Training Small Dogs: 5 Tips to Remember
Small dogs sometimes have a reputation for being hard to train. Actually, many small breeds are quite intelligent and training them can be easy with a few adjustments. There are a few points to keep in mind when training small dogs to make things easier, check them out below.
Get Down On Their Level
Look at things from your small dog’s point of view, you are quite a bit bigger than he is, which can be intimidating. When training small dogs, sit on the floor so you’ll be on their level. If sitting on the floor isn’t comfortable, sit on a stool or chair, and put the dog on a raised surface so he’s at the same height.
Soften It Up
Dogs respond to our body language and tone of voice. When training small dogs, use a soft voice and keep your gestures small and soft too. Rather than stand facing the dog head on, turn a little to the side to make yourself less intimidating to him. Squat down if you can rather than standing, as mentioned above, this puts you more on his level and will make him more comfortable.
Give Him Notice On Pick-Ups
Have you ever noticed your small dog seems to be startled when you pick him up? If he isn’t prepared, random pick-ups can be stressful for your small dog. Come up with a word to say each time before you pick him up. Be consistent in using the cue you decide on so he begins to equate the word with being picked up and he’ll be better prepared.
It’s OK To Say No
As small dog owners, we often hold our dogs when out and about. Strangers may approach wanting to pet your dog, and he may snap at them in warning.
When holding your dog, he has no means of escape from the stranger approaching him, so he defends himself by snapping. Put your dog down, while keeping him close, advising strangers to kneel so they appear smaller and let your dog approach them if he wants. If he isn’t feeling friendly, respect that and allow him to move on.
Respect His Point Of View
Small dog owners sometimes have difficulty teaching their dog to lie down. When lying down, they’re vulnerable, which is especially scary for a small dog. When teaching the lie down trick, be aware of where you’re working. Bare floors are hard, and often cold. Many small dogs are especially sensitive to cold, making lying down more uncomfortable. Try putting him on a soft, raised surface so he’ll feel more comfortable.
Small dogs may have a few challenges, but the rewards of having a small dog are many!