If you have decided on a small dog and find that you are looking at one of the teeny tiny puppies that will remain under 4 pounds, you need to understand the difficulties of housebreaking and training this little bit of love.
Most people think that you can housebreak a dog by using the old method of pushing their face in the urine or feces and putting them outside with a smack on the bottom. This is by no means the appropriate training method for any dog big or little. But, imagine a small Chihuahua or other mini dog being swiped up from the floor and their face brutally rubbed into the mess and then a swat. You can break a leg with little or no force on one of these very tiny pups. Worse imagine an electric shock collar on one, yep they make them this small, but would you ever dream of using one.
The proper way to housetrain these little guys is with the reward system. When you pick up your tiny puppy (and I mean the little ones under 5 pounds or so) stop by the pet store for supplies. You will need a small crate, blanket, food bowl, water dish, and some really smelly puppy treats and please pick up a light nylon string.
Now you are home with your cute cuddly little puppy and you are ready to incorporate them into your family. Everyone will love this little guy and want to hold him for hours on end. This is not such a good idea, don’t get me wrong you can hold him just not all the time. You need to give tiny a little bit of alone time in his kennel so that he can rest and grow.
You will need a routine if you have one of these little ones. First thing in the morning you need to remove him from the crate directly outside. Make sure you have those smelly little treats cut small enough for him to swallow them quickly. If tiny goes potty then by all means give him great praise and a treat. Always remember that the change in temperature from outdoors to indoors can cause tiny to potty again so be prepared with a potty pad by the door so you can set him down right away if this happens.
It is probably good idea for you not to get one of these little itty bitty dogs if you are working as it is a estimated that they can hold their urine an hour for each pound they weigh. That means one pound per one hour, just an estimate of course. You need to keep tiny in the room with you at all times and make sure you take them out every hour for that potty break. Soon tiny will be going to the door to go out if you are doing this properly.
If you decide to let your little one sleep on the bed with you at night (which many people do), be prepared for a few accidents on your bed before Tiny is housebroken.
Be sure you feed your little puppy often, small breeds get low blood sugar if they do not get sufficient feeding. A couple of tablespoons of dog food every hour or every two hours is good to start out. Always remember, the little ones can have reactions from their vaccination and it can be fatal. Stay at the vets for about 15 minutes after their first shot to make sure there is no side effects to this medication. If there is the vet can give the appropriate amount of medication to your little one to counter act the vaccine reaction.
To keep you little one safe from any harm when out and about without a leash you will need to have you little one come back to you when called. Most people will stand out in the yard and yell, “Come Here”, when frustrated they will actually chase the dog. This by no means is a good way to teach them to come to you. If you chase them, they feel it is just a game and will run away that much faster. The faster they run from you the less they will pay attention to the surroundings and may even run into a street. To get your little guy to come back to you, never punish them upon their return.
Think of it this way, if you significant other called you into the house and then slapped you, how many times would you actually come to him/her? Same with your pet in this situation. Now comes the nylon cord, you take approximately 15 feet of cord, make sure it is light and they cannot feel it on the dog collar. Let your little one start to run away, call him back with “Come” (make sure you have the treats), if he does not return then pull the cord when he reaches the end of it. He may fall from his standing position, yes this can look horrible when you see it, just remember what you little one would look like under the tires of a car.
This should only take a couple of pulls on this cord and your little guy will come running back. As quickly as he returns give him the treat you have already prepared for him. Take about 30 minutes every other day for a couple of weeks to work on training your little guy.
Always use treats, if you wish them to learn sit hold the treat above their head as they lean back and their bottom goes to the floor then give them the treat and lots of praise. Same with lie down, hold the treat in front of their nose in your fist fingers down, move your hand in a downward direction saying “Down”, when their belly touches the floor give praise and treats. In no time you will have your little one doing all the cute tricks you want them to do.
Remember safety is the number one key to success with dog ownership. In order to keep your friend close to you and healthy, keep him safe and fed with a good nutritional food. Be sure to get the proper health care and once you have spent those fun hours training your little guy share his cute antics with friends and family. He and you will both love the praise and attention.
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