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Best Holistic Dog Training For Small Breed Dogs

Updated: Feb 22

Cute Chihuahua

Small Breed Dogs Extend Beyond Mere Pets...

They stand as our devoted companions, each belonging to a distinct breed with unique needs. As dog mums, addressing their mental well-being is as pivotal as attending to their physical requirements. In honour of Mental Health and Wellbeing Week, we explore the realm of holistic dog training and delve into how, at Mary Puppins Luxury Dog Home Boarding, we wholeheartedly embrace this comprehensive approach to training and dog behaviour.

Holistic Dog Training Unveiled

Holistic dog training for small breed dogs encompasses the entirety of a dog's existence, embracing their physical, emotional, and behavioural facets.

This methodology aims to cultivate a harmonious, stress-free relationship between pet owners and their dogs, built on trust, mutual respect, and effective communication. In this holistic approach, training surpasses mere obedience and response to cues; it encompasses an understanding of each small dog's individual inclinations, preferences, and personality traits.

The Core Tenets of Holistic Dog Training

Positive Reinforcement & Reward-Centric Training

Central to holistic training is positive reinforcement, where desirable behaviour is acknowledged and rewarded, negating punitive measures for undesirable behaviours.

Uncovering what motivates each small breed dog is pivotal, enabling tailored rewards like treats, praise, playtime, or other preferred incentives.

This forges a strong bond between dog and owner while encouraging repetition of desired behaviour.

Physical Wellness & Nutrition

Holistic dog training also addresses a dog's physical needs. This encompasses regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and ample rest.

Physical activity sustains both mental and physical well-being, while proper nutrition fuels energy and overall vitality, inherently influencing behaviour.

Mental Stimulation

Mental enrichment parallels physical exercise in importance. Holistic dog training introduces diverse mental challenges: puzzles, interactive games, and trick mastery.

These activities entertain and hone cognitive skills, alleviating stress.

Effective Communication

Open communication underpins every fruitful relationship, including the one between a dog and its owner.

Effective communication involves deciphering a dog's nonverbal cues and vocal signals, coupled with teaching the dog to comprehend human signals and cues.

This mutual understanding fortifies the bond, fostering trust and a profound connection.

what is holistic dog training?

Holistic dog training is an approach to dog training that considers the whole dog, addressing not only behaviour issues but also the dog's physical, emotional, and mental well-being.

This method creates balance and harmony between the dog and its environment. It uses techniques that promote natural behaviours and build a strong bond between the dog and its owner.

Natural dog training 5 core exercises

Natural dog training emphasises using a dog's instincts and drives to shape behaviour. The five core exercises in natural dog training include:

1. Fetch: Encourages a dog's natural prey drive and provides mental and physical stimulation.

2. Tug-of-War: Builds trust and strengthens the bond between dog and owner while satisfying the dog's need for play and interaction.

3. Walking on a Loose Leash: Teaches the dog to walk calmly beside the owner without pulling, promoting good leash manners and communication.

4. Scent Work: Utilises the dog's keen sense of smell to engage in activities such as tracking or searching for hidden objects, providing mental stimulation and fulfilling the dog's natural instinct to hunt.

5. Stay and Wait: Teaches the dog self-control and impulse management, promoting calm behaviour in various situations.

can you be a dog trainer without certification?

Yes, you can be a dog trainer without certification. While certification can demonstrate proficiency and knowledge in dog training techniques, it is not legally required to work as a dog trainer.

Many successful dog trainers have gained experience through apprenticeships, on-the-job training, or self-study.

However, obtaining certification from reputable organisations can enhance credibility and assure clients.

5 emotional control exercises for dogs

Emotional control exercises help dogs learn to manage their emotions and reactions in various situations. Five examples of emotional control exercises for dogs include:

1. "Leave It" Command: Teaches the dog to ignore distractions and control impulses.

2. Down-Stay: Encourages the dog to remain calm and relaxed in a lying position, even in stimulating environments.

3. Relaxation Protocol: Guides the dog through progressively challenging situations while promoting relaxation and calmness.

4. Controlled Greetings: Teaches the dog to greet people and other dogs politely without jumping or overexcitement.

5. Counter-Conditioning: Helps dogs overcome fear, anxiety, or reactivity by gradually exposing them to trigger stimuli while providing positive associations.

what is holistic training?

Holistic training is an approach to dog training that considers the interconnectedness of a dog's physical, mental, and emotional well-being.

It highlights how crucial it is to deal with underlying problems and encourage harmony and balance in the dog's life.

The main goals of holistic training methods are to strengthen the link between the dog and its owner, encourage the dog's natural behaviours, and create a supportive atmosphere for learning and development.

holistic dog courses

Holistic dog courses are educational programs that teach holistic dog training and care approaches.

These courses cover understanding canine behaviour, promoting physical and mental well-being, using natural training methods, and fostering a strong bond between dogs and their owners.

Holistic dog courses may be offered by certified trainers, behaviourists, or educational institutions, both in-person and online.

why are some dogs harder to train?

Some dogs may be harder to train due to a variety of factors, including:

1. Breed Characteristics: Certain breeds may have traits that make them more independent, stubborn, or easily distracted, requiring patience and tailored training.

2. Individual Temperament: Each dog has its personality and temperament, which can influence their responsiveness to training. Some dogs may be more sensitive, fearful, or high-energy, posing challenges in the training process.

3. Past Experiences: Dogs may have had negative experiences or lack socialisation, leading to behavioural issues or reluctance to engage in training.

4. Owner Consistency: Inconsistent training methods or lack of clear communication from the owner can confuse the dog and impede progress.

5. Health Issues: Physical or medical conditions may affect a dog's ability to learn or participate in training exercises, requiring adjustments and accommodations.

Overall, successful dog training often requires understanding and addressing individual differences, utilising positive reinforcement techniques, and maintaining consistency and patience throughout the training process.

why are dogs hard to train?

Dogs may be hard to train due to various factors, including breed traits, individual temperament, past experiences, owner consistency, and health issues.

These factors can contribute to communication, motivation, and behaviour modification challenges during training.

Understanding and addressing these factors with patience, consistency, and appropriate training techniques can help overcome difficulties and achieve successful results in dog training.

Mary Puppins' Holistic Dog Training Approach

At Mary Puppins Luxury Dog Home Boarding and Mary Puppins Little Dog Training School, our adept Dog Nannies and Dog Trainers wholeheartedly adopt a holistic approach to dog training.

Considerations encompass all aspects when partnering with your dog.

Our range of services, spanning puppy training courses, workshops, personalised 1:1 consultations, and an online support community, caters to both first-time dog owners and veterans. Contact our skilled dog training team today and embark on a journey towards nurturing a resilient and enriching bond with your cherished canine companion.

Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for veterinary advice. For specific veterinary dog health advice, contact a veterinary pet healthcare provider.

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Kate Phillips, Chief Editor

BSc (Hons), MSc

Kate is the UK's very own Mary Puppins, a professional Dog Nanny and expert in small breed dogs. With over 30 years' experience and successfully helping high profile celebrity pet parents raise their furry families, Kate shares her top tips with you. Kate guides readers on small breed dogs, dog health, dog training, dog nutrition, dog food, dog walks, dog accessories, dog enrichment, rescue dogs, dog behaviour, dog grooming and the best products for dog mums and dog dads to create the ultimate luxury lifestyle for their small dogs.


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