They’re cute, adorable and sociable – small dog breeds are such a hit among people nowadays because these tiny creatures are compact, and can be transported anywhere. They’re easy to feed and to maintain in small homes, apartments or rooms. You can carry them in your purse and they do not need to be fed large quantities. It’s no wonder why these small dogs attract so much attention.
Poodles, Yorkshire Terriers, and Beagles are the top choices for small breeds. Despite their size, these dogs were originally used for hunting. Beagles, for one, were bred in Britain to accompany hunters to hunt rabbits and deer because of their good sense of smell. Yorkshire Terriers, as cute as they are, were trained to catch rats. The standard poodle was trained to accompany bird hunters to retrieve. They are known for their intelligence and obedience. Most of all, they are highly trainable.
Improper handling and training of small dogs, like all pets, can lead to terrible problems at home. Attitude adjustment for them will be difficult and may even cause harm to property and possibly family members and neighbors. Many of us get confused with our own feelings of attachment to these young dogs, that we begin to think that just because they’re cute, we tend to spoil them or give them very loose disciplining. We tend to give them affection at the wrong time, and fail to correct bad behavior.
Here are a couple of techniques to properly train your toy dog. Hopefully these steps will make your relationship better and healthier.
1. Control his barking.
Small dogs are especially noisy compared to bigger dogs. This is because they are extra defensive and of course, territorial. However, stopping your dog from barking completely is not good, as they might resort to silent measures like biting or snapping. Realize that barking is their way of communicating, as when we talk. The best way to handle barking is calmly asserting yourself when your dog becomes territorial. When a new person enters the apartment, and your dog starts barking, let him bark a few times and assert for him to stay quiet. Best to offer him a treat if he does when he is told.
2. Don’t carry him around when walking in public.
It’s so nice to walk in the park and share a snuggle with your bellowed pet. But what you don’t know is this habit actually constricts his movement. It is possible that he might want to explore or move away when you come close to a stranger passing by, and he has no room to maneuver. When taking walks, it is still best to keep him on a leash or if he is well-trained, have him walk with you. Carrying him will also bring him to closer contact with other people and he will have closer access when barking or biting. If it cannot be helped, you can carry your pooch but let him down when coming close to people.
3. Treat him well.
Always carry with you tasty treats like bite sized hotdogs or cheese. Small dogs like soft foods, and it is good to reward them with treats when they behave well. Giving treats and hand targeting are good diversionary tactics to keep him from barking at other dogs and assuring him that he is still in a safe place.
Small dogs are originally working dogs so always keep them moving or set up to task. While they are highly territorial, make sure that you train them to decipher which is which. The best way to keep small dogs less agitated is exercise. Poodles, for example, were bred to be water retrievers so it is good to keep him in a swimming routine. Beagles get agitated when they are not active, so make sure that he takes long walks with you. If you are not able to take him out, let them use the treadmill or play catch with them when inside the home.
Because of their size, they can be incredibly adorable. However, if owners fail at disciplining, they have a tendency to abuse the dog, and punish them unduly. Their size makes them more vulnerable to physical punishment, and will make them more aggressive.
Small dogs are also fun to groom. Make sure that they get their regular grooming in places like PetSmart to keep them shiny and oh-so-awesome. A well-trained and well-groomed dog can bring you absolute bliss, and the entire experience with him makes all the maintenance worth your while.
Remember that the reason why you got a small dog is because you wanted a playmate. More so, you wanted a companion and just admire his cuteness. With proper training, you can achieve this and still make sure that you’re his boss.