When it comes to selecting a small companion dog there are multiple considerations. Trainability is often at the top of the list, especially house training. Small breeds in general are harder to house train than larger breeds. Any dog can be trained but some just take more patience and time. The most important trait to look for in a dog is an eagerness to please. This trait does not always go along with how smart a dog is as some very smart breeds can also be very stubborn by nature.
Employing consistency, confidence and a great deal of patience will enable you to house train any dog. By nature, most dogs prefer not to soil where they sleep. That is why crate training is so helpful in house training. Positive training methods work better with most breeds. In general expect it to take 4 to 6 months for a dog to become completely housebroken.
There are several reasons why small breeds are more difficult to house train. With smaller bladders and higher metabolisms they require more frequent bathroom breaks. Small dogs often have big attitudes. They learn to use their cuteness to get their own way and end up training their owners. The hardest dog to train is one that does not respect their owner.
Breed characteristics serve only as a guide. Genetics, socialization and training influence how easy it is to train your dog. Some breeds are notoriously difficult to house train. On this note, here are a few breeds that consistently make the list of the easiest small dogs to house train. They share a high degree of intelligence, trainability and eagerness to please. Just add the love, positive training, and be consistent.
The Papillon is one of the brightest and most trainable of the toy breeds. It gets its name from its distinctive ears which resemble the outspread wings of a butterfly (papillon is French for butterfly). This silky-coated beauty weighs 5 to 10 pounds and stands between 8 and 11 inches. Papillons can be trained to do almost anything and excel at canine sports. They thrive on mental stimulation. Papillons are used to assist as therapy or seizure alert dogs.
The Poodle is considered to be one of the most trainable of all breeds. The toy size weighs 4 to 6 pounds and stands no more than 10 inches tall. If the curly, hypoallergenic coat is kept cut short it is easy to maintain. This breed is relatively non-shedding. Poodles are very athletic and excel at canine sports.
The Miniature Poodle is a slightly larger version, weighing 10 to 15 pounds and standing 10 to 15 inches tall. Like all varieties, the miniature is extremely intelligent and easily trained. They are remarkably versatile athletes.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a silky coated toy spaniel weighing 13 to 18 pounds and standing 12 to 13 inches tall. The Cavalier’s large expressive eyes will captivate you. Not just a pretty face, this little spaniel is smart and eager to please. He excels at canine sports including obedience, rally and agility. His sweet nature makes him a fantastic therapy dog.