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How to Train Small Dogs

Aug 17, 2007
A dog may be man's best friend, but it takes an awful lot of effort to make it cope up to how it we look at it. While large breeds do not just serve as companion to the master - it can be a hunting aide, a play a vital role in the police, or even as beasts of burden in the polar regions- dogs of the small variety arguably play this role more, as these are pets kept primarily for the purpose of companionship, if not for ornament. The fact that small dogs are kept indoors most of the time is a testament to this purpose.

It is important to know a thing or two in training small dogs in order to keep the dog more of a best friend than a nuisance. Training small dogs can also protect the owner and the dog from harm. It only requires the repetition of commands that can be recognized on cue; intelligence is not so much a factor as a reaction to an anticipated stimulus. When a small dog tries to attack a stranger, one can correct this behavior by executing a command that it will sooner or later recognize through repetition. The next time this negative behavior happens, the owner can execute the command by saying the cue words "down" or "off". Training the small dog with these basic commands may come in handy; more of than not, small dogs are often looked at as harmless pets. But they can be a danger to visiting individuals who are strangers to the dog; this may elicit hostile behavior from the dog which may lead it to attack individuals other than its master. A good way to instill this discipline is to reinforce good behavior by rewarding the dog with a treat or a pat on its head whenever it obeys the command to stand down or to stay put, and letting it know the consequences of its negative behavior by attaching a leash to its collar. Just like in human beings, one does not motivate by instilling fear but by building on the positive reinforcement.

Training small dogs can be especially effective if done when these are still "small" - when these are still puppies. During the first weeks of its life, the puppies get acquainted with the immediate environment it is living in. It is therefore best to raise a puppy into the house where it will permanently live. The process of identifying with it s immediate surroundings is a good training method for a small dog to stay within the confines of the house. Apart from the benefit of preventing the dog from going astray, this is important in conducting toilet training for your small dog. A master should let the puppy know through a cue as to where it should relieve itself. It helps to take the dog out for a walk in the backyard to give it an opportunity to urinate or defecate. Sooner than later it will associate the backyard with its bodily chores. Then if it goes out of the house to defecate, reward the dog via a positive cue; if the opposite happens, let the dog know through a negative cue.

Teething is just as useful in training small dogs. Because of the dog's natural tendency to find just about anything to sink its teeth in, it usually finds items that are within its vicinity: furniture, shoes, and rugs. The dog's master may find a remedy to this condition by diverting its attention from the usual household items to a toy that is primarily suited for this purpose: "give the dog a bone", this is the remedy. By introducing this to the dog while it still in its infant stage, it will eventually pay no attention to your shoe rack or your dining set as its target.

One must not confuse training small dogs with tricks training, as this is notches more difficult than training for, shall we say, manners for your small dog. A professional dog trainer is not needed to train the small dogs directly; in reality a dog trainer can just impart his knowledge to the dog owner, and the dog owner can train his dog with ease. More importantly, learning how to train your small dog can build a stronger bond between the dog and its master. By better understanding your pet, the more you can personalize the parameters of your training and the more you will appreciate your dog as a pet, as man's best friend.
About the Author
Lee Dobbins writes for http://dogtraining.subjectmonster.com where you can learn more about training dogs of all types.
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