It's likely that every dog owner wishes their pup could talk. I mean, who wouldn't want Fido to understand why you have to leave for work every day, or why going to the vet is really for his own good? Who wouldn't want to find out what he did at home all day, or what his name for you is? We can't be the only ones who have one-sided conversations with our pets...
Unfortunately Google hasn't introduced dog-to-human translation just yet, but for now, how about teaching your small dog how to mimic understanding and responding to your questions? If nothing else, it's better than having a one-sided conversation, and when played up in front of an audience ("Do you want me to give your dinner to the cat?"), it can definitely earn some laughs.
What You'll Need:
Treats: positive reinforcement is key when teaching your pup a new behavior. Choose a special treat that gets his attention and that he'll be willing to work for. Think dried liver, a piece of cheese, peanut butter, etc.--the higher the reward, the more he'll want to perform for it.
Clicker: if your dog is familiar with clicker-training, a clicker can be used to signify what behavior you are looking for. (See more on that method below).
Things to Note:
It is best to start training in a quiet indoor environment with little chance for distraction, such as other pets or unexpected noises.
Training is best accomplished one-on-one, rather than with multiple owners. Full attention and eye contact with your small dog are key to effective training.
Don't let your dog get bored or tired out by training. If your dog loses focus after repeating a behavior, end the training session, give him praise, and resume training at another time. Keep training fun and fresh, and limit it to multiple sessions of 5-10 minutes over several days.