If your new pooch is a toy or miniature breed, there are some training techniques that must be adapted to work well with small dog breeds.
There are also some common owner mistakes to avoid.
To fit into a family and be a good companion requires learning good manners whether your dog is large or small.
An adult might think a twelve inch high dog jumping on them is not a problem but the same behavior around a child leads to tears and scratches.
For the dog it often means being confined in a crate or room away from his people rather than becoming a true member of the family.
Before you start training a small dog it is helpful to see the world from his point of view by getting down on the floor.
When someone walks by - what do you see? This will help you understand how your dog views your training attempts.
If you have been staring at the dog to establish yourself as the "pack leader" - could it be the dog is seeing only the bottom of your chin? Small dogs will have an easier time learning to sit, stay and lay down if you get on your knees and teach from a reasonable height where the dog can clearly see what you are doing.
Housebreaking a small breed dog requires some thought on the owner's part.
Little dogs have small bladders and cannot maintain abstinence as long as their larger cousins.
That fact influences how you approach housebreaking.
If you are away for hours every day you may choose to train your pet to use a litter box or litter pads.
The best method of training if this is your choice is to begin with crate training.
Though crate training may seem cruel, many dogs see their crate as a place of safety and it is effective in paper training or litter box training of small dogs.
Use the crate as a temporary refuge and training will be simplified.
Avoid using it as a cage where the dog is confined many hours each day and never use the crate as a punishment.
Installing a dog door allows you to house train your pup easily no matter what his size.
Perhaps the most common mistake made when teaching a small dog to go outside for his "duty" is carrying the dog in and out.
Instead, lead the dog out and praise him highly when he does what is intended - and then lead him back inside immediately.
It won't take long for him to understand he's a good dog when he goes out at the right times.
Use only positive reinforcement in training a small dog.
If you show displeasure when he has accidents in the house (and that will happen) he will only learn to hide from you better next time he makes a mess indoors.
Use treats to teach a small dog to sit, to lie down and to stay - just as you would with a large breed.
If he has a tendency to jump on you, turn your back immediately, fold your arms in front of you and don't move your feet.
When he stops jumping, give him attention with praise and a pet.
Repeat this again and again until he understands jumping is not permissible.
If you allow the jumping sometimes and discourage it at other times, you will confuse the puppy.
One of the more useful "tricks" you can teach a small dog is to go to his bed on command.
This command is often referred to as "place command" but the term used is up to you.
Don't carry the dog to his bed - lead him there.
He is to sit and stay until he hears the "release" command of "OK" or another word you choose.
Training a small breed dog to go to his special bed (or his crate) on command will keep him safe if there is a lot of activity in the room and keep him from being tripped over by visitors.
It's much easier to open the door to a visitor if you know your dog is safely in his bed rather than poised to run out when the door opens.
Training your small dog can keep him safe and make him a total pleasure to be around.
He's willing to learn anything you can teach him.
Use short frequent training sessions, positive reinforcement and kindness and you'll have a pet that will become a welcome part of your family.