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191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I always had the perception that Small Dog Syndrome was simply a small dog that barked incessantly and may have the propensity to nip/bit.

From day 1, I trained my pup not to chew, to be gentle if a finger or other body part was in his mouth briefly, not to bark (too much). Whenever I take him into stores, that allow dogs, he is fine regardless of the crowd or the situation. I get alot of compliments from strangers who see him being calm in the store. I also take him to flea markets and walk him on busy city streets without problems.

But I have slowly realized and have to admit that my dog may have small dog syndrome. I need to stop enabling it and train him better.

Here is a list of his behaviors:

He jumps on me and other people - excited.
He pulls on the leash.
He does not nip at people but he will bark and lunge at strangers, unfamiliar children and other unfamiliar dogs.
He will refuse to listen to commands that he's already mastered.
He has mild separation anxiety
He jumps into my lap uninvited.
 

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Premium Member
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191 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I sincerely appreciate all of your responses, insights and hilarious experiences :)

I don't feel like such a bad pup parent anymore.

The one thing I will focus on to try to eliminate is the lunging and barking at unfamiliar children. Many children want to come up and pet him.
If the child is calm and/or appears confident, and Rocky's tail is wagging or he remains submissive, I let them interact naturally.
Most of the time, since children can be unpredictable, I kneel down, scoot Rocky into my lap, turn his back to the child and have the child pet and touch his back. If he remains calm, and the child wants to pet him more, then I let the child interact with him more.

I feel bad when a child obviously wants to pet him but he is morphs from a calm dog into barking and lunging maniac. If the parent/adult as well as the child is unfamiliar with dog behavior and become tense, I'm holding onto an out of control dog while the child is backing away in fear or uncertainty and/or the adult is pulling the child closer to them. There are rare times when the adult properly reads Rocky's body language and barking and encourages the child to relax and still get close to Rocky. In those situations when the child steps toward Rocky, Rocky gets into playful mode and the child is able to pet him.
 
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