Train Your Dog Month: In Consideration of Small Dogs

Challenging Size Stereotypes: The Importance of Training Small Dogs

Dogs’ intelligence and prowess are all too often measured by their size. Generally, it is assumed that larger dogs need to be “trained” just because of their sheer size. Sure, a Rottweiler can cause more damage than a chihuahua. But is that a reason to deprive a highly intelligent being of knowing what to do to live comfortably in our “civilized” world? 

What if you were dealing with a short person? Would you say that they did not need to learn how to read or they did not need exercise because they were smaller? Of course not!

Small Dogs Stepping Beyond Cute Costumes into Confidence

So, in this New Year I wanted to encourage everyone to treat their smaller dog just like your larger animal companions. Instead of dressing them in little girls’ fairy costumes like dresses with wings attached, why not give them proper walking gear and teach them some manners so they can walk down the street without being fearful? Their anxiety and their self-confidence are just as important as those of the Dobermans they are barking at.

 “It’s always the little ones” is something I hear over and over. Why do people assume that because a dog is large they do not experience stress when they are barked and lunged at by tiny dogs? Why would people who live with small dogs find it amusing that their little dog barks at larger dogs to laugh it off? Just because they think it is the large dog handler’s responsibility to avoid conflict? Or because they think that their dog is fully “trained” when they can find a pee pad in their apartment most of the time? Why have such low expectations?

Here is to taking small dogs’ emotional and physical needs seriously. This month, let’s start to think about what the world looks like to a tiny being who has no instruction and no idea how to move through the scary New York City environment. Who is clipped into a step-in harness that rubs their armpits but looks cute? Who gets scooped up without warning, who gets handed from person to person without having any ability to give consent or choice and then getting reprimanded for growling or even snapping. Whose fears are not taken seriously because “they cannot cause that much harm” or they can be controlled with restraining gear more easily.

So, if you live with a small dog, why not include them in your New Year’s resolutions and consider their intellectual, physical, and emotional needs that are as important as those of large doggos?

Haqihana’s Revolution in Harness Comfort: A Game-Changer for Small Dogs

One of the easiest changes you can make to take your tiny dog seriously is to provide them with good walking gear. Harnesses are not jackets, and leashes are not a means of steering, pulling, or restraining your tiny companion. Teach them how to walk on a leash; don’t take it for granted that they already know this. And provide them with a harness that allows them to move naturally and freely. Don’t use the harness as a tool to restrain them: teach them where you want them to be.

Haqihana is the only company that makes truly comfortable high-quality harnesses and leashes for tiny dogs. Keep in mind that teaching them how to walk will help your dog to know what to do and where in relationship to you, the handler, they should walk. The harness will provide comfort and safety for both of you. 


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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