When it comes to small-breed dogs, it's important to know that they're not just smaller dogs. Pint-size pups need special care, especially when it's out among people and dogs that are considerably larger than they are. Small-breed dogs often use aggression to protect themselves in social situations. If this is your first small-breed dog, here are a few suggestions for keeping it safe, physically and emotionally, when you're out in public.
You can use bite-sized treats to teach your dog proper social skills. Carry small treats with you. Give your dog a treat whenever people approach. This will help your dog equate people with something enjoyable. This training should prevent unwanted barking when strangers approach.
Teach it a Rescue Sign
Small dogs can become nervous and apprehensive around people and larger dogs, which can lead to aggressive behavior such as growling and nipping. You can help alleviate the discomfort, and prevent aggressive behavior, by teaching your dog a rescue sign.
Train your dog to touch your leg with its paws when it's scared or apprehensive. When your dog touches your leg, pick it up. This will provide your dog with an acceptable way to communicate its discomfort.
Avoid Off-Lease Dog Parks That Mix Sizes
Canine parks are a great place for dogs to work off their energy and play in a safe environment. Unfortunately, not all parks are equipped with separate areas for dogs of different sizes. If the canine park does not have a separate play area for small-breed dogs, you should not take your dog off its leash. One playful bite from a large dog could cause serious injuries to your small dog.
Know the Signs of Injuries
Small dogs have delicate bones and body parts. Your small dog can be injured by jumping off the furniture, playing with other dogs, or by being stepped on. Knowing the signs can speed up the time it takes to get your dog in for veterinary care after an injury. Here are a few of the signs you should look out for.
Limping – injury to paw or leg
Abdominal pain or swelling – sign of possible internal injury
Bleeding from the nose – possible trauma or infection
Paralysis – sign of possible spinal injury
If you have a small-breed dog, you'll need to provide it with special care. This care guide will help you provide the tender-loving care that your small dog will need. Your veterinarian will be able to provide you with additional care instructions that will keep your small dog happy and healthy.
For more information, contact Canal Road Animal Hospital or a similar location.