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First Chomper
New York’s governor hires a trainer for his testy Maltese.
Why is bad behavior in little dogs so often ignored?

Why is it that when small dogs are aggressive and biting it’s treated as a joke? Take New York Governor David Paterson’s Maltese, Cheerio--a full-time tough guy with at least two bites to his credit. Imagine if those teeth belonged to a bigger dog with a tougher reputation living in the home someone with a lot less clout. I’m just glad the governor finally recognized that a pint-sized troublemaker is still a troublemaker and deserves a trainer. Good luck, Cheerio!

Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom. lisawogan.com

iStockphoto of a very cute Maltese (not Cheerio).

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Submitted by Chickybird | July 20 2009 |

I'm not sure why this is, but it's one thing that really gets to me. My husband was bitten on the calf the other day by one of the little dogs that lives in our building (which was running loose in the hall, by the way). It just ran up behind him and bit him while he was walking down the hall minding his own business. My husband didn't want to make a big deal about it, but if my Doberman did the same thing to one of our neighbors, you can bet there'd be an uproar. Luckily she's a sweetheart, but I am also vigilant about keeping her with me and under control. Why should small dog owners not have the same responsibility?

Submitted by Dani | July 20 2009 |

I completely agree. We have to deal with this all the time in our building! Small vicious dogs that growl and go crazy every time they see us or others. The owners usually just smile and drag their dogs away but it is frustrating for both me and my dog. My dog is a very sweet pit mix. I have a fear that one of these dogs gets loose and attacks my dog. Who will be to blame? The small vicious dog off-leash or my dog? ...I know who would get in trouble. That is why I have to be cautious and keep my eye on these other dogs so we don't get ourselves into a bind.

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