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By Maria Reverberi

Small dog syndrome brings out the little, naughty and not so nice

Some small dog owners tend to be guilty of over pampering and protecting their canines. This results in their little dogs evolving into demanding yappy creatures. These dog owners don't recognize that small dogs should be disciplined just like larger breeds. Rather than correct their unruly behavior, small dog owners tend to ignore and associate their little one's behavior as inconsequential to people around them. The tinier the breed, the more likely they are allowed to adapt to the Small Dog Syndrome (SDS). Knowing to recognize this problem is important to repair and build a healthy relationship with your canine.

What is small dog syndrome?

Small Dog Syndrome is a behavioral issue exhibited by smaller dogs who associate themselves with dominance and the rebarbative compulsion to be the center of attention because of their stature. However, the fault should not be directed at these little divas, but at their parents. Small Dog Syndrome is manifested by dog owners who allow their smaller dogs to have the last word.

Recognizing small dog syndrome

Owners that carry their little one everywhere and fail to teach him/her to socialize with other dogs are the perfect examples of why their smaller dogs exhibit the following Small Dog Syndrome insecurity issues:

No social skills

Growling, barking, lunging, and chasing other dogs during their walks are the most common antisocial behavior manifested by dogs who suffer from Small Dog Syndrome.


Just like a kid that refuses to eat their vegetables and wants dessert instead, these small dogs will refuse to eat their own food and demand table scraps or a treat.

Dislike of people

The combination of growling and whining in front of friends, family, and guests escalates when these dogs are ignored; the louder and more aggressive their behavior becomes.

Inability to be housebroken

In retaliation for not getting their way, dogs with Small Dog Syndrome will urinate and poop in the home, public area or guest's home.

Repairing behavior issues

The first step to fixing this behavior is to not compliment or dismiss your little one when he/she barks, growls, pulls on pants, or whines when he/she don't get what they want. Be firm but not mean. After all, it is not his or her fault for acting this way. Growing up, your furry friend was not disciplined for bad behavior. Therefore, the only instinctive reaction your dog knows is his/her upbringing.

For owners with both small and large dogs, both dogs must be disciplined together. However, if the larger dog commits the exact same crime as your little one, do not chastise him separately. This is a common mistake committed by owners of smaller dogs because they believe larger dogs should know better. You should keep in mind that partners in crime must both do the time.

Last but not least, enroll your small dog in a training class. There are many techniques including the clicker that is used for positive reinforcement.

Last piece of advice

Small Dog Syndrome can be prevented if you recognize little dogs must be disciplined in the same manner as larger dogs. By accepting this, you and your little one will have a healthy and happy relationship. And your little dog will have canine friends.

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