Small Dog Breeds: Why Small Dogs Should Get The Same Training as Large Dogs
Small dog breeds are very popular, and it is easy to see why. They are adorable for starters, don’t shed or drool as much and don’t need acres of yard for exercise. Small dog breeds can travel in the cabin of a plane with you and are generally easier to take places because of their size. Because they are physically less threatening than larger dog breeds, small dogs that misbehave are not viewed the same. The 10lb Yorkie lunging, barking and growling is not as menacing as the 80 Lb German Shepherd doing the same thing. The Yorkie will even get scooped up and therefore rewarded for their behavior while the Shepherd might be deemed aggressive.
Small dog breeds are often called ‘ankle-biters’ or ‘little yappers’ because of the bad habits they pick up. Video clips showing small dog breeds guarding, growling, and barking are turning up online and on television for entertainment because the dog “doesn’t know how big he is.” This is true, but it is because their brain is the same, and their behavior needs addressing no matter what their size or breed. People tend to approach small dog breeds differently, reaching towards them and talking in high-pitched voices. Meeting dogs this way is intimidating no matter how big they are, but small dog breeds usually get less personal space. Children are frequently less afraid of small dog breeds and more likely to chase them or treat them like a toy. It is important for all owners to be advocates for their dogs, educate strangers on how to interact with their dogs and to always do what is best for their dogs, especially when socially pressured.
Designer mixes are popping up everywhere, but the more of them there are, the less they are treated like dogs. The best thing you can do for small dog breeds is to treat them as if they were 100lbs bigger. Little dogs may not knock grandma down when they jump on her or scare your neighbors when barking at them, but training them is just as important. You can still cuddle, pick up and carry your small dog. Remember: large, medium or small training your dog is essential to having a happy and healthy pet.