Training Tips For Small Dogs

Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. The basic dog training protocols remain about the same, regardless of your dog's size. You want to reward good behavior, and over time, you will see your dog display more of that good behavior and less bad behavior. However, there are some accommodations you'll want to make in training a really small dog. Start by following these tips.

1. Use tiny treats.

Giving treats is one of the best ways to train with positive reinforcement. For a small dog, you need to make sure the treats you give are truly tiny. This way, your dog won't be at risk of choking. Plus, they won't gain as much weight due to an over-abundance of treats during training. Most treat companies make treats for small dogs. You may even want to break them in half to help them go further.

2. Teach your dog to stay and come.

Since you can pick up a tiny dog, there is a tendency to just do that when the dog is not behaving at its best. But this leads to a dog who's disobedient and harder to control overall. Make sure your dog knows how to sit, stay, and come. These should be the first things you teach. Resist the urge to pick your dog up to take them with you; instead, teach them to follow.

3. Socialize them safely.

Socialization is an important part of dog training. Some small dog owners do not socialize their dogs because they are afraid of them getting hurt by larger dogs. But if your dog does not learn to socialize with other dogs while he or she is young, the risk of injury will be even higher in the future. If you do not have any friends with small dogs who you feel will be safe for your dog to spend time with, consider visiting a dog park designed specifically for smaller dogs. Your dog can greet other tiny dogs there without the worry that a large dog will come out of nowhere and hurt them.

4. Stay low.

Small dogs sometimes find their owners intimidating simply because they tower over the dog. This can make your little dog feel overwhelmed, which can make training less effective. If you stay low to the ground when working with your little dog, he or she will be less intimidated and will probably learn a lot faster.