Small dogs, however, can go much longer without having their boundary issues addressed, or even noticed. For this reason, it can be harder to teach small dogs to respect personal space once the problem is recognized. Too often, we don’t realize that our small dog might have problems with personal space until it is a problem, either because the behavior has worsened or because a new change like a baby in the home or a new friend who is scared of dogs has made the behavior clearly problematic.
Treats to reward good behavior and overcome any accidental fear we cause as we shape behavior are very useful to have on hand. Learning to respect personal space can be intimidating, and treats will help remind your little dog that you are working with her, not against her. Your little dog may become frustrated with the training, as she is used to being able to throw herself around and act out her energy. Having some good tug toys and stuffed toys for shaking will be good for redirecting this frustrated energy.
Throughout the training process, it is essential that you remember that your little dog’s neglect of your personal space does not indicate a lack of respect for you, but rather a misguided understanding of your physical relationship with your dog. Teaching your little dog to respect your space will take patience and trust building for both of you.