No matter what kind of dog person you are, smaller dogs tend to have a different behavior pattern than their larger or medium dog counterparts. Unfortunately they’ve received unwarranted opinions for being “yappy, snappy, jealous, and protective.” Amazingly the most common reason for these misconceptions is because of human interference. A dog will develop small dog syndrome, a behavior pattern where they think they are the “leader of the pack” within their families, often times because we humans encourage the behavior.
More often than not there are behaviors we don’t allow in bigger dogs that tend to be found “cute” when enacted in smaller dogs. For example, if a Great Dane jumped up on a human it had better be on purpose and because it was told to do so by its owner. If it jumps on strangers the owner would be upset. But what if a small dog did the same thing? Most people would think to themselves “this dog is so cute and it loves me!” But little do humans know that dogs jumping has nothing to do with affection. It actually has to do with dominance.
How about growling? Same thing. If a guard dog were to growl at a human the human would be scared. However if a smaller dog did then the human would disregard the growl. We let smaller dogs get away with behaviors and then all of a sudden they think they are equal to us and that their behaviors are “allowed.” The fact is, we need to treat smaller dogs as big dogs and medium dogs. This will prevent Small Dog Syndrome from appearing.
For more details on Small Dog Syndrome you can read an article at Dog Breed Info.