At this point almost everyone has been at the store behind someone with a large carry-all, only to see a cute dog’s furry face peaking out; even though service dogs are the only ones who are legally allowed into grocery stores and restaurants.
Small dogs and toy breeds are very popular, especially with many people finding it necessary to downsize into a smaller house or apartment. Smaller dogs are easier to keep in apartments and much easier to travel with then larger breeds. Those who wish to keep a small dog need to be aware that just because they are smaller they are not necessarily easier to work with.
Smaller dogs have lots of energy and need play time and exercise just as their larger counterparts do. They can be extremely aggressive and training is a must to keep them in check. If not properly trained problems can arise with loud barking, chewing, and just being obnoxious to other pets and people. A well behaved dog is a pleasure to be around, and obviously the exact opposite is true for a dog that is not trained properly.
As with larger dogs, a proper diet is key to a small dog breeds health and well being. Keep in mind that dogs are omnivores, which means that they need to eat both animal protein and vegetation in order to obtain the nutrients and energy they need to survive. The best dog foods contain natural ingredients such as whole deboned chicken and vegetables, with a minimum of fillers, by-products and grains that are not whole. Dogs can even eat some of the same healthy foods we do such as carrots, green beans, small amounts of peanut butter, and sweet potatoes. There are also some foods that are toxic to dogs and can even cause death such as chocolate, onions and garlic, macadamia nuts, and grapes and raisins. It’s best not to allow a dog to eat whatever they find lying around as it can cause stomach issues and may require a visit to the vet.
Because small dogs have so much energy they are great at sports training such as canine agility, and Earthdog training. Earthdog finds its roots in small game hunting and offers owners of small dogs such as Dachshunds and terriers the chance to test their dogs’ abilities. The tests consists of hunting vermin “to ground”, which means chasing the rodent into its hole and working it under the ground.Earthdog trials started in 1971 and were adopted by the American Kennel Club in 1994.
Owning a small breed or toy breed dog can be both a joy and a challenge. The most successful relationships will be the ones where the human has done their homework and knows exactly what they are getting into when bringing a small dog companion into their lives.