Join Date: Jun 2009
Submit Photo: 6
Photo Submissions 296 Times in 294 Posts
I feel so bad for both dogs. You are right, people who make the choice to mix large and small breeds have a heavy responsibility to keep the small one safe.
It is really rare that a dog who has previously gotten along well with another in the same household will attack "with no reason", but it is not at all uncommon for the "reasons" to be missed by the family. It's like the dogs who bite children's faces... In most cases, they have given TONS of warning signs that they are uncomfortable before they bite.
I have a freind who is an excellent trainer who owns a feisty little Papilion and the worlds sweetest, field-bred Golden. Both dogs are highly trained obedience competitors. One day the Papilion pushed the Golden beyond her tolerance. She snapped at the smaller dog just once... A snap that would have just been a warning bite to a similar sized dog. The little one ended up in the hospital for a week. Now they are not allowed loose in the same room together unless they are sitting on the couch with her between them to make sure BOTH are feeling comfortable.
If people ARE going to keep large and small dogs together, they need to work REALLY hard to socialize both and make sure there is very good chemistry between them. Even then, to be safe, they should probably be separate when there is no one home to supervise.
Similar sized dogs, even those who live together, often get into tiffs, and there is rarely any harm done. It's when there is a large size difference (which dogs don't understand) that things go wrong. Your sister's Griffon has paid a huge price, but the Dobie paid the ultimate price.
Karen, Kodi, Pixel and Panda
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