Small Dog Syndrome

Small Dog Syndrome is very real, it refers to a set of undesirable behaviors mostly displayed by small dogs who want to show everyone who’s really the boss.  

It is not genetic, not something some puppies are going to develop, it is most likely caused by how we view our “sweet little puppy” and what we allow them to get away with!

Symptoms of Small Dog Syndrome:

  • Jumping up on people
  • Begging for food
  • Assuming the best and most comfortable place on the human’s bed
  • Growling or barking at anyone trying to get close to the dog’s owner
  • Demanding to get attention, affection, petting, treats, etc.
  • Insistence on going through a door way first
  • Pulling on a leash or refusing to walk on a leash at all
  • Nipping at people’s heels
  • Refusing stubbornly to listen to commands that have already been mastered
  • Barking or whining at a person
  • Finding and sleeping on the highest perch he can find
  • Separation anxiety symptoms
  • Jumping into a human’s lap uninvited
  • Growling or barking at other dogs
  • Growling or barking at people

Cute?  What if you had a 70 lb dog?  Not so cute! Every one of these symptoms can be prevented by first accepting that our adorable little dog is, after all, a dog and not a human baby.

  • Change our thinking about our dog’s behavior
  • Re-socialize our dogs
  • Spend time training each day
  • Add discipline to our repertoire of good canine owner skills

Remy is a very agreeable 8.5 lb boy, somewhat submissive and eager to please, yet he will still push his limits to gain forbidden privileges.  It’s up to me to gently discipline or redirect him so that he knows what behavior is accepted.  Just like a small child he needs to be supervised and corrected when needed at all times.  Short obedience lessons daily help make his behavior pleasant and manageable.


Small Dog Syndrome: Don’t let your Small Dog Rule the House