Small Dog Basics: Everyday Issues for People With Small Breeds
If you’re thinking of adopting a smaller breed, you might want to take these facts in to consideration before you do. Adorable as small breeds may be, they come with their own set of issues, and this article will help you understand the everyday issues a small breed owner will face.
It Ain’t Easy Being Small
1.Small dogs are, well, small.
It’s easy to step on them, no matter how careful you try to be. It’s not so bad with the larger Toy breeds such as Pugs and Cavaliers — at least, not once they reach adult size — but smaller dogs such as Chihuahuas, Papillons and Yorkies run the risk of getting stepped on or kicked not just by the humans in the home but also by other pets. We frequently joke about attaching a balloon on a long string to the collar of our Chihuahua mix so we’ll be more likely to notice where she is.
2.Other pets may bully them.
Lots of small dogs rule the roost, but when they have a gentle personality, their size can work against them. Esmeralda, a Papillon, was stalked by her owner’s much larger cat, who seemed to view the small, fluffy dog as a toy at best, potential dinner at worst. It was a painful dilemma for the owner, who finally ended up placing her cat in a new home to save her dog’s life.
3.Little dogs can hurt themselves jumping on and off furniture.
It’s an especially common problem with breeds such as Italian Greyhounds, who have long, thin legs, or Japanese Chin, who often enjoy being on high places such as the back of the sofa. This is more common in young dogs, who are not only still growing but also tend to be fearless, but any small dog can suffer a broken bone if he lands the wrong way jumping off the furniture, is stepped on by an errant guest or is dropped to the floor by a child.
For this reason, it is often necessary to buy steps so small dogs can get off furniture safely and easily (getting up on their own can be an issue, too). It’s better to teach them this habit at an early age than to risk a broken bone.
4.Tiny dogs often think they’re bigger than they actually are.
In their head, they’re just as big and badass as that Rottweiler down the street. It’s not uncommon to see a Yorkshire Terrier, Chihuahua or Miniature Pinscher take his life in his hands by challenging a bigger dog. Owners must always be prepared to keep their small dogs out of harm’s way — especially when their dogs try to bring it on themselves.
Too Cute To Train?
Little dogs can be just as smart as big ones — sometimes more so. But people often don’t make the effort to train them. That’s a shame, because small dogs are just as much in need of manners as large ones.
There are a couple of issues with training small dogs. One is that they’re so low to the ground it can be difficult to get their attention or to reach down and reward them with treats.
Another is that some can be slow to learn house training. But it doesn’t have to be that way. As with any other dog, perseverance and consistency win the day.
Adorable as your small dog is, you will have to keep a close eye on your pooch if your fido thinks he/she is bigger than he/she really is, while getting used to having a little fluff ball constantly underfoot. If you’re already a pet parent you might want to take in to account of whether your small breed might be bullied by bigger pooches or pets. Regardless of all everyday issues, which can be circumvented, any new addition to the family whether a small breed or a large one is always welcome.
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