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Does this tiny dog really not need training?

(32 Posts)
SoonMeansNever Sat 10-Jan-15 20:39:53

Hello doggy people! I have a question if that's ok?
I don't have a dog, and am not a dog person, but have gleaned enough on here and IRL to get the impression that whatever dog you have, you ought to train it thoroughly to have good recall and to stop when told, be under control when off lead etc.
Now then - DSis has a tiny tiny dog (similar to a miniature Poodle but a bit smaller), now about 18mo, smaller than their cats, really slight build - mentioning this to make the point that it's not a muscled breed like a JR, and would struggle to damage a paper bag. She has a lovely nature, not at all snappy.
Before they got her she said they would be training her, but in reality they just have the absolute basics from a short course when she was a small pup.
She goes off lead occasionally, and certainly wouldn't come back to me when I walked her, so thereafter I kept her on lead in case we came across something unexpected (dog/tractor/bike etc). She won't sit when asked, heel, or stay if I ask, tho responds better to DSis it doesn't seem reliably so. She is still quite young so excitable, and as far as I can see they don't plan to do any further training.
So - should they? And was I being daft to think she would follow instructions from me at all?
After all, she's a tiny wee thing, it's not the same as a great big Lab being untrained surely?

Justtoobad Sat 10-Jan-15 20:58:04

You wouldn't say to someone who had dwarfism that they don't need social skills? So a dog is a dog and needs training/teaching.

youbethemummylion Sat 10-Jan-15 21:02:05

Small dogs dont know they are small dogs they just know they are a dog. They need just the same training as any other dog.

ToomuchIsBackOnBootcamp Sat 10-Jan-15 21:03:35

For once, size really doesn't matter. All dogs should be sufficiently trained. Of course they should.

sweetkitty Sat 10-Jan-15 21:13:27

What I have personally found that a lot of people with small dogs spend a lot less time training their dog than people with big dogs. By that I mean socialisation skills with people and other dogs. They just lift them out the way. As they don't need a lot of exercise most are on extendi leads, when another dog comes along they are lifted.

With a big dog you don't have the option of lifting out the way plus people are in general more scared of a big dog so owners tend to train the better.

Not all owners, not all small dogs but in general just what I've experienced.

tazzle22 Sat 10-Jan-15 21:15:44

Agree with others..... ALL dogs need to have good recall as a minum if they are being let off lead... even if she does not interact with any other dog or person if she is off leash she could run into the road or after a squirrel so get run over or get lost.

Other things are also rather useful lol

ExitPursuedByABear Sat 10-Jan-15 21:25:06

On the recent puppy programme the small dog had very little training and was seriously indulged. But because of its size it didn't seem to matter.

MothershipG Sat 10-Jan-15 21:51:46

As the owner of small dogs I say of course they need to be trained, all dogs need to be taught what we need from them to enable them to fit into our lives.

It is easier to be lazy with a small dog, if you want it off the sofa you can just move it, if it's making a nuisance of itself you can physically remove it.

But that is definitely not what is best for the dog, a dog that can't go off lead because it's owner is too lazy to teach it recall is going to miss out on so much execise and opportunities to indulge in natural behaviours.

Could you not have a quiet word with your sister and encourage her to put more effort in? Maybe offer to help? How about clicker training? It's great fun, for humans and dogs!

SoonMeansNever Sun 11-Jan-15 21:41:50

Thank you for your replies!
Bit relieved that I was right to think she ought to be properly trained, I suspect DSis thought I was just being an interfering old goat when I suggested it.
Yes, the whole dogs-don't-know-their-own-size thing is v true, I've always thought that if you wouldn't stand for the behaviour from a Rottweiler then you shouldn't allow it from a Yorkie, ie snarling/snapping on laps that people with small dogs seem to think is cute. hmm
I've tried to suggest they do more training, but they don't think it's necessary. Ho hum.
I'll look up clicker training and see if she's open to that, thank you. smile

MrsDeVere Sun 11-Jan-15 21:56:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Micah Sun 11-Jan-15 22:08:15

We got a Yorkie pup when was a child. I spent the school holidays training it.

It was honestly the easiest dog is ever trained, and great fun. She was very quick at picking things up, especially as I'd never trained a dog before. Did everything for a "good girl" and a big fuss.

It was also fab having a tiny little dog who would return immediately to heel at a snap of my fingers. Peoples jaws would drop smile

A trained dog is far easier and much more fun. As pp said they can be at more risk so it's safer for them, too.

MothershipG Mon 12-Jan-15 08:10:14

One of my Affenpinschers doing agility, poodles love agility and it's great fun! grin

Nearasdammit Mon 12-Jan-15 08:15:52

Lol Mothership that dog looks as if it's levitating!

TheKitchenWitch Mon 12-Jan-15 08:34:40

Motherhood that is a totally brilliant photo! grin
Agree with everyone else that small dogs do need good basic training.

NeitherHereOrThere Mon 12-Jan-15 11:03:02

Big dog owners will thank her for training her dog - a pet hate of mine is a tiny dog running over to us, snapping and me having to fend them off as if the worst happens, it will be us who get the blame.

MothershipG Mon 12-Jan-15 11:25:52

He does, doesn't he Near. He has his front paws tucked up in the flight position. grin

He was never particularly good, too lazy, no drive, wouldn't run if it was too hot, just head for the shade under the a-frame, seriously unkeen if it was raining. But we just did it for fun and he would always make the crowd laugh when we did demos. smile

NickiFury Mon 12-Jan-15 11:32:46

I've had big dogs and small dogs. I admit that it's FAR easier with a small dog, there's less potential for things to go horribly wrong. That said at the very least I fully house train, expect my dogs to return, walk well on the lead, take food gently etc, not jump up etc whatever their size. Just basic good manners. It is true though that you're more on the ball with a big dog as small dogs can be removed easily from trouble, as a previous poster said.

Stinkle Mon 12-Jan-15 11:40:57

a pet hate of mine is a tiny dog running over to us, snapping and me having to fend them off as if the worst happens, it will be us who get the blame.

Totally agree!

I have this with my MiL. She has a tiny little chihuahua and it's had no training at all. It's snappy, has no recall, snatches food from you and is just generally badly behaved. MiL says that because it's so tiny it's not big enough to hurt anyone so doesn't need training.

I have a springer and have worked and worked with him, he's big, he's bouncy, he could hurt someone.

We saw them at Christmas, and we went out with the dogs and this thing hung off my dogs ears or snapped at his feet the whole time. MiL thought it was hilarious and didn't see the problem as the chihuahua isn't big enough to really hurt my dog. He's a "big boy and should be able to cope with a teeny tiny chihuahua" hmm. Yeah, hilarious, will it be quite so hilarious if mine gets fed up and the unthinkable happens?

MothershipG Mon 12-Jan-15 21:54:04

Just to put it from the small dog perspective, I hate it when large bouncy dogs, the owner has no control over, bounce all over my small dogs with the owner saying he's friendly, he only wants to play. Meanwhile small dog, feeling in imminent danger of being flattened reacts grumpily and large dog owner makes remarks about snappy small dog.

So we are all agreed, dogs large & small need training and neither has the monopoly on bad behaviour. smile

lemisscared Mon 12-Jan-15 22:00:12

so long as a dog has recall and knows get down or off then formal training isnt the be all and end all. i have two jrts they have ok recall will sit if i have a treat and they know get down and bugger off. i did more formal training with my bigger dogs.

NeitherHereOrThere Mon 12-Jan-15 22:04:02

Yes I am very aware of the small dog perspective - after all I live with one grin All of my dogs have been trained.

Canshopwillshop Mon 12-Jan-15 22:06:51

Mothership you have just made my evening with that brilliant photo grin! What a fab dog!

MothershipG Tue 13-Jan-15 06:53:17

Thanks! Canshop smile

MrsDeVere Tue 13-Jan-15 08:38:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsDeVere Tue 13-Jan-15 09:21:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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