Training the Small Dog

Small dogs are easier to handle.  They make smaller messes.  They are less destructive.  If they get out of hand, you can just pick them up and carry them off with you.  When they jump on you, they don't ruin your favorite suit.

But a Toy Dog is still a dog.  Don't let the word 'toy' in the title throw you off.  And like all dogs, little dogs need training too.

For example, we were at the dog park today splashing around in the creek.  I was skipping rocks and Millie was stalking them and trying to catch them.  It has been her favorite game lately.

A lady brought her small dog.  It was fully grown, very cute and very friendly and playful.  BUT.  This dog, we'll call her Lucy, was completely out of control.  She got all wet and muddy and then proceeded to jump all over me - getting me all muddy and wet.  Her owner kept calling her name "...Lucy...Lucy...Lucy...Lucy..." (as per my last post), but Lucy didn't respond.  Just kept jumping up, trying to play.  I told Lucy to "stop" and "off" and "no" sternly.  Nothing.  Lucy was completely non-responsive.  I got out of there as fast as my now water logged and muddy sandals could carry me, with Lucy still following me and jumping all over me.  

Now I know Lucy was friendly.  I know Lucy was trying to play.  And I was by no means wearing my best clothes to the dog park.  But I did not appreciate getting all dirty.  I did not appreciate a dog jumping all over me like that.  

Why was Lucy not put on a leash right away?  Why was she not controlled? Why does Lucy not know that no means no?  Does being small give a dog license to jump all over people?  I'm pretty sure the Lucy's owner would have been PISSED if one of my 85+ pound dogs jumped all over her.  Even if they were clean and dry.  Even when all they wanted to do was play.

The sad thing is, I see poorly trained small dogs all the time.  My friend has one that is 5 years old and still not house trained.  Not cool.  She had the hardest time getting someone to take care of that dog when she was out of town.  I wouldn't do it.

Don't let your small dog develop bad habits.  Train it to respond to you, to come when called, to know the meaning of no, and to potty outside.  I house sat a Pomeranian named Peanut that was trained like that. Coolest dog ever.  He played well with dogs of all sizes, sat for his treats, played fetch and heeled like a champ.  But Peanut grew up in a house with two big labs.  His owners knew better.

Training is great for both you and your dog.  It ensures that you and your furry friend speak the same language.  It causes fewer problems.  It causes less stress for both of you.  Well trained dogs are happier dogs.  Period.  

So while I was walking at the dog park today, watching my girls play and my pants dry, I thought fondly of Peanut.  And out of the corner of my eye I saw a dirty, muddy, and wet mess run through the bushes.  When I turned the corner I saw Lucy's owner still calling "...Lucy...Lucy...Lucy...Lucy...Lucy...".  She finally pulled her leash out of her bag.  I think it was time to go home.  Now all she had to do was locate Lucy and put a leash on her.  

Yeah, Lady.  Good luck with that!


Tina Peterson said...

My roommate had a dog like that. Bichon-Poodle - had a terrible attitude (still cute but) when she started trying to eat my couch (after eating her owners chair) I had to ask her to find the dog a new home. That was hard.

Bailey was the type of dog you'd tell her no and she would actually hop up and down and bark at you! (Just like a 2 year old) Amazing.

She ended up living with someone who was retired and could be with her all day (for the most part) - we think she was one of those dogs with attachment and being left alone issues.

Anyway, awesome post! I'm following you now. =0)
Tina "The Book Lady"

houndstooth said...

Oh mercy! You're preaching to the choir on that one! I've encountered a lot of dogs in my life, but most of the ones who have really bothered me with their bad behavior had been little dogs.

Annie said...

This has GOT to be the cutest blog ever!!!

K9friend said...

I do believe that too often guardians of small dogs are so into their "cuteness" that they don't think training is necessary. Wrong!


Pibble said...

People make a huge mistake in thinking that it's okay for small dogs to jump or even bite.

And the housebreaking thing. UGH! We see so many small dogs in our shelter because they're not housebroken. Once we put them on a schedule, they're fine. PEOPLE, PAY ATTENTION! It just takes a little effort.

Great post!

Life With 5 Dogs said...

He is so cute! I do think that sometimes people overlook them for how cute they are, and would rather have a dog that they can play dress up with than spending the time to train him or her.

Holly said...

I have four dogs...two labs and two miniature dachshunds..I had the labs first. They LOVE to please me, they behave and act like it upsets them if I am unhappy with something they do. The "littles" on the other hand do what they want and seem to look at me and laugh when I get frustrated with them..Still working on getting them trained! Argggg! Love your blog!!

Marianne (aka Lucy's Human) said...

I'm a new follower from Hop On By Thursday. I love your blog and look forward to following you!


Ashley said...

I can not stand people who get little dogs and let them get away with everything. I knew a family that had a Shih-tzu and two labs. The labs were trained to the hilt and never had a paw out of line. The Shih-tzu on the other hand would try to steal food off your plate, pee in the house, not come when called, and would be allowed to jump and nip. Not only are little untrained dogs annoying, but they also give well trained little dogs (like my Pru) a bad reputation.

Miley said...

Oh I agree with you completely. I am a medium sized dog - a Cavoodle (Toy Poodle x Cavalier) and Sarah trains me well. I obey strangers on the street, I am very obedient (am I boasting? I'm sorry...).

Anyway, unlike many dogs, I find training FUN! It is like a fun game for me, I love to please. I get treats, and afterwards we play one of my favourite games. :)

I think you are very right, and it was good of you to publish this post. Hopefully many dog owners like Lucy's will read this and understand.

Thank you,
Love Miley xxx

Bubba Marley said...

I love small dogs!!! they ae the best.

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