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Small breeds have a bad rep! "Little man syndrome!"  "It's always the little ones." "Ankle biters!"  They are often dismissed from classes or you might be told "thats just how they are!"  That's not the case.  They have so much to offer and are so trainable....once you work out what makes them tick!

  

Little dogs have little perspectives....and big opinions.  They see the world very differently and therefore our approach should be different.

I have been owned by a variety of smaller breeds, from a lovely little rescue Yorkie called Pepsi, a cross breed called Mollie and several Jack Russell types  - alongside a number of dachshunds.  I have worked with hundreds of dogs of various breeds and sizes but little breeds just have so much character which I love to nurture. They are totally misunderstood, and it is so rewarding to see them flourish.

What makes small breeds different? 

Perspective.

When you are short, or small you see the world from a different perspective.

As a young pup you might carry your puppy everywhere, and as soon as they have their jabs and are good to go on walks they stand on four paws....suddenly the world looks very different. 

 

Often you only see feet, if you are taller you might see knees.  You may only see wheels and exhausts.  You won't see that hand coming in for a stroke, and be able to read a taller dogs body language easily from a lower angle. Things can be confusing.  Without seeing things coming, over time this can lead to dogs becoming defensive about the proximity of unknown people or dogs. If you take your mobile phone, turn it upside down and video things from your dog's head height it will give you a good idea of their view of the world.  Now imagine this happening over and over again as you grow and learn about the world? Thinking from a smaller perspective can really help you adapt your approach to teaching your dog about the world - from their point of view.

Teaching

Because of their smaller stature, we tend to ask less from smaller dogs. We're all guilty of it! A great dane for example would be taught to walk on a loose lead early on, and taught not to pull through doorways, they would be asked to move off the sofa and taught not to counter surf....purely because of their size.  If we don't teach this as pups it is hard to do when they are fully grown.  Little dogs don't create the same issues, and therefore, we just don't ask as much.  This means they aren't taught basic impulse control from an early age.  This can lead to frustration later.  Despite their small size, we still need to teach them how to dog in our very challenging world.  Regardless of their size, teach them consistently what you need them to know and more.  They may be small, but they are bright and once you work out what makes them tick, they love training!

Determination

We often hear "You can't train a **insert breed** they are too stubborn...they are untrainable."  This is totally not the case.  They are just as trainable as any breed.  We just need to get it right, for them and us.  Don't let what someone says deter you.  Be more determined.  Be consistent.  Reward them.  Make it fun so you all want to work together.  All breeds are trainable, but all dogs will learn differently, just like us.  You just need to work out what works for them.

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