Small dogs are known to be little tyrants. They can sometimes be pushier than big dogs and even more demanding. Teaching your small dog some manners can help tip the power scale in the household and teach your dog that "nothing in life is free." One of the best ways to establish ground rules with your small dog is to teach her how to ask permission for things that she wants like food, playtime, and affection.
Just because it's easy to pick up a small dog and move her, doesn't mean she shouldn't learn how to ask for the things she wants instead of demanding them. Jumping, barking, and rushing between your legs can be dangerous and frustrating habits to break. When you teach your small dog to ask for permission, she will learn her place in the household and give you some peace of mind.
Teaching a small dog to ask for permission is similar to teaching big dogs, but there are a few considerations. First, you need to train at her level. Standing over her can be intimidating to her and painful for your back. You can kneel or sit to make yourself closer to the ground. You also need to make sure your reactions are calm and quiet. You look like a giant to her, so any big movements can be frightening. Be sure you are rewarding her with small treats or cut them into tiny pieces. She can't eat as much as a bigger dog, and you don't want her to fill up before you've made any progress.
Teaching your small dog to ask for permission will take a little bit of time, but it will be well worth the effort. Instead of jumping on you or barking for food, she will sit quietly and wait. Teaching her some manners can change your relationship and the relationship of the entire household.
To begin this journey from demanding to demure, you'll need to start with a few items. These will help you with your training and make sure you accomplish your goal.
- A quiet place to train
- High-value treats like bits of cheese or sausage cut up very small
- A mat or small blanket
- A leash
- Lots of patience
The last item is the most important on the list. If your dog is older and has been displaying these habits for a while, you'll need to take your time. Teaching your small dog to ask permission when she is a puppy is the best way to create good habits that won't need to be changed. Read through the three methods for training your small dog to ask permission below and pick the best one for you. Soon you'll be on your way to a well-mannered household.