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Do You Think Small Dogs Are Less Obedient Than Large Breeds?

While we have all known a perfectly behaved teacup poodle or a manic Labrador Retriever in our day, these dogs are largely not representative of typical canines of their size. According to research from the University of Sydney, findings indicate that small dogs are typically less obedient than their larger cousins. For most dog owners, this is probably not a huge surprise.

In some cases, it is tempting to attribute levels of obedience to the general, perceived intelligence of a breed or to the job its ancestors had in human societies. After all, many people note that herding breeds, including German Shepherd Dogs and Border Collies, are among the smartest dogs. Both are good sized dogs, although smaller Corgis, another herder, are also reckoned as pretty smart pooches.

Smaller dogs often had less demanding jobs, acting as ratters, in the case of most small terriers, or as comfort dogs in the case of many toy breeds. Having a job often resulted in selective breeding for higher intelligence. Many canines at dog day care in Emeryville and other places have come a long way from those jobs, but the intellect remains largely intact.

For the most part, however, obedience should¬†not¬†be thought of as an inborn characteristic that a dog either has or doesn’t. Instead, obedience should be regarded as a collection of learned behaviors that some dog owners teach with more precision and success than others.

With large dogs, this obedience is seen as a must-have because of their potential for causing destruction and mayhem due to size and energy levels. Smaller dogs may not get the treatment. After all, a misbehaving Maltese can be scooped up more readily than a Golden Retriever. Just remember – good behavior can be learned a lot ways, including through socialization at dog day care in Emeryville or through regular trips to the dog park and home training.