When it Comes to Dog Training, Size Should Not Matter


Little Pepin practicing nice manners | Dog Trainer Dog Relations NYC

Featured above: One of my small breed clients Pepin, practicing polite manners

She is a good girl…but she freaks out when I move the laundry cart and we can’t really vacuum because it drives her crazy. We keep her inside now because she is very nervous on the sidewalk and she barks at all dogs and skateboards.  She pees and poops all over the house and rips up the pee pads. I really don’t understand that because she has all these toys.  Recently she even started nipping the housekeeper’s ankles. Now the housekeeper is terrified of her.

Oh, we didn’t want to train her! She is little she doesn’t need it. We just want to have her as a pet.

Any of this sound familiar so far?

My response: Really? You mean only German Shepherds and Dobermans “need” training?

Just imagine if this were really true; that would mean that people under a certain size would not be taught to read. Oh…they are so short: why bother!

Yes, there are certain aspects that are easier (maybe) when you have a small dog. For example: you can put them in a bag and carry them around, if necessary. They eat less. But that is really where the differences stop.

A small dog’s feelings are as important as a giant dog’s. A big part of teaching and socializing a dog is to give them self confidence and to teach them polite behaviors that will get them attention, fun games and their special treats. Leaving a dog in the dark and accepting their fears might seem “humane”.

Accepting the status quo is actually not really kind. If you want to be kind you will teach your dog how to cope with scary things and that polite manners pay off bigtime.

And please remember that a short person does not necessarily require less exercise either!

If you have questions about reinforcement or would like to learn more about training your dog in an enjoyable and life-enriching environment, contact us at Dog Relations.

Elisabeth Weiss is a highly certified, experienced dog trainer in Manhattan, NYC. To learn more about dog training services, contact us by phone at (917) 783-1473 or our contact form.

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