When it comes to training your small dog, it is absolutely vital to remember that results are not immediate. Persistence is the key to success with dog training for all sizes of dogs. Your commitment to teaching them the commands that are necessary is the number one indicator of success. There are, however, some basic small dog training tips that can help you along the way. Here are some of the more prominent ones:
Teach the Basic Verbal Commands First
Small dog training is like most other dog training in that you have to start with the basics. Like any other living thing, dogs learn at their own speeds. The simplest commands are those verbal commands that are used every single day. Asking your dog to sit, stand, roll over and come for example, are great starter commands. Teach them the basics through verbal and physical demonstration.
Choose Size-Appropriate Training
Another huge mistake people make with small dogs (and all dogs to a certain degree) is punishment training. Punishing a small dog is going to simply make them afraid, nervous and ultimately unhealthy. Find non-cruel methods of training instead such as positive reinforcement. This does not mean you should not correct your small dog. Of course you should. That does not mean that you have to be physical with your dog.
Implement a Reward System Your Dog Enjoys
Dogs all react differently to different rewards. Some dogs love treats to eat and others like getting rubbed. Some enjoy a session of Frisbee while others like to go swimming. Whatever reward system works best for your dog is the one you should use. A mixture of rewards can be good as well, but you still need to be consistent.
Use Play to Demonstrate Appropriate Behavior
When you are playing around with your small dog, ape the behaviors you want them to learn. For example, when you say lay down, you do so while speaking the words on occasion. This is a way for dogs to learn visually and perhaps pick it up a bit quicker. Dogs are interesting in that they learn in a myriad of ways….just like humans.
Remain Consistent for Optimum Results
It was mentioned above but it bears repeating….make sure you do things in the same way and with regularity. You don’t want your dog getting mixed signals about what to do when he or she has to go potty, for example. Dogs need to know the routine that is expected and they will adapt to it in time. They are very much creatures of habit and this is particularly true of smaller dogs.
Training your small dog is not a tough thing to do if you are in it for the long haul. The only time it will become overly difficult will be if you are not consistent in your approach. Be routined and regular and you will be a happy dog owner in no time flat!