How To Fix Small Dog Syndrome?

Have you ever encountered a small person in your life who had a big attitude problem? If so, you may have heard of this type of personality referred to as “little man’s syndrome”. This may be a bit of a stretch of the imagination, but there’s something you need to know about your small or toy breed dog: He or she may very well have “Small Dog Syndrome”. Much like the bullying, nagging behavior that we see from some people, dogs with this syndrome tend to be puffed up and always trying to prove how tough they are.

Now, if you don’t mind being bossed around and always at the mercy of a little bully, you may be fine with your dog’s small dog syndrome. However, if you’re ready to take the bull by the horns, and get past these types of behavior issues once and for all, it’s time to put together an action plan to nip your little dog’s big attitude in the bud.

In this post, we sourced some dog training information from Perfect Dog Training to answer the question how to fix small dog syndrome. Read on to find out more…

How To Fix Small Dog Syndrome?

How To Fix Small Dog Syndrome?

How To Fix Small Dog Syndrome?

A condition termed “Small Dog Syndrome” is a common malady I encounter in training dogs. It is frequently presented in small breed dogs and the general symptoms are problems with dog house training, aggression, separation anxiety, phobic reactions and diffused stress reactions.

The reason this is seen so frequently in small dogs is normally the fault of the owners. Accordingly, remedy for this Syndrome is only possible by owner education and owner behavior modification.

This may seem surprising since many people view the task of a dog trainer as one of strictly “fixing” the dog. However, the source of this problem is the owner and rehabilitation is impossible without the owner acknowledging and discarding bad owner behaviors.

The owner must first recognize that a dog is a dog.  Because a dog weighs under ten pounds does not change the fundamental fact that  it is still a dog. Consequently, just like you would not allow a 150 pound Rottweiler to jump up on you, one should not allow a small breed dog to jump and paw humans. To take the point further, if a 150 pound Rottweiler were to lunge and bark uncontrollably at every animal and human that they encountered on a walk, it is likely the owner would be reported to law enforcement. Yet it is a frequent sight in every neighborhood to encounter small breed dogs that lunge and bark like little demons until their owners scoop them up into their arms like naughty children. This strategy may keep the small dog from biting, but it is a short sighted strategy that actually worsens the problem.

Just like any other canine, small breed dogs need training, discipline and exercise. The dog must be taught to walk at a heel, sit, down and stay on command. Yet the major problem owners have is to recognize that all dogs need to work to earn food, praise and treats. It has been my experience that small breed dogs are often lavished with affection, food and treats for no other reason except that they are small and cute. Dogs do not understand this. In fact it makes them mentally ill. They interpret this cascade of affection without reason as submissive puppy-like behavior from their owners. In turn, they attempt to take care of and protect their puppy/owners which can lead to aggression, separation anxiety and a host of neurotic behaviors. This is truly an instance where the phrase “killing with kindness” rings true.

There is no doubt in my mind that owners who smoother their dogs with affection and fail to discipline their inappropriate behavior do very much love their dogs. However, I am also of the opinion that it is the responsible dog owner’s duty to respect that their dogs are indeed a different species with different needs. Truly loving your dog entails a responsibility to cast aside your misconceptions. Your dog is not a little four legged human and does not want to be human. Your dog, no matter how small or cute, wants to be a dog.

1. If your dog sleeps in the bed with you every night, stop it now. This is not good practice if you want to cure small dog syndrome.
2. Teach your dog to walk at proper heel. Do not carry your dog everywhere you go. His paws are made for walking and he will be healthier too.
3. Nothing in life is free. Have your dog work for food, rewards and especially affection. This will actually make for a happier dog.
4. Do not tolerate bad dog behavior because your dog is small. Consistently enforce all your commands.

Source: Perfect Dog Training

It’s so easy for us to baby our dogs, especially small dogs and lap dogs. But in the long run babying your dog may very well lead to blowing up his/her ego and making your dog act like a big bully around the house. Remember to start with that first step of not allowing your little dog to sleep in your bed. It may be tough for both of you, but it will go a long way in putting your dog in his/her place and making your pet realize where he/she stands in the pack.

The next steps of curbing a blown up case of little dog syndrome are all about training and setting the ground rules for your little dog. The first few days and weeks may be tough on you, but stand strong. Your dog really does want you to be the pack leader, even if he/she never shows you. Believe it or not, they will be happier and healthier. Stick with these basic steps and you’ll soon see some very big changes in your dog’s little dog syndrome behaviors.

Please take a moment to click on the Share button above left to let other small dog owners know that there is hope in getting rid of small dog syndrome.

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