Small Dog training for your puppy may not be as difficult as one might think. With just a few simple, consistent steps you can go from novice to knowledgeable and move out of the fear factor.
This is your small dog puppy’s first experience with you, the owner, and their training program. This is the time to decide to be patient as you are about to embark on a day by day process that will eventually lead you to a well trained animal that you can enjoy for years to come.
Because small dogs are intelligent little creatures they will test their new owner as puppies. Many are known to be stubborn and some are even mischievous, viewing discipline as a game. You need to be gentle, yet firm. Do not tolerate clowning around. Your small dog will quickly pick up their training.
Decide right away what commands you will use on your small dog and stick to them. You will want to get other family members in agreement with these terms. Using alternate commands will only confuse your new puppy.
Chew, chew chew!
The urge to chew for new small dog puppies is strong. You will want to provide plenty of toys that will be appropriate for their size and redirect your small dog if they want to chew anything but their chew toy. Remove any object that is inappropriate for play.
Safety is of the utmost importance along with close supervision during the first few weeks of small dog puppy training. You will want to remove any food bowls, dangerous items, and secure exposed cords. A great way to test out your environment before your puppy does is to do a crawl around the floor of the area that they will be playing in. It is recommend to use an indoor pen and then gradually allow your small dog more access to the home.
Consistency is key to potty training, with steps that can be found in our previous post, Five Steps To Housebreaking Your Small Dog. Keep in mind that your small dog will need frequent potty breaks, and sometimes in the middle of the night while they are still young.
It is important for your small dog to be potty trained from the moment your take them home. Common times to eliminate are after eating, play time, and after a bath. Never leave your new puppy unattended during their training.
Biting or Nipping
Ouch! A small dog puppy’s teeth can be very sharp. Biting and nipping is common with young ones, as this is learned behavior from playing with their litter mates. Be careful not to engage yourself in this type of play with your small dog, as this will teach them that this behavior is okay and could lead to biting a child, stranger or visitor.
If you choose to use dog treats as part of your small dog puppy training, small soft chunks of real meat are a good choice. This method is very effective during training with new commands such as “sit,” and “stay.” Some small dog owners will utilize treats during potty training as well.
How Long Does It Take?
Training your new small dog puppy will take most owners one to two months to set a pattern of behavior with follow up training for the next few months. If you’re consistent, patient and diligent the payoff will be great.
There are many great puppy training books available, but you and are family will want to decide on one and stick with that. Classes are also great way to bond with your new small dog and can help you learn valuable training. Most of all, enjoy the experience. It won’t last long and before you will have a well trained small dog.
Have you raised a small dog puppy? What training methods did you use? Did you enroll your puppy in classes?