Big dogs – small dogs. . . . .When people get big dogs like Labrador Retrievers or Golden Retrievers the thought process is usually, “This is going to be a very big dog so we’ve got to get this dog trained and under control.” They don’t want to wind up with an out of control monster dog!
When that very same person decides to get a small dog, they don’t seem to see the value in obedience training their small dog. The thought process is, they’re so little – don’t need training.
In fact, recently someone who had downsized in dogs said to me, “I thought I knew how to train a small dog but I didn’t – so now I just hold it.”
Over-indulging in love and affection with the little cutie seems to be the preferred interaction instead of training by many little dog owners. The little ones are like velcro doggies. They’re addicting for many people ….like Pringle Potato Chips – you just can’t put the can down – and – they seem so fragile. Now even I’ll admit, it’s pretty tempting to just sit with your dog on your lap reading a good book or relaxing in front of the television. Where else would they belong besides in your lap. However, in some small dogs that’s a behavior problem waiting to happen – sooner or later.
The dog behavior problems I typically see in little dogs are usually house soiling, barking and often times they will growl, snap or bite at anyone approaching them as they sit in their owner’s lap. The message: “This lap is mine!”
I recently visited with a client that had always had Goldens. When their last oldie passed on, they downsized to a Chihuahua. She has a high “cute factor” and she’s one “really cool dog.” It’s hard for them to visualize requiring her to do anything other than look cute. That thought process turn south real quick when this cutie pie started house soiling and barking. Hence, the reason for my visits.
All dogs, big and small alike need rules to follow, boundaries to respect and expectations of what to do and when to do it. All dogs need a game plan to follow, otherwise, they become stressed and anxious. Behavior problems then begin to surface. It’s never too late to begin your training with your small dog. Begin today. Take the first step. Train your dog to sit. It will be his way to earn food, lap time and love and affection. That’s a start. You can get a lot of mileage out of a simple sit.
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Jim Burwell is a “thanks for making the impossible, possible” professional dog trainer having trained 20,000+ dogs and counting and serving more than 7,000 clients. Jim’s easy to follow, common sense, and positive methods have made him the “dog trainer of choice” for 30 years. One of his clients says it best: There are people who are so good at, and passionate about, what they do, that in their presence, one can’t help thinking that they have found their true calling and are doing exactly what they should be doing on this earth. Jim is one of these rare people. His quiet and understated manner, his effective technique for training dogs (and their families) is something which I feel fortunate to have witnessed and in which to have been an active participant. Jane Wagner
(c)Jim Burwell Inc.