Small breed dogs can be notorious for being territorial and fear aggressive. You might be out walking and a little Schnauzer or Chihuahua might come at you and pretty aggressively nip at your heel and then turn around and walk away. That is NOT confidence, that is fear aggression. Being territorial is a defensive behavior, driven by fear.
Building confidence in a small breed dog can be accomplished by starting slow and low. When dealing with larger dogs, standing up is not an issue, when you are training. They typically have no problem wanting to jump on us or crowding our space. A small breed dog will tend to run away, when you are standing up, because our body is exuding pressure.
It is better to just sit on the floor and start playing the “treat toss game”. I might lean my back against the wall, but I will have my legs stretched out and just begin to toss food. I will toss the food away from me and then coax the dog to come to me with a trail of treats or kibble. I will also have a slip leash on the dog or some sort of training tool that can help put a little pressure on the dog. From there, I will teach the dog to go through my legs and how to spin and twirl and how to find heel position.
I do not like to use clicker training with small breeds, because they tend to get fearful of the noise and try to get away from it. I use my voice instead.
Longoriahaus Dog Training is a dog training service in the Kingwood, Humble and Houston, Texas area. Longoriahaus Dog Training can help you raise a happy and reliable dog.