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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Community > Message Boards > Dogs > Dog Breeds > Training Challenges
Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

Small breed dogs often have similar training issues unique to them. For example, sometimes small dogs don't walk well on leash--pet parents sometimes carry them too much or don't know the times when they should carry them.

What kind of training issues have you experienced, and do you have any suggestions for other pet parents of small breeds? 

~ Shana C., PetSmart

Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

I have the cutest little guys that my chihauhau(I am not sure how to spell this)had with a daschund(full blooded), she had three puppies and I gave one away and kept the boys. Teddy and Gizmo. They are six months old April 1st. They will chew on anything. I have lost many pairs of shoes and they will not stop chewing on the arm of a particular chair in my home/office. They have chew toys and plenty of squeaky stuffed animals.I have four other dogs besides them. A min-pin/wiener dog mix (rescued at 5 weeks old, she is 2 years old now. And the other three are chiahauhau's. These boys are something else. They will not sleep with anyone or anywhere but with me on my bed, which is where they were born and slept in a container I bought special for 6-9 weeks. Then still wanted my room, my son calls the nursery, all puppies are born in my room with my homemade birthing kit. But they will not stop chewing things up. Now the biggest one, chews on dishtowels or washcloths, making himself really sick. We have had to re-kid proof this house! I am at a loss for understanding their temperments. Anyone out there please tell me what to do with these two when they misbehave. They are nothing like the chiahauhau's I have.

Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

It's hard to teach my dachshund to do tricks and she is sometimes stubborn.I did teach her to sit on command though.Sometimes my Yorke has accidents in the house but he is pretty good with housetraining.

Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

Thanks for your advise.....we will make adjustments....I was worried today that she was going to be in the crate too long.
Today is the first time during the day we have done this.

Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

Hi soojo54!
Leaving her in the crate all day is too much at her age. The general rule of thumb is to take their age in months (so for her, 3) and add 1 to come up with the number of hours a puppy can hold their bladder. So, for your puppy, 4 hours would be the average. If you can arrange for someone to come let her out after 4 hours then you don't need to worry about leaving a puppy pad down for her. You would just keep her in a crate that was only big enough to stand up, turn around, and lie down in. I would suggest not leaving anything absorbent in the crate until you see if she can hold it. If she needs to be in a kennel for 8 hours, then you need to use a bigger kennel, put the puppy pad in the back area, leaving a small area for her to lie down, and leave her a little water. Ask your vet whether you need to leave food down (sometimes small dogs can have low blood sugar problems). As she gets older you should be able to take out the puppy pads and just leave her in the kennel while you're at work. It's always nice if someone can let her out during the day, but many people kennel their dogs while they are at work and it's fine.
Debbie McKnight, Accredited PetSmart trainer

Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

My puppy is 12 weeks old. She is a maltipoo and we have had her for 2 weeks. She weighs 2 lbs.
She does pretty well at night and is doing quite well potty training.
Is leaving her in the crate (small area) during the day for 8 hours way too much....no food, water or puppy pads?

Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

Hi! I second all of "Mom2Lola"s suggestions. A crate, regular potty breaks, not punishing accidents, and supervision are the cornerstones of potty training. Her success in training her small breed dog in 3 weeks is to be commended as many people have trouble getting it done that fast. So, please don't think hope is gone :) Usually some of the bigger problems are that the dog is given too much space too fast. Make good use of your crate when you cannot supervise and only give him more room when he's ready for it. Most dogs do not want to soil their den, but for a small dog in a large house, it may be hard to understand that the "whole house" is his den, not just where he eats and sleeps. Another problem people seem to have is losing visible track of their small dogs because they can go behind furniture, under tables, etc. I strongly recommend the "umbilical method" to help with this. All that means is that you put him on a leash and tie the leash to your waist (like an umbilical cord). This will help you to keep an eye on him and you should be able to read his signs that he needs to go. Another thing I hear is that the dog doesn't like being outside or isn't comfortable. If you think that is part of the problem, make sure you spend time getting him comfortable. If he needs a coat, get him one. If he's nervous out there, spend some time playing and training with treats out there and he'll start to warm up to the idea of being outside. Hope these help! Just be patient, watch him closely (constantly), and give him the opportunity to potty outside frequently.
Debbie McKnight, CPDT
Accredited PetSmart Trainer

Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

I was told the same thing, but I honestly had no problem training Lola. She was 12 weeks old when I got her - I took her out alot, almost every 2-3 hours, but especially when she would wake up, had been playing, and after eating. If she "did her business", I would give her a Cheerio and praise her like crazy. It only took about 3 weeks until she was completely trained, and would let me know when she had to go out. She will be 3 yrs. old next week and never has an accident in the house. Are you using a crate? I know that there are different opinions regarding crate training, but I believe that it does work. Also, you have to be aware of the signs that your little guy will give you that he has to go out. And never yell or punish if you find that he has had an accident...if you catch him in the act, promptly take him where you want him to go and then praise him when he does. I know it can be frustrating, but with alot of patience and alot of praise he will eventually get it. GOOD LUCK

Joined: 12/31/1969
User offline. Last seen 42 years 37 weeks ago.

My little guy is just not getting down where to potty; I have been told it is harder to teach smaller breed dogs, his type in particular. I am really having a hard time with that one!