Easy To Spoil Small Dogs –

spoil small dogs lhasa apso chihauhau
Small Dogs Luna & Roxie

Don’t Spoil Your Small Dog

Our small dogs outings group had a very interesting case and new dog member recently. Luna is a six year old long haired Chihauhua who joined our group and lives in a condo in Toronto. When she came out to her first few walks with our group, it was just the midweek shorter outings since her owner claimed that Luna is not use to long walks.

Indeed during each of these walks, at least half of them Luna spent in her owner’s arms rather than actually walking with the other small dogs. She’ll walk a bit then make motions for her owner to pick her up. And of course her owner does this!

So then Luna’s owner decided to bring her out to their first weekend outing with us which is usually longer ranging from 1.5 to 2 hours and at nature trails. For the first part of this outing at Etobicoke Creek, our group went on a paved trail so it was much like our shorter midweek walks. As expected, Luna spent half of the time being picked up.

Then for the return portion of this outing, we ventured into a wooded escarpment that was unpaved. So Luna’s owner upon seeing the rest of us letting our small dogs go off leash since we were far from traffic (both cars and bikes), she decided to put Luna down to try it out off leash as well. Much to her owner’s surprise, Luna started to follow the other small dogs which included my Lhasa Apso dog Roxie.

In fact, Luna pretty well did the entire wooded trail without asking to be picked up even once. This proved to her owner that Luna can in fact do a walk without getting picked up. To the rest of us small dog owners, we made a further conclusion which was of course revealed to Luna’s mom.

I pointed out to her that my Roxie os fourteen years old and technically a heart patient. Despite all this, Roxie can still do two hour hikes without any problems so Luna being a much younger six year old, should not have any excuses whatsoever in doing these walks. The tough reality for Luna’s mom is that Luna has in fact been taking advantage of her all these years by asking to be picked up all the time.

On a subsequent outing at Riverwood, this hypothesis was proven again. I was alerted that Luna would be brought out by one of her mommy’s friends instead. At first shortly after our small dogs group started on our night walk, Luna asked to be picked up again which this friend obliged. Then he and I talked about Luna’s situation and despite further requests from Luna to be picked up again, he refused. Since Luna did not want to be left behind, she quickly followed the other small dogs including Roxie for the rest of the walk and she did just fine. So this was another outing where Luna proved that she could do these walks. Of course her human handler for this walk reported back to Luna’s mom as did I.

Luna came out with her mom again on a walk at Sawmill Creek just with Roxie recently. This time her mom admitted that she had been spoiling her small dog too much and resisted picking up Luna and for the duration of this outing, only picked her up once. So things are heading in the right direction. You can see Luna on the left walking with Roxie in the photo above when we were at Sawmill Creek.

Small dogs are very easy to spoil. They get picked up a lot when young since they are small and cute. We want to pick them up since they are like little toys. But much like in Luna’s case, it’s very easy to form bad habits by spoiling them. However the good thing is that small dogs are smart and capable of learning, especially when there are other small dogs around to see as examples. This is what happens at our small dogs group.

Over multiple outings, we see new small dog members get better and better all the time. They get less nervous over time and start to enjoy the company of other small dogs. Some small dogs even learn to do some agility and going into the lake after watching my Roxie. The skills they pick up cannot be underestimated as small dogs can even be potty trained to use indoor dog litterbox systems as my Roxie and her late brother Chester did.


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