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After reading (and contributing) to the thread on here asking how small and big dogs are different, it made me feel guilty that I DO treat my little 5 lb Yorkies differently than you would a normal dog. I do baby them, but it's because they are much more fragile. Anyways...I decided that yesterday, my 3 kids and I would attempt a walk with the dogs. Normally when I take them for walks, they go in a pet stroller. Yesterday, I put Scooter (the puppy) in the stroller because he isn't finished vaccinations yet, and the Yorkie girls walked. They did fantastic. My concern is...how do I get passed worrying about their safety? They are so tiny, and I can't help but to pick them up when 3 big dogs are pulling on their leashes towards us on the sidewalk, or when we walk beside someone's property with big dogs that could jump their fence. I found that I was constantly looking over my shoulder, scanning the area for dogs, and it wasn't enjoyable at all. Thankfully my dogs didn't pick up on my anxiety. They had a blast. Missy was attacked by a boxer at a park once. It got away from it's owner even though it was leashed. I got her out of harms way JUST before the Boxer latched onto her throat by yanking her up into my arms with the leash and harness. This is when I purchased the pet stroller because it made me realize that a 5 lb dog is not really safe around unfamiliar dogs.

I just need help figuring out how to walk them without worrying. I don't want anything to happen to them, but as silly as it sounds, I just don't feel comfortable having them on the ground with unfamiliar dogs. Missy has already had a broken leg as a puppy, and the vet told me that her bones are SO tiny, we really have to watch that leg, because there's no way he could repair it twice..there just isn't enough "good" bone there.

So I tried treating them like "normal" dogs (and they walked really nice on the leash), but it was really stressful for me. What should I do?

Here they are at the park we walked to yesterday :)


And all gussied up ;)
 

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Re: Help with "the walk". Worried about big dogs! How to keep my girls safe?

Aww, they're cute. I'm glad they had fun on their walk!

I don't know what to tell you... I worry about mine, too (they're 9lbs and 18lbs, so not tiny, but still small). We have been rushed by loose dogs before. Only one of them actually wanted to harm my dogs, and I managed to grab his collar (which you're not supposed to do, but I'd rather be bitten than have my dogs attacked) and hoist him away from them until his owner could take him. The majority of dogs, even loose ones, probably won't be out to eat your dogs, but you could consider carrying something just in case -- some people use pepper spray; some use a small cattle prod. Even if you never have to use it, it might make you feel safer.
 

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Re: Help with "the walk". Worried about big dogs! How to keep my girls safe?

I think that dogs with a high prey drive might attack them, just because they are SO small. I'm also concerned because Dora always gets excited when she sees other dogs. She barks at them and wants to play. One wrong move (even playfully) could mean an injury for these little ones. For example, when my Mom comes to visit with her boxer, I have to keep my girls seperated from her dog. Her dog is also very playful, and likes to play with her big, heavy paws. I know if one of those paws came down on my Yorkies, it could cause a serious injury. I could carry pepper spray, but not sure if that would be a wise move with 3 dogs and 3 kids around. I guess it would be better than nothing.
 

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Re: Help with "the walk". Worried about big dogs! How to keep my girls safe?

I worry about my girl too, but then I figure that there are always risks when taking your dog out for a walk. There are risks snowboarding down a mountain, but I do it anyways because I like it. I take my dog hiking through the trails, on the beach, through the city because she likes it, and I like it. It's worth the risk (to me anyways) I minimize risks by always keeping her on a leash in public and always keeping my eye out for loose dogs. (And there really arn't any around here). Dogs pulling on leashes don't really bother me so long as the owner looks capable of holding them. I just give them as much room as I can and try to keep my dogs attention on me. A young child holding the leash of a straining lab would make me walk quickly in the opposite direction.
 

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Re: Help with "the walk". Worried about big dogs! How to keep my girls safe?

Yes, I think if there were just 1 dog to worry about, it wouldn't bother me so much. It's that I have 3 (well 2 to control on leash, until Scooter is old enough to walk on his own). The problem is that alot of people have their dogs off leash around here. We live in a very family oriented neighbourhood, not alot of traffic. So people just allow their dogs to wander around out front or on the street unleashed, and they DO rush up to my kids/dogs. Just the other day my neighbours pitbull came barreling up our driveway towards my 7 yr old boy. My son was startled and ran inside and he's not even afraid of dogs! There are actually only a few people that I've seen that look in control of their dogs. Those 3 big ones that were pulling towards us yesterday were in control, not the owner. This is why I don't feel that these little girls are safe. I realize that a big dog could get attacked too, but I think a 5 lb dog would end up worse off. It's very frustrating! :(
 

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Re: Help with "the walk". Worried about big dogs! How to keep my girls safe?

I'm sorry, I have absolutely no advice. I just keep starring at them. I want them to come live with me and sit on either side of me while I watch TV, LOL. So would that be babying them?
 

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Re: Help with "the walk". Worried about big dogs! How to keep my girls safe?

I'm sorry, I have absolutely no advice. I just keep starring at them. I want them to come live with me and sit on either side of me while I watch TV, LOL. So would that be babying them?
I think so! LOL! But they would love it! They are both very social and enjoy other peoples attention (especially kids). I've had them out and about alot, just not "walking". They are like little stuffed animals, which is why I got Scooter. I was craving a dog with a little more size. I hope that he gets to at least over 25 lbs, bigger would be even better!
 

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Re: Help with "the walk". Worried about big dogs! How to keep my girls safe?

I think so! LOL! But they would love it! They are both very social and enjoy other peoples attention (especially kids). I've had them out and about alot, just not "walking". They are like little stuffed animals, which is why I got Scooter. I was craving a dog with a little more size. I hope that he gets to at least over 25 lbs, bigger would be even better!
I never see Yorkies kept with their full coat and I just love it. If I were took a foray into terriers I think I would definitely get a Yorkie.
 

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Re: Help with "the walk". Worried about big dogs! How to keep my girls safe?

Your girls are adorable! They look like they had a blast at the park. I am glad they enjoyed themselves.

The off-leash dog issue is annoying. I wouldn't want to walk if I knew I was going to be charged multiple times, regardless if the dog was friendly or not.

I would just find another place to walk, if possible. I don't live in a neighborhood, but on 3 acres with no other houses around, so I actually drive 5 mins up the road to a neighborhood with sidewalks to do our "walks". Or I'll find a park or some other place. Most places like this are pretty responsible with leash laws and such and I love the neighborhood we walk in (it's a bit more "upscale" in a golf community) and most have dogs in fences or on leash. So I've had good experiences.

I just try to realize that everything we do in life has risks. People die in car accidents every day, but we all still drive, because it's just a part of our life. My little brother drowned five years ago. Am I overly cautious around the pool? You bet. But I realize kids are going to swim in the summer, it's a fact of life, and I'm going to still allow my dog, siblings, cousins, etc, to enjoy the pool and just teach them how to be safe. Crap happens... but sometimes there is only so much we can do to avoid it and accidents WILL happen.

Jackson enjoys his walks, his dog park visits, swimming, etc, way too much and I feel the benefits outweigh the risks. He lives a fantastic "doggy" life and I'm not going to take that away from him just because I'm too nervous about certain things. Oh, don't get me wrong though, I definitely am "overprotective" according to some of my family members, LOL. But I still like him to lead a very fulfilled life and I truly believe all dogs will enjoy a nice outdoor walk or to run free every now and then.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Re: Help with "the walk". Worried about big dogs! How to keep my girls safe?

I never see Yorkies kept with their full coat and I just love it. If I were took a foray into terriers I think I would definitely get a Yorkie.
My girls have never been to a groomer. I do it all myself. Thankfully, they have silky coats, so they don't mat up on me. I researched alot before I got the yorkie girls. We hadn't bought our house yet when I got them, and we were living in a rental where we weren't allowed dogs. My lab/rottie cross passed away, and I just couldn't live without a dog, so I got these little ones that my landlord agreed to "turn a blind eye" to. They are awesome. Very well behaved, especially as puppies. Yorkies definitely have their own type of personality. They have my husband WRAPPED around their little paws, especially Missy (always in pink). She's a total Princess!

Your girls are adorable! They look like they had a blast at the park. I am glad they enjoyed themselves.

The off-leash dog issue is annoying. I wouldn't want to walk if I knew I was going to be charged multiple times, regardless if the dog was friendly or not.

I would just find another place to walk, if possible. I don't live in a neighborhood, but on 3 acres with no other houses around, so I actually drive 5 mins up the road to a neighborhood with sidewalks to do our "walks". Or I'll find a park or some other place. Most places like this are pretty responsible with leash laws and such and I love the neighborhood we walk in (it's a bit more "upscale" in a golf community) and most have dogs in fences or on leash. So I've had good experiences.

I just try to realize that everything we do in life has risks. People die in car accidents every day, but we all still drive, because it's just a part of our life. My little brother drowned five years ago. Am I overly cautious around the pool? You bet. But I realize kids are going to swim in the summer, it's a fact of life, and I'm going to still allow my dog, siblings, cousins, etc, to enjoy the pool and just teach them how to be safe. Crap happens... but sometimes there is only so much we can do to avoid it and accidents WILL happen.

Jackson enjoys his walks, his dog park visits, swimming, etc, way too much and I feel the benefits outweigh the risks. He lives a fantastic "doggy" life and I'm not going to take that away from him just because I'm too nervous about certain things. Oh, don't get me wrong though, I definitely am "overprotective" according to some of my family members, LOL. But I still like him to lead a very fulfilled life and I truly believe all dogs will enjoy a nice outdoor walk or to run free every now and then.
I am SO sorry to hear about your brother. I don't even know what to say. Seriously, my deepest condolences :(

I am going to try to find a better place for the yorkie girls to walk. I'm thinking somewhere outdoorsy where there will be less people. They get a ton of social outings anyways, but I'm always holding them or they're in the stroller. We can walk in privacy somewhere. It just won't be as convenient because I will have to pack up 3 kids and 3 dogs to do it. Oh well! Tis life :)
 

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Re: Help with "the walk". Worried about big dogs! How to keep my girls safe?

Yes, I think if there were just 1 dog to worry about, it wouldn't bother me so much. It's that I have 3 (well 2 to control on leash, until Scooter is old enough to walk on his own). The problem is that alot of people have their dogs off leash around here. We live in a very family oriented neighbourhood, not alot of traffic. So people just allow their dogs to wander around out front or on the street unleashed, and they DO rush up to my kids/dogs. Just the other day my neighbours pitbull came barreling up our driveway towards my 7 yr old boy. My son was startled and ran inside and he's not even afraid of dogs! There are actually only a few people that I've seen that look in control of their dogs. Those 3 big ones that were pulling towards us yesterday were in control, not the owner. This is why I don't feel that these little girls are safe. I realize that a big dog could get attacked too, but I think a 5 lb dog would end up worse off. It's very frustrating! :(
Oh in that case I definitely would not go walking in that area. Are there any other parks around with stricter leash laws? I don't walk Lola at all in my neighborhood because we don't have sidewalks and the cars fly by and it doesn't seem safe at all. But I do take her to the park 3-4 times a week and we walk for about an hour and then go to the small dog park for an hour.

Other times we go to the beach in the early morning and walk and chase the waves. we very rarely see another dog there at that time.
 

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Re: Help with "the walk". Worried about big dogs! How to keep my girls safe?

Oh in that case I definitely would not go walking in that area. Are there any other parks around with stricter leash laws? I don't walk Lola at all in my neighborhood because we don't have sidewalks and the cars fly by and it doesn't seem safe at all. But I do take her to the park 3-4 times a week and we walk for about an hour and then go to the small dog park for an hour.

Other times we go to the beach in the early morning and walk and chase the waves. we very rarely see another dog there at that time.
Aw, cute pic! There are leash laws here...people just don't care to follow them and I've never heard of them being enforced. This is not just my area either. It's all around here, so going to a different park or area won't help. I live in a very good neighbourhood. I will have to find some place private to walk them I guess. Sad as it is, because I shouldn't have to go out of my way to do that.
 

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Re: Help with "the walk". Worried about big dogs! How to keep my girls safe?

They are so cute:)

I worry about my dogs too. Pixie was attacked by a lab 5 times the size of her last year (the lab was playing, but Pixie didn't know and was on the ground screaming while this lab mouthed her, she was upset for several days afterwards).

I do look around a lot, to see if anyone is coming, and if there is a dog coming we usually go off the path and wait until they have passed, or I put them on the other side of me away from the approaching dog. For loose dogs, I just monitor their body language and pick them up if necessary.

We do walk during a very quiet time of day too, so that helps a lot.

I don't think the worrying is something you can get over, because it's justified, you just sort of learn to deal with it.
 

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Re: Help with "the walk". Worried about big dogs! How to keep my girls safe?

You could try walking them someplace non-traditional. As in, not a neighborhood where people have dogs. Oddly, my dog loves walking around our urban downtown and the downtown's waterfront. On weekends, it is quiet unless there is a sporting event (all the office folk are gone) but there is still plenty to sniff and little corner parks with trees.

Another idea is a college campus. A private college would likely be strict about leashes and have their own security to enforce things like that. Plus, lots of fun people interaction and watching but probably few dogs (I have never seen a dog other than my own being walked at the major university here).

If you can walk with an adult friend also, that might make you more comfortable since you could handle your dogs and they could scare off any off leash dogs.
 

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Re: Help with "the walk". Worried about big dogs! How to keep my girls safe?

You could try walking them someplace non-traditional. As in, not a neighborhood where people have dogs. Oddly, my dog loves walking around our urban downtown and the downtown's waterfront. On weekends, it is quiet unless there is a sporting event (all the office folk are gone) but there is still plenty to sniff and little corner parks with trees.

Another idea is a college campus. A private college would likely be strict about leashes and have their own security to enforce things like that. Plus, lots of fun people interaction and watching but probably few dogs (I have never seen a dog other than my own being walked at the major university here).

If you can walk with an adult friend also, that might make you more comfortable since you could handle your dogs and they could scare off any off leash dogs.
IDK about the college campus thing. Maybe a private college but I know at the university here you will find all sorts of dogs offleash (which is ridiculous to me with all the traffic- we have a dog in foster now that has a twisted back leg from getting hit by a car on campus some years ago -_-). I think the best thing is to try to be vigilent. Carry mace just incase. Its almost impossible to account for every situation you might run into :/
 
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