Sunday, November 2, 2008

Preventing Fear and Aggression in Small Dogs

Small dogs often suffer the consequences of a bad reputation – some people lovingly refer to it as “Little Dog Syndrome”. While it is not necessarily a personality trait found in nature, it is a type of aggression that stems from the upbringing of the dog. Similar behavior originates in nature for different reasons, and they are usually not met with the same results as we see in the domesticated canine world.

The behavior can range from aggression to fearful and antisocial, and can be triggered by a wide variety of situations, which can prove to be very stressful for the dog and the family he or she lives with. For some dogs, it is caused by factors that are present in the home.

When your pup is young, be sure not to caudle the dog, or prevent your dog from experiencing the surprises that life brings us. Many small dog owners unwittingly create fear in their dogs by picking them up when larger dogs or when other dogs are perceived as a threat by the owner. However, if you allow your dog to explore new situations in a calm manner, most dogs will naturally be more comfortable in new situations in the future.

Don’t be afraid to expose your pup to many people and many other dogs, enabling your dog to adapt a sense of comfort and ease. You and your dog will be much more relaxed in the future – and that’s something to look forward to!