lots of terriers - most farms have them and they are working dogs. The farmer might have a lab or two, especially if they shoot, and of course collies if they have sheep - but they have their tough little ratters too.

Terriers are too real for me. I can't keep up with the buggers grin

MmeLindor Mon 15-Jul-13 12:05:30

We've never had a comment like that, despite having a ridiculously cute little pooch. I wonder if it is more likely when you live in the country?

Pootles2010 Mon 15-Jul-13 12:08:53

Oh lord, my toddler is guilty of this! He's only really used to mil's two old english sheepdogs, I tried to tell him that a sausagedog we 'met' in town was a dog, he didn't believe me!

Very embarassing... I love little dogs, they always seem to have such personality about them somehow?!

I have one spaniel (total nutjob) and one weeny cross breed (cute as and looks a bit like a sheep). The sheepy one gets such comments. It's odd, because both dogs will be tearing through the woods, or running laps around a field at the time. You know, being dogs.

ButThereAgain Mon 15-Jul-13 12:14:31

Parson Russell are the realest dogs you can get! Not that small, and with ten times the intelligence, zeal, agility, stamina as most other dogs. And they are physically as balanced, natural, proportioned as their wolfy ancestors. They are even bloody fast runners, having been bred to keep up with a fox hunt.

You won't regret choosing that breed. They are brilliant!

We have a goldie and my toddler often shouts 'cat' when she sees very small dogs grin despite us having cats, so she does know the difference. I hope people don't think I have taught her to be rude to small dogs.

OP your comeback re the husbands is excellent. As someone said upthread, said with a smile whoever says it will wither (unless they are a 6'4" bloke or married to one.)

VivaLeBeaver Mon 15-Jul-13 12:28:54

There's definitely dog breed snobbery round here, but there wouldn't be against yours. I'm quite rural, so sporting and gun type dogs are the only "acceptable" breed.

It's all springers, terriers, collies, labs. I used to have a greyhound which was acceptable as he was good at catching rabbits. New dog is small but everyone thinks he's a terrier (he isn't).

I think having a poodle or a shi tzu would have you marked as been a townie. grin

Pizdets Mon 15-Jul-13 12:57:09

Oh god, we have a little dog and I've never had comments like the above in London - we mainly get compliments as he's a cutie, but I'm worried about moving him out to the country in a couple of years now! Maybe I could fluff up his tail and pretend he's one of the cats to avoid the wrath of the gundog owners??

you dont get any more real dog than terriers. My terrier is a real dog, dont know what the spaniel is, the terrier thinks he is a disgrace to dog kind.

See, we are rural (fairly), surrounded by fields and farms (though it's all agricultural rather than livestock), with woods where people go hunting etc.
I don't mean that everyone says it, just it comes up often enough (mainly from people who clearly have no idea about dogs, to be fair) to be starting to piss me off a bit.

My PRT is very typically terrier - she's bold and feisty and (sadly, which we are working on) occasionally snappy and a bit dog-aggressive, she also has a bark which you wouldn't believe comes out of a small dog (not yappy at all). And she's quite rough and messy looking, she's not over-groomed in any way. She is small (though actually she's tall for a PRT, so not even that small) but quite clearly and definitely a dog.

NewDog is smaller and still puppy-looking, but she's a border terrier cross so not at all what you'd call "pretty" iyswim.

My dh is taller than (I think) any other husband I know, so should be safe in making the comment grin

Hmm, just had a thought: both dh and I are very tall, could it be that these people all think we look stupid and should have bigger dogs?!

You need to get yourself my way. I had it the other way round . When my BT was a teeny pup I carried him everywhere whilst the vacs kicked in. I threatened to blow my top at the next bloke who told me a dog like that needed a job to because 'it isn't a bloody handbag dog you know love' There are a lot of rabbitting types round here!

I have got a chihuahua crossed with a miniature pinscher, he is tiny and people always comment on how cute he is, but I also get the 'not a real dog' comments a lot too.

One day I was walking him, and a teenage girl was cooing over him and her dad said "I can't stand dogs that look like a rat on a lead". I replied "ah, that's lovely to hear" and he said "well it's true!"

Bloody cheek!!

I personally prefer bigger dogs as I can play with them in a nice big garden and I just seem to get on with the breeds better but that's a personal thing.

I would never judge someone else on what breed of dog they have as long as it's not illegal.

I also have friends/a sister with small dogs and I certainly wouldn't want them not to be in my life.

Not exactly the same as this is about a large dog - a Standard Poodle - but in a similar vein.

The comments we got about or owning a poodle:

Gay hmm
That's not a "proper" dog

So many people would laugh upon being told we owned a.poodle. Used to drive me mad.

He was a fabulous dog, so intelligent and a great personality.

One person who was firmly put in his place after LOLing at the dog was the builder doing our extension.
He laughed, pointed at the dog and went to ruffle his hair at which point the dog pinned him against a wall!

Dog was never aggressive but he hated this bloke with a passion. While working on our house this man was arrested for murdering his girlfriend after subjecting her to years of abuse. Seems the dog had him sussed all along!

moosemama Mon 15-Jul-13 14:28:13

Blimey, I always think of terriers as more of a proper dog than a lot of larger breeds.

If it helps, I have never measured my dog's height, but to give you some idea, I'm 5'7" and he comes up to my hip. This morning I was told by someone in the park that he can't be a 'proper lurcher' because he's too small. confused Apparently, her friend has a lurcher that's much bigger than Lurcherboy and that somehow means he possibly be a 'proper lurcher'. hmm

WorkingtoohardMama shock

We all judge, I think, to some extent, that's normal. But these sorts of comments are just rude!

moosemama Did you not know that this random person's friend's lurcher was the national standard against which all lurchers are measured? Pffff, call yourself a dog person! grin

moosemama Mon 15-Jul-13 15:54:53

Well ... obviously I know that now. Seems I have so much to learn about dogs. wink

Terrier, not a real dog? Clearly never seen a terrier working then.

expatinscotland Mon 15-Jul-13 18:53:37

I don't care for dogs, but large ones gross me out.

Erato Mon 15-Jul-13 19:02:09

We have a mini schnauzer and I've never had anyone say that to me, but then we're in the London commuter belt and there are lots of little dogs around here.

And DH (at 6'5) does look completely ridiculous walking a small fluffy dog so we're wide open to the comments should anyone choose to make them! Although I am going to steal your husband retort if anyone tries it smile

It must be a rural thing, I guess because you get more working dogs there and terriers aren't really used for rodent control as they were traditionally?

Time2Nap Mon 15-Jul-13 19:08:33

Well I have giant breed dogs, and also get stupid comments about them not being dogs but horses, bears, lions! Have always wondered what a proper dog is as small ones arent proper they are rats and big ones arent proper either? hmm

Apparently everyone knows someone with a bigger dog than mine (like i care, as if I own them for a size status and don't have a clue about dogs / breeds to not smell their bullshit). Labradors etc being bigger than a St. Bernard (must be a cross then) or the weight contest which makes me laugh because the dog they apparently explain should really go on a diet if true.

Also apparently my giant happily walking to heal, approaching another dog woth a wagging tail is highly vicious and they tell there small dog (snapping and snarling in this case) that its too big to play with and will eat it sad

GrimmaTheNome Mon 15-Jul-13 19:46:03

>terriers aren't really used for rodent control
no-one seems to have told various terriers I've met on farms that they are obsolete!

I'm in the countryside and apart from farms there's lots of other terriers - often as not belonging to big blokes or old men. Lots on country walks and up mountains. The difference between your JRT and a lab is that while the latter will carry a big stick the former may be seen carrying a ruddy great big stone as big as its head up the path... well 'ard grin

moosemama Mon 15-Jul-13 20:02:30

I have to agree with Grimma. Where my family are from in Southern Ireland it's the farmers and other local men that have the terriers. Either JRTs or a distinct 'type' of Heinz 57 that have arisen from rather enthusiastic local roaming romeos! shock

All of them are really game and the other prolific local breed (Border Collies) give them a wide berth.

ButThereAgain Mon 15-Jul-13 20:09:01

I saw a lad aged about 15 out with a lurcher-type the other day and a ventilated wooden box slung over his shoulder which I'm pretty sure would have had a ferret in it. Off to do a bit of rabbiting I think.

Last time I saw something similar, the ferrets were shockingly in (open) plastic bags rather than a proper box. I guess the notion of a "real dog" is as wide as the various odd things people want to get up to with their dogs.

ClaraOswald Mon 15-Jul-13 20:14:16

I prefer bigger dogs.

This is because the only bites I have had have been from effing JRT and smaller.

moosemama Mon 15-Jul-13 20:30:21

The ferrets round here go for walks on little pink harnesses! grin

ButThereAgain Mon 15-Jul-13 21:55:32

Moosemama I hope you tell their owners that real ferrets only travel in plastic bags, not pink harnesses. [Grin]

moosemama Mon 15-Jul-13 22:41:54


1MitchellMum Tue 16-Jul-13 08:25:13

It may be the people who carry their chihuahuas and other small dogs in their arms or handbags that prompt these sort of comments. (I totally understand why people would pick their little dogs up in crowded places.) There's also many people who dress their little dogs in dresses and tutus etc. Very dodgy in my opinion (though I do have coats for my own big dogs to keep them warm/dry/cool).

MillyMollyMandy78 Tue 16-Jul-13 08:36:52

I have two little dogs - one cavalier and a sheltie. We are town based and have never heard any derogatory comments about their size. Often stopped by people who say how beautiful they are. We are planning on moving somewhere rura next year so will be interesting to see if things change then

GrimmaTheNome Tue 16-Jul-13 19:02:37

I wouldn't worry, MMM. I reckon the OP just knows some odd people wink.

mrslaughan Tue 16-Jul-13 21:58:13

Timetonap - I have a giant breed too....different sort of mountain dog, and the comments about him eating smaller dogs drives me crazy......

Though he did chase a lapso the other day angry- he was off lead and I hadn't seen them....he just wanted to say hello...but I was mortified .I saw the same lady the next day, this time he was on lead, and her lapso was all Barky at him, and she suggested I let him off to teach it a lesson.blush She knew mine wouldn't hurt hers, but felt hers was being a little brazen because giant pup was on lead.

moosemama Tue 16-Jul-13 22:19:27

Ironically, after being told my boy was too small to be a proper lurcher the other day, I walked past a woman this morning who stopped in her tracks, looked a bit worried and said 'Gosh - what a big dog!'. grin

You know how it goes though ...

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.

MothershipG Tue 16-Jul-13 22:54:41

I'm personally find several breeds/type of dogs unappealing, but would I make a derogatory remarks to their owners? Of course not! Why? Because I have manners, I'm not a numpty and what's it got to do with me?

So why do people think it's ok to do this to the owner of small dogs???

As the owner of 1 small and 2 tiny dogs ( pic on profile wink) I have to admit that I have only had a couple of remarks in real life, I think a lot of people think the Affenpinschers are my Schnauzer's pups and we live in London, but I got really fed up of the anti-small dog stuff on a dog forum I used to frequent. hmm

GrimmaTheNome Wed 17-Jul-13 08:42:41

I like it when I see people with a mix of shapes and sizes - for instance a pair of gorgeous Leonburgers accompanied by a chihauhau puppy, or a couple of wolfhounds with a wire-haired dachshund (wire haired dachsies look like sawn off wolfies rather than dobies grin).

And in such mixes, 9 times out of 10 it will be the little dog who's making all the noise and bossing the others around.

digerd Thu 18-Jul-13 16:47:16

If the dog has a sweet lovely nature that is what me makes me love them. I have loved my FIL's St Bernard, my niece's rescue lurcherX, my friend's 4 yorkie x pomeraniums, a neighbour's JR.
It really doesn't matter how big or small - it is their temperament.

My own, as I am older , is a quiet, laid back, non-hyper breed a Lhasa Apso, weighing 5 Kilos and 10" high. Not a sporting breed, but is just what I wanted at my age.
Nobody has said anything but "She is so sweet and serene", by men as well as women.

MaybeBentley Fri 19-Jul-13 23:02:49

When I was out walking my terrier I met a couple walking a calm lab. The woman said to me "that's the sort of dog my husband would prefer we had". He went on to explain my terrier is a proper dog - because it's feisty, with a big personality and can still do a proper job (ratting) unlike their boring lab (his words, not mine).
I suppose some people have a mental picture of "dog" and if the breed doesn't fit in it's not right for them.
Personally I love terriers for their big dog in a small body personality.

digerd Sat 20-Jul-13 06:20:39

The dog with the biggest 'personality' was our long-haired Dachshund. But she was very stubborn and had an aggressive trait towards other dogs. She looked beautiful.

HenriettaPye Sat 20-Jul-13 09:39:37

I get this with my Yorkie. I've also seen it on here- people asking advice on getting a certain breed and people saying - no get a real dog.

Also for the person who said they prefer a big dog because they can take them out to play in a big garden- a small dog will just as happily go out to play in a big garden! Just because they are small doesn't mean everything has to be miniaturised hmm

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now