Stopping Small Dog Syndrome on Its Track

Aside from being annoying, small dog syndrome is also dangerous to the people and other animals around the small dog. At best, small dog syndrome can result into a lawsuit. At worse, it can result into a big ugly scar on your face from dog bite. If you think both are worse, however, then you need to stop small dog syndrome to develop in your pet. There are ways you can train your small dog to behave; using small dog crate can definitely help.

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What is Small Dog Syndrome

Small dog syndrome is a term given to the bratty behavior of some, if not most, small dogs. It’s common to see small dogs bark their owners into submission. Or a small dog not taking “no” for an answer when it wants something. However, if you own a small dog, it doesn’t mean that it will develop small dog syndrome soon.

Why Do Small Dog Syndrome Develop

Do you know that small dog syndrome is not a confined behavior to small dogs only? Big dogs can develop the syndrome too. What’s stopping the behavior to develop in big dogs is that big dog owners are not tolerating the behavior once it shows up.

It’s somehow “cute” for others to see a small Shih Tzu take on huge Uncle Bob, but if Spike the German shepherd shows the same behavior, he is shamed at once. If a small dog behaves badly, it is not sent to the small dog crate, unlike a badly behaving big dog to which the punishment is immediate. Yes, small pet dog owners are responsible for small dog syndrome to develop. Because small dogs appear innocent and harmless, some owners forget that they are dogs and not little humans.

What Can You Do to Stop Small Dog Syndrome

If you have to use a small dog crate to prevent small dog syndrome, do so. These are the other things you can do to prevent small dog syndrome to develop in your pet.

1. Act as the alpha dog

Acting as the alpha dog in the house doesn’t mean acting like a drill sergeant with a stick. What it means only is that you need black and white rules that everyone can follow in dealing with your small dog. When you say no to your small dog, it means a NON negotiable NO. And if you must punish, don’t hit the poor thing. It’s enough to put the dog in a small dog crate for a little (no pun intended) while.

2. Don’t condone the behavior

Just because your pet dog is small doesn’t mean it can get away from behaving badly. Do not make a mistake of letting a bad behavior go unpunished. But dog punishment never meant hitting the pet. Putting your dog in a small dog crate or in a safe corner is enough to remind the dog that it behaved badly and now it’s not getting what it wants.

3. Set limits in the house

Do not spoil small dogs like you don’t want to spoil small children. Set clear, enforceable limits to your pet like

– no eating on the counter or table
– no jumping on the couch if uninvited
– no jumping on people’s laps if uninvited
– no barking to get what it wants

Be sure to seminar all family members and visitors to enforce these limits to your dog. And if your dog violates any limit, follow up with a punishment by putting the dog in the small dog crate. Reward a good behavior with a toy, treat, or a pat in the back too.

4. Let small dog be “a dog”

Small dog syndrome develops because people forget that they have a “pet dog” and not a human baby. Treating a small pet dog like babies by feeding them by your hand, carrying them all the time, or yielding to their whining will surely develop the small dog syndrome. So let your dog be a dog and act as if you’re its leader that sets the boundaries – not the other way around.

Small dog syndrome can be annoying and downright dangerous, but training and firm disposition in dealing with small dogs should cap the behavior. And remember, if you must punish, don’t hit the dog. Have a dog crate ready to restrict your pet’s movement for several minutes.

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