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

(56 Posts)
HopeForTheBest Mon 15-Jul-13 09:12:52

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

ditavonteesed Mon 15-Jul-13 13:04:45

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.

HopeForTheBest Mon 15-Jul-13 13:56:16

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?!

fanoftheinvisibleman Mon 15-Jul-13 14:06:51

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!

WorkingtoohardMama Mon 15-Jul-13 14:09:07

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!!

HaveIGotPoosForYou Mon 15-Jul-13 14:16:17

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.

TooTabooToBoo Mon 15-Jul-13 14:22:41

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

HopeForTheBest Mon 15-Jul-13 15:02:45

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

MissBeehiving Mon 15-Jul-13 18:50:46

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”.

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