Crime-weary New Yorkers are teaching their tiny pooches to provide shelter for big dogs, animal trainers told The Post.
A dog “is an amazing psychological deterrent for criminals — no matter the size,” said Bash Dibra, a Bronx-based author, Hollywood consultant, and famous pet trainer.
About a third of his clients now seek help turning miniature city mutts into canine crimefighters, a “noticeable increase” in recent years, he noted.
A Turtle Bay mom dog said she felt “absolutely safer” on Gotham’s dangerous streets with Joey, the 16-pound Chihuahua mix she adopted and trained to tap into his inner lion during the 2020 pandemic outbreak .
“When I’m out with Joey, I don’t get attacked by a random moron,” says Dibra customer Suzy Lieberman.
“You get between him and his mother, he will bite you, he will attack you,” she added.
Some of Dibra’s techniques were unconventional — like the time he encouraged a celebrity couple to throw their pooch at offenders in the criminal 1970s.
A cunning dachshund owned by early The Tonight Show host Jack Paar launched Dibra’s career training dogs for the rich and famous after the comedy legend’s wife Miriam was mugged in Central Park.
He taught her stubborn dachshund to growl angrily at attackers when Mrs. Paar signaled – in her case by picking up the pooch when she sensed trouble.
“Even if someone tries to grab her, she might throw the dog at them as a last resort,” Dibra said while running or yelling for help. “This little dog was an amazing deterrent.”
Throwing puppies at bullies is no longer part of his training routine like it was when the couple was mugged. But the basics of his regime remain similar.
Budding underdogs are taught to speak, bark, growl, and bare their teeth in the direction of danger at a signal from the owner.
Criminals seek soft targets and paths of least resistance, Dibra noted, so a small dog’s growl is often enough to ward off would-be attackers. Even emotionally disturbed individuals would be “instinctively” deterred or disarmed by the presence of a dog, he said.
The desire for four-legged security patrols comes as the city finds itself in the midst of an historic crime wave in 2022: assaults up 20.9 percent, shootings up 30.9 percent, rapes up 32.1 percent, and robberies up 42.4 percent Compared to same time last year, according to NYPD.
Dogs are a particularly effective deterrent against burglary. FBI data shows that 95 percent of crooks will skip an apartment if they hear barking, regardless of the animal’s size.
And it’s the small dogs — the kind favored by crowded city dwellers living in confined spaces — that are best up to the task.
Dachshunds, Chihuahuas and Jack Russell Terriers are the three most aggressive breeds in terms of biting frequency, according to animal research data.
The French bulldog — also not a slouch — grows no taller than 28 pounds and is the most popular breed in NYC, according to the American Kennel Club.
“Small dogs can be just as tough and aggressive as larger dogs, even more so,” agreed Anthony Newman of Calm Energy Dog Training in Brooklyn. “You have gentle giants among large breeds and a Napoleon complex among smaller dogs,” he said.