Tips to Keep Your Spunky Little Dog On His Toes

Training tips for small dogs

Sassy little dogs demand attention.

Do they deserve it? That depends on who you talk to!

Little dogs with big personalities entertain or irritate. Like actors or actresses they can make us laugh or cry.

For our fourteen pounds of nonstop fun, we have had to learn new games and training methods. Sydney came to us an exceptionally persistent and intelligent dog. Sydney can still be hard for us to outfox. We adopted him from an animal shelter at the age of one. He came to us believing he knew it all. After two homes and one year, he still did not get house training.

  1. He knew how to bark like a big dog, VERY loudly.
  2. He knew how to nip the groomers and veterinarians to make them let go.
  3. He knew how to make his people stop trying to house train him.


House training little dogs

We house trained him by trying him to one of us and running him out to the same spot on the lawn, saying, “Go potty.”

He now goes potty on command and exactly where we tell him to.

Use positive reinforcement to train you little dog

Some small dogs never stop insisting on doing things their way. Even if that dog’s human family provides consistent positive reinforcement, and reminders about what not to do, little dogs (sometimes more than big) may stick to their challenging behaviors.

Cairn Terrier from 1915
Cairn Terrier from 1915 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  1. Hand feed all meals or make dog earn each bite with obedience work.
  2. Cut both morning and evening meal amounts in half.
  3. All table scraps need to be earned bite by bite with obedience behaviors, and only after you have eaten.
  4. If dog will not stay down, then tie the dog out nearby during family meals.
  5. Put a harness and short leash on the dog. Place him in a small room or the bathroom before visitors arrive. Only allow him out once he is quiet. If he begins to bark, say in a calm voice, “I don’t like that.” Then led him back to the small room to calm down.
  6. No time to hand fed? Stuff some of his meal in a Kong toy. This way your dog will work for his food.
  7. When we must leave him, use a kennel or Ex-pen to confine his mischief, add drops of Rescue Remedy in his water and leave a potty pad by the door. Also leave a hard chew toy.
  8. Training for riding without barking in the car. Tie him out in the car with his seat belt. Tell him, “Go to your bed.” Wait until he is quiet before you open the car door.
  9. Never load or unload from the driver’s side door.
  10.  Muzzle train several times a week; feed and praise then take him for short walks wearing his muzzle.

Give a woof at a groovy Website The Dog Training Formula tips and fun dog photos.

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