I see a lot of dogs on a daily basis, big ones and small ones. What sticks out in my mind are the small unruly dogs with behavior problems. Now I know that because of the breed type a lot of smaller dogs are going to bark a bit more. Ok, we all pick and choose what we can tolerate. Hey they make great watch dogs. But… no small dog owner should tolerate other behavior that could put the dog’s life in jeopardy when a bit of basic dog training will greatly enhance the general welfare of the dog.
First on my list, Recall. I don’t care what kind of dog I may have. I will never tolerate a dog that runs off. It’s really great when your dog comes when you call, but what’s even better is a dog that stays by your side until you release that dog. Then when you give it some fun freedom it comes back when you call the first time, every time. When you have this, you automatically have a dog that goes more places and has more fun.
Second on my list for dogs big or small is loose leash walking. If it is uncomfortable to take your dog for a walk because it pulls you every where, then that is a dog that will spend too much time inside the house. I want my dog to get out and burn off some steam. Most dogs don’t get nearly enough exercise and that is one of the root causes of behavior problems. That walk you take your dog once a day is like me doing A push up. Most dogs are built to do arduous tasks; tasks that we can not or will not do for ourselves. In fact most dogs are dangerously over weight.
Third on my list. Lay down. If your dog knows to lay down and stay down it can’t do anything wrong. I’m not talking about lay down because you tapped or pointed to the ground with a treat in your hand, I mean you said “down” once and it dropped down and now will not get up until you say. This is all just very basic dog obedience. When you have a dog that will lay down and not get up you have a dream dog, no matter what dog it is.