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Published: Apr 18, 2011

A recent study conducted by Leger Marketing found that small dog owners truly value their four-footed friends. In fact, more than half of the respondents said they value their relationship with their pooches more than those they have with their human friends, according to The Toronto Sun.

It also seems that owners of small canines are liberal with rules regarding pet behavior. The vast majority, 80 percent, allow their pets to walk on their furniture, and another 60 percent dole out gifts to their pets during the holiday season.

Almost half of the survey respondents said that if they had a significant other who did not like their pet, they would dump him or her. The same goes for friends - 40 percent said they would avoid inviting over friends who did not like the pooch.

Around 505 small dog owners participated in the online survey. Of that group, 78 percent said they involve their dog in everyday tasks such as attending meetings or running errands.

According to, small dogs typically weigh less than 22 pounds and are shorter than 16 inches. Those who have recently welcomed a small dog into their home should be sure to take the canine to a VCA veterinarian for vaccinations and an exam.