Five Tips and Tricks for Training and Living With Your Small Breed Dog

Having a small dog has its perks. Their size makes them convenient to live with, cheaper to feed, and not to mention adorable! There are many reasons as to why someone would opt for bringing a small breed dog into their home, and they come in many variations of energy levels, personality types, and appearances. There are even several small breed variations that are purpose-bred to be working dogs or provide a service to humans! Unfortunately, sometimes smalls have an unfairly negative reputation in today’s society. Many people believe that behavior issues are inherently in their nature, they’re untrainable, and they aren’t able to do the same activities that larger dogs can. This couldn’t be further from the truth, and small dogs are actually just as trainable as any other! In this post, we’re going to cover some considerations, tips, and tricks to get the most out of living with and training your small breed dog.

Step One: Meet Their Needs!

Small dogs are convenient. Their supplies are smaller and easily stored, they generally cost less, and they’re a great size for living in more urban or confined spaces. However, it’s also very easy to equate the size of the dog to the level of daily commitment to meet their needs, which is not the case! Small dogs are still dogs, and we should make sure that even though they’re more easily controlled and easily forgotten about, they still need the same fulfillment opportunities as larger breeds.

Incorporating enrichment activities into your daily life with your dog is a great way to let them burn mental energy, express natural behavior, and reduce stress. This can be through many different avenues:

  • Food Enrichment: Kongs, lickimats, snuffle mats, treat dispensing toys, edible chews, etc.

  • Social Enrichment: This varies from dog to dog, but can include doggie play dates, playtime with their humans, meeting and socializing with new people, group walks or hikes, etc.

  • Training: Teaching new tricks, teaching manners and impulse control, dog sports, etc.

  • Sensory Enrichment: Going somewhere new, sniff-walks, nosework, listening to music, car rides, playing with toys, etc.

It’s important to make sure