On our walk, Elka and I saw a person standing in the middle of the sidewalk up the block from us, talking to another person. There was a chihuahua on a retractable leash, that squared off and stared as we approached. Person 2 went back to their house (and I noticed they were holding a small dog as well). Person 1 (with chihuahua on retractable leash) turned and saw us. Her dog exploded in lunging, snarling, and barking, staring at Elka, eyes hard, ears forward. Elka looked at the dog, and looked at me. I gave her a treat. Person 1 crossed the street with her dog, still lunging and snarling, for which I am grateful. However, she did not lock the retractable leash, so she ended up on the sidewalk across the street from us, with her dog barking and snarling in the middle of the street. Elka looked at the dog, and looked at me. I gave her a treat. The woman didn't call her dog to her, but said in kind of a breezy voice "oh, now, come on, don't do that." Elka looked at the dog, and looked at me. I gave her a treat.
If our roles had been reversed, I don't doubt that the woman would have been quite upset with me. If my Doberman acted like that, barking and snarling and lunging, people would call the police. People would yell at me, and feel justified in their suspicion or hatred of Dobermans. I don't hate chihuahuas; I just hate that we encounter so many small dogs who don't appear trained in any way, and whose owners, purposefully or no, encourage these horrible behaviors.
Size should not matter in dog behavior. Dogs should be polite, and trained, and managed. Dog owners should be conscientious. I don't care how big your dog is; if you're on the sidewalk or at the park, and your dog poops, pick it up and put it in the garbage. Don't bag it and throw the bag into the woods. Don't just leave it there. Take responsibility. These kind of behaviors make it so hard for dog owners to get allowances in towns. There are no off leash areas in my town, and few businesses that allow dogs.