Set up a small table or counter where you can sit with your dog. Avoid getting your face too close if your small dog is a biter. Prepare a soft comfortable bed for him to lie down or sit on during brushing. Fill a puzzle treat toy or a Kong with high-value treats. Peanut butter will last longer than little treats. Consider using a special treat for brushing only.
Give your little guy the puzzle or treat toy and play with him for a few moments, celebrating with him when he gets a treat or finds the hidden peanut butter. If your little guy is a biter or snaps, don’t take the toy from him.
Keeping your little guy occupied with his puzzle toy, start brushing him--just on one small area. Keep your brush strokes slow and in one area away from your small dog’s face.
If your little guy allows you to brush that area without snapping or biting, give him a different treat.
When you need to move your dog to reach other areas for brushing, be sure he takes his treat toy with him. You can also wait until his treats are gone and use the opportunity to refill his toy and move him to a new position.
Use the puzzle or treat toy to keep your small dog occupied while you continue brushing in small areas. When you re-position or move to a new section, give your little guy a treat as a reward separate from his puzzle toy.
If your little dog bites or snaps at your or the brush, you’ll need to redirect his behavior. Avoid yelling or being too stern as this will be counterproductive. Give him a short break and a treat then let him sniff the brush again. Be sure to keep his puzzle toy filled and engaging.
It will take some time for your small dog to get used to brushing without biting. But with time and patience, you can train him to stay focused on something other than the brush. You might not be able to brush all of your dog in the first session or two. Be patient and let your small dog know he is safe and will be rewarded with tasty treats and fun, rewarding toys each time he allows you to brush him.