Small Dog Training: How, Where, When and Why: Ultimate Guide

Small Dog Training Guide

by Janice Jones   |Updated 06-19-2023

Small Dog Training is crucial if you want to take an active stance and assure that your small dog will turn out to be a happy, well-adjusted adult dog. 

Many new small dog owners are not prepared for the amount of time and effort that goes into dog training that new bundle of joy. (OK, I’ll admit I was there once myself, so don’t despair)

Maybe you are one of those that believe that a tiny dog should be given lots of love, kisses and treats and let the problems surface before doing anything. This type of thinking can lead down the path towards Small Dog Syndrome.

Small Dog Training

Many new small dog owners are notprepared for the amount of time and effort that goes into training that newbundle of joy. (OK, I’ll admit I was there once myself, so don’t despair) 

Maybe you are one of those that believe that a tiny dog shouldbe given lots of love, kisses and treats and let the problems surface beforedoing anything.  This type of thinking can lead down the path towardsSmall Dog Syndrome.

Click on any picture below or continue scrolling for more information.

Maybe you just don’t know where to begin with your small dog training project. 

Don’t be misled by the many do-it-yourself dog training options that promise toanswer all questions, resolve any issues, and turn your dog into a perfectlytrained dog overnight. 

Training takes time and patience, but the rewardsare great.

Is it unmanageable?  Of coursenot!   Training your dog can be the best activitythat you and your new puppy embark on to bring the two of you closertogether.  So, when and where to begin?

Small Dog Training:  Everything Training for Your Dog

How to Train Your Dog to Dance

If you get bored with the typical command training and you think your dog has the aptitude, why not try teaching him to dance.  This way both of you have fun and get moving at the same time.

Read more about how to teach your dog to dance

Brain Games for Dogs:  Amazing Ways to Improve Your Dog’s IQ

Brain Games for Dogs

In the last century and even earlier, most dogs were trained for tasks such as hunting, guarding or other physical tasks. But nowadays pet dogs go for walks twice a day or play fetch games.

There are not enough challenges thrown at pet dogs due to which they get bored sometimes, and you know that bored dogs are very destructive.

You can stimulate your dog by providing him with interactive dog toys such as puzzles designed for dogs. A lot of puzzles have treats inside, and your dog wants to get that treat, and in the process of going after the treat, his brain works in solving the puzzle.

Read more about Brain Games for Dogs

Whereto Begin Small Dog Training

We have many pages on training andthe site is growing quickly.  If youdon’t see something, please ask.  We mayalready have it in the works and just not uploaded yet.

The information is based on ourpersonal experiences, extensive reading, and yes I’ll admit I use a lot of whatI was learned while completing an undergraduate degree in psychology.  

Did you know that we often have totrain ourselves before we start training the dog?  There are five people skills that if masteredsuccessfully make dog training so much easier. 

The DIY Dog Training Tips page discusses these Human traits that help make dog training successful: 

  • Consistency,
  • Conciseness,
  • Congeniality,
  • Confidence and the ability to offer
  • Compensate with treats

Read more about DIY Dog Training

When to Start Small Puppy Training

Training Tips for New Puppies

When do I start training my new puppy? This is a good question and one whose answer has changed over time.   

Yearsago, experts recommended that you wait until they were “old enough” usually 6months of age and had completed their full serious of vaccinations and de-wormings. We have learned much since the “Good ‘o Days.”

Today, most trainers agree that puppytraining needs to begin as soon as you take your dog home.  The same istrue if you adopt an older dog. 

Chancesare that the adult dog will have had some training before arriving at yourhome.  Your job, in that situation is to findout where the dog is in his training and pick up from there. 

We think about small dog training as anongoing process that includes teaching manners and social skills, basiccommands and housebreaking. 

Many puppies go beyond the basics, but thebasics are a “must” for a happy, well-adjusted dog. 

A well trained puppyis much less likely to ever see the inside of a dog shelter or rescue and willlive out his life as a devoted family member that you, the proud owner will behappy to show off to all your friends and family members.

Here are a few tips to get you started with puppy training.

Puppy Training Tips

Socializing Your Puppy

Socialize Your New Puppy

Thereis much to be said about Socialization these days.  Properly socialized puppies rarely see theinside of a shelter or rescue. 

Most newpuppy owners want to show off their new dog to all their friends, neighbors andloved ones, but don’t think of these fun activities as part of their small dog training project.  It should be.  This should be a win win situation for both owner andpuppy.   

Very young puppies can getoverwhelmed with all the attention but older puppies will thrive on all the newexperiences.   

But knowing how to socialize a new puppy is avery important skill that new dog owners can master quickly.

Crate Training and House Training

How to Crate Train Your Dog

House and crate training are two topicsalways come to the top of every new puppy owner’s mind and well it should be.  

There are several options for house training apuppy and one must decide beforehand which method will work best for their ownpersonal situation. 

Most people prefer for puppies and older dogs to finda suitable place outdoors for elimination. 

Many, however, like the ideaof an “indoor potty” for their new pooch.  It is mostly a personal choice,as one is not necessarily better than the other. 

Read more:  Housetraining

Read More:  Crate Training.

Train Your Dog to Use a Doggie Door

Teach Your Dog How to Use a Doggie Door

A doggie door is an ideal addition for busy families and those with multiple pets.  Dogs have the freedom to go out whenever they need to and can speed up housebreaking training.

Using a doggie door is not a natural behavior for dogs and some will need a little extra coaxing.  Find out how to get your dog to use a doggie door.

Small Dog Training: House Training Supplies

While not exactly a training issue, having the right supplies will make the job of housebreaking your small dog so much easier.  We’ve broken down the list of “must haves,”  so you can be prepared for all different situations.

Besides a crate and a good enzyme cleaner, do you know what other items you can purchase to make the job go faster with less stress on your part?  Read about how to “Make House Breaking Your Dog a Breeze with these Supplies.”

Walking Nicely on a leash

If dreams of leisurely evening strollsthrough the neighborhood are saturating your brain, you need to be thinkingabout training your dog to walk on a leash. 

Even very young dogs canmaster this task, but it might not be accomplished overnight.  Gentleleash training is a must for any small dog training project and any attempts to force a puppy to walk on a leashwill likely be met with resistance. 

What “Tricks” does your Puppy Do?

Basic Commands

This is always the first thing that comes to mind when one thinks about what they want to accomplish with their small dog training project.

Puppies are at an advantage in theylearn faster than at any other time in their lifespan.    

Infact, it takes less time for puppies to learn a new trick than an older dog,even though there is not such thing as the old saying, “You can’t teach old dognew tricks.” 

We know better!  Puppies can be taught to do tricks, but basiccommands such as sit and come, should be high on the training agenda. 

Noone needs a dog that can do a high five if they won’t come when they arecalled.

What are some basic manners that all small dogs should know?  In the next article, we will take you step by step through five basic commands:

Sit     Down     Come     Watch Me    Stay

6 Fun Dog Tricks to Teach Your Puppy or Dog

Teach Tricks to Your Dog.

Are you one of those lucky people who are the prideful owner of a cute, little puppy? Do you aim to increase their adoration by teaching them a few tricks making them good performers as well? 

But to teach them some advanced level tricks, your dog first needs to know the basic commands like ‘sit’, ‘come’, and ‘down’.

Apart from these, I believe your pet dog should also have received some basic “Brain Training” and played some mind tricking games so he is more intelligent than other dogs. 

Read More About Tricks to Teach Your Small Dog

How to Stop a Dog From Jumping On You and Everyone Else

How to Stop a Dog from Jumping on you or others.

If your dog jumps on visitors when entering your home, or jumps and nips at you, find the solution here. We have a fair amount of training to give you today so we’ll get right to it. 

There are several causes of dog jumping. Does there need to be specific commands for each case?

Nope. And that’s because the result would be the same anyway:

Stop Jumping

We’ll cover practical obedience because no one wants to ignore their dog all day.

Otherwise, what’s the purpose of having a little dog anyway!

Read more about Small Dog Jumping on People

The Dog Drop It Command:  Six Steps to Mastery

Teach the Dog “drop it” command.

Teaching your dog the “drop it” command is essential and can even save your dog’s life. Imagine a situation in which you are busy in some household work, and your dog starts to fiddle with toilet cleaner inside the bathroom. 

Teach the Dog “Drop It” Command

Train Your Puppy to Accept Grooming

Train Your Dog to Enjoy Grooming

We don’t always think about training a puppy to accept getting his nails clipped or his hair brushed. 

We assume that the puppy will just cooperate, but that is rarely the case.

When it comes to breeds with long hair such as the Maltese, Poodle, Bichon Frise or Shih Tzu, those beautiful coats require time and work to keep them looking great. 

It really helps to have a puppy willing to sit, stand, or lay down while you try to brush or comb his hair.

Read More About Training your Puppy to Accept Grooming

Small Dog Training & Behavioral Problems:  Small Dog Syndrome

Prevent Small Dog Syndrome

Whatif your puppy or adult dog is already showing signs of behavioral problems thatyou would want to correct.  If they are not severe, there are things thatyou can do to steer your pooch onto the right path.  Don’t get caught witha dog that has Small Dog Syndrome. 

Some commondog problems include barking, nipping, chewing, jumping up, and separationanxiety. If you are worried and feel this is not an area you want to tackle on your own, relax, you’re not alone.  There are experts out there to help you. 

You might want to start by enrolling your dog in a training classes. 

Sometimes the trainer will be able to suggest something that works.  If not, you might need to look for a reputable trainer that might work with you individually at theirlocation or in your home.  One place tostart is to visit the Association of Professional Dog Trainers.

Some behaviors are inborn and are difficult to train out.  Some can be modified so that the dog is easier to live with.  Still other behaviors can be eliminated all together with training. 

Training Small Dogs the Right Way – Super Effective Guide!

What is the best schedule for training your puppy or dog?What are some quick and easy commands that you can teach right away?  

In this guest post, Robert examines how puppy owners go from an untrained dog to one that knows household rules, accepts handling, and is free of aggression.  

His very helpful infographic lays out the process in very simple, easy to understand terms.

Read more about Training Your Small Dog the Right Way

What Can Two Weeks at a Dog Board and Train Program Get You?

Many people chose to train their dog at home and others prefer to attend an obedience training class, but there is a third option:  Board and Train.  Find out what this entails and the benefits for you and your dog.

Read more about Dog Board and Train Program

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