Animals and Us

The psychology of human-animal interactions.

Why Do Small Dogs Have So Many Psychological Problems?

Why do little dogs exhibit more behavior problems than big dogs? Is it a matter of bad genes, over-indulgent owners, or basic insecurity? Read More

Whoa! It's like people, too!

Whoa! It's like people, too! Particularly extra super extremely ambitious women. If they're super-small, stay away. They'll just end up nipping at your ankles and peeing on your leg. They have to get attention somehow (reality tv stars or your boss, for example).
Tall person


The above commenter is funny! Snooki comes to mind!

I really dislike Chihuahuas. My boyfriend has a female chihuahua that is very anxious, barks at everything, pees on the floor, is competitive with the other dogs, and really oddly, humps small stuffed animals while staring at only my boyfriend. She needs to realize that he is MY boyfriend not hers! :D Seriously though, she gets jealous when we hug and kiss. Also, when she was younger, her head was so big that she had a hard time drinking and eating because her big fat head would make her fall over. Poor dog, I think she's like that not only because of how she was raised, but because of her genes too.

I entered my amazing old golden retriever into the study. I love golden retrievers. Anyways, interesting article! Thanks for posting it!

Small dogs have ADHD

Small dogs have psychological problems because of overindulgent, narcissistic owners like the Paris Hilton types. They think it's part of the animal's evolution to get stuffed into doggie tote bags, wear absurd clothes, boots and hair bows and have their own doggie mansion worth thousands of dollars. Some go further and paint their dog's nails and grooming is another topic altogether (dog spas, hair colouring etc.). The apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Small dogs have ADHD.

Cultural influence on behaviors is, like, never accounted for. I don't know how you can study evolution without including culture. It's not enough to study just breeding. Even the majority of human psychological problems can be attributed directly to cultural/economic influences. Compare ourselves to Africa -- do they have an obesity problem? ADHD? Anorexia? blah blah. But with globalization, many third worlds are seeing the same problems experienced by westernized nations.

At the risk of offending any

At the risk of offending any women reading this, I have noticed a lot of older women who tend to have small dogs. I guess that they feel a motherly instinct and gravitate towards toy dogs because of their childlike qualities.

Small Dogs

Animal psychology is almost just the same as human psychology. For us humans those kind of behavioral problems are called insecurities leading to inferiority complex. Small dogs are just the cutest pets there is. Owners such as I just can't help but baby them. There is no wonder they are more aggressive, hyperactive and attention-seeking than larger dogs. In all seriousness though, let us practice self-restraint for the benefit of our pets. Strict parenting but only when needed or else just like kids, they'll rebel if our grip is too tight.

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Thanks so much for this post!

Thanks so much for this post! This has been super helpful to me and my family. Keep up the great work on this blog!

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Hal Herzog, Ph.D. is the author of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It's So Hard To Think Straight About Animals. more...

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