Small Dogs, Big Achievements: Expert Training Tips for Your Lovable Lapdog



My name is Tyler, the proud owner and experienced publisher of Paws & Purrrs. I've always had a soft spot for our furry friends, and over the years, I've been blessed to share my life with many pets. This love for animals, coupled with my passion for sharing knowledge, led me to create this blog.

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Training Tips For Small Dogs


Small dogs, while adorable and cuddly, can also be quite demanding in terms of training. It is important to train them to be well-behaved and obedient pets, not only for their own safety but also for the safety of others around them. In this article, we will discuss the importance of training and the benefits that come with having a well-trained dog.

Why Training is Important

Training small breeds is essential because they have unique challenges that larger breeds do not face. They are often more anxious, fragile, and prone to behavior problems like barking or aggression.

Without proper training, they may become difficult to handle or even pose a danger to others. Another reason why training is crucial is that dogs tend to suffer from separation anxiety.

This can often result in destructive behaviors such as chewing on furniture or excessive barking when left alone for extended periods. With proper training, you can teach your small dog how to cope with being alone without causing any damage.

The Benefits of Having a Well-Trained Small Dog

The benefits of having a well-trained small dog are countless. A properly trained small dog will be easier to handle and less likely to engage in unwanted behaviors such as jumping on people or pulling on the leash during walks. Additionally, a trained dog will be able to socialize properly with other animals and humans.

Training your small dog also increases its overall happiness and quality of life since it provides mental stimulation and physical exercise through various activities like basic obedience commands or agility courses. A well-trained pet fosters strong bonds between owner and pet since it establishes trust between the two parties.

Training your small breed dog is vital for both its safety as well as yours. The benefits gained are numerous including improved obedience levels leading to a stronger bond between owner and pet, socialization skills that allow for interaction with other animals and people, less unwanted behaviors that can cause trouble in public settings, and increased mental stimulation providing physical exercise leading to an overall happier pup.

Understanding Small Dog Breeds

Characteristics of Small Dog Breeds

Small dog breeds have distinct physical and behavioral traits that set them apart from larger dogs. Most small breeds weigh less than 20 pounds and stand less than a foot tall at the shoulder.

Their small size makes them easier to handle, but also more vulnerable to injuries and accidents. Small breeds can usually be divided into two groups: toy breeds and terriers.

Toy breeds are companion dogs that were bred for their looks and personality. They are typically affectionate, playful, and enjoy being around people.

Terriers, on the other hand, were bred for hunting rodent pests like rats and mice. They tend to be more independent, energetic, and may be prone to chasing small animals.

Common Behavioral Issues

Small dogs may be cute and cuddly, but they can also develop unwanted behaviors if not trained properly. Here are some common behavioral issues that small dog owners may face: – Separation anxiety: Small breeds can become very attached to their owners and may panic when left alone for long periods of time.

  • Excessive barking: Many small pups have a tendency to bark excessively at any perceived threat or noise.
  • Aggression: Some small dogs are prone to aggressive behavior towards other dogs or humans, especially if they feel threatened or insecure.
  • Fearfulness: Some may exhibit fear towards new people or situations due to their size. It’s important for owners of small dog breeds to understand these potential behavioral issues so they can take appropriate measures to prevent or address them through proper training techniques such as positive reinforcement training or crate training.

Training Techniques

Small breeds are often more of a handful than their larger counterparts. Fortunately, there are several effective techniques that can help you train your dog, including positive reinforcement training, clicker training and crate training.

Positive Reinforcement Training

Positive reinforcement training is one of the most popular and effective methods of training dogs today. This technique involves rewarding your dog with treats or praise for showing good behavior.

By rewarding positive behavior, you are encouraging your dog to continue to behave well. When using positive reinforcement training, it’s important to be consistent in your rewards.

Your dog needs to know that good behavior will always result in a treat or praise. You should also avoid punishing bad behavior since this can make your dog feel anxious or scared.

Clicker Training

Clicker training is another popular technique for small dog breeds. This method involves using a clicker to signal to your dog that they have done something correctly, followed by a reward. To get started with clicker training, you’ll need a clicker and some treats.

Begin by clicking the clicker when your dog does something good – like sitting on command – and then giving them a treat immediately afterward. Over time, they will start to associate the sound of the click with getting a reward.

Crate Training

Crate training is an effective way to help dogs feel safe and secure while also teaching them how to behave well in certain situations – like traveling in a car or sleeping at night. To get started with crate training, you’ll need a crate that’s the right size for your dog. To begin crate training, place some toys or blankets inside the crate and encourage your dog to go inside by placing treats near the entrance or inside the crate itself.

Over time, your dog will start to associate the crate with positive experiences and will see it as their own special space. Eventually, you can start closing the door for short periods of time while you’re home before working up to leaving them in there for longer periods of time.

Positive reinforcement training, clicker training and crate training are all effective methods for training small dogs. By using these techniques consistently and persistently while also being patient with your furry friend, you’ll be able to help them learn good behavior that can last a lifetime.

Basic Commands for Small Dogs

Sit, Stay, Come, and Heel

Teaching your small dog basic commands is an essential part of their training. These simple commands will help keep them safe, well-behaved, and happy. Here are the four basic commands you should teach your small dog:

Sit: This is one of the easiest commands to teach your small dog. Start by holding a treat close to their nose and then slowly move it up towards their head.

As they follow the treat with their head, their rear end should lower to the ground. Once they are in a sitting position, give them the treat and say “sit”.

Repeat this several times a day until they learn the command. Stay: Once your small dog has mastered “sit”, it’s time to teach them to stay in that position. Start by commanding them to sit, then hold out your hand towards them while saying “stay”.

Take a step back from them and wait for a moment before rewarding them with praise or treats. Come: Teaching your small dog to come when called is important for keeping them safe in potentially dangerous situations.

Start by calling their name while holding out a treat or toy as bait. When they come towards you, reward them with praise and treats while saying “come”.

Repeat this several times a day until they begin responding reliably. Heel: Walking on a leash can be challenging for small dogs but training them how to heel will make it easier and more enjoyable for both of you!

Begin by walking with your dog on a leash at your side and offer lots of praise when they stay close without pulling. If they pull away from you or try to run ahead stop moving forward immediately and hold still until they return back into heel position beside you.

Teaching Your Small Dog to Walk on a Leash

Learning how to walk properly on a leash is essential for the safety of your small dog (and you!). Here are some tips to help teach your small dog how to walk on a leash:

Start Slowly: Introduce your dog to the leash by letting them explore it. Allow them to sniff and paw at it until they are comfortable with it.

The next step is getting them used to wearing the leash while walking around indoors. Practice Indoors: Once your small dog is comfortable wearing their leash, start practicing indoors with short walks around the house.

Remember, they may be nervous or excited about this new experience so be patient and offer lots of praise. Use Positive Reinforcement: When teaching your small dog how to walk on a leash, always use positive reinforcement training methods like treats and praise.

This will help them associate walking nicely on the leash with good things happening. Avoid Pulling: Small dogs can easily get hurt if they pull too hard while walking, so try not to pull back when they start pulling ahead of you.

Instead, stop in place and wait for them to come back into heel position beside you. By teaching your small dog these basic commands and proper walking techniques from an early age, you will create a happy and well-behaved pup who loves spending time with you!

Potty Training for Small Dogs

Tips and Tricks for Successful Potty Training

Potty training a small dog can be challenging, but with patience and consistency, it is achievable. The key to potty training success is to establish a routine and stick to it. Start by taking your small dog outside first thing in the morning, after meals, and before bed.

Be sure to praise your small dog every time they go potty outside. Another helpful tip is to use a specific command when you take your small dog outside to go potty.

Use the same word or phrase every time like “go potty” or “do your business.” Your small dog will eventually associate that command with going potty outside. It’s also important to supervise your small dog when they’re inside the house.

Keep them in a crate or confined area when you’re not able to watch them closely. This will help prevent accidents from happening inside.

Dealing with Accidents

Accidents are bound to happen during the potty training process, so it’s important not to get discouraged. When accidents do occur, it’s important to clean them up thoroughly so that there are no lingering smells that may encourage your small dog to go in the same spot again.

When you catch your small dog in the act of going potty inside, interrupt them with a loud noise or clap your hands together. Then immediately take them outside and give them another opportunity to go potty outside.

Remember not to punish or scold your small dog as this will only confuse them. Consistency is key when it comes to successful potty training for small dogs.

Stick with the routine, provide positive reinforcement, and be patient! With time and practice, your furry friend will be fully trained in no time!

The Importance of Socialization

Socialization is an essential part of any dog’s life, especially small breeds. It helps dogs learn how to interact with other dogs and humans in a positive way.

Socialized dogs are less likely to develop behavioral problems like aggression and fearfulness. Small dogs can be particularly prone to these issues, which makes socialization all the more important.

Small dogs may also be more nervous or skittish in new situations, making them more likely to react negatively if they’re not used to being around different people and animals. By socializing your small dog from a young age, you can help them feel comfortable and confident around new experiences.

How to Socialize Your Small Dog Effectively

The key to effective socialization is exposure. The more your dog is exposed to different things during their critical socialization period (between 7-14 weeks old), the better adjusted they will be as an adult.

Start by introducing your puppy to different people – men, women, children, and people of different ethnicities if possible. Make sure they have positive experiences with strangers; give them treats or praise when they approach calmly.

Next up is other animals! Obviously you’ll introduce them slowly so that it’s not overwhelming for your pup but make sure that they have opportunities to meet friendly cats and other dogs on a regular basis.

Take your small dog out in public often during their puppyhood so that they become used to noises like sirens or cars honking or music from speakers at restaurants etc. Start with short outings then gradually lengthen them over time Remember that socialization isn’t just limited to their first few months of life – continuing exposure throughout their lifetime helps ensure that your small dog remains friendly and well-behaved around others!

Advanced Training Tips

Tricks and Agility Training: Taking it to the Next Level

After mastering basic commands, small dogs may be ready for more advanced training in the form of tricks and agility exercises. These types of training can not only help develop your dog’s physical abilities but also their cognitive skills.

Trick training can range from simple behaviors like spinning or jumping through a hoop to more complex tricks like playing dead or riding a skateboard. Agility training involves obstacle courses that challenge your dog’s balance, coordination, and speed.

It can include jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and other obstacles that your dog must navigate through quickly and accurately. While this type of training is more physically demanding than trick training, it’s still important to keep safety in mind; start with low jumps and easy obstacles before moving on to more challenging courses.

Addressing Specific Behavioral Issues: Dealing with Problematic Behaviors

While many small dog breeds are well-behaved, some may exhibit problematic behaviors such as barking excessively or showing aggression towards people or other animals. If you’re struggling with these kinds of issues, there are specific techniques you can use to address them.

For excessive barking, try using positive reinforcement techniques to teach your dog when it is appropriate to bark and when it isn’t. Teach them a “quiet” command by rewarding them when they stop barking on command.

For aggression issues, seek the advice of a professional trainer who specializes in working with aggressive dogs. They’ll be able to help you identify the root cause of the behavior and work with you on an individualized plan for addressing it.

It’s important to remember that every dog is unique; what works for one may not work for another. Be patient and willing to try different approaches until you find what works best for your furry friend!


Training can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it requires patience and consistency. The key to successful training is to understand your dog’s behavior and use positive reinforcement techniques.

Remember, all dogs no matter how big or small need structure and clear communication from their owners. In this article, we covered several important aspects of training.

First, we discussed the characteristics of your little doggos and common behavioral issues they may have. Understanding these traits can help you develop a successful training plan for your furry friend.

We then delved into various training techniques such as positive reinforcement, clicker training, crate training, basic commands like sit and stay as well as potty training tips. Additionally, socialization is critical for dogs, so we talked about how to socialize them effectively.

Advanced training tips were shared which included tricks and agility exercises as well as ways to address specific behavioral issues your dog may be struggling with. Overall, with patience and consistent practice using the learned techniques above you should see great improvement in your dog’s behavior over time!

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