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Tips for Training a Small Dog

05 May 2013 | by Kritika Ponia | Posted in: Training

Your little dog is difficult, isn’t he? You just brought him home and you are already seeing his naughty, stubborn side. Thinking about training him itself is scaring you. What do you do? First up, stop panicking. Second up, you should know that it is no Herculean task to train a small dog. Of course they are reputed to be very difficult but that is just because your training approach is wrong. Dogs can never go wrong unless you give them that freedom.

As the dog owner, it is up to you to take his petite size into consideration and device a training technique that will compel him to listen to you and follow your lead. Start off early so that he doesn’t get into bad habits. Know that when compared to larger dogs, small dogs are apparently more stubborn. If he gets habituated to something, you will have a very hard time trying to change that habit. Prevention is always better than cure.( Essential Training Tips for new Puppies and Pet Parents )

training small dog

Tips For Training a Puppy

Here are some excellent tips for you to follow in order to make training your small dog easier:

Ø  No looming: As aforementioned, all your training strategies must be according to his size. Your dog is possibly tiny when compared to you and he can easily find you daunting. If you loom over him, it is plausible that he’ll get intimidated and become unresponsive. Remember that your motive is not to scare him into listening to you. No dog will ever learn like that. Your job is to be his friend and teach him skills nicely. Thus, you should make sure your body language is friendly. At least during the beginning, sit down to come to his level so that he is comforted by you. Once he learns and progresses, you can stand upright without a problem.

Ø  Start Simple: Your dog is not a superhero to be able to grasp everything in one go. He is more or less like you. You learnt the alphabet first and then moved to complex grammar nuances, right? The same goes with your dog. Teach him the basics before jumping to complex things. Start off with sit, stay, and down. These three commands will ensure proper behavior as well as safety of your dog! After he grasps these commands, you can teach him other commands such as lie down, play dead, roll, etc.

Ø  Patience: Patience works wonders everywhere. Training your dog is no different. Train your dog through patience. Yes, small dogs can frustrate you pretty easily but you should keep your cool and stay persistent. There will be accidents every now and then but that doesn’t mean you give up and let him have his way. You will hate yourself later on if you give up because he will easily turn your house into a bathroom. Especially when you start, supervise your dog at all times, and give him as much attention as possible. Watch him as much as possible so that you avoid accidents. If they occur, ignore him. If he behaves well, treat him. Don’t give up. He might struggle at times but don’t give up.

Ø  No Distractions: As it is, dogs have very short attention span. On top of that if you deliberately provide distractions you will never be able to train him. When you train him, all your focus must be on training and nothing else. At least when you start, there shouldn’t be any distractions. Once he grasps the concept, you can move to a busier location and try holding his attention longer.

Ø  End it Well: You should never end your training sessions on a bad note or a frustrated note. He may struggle at times and may not be able to do what you want him to but don’t end it abruptly. When it is time to end it, make him do something he has already learnt and then give him a treat. He will be happy and positive.

Ø  Treat: Positive reinforcement is always the way to go. Getting frustrated and yelling at your dog will make matters worse and he will not perform well. He will also be distant from you because you are intimidating. Be nice, no matter how frustrating it may be. Use dog treats and biscuits to lure him into doing things right. Dogs love being treated and you should use that to your advantage. Toss him a treat for every good thing and ignore him when he does something wrong or misbehaves. However, don’t buy large treats that can fill his tummy soon. Tiny treats just like tiny him would be more than enough.

Ø  Be Consistent: This rule holds true for ALL dogs. You HAVE to be very consistent when you train him. You can’t give him one command one day and change it at will. He will get confused and won’t be able to learn. Also, there should be no exceptions to rules at any time. If he is not allowed on the couch today, he should not be allowed tomorrow or ever. If you fall for his cuteness and let him up once, you will have to keep up with him jumping on the couch as and when he likes. Don’t let him have his way just because he is cute. Be nice, be consistent, and don’t make any exceptions.

Ø  Individualize: This is the last but definitely not the least important. Remember that there are no specific rules that apply to all dogs at once. There are basic rules for all small dogs, of course, but at the end of the day each dog is different and has his own personality. For example, pugs are very stubborn and can take days to learn the simple command Sit. Poodles, on the other hand, are confident and can grasp things easily. They can be quick. Thus, you should vary your training techniques based on how your dog is and what is personality is.( Dog Training According to Dog Types )

There! This will do! Follow these tips. Read them thrice just to be sure. Smile at your dog and start off! Have lots of fun while training him and teach him how to be a good dog.

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