Become The Alpha Dog

Training Tips For Small Breed Dogs

Do Small Dogs Behave Badly?

Small breed dogs are, for the most part, overwhelmingly cute, setting off our inherent protective instincts. It is this response that promotes most of the damaging behavioral patterns small dog owners face every day. Too often, when it comes time to get serious about our small breed dog training regimen, finding the necessary discipline to take a matter-of-fact approach escapes us.

This is the small dog owners first mistake, just because these dogs are pint sized, it does not mean they won’t wreak havoc on your home. In a worst case scenario, your small dog might injure himself. Lesson #1 – believing a small dog is harmless will result in larger problems down the road.

Small Dog – Big Attitude

Nothing would be more menacing than a Chihuahua if he were the size of a Great Dane; and an astonishing number of other small dogs have a reputation for being aggressive as well. Small dogs are altogether too endearing, making it easy for their owners to spoil them rotten, often leading to a Napoleon complex. If you need verification of this truth, pop on over to the local dog park and watch the Miniature Pinscher challenging the Doberman to a death match.

It is certain that training a small dog is going to distress you more than them; you will need to be tough if you are going to resist that trembling lower lip when you tell them NO. For those owners who find the thought of teaching their small dog daunting, I advise starttin with the basic commands of “sit – stay – come”; even though you might never progress past this level, the safety of your canine companion will be significantly improved.

Starting With The Fundamentals

The main thing to achieve when establishing your dog training plan are the fundamentals; this means building reliable compliance to the commands of “sit – stay – come”. By establishing a strong training foundation, your small dog will always have a reference point to return to in times of high stress, anxiety or confusion.

The basic building blocks of your small dogs training ought to be established from day one. Puppies are simple by virtue of habits, positive or negative have not been taught yet – you are starting with a blank sheet of paper. Adult dogs can be a mixed bag, they have more maturity and longer attention spans than a puppy but may also have picked up some bad habits along the way; remember, there is nothing wrong with seeking help from a professional trainer if you are struggling.

Discouraging Negative Behaviors

Recognizing a particular behavior as problematic before it becomes deep-seated in your small dogs routine is crucial. For instance, bribing your small dog with a goody if they will please respond to your request is not the same as rewarding them for complying with your command.

Another area that can be troublesome is snuggling with you on the sofa; so long as you make it a point to invite your small dog onto the furniture and have your ownership clear to them future problems should be minimal.

Another danger matter is permitting your small dog to jump up on your legs. It really pulls at your heart to look down at your small dog standing on two legs, front paws on yours, asking to be picked up – sorry to say, complying with this demand will put them in a dominant position over you.

If you find your small dog is a bolter, you will need to take quick action; uncontrolled dogs present a dangerous situation for everyone. Small dogs are difficult to see and if they dart into traffic they could get run over by a passing vehicle. You not only risk losing your small dog, you could also be held responsible for restitution.

Dog Training Tips

– Any dog, big or small, can gain from training

– Obedience training of small dogs is not cruel

– Training your small dog will make them safer

– Dogs require a pack leader, if you won’t step up to the plate, they will!

– Dogs do not “think” the way humans do – they “respond”

– Small dogs live in the moment, they do not “recall” that you forgot to feed them last night, they only know that they are hungry

– Avoid negative or disappointing emotions in your training sessions, your dog will pick up on them and know your displeasure

– Commands you train your dog need to be single words and consistency is critical to success

– Repetition is the key to success

– Expending physical energy through walking, retrieving or other similar activities before starting the obedience training will aid your dog in staying focused

– You want your dog to look forward to the training sessions – keep them short, 5 minutes for puppies, 15-20 for adults

– In nature, dogs have to work for their food – by taking a structured walk with training breaks before feeding, you reinforce your standing as leader

Closing Thoughts
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Society today is becoming less and less tolerant of misbehaved or out-of-control dogs; visit Train A Small Dog today and learn why teaching your small canine fundamental obedience will secure a warm welcome both in and out of your home. Establishing yourself as the pack leader will build a strong bond of trust; additionally this action promotes a feeling of security in your small dog. 

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