A smaller dog may be easier to ignore when they behave negatively. But it does not mean that your little dog should not be trained at all and just be disregarded.
Training your small dogs is still necessary for your furry pet to develop social manners when in the presence of strangers and other dogs.
Are Small Dogs Harder To Train?
There is a common notion among pet owners that small dogs may not be the best dogs for training and are more challenging to train than larger breeds. But this is not totally true.
As with all other pets, training our furry companions does not rely on their breeds. Instead, the sizes of these small dogs affect the way training them may proceed and progress.
Some consider small dogs not the best dog for training, but it does not mean that they are untrainable.
How Do You Train A Little Dog?
Training a small dog entails the same process as training any other dog. Pet owners only have to consider their size on the tasks they are being trained to do.
To illustrate, we cannot expect our little dog to run as fast as a large dog or jump as high as other breeds, considering their shorter legs. Still, to dog litter train them, we can utilize the same process on both small and large dogs.
Tips to Make Training Your Small Dogs Easy
We have prepared here 10 tips on how to proceed with training your small dogs.
Tip 1: Be at their level.
Stoop down to the level of your dog when training him/her. Even with people, some people get intimidated talking to others taller than them, and they have to look up at them. The same goes for our furry pets.
Our small dogs are intimidated by bigger and taller creatures, especially when training is done by a professional trainer to whom they are not acquainted yet. When scared, our pets may become defensive. This behavior will affect the progress of the training.
Over time, when they are more comfortable with you and their training sessions, you may proceed with training standing up.
During training, sit down beside your dog or lower your body to be on a level with him. Alternatively, you can use a dog training platform to elevate your dog to a higher position, so you don’t have to stoop so low.
Tip 2: Start with the basics.
Start dog obedience training of the basic commands like sit, stay, down, and come. These commands teach our dogs good behavior and proper social manners. More importantly, it is necessary as these commands will help with further training.
For example, your dog’s knowledge of the command “sit” is necessary in order to teach your furry pets the command “lay down.” In the same manner, teaching your dog the command “come’ is vital in leash training.
Tip 3: Consistency and patience are the keys.
As with all other dog training, it is essential that you remain consistent and patient. Consistency in teaching your pup is important to instill in our pets the commands they should learn. Even if your dog is having a hard time learning, don’t give up on him/her. Be patient and practice regularly.
Dog obedience may be hard to gain. But once you put your heart to it, even dogs who may not be the easiest dogs to potty train would eventually learn to potty outside. Commit yourself to work with your dog to correct behavioral issues or improve his social manners.
To learn more about training your dog, you may want to check out this book entitled Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days by Brandon McMillan.
Tip 4: Positive reinforcement helps.
Use treats like this Nutro dog treats and gentle praises at the start of training. Using these positive reinforcements has always proven to be effective in improving training. This is the opposite of punishment.
Showing your dog that positive behaviors get him praise and a reward would help in training. On the other hand, without this reinforcement, your dog might not be too keen on doing what is right and will not be excited about going into more training.
Tip 5: No distractions.
Start training inside a place where there are no (or minimal) distractions. It would be better if you use a vacant room, particularly for training. That way, every time you and your small dog enter the said room, his mind would be conditioned that it is training time.
Go to a noise-free room and free of distractions. It would allow your dog to really concentrate on what he needs to do and what you want to achieve.
Once he has learned the specific task, step outside of the room, and transition to a place where there is a bit of a distraction. Check if he still knows the command despite the noise and if training is instilled in his mind. When he accomplishes the task, then the training was a success.
Tip 6: Shorter periods at a time.
Begin with short periods of training at the start. Just with any other dog breed, small dogs quickly lose attention. Ten repetitions of the desired behavior or a 15-minute session are usually enough to start the training.
To keep them interested and enjoy training much longer, small dog owners should train their furry pets in shorter periods at a time but on a regular or consistent schedule. Over time, you could extend training longer as it focuses on more serious tasks and skills.
Concentrate on teaching your dog one command at a time. When he is done with learning a particular command, it is time to move on to the next. For every training session, do not forget to use reinforcements like training treats and positive praises.
Tip 7: Correct small dog behavior even if tolerable.
There are some things that small dogs can do but large dog breeds cannot. Small dogs can easily hide beneath sofa sets, under the bed, or behind a cabinet. They can easily flop on the couch and use it as a resting place.
These behaviors, although, to a point, tolerable, should still be corrected and managed. Do not allow your dog to easily get away with these things as it can someday hinder dog training.
Teach him commands that will deter him from getting into the habit of doing what he wants. When you want to tolerate your small dog sleeping on the sofa, give him a command like “here” for him to come and stay on the sofa. But also teach him the command “down” to signal that it is now time to get off the couch. Or you may teach him the command “bed” to tell him to go to his own bed.
It would also help if he has his own comfortable bed to get excited about.
Tip 8: Hello family!
Introduce your pet to other members of the family. Orient your family members on the training modes you are practicing and that they should abide by it as well.
Every member of the household should respond in the manner that you would when training your dog. Even if only one member does not abide by this, the essence of training will be put to nothing.
Tip 9: Firm yet non-threatening.
Small dogs may be small but they have big personalities. They may be demanding and bossy at times.
As with dog training practices of pets of various breeds, always establish that you are the authority and that they should abide by your rules. Never let your furry companion run the show. Always ensure that you show your authority but never in a yelling voice. That way, they will not be threatened.
Tip 10: Know your dog’s personality.
As a small dog owner, consider your little dog’s personality and temperament when working in training with them. Owners of small dogs must observe their furry friends on what their preferences are and what they are adverse to.
So, even for little dogs, how to deal with your little ball of fur varies. There might be small dogs that are easy to potty train while there might be small dogs that are not. Use your own judgment as dog owners on how to deal with your pups.
Why Should I Get A Small Dog?
There are several benefits of getting a small dog instead of a bigger or large one. Here are some of these benefits.
1. They consume less space! They can stay with you but not get as much space to be a bother. When you live in an apartment, having a small dog is easier to maintain.
2. They have a smaller stomach, so they eat less. Economically, you save on feeding them.
3. Smaller dogs have a bit of lesser energy to spare than large breed dogs. Hence, they require little exercise.
4. Lesser chances of getting into accidents. These small dogs are less likely to topple down a chair or a child or an elderly person while running or jumping around.
5. They are easier to bring along. Small breed dogs easily fit inside the car. And they are not much of a distraction or bother when inside a restaurant allowing pets.
6. Generally, small dogs have longer life spans than large breed dogs.
7. Finally, small dogs are cute dogs. They look less intimidating.
Now, who wouldn’t love a dog that looks like a furball?