About Breeds

Different Needs Of Small Breeds

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Do you own a large breed of dog and a small breed also? If you do, then you already know small dog breeds have slightly different needs than the large dog in the home. Let’s take a look at what these different needs are, and how you can meet them for the pint size pooch in the home.

Small dog breeds have a natural ability to become as astute as Houdini when escaping from your fenced in yard. Larger dogs are actually easier to keep contained because of their sheer physical size. Not so with the little guys. Because so many of these smaller breeds have been bred for hunting and digging into the burrows of game animals they are more than able to dig their way to freedom. The best thing I have found to keep my small dogs within the safe confines of my yard is the underground electronic invisible fence. Works like a charm, and I always know my dogs are safe when out romping in the yard.

When it comes to the food you are feeding a small dog, it is important to keep in mind they have smaller teeth and throats, so feeding the dog large chunky dry dog food better suited to large breeds of dogs is not safe. Select a quality food in small bite size pieces so the dog can eat them easily and digest them properly. Mixing in canned softer dog foods a couple times a week is ok, but any more often than this is not good for the health of the dog’s teeth. The moist foods do not remove tarter build-up like dry food does, plus the moist food tends to stay between the teeth promoting tooth decay.

Dogs are dogs and they are pack animals. This means the little pooch is going to look to you as the leader of his “pack”, which is you and your family. He or she must understand they are not the Alpha member of this pack. If you allow them to believe they are, and this happens because they have not been correctly trained behaviorally and socially, the dog will run the home and the lives of everyone living there. Add into this the fact many of the small dogs tend to have a bit of an inferiority complex, and can become quite assertive if you do not train them.

Owning small dog breeds is perfect for many people, but along with this comes knowing what the dogs needs are and meeting them.

Do you own small dogs? Please relate to our readers the experiences you have had with your dog.

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  1. Avatar Of Princess



    I am a Shih Tzu. I am told I am over weight. I love my treats and would rather eat them instead of dog food. My mom puts my food in my bowl and it sits there. She then waits for an half hour then puts it back in the fridge or sometimes she throws it out. Lately she has been shredding some treats on top to disguise it is dog food. Sometimes it works and some times it don’t. What is the best dog food for me and that I would eat?

  2. Avatar Of Vilma



    I absolutely adore my (Chi’s) Chihuahuas they are all cute, easy, fun loving little protectors. Best alarm ever. They love their family but do tend to have their favorite person whom they sometimes overly protect. All are very different in personality some are more laid back than others but all think they are big dogs. I put three in a stroller for walks at the park and they love it. Like Vicki previously mentioned they do get in your feet and under pillows, blankets, throws and sheets so when someone comes over I ask that they be sure to watch for them and thank God none of mine have gotten hurt. They only go out supervised in the yard but they tend to stay around me wherever I go they follow since they are curious pups. Very, very loyal and love to snuggle. I just adore them parents used to breed them in California but then too many Chis were ending up hurt or over bred to they were neutered and spayed and lived a long healthy life with us. I always check with my vet before adding a new Chi to the family.

  3. Avatar Of Vicki



    I love the Chihuahua breed. I have 5 and they each are very different in looks and personality, just like human children are. I bought my first Chihuahua from a breeder who allowed me to come to her home, see her parents and all the Chihuahuas she bred. Sassy is 9 now, weighs 3 pounds and is the alpha amongst the dogs. She was here first and she never lets any of the others forget it. Other family member dogs, dogs I’ve fostered, and larger dogs do not intimidate Sassy. My husband and I understood from the beginning that Chihuahuas live in a world of giants and that certain things are scary for them and they react in fear to things other dogs would not bat an eyelash over. We also learned to shuffle our feet when we walked around them until they learned to avoid our feet. One of ours was accidentally kicked by a visitor and it was scary how far she flew. Luckily, she was not seriously injured, but 8 years later and she still avoids new visitors like it happened yesterday.

  4. Avatar Of Michelle Michelle says:

    My husband and I have a beagle, and we adore her! She’s the perfect size for our yard, and she’s the sweetest dog ever.

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