Dr. Becker had a very interesting article today on her Healthy Pets Website. It was about little dogs and was called "Why Many Tiny Breeds Are Terrible Canine Citizens". I was particularly interested because I currently have a client with a tiny terrier teacup puppy and I want to make sure the puppy gets trained properly.
Although most of the points mentioned in the article I was quite familiar with, one thing jumped out at me and got me thinking.
What we commonly do with little dogs is lift them up off the ground whenever we perceive any danger to them. It could be an approaching person, dog, vehicle of some kind or a big puddle of water, mud, etc. Now imagine for a moment, you are this little dog walking along and all of a sudden the ground disappears from under your feet and you are lifted into the air. That could be a terrifying experience.
What Dr. Becker recommends, and I think makes perfect sense, is to use a verbal signal to let your dog know he is about to be lifted up. When you put your hands on his little body say "up" or something like that before you lift him. Train him to know that the word "up" means he is about to leave the ground. Knowing he is going to be lifted and will be safely held by you, can make him a lot less frightened by the experience and certainly shows some empathy for the little fella. This is one idea I really hope you will incorporate into your tiny dog training.