Small dogs are little bundles of happiness and cuteness that change your lives forever. Most small breed dogs are less than 18 inches tall and weigh no more than 20lbs. However, they can be quite a handful (literally) if taken for granted. . Here are some tips and pointers that are important when it comes to taking care of a small breed dog.
Small dogs are little bundles of happiness and cuteness that
change your lives forever. Most small breed dogs are less than 18
inches tall and weigh no more than 20lbs. However, they can be
quite a handful (literally) if taken for granted. Small dogs like
Shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, Yorkshire terriers are some examples.
While small dogs may seem like an easy bet, they should be
treated in the same manner as you would treat a large dog. Most
small dogs often have large personalities and behaviors that can
easily outshine any large dog and hence you should not take their
size for granted. You should always remember that they’re living,
breathing animals and not a possession. They require love,
nurturing and proper training in order to be good house pets.
Here are some tips and pointers that are important when it comes
to taking care of a small breed dog.
- Choosing The Right Small Dog
No two dogs are the same, however, breeds often have similar
personalities. Before choosing a dog, it is important to do
research on the breed. Each breed has certain temperament
indicators, specific care needs and health issues that pet owners
should be aware of beforehand. Each household requires a
different type of breed based on its circumstances.
While health issues are a major deciding factor, they aren’t set
in stone. The reason behind researching health issues of specific
small dogs is to assess the financial dependency and lifespan,
getting a dog is a long-term responsibility and should always be
approached from that perspective. The same goes for temperaments,
every dog has a distinct personality and requires special
attention and care, which brings us to training a small dog.
Every dog requires training. While small dogs look cuter and more
innocent, they are still incredibly smart animals. Unless they’ve
been trained to be obedient and follow orders, small dogs too can
cause big troubles in your day to day life. A pet owner must
teach basic commands such as sit, heel, stay, leave, come, eat,
etc to their small dog.
It is important to establish yourself as ‘alpha’ as dogs view
your family as a pack unless you do so, they will act out. An
important aspect of training a small dog is to socialize it. This
means to familiarize the dog with other dogs and people, this
should be done at an early stage.
Training a small dog requires patience and perseverance. Under no
circumstances should you be physically abusive to a dog. Positive
affirmation is key when it comes to training a small dog. Being
stern while saying no or telling of a dog is encouraged but it
should be supplemented with compliments and treats when the dog
obeys your commands.
Feeding a small dog is a tricky situation. In the end, a dog is a
dog, just because they’re small doesn’t mean that they don’t love
food. Dogs don’t know good food from bad food and hence as a pet
owner, it is your responsibility to research the food items that
are harmful to dogs and keep them away from them at all costs.
Remember that dogs rely on you to feed them.
Establishing a feeding schedule is important and should be done
as early as possible. The schedule should be set based on your
availability and the dog’s needs. Most people recommend two-three
times a day. The next step is choosing the right kind of food.
There are plenty of options available in the market, some even
made specifically for small breeds, such as Eukanuba Small Breed
Chicken, Wellness Super5mix Small
Breed, or Blue
Buffalo Small Breed Lamb however, you should take your dog
to the vet to figure out any allergies before starting them on a
new diet. Small dogs are cute, we know but don’t overdo with the
number of treats as they don’t add any nutritional value.
Don’t go by their size, some small dogs require extensive and
daily grooming. Maintaining the personal hygiene of a dog is also
very important. Dog breeds like Pomeranians require regular
brushing and fur maintenance. While small dogs, don’t require
regular baths, there will come a time when it does need to
A pet owner should approach bath time with a calm and
assertive demeanor. Dogs are excellent judges of feelings and
temperament and will react to your nervousness or anxiety. Use
methods of distracting your dog such as sneaking in a toy and
make the experience as relaxing as possible.
Cutting your dog’s nails and brushing its teeth are also part
of the routine. If you don’t have the time or are unsure how your
dog will react, it is best to take it to a professional groomer.
Remember, dogs do need grooming and lack of hygiene can cause
many avoidable problems.
Exercise is crucial for small dogs. A simple walk can provide
mental and physical stimulation for a dog. This can either be
done through outdoor exercises such as dog parks or walks or
indoor toys that provide both mental and physical stimulation.
Dogs need to expend their energy in one way or another, through
physical and mental exercise, you are channeling their energy in
a healthy manner. Otherwise, dogs tend to lash out and develop
As soon as you get a dog, it is important to visit a vet to
start tracking their health. While small breed dogs, tend to live
longer than larger breeds, they also have many health issues, the
most common one being hip dysplasia. Regular vet visits for
vaccination, regular health checkups, and safety precautions will
ensure that your dog will live a healthy life.
Dogs are known as a man’s best friend for a reason, they make
for a small portion of our lives but we are there for their
entire lifespan. If you are thinking of getting a small dog,
remember they are a long-term responsibility that requires care,
patience, financial and emotional dependence. A dog can truly
change your life for the better provided you take good care of
them, after all they only ask for love (and treats) in
Small Dog Breeds That Aren't Yappy
Small breed dogs have
a reputation for being “yappy,” or noisy. In some cases, this
reputation is well-founded, as many small dogs develop an
aggressive and boisterous personality to counter their diminutive
stature. However, not every small dog conforms to this
stereotype, and many petite pups hardly make a peep. Quiet dogs
are especially good for apartment dwellers, or homeowners who
live in close proximity to their neighbors. If you are looking
for small dog breeds that aren’t yappy, and who will offer you
love, companionship, and some peace and quiet, consider one of
these buttoned-up breeds.
The adorable Affenpinscher has a monkey-like face and a spirited,
mischievous personality. This breed is generally quiet, though
they can get very excited if provoked.
With a combination of intelligence, playfulness, affection, and
geniality, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (pictured above) is
an ideal family pet. These quiet dogs are friendly with everyone
including children, cats, and other dogs.
This unique dog is available in two varieties -- Powderpuff and
Hairless. The Powderpuff is covered in long, fine hair while the
Hairless has soft, human-like flesh with tufts of hair only on
the head, tail, and feet. This intelligent and playful breed
makes a great companion pet, and is not much of a barker.
A calm and affectionate dog, the English Toy Spaniel loves the
company of people, but can be timid at times. These companion
dogs are generally very quiet, and get along well with other
Gentle, happy, and curious, the wavy-haired Havanese is an all
around great pet. The Havanese makes an excellent watchdog and
will warn you of any trouble with short barks, but they are not
The sleek and muscular Italian Greyhound is a quiet and loving
dog who becomes deeply attached to their master. The quiet nature
of this dog is accompanied by a streak of timidness -- Italian
Greyhounds need regular reassurance as well as consistent and
Pugs are humorous, affectionate, and energetic dogs who make
great companions for children. These dogs usually bark only when
absolutely necessary -- you are more likely to hear a Pug snore
or snort as a result of their signature flattened muzzle.
More on Dog Breeds
Dogs That Don't Shed
AKC Recognized Breeds
The Best Dogs for Children