small dog training
Dog Care Tips · Dog Training Guide

Small Dog Training: How, Where, When and Why

Last Updated/Info Checked on March 22, 2023 by Linda Michaels

It is equally important for small-breed dogs to receive training as it is for large breeds. Most owners of small dogs don’t put that much time and effort into training their dogs and often assume no bad behavior will develop and couldn’t be wrong more. 

Lack of training can lead to several behavior problems, such as excessive barking or showing aggression when in public places or an unfamiliar face shows up. Moreover, your small dog can become lost or injured if he does not learn to come when called or is not socialized enough to understand a threat or friendly face. 

To avoid all these problems, it is better to start training your dog as soon as possible, regardless of age or size. A well-trained dog makes a much better companion than one with poor training. 

Today, we will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of how to train a small dog.

Why It is Important To Train a Small Dog 

There are several reasons why training your small dog is important and beneficial. Here are some of the main reasons:

  1. Better Behavior 

Training your small dog can help them learn appropriate behavior and manners. This can prevent them from jumping on people, barking excessively, or engaging in other problematic behaviors that can be annoying or even dangerous.

  1. Bonding 

Training your small dog can also contribute to a stronger bond between you and your pet. The process of training involves spending time together and working on tasks. This can help build a stronger relationship and mutual trust between you and your dog, and you will enjoy spending quality time with your furry friend.

  1. Mental Stimulation 

To remain physically and mentally healthy, small dogs require mental stimulation. Training provides mental stimulation and helps keep their minds active and engaged. Playing sports games during training sessions keeps their mind active and happy.

  1. Safety 

Training your small dog can help keep them safe. For example, if you teach them to come when called, they are less likely to run into dangerous situations or get lost.

How to Train a Small Dog?

Dog training can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for you and the pet. It is essential to understand how to train your small dog to help them develop good behaviors and habits. Here are a few ways you can train a small dog.

  1. Basic Command Training

A small dog’s training begins with the teaching of some basic commands. Small dogs need to learn commands such as “sit,” “stay,” and “come” because they can protect them from potentially dangerous situations.

Select a specific word for each command and use it consistently during the training. Keep using it until the dog understands how to act on the command. After mastering one command, use a different word for a separate command and work on that. 

  1. Use Positive Reinforcements 

Positive reinforcement is the best way to train your small dog. This means rewarding your pet with treats, praise, or playtime when they exhibit good behavior. Such rewards are a powerful motivator, and your pet will soon learn that good behavior leads to rewards. 

There are many negative effects associated with punishment-based training. It is possible to accidentally hurt or frighten a small dog if you give him a leash correction or yell angry words. If you want, try using a training collar for small dogs that too occasionally when the dog gets distracted and doesn’t pay attention to your commands. 

Positive reinforcement and frequent praise will reinforce your approval so your small dog will enjoy training sessions if you keep it upbeat.

  1. Keep Training Session Short 

Try to keep training sessions short, you don’t want to exhaust your small dog which may lead to health problems. Small dogs usually have little stamina always remember this when training the dog. 

Ideally, training sessions should be around 10–15 minutes a day. You can gradually increase them if you see your pet progresses. Also, keeping the sessions short and frequent will help your pet stay engaged and focused.

Where to Train Your Small Dog?

The location of your training sessions matters a lot in the successful training of your dog. It is essential to start training your small dog in a quiet and distraction-free environment, such as your home, backyard, or garage. 

When beginning, try to avoid training in areas with too many distractions, such as crowded dog parks or busy streets. Too many distractions can be overwhelming and may cause your dog to lose focus. Once your pet has mastered basic commands, you can move to locations like public parks or busy streets. 

One of the main purposes of training a small dog is to teach them house training. This means teaching them where to go to the bathroom in the house, when to go, what are eating schedules, what to bite and not etc. So, start with in-house training, then move to the outside environment. 

Regardless of location, always reward your dog with treats during training sessions for positive reinforcements, as mentioned earlier. 

When to Begin Training Your Small Dog? 

Training as early as possible is ideal, preferably when your dog is a puppy. Puppies can absorb new information quickly and are the fastest to learn basic commands. Many puppies learn many things over time, but giving them basic training is essential from the beginning. 

Try to schedule training sessions regularly during the day, such as after meals or before playtime. Avoid training your dog when hungry or tired, as it will be unable to focus on the training. Training when your pet is not in the right mindset will not be productive, and you will be wasting your time.

Try letting them rest and start training sometime after they are fresh or feed them so they can become energized before the training commences.


Small dog training is essential for developing good behaviors, habits, and manners in your pet. Through positive reinforcement and short and frequent training sessions, you can help your pet become a well-behaved and healthy pet that can adapt well to its surroundings. 

Choosing the right location, timing, and mindset for training sessions is crucial to achieving the best results. Start the training when you acquire the dog so he avoids developing adjustment problems and easily recognizes a friendly face or a threat. 

Remember training a dog is not just about teaching your pet basic commands but also about developing a strong relationship with your dog. We hope this article provides you with every insight on training a small dog. If you still face any issues in training, consult a professional dog trainer for more tips.

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