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First off, hi!

So tomorrow we pick up our 9wk old yorkie puppy and my family is very excited! We already own a German Shepherd so this definitely isn't our first dog.

Yet, this is the first dog we've ever owned that is a small breed. We're not exactly sure what to expect vs owning a large breed dog.

What's the difference? Are there any supplies that our yorkie pup may need that our GSD wouldn't need? Should we approach training a different way?

Thoughts?
 

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Well the only supplies I would say small dogs need that many larger ones don't are coats for the winter (assuming you live in an area that has cold winters). The only other big differences mainly have to do with how you handle the dog, gentler, and you can obviously allow the dog in your lap or close to you a lot more than some big dogs. And while it's not...a good thing, there are certain bad behaviors that are a lot more tolerable with little dogs like jumping and leash pulling aren't as big a problem. I do think ideally every dog should be leash trained, but most people find Yorkies jumping at them for attention (if they want to say hello) endearing. Other than that...they're dogs. A Yorkie definitely needs to be brushed and groomed regularly too, but that's less to do with size and more to do with coat.
 

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Don't let small dog syndrome become a problem. Remember that dogs are dogs, and a small dog misbehaving isn't cute. Don't allow your yorkie to do anything that you wouldn't allow your shepherd to do.

Other than that, I don't think there is a difference. My family has a bullmastiff and a beagle.
 

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In terms of what to be careful with in a multi-size, multi-dog household
- Big dogs can very easily hurt little puppies; IMO its infinitely easier when the younger dog is the small breed, because conceivably that means you have more control over the larger dog vs if they were the younger one. Carefully monitor play between the two, and don't fall into the trap thinking that just because the larger dog isn't showing aggression they won't hurt the small puppies. DIscourage the larger dog using his paws in play from the start- with mine I end all play that involves swatting immediately by separating the dogs, my big dog caught on quickly to what she was and wasn't allowed to do.
- small breed puppies need smaller toys, and these are choking hazards for big dogs, so I usually pick up all the smaller toys (tiny stuffed animals, small bones, small rope tugs and balls, etc) so that the big dog can't get them.

Training a small dog is an adjustment when you're used to big ones, IME. You have to do a lot more bending down to give rewards, and get good at bending quickly so you can get the reward to the puppy while they're still doing the thing you want.

Leashes need to be much thinner, also, and especially with a very teeny tiny pup like a Yorkie you'll want to look for leashes that have light-weight clips. Some of the clips are SUPER heavy and will hit the small dog in the chest/legs uncomfortably, especially when worn with a front clip harness.

Depending on how small the yorkie is you might have trouble finding good collars and harnesses. The large chain stores have an OK selection, online shopping will probably be your friend though. I suggest starting with leashes under 1/2", preferably ~3/8". Also, many of the training aids (head collars and front clip harnesses) can be difficult to fit to a pup that small.

Good luck with the pup! I personally really like having one large dog and one small dog. The large dog is good for feeling a little more secure/being a crime deterrent but I still have one to lay in my lap and that is more portable because she can be carried if we need to take public transportation or end up in a busy place or gets tired.
 

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I would also add that housebreaking may be more challenging. Toy breeds have tiny bladders. Plan for this dog to need to go outside more frequently than your shepherd.

Also small breeds physically mature faster, so diet management may be different than a larger breed (i.e. The switch from puppy food to adult food is sooner).
 

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The only other thing I would add is not to be afraid of large dogs around your small dog, but use reasonable caution. Small dogs can trigger the prey drive of larger dogs. Larger dogs can also injure small dogs without even meaning to, if play gets too rough or if they trip over the small dog, etcetera.
 

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I don't find it cute or endearing when a yorkie is leaping all over me or my dog. Don't treat training expectations differently than you would with your GSD. They're really easy to carry around when you don't want them to do something, but it will be doing the dog a huge favor to go through the work of training them not to beg, not to pull, not to jump, not to steal food, not to bark in other dogs faces, leave it command, etc instead of just swooping them up.
 

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Having never owned a large breed dog and only 2 "toy breeds" (Pekingese then a Shih Tzu and now a Pug)...I think the only l"size specific" differences wi be in the size of their puddles when they make a mistake indoors. :)

Food bill will be less.

Otherwise, I think the approach will be the same.
 

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you need to be aware that really small dogs can harm themselves when jumping down from higher places...sometimes even couches and stuff. A normal sized yorkie is probably fine but a teacup that's self-injury-risk sized.

Dogs who are allowed to be up on objects like couches and especially sitting on a person's lap, that can convey a sense of superiority and ownership. Regardless of the size of the dog, their brains all work alike, but us humans treat them differently. You'd never let the GSD run up and pop himself on your lap, but with a small dog that behavior may be acceptable...and it shouldn't be.
 

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Small dogs are still dogs, and have the same characteristics as any other dog. We specifically wanted a small(ish) dog, as we live in a townhouse, large, but still only a patio for easy access, and we travel in a motorhome with our dog. She is about seventeen pounds, so not tiny, but not big either. She does well at home, is patio trained, she and I walk at least thirty minutes every morning, and she loves to travel with us in the MH. For us she is the perfect size.
 
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